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What’s up with Carageenan? I heard it can cause UC. Is this why it is forbidden on the SCD?


Elaine writes:

The work by Marcus and Watts to produce experimental UC was done with carageenan because it was being used as a surface protection for stomach mucosa against what was thought to be the cause of peptic ulcers. I did not go into the specifics of the molecular size of the carageenan molecule but, in fact, in their papers they claim that the medication was "hydrolyzed" carageenan. That means that the very long molecule of native carageenan was partially broken up into smaller molecules but with the same atoms and structure, only shorter in length. Whether the seaweed/carageenan is harmful or not according to Watts and Marcus research may have to do with the molecular length. I do not know. But it did make me suspicious of carageenan and this type of molecule so I said "avoid it" in BTVC. I have no way of finding out exactly what molecular size the commercial carageenan is so all I can suggest is that if someone has become symptom-free and would like to gradually introduce some kind of seaweed into his/her diet, be my guest. That is about all I can say except that even if the commercial  carageenan used in half and half were exactly like the carageenan which produced experimental UC, I still do not think it would stop the manufacturers or the health institutes from doing anything to warn anyone.



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