Drinking Piping Hot Tea May Increase Risk Of Esophageal Cancer

Researchers studied more than 50,000 tea drinkers between the ages of 40 and 75 in the Iranian province Golestan for roughly 10 years. Over that period of time they identified 317 new cases of esophageal cancer

According to the information that was compiled, participants who drank 700ml of tea (or around 24 ounces) per day had a 90% greater chance of having esophageal cancer when the tea was hotter than 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit). If the findings of a latest study are to be believed, drinking piping hot tea may increase risk of esophageal cancer.

The study included information from "objectively measured tea temperatures" above and below 60 degrees Celsius, preference data from those who enjoyed "very hot" versus cold or lukewarm tea, and the amount of time before participants waited to drink their tea after pouring (less than two minutes and more than six minutes).

For the study, over 50,000 people in the Golestan region of Iran were examined over ten years. Over that period of time, they identified 317 new cases of esophageal cancer. This is lower than estimations from the World Health Organization, which considers drinking hot drinks (coffee, tea or others) at températures above 65°C to be a risk factor.

In the US and Europe, hot drinks are typically served at lower temperatures. Each participant was surveyed about their tea-drinking habits, including how often they drank tea.

The author of the report said that tea was not the only risky beverage: coffee and other beverages could cause similar damage. Then, they were given a cup of scalding hot tea and asked to tell researchers when the tea reached their preferred temperature as it cooled down.

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The exact reasons esophageal cancer might be linked to hot drinks aren't entirely clear, Islami said, but there are some potential explanations.

"Esophageal cancer is the sixth most common cause of cancer deaths worldwide", according to the Mayo Clinic.

Esophageal cancer accounts for over 15,000 deaths each year in the US and is more common among men than women. The National Cancer Institute reports about 17,290 Americans were diagnosed with it last year, and only about 19 percent of patients survive 5 years.

They drank almost 24 ounces of tea a day - about three tea cups - and preferred it to be 140 degrees Fahrenheit, said the study. There is also no screening available for the cancer.

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