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Are Star Fruit Good For You?

The oxalate content in star fruit may pose a risk.

October 1, 2009 |
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Acknowledgements

Image thanks to Vegan Feast Catering.

Transcript

Star fruit, which you can often find in the tropical produce section at large supermarkets. Harmful, harmless, or helpful?
Harmful enough to shut down your kidneys. Acute oxalate nephropathy, caused by the extraordinarily high oxalate content, a condition previously associated primarily with antifreeze ingestion. Nice. Eat an apple.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

To help out on the site please email volunteer@nutritionfacts.org

Dr. Michael Greger

Doctor's Note

Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out theother “HHH” videos (Harmful, Harmless, or Helpful?). Also, there are over a thousand subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them as well!

For some context, please check out my associated blog post: Soymilk: shake it up!

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/mgreger/ Michael Greger M.D.

    Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out the other “HHH” videos (Harmful, Harmless, or Helpful?). Also, there are over a thousand subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them as well!

  • WholeFoodChomper

    I’m curious how applicable these findings are to humans since this study was conducted on rats. Any human evidence out there showing that people should avoid this cute little fruit? Or is your guidance on this one, precautionary based on this rat study?

    • http://nutritionfacts.org/ Michael Greger M.D.

       The phenomenon has been documented in humans. The animal study was just trying to figure out the mechanism.

      • WholeFoodChomper

        Thanks for responding! :)  Looks like star fruit is off the menu. 

  • iVegan, CPT

    The organic farmer I buy most of my food from is always offering me star fruit and saying how good it is for you. I can’t wait to share this insight with her. You are turning me into a nutritional ninja! Thanks Dr. G

  • martintaylor67

    Hi, great site! I’ve just spotted a link stating that green smoothies can cause high Oxelate levels in the body. it sounds like dis-information to me but do you have an opinion on what is being said here? http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/how-green-smoothies-can-devastate-your-health/

  • N_

    But spinach is also very high in oxalate content. Should spinach be avoided?
    http://www.childrensdayton.org/cms/resource_library/nephrology_files/5f5dec8807c77c52/lithiasis__oxalate_and_diet.pdf

    And even my dear almonds seem to have pretty much oxalate..
    http://courses.washington.edu/bonephys/hypercalU/oxalate.html

  • Jonathan

    It’s not the oxalic acid that causes it, though, it would seem. Asparagus, cassava, and brussel sprouts too have oxalic acid. Starfruit has a certain neurotoxin that healthy kidneys can easily filter out with no ill effects on the consumer…but, if you have kidney issues (stones, on dialysis, whatever else), avoid Starfruit. It can kill, then.

    Better safe than sorry I suppose…but I think I’ll take a bite here and there.

  • tyler

    is star fruit better for you than grapes are?