Carolina Reaper is world hottest pepper

Carolina Reaper is world hottest pepper

A man bit off more than he could chew when he tackled the world's hottest chilli the "Carolina Reaper" and was left with excruciating "thunderclap" headaches.

A computed tomography (CT) scan revealed that several arteries in the patient's brain had constricted, and he was diagnosed with reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCVS).

He ended up in a NY state hospital with "excruciatingly painful episodic headaches" after eating a "Carolina Reaper", according to a new study in the journal BMJ Case Reports.

His pain was so severe he rushed to hospital, where concerned doctors tested him for a number of neurological conditions.

RCVS is characterised by temporary artery narrowing often accompanied by a thunderclap headache.

CT and MRI scans of the man's brain were taken but showed nothing out of the ordinary.

The Guinness World Record for the hottest chilli is held by the Pucker Butt Pepper Co in the United States for its Smokin' Ed's Carolina Reaper.

While they had never caused thunderclap headaches before, eating hot peppers has been known to cause health problems before.

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Usually RCVS is caused by reactions to medications or illicit drugs. "If you do begin to experience these symptoms, you should go to the emergency room immediately because if the [blood vessel constriction] occurs in the heart it can lead to heart attack and if in the brain, it can cause a stroke".

"No cases of RCVS secondary to peppers or cayenne have been previously reported, but ingestion of cayenne pepper has been associated with coronary vasospasm and acute myocardial infarction". But "we would recommend the general public be cautious about these adverse effects" and seek medical attention immediately if they develop sudden headaches after eating hot peppers, Gunasekaran told Live Science.

Dr. Kulothungan Gunasekaran, one of the reports authors, now at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, said that for some reason the man must have been particularly sensitive to capsaicin, the heat-producing ingredient in peppers.

Apparently, she didn't learn her lesson in 2014 when she tried Currie's first round of Carolina Reapers.

Hot peppers may have consequences.

For the average person interested in spice, not suffering, he advised using small amounts of any really hot pepper in food preparation, as they were intended. He had no further thunderclap headaches.

According to the study authors, this is the first time that RCVS has been linked to chili peppers.

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