Carrageenan

18/Description

About

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 it works

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).

Effectiveness

Not Proven
Cough
Bronchitis
Tuberculosis
Weight loss
Constipation
Peptic ulcers
Intestinal problems
Other conditions

Concerns

Likely safe

Carrageenan is LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth in food amounts. There is a chemically altered form of carrageenan that is available in France to treat peptic ulcers

Possibly unsafe

This form is POSSIBLY UNSAFE because there's some evidence that it might cause cancer.

18/Warnings

Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Carrageenan isLIKELY SAFEin 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.Are there any interactions with medications?

Bleeding disorders: Carrageenan might slow blood clotting and increase bleeding. In theory, carrageenan might make bleeding disorders worse.

Low blood pressure: Carrageenan might lower blood pressure. In theory, taking carrageenan might make blood pressure become too low in people with low blood pressure.

Surgery: Carrageenan might slow blood clotting and lower blood pressure in some people. In theory, carrageenan might increase the risk for bleeding and interfere with blood pressure control during surgical procedures. Stop using carrageenan at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Interactions

Always consult with your doctor.
Moderate
Medications taken by mouth (Oral drugs)

Carrageenan might 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.Carrageenan is a thick gel. Carrageenan might stick to medications in the stomach and intestines. Taking carrageenan at the same time as medications that you take by mouth might 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)

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 information provided on this page is for reference purposes and is not meant to be used as a medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with a medical professional.