NEW YORK (CNN) – Many people start their day with a cup of tea. Those who drink hot may increase the risk of esophageal cancer, according to a new study.
Researchers found that tea drinkers who liked their drink to be warmer than 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit), consumed more than 700 ml of tea a day – about two large cups – had a 90% higher risk for Esophageal cancer, compared with those who drank less tea and in cooler temperatures.
The study looked at more than 50,000 people in Golestan, a province in northeastern Iran.
"Many people like to drink tea, coffee, or other hot drinks, but drinking very hot tea may, according to our report, increase the risk of esophageal cancer. It is advisable to wait until hot drinks cool down before drinking," said Dr. Farhad Islami of the American Cancer Society and the lead author of the study.
Earlier research has found a link between drinking hot tea and esophageal cancer. This study, published Wednesday in the International Journal of Cancer, was the first to establish a specific temperature, according to the authors.
Esophageal cancer is the eighth most common cancer in the world and is often fatal, with about 400,000 people each killed, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer. It is most often caused by repeated esophageal injury from smoke, alcohol, acid reflux, and possibly hot fluids.
The esophagus is a long tube through which food and fluids are swallowed that enter the stomach.
The American Cancer Research Association estimated that in the year201
The research team tracked 50,045 people between the ages of 40 and 75 years on average for 10 years. Between 2004 and 2017, researchers discovered 317 new cases of esophageal cancer.
The study says more research was needed to find out why drinking very hot tea is associated with the higher risk of esophageal cancer.
Stephen Evans, Professor of Pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said that it was the heat rather than the nature of the drink.
"In fact, it's probably all hot: Microwave jam is known to cause esophagus It is possible that the trauma leads to cell changes and thus to cancer," he told the Science Media Center. Evans was not involved in the study.
In the United States and Europe, tea is rarely consumed at temperatures above 65 degrees Celsius (149 degrees Fahrenheit) – so hot or even hot tea is consumed in areas such as Russia, Iran, Turkey, and South America.
"When you go to the Middle East or to Russia, they drink it from a samovar that is constantly under heat," said Peter Goggi, president of the Tea Association of the United States, CNN last year. "It's very, very hot."
Dr. James Doidge, senior research associate at University College London, said hot drinks are an established risk factor for esophageal cancer.
"It does not take a scientist to realize that repeated irritation of a body surface increases cancer risk, sunburns give us skin cancer, smoking gives us lung cancer, and many foods and drinks contribute to the risk of gastrointestinal cancer." Doidge, who was not involved in the research, told the Science Media Center.
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