The "cinnamon challenge" is one of those Internet things that you just can't help but see from time to time. You know the deal. You take a tablespoon of cinnamon and try to swallow it within sixty seconds without taking a drink.
You don't have to try it to be able to tell that it won't be a lot of fun. It turns out that it may actually be physically harmful. A new report out Monday indicates that it can lead to inflamed and scarred tissue. Chicago Tribune reporter Rachael Levy discusses the report:
The report, whose results will also be published in an article in the May edition of the Pediatrics health journal, was based on testing with rats. Dr. Steven Lipshultz, the lead researcher, said the rats were made to breathe in cinnamon powder one time, then were followed as they aged.
"(The) cinnamon would coat the airways and the lungs (of the animals) and it would lead to inflammation," Lipshultz said. "It wouldn't stop there. The inflammation led to scarring in the lungs, something called pulmonary fibrosis."
Symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis can include shortness of breath, chronic dry/hacking cough, fatigue and weakness, chest discomfort, loss of appetite, and rapid weight loss. It is often a secondary effect of interstitial lung diseases, including autoimmune disorders. Causes for the condition can include inhalation of asbestosis, cigarette smoking, and radiation therapy to the chest.
Based on this new research, we might be able to add inhaling cinnamon to the list. Of couse, the research is not conclusive, but still, this seems like another reason (in case you needed one) to avoid the challenge.
The following video has nearly 30 million views on YouTube, and that's one of MANY: