IS CARAO FRUIT HELPFUL FOR ALL CASES OF ANEMIA?
We have seen it to be very effective to improve blood values for those with iron deficiency anemia and anemia caused by excessive blood loss (menstruation, etc.), including some cases that were unresponsive to iron treatment. It has also given amazing results in cases of anemia of pregnancy and anemia caused by chemotherapy, kidney failure, and thalassemia. More recently we have received reports of excellent blood health benefits for those with hemolytic anemia. And a Nigerian pediatrician has recently called it "a new dawn in the management of Sickle Cell Disease and Anaemia." These results cause me to believe it is beneficial for blood health support in most cases of low blood values.
On the other hand, much less benefit can be expected for patients with thalassemia major or other diseases which severely inhibit the functioning of the bone marrow. However, we have received reports of transfusions being necessary less frequently in some of these cases.
Note that it does not cure or treat any of the causes of anemia mentioned above.
DOES CARAO FRUIT HAVE ANY OTHER HEALTH BENEFITS?
Besides its fame as a natural blood-builder, Central American folk medicine recommends carao fruit for:
WHY DOESN'T MY DOCTOR KNOW ABOUT CARAO?
Carao is relatively new outside Central America, and is still unknown to most doctors outside of this region. Like most nutritional therapies, it is ignored by the medical establishment. However, in Central America many or most doctors are in favor of its use in support of blood health.
HAVE THERE BEEN ANY SCIENTIFIC STUDIES?
Yes. A peer-reviewed scientific study published in a pharmacological journal showed amazing anti-anemia activity in laboratory rats. In addition, there was a study carried out by Dr. Luis Carmona in Costa Rica. Although not a scientific study, there is also the several years of clinical experience, including many "before" and "after" blood test results, by a Pediatrician in Nigeria.
IS IT U.S. FDA APPROVED?
The US Food and Drug Adminstration does not have an approval program for dietary supplements. However, it does have a set of regulations controlling the labeling of foods and dietary supplements, and Tropical Health Foods carao complies with those labeling regulations. In addition, the production facility is licensed and inspected by the Costa Rican Health Ministry.
IS IT OK FOR BABIES?
Yes indeed! In fact, it is even more effective in infants and children than it is in adults. Nursing babies should take about 1 teaspoon daily.
CAN CARAO BE USED BY DIABETICS?
Since Tropical Health Foods carao is 100% pure extract of carao, it contains some natural sweetness from the fruit. I recently asked Dr. Luis Carmona to comment on the use of carao by diabetics. His reply follows:
"Although fructose and glucose in the diet can affect diabetes, it is also true that the diet of the diabetic needs from 40-60% of carbohydrates, both compound carbohydrates as well as monosacharides. What can be done is to reduce the consumption of fine starches (potato, sweet potato, beets, squash, cooked carrots, very ripe fruits, bananas, plantains, tortillas, pastries, cookies, and bread), and reduce the consumption of rice. By doing this, carao can be used until the anemia is corrected." (Dr. Luis Carmona, MD, February 20, 2005)
HAS THERE BEEN A CHEMICAL ANALYSIS?
Yes, it can be found here.
WHAT IS THE RECOMMENDED DAILY AMOUNT?
We believe that 4-6 teaspoons per day is sufficient for adults - most people take 4 teaspoons per day, usually divided into 2 doses of 2 teaspoons each. We think nursing babies should be given about 3/4 to 1 teaspoon per day in milk, children 1-3 about 1-2 tsp., and children 4-6 about 2 to 3 teaspoons. We recommend it be taken pure, or diluted in milk, soy milk, or water. If milk is used to dilute the carao, we suggest not more than 1 cup milk per 2 teaspoons carao.
WHAT DOES IT TASTE LIKE?
Carao fruit has a strong and unusual aroma and sweet flavor, which some people do not like, but which most people can easily tolerate and which many grow to enjoy. It is very concentrated. Most people find it most palatable either pure or mixed with milk or chocolate milk. (Mixed with milk it is relished as a delicious drink in Costa Rica.)
HOW SHOULD IT BE TAKEN?
It can be taken pure off the spoon, or it can be diluted, usually with milk or soy milk. Mixing it with milk makes it more palatable for those who do not like the strong flavor. However, for best absorption we recommend no more than one cup milk be used per 2 teaspoons carao.
DOES IT REQUIRE REFRIGERATION AFTER OPENING?
Tropical Health Foods carao requires no refrigeration, even after opening. This is because it is so highly concentrated that it is self-sterilizing, like bee's honey.
HOW MUCH DO I NEED FOR A CASE OF ANEMIA?
For cases of simple, non-chronic "iron deficiency" anemia, or anemia caused by excess menstruation or other blood loss, at least 5 weeks use (2 bottles) will be needed to give improvement shown by blood test.
For chronic anemia, anemia caused by disease, and for those over age 55,10 weeks use (4 bottles) are recommended (4 tsp/day).
For a child 6 or under (2 tsp/day), half the amounts indicated above will provide the same period of use.