is a species of tree
native to Indonesia
and Sri Lanka
and is popular throughout Southeast Asia
and parts of East Asia
. It is also grown throughout the tropics. Carambola is commercially grown in the United States
in south Florida
for its fruit, known as the starfruit
. It is closely related to the bilimbi
Individuals with kidney
trouble should avoid consuming the fruit, because of the presence of oxalic acid
. Juice made from carambola can be even more dangerous owing to its concentration of the acid. It can cause hiccups, vomiting, nausea, and mental confusion. Fatal outcomes after ingestion of star fruits have been described in uraemic patients.
Like grapefruit, star fruit is considered to be a potent inhibitor of seven cytochrome P450
isoforms. These enzymes are significant in the first pass elimination
of many medicines, and thus the consumption of star fruit or its juice in combination with certain medications can significantly increase their effective dosage within the body. Research into grapefruit
juice has identified a number of common medications affected, including statins
which are commonly used to treat cardiovascular illness, benzodiazepines
(a tranquilizer family including diazepam
) as well as other medicines. These interactions can be fatal if an unfortunate confluence of genetic, pharmacological, and lifestyle factors results in, for instance, heart failure
, as could occur from the co-ingestion of star fruit or star fruit juice with atorvastatin
The star fruit originally came from Sri Lanka and the Moluccas. For the past several hundred years, it has been cultivated in Malaysia.
In popular culture
The Paopu Fruit in Kingdom Hearts
is based on the Carambola. Sales of Carambola rose following the release of the game.