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Dear Matt:

I really like spicy food, but I don't like re-experiencing the spiciness the next day "down there." Could eating spicy food have a lasting damaging effect at my other end?

-- matt, Vienna

Four out of five doctors say hot peppers won't eat you away "down there." And that's an exact quote, by the way. Chilis are a significant part of the cuisines of about a quarter of the world's population. What a dirty trick of nature if the red-hots were slowly eroding chiliheads from the inside out. Capsaicin (chili chemical) stimulates trigeminal (pain) cells. We say "Yow, man!" We continue eating peppers anyway. If we have hemorrhoids, we scream and cry, and continue eating peppers anyway

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