Sean Connery does it. So does Pierce Brosnan, Daniel Craig and Justin Timberlake. We’re talking about tea and today there’s a new study which suggests that drinking hot tea could increase your risk of esophageal cancer.
The researchers discovered that tea drinkers who liked to down their tea at 60 degrees Celsius (140 degree Fahrenheit) or more at a quantity of 700ml per day had a 90 percent higher risk of developing esophageal cancer when compared to those who drank less tea at cooler temperatures. Time to switch over to coffee? Perhaps.
The study from the International Journal of Cancer came to this conclusion by tracking over 50,000 individuals between the ages of 40 and 75 years-old across a decade.
“Many people enjoy drinking tea, coffee, or other hot beverages. However, according to our report, drinking very hot tea can increase the risk of esophageal cancer, and it is therefore advisable to wait until hot beverages cool down before drinking,” explained Dr. Farhad Islami, the study’s author from the American Cancer Society.
The causes of this type of cancer is accelerated due to the repeated injury to the esophagus via smoke, alcohol, acid reflux and now, hot liquids.
This isn’t the first time the link between hot tea and esophageal cancer has been made, but it is the first time that a specific temperature has been identified. The statistics behind this type of cancer aren’t as grim as others but it is still significant as the eighth most common cancer in the world. It’s effects are also significant with the cancer killing around 400,000 people a year with 13,750 estimated new cases reported in men a year, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
Stephen Evans who is a professor of pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine believes that heat is the issue rather than the type of beverage we drink.
“In fact, it is probably anything hot: Microwaved jam has been known to cause esophageal injury. It is possible that the trauma leads to cell changes and hence to cancer,” he told the Science Media Centre.
Now it may seem like common sense not to drink hot tea, but there are those out there who relish the idea of downing a tea as soon as it drops below burning temperature. And for those teetotallers, consider this your warning.