Wasabi gives woman broken-heart syndrome

A 60-year-old woman went to hospital after eating a large amount of the condiment wasabi by mistake. She was at a wedding reception in Israel and mistakenly ate a teaspoon of the spicy green paste. She thought it was an avocado-based dip. Her taste buds were shocked when the spices in the wasabi moved to her tongue and nose. The woman felt pressure in her chest and her arms tingled. She went to hospital the next day. Doctors diagnosed her with "broken-heart syndrome". This has symptoms that are similar to a heart attack after physical or emotional distress.

Doctors said the woman was struck by takotsubo cardiomyopathy. It is also called "broken-heart syndrome". The heart weakens and suffers a "temporary disruption" so that it cannot pump blood properly. It is usually caused by life-changing and shocking events such as financial troubles, traffic accidents or bad news. It is not as serious as a real heart attack. Most patients fully recover within a month. Doctors said: "To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of takotsubo cardiomyopathy triggered by wasabi." They told sushi lovers that wasabi is not dangerous.