Talk about having an iron stomach. One man in northern India developed a bizarre and dangerous "food" addiction in recent week—he couldn't stop eating knives. After consuming 40 small foldable blades over a two-month period, the 42-year-old finally underwent surgery Friday in the city of Amritsar to have them removed. 

"I don't know why I used to swallow knives," the patient, whose name has not been released, told CNN. "I just enjoyed its taste and I was addicted...how people get addicted to alcohol and other things, my situation was similar."

Doctors successfully completed the five-hour surgery, but they had their concerns going into the procedure.

"Even for us, the experienced surgeons, it was frightening," Dr. Jatinder Malhotra explained. It took the surgeon and his colleagues two days to formulate a plan to safely remove the perilous items. "We were so nervous...a small mistake could have taken the patient's life. In my 20 years of practice, I have never seen anything like it."

In the man's stomach, Malhotra discovered folded and unfolded knives, as well as some that had actually started to rust. When extended, the knives measured seven inches long.

Malhotra believed his patient's "wild urge to consume metal" might have something to do with craving iron. If that's the case, there are far safer options than swallowing dozens of blades—like, say, eating some spinach. Before being discharged, the patient will unsurprisingly have to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

"I'm sorry I let my family down. I'll be forever thankful to doctors and hospital staff for saving my life," the man said, vowing to give up his dangerous habit cold turkey. "I will never do such acts ever again. I'm a new person now."

People have all kinds of strange "food" addictions—just ask this woman who chugs gallons of Heinz ketchup, or this dude who's devoured over 60,000 plastic bags. But in this case, it might be best to find another way to satisfy that pesky iron craving.

[via CNN]