Hot tea could lead to cancer among heavy drinkers, smokers

Faith Castro
February 7, 2018

In their study of 450,000 people, experts found that having a piping hot beverage was even more carcinogenic to those who smoke and drink alcohol.

While Green Tea has been lauded for its cancer-fighting attributes, the World Health Organization declared that drinks consumed while hotter than 149 degrees increased esophageal cancer in 2016.

For the current study, researchers examined data on 456,155 adults ages 30 to 79 who completed questionnaires about their smoking, alcohol and tea habits.

High-temperature tea drinking combined with either alcohol consumption or smoking was associated with a greater risk of oesophageal cancer than hot tea alone.

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. Meanwhile, daily tea drinkers who consumed hot or burning hot tea and smoked had a 56 percent higher risk of developing esophageal cancer, according to the study.

Now, the Chinese researchers have found that the association between the hot tea drinking and esophageal cancer risk is "dependent on alcohol and tobacco consumption" habits.

This is, however, not a breaking news because previous trials have already shown that the main causes of esophageal cancer are smoking and alcohol abuse.

Many of us enjoy a hot cup of tea, but could we be putting ourselves at risk without knowing it?

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Peter F. Goggi, President of the Tea Association of the United States of America released a statement following the findings, pointing to tea's health benefits, including research suggesting it could actually prevent cancer.

During a median follow-up of 9.2 years, 1731 incident esophageal cancer cases were documented.

Smoking cigarettes and drinking too much alcohol both raise your risk for developing esophageal cancer, which affects the tube connecting the throat to the stomach.

'Most people drink their tea and coffee at a temperature that seems unlikely to cause cancer'.

People were only asked about tea, alcohol and tobacco consumption at the start of the study.

It may be noted that China has a high number of oesophagal cancer patients.

The researchers collected information about tobacco and alcohol consumption at the beginning of the study.

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. Milk or tea first?

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