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A Case-Control Study of Risk Factors for Gastric Cancer in Three Geographic Areas of Mexico (1993)

Title:

A Case-Control Study of Risk Factors for Gastric Cancer in Three Geographic Areas of Mexico

Key words:

chili peppers, capsaicin, Helicobacter pylori, gastric infection, Mexico

Research Institution:

National Institute of Public Health

Location:

Mexico

Researcher:

Lizbeth Lopez-Carrillo

Project Description:

People in Mexico who eat hot chili peppers have five times higher rates of gastric cancer than non-chili eating people. Capsaicin, the ingredient that makes peppers taste hot, is thought to be the culprit. Moreover, the gastric infection, by Helicobacter pylori, is also thought to play a role in gastric cancer. Dr. Lopez-Carrillo studied this issue using a food questionnaire and blood samples from volunteers in various regions of Mexico. Resolution of this question could result in possibly recommending eliminating hot chili peppers from the Mexican diet and potentially decreasing gastric cancer incidence by nearly 70%.

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