Serious health effects of cinnamon inhalationThe decade old ‘cinnamon challenge’ involves teens seeking for thrill swallowing a tablespoonful of dry cinnamon and swallows it without water. In 2012, the challenge went viral on the Internet with YouTube registering mover 50, 000 videos of youngsters who were attempting the challenge. However, it has come to be revealed that the ‘cinnamon challenge’ might not be pure fun after all as it can lead to other more seriously health effects.

Effects of swallowing dry cinnamon

Immediate physical effects resulting from swallowing cinnamon are temporary and include coughing, sensational burning of the throat, nose and mouth and choking as well. However, the recent discovery is that attempting to swallow huge quantities of dry cinnamon could result in many other long lasting scarring, lesions and airway inflammation. In the worst case scenario, a recent research that examined this dare also linked ‘cinnamon challenge’ with lung damage.

Last year, there were about 30 cases in the nation that necessitated medical attention, which resulted from this challenge in 2012. In fact, there were some teens that experienced collapsed lungs and required ventilator support, as published online by the research paper. In March 2012, The American Association of Poison Control Centers issued an alert warning about this dare on the exposures resulting from cinnamon exposure. In 2013, more exposures have still been reported also.

According to Steven Lipshultz, a study author, young adults and teens suffering from underlying lung diseases like asthma, taking such big qualities of cinnamon in its dry form has the potential of causing unnecessary and more serious health risks. The ‘cinnamon challenge’, explains Steven, could put teens in a serious way. This can even make their initial mild condition more severe and for asthma patients, the ‘cinnamon challenge’ can even lead to death as well.

What can cinnamon inhalation lead to?

Ideally, while there has been no past human studies regarding cinnamon inhalation, similar studies have been undertaken in animals. The results showed that the lungs of the animals were inflamed almost immediately after being exposed to a single inhalation. In additions, damages to the lungs are also visible weeks after and sometimes even months after the inhalation actually happened. In humans, continued Lipshultz, such an exposure would be similar to a senior/ elderly citizen who has developed emphysema and in dire need of oxygen.

According to the published report, cinnamon is basically a caustic product containing cellulose fibers, which are not biodegradable and can’t dissolve in lungs. Besides this, cinnamon also contains oil, which produces irritant, toxic or allergic reactions in certain people. However, when mixed in food or consumed in just small quantities, cinnamon might not be problematic for most people. Even though the fad on ‘cinnamon challenge’ significantly reduced presently, there are still new videos being posted in the Internet indicating that the challenge is yet to die of and a lot more might be on the wait.