How do hot drinks affect the risk of cancer?
Does the temperature of consumed beverages 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 seems 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 before consumption
When people drink hot tea (60 ° C or more) on a regular basis, this is associated with an increased likelihood of developing esophageal cancer by 90 percent. To avoid this risk, we should let the freshly cooked tea cool for a few minutes before we consume it. Very hot water irritates the lining of the mouth and throat, which can stimulate the development of tumors, explain the researchers. Esophageal cancer is the world's top 8 cancer cause and one of the leading causes of cancer death. The tea-based results of the study are also applicable to other hot drinks, including coffee or hot chocolate, explain the authors.
Study had over 50,000 participants
The study looked at the drinking habits of 50,045 people between the ages of 40 and 75 who lived in northeastern Iran. From 2004 until 2017, 317 new cases of esophageal cancer were identified. The results found in the study indicate that existing evidence suggests a link between the consumption of hot drinks and oesophageal cancer.
Why do hot drinks increase cancer risk?
Various mechanisms could explain how drinking hot drinks could lead to cancer in the esophagus. For example, the heat could injure the esophagus, causing inflammation that damages DNA and promotes the production of carcinogens. Esophageal cancer mainly affects people between the ages of 60 and 80 years. Men are more likely to be affected by the disease than women. Symptoms include, for example, dysphagia, persistent indigestion or heartburn, loss of appetite, and weight loss.
In many countries of the world tea is traditionally drunk very hot
The study is the only prospective study to measure the actual drinking temperature of the tea by trained personnel. It could be a sensible public health measure to extend these results to all types of beverages and make a recommendation that hot drinks should generally cool below 60 ° C before consumption. As early as 2016, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified very hot drinks above 65 ° C as likely to be carcinogenic. In many countries of the world, such as China, Iran and Turkey, tea is traditionally drunk extremely hot (about 70 ° Celsius).
These factors influence your cancer risk
As long as you allow your tea to cool down before drinking or adding some cold milk, it is unlikely that your cancer risk will increase. If you also pay attention to a healthy weight, consume little alcohol and do not smoke, this will significantly reduce your risk of cancer. Previous research has already shown that you should wait at least four minutes before drinking a cup of freshly cooked tea. (As)