Study links drinking hot tea with elevated oesophageal cancer risk

Cancer risk: Splash of milk in your tea could cut chance of throat cancer

"A prospective study of tea drinking temperature and risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma" published by the International Journal of Cancer suggested a link between the temperature of tea and development of esophageal cancer in its drinkers.

The bottom line is you can likely keep drinking your tea, coffee, and cocoa without a problem - just keep the heat down.

Drinking two cups of hot tea daily dramatically increases your risk of developing esophageal cancer, according to a new study of more than 50,000 people.

"As long you're letting your tea cool down a bit before you drink it, or adding cold milk, you're unlikely to be raising your cancer risk".

As for the optimum temperature to enjoy tea's flavour, researchers at the University of Northumbria found 60 degrees is best - but anywhere above 45 degrees is fine to enjoy the "sensory experience". In 2016 the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified drinks above 65C as a probable carcinogen. It is usually caused by repeated injury to the esophagus due to smoke, alcohol, acid reflux and - maybe - hot liquids. There were 1.8 cases per 100,000 men and 0.9 cases per 100,000 women in Canada in 2006.

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Stephen Evans, a professor of pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said that it was the heat that was the issue rather than the type of beverage.

According to British National Health Service (NHS), consumption of alcohol, smoking and obesity are among factors that could lead to esophageal cancer.

Traditionally, in Iran - where the study was conducted - and countries such as China, Turkey and South America, tea is often drunk without milk and at a hotter temperature of 70°C.

"If you go to the Middle East or to Russian Federation, they drink it out of a samovar that's constantly under heat", Peter Goggi, president of the Tea Association of the US, told CNN in 2018.

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