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Carob

Introduction

Carob refers to the bitter seeds that come from the pods of a tropical tree. The seed has been used to ease symptoms of diarrhea, lower cholesterol, and help control blood glucose. Carob can be taken as a seed, powder, or pill. It can also be made into a syrup, extract, or tea.

Dosages

5 grams 2 to 3 times daily.

What Research Shows

May Be Effective

Not Enough Data to Assess

  • Gastroesophageal reflux B1, B2
  • Insulin sensitivity E1

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It is likely safe to take carob in small doses for a short time. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to use for a long period. It is also not known whether it is safe to take by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Interactions

Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse such as.

  • People taking vitamin A supplements should talk to their doctor before taking carob. It may be toxic to the body.
  • People with blood pressure or heart problems should talk to their doctors before taking carob. It may interact with their medicine
 

References

A. A. Diabetes

A1. Lambert C, Cubedo J, et al. Effects of a Carob-Pod-Derived Sweetener on Glucose Metabolism. Nutrients. 2018;10(3):E271.

B. B. Gastroesophageal Reflux

B1. Carroll AE, Garrison MM, et al. A systematic review of nonpharmacological and nonsurgical therapies for gastroesophageal reflux in infants. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2002 Feb;156(2):109-113.

B2. Miyazawa R, Tomomasa T, et al. Effect of formula thickened with reduced concentration of locust bean gum on gastroesophageal reflux. Acta Paediatr. 2007 Jun;96(6):910-914.

C. C. Gastrointestinal Disorders

C1. Akşit S, Cağlayan S, et al. Carob bean juice: a powerful adjunct to oral rehydration solution treatment in diarrhoea. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 1998 Apr;12(2):176-181.

C2. Anheyer D, Frawley J, et al. Herbal Medicines for Gastrointestinal Disorders in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review. Pediatrics. 2017 Jun;139(6). pii: e20170062.

D. High cholesterol

D2. Zunft HJ, Lüder W, et al. Carob pulp preparation rich in insoluble fibre lowers total and LDL cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic patients. Eur J Nutr. 2003 Oct;42(5):235-242.

D3. Ruiz-Roso B, Quintela JC, et al. Insoluble carob fiber rich in polyphenols lowers total and LDL cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic subjects. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2010;65(1):50-56.

E. Insulin Sensitivity

E1. Bañuls C, Rovira-Llopis 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 Oct 12;7(10):4379-4387.

Last reviewed July 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC  Last Updated: 5/6/2020