A vendor sells Durian fruits at a street stall in Bangkok on May 28, 2020, as sectors of the economy are being reopened following restrictions to halt the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. (Photo by Mladen ANTONOV / AFP) (AFP / Mladen Antonov)

Health experts refute misleading claim that consuming durian and cola together can be lethal

  • This article is more than one year old.
  • Published on July 13, 2020 at 06:10
  • 3 min read
  • By AFP Thailand
Multiple Facebook posts shared thousands of times claim that consuming durian and cola together can be lethal. The claim is false; health experts told AFP that durian and cola can be consumed together safely.

The post was published here on Facebook on May 20, 2019. It has been shared more than 16,000 times.

A screenshot of the misleading Facebook post taken on May 29, 2020

The post’s Thai-language caption states, in part: “Children please don’t imitate this person, this action is considered dangerous and 'harmful to life', you can die (especially for those who have congenital diseases but they are not aware of it.)

“Eating durian together with high-sugar drinks poses risks to those who have congenital diseases such as heart disease, diabetes can potentially die because durians are high in sugar and cholesterol.”

The post was published alongside a screenshot of a video titled “Die or not? Eating durian and Coca-Cola drink together”.

A similar claim was also shared in multiple languages on Facebook, including here and here in Thai, here in Khmer, here in Tagalog and here in Burmese. 

It was also published in this May 2015 article by Thai health news website Hfocus.org.


The text in the article reads: “Don’t eat durian with soda-pop or alcohol. Your body will be heated and it could cause death”.

Durian is a pungent and thorny fruit found in abundance in Southeast Asia, according to Michelin Guide, a French culinary guidebook.

However, the claim about the fruit is false.

Dr. Piyapan Prueksapanich, an adjunct assistant professor of medicine at Chulalongkorn University, told AFP that eating durian and cola is safe.

“Eating durian and coca-cola together is not dangerous and doesn’t toxicate your body acutely. However, just like any other sugary food, durian and coca-cola shouldn’t be eaten so frequently to avoid obesity.  But it is not forbidden to eat it at the same time," he said during a phone conversation on May 28, 2020.

Dr. Prueksapanich, however, did warn against eating durian and alcohol together.

“Drinking durian and alcohol together could be harmful to your body. A substance in durian could make your alcohol poisoning symptoms become more severe, and could cause deaths in some cases,” he added.

Dr. Jessada Denduangboripant, a professor at Chulalongkorn University's Department of Biology, also published this statement on Facebook on May 21, 2020, dismissing the claim as a “hoax”. 

A screenshot of Denduangboripant’s post taken on June 1, 2020

It reads, in part: “Every time when the durian season approaches, there has always been a hoax related to durian and that you can’t eat it with other things.

"Just like in this photo (probably originated in Vietnam) include: do not eat durian with soda, do not eat durian with mangosteen, do not eat durian with crab, do not eat durian with aubergine etc. All of these are messed up!! Not true at all. The only thing that is warned and true is you can’t eat durian with alcohol, that’s all.”

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