Health Facts and Fiction
Eating Spicy Foods Will Give You an UlcerHow true is the claim? Not at all. In fact, when researchers fed study participants a meal of ground jalapeños, then looked for damage to the subjects' stomach linings, they found no changes.
Why it gets repeated: Dishes with a kick can irritate an already existing ulcer, so people made that mistaken leap of logic. In truth, ulcers are usually caused by one of two culprits. The most common offender is a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori, which sparks an infection that leaves the stomach more susceptible to damage from its own acids. The habitual use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and aspirin, can also trigger ulcers.
Bottom line: Enjoy that fiery curry or spicy chili. If the food causes discomfort, visit a doctor to see if it has exacerbated an ulcer you didn't know you had.
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