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Drinking Hot Tea Nearly Doubles Risk of Cancer

21 March 2019

People 40 to 75 years old were studied from 2004 to 2008 in northeastern Iran with participants followed up for a median of slightly more than 10 years.

A new study found that people who drink about two teas a day (about 700ml of liquid) warmer than 140 degrees Fahrenheit had about a 90% higher risk for esophageal cancer compared to people who drank less tea at cooler temps, CNN reports.

The American Cancer Society report found drinking two cups of tea at more than 140 degrees nearly doubles your chance of esophageal cancer.

Lead author Dr Farhad Islami, from the American Cancer Society, said: "Many people enjoy drinking tea, coffee, or other hot beverages".

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"As long you're letting your tea cool down a bit before you drink it, or adding cold milk, you're unlikely to be raising your cancer risk".

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has already classified drinking very hot beverages (65 C or higher) as a "probably carcinogenic" and the researchers say this only adds more proof.

Scientists pinpointed it by looking at 50,000 people in Iran, where tea is typically consumed at much higher temperatures than the U.S.

"If you go to the Middle East or to Russian Federation, they drink it out of a samovar that's constantly under heat", said Peter Goggi, president of the Tea Association of the US told CNN past year. The good news, according to Georgina Hill of Cancer Research UK, is that 60 C is "a lot hotter than most cups of tea".

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Previous studies have established a link between hot tea drinking and the disease.

The results could also be extended to coffee, hot chocolate or other hot beverages.

Professor Mel Greaves, from The Institute of Cancer Research, said: "It isn't clear why or how hot liquid has this apparent effect".

"Not smoking, keeping a healthy weight and cutting down on alcohol will do much more to stack the odds in your favour", she added. But those who drink it piping hot could be increasing their risk of esophageal cancer, according to a new study.

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Drinking Hot Tea Nearly Doubles Risk of Cancer