Carrageenan is made from parts of various red algae or seaweeds and is used for medicine.
Carrageenan is used for coughs, bronchitis, tuberculosis, and intestinal problems. The French use a form that has been changed by adding acid and high temperatures. This form is used to treat peptic ulcers, and as a bulk laxative.
Some people apply carrageenan directly to the skin for discomfort around the anus.
In manufacturing, carrageenan is used as a binder, thickening agent, and as a stabilizer in medications, foods, and toothpaste. Carrageenan is also an ingredient in weight loss products.
How does it work?
Carrageenan contains chemicals that may decrease stomach and intestinal secretions. Large amounts of carrageenan seem to pull water into the intestine, and this may explain why it is tried as a laxative. Carrageenan also might decrease pain and swelling (inflammation).
Side Effects & Safety
Carrageenan is safe for most people in food amounts. There is a chemically altered form of carrageenan that is available in France to treat peptic ulcers. This form might be UNSAFE because there's some evidence that it might cause cancer.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Carrageenan is safe in amounts found in food, but there's not enough information to know if it's safe in the larger amounts that are used as medicine. It’s best to stay on the safe side and avoid use in medicinal amounts.
Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination
- Medications for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs) interacts with CARRAGEENAN
Carrageenan seems to decrease blood pressure. Taking carrageenan along with medications for high blood pressure might cause your blood pressure to go too low.
Some medications for high blood pressure include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), diltiazem (Cardizem), Amlodipine (Norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDiuril), furosemide (Lasix), and many others.
- Medications taken by mouth (Oral drugs) interacts with CARRAGEENAN
Carrageenan is a thick gel. Carrageenan can stick to medications in the stomach and intestines. Taking carrageenan at the same time as medications that you take by mouth can decrease how much medication your body absorbs, and decrease the effectiveness of your medication. To prevent this interaction, take carrageenan at least one hour after medications you take by mouth.
- Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) interacts with CARRAGEENAN
Carrageenan might slow blood clotting. Taking carrageenan along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.
Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.
The appropriate dose of carrageenan depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for carrageenan. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.