How can coffee, tea, or cocoa promote the risk of cancer?


How hot drinks affect the risk of cancer?

Does the temperature of drinks affect the risk of cancer? Researchers have now found that drinking hot tea or coffee almost doubles the risk of developing oesophageal cancer.

A recent study by the Tehran University of Medical Sciences has found that the consumption of hot tea or coffee has a major impact on our risk of developing cancer. The results of the study were published in the English magazine "International Journal of Cancer".

Consuming hot drinks can increase the risk of gastric cancer. (Image: Printemps /

Allow the hot drinks to cool before consumption

When people regularly drink hot tea (60 ° C or more), this is associated with an increased probability of developing oesophageal cancer by 90%. In order to avoid this risk, we must let freshly cooked tea cool down a few minutes before ingesting it. Very hot water irritates the mucous membrane of the mouth and throat, which can stimulate the development of tumors, explains the researchers. Cancer of the esophagus is the world's best cause of cancer and one of the main causes of cancer deaths. Results of a tea-based study also apply to other hot drinks, including coffee or hot chocolate, authors explain.

The study had more than 50,000 participants

The study looked at the drinking habits of 50,045 people between the ages of 40 and 75 who lived in northeastern Iran. From 2004 to 2017, 317 new cases of oesophageal cancer were found. The results of the study showed that existing evidence suggests a link between the consumption of hot drinks and oesophageal cancer.

Why are hot drinks increasing the risk of cancer?

Different mechanisms could explain how drinking hot drinks can cause cancer in the esophagus. For example, fever can damage the esophagus and cause inflammation that damages the DNA and stimulates the formation of carcinogens. Cancer of the esophagus affects mainly people between the ages of 60 and 80 years. Men are more likely to be affected by the disease than women. Symptoms include, for example, dysphagia, persistent digestion or heartburn, loss of appetite, and weight loss.

In many countries of the world tea is traditionally drunk very hot

The study is the only prospective study to measure the actual drinking temperature of tea by trained personnel. It might be advisable to take action in the field of public health in order to extend these results to all types of beverages and to recommend that hot drinks are generally cooled to below 60 ° C before use. As early as 2016, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) identified very hot drinks in excess of 65 ° C as carcinogens. In many countries of the world, such as China, Iran and Turkey, tea is traditionally drunk very hot (about 70 ° C).

These factors affect the risk of cancer

Until you allow your tea to cool before drinking or adding cold milk, the risk of cancer is unlikely to increase. If you also pay attention to healthy weight, enjoy a little alcohol and do not smoke, this will significantly reduce the risk of cancer. Previous research has already shown that you have to wait at least four minutes before drinking a cup of freshly boiled tea. (V)


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