Weird Medicine

Can You Get Sick From Eating Other People’s Brains? How Your Body Would React To Consuming Fellow Humans

October is the most spooky month of the year, and we’re ready to chow down on some Halloween candy. But, what would happen if you ate a more horrifying snack? In Life Noggin’s video, “What Happens If You Eat Human Brains?” director and host Pat Graziosi talks about the consequences of actually consuming human brains or anything off of the body.

If you find a human brain, and have the opportunity to eat it, some sources estimate you'd ingest "78 calories, 10 grams of fat, 11 grams of protein and 1 gram of carbohydrate" for every 100 grains of brain weight. Worried about diseases? You have good reason to fear. 

Historically, eating brains has resulted in the contraction of a neurological disorder called transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE), which is generally rare. Types include Kuru, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), better known as Mad Cow disease, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke reported. 

Common symptoms of TSEs include personality changes, involuntary jerking movements, unusual sensations, insomnia, confusion, severe headaches, and memory problems. Other possible side effects include psychiatric problems such as depression, lack of coordination, and an unsteady gait. There is currently no treatment that can halt progression of any of the TSEs, but these diseases usually culminate in death over the course of a few months to a few years.

But, what about eating other parts of the body?

Well, a grown man’s body contains a whopping 80,000 calories and a ton of saturated fat. There hasn’t really been disease associated with eating other parts of the body, but it’s “not the best nutritional idea,” according to Life Noggin.

Still curious about what would happen if you ate a fellow human's brain? (We obviously don’t condone doing this.) Watch the video to find out.

Read more:

Cannibalism, The High-Protein Diet You've Never Considered; Yields Fewer Calories Than Eating Other Animals

Cannibalism And You: What Eating Other People Does To Your Body

The Human Brain In Numbers, From Its Weight, Neurons, And Amount Of Spinal Fluid