Aims. Major aims were to determine whether exposure to the commonly used food additive carrageenan could induce fasting hyperglycemia and could increase the effects of a high fat diet on glucose intolerance and dyslipidemia. Methods. C57BL/6J mice were exposed to either carrageenan, high fat diet, or the combination of high fat diet and carrageenan, or untreated, for one year. Effects on fasting blood glucose, glucose tolerance, lipid parameters, weight, glycogen stores, and inflammation were compared. Results. Exposure to carrageenan led to glucose intolerance by six days and produced elevated fasting blood glucose by 23 weeks. Effects of carrageenan on glucose tolerance were more severe than from high fat alone. Carrageenan in combination with high fat produced earlier onset of fasting hyperglycemia and higher glucose levels in glucose tolerance tests and exacerbated dyslipidemia. In contrast to high fat, carrageenan did not lead to weight gain. In hyperinsulinemic, euglycemic clamp studies, the carrageenan-exposed mice had higher early glucose levels and lower glucose infusion rate and longer interval to achieve the steady-state. Conclusions. Carrageenan in the Western diet may contribute to the development of diabetes and the effects of high fat consumption. Carrageenan may be useful as a nonobese model of diabetes in the mouse.
Bhattacharyya, S., Feferman, L., Unterman, T., & Tobacman, J. K. (2015). Exposure to common food additive carrageenan alone leads to fasting hyperglycemia and in combination with high fat diet exacerbates glucose intolerance and hyperlipidemia without effect on weight. Journal of Diabetes Research, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/513429