Hot drinks link to oesophageal cancer

Hot drinks link to oesophageal cancer

Previous studies have found that smokers and drinkers who drink hot tea are more at risk of cancer of the gullet.

According to researchers from Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran, drinking any beverage at 60°C (140°F) on a regular basis can raise the risk of oesophageal cancer by 90%.

"However, according to our report, drinking very hot tea can increase the risk of esophageal cancer", said lead author Farhad Islami, a researcher at the American Cancer Society and study lead author, in a news release.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IRAC), which is part of the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends people drink tea at a temperature of 65 degrees or less, to avoid health risks.

The team from the American Cancer Society found that drinking two mugs worth of hot tea over 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit) almost doubled the risk. As long you're letting your tea cool a bit, or adding cold milk, you're unlikely to be raising your risk.

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During follow-up, 317 new cases of oesophageal cancer were identified. However, until now, there have been no studies which have examined the association using prospectively and objectively measured tea drinking temperature.

A study of more than 50,000 people found those who drank their cuppa at a temperature of 60 C (140 F) were 90% more likely to be struck down. The Royal Society of Chemistry also recommends drinking tea at 60-65 degrees, while Northumbria University found that the flawless drinking temperature of tea - 60 C - is achieved six minutes after preparation. It is usually caused by repeated injury to the esophagus due to smoke, alcohol, acid reflux and - maybe - hot liquids.

Stephen Evans, a professor of pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine who was not involved with the study, theorizes that heat was the factor rather than the nature of the beverage.

Adding milk to your tea or coffee could help to protect you from throat cancer. Men are more at risk than women.

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