Doctors have sent a warning to spice enthusiasts after a man (most likely Caucasian), who scoffed down the world's hottest chilli, was left hospitalised and in serious need of emergency treatment.
The 34-year-old had developed agonising symptoms - including excruciating headaches and "intense" neck pain - after trying the "Carolina Reaper" during a hot pepper-eating competition.
Scans from the incident show several arteries in the man's brain being temporarily narrowed, causing intermittent but severe "thunderclap" headaches.
He began dry heaving immediately after sampling the chilli, according to a paper (published in the BMJ Case Reports journal) by medics based in the United States.
Over the days, the man then developed intense neck pain and headaches, each of which lasted just a few seconds.
The pain was so unbearable, however, the man (who has not been identified) was taken to the hospital and tested for multiple neurological conditions.
After discovering several arteries in his brain had constricted, medical professionals diagnosed him with "Reversible Cerebral Vasoconstriction Syndrome (RCVS)".
"The Carolina Reaper is a popular pepper, and many people eat them and experience nothing worse than the desire to cut out their own tongues." https://t.co/R6pkRyZ0RP— Douglas Alteen (@doug_alteen_nyt) April 10, 2018
The condition - a temporary narrowing of arteries accompanied by "thunderclap" headaches - can be caused by taking certain prescription medication or even illegal drugs.
But the authors say this is the first time it has been linked with eating chilli peppers.
The Guinness World Record for the hottest chilli is currently held by The PuckerButt Pepper Company for their Smokin Ed's "Carolina Reaper", which rates at an average of 1.6 million Scoville units.
For comparison, a Jalapeno pepper typically rates between 2,500 and 5,000 heat units on the scale.