Why We Don’t Buy Premier Protein (or other foods that contain Carrageenan)

Written By Brady Wirick

Premier Protein is a popular protein supplement that seems to fly off of the shelves at the grocery store. We do not buy it because it does not pass our food label rules. There are way more than 3 ingredients, there are definitely ingredients that you cannot pronounce. There are 2 ingredients that you should definitely avoid in Premier Protein, sucralose (which we will cover in another blot post) and carrageenan.


Carrageenan, a food additive derived from red seaweed, has been a staple in the food industry for decades, praised for its ability to emulsify, thicken, and stabilize foods and beverages. This versatile ingredient can be found in a wide array of products, from dairy alternatives like almond and soy milk to processed meats, ice cream, and even certain toothpastes. Despite its widespread use and natural origins, carrageenan has sparked a significant amount of debate among health professionals, researchers, and consumers alike due to its potential health implications.

Carrageenan in the Diet

Carrageenan’s role in the food industry cannot be understated. It serves multiple functions:
– Dairy Alternatives: Enhances texture and stability in non-dairy milks.
– Processed Meats: Used as a binder to improve texture and moisture retention.
– Desserts: Provides a creamy texture to ice creams and jellies without the need for additional fats.
– Beverages: Stabilizes liquid products to prevent separation.

What is most alarming to me is that carrageenan is often found in baby formula. The makers of baby formula claim the ingredient helps their product more naturally mimic natural breast milk. Given the fragility of the developing gut, immune system, and brain, I hope this raises concern for young parents and grandparents.

Despite its utility, the health implications of carrageenan consumption have become a topic of concern. When introduced to an acidic environment, such as stomach acid, carrageenan breaks down into a substance known as poligeenan.

Carrageenan, Poligeenan, and Health Concerns. Poligeenan, formerly referred to as “degraded carrageenan,” is associated with various digestive issues, including IBS and colon cancer.

Researchers have utilized carrageenan in experimental models to induce gastrointestinal inflammation in rats, aiming to study the effects of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and other gastrointestinal disorders. These studies have raised concerns about the implications of carrageenan consumption in humans, suggesting a possible link between carrageenan-induced inflammation and the development of IBD and colon cancer.

The Flip Side: Potential Therapeutic Uses

Despite these concerns, it’s also essential to explore the potential benefits of carrageenan. Research is underway to investigate its efficacy as an anti-cancer agent. Interestingly, these studies focus on the properties of carrageenan itself, not poligeenan. Preliminary findings suggest that carrageenan may have the ability to inhibit the growth of certain cancer cells, offering a glimmer of hope in the search for cancer treatments. This research is still in its early stages, and much more work is needed to fully understand carrageenan’s therapeutic potential and safety. I am certain that there will be more research on this topic as it receives attention and funding from big pharma.

I want to note here that orally consumed carrageenan will be converted to poligeenan because of stomach acid. Eating foods that contain carrageenan will not have anticancer effects.

Navigating the Debate

The debate over carrageenan highlights the complexities of food additives derived from natural sources. While it offers significant benefits to the food industry and potential therapeutic uses, its health implications cannot be ignored. Consumers and health professionals alike are urged to stay informed about ongoing research and regulatory updates regarding carrageenan.

As the scientific community continues to explore the dual nature of carrageenan, it’s crucial for consumers to make informed decisions about their diet and the role of food additives like carrageenan. Whether its future will lean more towards its utility or its risks remains to be seen, but what is clear is that the conversation around carrageenan is far from over.

What you eat on a daily basis is your choice. As for me and my family, we will not buy food products that contain carrageenan and I urge you to do the same.



    Huge AMEN to this. I drank Premeir Protein and Fairlife for a while, about a year ago. I did not realize how bad they were until I stopped. They just twisted by guts in knots. Get your protein from a source with a head, like Dr. B says

    • Brady Wirick

      Thanks Darin! Share the word!!!


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