Spicy Food and Heartburn
As someone who used to suffer from heartburn-related problems, I find this article by Anahad O’Connor of The New York Times very interesting. According to a new study by the Stanford medical school, and contrary to popular belief, spicy foods might not contribute to heartburn:
In a study published in May in The Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers at the Stanford medical school analyzed hundreds of studies on heartburn dating to the 1970’s. They found that cutting caffeine, citrus fruits and spicy foods did not eliminate heartburn symptoms.
That may have something to do with the nature of heartburn, which is most commonly caused when the esophageal sphincter, which acts something like a control valve, relaxes more than it should and allows fluids in the stomach to flow toward the mouth. While there is some evidence that tobacco and alcohol can reduce the pressure exerted by the esophageal sphincter, most foods traditionally thought to exacerbate heartburn do not seem to have this effect.
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