Durian and paracetamol, mixed in rats

What happens when, for whatever reason, you feed both durian — the fruit with a smell that overpowers some people — and the painkiller paracetamol, mixed in rats, and from time to time take the rectal temperature of those rats? This study explores that question:

Hyperthermic effects of Durio zibethinus and its interaction with paracetamol,” Y.A. Chua, H. Nurhaslina, and S.H. Gan, Methods and Findings in Experimental Clinical Pharmacology, 2008 Dec;30(10):739-43. The authors, at Management & Science University, Kelantan, Malaysia, explain:

“Because durian (Durio zibethinus), which is known in Southeast Asia as “the king of fruits”, is thought to have special body-warming properties, it should not be consumed with paracetamol due to a risk of toxic effects. The claim of warming properties, however, has not been scientifically proven. This study was conducted to investigate durian’s hyperthermic effect and its toxicity when consumed together with paracetamol in rats…. Rectal temperature, systolic blood pressure and serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels were taken from each rat at baseline and after the various administrations at 1, 2 and 5 h…. Rats receiving the durian-paracetamol combination showed a significant drop in body temperature, which may explain the belief that the two mixtures are toxic.”

(Thanks to investigator Yeong-chuan Lim for bringing this to our attention.)

BONUS: “Scientists smell success with durian wine” [Reuters report]:

Improbable Research