Drinking Hot Beverages

Drinking Hot Beverages

Drinking very hot beverages increases your risk of developing cancer.

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"Drinking piping hot tea or coffee could 'double your risk of developing tumors in the oesophagus'," reports the Mail Online.

A study of more than 50,000 people in Iran showed that those who drank 700ml (about 2 to 3 mugs) of black tea a day at temperatures of 60C or above were almost twice as likely to go on to get oesophageal cancer during 10 years of follow-up in the study, compared with people who drank tea at lower temperatures.

A link between hot beverages and oesophageal cancer (the long tube that carries food from the throat to the stomach) has been suspected for some time.

A study from last year looking at hot tea drinking in China came to a similar conclusion.

This study is more robust than previous studies, so the findings are more likely to be reliable.

But it's still difficult to be certain of direct cause and effect. Other cancer risk factors could be more common among hot tea drinkers and so influence the link, though the researchers tried to account for this as much as possible.

It's also hard to be sure whether it applies to the UK, as unlike Iran or China, the practice of drinking very hot tea is not commonplace.

The study looked at the type of oesophageal cancer most common in Iran, called squamous cell carcinoma, which usually occurs in the mid to upper oesophagus.

In the UK adenocarcinoma, which occurs in the lower oesophagus, tends to be more common and this may have different causes.

People in the UK may also be less likely than those in Iran to drink scalding tea or coffee, especially if they add cold milk.

Of course, it's not a good idea to repeatedly burn your mouth and throat with hot drinks of any sort, so allowing beverages to cool before drinking them is sensible.

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