Major study links very hot tea with higher risk of esophageal cancer

Major study links very hot tea with higher risk of esophageal cancer

The study, published in the International Journal of Cancer, involved 50,045 individuals aged 40 to 75 years.

Hot beverage lovers may now have to think twice before sipping on a cuppa full of a burning coffee or tea, following a new scientific study on the impact of the habit.

The research was conducted between 2004 and 2017 in the northeastern Iran province of Golestan, where drinking very hot black and green tea is common, and where high levels of ESCC have been noted in the past.

"As smoking is a recognised risk factor for oesophageal cancer both mechanisms could play a part, interacting to increase risk in the case of smokers who "like it hot".

A study that looked at more than 50,000 tea drinkers in Iran over more than a decade has found a significant association between drinking very hot tea and being diagnosed with esophageal cancer.

Researchers found drinking 700ml per day of tea at 60C or higher was "consistently associated" with a 90% increased risk of the disease - compared with people who consumed drinks at lower temperatures.

What's more, those who drink their hot drinks at 75°C are as much as 2.4 times more likely to develop the cancer, the research found. In 2016 the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified drinks above 65C as a probable carcinogen. "However, according to our report, drinking very hot tea can increase the risk of esophageal cancer, and it is therefore advisable to wait until hot beverages cool down before drinking", said lead author Dr. Farhad Islami, of the American Cancer Society.

Stephen Evans, a professor of pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said that it was the heat that was the issue rather than the type of beverage.

"If you go to the Middle East or to Russian Federation, they drink it out of a samovar that's constantly under heat", said Peter Goggi, president of the Tea Association of the US told CNN past year.

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