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Consumption of spicy foods and total and cause specific mortality: population based cohort study

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h3942 (Published 04 August 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h3942

Re: Consumption of spicy foods and total and cause specific mortality: population based cohort study

Dear Editor:
I read with interest the provocative article published recently in BMJ(1)
I wish to offer the following comments:

1. The relationship between the consumption of spicy food and reduction in total and cause specific mortality could be "reverse causation". The healthier people enjoy spices more than than less healthy/sick people.

2.In Indian culture, more than 200 years ago, the spices and condiments were popularly called as herbal remedies (later on renamed as spices and condiments), and were/are used regularly during cooking. Apart from the taste and flavor they impart to food, because of their disease-preventing and health-promoting effects they were exported to and were used in many parts of the world. Many
natural spices and condiments have beneficial effects, like ginger has antiplatelet effects, turmeric has antiseptic properties etc.

It is highly likely that findings of the study (1) are true and the message has tremendous potential for community health and to dispel the misconceptions about natural spices and natural condiments. It is worth noting , these days spices and condiments are highly susceptible for adulteration (particularly in the less-advantaged countries) and of course, the excess of everything is bad.

References:
1.BMJ 2015;351:h 3942
2.http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/8_...

Competing interests: No competing interests

18 August 2015
Neelesh Gupta
Medical Student (Intern)
University College of Medical Sciences & GTB Hospital
Dilshad Garden, New Delhi, India