There have been many naysayers on the Internet when it comes to carrageenan, including some well-known health bloggers. I wanted to put the controversy to an end when it comes to the products I recommend. I had an extended discussion with Jeff Dorsett, MSHS, Research and Development Scientist at doTERRA. I expressed my concern over the fact that some products in the doTERRA lines have carrageenan listed as an ingredient, notably the On Guard toothpaste and all of the softgel preparations. What I found out is that Jeff is the man who wrote the white paper on carrageenan at doTERRA and he graciously offered it to help me clear the air on this misunderstood compound used in food and health products.
What is Carrageenan?
“Carrageenan is a safe and natural fiber extracted from seaweed. It is an indigestible polysaccharide that is commonly used in foods as a natural thickening, gelling, and stabilizing agent.” 
So what does it mean when carrageenan is added to our food and health products. It means we need to know which type of carrageenan has been used. There are two types of carrageenan and they are very different on the molecular level with very different chemical properties. If the media hype were to distinguish between these forms of carrageenan then there would have been less controversy. The two forms of carrageenan are degraded carrageenan and undegraded carrageenan.
As stated in Mr. Dorsett’s paper:
Undegraded carrageenan (“proper” carrageenan) is the form approved for use in food products, and the form we utilize in our vegetarian softgels and On Guard toothpaste. Degraded carrageenan, which is also called poligeenan, is not approved for use in food and is not used in our products. Poligeenan is never used in foods today because it does not have the food functions of carrageenan.” 
There you have it in a nutshell – there is only one form of carrageenan used in doTERRA products, approved as GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) by the United States, the Joint World Health Organization (WHO) and others. The studies cited in Mr. Dorsett’s paper point out very clearly that the human digestive system does not produce the types of extremes that were used when conducting research on carrageenan. Additionally, only poligeenan has been shown to to cause intestinal inflammation – not carrageenan. That being said, the amount of carrageenan is so small in these products that it does not even rise to the standard of what would be considered an unsafe level.
Other Product Claims
What concerns me most is other companies who make claims that they don’t use carrageenan in their products. If they are making a softgel, then carrageenan is currently the only material that can stabilize softgels. So, if you are consuming a softgel product that claims to have no carrageenan, you may want to rethink using that company’s products (and the safety of using them) since the current method of making softgels requires carrageenan. Of course, you want to make sure it is undenatured carrageenan, which is a safe, indigestible fiber that won’t be absorbed by the body. It comes down to trust in the company you are purchasing your food and health products from and that trust can be earned through rigorous scientific research.
Why doTERRA is Different
How many companies put their science out on the Internet for everyone to read? Well doTERRA does – the doTERRA Science Blog. There is complete transparency in what they do, how they do it and why they are on a mission to get doTERRA essential oils in every household. It’s a daunting mission but one I am personally committed to. Every year I experience a profound sense of pride and excitement when I travel to Utah to attend the annual doTERRA Global Convention. Every person who works at doTERRA is accessible – even all of the top executives including David Stirling, CEO. Their impeccable record of financial stability, their rigorous scientific research, their humanitarian partnerships are just a few of the things that make me proud of being part of the doTERRA family.
I know this started out as a blog about carrageenan but evolved into a testimonial of doTERRA. But without doTERRA’s accessibility into their scientific research and their scientists, I may have been one of the millions who would have been fooled by the misleading information on the web about carrageenan. I thank Jeff Dorsey and all of the researchers who took the time to answer all of the questions posed to them this September at the convention. If you are interested in more information about doTERRA or any of its products, please email me directly.
 Jeff Dorsett, “Carrageenan Safety,” doTERRA International, 2015