Are you in the habit of starting your day with a throat-burning hot tea? If that seems familiar to you, then you need to do something about it immediately, as a new published in the International Journal of Cancer has revealed that people who drink extremely hot tea may be increasing their risk of Oesophageal cancer.
Oesophagus is a long tube through which swallowed food and liquids travel to reach the stomach while Oesophageal cancer is the cancer of the tube that runs from the throat to the stomach.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer said Oesophageal cancer is the eighth most common cancer in the world and is often fatal, killing approximately 400,000 people every year, usually caused by repeated injury to the oesophagus due to smoke, alcohol, acid reflux and maybe hot liquids.
The researchers found that tea drinkers who like their beverage to be warmer than 60 degrees Celsius and consumed more than 700 ml of tea per day had a 90 percent risk of Oesophageal cancer when compared to those who drank less tea and at cooler temperatures.
To arrive at the findings, the study looked at more than 50,000 people in Golestan, a province in northeastern Iran, according to the Cable News Network.
The study’s lead author, Dr Farhad Islami, of the American Cancer Society, said, “Many people enjoy drinking tea, coffee, or other hot beverages. However, according to our report, drinking very hot tea can increase the risk of Oesophageal cancer, and it is, therefore, advisable to wait until hot beverages cool down before drinking.”
Previous researches found a link between hot tea drinking and Oesophageal cancer but the new study is the first to pinpoint a specific temperature, according to the authors.
The American Cancer Society estimates that 13,750 new cases of Oesophageal cancer will be diagnosed in men and 3,900 new cases in women in the United States in 2019.
The researchers followed 50,045 people, aged between 40 and 75, for an average of 10 years between 2004 and 2017. They detected 317 new cases of Oesophageal cancer during the period.
The study authors, however, said more research was needed on why drinking very hot tea could BE associated with the higher risk of Oesophageal cancer.
According to a professor of Pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Stephen Evans, it was the heat that was the issue rather than the type of beverage.
“It is probably anything hot; microwaved jam has been known to cause oesophageal injury. It is possible that the trauma leads to cell changes and hence to cancer,” Evans said.
A Senior Research Associate at the University College London, James Doidge, added that hot drinks were an established risk factor for Oesophageal cancer.