Hot tea ups esophageal cancer risk in smokers, drinkers

Tea lovers, your cup of tea could put you at higher risk of developing cancer.

"The Tea Council of the US confidently reiterates that tea is associated with more health benefits than harm - but that alcohol and tobacco appear to remain risk factors for esophageal cancer", Goggi said in a statement.

On the other hand, the individuals who drank hot tea and consumed 15g or more of alcohol every day were five times more likely to suffer from the cancerous condition.

Dr Lv concluded the findings suggest that abstaining from hot tea may be beneficial for persons who drink alcohol excessively or smoke.

There was no increase in oesophageal cancer risk was seen among participants who drank hot tea if they did not also drink more than 15 grams of alcohol daily and did not smoke tobacco.

So the study set out to examine whether high-temperature tea drinking, along with the established risk factors of alcohol consumption and smoking, was associated with oesophageal cancer risk. "Green tea has been shown to be a little more effective in cancer inhibition versus black tea, but black tea has been more effective in cardiovascular health".

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The hypothesis that drinking very hot beverages may cause esophageal cancer has been around since the 1930s, they note. Around 45,547 people in the United States had this type of cancer in 2014, and there were approximately 16,940 new cases of esophageal cancer diagnosed in 2017.

However, a recent study shows that in smokers and alcohol drinkers hot tea can cause esophageal cancer much faster. It is often caused by repeated injury to the esophagus because of smoke, alcohol, acid reflux, and possibly hot liquids as suggested by the new study.

Participants who drank tea on a weekly basis were asked to describe its temperature as "warm", "hot" "or "burning hot". If you drink tea or coffee below 65°C, there's no need to stop your daily fix!

The researchers monitored the health of participants in the study, whose aim is to collect data on the development of chronic diseases - including heart diseases, cancer, and - in China. Tea drinkers, especially Chinese men, are more likely to also smoke and drink alcohol. We don't know if they changed their habits over the course of 9 years of follow-up. It is also by far, the biggest consumer of tea in the world.

For example, for those who drank more than 15g of alcohol a week, there were around 1.2 cancers per 1,000 people per year, rising to 1.7 per 1,000 for those who drank burning hot tea. Researchers say you might want to be careful about what else you do.


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