Background: Limited data are available on the habitual consumption of spicy foods in relation to IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME (IBS). The traditional Iranian diet contains high amounts of spicy foods, which provides an opportunity to assess consumption of spicy foods in relation to health.Objective: The current study aimed to explore the association between consumption of spicy foods and prevalence of IBS among Iranian adults.Methods: In this cross-sectional study, data from 4763 Iranian adult participants were used. Consumption of spicy foods was estimated using a dietary habits questionnaire that included a question on spicy foods consumption: How frequently do you use spicy foods (pepper, curry, ginger, cinnamon and turmeric) during a week? Participants could respond to the question by choosing one of these choices: “never”, “1-3 times”, “4-6 times”, “7-9 times” or “more than 10 times” per week. A modified Persian version of the Rome III questionnaire was used to determine the prevalence of IBS.Results: IBS was prevalent in 21.7% (18.6% of men and 24.1% of women) of the study population. After controlling for potential confounders including dietary behaviors, those consuming spicy foods ≥10 times/week were 92% more likely to have IBS compared with those who never consumed spicy foods (OR: 1.92; 95% CI: 1.23-3.01, Ptrend<0.01). The association remained significant even after taking lactose intolerance into account (1.85; 1.18-2.90, Ptrend<0.01). Stratified analysis by gender revealed that the association between consumption of spicy foods and IBS was not significant in men; however, a significant association was found among women after taking potential cofounders, including meal regularity and lactose intolerance, into account. Those who consumed spicy foods ≥10 times/week were 103% more likely to have IBS compared with those who never consumed spicy foods (2.03; 1.09-3.77, Ptrend=0.02).Conclusion: Consumption of spicy foods is directly associated with IBS, particularly in women. Further studies, in particular of prospective nature, are required to examine this association in other populations.