Connect with us


Star Fruit or ‘Balimbing’ Can Actually Kill, Research Shows Why

It’s seemingly harmless but science has evidence that the fruit can be deadly.

Little is known about the seemingly harmless, vitamin-rich fruit aptly called star fruit in North America. However, in Asia (i.e. Philippines, China, Taiwan) and even in Central America, Africa, Brazil and Australia, the fruit is popular that people enjoy it for its sweet, mild taste. What’s the harm then?

It turns out that this well-loved fruit can actually be dangerous to the health – or even deadly for some. You might be one of those people who can’t or refuse to believe such claim because you’ve eaten star fruit all your life or as a child and yet here you are — alive and kicking. But researchers actually have proof that eating star fruit can really be dangerous.

Researchers found out that star fruit contains a neurotoxin that affects the nervous system.

According to the National Kidney Foundation, a major health organization in the United States, the star fruit contains a neurotoxin that can negatively affect the brain and nerves. However, this only happens among people with kidney problems since a healthy kidney can easily filter out toxins.

People with kidney problems who love star fruit can suffer from what's called "star fruit intoxication."

A person with a renal problem and consumed too much of the fruit can experience “star fruit intoxication,” the symptoms of which include vomiting, insomnia, hiccups, decreased muscle power, numbness of limbs, convulsions, and confusion.

Brazilian researchers have also identified the neurotoxin responsible for this condition. As reported in Phys Org, the neurotoxin, an amino acid that can be compared to phenylalanine, has been identified to be caramboxin (derived from star fruit’s proper name, carambola). The scientific report explained:

“Further tests revealed that caramboxin acts on AMPA and kainate receptors, two important glutamate-controlled neurotransmitter receptors of the central nervous system. This causes hyperexcitability in the brain, resulting in the typically observed seizures, which showed neurodegenerative effects in the study.”

Not only that, earlier research found that star fruit is also rich in oxalic acid, which is also harmful to people with kidney issues.

You may think the fruit is totally harmless, but science has all the proof that it can be deadly.

Snopes, a well known fact checking site, gave a mixture of true and false verdict regarding the claim. The false verdict was primarily because of a chain letter that circulated in 2008. The letter mentioned an unverified news report about a certain Malaysian man who died from eating star fruit. On the other hand, Snopes explained that the warning regarding neurotoxin in star fruit is true, citing an advisory from the National Kidney Foundation along with several references.

Star fruit contains a neurotoxin that affects the brain and nerves but which people with healthy kidneys are able to filter out; it therefore poses no danger to those whose kidneys function normally. However, those with renal problems lack protection from that neurotoxin and thus risk “star fruit intoxication.”

While the majority of those hospitalized for star fruit intoxication do recover, some deaths have been associated with this condition. Star fruit-exacerbated complications in kidney patients are rare, but they are potentially fatal, and thus this fruit is best avoided by those with kidney problems, including those on dialysis.

But before you decide to completely forget about star fruit and swear to yourself never to eat it again, keep in mind that this warning only applies to people with kidney problems.

Star fruit can actually kill… if you have kidney disease.

Tell Us What You Think


9 Interesting Facts About Al Capone

The Scarface was indeed a strange and interesting guy.

Almost everyone in this world knows Al Capone as someone who was badass. Widely known as “Scarface,” the notorious US gangster was among America’s most feared gang leaders. And, of course, there was every reason to be. Although the infamous (and bloody) St. Valentine’s Day Massacre brought him his downfall, this guy lived to be a legend.

The massacre, in particular, saw at least seven rival gang members brutally gunned down. Unfortunately for Capone, this severely damaged his public reputation. This mess particularly hurt his image in Chicago where he had built up his criminal empire.

Continue Reading


What Would You Do If Your Car’s Gas Pedal Gets Stuck?

There could be a few reasons why your gas pedal gets stuck, but do you know what to do if something like this happens?

It does not happen very often, but it is possible for your car’s gas pedal to get stuck. Obviously, the situation can be frightening and traumatizing (not to mention it is extremely dangerous). But if you stay calm and act accordingly, it can be overcome.

Usually, a broken or faulty gas pedal is due to mechanical malfunctions. It can also be caused by a floor mat that has wedges preventing the pedal from working accordingly. Not to worry, though – there is a strategy to counter this scary situation.

Continue Reading


If You Can Solve This Riddle, You Can Get Hired at Google!

So do you have what it takes?

Pet-friendly workplace. Free gourmet food everyday. Massage services. These are only some of the awesome perks that Google employees get from their company so it's no surprise that web-based workers would kill to work there. Of course, you have to be really smart, among other things, to get your foot in the door.

Rumor has it that Google uses a particular riddle when interviewing candidates. If you can solve this brain teaser, you may just have a chance to be a Noogler - that's what Google affectionately calls their new hires.

You don't need to have the brain of a nuclear physicist to solve this, but you do have to be creative. This tests one's problem-solving skills. So here it is.

Continue Reading