Hot Tea Linked To Esophageal Cancer In Smokers, Drinkers

Ebony Scott
February 6, 2018

Hot tea promotes esophageal cancer risk, especially in people who are heavy smokers or drinkers, according to the latest research.

Drinking very hot tea increases the risk of oesophageal cancer fivefold if combined with heavy drinking and smoking, according to a new report. Drinking "hot" or "burning hot" tea was not, by itself, a predictor of esophageal cancer, which is good news for tea aficionados.

As most people drink tea or coffee at temperatures around 60 degree Celsius, the chances of getting cancer due to this may not worry them.

Previous research had suggested that "thermal injury" - i.e. burns from drinking hot liquid - could increase the danger from other risk factors, said the researchers.

Those who drank very hot tea (higher than 65 degrees or 149 degrees fahrenheit) as well as drank more than 15 grams of alcohol (the equivalent of a five-ounce glass of wine) and smoked had a five times greater risk of developing oesophageal cancer compared with those who had none of these three habits.

"We found that the association between high-temperature tea consumption and esophageal cancer risk was dependent on alcohol and tobacco consumption", said lead author Jun Lv, a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the Peking University School of Public Health in China, in an email to TIME.

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In 2016, the World Health Organization reported that hot drinks might be a cause of esophageal cancer because the repeated ingestion of hot drinks such as tea or coffee can cause irritation of the esophagus mucosa and, consequently, inflammation of the esophagus, which can cause the development of abnormal cells that can promote esophageal cancer.

At the start of the study, none of the participants had cancer.

People who smoke regularly and drink burning hot tea were also twice as likely to develop the disease. Do you agree? Do you drink your tea or coffee extra hot? During the study, 1,731 people developed esophageal tumors.

However, the absence of both excessive alcohol consumption and smoking, daily tea drinking was not associated with oesophageal cancer risk.

In an editorial Dr Farin Kamangar of the Morgan State University and Dr Neal Freedman of the National Cancer Institute, both in Maryland. said the idea that hot drinks may cause the cancer dates to the 1930s.

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