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Can the Hottest Peppers In the World Kill You?

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the dead-man's-chili dept.

Biotech 337

Hugh Pickens writes "Katharine Gammon writes that last week, the Kismot Indian restaurant in Edinburgh, Scotland, held a competition to eat the extra-hot Kismot Killer curry and several ambulances were called after some of the competitive eaters were left writhing on the floor in agony, vomiting and fainting. Paul Bosland, professor of horticulture at New Mexico State University and director of the Chile Pepper Institute, says that chili peppers can indeed cause death — but most people's bodies would falter long before they reached that point. 'Theoretically, one could eat enough really hot chiles to kill you,' says Bosland adding that a research study in 1980 calculated that three pounds of the hottest peppers in the world — something like the Bhut Jolokia — eaten all at once could kill a 150-pound person. Chili peppers cause the eater's insides to rev up, activating the sympathetic nervous system — which helps control most of the body's internal organs — to expend more energy, so the body burns more calories when the same food is eaten with chili peppers. But tissue inflammation could explain why the contestants in the Killer Curry contest said they felt like chainsaws were ripping through their insides. As for the contest, restaurant owner Abdul Ali admitted the fiery dish may have been too spicy after the Scottish Ambulance Service warned him to review his event. 'I think we'll tone it down, but we'll definitely do it next year.'"

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337 comments

Water can kill you too (5, Informative)

davidwr (791652) | more than 2 years ago | (#37739470)

It may take more than 3 pounds, but if you drink enough water fast enough you get water toxicity.

In other words, this is "not news."

Re:Water can kill you too (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37739506)

Don't read this... it is a curse...

In 1995, a little boy named Tom was playing with his toys in his living room. After about 15 minutes of playing, a tiny little man walked up to him and said, "May I explore the mazes of your bootyass?" Tom, surprised by this sudden occurrence, remained speechless.

After thirty seconds passed, the little man asked the exact same question that he asked previously. This time, Tom asked the little man why he would want to do such a thing. The little man said, "Because I want to explore every maze inside your bootyass." Tom, sensing no bad intentions from the little man, nodded and said, "Well, all right. But no tickle! If there's any tickle, I'll smoosh ya!" The little man nodded his head and was sucked into Tom's bootyass as if his bootyass was a gigantic spaghetti noodle.

Tom was beginning to have second thoughts about letting the little man explore the mazes of his bootyass, but he just shrugged them off. He thought, "What harm could allowing that nice, charismatic little man explore the mazes of my bootyass bring? He was so nice, charismatic, and thoughtful. I made the right choice."

However, soon enough, he discovered that he was terribly wrong. Suddenly, he was looking into his own bootyass as if he was looking through a security camera. Inside, he spotted the little man and numerous round doorways made out of bootyass; it looked like an endless maze. To Tom's surprise, the little man suddenly transformed into a red toy carrying a gigantic sack over his shoulders and began walking towards the smallest doorway of them all! "That sack will never fit through that doorway," Tom thought.

The toy continued onwards, and eventually the sack got stuck inside the small doorway in Tom's bootyass. The toy, visibly angry, began trying to force the sack through the doorway! This inflicted tremendous amounts of tickle upon Tom's bootyass! The toy then began kicking the sides of Tom's bootyass out of frustration while laughing the entire time. Even more tickle was inflicted upon Tom's bootyass. Just when Tom thought that nothing worse could possibly happen to him, the toy forced the sack right through the doorway and went flying deeper into the mazes of Tom's bootyass and crashed into the side of it! This inflicted more tickle upon Tom's bootyass than ever before!

Now that you have read this (even a single word of it), the very same toy, carrying his giant sack (which should fit through no doorway), will explore every single maze inside your bootyass (thereby inflicting major amounts of tickle upon it)! To prevent this from happening, copy and paste this entire comment and then repost it as a comment three times.

Re:Water can kill you too (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37740246)

That's what I was thinking. Enough of damn near ANYTHING can kill you.

And if you're too stupid to not eat a metric ton of something all at once, that's called Natural Selection doing its damn job.

Re:Water can kill you too (1)

j-stroy (640921) | more than 2 years ago | (#37740364)

Inhaling just a few tablespoons of fresh water can kill you. Salt water can be tolerated tho due to its salinity(isotonic).

I'd believe it... (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#37739480)

I know if I eat enough scotch bonnets I start to get a sort of tingling sensation in my fingers. Makes sense that if you ramp it up enough it would kill someone.

Re:I'd believe it... (3, Insightful)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#37739748)

It's always been a mystery to me why I can eat and enjoy something so toxic that I have to wear rubber gloves to prepare them.

Re:I'd believe it... (4, Informative)

JohnBailey (1092697) | more than 2 years ago | (#37740066)

It's always been a mystery to me why I can eat and enjoy something so toxic that I have to wear rubber gloves to prepare them.

Endorphins.
Mystery solved.
The chemical that causes the heat sensation also triggers endorphins. So pleasure is experienced.

Toxic?.. Not sure about that. Irritant definitely. The juice on your fingers can lead to unpleasant side effects, depending where you touch.. But hardly deadly, unless you are eating some kind of concentrated industrial strength chilli. And realistically.. The super hot chills are not really intended for direct human consumption.

Re:I'd believe it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37740084)

That is because it really isn't toxic, it just makes your nerve endings think it is. Therefore, it triggers a positive endorphin rush in the brain, to compensate for the physical pain. It's the same reason why some depressed people engage in cutting themselves -- for the endorphin dump.

Re:I'd believe it... (3, Insightful)

adeft (1805910) | more than 2 years ago | (#37740184)

Define enjoy..... Mostly ridiculously hot eating is part of a bunch of guys trying to prove they're as tough as each other :) That's why I do it, and will do it again. Enjoy it? Not really.

Re:I'd believe it... (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37740356)

It's always been a mystery to me why I can eat and enjoy something so toxic that I have to wear rubber gloves to prepare them.

Think of raw salmonella dipped chicken before you grill or fry it. Practically any raw meat, for that matter, including fish.

Re:I'd believe it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37739860)

No no! Those are your spicy super powers starting to activate! You need to eat more when that happens!

Re:I'd believe it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37739862)

My most common and stupid thing I have to do before cutting chillies, remind myself DO NOT RUB ITCHY EYE! I've done it on at least 2 occasions in the last year while cutting Dorset Naga's and regretted it for at least 20mins, vowing to not be so stupid next time! LOL! Dorset Naga's are brutal but taste so nice.

I love the taste of light green Scotch Bonnets and Dorset Naga's, mixed with some softer Birds Eye reds, wonderful taste when cut and sprinkled over a salad, with a little cheese and some raw onion. Chillies are are great in salads, there is nothing to soak the spices and they hit you hard when you eat them raw!

Re:I'd believe it... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37740028)

I once cut some habeneros up and then took a piss, that was painful. Since then I have learned to use latex gloves when preparing peppers.

Re:I'd believe it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37740252)

Do you usually shove your finger up your urethra when taking a piss?

Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37739498)

Thats probably 600 chillis. The article author must be a fat bastard to fit that much in his stomach at once.

Re:Bullshit (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37739546)

Um, I would think that usage of the words "theoretically" and "could" would be sufficient to explain that nobody has actually died of eating too many chili peppers. Also, there's the fact that the guy is currently alive which should serve as pretty strong evidence that the author of the study himself did not eat so many chili peppers that he died.

Re:Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37739888)

Silly bastard. Using logic on an anonymous Coward. Everyone knows ACs don't understand logic!

Re:Bullshit (2)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#37739586)

Well chillis are not that big, and like other peppers they are hollow on the inside. So you take 10x10 of them put them in a square and stack them 6 high. It could fit on a normal plate. These are also professional eaters so they actually exercise to stretch their stomachs to a larger size. So the volume of 600 chillis isn't impossible. But I wouldn't want to be in the restroom the next day.

Re:Bullshit (2)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 2 years ago | (#37739610)

Thats probably 600 chillis. The article author must be a fat bastard to fit that much in his stomach at once.

The really hot ones are really small, shriveled-up things. Also, you might want to see how SKINNY some of the winners of "extreme eating" contests are. Does she look fat to you? [wikipedia.org]

Her nickname "The Black Widow" refers to her ability to regularly defeat men four to five times her size. While the size of her stomach is only slightly larger than normal, her skinny build is perhaps her biggest advantage, allowing her stomach to expand more readily since it is not surrounded by the ring of fat common in other heavy eaters. She holds records in over 25 eating competitions, and in December 2008, she defeated top-ranked eater Takeru Kobayashi in a fruit-cake eating contest.

On July 4, 2005 she ate 37 hot dogs in 12 minutes at Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, setting a then-record for American competitors (which was also the female record). On August 8, 2005, she consumed 35 bratwursts in 10 minutes, beating the previous 10-minute record of 19.5 bratwursts, although her record was beaten in 2006 by Takeru Kobayashi.

On Sunday September 4, 2010 Thomas ate 181 chicken wings in 12 minutes setting a new world record during the National Buffalo Wing Festival in Buffalo, New York. Joey Chestnut, America's No. 1 professional eater, was favored to win the competition. He came in second after eating 169 chicken wings.

On July 4, 2011, Thomas became the first champion of Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest for Women. Eating 40 hot dogs in 10 minutes, Thomas earned the inaugural pink Pepto Bismol Belt and won $10,000.

On September 4th 2011, she attained the United States Chicken Wing Eating Championship in Buffalo, New York by eating 183 chicken wings in 12 minutes. She beat her previous world record mark set a year earlier and again defeated top ranked rival, Chestnut.

So, not necessarily fat.

Chili peppers cause the eater's insides to rev up activating the sympathetic nervous system â" which helps control most of the body's internal organs â" to expend more energy, so the body burns more calories when the same food is eaten with chili peppers

So hot peppers are a natural diet food. Cool - I mean HOT!

I hear getting sprayed with pepper spray has the same effect.

Warning from the ambulance service? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37739512)

What authority do they have to issue warnings?

Were the participants forced to eat? Pictures or it didn't happen.

Re:Warning from the ambulance service? (-1, Offtopic)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#37739530)

It's the UK, the definition of the "nanny state".

Re:Warning from the ambulance service? (4, Informative)

J'raxis (248192) | more than 2 years ago | (#37739784)

In fairness, the article just says the Ambulance Service "warned" them. It doesn't say some sort of formal "warning" was issued under some authority, like the parent post implied; it could've just been the Ambulance Service captain saying "I think this is dangerous."

There are plenty of real examples of Britain's insane nanny-statism without jumping to conclusions.

Re:Warning from the ambulance service? (3, Insightful)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#37739580)

Could have just been a "or you might kill someone" warning and not a "or we'll convene the ambulance committee and have you ambulanced to death" warning.

Re:Warning from the ambulance service? (2)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 2 years ago | (#37739620)

You are not allowed to endanger the lives of others by your actions or carelessness. The fact that the peppers are offered on by a restaurant may provide the illusion of safety where there is none. If you have a patron sustaining injury by something you have served him when you could reasonably foresee the damage done than you may be liable.

Re:Warning from the ambulance service? (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37739672)

I have eaten Ghost peppers straight. What is safe for one person may not be for another, does that mean no restaurant can provide food I would consider spicy since it might hurt someone else?

Re:Warning from the ambulance service? (2)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 2 years ago | (#37739826)

Applying common sense helps, that's the "reasonably foresee" part. When you have a situation like this in your restaurant : "Half of the 20 people who took part in the challenge dropped out after witnessing the first 10 diners vomiting, collapsing, sweating and panting." you likely did not entirely think it through.

Re:Warning from the ambulance service? (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37739998)

Sweating and panting are normal responses, fainting is a bit unusual common for folks who should not be doing that. Vomiting it the only one that to me signals a problem. I wonder how much this is being hyped for shock value, or if this restaurant owner hired folks to fake it.

Hot food is often way over hyped, look at the Quaker Steak and Lube atomic sauce, it is just tabasco and some habeneros. That stuff is only 150k scoville. Lots of hot sauces are hotter. Even many natural peppers are hotter.

Re:Warning from the ambulance service? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37739830)

There's a difference between serving up a food grenade to a patron on request, and encouraging people to commit gastronomic self-harm through an organised contest.

Re:Warning from the ambulance service? (1, Insightful)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 2 years ago | (#37739684)

Libertarianism in theory: perfectly informed, rational, able consumers interacting freely for mutual benefit.

Libertarianism in practice: CAVEAT EMPTOR, IDIOTS! MIGHT IS RIGHT!

Hope this helps.

Re:Warning from the ambulance service? (3, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37739794)

It's not like a police warning or anything, but if you tie up the ambulance service with the culinary equivalent of a testicle-kicking contest, then they're going to ask you to reconsider your plans. Bear in mind that ambulances are a free service in the UK, there's no disincentive to phoning up an ambulance (as opposed to a taxi) if you incapacitate yourself in a hilariously moronic fashion.

Re:Warning from the ambulance service? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#37740242)

I told my son that if he ate all the candy he got halloween all in a day he'd feel ill and warned him not to. I guess I'm an evil nanny-statist!

Re:Warning from the ambulance service? (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 2 years ago | (#37740260)

"Warning" in this case means friendly advice. A formal warning would come from the Environmental Health or Trading Standards departments of Edinburgh City Council, or from the Health and Safety Executive.

Re:Warning from the ambulance service? (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 2 years ago | (#37740278)

What authority do they have to issue warnings?

They were citizens of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. As such, they are allowed to issue all sorts of warnings. For example:

If you don't stop posting silly comments to Slashdot you may be in trouble.

So watch out sunshine.

LD50? (5, Informative)

drosboro (1046516) | more than 2 years ago | (#37739552)

According to it's MSDS, capsaicin has an LD50 (lethal dose to 50% of pop'n) of 47.2 mg/kg when taken orally. So, for a 70kg person, 3.2 grams of pure capsaicin should be lethal about 50% of the time... This isn't anything new, the data has been published for a long time.

Re:LD50? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37739742)

How many Bothans died getting this information?

Re:LD50? (1)

hsmyers (142611) | more than 2 years ago | (#37739808)

But is capsaicin the active ingredient in all 'hot' dishes or are there others? This was curry, which makes me wonder about what else might have supplied the kick?

Re:LD50? (2)

bazald (886779) | more than 2 years ago | (#37739904)

But is capsaicin the active ingredient in all 'hot' dishes or are there others?

Yes. But more seriously, capsaicin [wikimedia.org] is what makes spicy food spicy, or rather all capsaicinoids are what make spicy food spicy.

Re:LD50? (1)

spottedkangaroo (451692) | more than 2 years ago | (#37739934)

I believe the hotness in black pepper is different, but it's not a pepper at all. Nearly all other food hotness (unless you count horse radish) is going to be solanaceae, and therefore capsaicin.

Re:LD50? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37739810)

And for those of us who don't have easy access to pure capsaicin, based on the Scoville scale, the Bhut Jolokia has 1/16 the capsaicin content of pure capsaicin for an equivalent weight. Consequently, 51g of Bhut Jolokias would kill 50% of people weighing 70kg when ingested orally. That's about 2oz - nowhere near three pounds.

captcha, nicely ironic: "healthy"

Re:LD50? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37740000)

No. The Scoville scale is not linear because it's based solely on human senses (which tend to be logarithmic).

So Bhut Jolokia may have 1/16th the Scoville Units but that does not necessarily translate to 1/16th the capsaicin content.

Re:LD50? (1)

blackicye (760472) | more than 2 years ago | (#37739840)

I'm willing to wager that they used pure capsaicin crystals to spike the curry, and not just Bhut Jolokias.

Re:LD50? (1)

hufter (542690) | more than 2 years ago | (#37739894)

(wikipedia knows everything, right?) If scoville rating of Pure capsaicin if be 15M, and habanero is up to 350k, about 15 grams of habanero may be a lethal doze. These http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-QVQLbwtHA [youtube.com] chicks are risking their lives!

Re:LD50? (1)

hufter (542690) | more than 2 years ago | (#37739968)

I mean 150g (of habanero could be lethal)

0.36 mg per gram capsaicin (2)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#37740400)

Scoville scale is not linear, instead use 0.36 mg capsaicin per gram of habanero, or 36 grams per kilogram. Who's going to eat a couple pounds of those things?

Re:LD50? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37740098)

The scoville scale does not work that way. It is not a measure of amount of capsaicin. It is a measure of heat/spicy based on human perception.

Re:LD50? (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#37740302)

It is a measure of heat/spicy based on human perception.

Actually it's a masure of dilution before the item is rendered undetectable.

So if pure capciacin is 15M, it means you need it something on the order of 67ppb before it's undetectable. Peppers have much lower levels, plus with extra proteins and such that make the kick much lower. And since peppers by themselves isn't a terribly fun eat, it's diluted even more by eating other foods.

Re:LD50? (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 2 years ago | (#37740100)

Technically, it's that if you randomly selected a person from the population at large and gave them 47.2 mg/kg body weight of capsaicin, it would have a 50% chance of killing them.

Re:LD50? (1)

thunderclap (972782) | more than 2 years ago | (#37740392)

Sounds like the making of an excellent CSI episode. But seriously anything with an MSDS sheet that contains an LD50 should never be eaten. But we are idiots after all.

Hey mister (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37739602)

You don't want to drink that candle.

Re:Hey mister (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37739782)

Or do I!

WTF? (1)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 2 years ago | (#37739612)

I am obviously missing something here...
a) there are _lots_ of things you can eat to kill yourself.
b) what is the point of this "research"?

Short answer, people are dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37739854)

I am obviously missing something here...

a) there are _lots_ of things you can eat to kill yourself.

b) what is the point of this "research"?

A lot of people seem to believe that anything that is safe in moderate quantities should also be harmless in huge quantities. (Make your own obesity joke here.) They then proceed to consume (or goad others into consuming) said huge quantities.

Hilarity, for the rest of us, ensues.

and then comes the fun part (4, Funny)

starmonkey (2486412) | more than 2 years ago | (#37739664)

eating them is only half the battle

Re:and then comes the fun part (4, Funny)

Zarjazz (36278) | more than 2 years ago | (#37739718)

.. to the soundtrack of Jonny Cash singing "Ring of Fire"

Re:and then comes the fun part (1)

thunderclap (972782) | more than 2 years ago | (#37740422)

I Fell Into A Burning Ring Of Fire
I Went Down, Down, Down
  And The Flames Went Higher
  And It Burns, Burns, Burns
  The Ring Of Fire
  The Ring Of Fire

That which doesn't kill you (3, Informative)

drainbramage (588291) | more than 2 years ago | (#37739712)

Slowly saps your will to live.
-
Or leaves horrible scars that you can pick at later.

Famous Last Words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37739740)

"Silly china-man, you can make it too spicy for me!"

Yes, yes they can (2)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 2 years ago | (#37739772)

Given a sufficient quantity dropped on you or were fired at you at extreme velocity.

Sadly the chili pepper gun is a long way from becoming useful enough for pithy action movie hero comments "What's th' matter? Heartburn?"

Taken to the extreme (1)

DinDaddy (1168147) | more than 2 years ago | (#37739780)

I understand the "look how tough I am, I can eat this spicy stuff" mentality to some extent, but who seriously takes it to the extreme of downing things that eat holes in your stomach and cause you to be hospitalized?

Re:Taken to the extreme (4, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37739848)

Some people actually enjoy spicy food, it is not about toughness at all. Peppers will not eat a hole in your stomach, that is an old wives tale. Capsaicin just interacts with your sensory neurons and makes them respond as though they were being burned, no real damage is done.

Re:Taken to the extreme (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37740048)

The endorphin rush can be quite something to experience too.

Re:Taken to the extreme (2)

spottedkangaroo (451692) | more than 2 years ago | (#37740018)

It doesn't eat holes. Contrary to popular belief, capsacin is not an acid or something that damages tissue at all. It stimulates your pain receptors directly and causes a kind of simulated pain. Personally, as an addicted person, I can tell you that you need your food just a little hotter each time to keep getting the endorphine rush, which is why people get to the point of eating jolokia peppers, imo.

Re:Taken to the extreme (1)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37740180)

It does affect your colon in some way though, because having a truly solid movement is rare if you put chili sauce on everything (or at least, very hot chilis like red savinas or jolokias).

It is true about the thrill chase though. Jalapenos used to be hot to me when I was a kid. Now, to get any sort of mild reaction I will need at least Habaneros, preferably red savina, or bhut jolokia. I usually cut some fresh jolokia into my curries, and I use a red savina sauce on my pasta/pizza lunch food.

Overblown reporting, as usual. (5, Informative)

CrazyBusError (530694) | more than 2 years ago | (#37739908)

Before anything else - this is my favourite local Indian Restaurant. Been eating there for a few years now and will continue to do so.

Secondly, 'several ambulances'? People 'writhing on the floor, fainting and vomiting'? Here's what actually happened:

Restaurant holds a curry-eating competition. Top of the list in the later rounds is the 'Kismot Killer', a curry that recently replaced a naga-based one, as too many people were finishing it easily. Anyway, if you order a killer, the restaurant staff will do everything in their power to put you off - there's warnings all over the place and you have to sign a disclaimer before eating it. If you *really* insist on eating the damn thing, you can't say you weren't warned. But anyway. So two people get to the later stages (one American, FWIW) and one of them has the bright idea of vomiting immediately after eating so as to avoid the after-effects. The other continues eating *despite being in pain and feeling faint*. I mean, seriously? So despite having the red cross present (it was a charity event), they got an ambulance to take these two to hospital for safety. The hospital gave them strong anti-indigestion medication and kicked them out.

Short version - idiots did idiotic things, complained that they shouldn't have to have any personal responsibility when the inevitable happened.

Re:Overblown reporting, as usual. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37740040)

If you put a prize in the middle for sure there are enough dickheads to do plain stupid things.

these types of contests should exist ONLY if the owner of that restaurant, who initiated that contest is paying in full sum for the damages afterwards (hospital, meds, transport).

I dont want to pay from my taxes so that some fucked up eats too many red hot chillies and is almost near death. fuck him and fuck that owner of restaurant for his stupid contest.

i bet the owner has a lot to gain, publicity and all with 2 kilos of peper and chilli and the state pays 10.000-20.000$ or more to clean out.

Re:Overblown reporting, as usual. (1)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37740200)

This was my reaction to this story too. Furthermore, they should be charged for their time in the hospital, because it was idiotic, informed, and self inflicted.

Re:Overblown reporting, as usual. (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37740420)

Furthermore, they should be charged for their time in the hospital, because it was idiotic, informed, and self inflicted.

Theres a dangerous road to go down, since that could be 3/4 of the people hospitalized, at least to some interpretation of idiotic, informed, and self inflicted.

Re:Overblown reporting, as usual. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37740214)

Why does every story have to be about blame? Isn't this just an interesting anecdote with a side order of science?

Re:Overblown reporting, as usual. (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 2 years ago | (#37740442)

I participated in a contest where we were given wings made with a very hot bhut jolokia sauce (included habaneros and dried jolokias as well as other stuff). I had eaten 10 of the wings before in one sitting and while I had mild discomfort (and slightly more the next day) I had no serious side internal/external effects.

However, when I ate 20 in one sitting (in 10 minutes) I went home and hours later found myself writhing in pain, having severe abdominal discomfort and thought about heading to the ER on more than on occasion.

I am a seasoned spice eater and love to do it. However I think everyone has their limits. Mine was probably through a combination of too much food, too fast and the heat.

Yes, people are stupid and should be more careful when they eat too much, too hot, and too fast.

Yes, they do... (0)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 2 years ago | (#37739912)

but it may not happen quickly...

Koreans have (I read somewhere) the highest rate of stomach cancer in the world. While a culture of smoking and copious amounts of the national drink Soju certainly don't help, I think the blame can be safely laid on their extremely spicy cuisine. The national dish, "Kimchee" is basically fermented hot peppers and garlic with some lettuce added for texture. After being left underground in earthen jars for the entire winter, it is consumed with every meal and has even found it's way into western foods (Kimchee burgers).

The acidic content of Kimchee is quite high, urban legend has it capable of eating its way through the a coke can. Not a legend is the fact that there are no wooden bowls in Korean plateware, just stainless steel or ceramics. Likewise many Korean utensils are stainless steel, even chopsticks. Also, I think it's banned as cargo on numerous airlines, its corrosive properties plus being packed in a pressurized fermenting jar (with a pungent odor) gives new meaning to the term "suitcase bomb".

The incidence of stomach cancer has brought about documentaries and other public shows that discuss it and what to do about it. Fortunately if caught early stomach cancer is highly survivable, the stomach regrows readily (I guess that's why it can so easily expand). A relative of mine had an operation and he's fine now. Since there are so many surgeries done for stomach cancer if you should ever get that diagnosis, Korea's probably the best place to get it taken care of.

Re:Yes, they do... (3, Insightful)

starmonkey (2486412) | more than 2 years ago | (#37740020)

This post is an amazing mash of urban legend, hearsay and anecdotes. Did you do it on purpose? Are you a satirical genius?

Re:Yes, they do... (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | more than 2 years ago | (#37740090)

I lost count of the number of errors in this post. Kimchee predominantly consists of cabbage, not lettuce... and contains no naturally-occurring carcinogens of any significance. However, it's quite likely that Korean produce, like our own, tends to be full of cancer-causing pesticides and so forth. If anything, the acidophilus-type bacterial cultures in kimchee are extremely good for the digestive (and immune) systems and either play no role in the number of incidents of stomach cancer in Korea, or else are actually unknowingly reducing them.

If anything, Koreans fondness for tea (the link between tea drinking and stomach cancer has been known for decades) and booze is your culprit...

Re:Yes, they do... (1)

ultramk (470198) | more than 2 years ago | (#37740106)

Increased rates of stomach cancer have nothing to do with the kimchee being spicy, and everything to do with it being fermented. This is well known and well documented. You find exactly the same thing in other Asian cultures that traditionally have high consumption of fermented (pickled) vegetables.

If spicy food caused stomach cancer, northern India would be a hotbed. It isn't.

Re:Yes, they do... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37740206)

Oh my GOD!!! Kimchee can eat its way through a coke can!!!! That stuff should be banned!!!

Here is a little chemistry lesson for you. Ordinary vinegar, 5% acetic acid, as can be found on any supermarket shelf, will corrode aluminum pans, spoons, etc. Hence the warning in most cookbooks not to use aluminum when cooking with the stuff. Dangerous!!!

Pickles, booze, stress. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37740212)

I'd hazard a guess that the preparation method is more dangerous than the raw chilli. Capsaicin has never been shown (to my knowledge) to be corrosive or carcinogenic, but lots of fermented products are well known to be both.

Of course it's possible that large amounts of substances stimulating pain receptors could have knock on effects that feed into stress, and can therefore increase stomach acid production etc, but that's very different to positing that korean tableware proves chilli is corrosive.

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_sto_can_dea-health-stomach-cancer-deaths

Re:Yes, they do... (1)

rahvin112 (446269) | more than 2 years ago | (#37740370)

Boy that's a big pile of steaming shit. Just a couple errors I will respond to, I'll let everyone else point out the rest of the garbage in your post.

Kimchee is fermented cabbage not peppers and it's strong because like most bacterial fermenting processes it produces acid while being fermented.

Coke is acidic enough to eat through it's can, that's why the can is coated with plastic on the inside. Coke is acidic enough to eat through bone. In fact remove the plastic coating and regular grocery store vinegar can probably eat through the can because aluminum is super reactive hence the reason they coat the cans.

Lethal dose vs. lethal? (2)

Splab (574204) | more than 2 years ago | (#37739930)

While the method of dying described sounds nice n all, I thought the actual danger was from asphyxiation when digesting Bhut Jolokia ( I grow those suckers myself); when strong enough chili has been digested it will often cause uncontrollable hiccups (capsacin will irritate the thingiemagic that does your breathing, causing it to cramp, which I've been told, could be enough to kill you).
The lethal dose is whats required to overload your system and die from poison (sort of like drinking too much water?) and the lack of oxygen is akin to trying to breath water or have I've just had me leg pulled?

Re:Lethal dose vs. lethal? (4, Informative)

sapgau (413511) | more than 2 years ago | (#37740110)

I don't know about Indian cuisine but in Mexico we don't brag about how impossibly hot a dish is.
Chile is used as an additional condiment and is never the main focus of the meal... Mexicans know when something needs to be spiced up to make it taste better, enough to make you salivate just by smelling it and make it perfect. That hot spicy sensation is addictive and a good source of endorphins... It is never a goal to make it impossible to swallow, give you cramps and make you faint.

Pinches gringos locos....

Re:Lethal dose vs. lethal? (1)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37740258)

I have seen the hiccup effect on others but to this day I have never experienced it myself, despite consuming the same food as aforementioned.

Woman Rubs Chilis In Eyes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37740152)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qD-0fEvJv2c

Suicide (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37740160)

Dunno about you, but I would rather shoot myself than listen to the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Serves them right (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 2 years ago | (#37740232)

I've never understood the attraction of eating chillies. It hurts (or is that just me?) so whats pleasant about it? Or is it just macho i-can-eat-more-than-you BS? Is it the same sort of people who do it who visit S&M dungeons because they like the pain?

Depends on one's perspective (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37740280)

For those of you who have lived in Texas, you know how true this is. They actually have a Chili cook-off about the time the rodeo comes to town. It takes up a major portion of the parking lot at the Astrodome.The notes are from an inexperienced chili taster named Frank, who was visiting Texas from the East Coast:
"Recently, I was honored to be selected as a judge at a chili cook-off. The original person called in sick at the last moment and I happened to be standing there at the judge's table asking directions to the Budweiser truck, when the call came in. I was assured by the other two judges (Native Texans) that the chili wouldn't be all that spicy and, besides, They told me I could have free beer during the tasting, So I accepted."Here are the scorecards from the event:
Chili # 1 Mike's Maniac Mobster Monster Chili
Judge # 1-- A little too heavy on the tomato. Amusing kick.
Judge # 2-- Nice, smooth tomato flavor. Very mild
Judge # 3-- (Frank) Holy shit, what the hell is this stuff? You could remove dried paint from your driveway. Took me
two beers to put the flames out. I hope that's the worst one. These Texans are crazy.
Chili # 2 Arthur's Afterburner Chili
Judge # 1 -- Smoky, with a hint of pork. Slight jalapeno tang.
Judge # 2 -- Exciting BBQ flavor, needs more peppers to be taken seriously.
Judge # 3 -- Keep this out of the reach of children. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to taste besides pain. I had to wave
off two people who wanted to give me the Heimlich maneuver. They had to rush in more beer when they saw
the look on my face.
Chili # 3 Fred's Famous Burn Down the Barn Chili
Judge # 1 -- Excellent firehouse chili. Great kick. Needs more beans.
Judge # 2 -- A bean-less chili, a bit salty, good use of peppers
Judge # 3 -- Call the EPA. I've located a uranium spill. My nose feels like I have been snorting Drano. Everyone knows
the routine by now. Get me more beer before I ignite. Barmaid pounded me on the back, now my backbone
is in the front part of my chest. I'm getting shit-faced from all of the beer.
Chili # 4 Bubba's Black Magic
Judge # 1 -- Black bean chili with almost no spice. Disappointing.
Judge # 2 -- Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish or other mild foods, not much of a chili.
Judge # 3 -- I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable to taste it. Is it possible to burn out taste buds?
Sally, the barmaid, was standing behind me with fresh refills. That 300-lb.bitch is starting to look HOT -- just
like this nuclear waste I'm eating. Is chili an aphrodisiac?
Chili # 5 Linda's Legal Lip Remover
Judge # 1 -- Meaty, strong chili. Cayenne peppers freshly ground, adding considerable kick. Very impressive.
Judge # 2 -- Chili using shredded beef, could use more tomato. Must admit the cayenne peppers make a strong statement.
Judge # 3 -- My ears are ringing, sweat is pouring off my forehead and I can no longer focus my eyes. I farted and four
people behind me needed paramedics. The contestant seemed offended when I told her that her chili had
given me brain damage. Sally saved my tongue from bleeding by pouring beer directly on it from the pitcher.
I wonder if I'm burning my lips off. It really pisses me off that the other judges asked me to stop screaming.
Screw those rednecks.
Chili # 6 Vera's Very Vegetarian Variety
Judge # 1 -- Thin yet bold vegetarian variety chili. Good balance of spices and peppers.
Judge # 2 -- The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions, and garlic. Superb.
Judge # 3 -- My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous, sulfuric flames. I shit on myself when I farted and I'm
worried it will eat through the chair. No one seems inclined to stand behind me except that slut Sally. She
must be kinkier than I thought. Can't feel my lips anymore. I need to wipe my ass with a snow cone.
Chili # 7 Susan's Screaming Sensation Chili
Judge # 1 -- A mediocre chili with too much reliance on canned peppers
. Judge # 2 -- Ho hum, tastes as if the chef literally threw in a can of chili peppers at the last moment. I should take note that
I am worried about Judge # 3. He appears to be in a bit of distress as he is cursing uncontrollably.
Judge # 3 -- You could put a grenade in my mouth, pull the pin, and I wouldn't feel a thing. I've lost sight in one eye, and
the world sounds like it is made of rushing water. My shirt is covered with chili which slides unnoticed out of
my mouth. My pants are full of lava like shit to match my shirt. At least during the autopsy, they'll know
what killed me. I've decided to stop breathing, its too painful. Screw it, I'm not getting any oxygen anyway. If
I need air, I'll just suck it through the 4-inch hole in my stomach.
Chili #8 Tommy's Toe-Nail Curling Chili
Judge # 1 -- The perfect ending, this is a nice blend chili. Not too bold but spicy enough to declare its existence.
Judge # 2 -- This final entry is a good, balance chili. Neither mild nor hot. Sorry to see that most of it was lost when Judge
# 3 passed out, fell over and pulled the chili pot down on top of himself. Not sure if he's going to make it.
Poor dude, wonder how he'd have reacted to really hot chili.

Capsacin (2)

tmosley (996283) | more than 2 years ago | (#37740298)

Capsaicin binds to and, in high enough doses, destroys neurons that are responsible for signaling molecules involved in wound healing. If you took a high enough dose that it depleted those neurons in a certain part of your body, especially your insides, it would be similar to having leprosy. Tiny cuts would get infected, and spread, and eventually you would have mass tissue death.

My lab used to study that before I started working here. Of course, we are talking super high doses, basically pure capsaicin. Peppers just aren't going to do it by themselves. As noted above, they have other health benefits, so no-one should really worry about toxicity, as the heat stops most people long before they could ever get to that point.

What in the world could have caused that? (1)

mswhippingboy (754599) | more than 2 years ago | (#37740322)

some of the competitive eaters were left writhing on the floor in agony, vomiting and fainting.

Meanwhile at a seemingly unrelated event for ball-peen-hammer-head-bangers a few blocks away, some were left writhing on the floor in agony, vomiting and fainting after pummeling their skullcaps with their 16 pound hammers.

Aren't their Darwin awards for this type of behavior?

Deadly mix perhaps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37740328)

I vaguely recall having seen an article somewhere (heh, possibly on slashdot) where experiments on mice showed them to be at risk of death, if being exposed to pepper spray, insofar as the mice had been injected with cocain I believe. The point seemed to be, about how the combination could be lethal, explaining some deaths in the state of California USA.

Depends on the Person. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37740432)

I am a mexican from the west central where we eat very hot peppers all of our lives. For us is fine but once in a while we get a tourist that is feeling brave. I haven't seen anybody faint yet, but I have seen people scream in pain. I also have a feeling that the hot spice was just town in for hotness effect when it has to be tastefully done. I hate it when my gringo friends try to make me salsas they just make it hot without flavour. A good spicy salsa is hot but also addictive that you want to continue eating it.

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