Drinking hot tea could double the risk of cancer

It is advisable to wait until the hot beverage has cooled down before drinking

The global study followed the drinking habits of 50,045 people, aged between 40 and 75, in Iran and found 317 new cases of cancer between 2004 and 2017.

The study showed that the risk of esophageal cancer more than doubled among those who regularly drank tea at 75 degrees Celsius.

Drinking 700ml per day of tea at 60C or higher was "consistently associated" with raising the risk of the disease.

Farhad Islami, lead author, said: "Many people enjoy drinking tea, coffee, or other hot beverages".

The team from the American Cancer Society found that drinking two mugs worth of hot tea over 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit) almost doubled the risk.

Doctors have an easy tip on what to do before diving into a steaming cup of tea - let it cool.

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"Our results substantially strengthen the existing evidence supporting an association between hot beverage drinking and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma", said the report.

This is the first study to explore how the temperature of hot tea may cause the condition. The Royal Society of Chemistry also recommends drinking tea at 60-65 degrees, while Northumbria University found that the flawless drinking temperature of tea - 60 C - is achieved six minutes after preparation. Specifically, esophageal cancer is the eighth most common cancer in the world, according to data from the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Other contributing factors to esophageal cancer include smoking and alcohol consumption, says the clinic.

Overall, 317 new cases of esophageal cancer were identified over the course of the study, which was published in the International Journal of Cancer. But Stephen Evans, Professor of Pharmacoepidemiology at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, told the Science Media Centre that it seems the heat is the problem, rather than the specific drink.

Now, what is the exact correlation between hot drinks and this particular type of cancer? Men are more at risk than women.

It is thought the heat may damage the esophagus, creating repeated injuries that lead to cancer in the same way smoke, alcohol, and acid reflux do.

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