Carrageenan ?

Dog Food Advisor Forums Dog Food Ingredients Carrageenan ?

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  • #152411 Report Abuse
    kathryn B
    Participant

    What benefit is carrageenan in dog food? Some recommended foods have it andf some recommended foods do not.

    #152939 Report Abuse
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Carrageenan is derived from seaweed and is used as a thickener or emulsifying agent in many foods (pet and human). It’s often used in canned pet foods, to make the food more firm and seem appealing (?) to humans. There is no real health benefit to carrageenan as far as I can tell, and many studies suggest that it may possibly be harmful, possibly in some cases contributing to the development or recrudescence of chronic GI inflammation and disease states like Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). IBD is a serious, sometimes life threatening autoimmune disease. IBD is not to be confused with IBS, irritable bowel syndrome. The names are not interchangeable.

    Oddly, some of the canned prescription gastro foods actually have carrageenan, which makes no sense to me.

    Whether other common thickeners used in pet food (like guar gum) are any better, I’m not sure. Personally think it makes sense to try to avoid them as much as you can, however not at the expense of using a small brand boutique food, since many of those Companies don’t have as many safety checks In place. You may end up swapping out carageenan for something even worse …something that’s not on the label!

    #152946 Report Abuse
    aimee
    Participant

    Hi RRLover,
    This is an something I looked in to. As I now understand it there are to types of carrageenan degraded and undegraded. Food grade carrageenan is undegraded carrageenan. Degraded carrageenan (poligeenan) is a known to be problematic. The problem is in some of the early studies degraded carrageenan (poligeenan) was simply called carrageenan.

    After reading a lot on the topic I can say I’m comfortable with it, where as in the past I avoided it,

    #184125 Report Abuse
    Michelle M
    Participant

    Can we bump this thread? I’d love some thoughts.

    My dog has a complicated history and very special needs. She’s got megaesophagus (big esophagus that doesn’t work) and achalasia (a tightening of the stomach opening), and a sensitive intestine. This means her food has to be blended, not too voluminous, and fed upright (which has no bearing on the food but I’ll mention it anyway).

    The only thing that’s worked to solve her intestinal issues is hydrolyzed food, more specifically Royal Canin Hydrolyzed wet food. And it has done a great job, her protein levels, which have always been low, are better than they’ve ever been.

    Now, I’ve been doing research and just discovered this stuff has carrageenan. Not good. But I’m scared to change it since her very delicately balanced situation is doing very well.

    I notice that the dry version of the same food does NOT have carrageenan, but doesn’t dry food come with its own problems? What are the ingredients to look out for? I could theoretically soak this food so it’s wet and blend it that way so she could eat it.

    Can you guys please help me out and give me your opinions on carrageenan, and on dry dog food in general? I don’t know what to do. I don’t feel like vets, even the most excellent ones, don’t really pay a ton of attention to dog nutrition, and well tell you that any prescription brand is fine, when really, they have junk in them.

    #184128 Report Abuse
    aimee
    Participant

    Hi Michelle,

    The reason I researched carrageenan was because my own dog had suspected IBD, was on a novel protein diet and the canned versions contained that ingredient. At first I was concerned because of all the negative “press” given to carrageenan, however after reading the scientific literature I was comfortable with the ingredient.

    Of course any animal can have an individual intolerance to any ingredient but it sounds like your dog is doing well on her current diet.

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