What Is Star fruit? Is it safe to eat?
Star fruit (also known as carambola) is a tropical fruit native to Indonesia, grown here out of Florida and Hawaii. It is a beautiful fruit, when you slice it, it looks like a star, and has a flavor very similar to that of a pineapple.
Star fruit is a refreshing treat and, for most of us, a healthy snack. But for some people with impaired kidney function, the star fruit can be deadly. Star fruit is perfectly safe to eat as long as there are no kidney problems present. For those that have any kidney issues at all, stay away from this fruit; it can be dangerous, even deadly. There have been many reports of people going into shock and convulsions within an hour of eating this fruit.
Why is star fruit dangerous to those with kidney problems?
Star fruits contain very high levels of oxalic acid that can accumulate and weaken kidneys; and has another toxin that has been isolated in the fruit which actually inhibits kidney function. Oxalic acid is also present in spinach, and scientists aren’t sure why it doesn’t have the same effects on the kidneys as it does with starfruit.
Typical symptoms occur within one to five hours and include persistent hiccups, nausea, vomiting, agitation, insomnia, mental confusion and convulsions. 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. If you have eaten star fuit and develop hiccups, are vomiting or experiencing any other symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.
On the positive side, star fruit lovers with normal kidneys should be able to continue consuming this tasty treat without concern.
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