Ask The Nutritionist


Hi Rick, My husband is always eating stuff with hot peppers. Is stomach cancer more prevalent with people that eat a lot of spices?


Interesting question. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), the most effective method to reduce the risk laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancers is to avoid heartburn, regurgitation of food, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Avoiding GERD for many individuals may include reducing spicy foods. Capsaicin, a phytonutrient found in chili pepper, has interestingly been shown to reduce cancer cell growth in rats and is also credited for its potential in cholesterol management and weight control. However, several studies do indicate that a high consumption of chili may indeed increase risks of certain stomach cancers. This would indicate, as often is the case, that too much of a good thing can actually be a bad thing. Everything in moderation, as they say. While we are on the topic, the ACS states that there is an increased risk of stomach cancer with diets containing large amounts of smoked foods, salted fish and meat, high-starch foods that are low in fiber, and pickled vegetables.