Doctors warn that super-strength chili can cause painful brain disorders

ChiliChili.Photo: Lise Åserud / SCANPIX (FRB)

An American man was hit by repetitive and very painful headaches after eating the world’s strongest chili.


The symptoms appeared after the 34 year old had taken part in a contest where he had to eat a ‘Carolina Reaper’, known as the world’s strongest chili, in 2016, according to an article published in the BMJ Case Reports medical journal.

The man developed an intense pain in his neck, and a headache, and for several days he experienced short but intense, acute headaches. Each headache lasted for several seconds.

‘’Great surprise’’

After the man sought medical attention, a number of medical examinations were done, but they did not find any explanation for the problems.

In the end, he was diagnosed with a transient brain disorder called RCVS, which means that the blood vessels in the brain snap temporarily. It is probably the first time someone has received this diagnosis after eating chilli, according to the doctors behind the research article.

“It was a big surprise for everyone,” said one of the authors, Dr. Kulothungan Gunasekaran at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

The symptoms disappeared by themselves, and after four weeks a CT scan was made on the man who showed that the blood vessels had expanded to normal size.

‘’Be careful’’

Earlier, eating cayenne pepper has been associated with heart attack, according to researchers.

“We recommend people to be careful when eating chili and seek immediate medical attention if they experience such symptoms,” said Gunasekaran.

For those who are interested, and dare, the ‘Carolina Reaper’ is described as a chili with a fruity, sweet taste, with a hint of cinnamon and chocolate. It has an average of 1,641,183 on the so-called SHU scale, which indicates how hot foods are, according to studies conducted at Winthrop University in South Carolina in 2017. A Jalapeño Pepper has between 2,500 and 8,000 on the scale, according to the Guinness Book of Records.


© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today