Starfruit & Kidney Disease: Why They Don’t Mix!

Star Fruit & Kidney Disease: Why They Don’t Mix!

Copy of Low Sodium and Potassium Substitutions For Your Holiday Favorites 12Star fruit looks and sounds like an innocent and tasty option for a fruit salad or an addition to a summer drink, but it is actually a very dangerous and toxic substance that can cause a disturbance in patients who have kidney disease. Star fruit ingestion is prohibited by those who have kidney disease due to the presence of two dangerous and life-threatening neurotoxins and nephrotoxins present in the tropical fruit.

What Is Star Fruit?

Star fruit is a bright and interesting fruit that is native to tropical regions of Southeast Asia and Brazil. It has an edible skin and, when cut into slices, resembles a five-pointed star. It is sweet, sour, and has a somewhat citrus-like flavor. They come in yellow or green colors, and are sweeter in their larger variety, with smaller versions of the fruit retaining a sour taste, much like a lemon. While it has gained popularity all over the world for its fun shape and uses, regardless of the type of star fruit, the effects of star fruit can be life-threatening to those with damaged kidneys or those who have trouble filtering out toxins.

Is Star Fruit Bad For Kidneys?

Ingestion of star fruit may not be that bad for the kidneys when eaten by the generally healthy population, though it must still be consumed in moderation, it is detrimental to those with kidney disease or any current kidney damage. Star fruit contains toxins oxalic acid and caramboxin acid, which can have a fatal outcome if accumulated in the blood of renal patients. The star fruit does not cause damage to the kidneys themselves in those without kidney damage. However, the damage it causes comes from the fact that the already damaged kidneys cannot filter out the toxins present in the fruit as they are consumed.

Normally the fruit causes no issues, but if the toxins are not filtered out and accumulate in the blood, they can travel to the brain or the kidneys and further damage them or have lethal and toxic effects on people with kidney disease or renal insufficiency. Always consult a healthcare professional first to prevent any star fruit intoxication, star fruit nephrotoxicity, or star fruit-induced acute renal failure. The effects of the toxin result in neurotoxicity and nephrotoxicity, the rapid deterioration of the brain and kidneys due to the presence of a toxin or damaging chemical substance.

Should I Eat Star Fruit if I am on Dialysis?

If you are on dialysis, star fruit should not be eaten. Star fruit is a dangerous fruit for those who have kidney damage, and those who are on dialysis are especially vulnerable to the buildup of the toxins from eating the fruit.

Can I Die If I Eat Star Fruit and Have Kidney Disease?

It is highly discouraged to eat star fruit if you have kidney disease because the risk of toxin accumulation is great if consumed. This study highlights the cases of two individuals who both developed acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease in direct response to consumption of star fruit or star fruit juice, in large quantities or over a long period of time. According to clinical presentations and laboratory tests by medical staff, star fruit worsens and can worsen end-stage renal disease or causeacute kidney injury, which is sudden kidney failure or kidney damage.

Is It Okay To Eat A Small Amount of Star Fruit on a Renal Diet?

While eating a small amount of star fruit may be okay, it is highly discouraged due to the negative effects that are assured for those with current damage, and the possible negative effects for those who were previously healthy and have eaten it long term. It is best to be avoided as the buildup of the toxins can lead to confusion, uncontrollable and intractable hiccups, seizures, abdominal discomfort, star fruit-induced neurotoxicity, and death due to star fruit ingestion.

Why Is Star Fruit Bad When You Have Kidney Disease?

Copy of Low Potassium Substitutes For Your Holiday Favorites 19Star fruit consumption is detrimental to those who have kidney disease because the kidney’s main purpose is to cleanse the blood of waste and toxins. If the kidneys are damaged, they do not do this as well as they should, or at all in some serious cases. This means that the presence of the oxalic and caramboxin acids can accumulate much easier in the blood of CKD patients, meaning the toxins are stuck in their blood with no way out. If these toxins continue to accumulate, they can cause full renal failure, confusion, persistent hiccups, seizures, neurotoxic effects, nephrotoxic effects, neurological disorders, and death.

Things To Eat Instead of Star Fruit If You Have CKD

Below, we will discuss a few alternatives that have somewhat similar flavors to the star fruit, without the unnecessary risk that comes from ingesting those toxins due to star fruit toxicity.


Apples are one of the healthiest and most renal-friendly fruits. They are also very diverse and a rich source of protein that can be used in various desserts and paired with things like peanut butter for a protein-rich snack. They have a lighter and sweeter flavor than star fruit, but their versatility makes them the perfect snack.


Pineapples are quite tropical, like the star fruit, and have a bit of tangy acidity as well. They are a great choice for a similar flavor profile that isn’t in the citrus family, and pineapples make for great additions to smoothies or creating pineapple juice in a juicer.


Pears have a much more subtly sweet flavor and are more comparable to apples than the star fruit, but it is an interesting and delicious snack option for those craving a bit of variety among their fruit choices.

Citrus fruits

Are likely the closest on this list in terms of flavor comparisons to the star fruit, but members of the citrus family are safe for CKD patients to consume without worry. Much like the starfruit, grapefruits, oranges, kumquats, and other members of the citrus tree all have a tangy, somewhat sour, and at times bitter quality to their taste which encompasses many of the star fruit flavors as well. So, if you are feeling hungry for star fruit, turn to any of the citrus family instead, and they should definitely fill that void of flavor and promote normal kidney function for those with renal disease.

Eating star fruit when you have kidney disease is very dangerous! Instead, try out some other options similar to star fruit from the list above, in order to be safe as chronic kidney disease patients.

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