A 34-year-old man ate a Carolina Reaper, the hottest Chili Pepper on earth, and developed what’s known as a “thunderclap headache.” It was the headache heard ’round the world.
The media from today to the New York Times reported on the poor’s response to the super peppers simply because of a study related to the incident.
The authors of the study, after excluding other potential triggers such as illicit drugs or intracerebral hemorrhage, believe that Carolina Reaper itself may have led to reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCVS), which is a group of blood vessels that are narrow in the brain.
The author said that this shrinking in turn led to a lightning strike headache.
If true, this will be unprecedented. As the author of the study wrote, chili peppers have never been suspected of causing RCVS, which means that this is of course a major news.
There is only one problem: the author may push responsibility to Carolina Reaper too soon.
Other experts in the fields of neurology and headache research say that there is no clear evidence that capsaicin is the active ingredient in capsicum that causes arterial narrowing.
David Doddick, chairman of the American Migraine Foundation, said that RCVS will not directly cause headaches, resulting in “unbearable” pain and “let people fall.” In the range of one to ten, Dodik gave a sturdy headache 10.
The report stated that after a few days of swallowing the entire Carolina harvester during the chili food contest, the patients in the study had experienced “short, intense headaches lasting several seconds”.
The pain was intense and the man ended his work at the Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, New York.
Ordinary Mexican peppers are arranged in about 8,000 Scoville Thermal Units (or SHUs), which are the main indicators of Chilean chili calories.
But Carolina Reaper, developed by Pucker Butt Pepper Co. of South Carolina, has an average of 1.64 million SHUs in tests conducted at Winthrop University in South Carolina.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, according to recent tests, completed in three years time, formally confirmed the reaper’s hottest position on the planet.
Ed Currie, the founder of Pucker Butt, a mad scientist behind the hybrid Carolina reapers, said that recent hot topics have only increased interest.
He said orders for reaper seeds, dried chilli and chili sauce more than doubled from the previous week.
For people with a certain disposition, thrilling adventurers, daredevil people, and people who don’t want to taste their food anymore – Carolina’s reaper is the Everest of food.
It must be conquered. Numerous souls have entered the game trying to tame the reaper. Some people can pop them like candy and only show mild siblings.
Others reduce the drooling, barking, and semi-deli creatures and can no longer function by themselves.
The men in the study are another matter. He began to experience neck and headache. Then came a headache. The study showed that angiography was performed by Dr. Gregory Cummings, the man’s chief physician neurologist.
The study showed no signs of cerebral aneurysms, but showed some accidental reduction of the cerebral arteries. As the name suggests, RCVS can be resolved in days or weeks, although people with conditions may experience a headache.
After excluding drugs and other potential causes, the study authors turned their attention to the reapers.
They found two case reports (including the one cited in the study) and found that chili pills for weight loss were associated with heart attacks and coronary artery stenosis.
“This is what we think may be due to the pepper, the Carolina Reapers,” said Kulothungan Gunasekaran, the first author and physician at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.
But Dodik, a professor of neurology at the Mayo Clinic, said that capsaicin usually causes blood vessels to dilate rather than shrink.
Think about how your face will turn red, Dodick said, after eating some spicy things. It is capsaicin that expands your capillaries and the smallest blood vessels in the body.
Equally important, Dodik said that cerebral artery stenosis does not automatically cause a lightning strike headache.
In other words, because the narrowness of this person’s brain does not mean that they can cause headaches.
Dodick said that 25 percent of patients who experienced thunder and headache had no RCVS at the beginning, although it may develop in a few days or weeks.
More importantly, nearly half of the patients continued to have dizziness after RCVS was resolved. Dodick said RCVS and thunder headache “may be a parallel phenomenon from the same inciting incident.”
Dodick proposed another reason for the patient’s RCVS: the sympathetic nervous system is responsible for our “fight or flight” response and contracts blood vessels when activated. “When you experience pain, your sympathetic nervous system begins to function,” Dodik said.
What’s more, Nauman Tariq, Head of the Center for Headaches at Johns Hopkins Hospital, said, “Several million people in some parts of Asia eat hot chilies in their diet…. But no other studies have reported that Eat hot chilies, not to mention RCVS. ”
But at the same time, Tarrick pointed out in an e-mail that at least in one study, capsaicin has been shown to affect vascular smooth muscle, thereby reducing the arteries.
Therefore, regardless of whether the patient’s RCVS is caused by peppers or his flight or fighting reactions, he wrote: “Scientific evidence is not enough to stop the use of (pepper) for a while, just because of a special situation.”
Gunasekaran is not defensive when it comes to proposing that the sympathetic nervous system may trigger the RCVS of the patient.
“It is possible,” he said. “Any high pressure can cause sympathetic activity, and it can also cause vasoconstriction.”
“Our case is the first case,” he added. “This provides an opportunity for a lot of research in this area.”
There is now worrying news: Currie and Pucker Butt have submitted a more hot pepper application to Guinness. He called this hybrid Pepper X, and tests conducted over the past five years showed that it would blow away the Carolina Reaper, Currie said.
At the high end, Pepper X averaged 3.189 million SHUs in one year of testing. At the low end, an average of 2.5 million SHU.
Curry said that a group of people who had recently tried Pepper X spit it up. “Unless you are used to it, this is not a pleasant experience.”