Carrageenan: A Risky Ingredient in Most Cat Food

pet food

Submitted by Nilla’s Tub DIY Dog Wash & Health Food Store


Pet owners are becoming more aware of the importance of good nutrition for the health of their cat or dog. There are some ingredients in both human food and pet food that are not just unhealthful—they can actually be harmful. One such ingredient is carrageenan. It is an additive commonly found in canned or refrigerated pet food—in fact, it is difficult to find a canned pet food that does not contain carrageenan. Carrageenan is sourced from seaweed, has no nutritional benefit, and is used as a thickener or stabilizer. In human foods, it is commonly found in ice cream.

Carrageenan has been scientifically linked to many serious illnesses including cancer. The FDA claims that it is safe, but science is proving otherwise. The Cornucopia Institute, a non-profit food/farm policy research group, published a very detailed report of carrageenan that provides some concerning evidence regarding this common pet food ingredient. Following is from the Cornucopia Institute report “Carrageenan—How a ‘Natural’ Food Additive is Making Us Sick.”

Animal studies have repeatedly shown that food-grade carrageenan causes gastrointestinal inflammation and higher rates of intestinal lesions, ulcerations, and even malignant tumors. The chemical structure of carrageenan—unique chemical bonds not found in other seaweeds or gums—affects the body in several ways. Most notably, it triggers an immune reaction, which leads to inflammation in the gastrointestinal system.

A convincing body of scientific literature shows negative effects caused by food-grade carrageenan. Moreover, scientists are concerned that the acid environment of the stomach may “degrade” food-grade carrageenan once it enters the digestive system, thus exposing the intestines to this potent and widely recognized carcinogen.

For individuals who consume carrageenan on a regular or daily basis, the inflammation will be prolonged and constant, which is a serious health concern since prolonged inflammation is a precursor to more serious disease including inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, arteriosclerosis, and cancer.

It’s obvious that carrageenan is an ingredient that can easily cause health problems for pets. Especially when you consider the fact that dogs and cats usually eat the same food every day while humans might consume carrageenan, but they are also consuming lots of other types of foods. Because it has no nutritional value, there is no reason to even take the chance that this might negatively impact your pet.

Be sure to read the label and make sure that the brand you are choosing does not include dangerous ingredients like artificial colors, artificial preservatives, and carrageenan. Even the refrigerated “fresh” pet food found in the grocery store almost always contains carrageenan. So, until pet food manufacturers recognize the health risks and stop including carrageenan in their foods, it’s up to the pet parents of the world to always read the labels and choose wisely.


For more information about pet nutrition, stop into Nilla’s Tub DIY Dog Wash & Health Food Store and let them help. They are located at 211 Landmark Dr., Ste B-1 in Normal and have a large selection of only the best dog and cat food, including frozen and freeze dried commercial raw. They’ve done the research and everything they carry—food, treats, CBD Oil and supplements—meets their own high standards. They also have everything you need to bathe and groom your furry friend in a fun, relaxing environment. No appointment necessary. Call 309-451-9274 or visit them online at


For additional informative and inspirational articles, visit 50 Plus News and Views Bloomington/Normal online edition today.

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