We always hear about the harmful ingredients we need to avoid in pet food. Carrageenan in cat food is one such ingredient – and should raise red flags for every cat parent.
What is carrageenan in cat food?
In short, carrageenan is a food additive. It’s used as a thickener and emulsifier to improve the texture of processed foods. It has no nutritional value, whatsoever and it’s added to some human foods and many of our canned cat foods.
If carrageenan is added to human foods it should be safe, right?
Wrong. Here’s the thing…
Carrageenan comes in two forms: Degraded and un-degraded. Degraded carrageenan causes inflammation in the GI tract of our cats and “scientists routinely use it to induce inflammation and other disease in laboratory animals, to test anti-inflammation drugs and other pharmaceuticals.”* This research has proven that this additive leads to ulcers, tumors and cancer in the gut of animals.
The FDA doesn’t allow degraded carrageenan in foods of any kind. Research shows us, however, that the body itself can degrade this ingredient. You see, the difference between degraded and un-degraded carrageenan is acidity. Un-degraded carrageenan is processed with alkali (the opposite of acid) and degraded is processed with acid.
The problem is that our feline friends’ stomachs are acidic in nature. That’s how they can safely eat a species appropriate raw diet. Once the un-degraded (or “food grade”) carrageenan hits the stomach it can easily become degraded and act as the terrible carcinogen it is. Prolonged intake of this additive causes serious inflammation and leads to diseases like cancer in cats.
And we wonder why so many of our kitties are being diagnosed with cancer these days.
Since the manufacturers don’t mind carrageenan in cat food it’s our job as cat parents to make sure we don’t purchase foods with this additive. Make sure to read the ingredient label on every can of cat food you buy. We must work together as a cat community to help our kitties live the long and healthy lives they deserve.
Don’t let the pet food companies fool you…
Other names carrageenan can be called are: Algas, Algue Rouge Marine, Carrageen, Carrageenin, Carragenano, Carragenina, Carragheenan, Carraghénane, Carraghénine, Chondrus crispus, Chondrus Extract, Euchema species, Extrait de Mousse d’Irlande, Galgarine, Gigartina chamissoi, Gigartina mamillosa, Gigartina skottsbergii, Irish Moss Algae, Irish Moss Extract, Mousse d’Irlande, Red Marine Algae.
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