Health: Drinking your coffee, tea or cocoa this way increases your risk of cancer

Health: Drinking your coffee, tea or cocoa this way increases your risk of cancer

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How do hot drinks affect the risk of cancer?

Does the temperature of drinks consumed affect the risk of cancer? Researchers have now found that drinking hot tea or coffee almost doubles the risk of developing esophageal cancer.

A recent study by the Tehran University of Medical Sciences found that consuming hot tea or coffee appears to have a massive impact on our risk of developing cancer. The results of the study were published in the English-language journal "International Journal of Cancer".

Allow hot drinks to cool down before consuming

If people drink hot tea (60 ° C or more) on a regular basis, this is associated with a 90 percent increased chance of developing esophageal cancer. To avoid this risk, let the freshly brewed tea cool down for a few minutes before consuming it. Very hot water irritates the lining of the mouth and throat, which can stimulate the development of tumors, the researchers explain. Esophageal cancer is the eight most common cause of cancer worldwide and one of the main causes of cancer death. The tea-based results of the study are also applicable to other hot drinks, including coffee or hot chocolate, the authors explain.

Study had over 50,000 participants

For the study, the drinking habits of 50,045 people between the ages of 40 and 75 who lived in northeastern Iran were examined. From 2004 to 2017, 317 new cases of esophageal cancer were identified. The results found in the study indicate that existing evidence of a connection between the consumption of hot drinks and esophageal cancer actually applies.

Why do hot drinks increase the risk of cancer?

Various mechanisms could explain how drinking hot drinks could lead to cancer of the esophagus. For example, the heat could damage the esophagus, which can lead to inflammation that damages DNA and promotes the production of carcinogens. Esophageal cancer mainly affects people between the ages of 60 and 80. Men are affected more often than women. Symptoms include, for example, difficulty swallowing, persistent indigestion or heartburn, loss of appetite and weight loss.

Tea is traditionally drunk very hot in many countries around the world

The study is the only prospective study in which the actual drinking temperature of the tea was measured by trained personnel. It could be a sensible public health measure to extend these results to all types of beverages and to make a recommendation that hot beverages should generally cool below 60 degrees Celsius before consumption. As early as 2016, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified very hot beverages above 65 ° Celsius as likely to be carcinogenic. In many countries around the world, such as China, Iran and Turkey, tea is traditionally drunk extremely hot (around 70 ° Celsius).

These factors affect your risk of cancer

As long as you let your tea cool a little before drinking or adding some cold milk, your risk of cancer is unlikely to increase. If you also keep a healthy weight, consume little alcohol and don't smoke, this will significantly reduce your risk of developing cancer. Previous research has shown that you should wait at least four minutes before drinking a cup of freshly brewed tea. (as)

Author and source information

Video: Study: Hot tea hikes risk of esophageal cancer (August 2022).