Carob bean juice: a powerful adjunct to oral rehydration solution treatment in diarrheoa.
In children, the treatment of acute diarrhoea with the World Health Organization (WHO) standard oral rehydration solution (ORS) provides effective rehydration but does not reduce the severity of diarrhoea. In community practice, carob bean has been used to treat diarrhoeal diseases in Anatolia since ancient times. In order to test clinical antidiarrhoeal effects of carob bean juice (CBJ), 80 children, aged 4±48 months, who were admitted to SSK Tepecik Teaching Hospital with acute diarrhoea and mild or moderate dehydration, were randomly assigned to receive treatment with either standard WHO ORS alone or a combination of standard WHO ORS and CBJ. Three patients were excluded from the study because of excessive vomiting. In the children receiving ORS + CBJ the duration of diarrhoea was shortened by 45%, stool output was reduced by 44% and ORS requirement was decreased by 38% compared with children receiving ORS alone. Weight gain was similar in the two groups at 24 h after the initiation of the study. Hypernatraemia was detected in three patients in the ORS group but in none of those in the ORS + CBJ group. The use of CBJ in combination with ORS did not lead to any clinical metabolic problem. We therefore conclude that CBJ may have a role in the treatment of children's diarrhoea after it has been technologically processed, and that further studies would be justified. (author's)