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Man who ate hottest pepper in the world and burned a hole in his throat now reliant on feeding tube


(NaturalNews) Consuming ultra-hot peppers has become something of a craze, but the potential consequences of doing so might be worse than you ever imagined.

According to the Journal of Emergency Medicine, a 47-year old man was recently admitted to a San Francisco emergency room, after eating a hamburger topped with a puree made from one of the world's hottest peppers: the "ghost pepper."

The aptly-named 'ghost pepper'

Bhut Jolokia, or ghost peppers, are considered among the most painful to eat, registering around 1,000,000 Scoville units (Scoville units are the measurement used to rank "heat" in peppers).

In this case, the man who ate the fiery hamburger during a ghost pepper-eating contest at a local restaurant ended up with a life-threatening hole in his esophagus.

From Business Insider:

"Upon arriving at the ER, doctors noted that he was experiencing severe abdominal and chest pain after the challenge had left him violently 'retching and vomiting.' For whatever it's worth, the patient had successfully finished the burger."

Finishing that burger turned out to be a really bad idea:

"Six glasses of water had done nothing for his pain, unsurprisingly. A medically administered 'gastrointestinal cocktail' also failed to alleviate his symptoms, including a heart rate of 106 beats per minute. The doctors write that he continued to grow more and more hypoxic, meaning that not enough oxygen was reaching his organs."

While performing surgery (I'll spare some of the gory details), the doctors noticed a one-inch tear in the unfortunate ghost pepper victim's esophagus.

Three chest tubes and one gastric tube later, the patient began to recover. He spent 14 days connected to chest tubes and was released from the hospital after 23 days, still requiring a gastric tube to eat.

The man's severe vomiting was the cause of the esophageal tear, triggering a condition called Boerhaave syndrome, which, if untreated, kills nearly 100 percent of those who suffer from it. Even those who are diagnosed and treated face a 20 to 40 percent risk of dying.

Although this was a rare case, eating extremely hot peppers can cause severe – if not usually life-threatening – reactions.

Paul Bosland, the man who discovered the ghost pepper (which was once considered the hottest pepper in the world; there are now even hotter ones, apparently), is a professor of horticulture at New Mexico State University and the director of the Chile Pepper Institute.

How hot is too hot?

Bosland notes that peppers can indeed kill you, but it would take three pounds of powdered extreme chilis to actually cause direct death by pepper overdose. It's unlikely that anyone could eat anywhere near that amount, but eating even a modest amount of ghost peppers or other super-hot varieties can cause vomiting, fainting, chest pain, extreme pain in the mouth and throat, and inflammation of the stomach and intestines.

Eating hot peppers in moderation is actually good for you. Capsaicin – the active ingredient that makes peppers hot – has germ-killing and health-boosting properties. Hot peppers are a great source of vitamin C, can help burn fat, keep the heart healthy and even help to prevent cancer.

All things in moderation, of course, and not everyone can handle hot and spicy food. If you do like the occasional jalapeno or even a fiery habanero pepper, by all means enjoy it – it's basically a healthy thing to do – but it's not a good idea to test the limits of your pepper endurance.

Habaneros are challenging enough at around 350,000 Scoville units, but peppers with names like Carolina Reaper and Trinidad Moruga Scorpion (both ranked at more than 2,000,000 Scoville units) probably should be avoided altogether, unless spending three weeks hooked up to tubes in the hospital sounds like fun to you.







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