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Does Drinking Hot Tea Increase Esophageal Cancer Risk?

07 February 2018

These can include difficulties in swallowing, persistent indigestion or heartburn, bringing up food soon after eating, a loss of appetite and weight loss, or pain in the upper tummy, chest or back. The practice of drinking tea is prevalent in China, where many people consume tea throughout the day as a substitute for plain water. If you only drink hot tea, don't worry.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified consumption of beverages above 65C as "probably carcinogenic to humans".

If you're a frequent smoker or drinker you may want to think twice about consuming hot tea, in order to decrease your risk of developing esophageal cancer, a new study discovered.

Public health researcher Jun Lv and her colleagues in Beijing tracked 456,155 persons between the ages of 30 and 79 years from 10 regions across China between 2004 and 2008.

Cases were identified from cancer and death registries and self-report during follow-up.

The researchers actually stated: "In the absence of both excessive alcohol consumption and smoking, daily tea drinking was not associated with oesophageal cancer risk, regardless of tea temperature".

Lv and team studied the link between drinking tea at very high temperatures and the development of esophageal cancer in the Chinese population; China is not only the number one consumer of tea, but it is also a country with one of the of this type of cancer.

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The research, undertaken by staff at the Peking University Health Science Centre, suggests that very hot tea can damage the cells of the oesophagus.

The participants who had been diagnosed with cancer were excluded along with the ones who had decreased their consumption of alcohol and tea as well as left smoking. However, further research studies are needed to confirm it.

People who drank scalding hot tea, consumed excessive amounts of alcohol and also smoked had more than five times the risk of esophageal cancer than individuals who didn't do any of these things.

The study was published Tuesday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, a peer-reviewed journal.

He said: 'Tea drinkers may be concerned about the implications of this study on their risk for cancer.

Of course, it's not a good idea to repeatedly burn your mouth and throat with hot drinks of any sort, so drinking beverages at a sensible temperature is recommended to avoid injury. "Despite this study's rigorous design and careful analysis, its results are observational and may still reflect confounding by other factors and chance", the authors write.

And people in the United Kingdom may be less likely to drink scalding-hot tea, especially if they add milk.

Does Drinking Hot Tea Increase Esophageal Cancer Risk?