Background: The growth of the world population and the need to increase food production led to the widespread use of food additives. One of such additives is carrageenan. Potentially negative health effects of carrageenans prompt us to question safety of their widespread use.
Aims and Objectives: In this study, we defined the effect of carrageenan (E407) consumption on the main markers of endogenous intoxication in rats.
Materials and Methods: Experimental studies were conducted on 72 non-linear, female, white rats weighing 150-180 g. The experimental animals had free access to 0.5% carrageenan solution in drinking water. Control group of animals received pure water. Syndrome of endogenous intoxication was evaluated using measurements of low, medium, and high molecular weight substances in blood plasma, red blood cell suspension, and urine.
Results: Our results indicate shift of the markers of intoxication syndrome toward mainly catabolic substances. The results obtained after 1 week of the experiment correspond with phase of partial compensation, characterized by increased concentrations of low and middle molecular weight substances in red blood cells and plasma. After 2 weeks and up to 1 month of the experiment, the predominantly catabolic markers of endogenous intoxication continue to increase in erythrocytes and plasma, indicating a shift to the phase of partial decompensation to systems and organs of detoxification.
Conclusion: The consumption of carrageenan with drinking water in concentration of 0.5% was associated with the development of excessive levels of low and middle molecular weight substances with reduced ability of kidneys to excrete toxic products.