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I heard that one shouldn't drink alcohol or coke right after eating durian, because this will cause death.

Is this true?

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Anectdotally, I have done it without problems. (+1 for durian reference) – Sklivvz Jul 21 '11 at 14:28
I thought that was part of the mouth-washing process after eating Durian, only I heard you had to use bleach … – Konrad Rudolph Jul 21 '11 at 15:48
@kon I find durian both good tasting and not that bad smelling. I've been told that I am to be considered officially South East Asian because of that, though. – Sklivvz Jul 21 '11 at 17:34
up vote 6 down vote accepted

No, it's not lethal. It will however make your hangover worse:

"Inhibition of aldehyde dehydrogenase enzyme by Durian (Durio zibethinus Murray) fruit extract", John S. Maninang, Ma. Concepcion C. Lizada and Hiroshi Gemma:


The scientific basis of the adverse, or at times lethal, effect of ingesting durian (Durio zibethinus Murray) while imbibing alcohol has not been established. Symptoms are reminiscent of the disulfiram–ethanol reaction (DER) arising from the inhibition of aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). Cognizant of the inhibitory effect of sulphur compounds like disulfiram on ALDH and the rich sulphur content of durian, the influence of durian fruit extract on the ALDH-mediated oxidative metabolism of acetaldehyde was investigated. We report a dose-dependent inhibition of yeast ALDH (yALDH), at most 70% at 0.33 ppm (mg extract/l assay mix), by dichloromethane:pentane extracts. Sulphur-rich TLC fruit extract fractions that eluted farthest from the origin effected the greatest inhibitory action. yALDH assay using diethyl disulfide as internal standard further supports the role of durian’s sulfury constituents in the fruit’s ALDH-inhibiting property. Insight into the etiology of DER-like symptoms felt upon simultaneous durian and alcohol consumption is hereby presented.

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You may want to cite relevant parts of the article like the conclusions (in the sense that what you say is not exactly what the article says): full text here – Sklivvz Jul 21 '11 at 14:56
@S: thanks for the link, seems like the most interesting part is all in the abstract. – vartec Jul 22 '11 at 9:04
What about drinking Coke and eating Durian? – Nick T Sep 29 '14 at 0:02

Via the article Durian and Alcohol: A Deadly Mix?, we find a 1969 article in the Singapore Medical Journal, *Durian and Acohol - A Preliminary Report. [Hat tip: @maria-shevtsova]

It mentioned rumours from 1923 that durian and alcohol were dangerous, and a case report in 1941 of acute haemorrhagic pancreatitis after the consumption of Durian and alcohol. [Be careful of post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacies.] It also mentioned anecdotes of contemporaries who had consumed it and were fine, apart from one with discomfort from indigestion.

The authors studied a couple of hundred mice (not humans!), and looked at the effect of durian, alcohol and the combination of durian and alcohol on and alcohol on

They concluded:

The present findings therefore do not indicated any basis for the belief that ill effects in the form of toxicity or deaths, can occur when alcohol is taken with durian. The possibility of durian potentiating the effects of alcohol also appears remote. It should, however, be remembered that these deductions have been made from experiments on small animals using purified alcohol.

[Note: This answer started as an edit to an existing answer, but changed the conclusion beyond the other answerer's original intention, so I split it into a separate answer.]

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Singapore medical journal says that it's unlikely to have any bad effects when testing the effects of Durian in alcohol and the effect of Durian followed by alcohol.

The present findings therefore do not indicate any basis for the ill effects in the form of toxicity or deaths can occur when alcohol is taken with durian. Source: Singapore Medical Journal.

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I was very excited that this answer had a reference but the reference doesn't have the line you quote and doesn't support the two claims you made :-( – Oddthinking Apr 11 at 13:20
It's a conclusion on the read, thank you'll revise – Maria Shevtsova Apr 11 at 13:27

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