Journal of Gastrointestinal Cancer

, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 334–341 | Cite as

The Impact of Capsaicin Intake on Risk of Developing Gastric Cancers: A Meta-Analysis

  • Noel Pabalan
  • Hamdi Jarjanazi
  • Hilmi Ozcelik
Original Research



Reported associations of capsaicin with gastric cancer development have been conflicting. Here, we examine 10 published articles that explore these associations using 2,452 cases and 3,996 controls.


We used multiple search strategies in MEDLINE through PubMed to seek for suitable articles that had case-control design with gastric cancer as outcome.


The outcomes of our study shows protection (odds ratio [OR] 0.55, P = 0.003) and susceptibility (OR 1.94, P = 0.0004), both significant with low and medium-high intake of capsaicin, respectively, although under relatively heterogeneous conditions (P heterogeneity = <0.0001). Outlier analysis resulted in loss of overall heterogeneity (P = 0.14) without affecting the pooled ORs. Among the subgroups, low intake elicited protection in both Korean (OR 0.37) and Mexican (OR 0.63) populations while high intake rendered these subgroups susceptible (OR 2.96 and OR 1.57, respectively). These subgroup values were highly significant (P = 0.0001–0.01) obtained in heterogeneous conditions (P heterogeneity < 0.0001–0.04). The homogeneous (P heterogeneity = 0.27–0.37) H. pylori (OR 0.60 and 1.69) effects were highly significant (P < 0.001) in the low and medium-high intake analyses, respectively. Given outcomes from the tests of interaction, high capsaicin intake is significantly different from the protection that low consumption offers.


This meta-analysis implies moderation in capsaicin consumption in order to derive its protective benefits.


Gastric cancer Capsaicin intake Case-control H. pylori 



This project has been funded by the Saint Louis University multigrant awarded to Dr. Noel Pabalan. The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF) and Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) grants support Dr. Hilmi Ozcelik. We thank Ofelia Francisco. This paper is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Hilmi Ozcelik, a longtime friend, colleague, and mentor.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Natural Sciences and NursingSaint Louis UniversityBaguio CityPhilippines
  2. 2.Environmental Monitoring and Reporting BranchOntario Ministry of the EnvironmentTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Fred A. Litwin Centre for Cancer Genetics, Samuel Lunenfeld Research InstituteMount Sinai HospitalTorontoCanada

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