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Hot tea, combined with heavy smoking and alcohol use, increases cancer risk

07 February 2018, 01:31 | Rodolfo Quinn

Very Hot Tea Can Cause Esophageal Cancer, Especially In Smokers And Alcohol Abusers

Hot tea can increases your risk of esophageal cancer: Study

"The Tea Council of the U.S. 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.

The team found that high-temperature drinking, combined with alcohol consumption raised the risk five times, while smokers who drank hot drinks daily doubled their risk. Even those who don't touch alcohol or cigarettes, but drink hot tea or coffee, could also be at risk, experts warned.

"We found that the association between high-temperature tea consumption and esophageal cancer risk was dependent on alcohol and tobacco consumption", said lead author Jun Lv, a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the Peking University School of Public Health in China, in an email to TIME. The ten-year Chinese study factored in tea drinking. Then researchers followed the people in the study for about nine years to see how many developed esophageal cancer.

A total of 1,731 esophageal cancer cases were documented in the study.

The cancer affects the gullet, the food pipe from the throat to the stomach, mainly in people in their 60s and 70s with men more at risk than women. 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.

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It may be noted that China has a high number of oesophagal cancer patients. The Annals of Internal Medicine researchers said their participants did not measure the exact temperature of tea, but were asked to describe the consumption levels as hot, warm, or burning hot.

As most people drink tea or coffee at temperatures around 60 degree Celsius, the chances of getting cancer due to this may not worry them.

The study was conducted in China and surveyed approximately 500,000 adults over the course of 9 years.

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. Drinking tea is unlikely to be the biggest of their health problems. For the people who find it hard to do so, avoiding burning-tea is the alternative solution.

While the results may sound alarming, researchers say there is an optimal temperature for your drinks. It is better to give up on smoking/drinking.

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