Before you say yes or no to that hot sauce, consider this.

Spice can do wonders for a meal, turning your average dinner into something much more memorable. But the signature heat that it creates can also impact more than just your taste buds.

Spicy foods used to take much of the blame for causing peptic ulcers, which are sores in the lining of your stomach or duodenum (the first part of the small intestine) that create a dull or burning pain. Today, we know that the real culprits for these kinds of ulcers include long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen or aspirin, bacterial infection with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) or, rarely, tumors.

 

Credit: Amanda Mills CDC

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