According to the research, this is because scalding water damages the lining of the mouth and throat, increasing the risk of cancer. However, the next time you brew your daily cuppa or any other drink for that matter, you might want to give it some time to cool down, or it might increase your risk of cancer!
The study, which was published Wednesday in the International Journal of Cancer, looked at more than 50,000 people in Golestan, a province in northeastern Iran, where tea is consumed at much higher temperatures than in the U.S. All of them were from north-eastern Iran.
Between 2004 and 2017, 317 new cases of oesophageal cancer were identified within the test group, with the chance of developing the disease far higher for people consuming hot drinks.
In 2016, the World Health Organisation (WHO) had warned of the cancer risk associated with drinks above 65 degrees Celsius. However, until now, there have been no studies which have examined the association using prospectively and objectively measured tea drinking temperature.
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"'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 under 60°C before consumption", he explains.
They found the risk was 90 per cent higher for people drinking at least two cups of tea a day, or 700ml, at 60C or hotter, compared to those drinking lesser amounts of cooler tea.
"However, according to our report, drinking very hot tea can increase the risk of esophageal cancer", said lead author Farhad Islami, a researcher at the American Cancer Society and study lead author, in a news release. Men are more at risk than women.
Dr. James Doidge, senior research associate at University College London, said that hot drinks were an established risk factor for esophageal cancer.