The science behind the cinnamon challenge

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chalHOUSTON, TX – Do you know what the Cinnamon Challenge is?

If you don’t know, it’s a dangerous dare to swallow a tablespoon of cinnamon, in 60 seconds, with no water. For most people it doesn’t work and here’s why.

Cinnamon is made from the bark of the cinnamon tree. The main component is cellulose which is water resistant and resistant to the enzymes humans produce. So when the tablespoon of cinnamon enters the mouth the central nervous system goes into a panic mode of sorts and tells the body to breathe in gasps; the same way it would if you were drowning. This can send the cinnamon into the pharynx, larynx, trachea and lungs. Now there’s ground tree back in your lungs and you’ve got a problem.

Dr. Angela Siler Fisher, Medical Director at Ben Taub Hospital says, “Those problems can be anywhere from an infection, an inflammation in the lungs to a collapse of the lungs. The Cinnamon Challenge, Cinnamon Mania whatever they’re calling it now is a very dangerous prank and really no one should be doing this.”

So remember, cinnamon is good for you when it’s sprinkled on your meal, just not when it’s the main dish.


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