Published On: Mon, Apr 22nd, 2013

Doctors warn of the dangers of the ‘Cinnamon Challenge’

A YouTube fad that began last year could result in serious medical issues including lung damage, says doctors.

The “Cinnamon Challenge” entails swallowing a tablespoon of ground cinnamon in 60 seconds without drinking fluids. Sounds easy? Sounds harmless?

See an example of the “Cinnamon Challenge” video here

Experts say its not easy or harmless.

This challenge is practically impossible, decidedly unpleasant, and potentially harmful.

In a study in the April issue of Pediatrics, researchers say the Cinnamon Challenge can be dangerous and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Image/Video Screen Shot

Image/Video Screen Shot

Cinnamon is a caustic powder composed of cellulose fibers, which are bioresistant and biopersistent; they neither dissolve nor biodegrade in the lungs, according to researchers.

Attempts to swallow a large quantity of dry cinnamon carry a real risk of aspiration.

At least 30 participants nationwide have required medical attention. Cinnamon inhalation can cause pulmonary inflammation, predisposing airways to epithelial lesions and scarring. Aspirated powder entering the upper airways can
cause inflammation and, in more severe cases, aspiration pneumonia.

Thus, the Cinnamon Challenge may pose greater and unnecessary health risks for persons allergic to cinnamon or with bronchopulmonary diseases, including asthma.

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Some teens who suffered collapsed lungs required ventilator support.

Although there are no human studies of cinnamon inhalation, in animal studies the lungs almost immediately become inflamed after a single exposure and still show signs of damage weeks, even months later, says study author Steven Lipshultz, professor of pediatrics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. “In humans, that would be the equivalent of an elderly person developing emphysema and needing oxygen.”

Though not the popular fad it was a year ago, it still exists and given the allure of social media, peer pressure, and a trendy new fad, pediatricians and parents have a “challenge” of their own in counseling tweens and teens regarding the sensibilities of the choices they make and the potential health risks of this dare.


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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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