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Friday December 7, 2012

Killer durians

SIBU: If you are the kind who finds it hard to suppress your strong appetite for the durian, try harder.

Learn to know how much of the fruit your body can take because you could be among those who are prone to develop health complications eating it.

In fact, a medical expert here said deaths related to durian-eating were not quite as strange this time of the year when the fruits flood the market.

Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) advisor Dr Hu Chang Hock, when contacted yesterday, said he came across such cases almost every year.

Dr Hu, who was commenting on a recent case of a 60-year-old businessman who died after eating durians, said the greater danger was that people tended to consume the fruit more than what their bodies could take while enjoying their beer.

Dr Hu who operates a specialist clinic at Jalan Bindang here said people consuming durians more than they should would develop two types of complications.

“Some develop minor complications like headache, vomiting or diarrhoea.

“The major complication is heart attack, after which death might occur,” he said.

He said those with hypertension or diabetes or both must not eat too much of the fruit.

“Durians can cause the blood pressure and sugar level of people with hypertension and diabetes to shoot up,” he said.

“If you have both illnesses, and you take an alcoholic drink with durians at the same time, you will put more poison into your body.

“Those who have heart problem will get their liver damaged if they do that.”

Asked how much durian would be too much, he said it was difficult to say as it depended on the individual.

“For some people, taking one or two fruits is already too much. Their blood pressure and blood sugar level would shoot up. The best thing is not to overdo it. Just eat moderately,” he said.

He said there were people who became addicted to seasonal fruits like durians and dabai or black olives.

“Everyday I see patients with complications from eating too much seasonal fruits,” he said.

“Some have sudden increase in blood pressure. Others have high blood sugar level.”

As for dabai, it could be just as bad if taken in large amount, he added.

Dr Hu advised people to opt for non-seasonal fruits like banana, oranges, pineapples as these do not cause as much trouble.

It is understood that in the durian-related death, which was about a week ago, the man did not drink beer but he took a lot of dabai as well.

A source said the man, a past president of a clan association here, suffered from hypertension and was a diabetic.

He collapsed in the family home, and was rushed to the hospital but died on the way.

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