Side Effects of Eating Papaya: How Much is Too Much?


The sweet, juicy orange flesh of the papaya is packed with nutrients, making the tropical fruit an ideal snack. A medium-sized papaya contains approximately 120 calories, 20 percent of the daily value for fiber and more than three times the vitamin C you need each day.

Eating papaya is good for health but nobody knows that it also has certain disadvantages if one happens to consume it in excess. Eating too much of a good thing can sometimes cause some severe side effects.

Here are some side effects of papaya when consumed in excess:

Possible Kidney Stones

A single papaya measuring 5 inches long contains up to 310 percent of the daily value of 60 milligrams per day for vitamin C. Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that may help protect against blood vessel disorders, high blood pressure and cancer. Consuming more than 2,000 milligrams per day for adults can induce toxicity symptoms, including oxalate kidney stones.

Read about kidney stones and diet.

Respiratory Disorders

Papaya contains an enzyme called papain, which is used to soothe digestive complaints and to counter inflammation in the throat. People who eat too much papaya may develop symptoms of respiratory disorders, such as continuous blocking of the nasal passages, out of breath, hay fever and asthma.


Though papaya is known to be an effective natural remedy for constipation, but too much of it might affect negatively. When your fiber intake is high, the quantity of water should also increase, failing which your stools will harden and cause constipation.

Can Cause Abortion

An unripe papaya can trigger uterine contractions due to high concentration of latex present in it. This, in turn, could cause an abortion, miscarriage, premature labor, abnormalities in the infant and even stillbirth.


Papaya seeds contain a compound called benzyl isothiocyanate, which can cause poisoning. One should consume papaya seeds in regulated amounts as high doses can unfavorably affect and cause poisoning leading to loss of life in a few cases as well.

Skin Discoloration

The papaya gets its orange shade from beta carotene, a nutrient in the family that also provides you with vitamin A. Eating too much of a yellow, green or orange-colored food that contains beta carotene can cause a nonthreatening form of skin discoloration called carotenemia.

The palms of the hands and soles of the feet are the most visible areas of the body affected by carotenemia, but other areas of the body can also become yellow or orange. Cutting back on your papaya consumption will resolve the discoloration of the skin.

To avoid these possible side effects of papaya one needs to consume it in controlled quantities. Papaya seeds can be healthy, but occurrence of side effects shouldn’t be ignored. If the side effects persist, medical attention should be immediately taken.



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