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Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine
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601 S. Morgan Street UH 1147
The University of Illinois at Chicago is a Carnegie research one university located in the heart of a great American and global city. With 29,000 students and 15 colleges, UIC is Chicago's largest university and one of the nation's most diverse. Deeply committ... more.
University of Illinois
Board Of Trustees Member
University Of Iowa
University of Iowa College of Medicine
What to Do About Carrageenan? - Biodynamic Wellness
However, according to medical researcher Joanne K. Tobacman, MD, associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, the size of the molecule does not prevent it from crossing the intestinal barrier (just like undigested food proteins can cross a leaky intestinal barrier) and that carrageenan does actually get into the bloodstream.1
Research in 1971 indicated that carrageenan damages immune cells as well as promotes tumor formation and inflammation.3 Medical researcher Joanne K. Tobacman, MD, associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, has published 18 studies to date (and most likely more are to come) exhibiting that carrageenan causes inflammation in the gut, which translates into systemic inflammation throughout the body. Chronic inflammation is a known precursor to diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, cardiovascular disease and Crohn's disease. According to Dr. Tobacman, one of the leading researchers in the field of digestive health, carrageenan is used in laboratory settings to induce inflammation in tissues of mice to test the anti-inflammatory properties of new drugs.
Nonetheless, experts like Joanne Tobacman, MD - Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago - insists that, "Carrageenan exposure clearly causes inflammation; the amount of carrageenan in food products is sufficient to cause inflammation; and degraded carrageenan and food-grade carrageenan are both harmful.
But if youâ€™ve ever lived in an academic setting, you know that the lead author of the original studies, Joanne Tobacman of the University of Illinois at Chicago, having built some solid research turf around carrageenan and inflammation, had more to gain from confirming her early work than from proving that sheâ€™d been wrong.
The petition was filed by Dr. Joanne Tobacman, a physician-researcher at the University of Illinois - Chicago College of Medicine, who has been studying food-grade carrageenan for more than a decade.
"It is disappointing that the FDA continues to permit carrageenan to be used as a food additive despite clear evidence that it causes inflammation," says Dr. Tobacman. Dr. Hanauer and Dr. Tobacman are currently conducting a study using human patients with ulcerative colitis, a serious gastrointestinal disease. "[Dr. Tobacman] explained that all forms of carrageenan are capable of causing inflammation.
Joanne K. Tobacman, M.D., associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, whose body of work focuses on clarifying and making known the effects of carrageenan on the human and animal body, reported in her 2001 review published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives that:
Dr. Tobacman also shared that "research suggests that acid digestion, heating, bacterial action and mechanical processing can all accelerate degradation of food-grade carrageenan. - Tobacman, J. K. (2001, October). Review of harmful gastrointestinal effects of carrageenan in animal experiments. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1242073/
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