Most people enjoy sipping on a piping hot cup of tea. However, a recently conducted study that was published in the International Journal of Cancer throws light on the association between drinking hot tea and the risk of developing esophageal cancer.
“Previous studies have reported an association between hot tea drinking and risk of esophageal cancer, but no study has examined this association using prospectively and objectively measured tea drinking temperature. We examined the association of tea drinking temperature, measured both objectively and subjectively at study baseline, with future risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) in a prospective study”, the study stated.
Researchers, led by Dr Farhad Islami, the strategic director of Cancer Surveillance Research at the American Cancer Society, looked at the data of over 50,000 people in Golestan, a province in northeastern Iran for the purpose of the study. The researchers clinically followed the participants for an average period of 10.1 years, between 2004 and 2017, during which period, 317 people developed esophageal cancer.
To arrive at specific conclusions, as per Medical News, “researchers divided tea temperature into “very hot” – a temperature of over 60°C, and “cold [or] lukewarm,” that is, a temperature that is or falls below 60°C. In their analysis, the researchers also considered a “reported shorter time from pouring tea to drinking” it — that is, on a scale between 2 and 6 minutes’ wait, as well as “reported preference for very hot tea drinking.””
As far as the quantity is concerned, the study found that drinking 700 milliliters (ml) of “very hot” tea per day increased the chances of esophageal cancer by 90 per cent compared to drinking the same amount of cold or lukewarm tea daily.
“Our results substantially strengthen the existing evidence supporting an association between hot beverage drinking and [esophageal cancer risk],” conclude the researchers.
As per the same report, Dr Islami and colleagues continue, “It may thus be a reasonable public-health measure to extrapolate these results to all types of beverages, and to advise the public to wait for beverages to cool to [lower than] 60°C before consumption.”