Bilimbi Fruit Side Effects

Bilimbi Fruit Side Effects

Bilimbi fruit (Averrhoa bilimbi) is a popular tropical fruit used in various South Asian dishes and traditional remedies. However, excessive consumption of bilimbi can lead to serious side effects, particularly due to its high oxalate content.

The main side effect of bilimbi is acute kidney injury (AKI) caused by acute oxalate nephropathy. When consumed in high concentrations, the fruit's oxalate content can lead to the deposition of calcium oxalate crystals in the renal tubules, resulting in acute tubular necrosis and renal failure. This has been reported in patients with both normal and impaired kidney function.

Other potential side effects include:

Gastrointestinal issues: The acidic nature of bilimbi can cause indigestion and other digestive problems if consumed in large quantities.

Neurological effects: Cases of muscle weakness, intractable hiccups, mental confusion, and seizures have been reported, likely due to the neurotoxic effects of oxalate.

Skin problems: Excessive consumption may worsen acne and cause other skin issues.

To avoid these side effects, bilimbi should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Ingesting large amounts of the fruit or its juice, especially on an empty stomach, increases the risk of oxalate absorption and kidney damage. Patients with pre-existing kidney disease are particularly vulnerable.

In conclusion, while bilimbi offers some health benefits, its high oxalate content can lead to serious adverse effects if consumed excessively. Public awareness about the potential dangers of overconsumption is important.

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