Are Star Fruit Good for You?

Are Star Fruit Good for You?
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The oxalate content in star fruit may pose a risk.

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Star fruit, which you can often find in the tropical produce section at large supermarkets. Harmful? Harmless? Or helpful?

Harmful enough to shut down our 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.

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Image thanks to Vegan Feast Catering via Flickr.

Star fruit, which you can often find in the tropical produce section at large supermarkets. Harmful? Harmless? Or helpful?

Harmful enough to shut down our 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.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to Vegan Feast Catering via Flickr.

Doctor's Note

Check out my other “HHH” videos (Harmful, Harmless, or Helpful?) – listed below the post.

For more context, see my associated blog post: Soy milk: shake it up!

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

17 responses to “Are Star Fruit Good for You?

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  1. 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?

  2. 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

  3. 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.

    1. Thanks for the info Jonathan. Old video but I accidentally came across it and had no idea about this until now. Seems like more studies should be done to understand how safe it might be for people with healthy kidneys or just some more insight. It seems instinctually odd to me that such a beautiful little fruit would be so dangerous and not meant for consumption. Looking at all the beauteous google images of these magical little star-like bits didn’t help… I’m terribly disappointed even though I’ve never had a star fruit… I just WANT there to be a beautiful star-shaped fruit available for consumption… it should just simply be! Oh well. Still probably fine for healthy individuals? But why risk it… I’d like more insight.

    1. Hi Zuppkko. I think so they seem legit. Anything particular about one that caught your eye? Funny I am writing a page on oxalates so stay tuned for my post on the Ask the Dietitian Page. Dr. Greger has a Q&A on oxalate as well.

  4. Hello, this video is outdated, and new evidence has come to light. I have included a link to a 2015 study: “Some studies show that the fruit’s neurotoxicity is due to the oxalate action; however, recent findings show that the neurotoxic effect is not only related to the high content of oxalate, but to a toxin found in it, called caramboxin, ruling out the hypothesis that the neurotoxicity is caused exclusively by the oxalate present in the fruit.” The paper link is: http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?pid=S0101-28002015000200241&script=sci_arttext&tlng=en What are your thoughts on this? Will you be making a new video to further explain potential dangers?

  5. Hi, Kim! Thanks so much for sharing this article. It does, indeed, add updated support for the advice to avoid star fruit! Dr. G. is busy writing a new book right now, and so it may be awhile before he gets back to this topic. While it is great to add the latest data to a recommendation, it is more important if that data might change that advice in some way. We still support avoiding star fruit.

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