Warning – Do Not Eat Starfruit If You Are A Kidney Patient!

Good evening, dear friends 😀

Starfruit, also known as Carambola, is such a common tropical fruit here and a favourite friut for many in this part of the world that I was really shocked to find out from today’s newspapers that eating starfruits can be lethal to people with any kidney dysfunctions. 😯

It seemed that some Malaysians had gone on holiday to China but a few of them landed up comatose in hospital there soon after consuming starfruit. At first, I thought it could be due to some pesticide that was sprayed onto the starfruit in China but doctors said in the newspapers that starfruit can actually cause life threatening effects to some kidney patients.

Typical symptoms occur within one to five hours and include persistent hiccups, nausea, vomiting, agitation, insomnia, mental confusion and convulsions. Death sometimes results. A study conducted at the University of Sao Paulo found that hiccups were experienced in 30 of 32 cases, and vomiting in about two-thirds. Even though mental confusion and convulsions were less common, these symptoms are more likely to be associated with death.

Star fruit intoxication only occurred if some degree of kidney failure already existed. For most of those affected, kidney decline was extensive enough that they were being treated by blood dialysis, although in four cases kidney problems had not reached that severity. There is no evidence of any problem for people with normal kidney function.

The tangy tartness in star fruit comes from high levels of oxalic acid (or oxalate). Weakened kidneys can be damaged if high levels of oxalate accumulate in the organ. But it is likely that another toxin in star fruit is also problematic since common foods such as spinach contain even greater levels of oxalic acid and do not seem to be associated with this severe problem.

The Brazilian researchers think that star fruit contains a substance toxic to nerves (a neurotoxin). People with healthy kidneys probably clear this toxin from the blood quickly and experience no problem. Without efficient kidney function, the combined effect of oxalate and a neurotoxin may deliver a double whammy.

As little as one half of a fruit and less than eight ounces of star fruit juice has caused serious symptoms. One person died from eating just one fruit.

Current medical treatment for star fruit intoxication is prompt kidney dialysis. Anyone who experiences hiccups, vomiting or other unusual symptoms after eating star fruit should seek medical attention as soon as possible.

On the positive side, star fruit lovers with normal kidneys should be able to continue enjoying the delectable treat without concern. I especially love sipping a tall glass of ice-cold starfruit and lemon juice on a hot, sunny day but with this latest knowledge, I better be careful who I serve it to. 😉


9 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    sweetrosie said,

    oh my goodness! who would have thought? Thank you for bringing this very important information to everyone’s attention dear choesf 🙂

    I was in the Asian grocers today wishing so much you were with me… there were all these packets of herbal soup mix – roots, and dried pods and things, and I didn’t have a clue which one to choose. I had an idea I could just pick one and buy some pork ribs and greens but I got scared… 😉

    Have a lovely weekend 🙂



  2. 2

    happyhomemaker88 said,

    Happy Saturday, dear sweetrosie! 😀

    Precisely! I was just talking to my friends and all of us had no idea that this common fruit can be so dangerous to some people.

    Even here, there are so many varieties of herbal soup mixes that I, myself, have to ask the people that are selling them as to what purpose those mixes were for. This is because some soups are yin (cooling) and some are yang (heaty) and we have to be sure that our body are in the right opposite condition first….e.g. if we are experiencing heaty symptoms like headaches, gum aches, or sore throats, and we consume a soup that is yang, this may cause too much stress on our body. So, you were right to avoid buying those soup mix that you saw if you were unsure. Good for you! 😀

    Do have a lovely weekend yourself, too!

    With love and hugs,

    choesf 😀


  3. 3

    Tina Z said,

    Hey Happy Homemaker 88,

    I was just searching under “Star Fruit” and found this post. Very informative.
    Below is a link to a video two of my friends and I put together on the mysterious Star Fruit.
    Thought you might find it funny and educational. Enjoy.

    Wishing you well!
    Tina Z.


  4. 4

    happyhomemaker88 said,

    Hi there and welcome, dear Tina Z 😀

    Wow, that starfruit video that you made is just fantastic – you and your friends are so talented. I certainly enjoyed watching it. Thank you for the link! 😀

    Have a great weekend.

    With best wishes,

    choesf 😀


  5. 5

    Tmart said,

    Oh my goodness! This is very shocking information to me I haven’t taught such fruit pose a serious treat. Back home, I have grown up eating this watery fruit. Anyway, I have diagnosed for kidney stone on 1997 and undergone lithotripsy. Unfornately it wasn’t successful and i carry it for a long time. At present, my creatinine level is raised above normal 1.2 to lately 2.2 . Im having my Uretheroscopy on May 26 this year.

    Thank you for that very important information.


  6. 7

    baby said,

    this somes so cool


  7. 8

    JER0EM R0LAND said,

    Warning Kidney Patient not only for danger of Starfruit, their is much more danger! Drink young Coconut water or consume Parkia speciosa both are extremely high in potassium. Than we have Perlite, nasty, dangerous. Perlite is a volcanic rock and can cause for lungs pulmonary disease.


    • 9

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hello there and welcome, dear Jeroem 😀

      Thank you for your health warnings. They will come in handy for those that visit here. 💡

      With best wishes,

      choesf 😀


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