Can you eat durian with alcohol

In this brief guide, we will address the query, “can you eat durian with alcohol?” We will also discuss the factors that affect the metabolism of durian and alcohol and if it is fatal to mix these ingredients.

Can you eat Durian with alcohol

There is no scientific evidence that supports the supposed lethality of combining durian with alcohol. Asian folklore claims that mixing alcohol and durian can be fatal. There are few but existent cases of people who have died shortly after having mixed durian and alcohol but these people suffered from conditions like hypertension, diabetes or heart problems. 

What is the Durian compound?

Durian is a Malaysian exotic tropical fruit and it is claimed to possess valuable health benefits. The durian fruit pulp is full of nutrients essential in the human diet. The durian fruit pulp is composed of different nutrients such as

  • Proteins 
  • Fibers
  • Carbohydrates 

Additionally it is rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, folic acid, zinc and phosphorus.

In the studies of  Honku (2011), it has been found that durian also contains volatile compounds such as diethyl disulfide, ethyl 2-methylbutanoate, ethanethiol, 3,5- dimethyl- 1, 2, 4-trithiolane and butyl 2-methylbutanoate.

Durian possesses a huge amount of fibers which stimulates peristaltic motion and also increases the secretion of gastric juices with the ability to ease digestion. According to the studies of Nurul et al. (2018), the high amount of vitamins such as vitamin B1 and vitamin B3 which helps to enhance appetite and helps to regulate digestion.

What happens inside us whenever we consume alcohol?

The metabolization of alcohol is a complex mechanism: it starts with oxidation in the stomach performed by the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase which will transform it into acetaldehyde, a chemical compound highly toxic to our organism but is rapidly directed to the liver. 

As it is crucial to transform the dangerous acetaldehyde, the enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase is released and will convert it to more friendly compounds such as fatty acids, carbon dioxide, and water. This mechanism is the normal pathway in a healthy human being.

According to the studies of Osakidetza (2019) alcohol is excreted from our body at the rate of 120 milligrams per weight in kilos and hours,  and there is no possibility to modify this process time.

What happens in our body when we mix durian with alcohol?

Is it lethal to combine durian and alcohol? Until now there has not been any scientific evidence that this claim is true but taking into consideration the different compounds in the products and also how our organism metabolizes them we can say that this combination can be dangerous. 

As we explained above, whenever we consume alcohol it enters the body and in the stomach, the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase will convert it to acetaldehyde, a highly toxic compound. 

The acetaldehyde will be expected to continue to the liver where the enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase will be released, but if we had consumed durian before drinking alcohol the sulfur-containing volatile compound Dimethyl sulfoxide will inhibit approximately 70% of the metabolic activity of aldehyde dehydrogenase. 

If the metabolic activity of this enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase is affected that drastically, we will have the remaining aldehyde traveling around our bloodstream and would then be delivered to different parts of our body and as a result, we will experience symptoms of being drunk, such as headaches, nausea and even vomiting. 

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Is it lethal to mix durian and alcohol?

According to Asian folklore consuming durian and alcohol will lead you to instant death and according to the metabolism of these products combined this is not completely untrue. Even though you would not drop dead after combining durian with alcohol, the facts discussed above support that the sulfur content of durian would affect alcohol metabolism.

The affected pathway will then be delayed which will lead to acetaldehyde traveling into our bloodstream which will be the cause of symptoms typical of alcohol intoxication such as

  • Headaches
  • Vomiting
  • Náusea
  • Low blood pressure
  • Facial flushing. 

So even though mixing durian and alcohol is not strictly fatal it may cause these unwanted side effects on our bodies. Another aspect to be considered is the amount of alcohol that has been consumed because large amounts of alcohol will lead to a bigger amount of aldehyde in our bloodstream which can be lethal. 

What do we recommend?

The next time you are about to drink alcohol think twice about having eaten durian, as we mentioned above there are some unwanted side effects that you would want to avoid. It is much better not to mix durian with alcohol -especially if you are planning to drink a large amount of alcohol.  


In this brief guide, we have addressed the query, “can you eat durian with alcohol?” We have also discussed other queries related to the subject at hand. 

Hope you found this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.