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Please pass the salsa

August 5, 2015

A large observational study of a half-million Chinese found that those who ate the most spicy foods reduced all cause mortality by 14%, as reported in the BMJ (cite). So, yeah, another observational study, plagued additionally by relying on self-reported diet, and confounded by any number of unguessed correlations between diet and other factors other than the covariates examined.

Two positives. First, you have to pay attention to almost any study involving a half million subjects and spanning 3.5 million person-years of medical history. If nothing else, just to wonder how they managed that! Second, spicy food is good. If it helps you live longer, all the better!

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