Thursday, July 17, 2008

Combination of Durian and Alcohol Kills or Not?


It's durian season again..so the popular myth about whether durian mixed with alcohol kills, is kinda brought up for discussion again.
I read it from MMR's Durian and alcohol - the death mix myth, then I just further did a little bit of research about it. Just to show some extracts:

"In 1981, J. R. Croft wrote in his Bombacaceae: In Handbooks of the Flora of Papua New Guinea that a feeling of morbidity often follows the consumption of alcohol too soon after eating durian. Several medical investigations on the validity of this belief have been conducted with varying conclusions." - Wikipedia (notice that it mentioned morbidity..what about mortality?)

Then I found a more scientific explanation:

"...The presence of harmaline in durian kernels as well as in the fruit pulp has been confirmed. It will, in conjunction with alcohol, induce hypertensive periods, whereby the blood pressure is raised to absurd high levels, sometimes even reaching life-threatening values of 300. Durian is also a source for tyramine. In absence of alcohol tyramine is converted in the gastro-intestinal tract swiftly to the corresponding N-oxide, but this conversion is greatly inhibited by harmaline in the presence of alcohol. Thus, the tyramine level in the blood reaches unacceptable high levels, eventually leading to a stroke." (Hmm hypertensive crisis causing hemorrhagic stroke leading to sudden death..quite convincing..)

Then some mythbuster's experience:

"I thought I was a goner. I felt my head spinning, and it was hard for me to breathe. The pain on my chest was unbearable..Alcohol and durian can generate so much heat if taken. If both are taken at the same time, the human body would not be able to stand the heat."

It happened before?

"..A middle aged man in Batu Niah was recently found dead on the floor of his room by friends. He was covered with foams of mixed saliva and blood in his mouth. Friends found that Panggau, in his 50's had been drinking four bottles of branded liquor and ate some durians in his room." - Winedragon (In fact there were also a few cases in M'sia..ppl found to have unexplained sudden death after consuming the lethal combination)

So were there any scentific studies done or not?

"Some scientific studies have actually been conducted to investigate the validity of this belief. Despite the important contributions to our knowledge of durians and human/animal physiology provided by these experiments, some flaws are evident. Most of them were lacking a control treatment in which animals were fed an equivalent mass of some food item other than durian. Thus, any effects on alcohol absorption might be due to the presence of food in the stomach, and not durian per se. At this point, it is fair to say that consumption of durians with alcohol has not been shown to be harmful." - Singapore Science Center

Any Malaysian mythbuster tried it?
Yes, they even had a durian party with alcohol. Timothy didn't take the risk actually, so he's still fine.

What about his friends then? Hope they're fine, too.

12 comments:

Billy said...

I was told my grandfather's friend died because he drank alchohol after eating durian. And I told this story to my English friends and they called durian the "CRAZY FRUIT"! Haha...

Darren said...

That's why..it's still very inconclusive whether the combination kills..though the singapore center said "it's not shown to be harmful".
But my advice is, before any reliable study done, don't risk your life.
And one last important thing, durian doesn't seem be a that-good fruit to take with alcohol?

yenjai said...

LOL
I would agree to your last statement:
Why would anyone take durian with alcohol? It wouldn't taste good at all

Joethew said...

i read an artical long time ago..it's not advisable to take coffee and durians tgt also..
but durians is a fruit which is good for liver..bout the explaination,got to find out next time,hee:P

Darren said...

yenjai: Thnx for droppin by!=) Ya..can't really understand what those risk-takers think..

joethew: Hmm..not really sure..maybe you'd like to tell?=D

zsubin said...

My friend & I just ate durian with beer with no ill effects.

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Anonymous said...

Just like bad testimony..
Good results have to go through a proper research.
Cross-sectional studies, cohort studies etc. with appropriate and matched samples should be done to explain or will always be a matter of controversy.

Anonymous said...

I ate 2 pcs of durian aftr having them were having a good shot with tiquila and sudenly i noticed unexplained heat and warm from d dfrent part of my bod from my feet to my shouldr. i was afraid wat wud hapen f i had ol d pcs of durian! Scary xperience bt i was satisfied wd my curiousty! 😁

Angel Shin said...

Would love to share my experience about durian and alcohol.it was 10 years ago i ate a lot of durian and drink cold beer next. I felt my body get so warm and i started to perspired. I went to take shower to ease warm and during shower, i cough and it feels like my cough comes with a lot of thick pleghm so i tried to cough it out as it feels like it obstructing my throat, water still running so i spit it on the floor while im on shower. I saw red stuff like blood on the floor so i decided to cough again and cough out the pleghm again but this time on my hand coz i wanted to make sure if its really blood. It is really blood! It was late night so i decided to see the doctor in the morning. Wondering still how could it happen.it never crossed my mind it was the food i took that made me cough blood. Went to mt. Elizabeth hospital and check specialist.they advice me to do ct scan and results were all negative so doctor's not yet satisfied, he ask me to do bronchoscopy and see if theres problem with my lungs,to my surprised, all findings are negative and doctor look at me like im a weird fella..i realised after all those test, it must be the durian and beer. Sorry for my long comments lol! I just want to share my experience..

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