CAROB

OTHER NAME(S):

Algarrobo, Carob Flour, Carob Gum, Carob Pods, Carob Syrup, Caroube, Carouge, Ceratonia siliqua, Charoupomelo, Fève de Pythagore, Figuier d'Égypte, Garrofero, Koumpota, Kountourka, Locust Bean, Locust Bean Gum, Locust Pods, Pain de Saint Jean-Baptiste, St. John's Bread, Sugar Pods, Tylliria.

Overview

Overview Information

Carob is a tree. Don't confuse carob with Jacaranda caroba, which is also known as carob tree. People use the carob fruit (pods) for medicine and in foods.

Carob is used for diarrhea, diabetes, prediabetes, persistent heartburn, obesity, and high cholesterol, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

In foods and beverages, carob is used as a flavoring agent and as a chocolate substitute. Carob flour and extracts are also used as ingredients in food products.

How does it work?

Carob contains chemicals and fiber. These compounds might cause weight loss, reduce blood sugar and insulin levels, and lower cholesterol levels.

Uses

Uses & Effectiveness?

Possibly Effective for

  • Diarrhea. Some research suggests that drinking juice extracted from raw carob bean or taking carob pod powder before taking standard oral rehydration solution (ORS) reduces the duration of symptoms in children and infants with acute diarrhea.
  • High cholesterol. Most research suggests that taking carob pulp or specific carob products (Caromax, Nutrinova; Exxenterol, Puleva Biotech SA) by mouth daily for up to 6 weeks reduces total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol in people with moderately high cholesterol.

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Inherited tendency towards high cholesterol (familial hypercholesterolemia). Early research suggests that taking carob gum by mouth for 4-8 weeks reduces total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol levels in children and adults with familial hypercholesterolemia.
  • Prediabetes. Some research suggests that taking carob by mouth in a beverage helps to improve blood sugar in people at risk of diabetes.
  • Celiac disease.
  • Sprue.
  • Heartburn.
  • Obesity.
  • Vomiting during pregnancy.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of carob for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: Carob is LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken in food amounts or as a medicine. Some people are allergic to carob.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Children: Carob gum is POSSIBLY SAFE when used as a thickener for regular healthy term infants who have problems with vomiting after feeding. It is POSSIBLY UNSAFE to use carob-based milk thickening agents in preterm infants. There have been two deaths thought to be related to the use of this thickener.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if carob is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid amounts greater than those found in foods.

Interactions

Interactions?

We currently have no information for CAROB Interactions.

Dosing

Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

ADULTS

BY MOUTH:

  • High cholesterol: 4 grams twice daily of a carob fiber containing 80% polyphenols (Exxenterol, Puleva Biotech SA) for 4 weeks. 15 grams daily of a specific carob product (Caromax, Nutrinova) for 6 weeks. 15 grams daily of carob pulp in prepared food products.
CHILDREN

BY MOUTH:
  • Diarrhea: In children, 20 mL/kg of juice extracted from raw carob bean, followed by standard oral rehydration solution (ORS) over 4-6 hours. In infants, 1.5 grams/kg of carob pod powder, up to a maximum dose of 15 grams each day, along with ORS for up to 6 days..

View References

REFERENCES:

  • Aksit, S., Caglayan, S., Cukan, R., and Yaprak, I. Carob bean juice: a powerful adjunct to oral rehydration solution treatment in diarrhoea. Paediatr.Perinat.Epidemiol. 1998;12(2):176-181. View abstract.
  • Borrelli, O., Salvia, G., Campanozzi, A., Franco, M. T., Moreira, F. L., Emiliano, M., Campanozzi, F., and Cucchiara, S. Use of a new thickened formula for treatment of symptomatic gastrooesophageal reflux in infants. Ital J Gastroenterol.Hepatol. 1997;29(3):237-242. View abstract.
  • Bosscher, D., Caillie-Bertrand, M., and Deelstra, H. Effect of thickening agents, based on soluble dietary fiber, on the availability of calcium, iron, and zinc from infant formulas. Nutrition 2001;17(7-8):614-618. View abstract.
  • Clarke, P. and Robinson, M. J. Thickening milk feeds may cause necrotising enterocolitis. Arch Dis.Child Fetal Neonatal Ed 2004;89(3):F280. View abstract.
  • Corsi, L., Avallone, R., Cosenza, F., Farina, F., Baraldi, C., and Baraldi, M. Antiproliferative effects of Ceratonia siliqua L. on mouse hepatocellular carcinoma cell line. Fitoterapia 2002;73(7-8):674-684. View abstract.
  • Feldman, N., Norenberg, C., Voet, H., Manor, E., Berner, Y., and Madar, Z. Enrichment of an Israeli ethnic food with fibres and their effects on the glycaemic and insulinaemic responses in subjects with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Br J Nutr 1995;74(5):681-688. View abstract.
  • Gruendel, S., Garcia, A. L., Otto, B., Mueller, C., Steiniger, J., Weickert, M. O., Speth, M., Katz, N., and Koebnick, C. Carob pulp preparation rich in insoluble dietary fiber and polyphenols enhances lipid oxidation and lowers postprandial acylated ghrelin in humans. J Nutr 2006;136(6):1533-1538. View abstract.
  • Harmuth-Hoene, A. E. and Schelenz, R. Effect of dietary fiber on mineral absorption in growing rats. J Nutr 1980;110(9):1774-1784. View abstract.
  • Klenow, S., Glei, M., Beyer-Sehlmeyer, G., Haber, B., and Pool-Zobel, B. L. Carob Fiber - Functional effects on human colon cell line HT29. Poster, Functional Food: Safety Aspects. 2004;
  • Loeb, H., Vandenplas, Y., Wursch, P., and Guesry, P. Tannin-rich carob pod for the treatment of acute-onset diarrhea. J.Pediatr.Gastroenterol.Nutr. 1989;8(4):480-485. View abstract.
  • Miyazawa, R., Tomomasa, T., Kaneko, H., and Morikawa, A. Effect of locust bean gum in anti-regurgitant milk on the regurgitation in uncomplicated gastroesophageal reflux. J.Pediatr.Gastroenterol.Nutr. 2004;38(5):479-483. View abstract.
  • Owen, R. W., Haubner, R., Hull, W. E., Erben, G., Spiegelhalder, B., Bartsch, H., and Haber, B. Isolation and structure elucidation of the major individual polyphenols in carob fibre. Food Chem Toxicol 2003;41(12):1727-1738. View abstract.
  • Papagiannopoulos, M., Wollseifen, H. R., Mellenthin, A., Haber, B., and Galensa, R. Identification and quantification of polyphenols in carob fruits (Ceratonia siliqua L.) and derived products by HPLC-UV-ESI/MSn. J Agric.Food Chem 6-16-2004;52(12):3784-3791. View abstract.
  • Savino, F., Muratore, M. C., Silvestro, L., Oggero, R., and Mostert, M. Allergy to carob gum in an infant. J.Pediatr.Gastroenterol.Nutr. 1999;29(4):475-476. View abstract.
  • Scoditti, A., Peluso, P., Pezzuto, R., Giordano, T., and Melica, A. Asthma to carob bean flour. Ann.Allergy Asthma Immunol. 1996;77(1):81. View abstract.
  • Takada, K., Toyoda, K., Shoda, T., Uneyama, C., Tamura, T., and Takahashi, M. [A 13-week subchronic oral toxicity study of carob germ colour in F344 rats]. Kokuritsu Iyakuhin Shokuhin Eisei Kenkyusho Hokoku 1997;(115):93-98. View abstract.
  • Tsai, L. B. and Whistler, R. L. Digestibility of galactomannans. Unpublished report to the World Health Organization 1975;
  • Turnbull, L. A., Santamaria, S., Martorell, T., Rallo, J., and Hector, A. Seed size variability: from carob to carats. Biology Letters 2006;2:397-400.
  • van, der Brempt, X, Ledent, C., and Mairesse, M. Rhinitis and asthma caused by occupational exposure to carob bean flour. J.Allergy Clin.Immunol. 1992;90(6 Pt 1):1008-1010. View abstract.
  • Vivatvakin, B. and Buachum, V. Effect of carob bean on gastric emptying time in Thai infants. Asia Pac.J.Clin.Nutr. 2003;12(2):193-197. View abstract.
  • Wenzl, T. G., Schneider, S., Scheele, F., Silny, J., Heimann, G., and Skopnik, H. Effects of thickened feeding on gastroesophageal reflux in infants: a placebo-controlled crossover study using intraluminal impedance. Pediatrics 2003;111(4 Pt 1):e355-e359. View abstract.
  • Zavoral, J. H., Hannan, P., Fields, D. J., Hanson, M. N., Frantz, I. D., Kuba, K., Elmer, P., and Jacobs, D. R., Jr. The hypolipidemic effect of locust bean gum food products in familial hypercholesterolemic adults and children. Am.J.Clin.Nutr. 1983;38(2):285-294. View abstract.
  • Zunft, H. J., Luder, W., Harde, A., Haber, B., Graubaum, H. J., and Gruenwald, J. Carob pulp preparation for treatment of hypercholesterolemia. Adv.Ther. 2001;18(5):230-236. View abstract.
  • Zunft, H. J., Luder, W., Harde, A., Haber, B., Graubaum, H. J., Koebnick, C., and Grunwald, J. Carob pulp preparation rich in insoluble fibre lowers total and LDL cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic patients. Eur.J.Nutr. 2003;42(5):235-242. View abstract.
  • Aceti A, Corvaglia L, Faldella G. Infant formulas thickened with carob bean gum causing false-positive galactomannan test reactivity. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2008;27(8):769. View abstract.
  • Bañuls C, Rovira-Llopis S, López-Doménech S, et al. Effect of consumption of a carob pod inositol-enriched beverage on insulin sensitivity and inflammation in middle-aged prediabetic subjects. Food Funct. 2016;7(10):4379-4387. View abstract.
  • Birketvedt GS, Travis A, Langbakk B, Florholmen JR. Dietary supplementation with bean extract improves lipid profile in overweight and obese subjects. Nutrition 2002;18:729-33.. View abstract.
  • Bosscher D, Van Caillie-Bertrand M, Van Cauwenbergh R, Deelstra H. Availabilities of calcium, iron, and zinc from dairy infant formulas is affected by soluble dietary fibers and modified starch fractions. Nutrition. 2003;19(7-8):641-5. View abstract.
  • Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 182 -- Substances Generally Recognized As Safe. Available at: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?CFRPart=182
  • Kietrys DM, Palombaro KM, Azzaretto E, et al. Effectiveness of dry needling for upper-quarter myofascial pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2013;43(9):620-34. View abstract.
  • Komericki P, Kränke B. Immediate hypersensitivity to carob pods. Contact Dermatitis. 2009;61(4):239-40. View abstract.
  • Ruiz-Roso B, Quintela JC, de la Fuente E, Haya J, Pérez-Olleros L. Insoluble carob fiber rich in polyphenols lowers total and LDL cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic sujects. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2010;65(1):50-6. View abstract.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

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