Do We Need to Cool Down on Hot Tea?

Apparently, drinking very hot tea doubles the risk of esophageal cancer. Do you drink very hot beverages?

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Drinking a cup of hot tea every morning is a worldwide morning routine and one we may need to start cutting down on because it could lead to esophageal cancer, according to a new study published on the International Journal of Cancer.

The study focused on 50,045 people aged 40-75 from the northeastern Iranian province of Golestan for a median of 10.1 years between 2004-2017, and 317 new cases of esophageal cancer were found.

“Drinking hot tea is a very common habit worldwide, and earlier studies have pointed to an association between drinking hot beverages and an increased risk of esophageal cancer,” study leader Dr. Farhad Islami of the American Cancer Society (ACS) in Atlanta, Georgia, said by email.

The esophagus is the tube linking the mouth to the stomach where food travels down, and the research found that drinking 700 milliliters (24 ounces) of tea over 60 degrees C (140 F) every day can lead to a 90% higher chance of developing the problem.

It is the sixth most common cause of cancer death worldwide, killing approximately 400,000 people every year, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer. It is typically caused by recurring damage to the esophagus due to smoke, alcohol, acid reflux, and perhaps hot liquids.

According to the American Cancer Society, the risk of developing esophageal cancer is about 1 in 132 in men and 1 in 455 in women, and there are estimated to be 13,750 new cases of it in men and 3,900 in women. And the Society approximates that 20% of those with the cancer can live up to five years from the point of diagnosis.

This also means that the likelihood of getting diagnosed with esophageal cancer varies geographically because some places drink tea cooler than others. Take the U.S. and Europe for example; their tea is usually colder than some areas in Asia. “If you go to the Middle East or to Russia, they drink it out of a samovar that’s constantly under heat,” said Peter Goggi, president of the Tea Association of the USA told CNN last year. “It’s very, very hot.”

But this isn’t the only time researchers have found results leading to this conclusion. Just last year, a study was published that found an association between hot beverages and esophageal cancer. This new report just adds more detail, such as volume and specific temperatures.

Scientists still don’t know the exact reason why hot tea can be so harmful, but it could be as simple as heat being the problem more so than the actual beverage.

“In fact, it is probably anything hot: Microwaved jam has been known to cause esophageal injury. It is possible that the trauma leads to cell changes and hence to cancer,” Stephen Evans, a professor of pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine said.

Other factors that can contribute to a higher risk of acquiring esophageal cancer “include being older than 55, being male, having acid reflux, or eating a diet high in processed meats and low in fruits and vegetables.”

More research needs to be done to understand everything behind the findings fully, but you can read more about the story on CNN.

Here’s how people on the Zip app are weighing in on this all over the country!

Apparently, drinking very hot tea doubles the risk of esophageal cancer. Do you drink very hot beverages?

27% Yes
73% No
26% Yes
74% No
30% Yes
70% No



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