BEIJING, NETRALNEWS.COM - A new study shows that drinking hot tea may increase the risk of esophageal cancer, especially if you are a heavy drinker or smoker.
A new study conducted by scientists in China found that drinking tea heated to over 65 degrees Celcius was associated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer by fivefold when combined with excessive drinking or heavy smoking.
Chinese scientists consider it reasonable, as the burn injuries caused by hot tea to the lining of the throat interferes with the throat's ability to act as a dangerous toxin barrier from alcohol and smoking.
Experts say that while the results may sound alarming, but researchers say you do not have to stop drinking tea every day. This is due to most people drinking hot tea or coffee below 65C, which is unlikely to cause cancer.
This cancer affects the throat, and the passage from the throat to the abdomen, especially in people aged 60s and 70s, with men at higher risk than women.
In the early stages, it usually do not cause symptoms when the tumor is small, but when the symptoms progress, it will be dangerous. This can include difficulty in swallowing, heartburn, loss of appetite and weight loss, or pain in the upper abdomen, chest or back.
Continuous heartburn, smoking, drinking too much in a long time, being overweight or obese and having an unhealthy diet low in fruits and vegetables are known risk factors.
"Tea, one of the most common beverages worldwide, is usually consumed at high temperatures. The available evidence remains inconclusive about whether hot tea is associated with a risk of esophageal cancer. Although some studies have shown the inhibitory effects of tea on tumorigenesis in the gastrointestinal tract, chronic thermal injury to the esophageal mucosa may initiate carcinogenesis,"said lead author Dr Jun Lv at the Peking University Health Sciences Center, as quoted from Daily Mail.
So this study aims to check whether drinking high-temperature tea, along with predetermined alcohol and smoking risk factors, is associated with esophageal cancer risk.
The findings are based on 456,155 Chinese men and women aged 30 to 79 years for an average of 9.2 years.
Tobacco and alcohol consumption, as well as chemical compounds and thermal effects of hot tea, greatly complicate the relationship between drinking tea and cancer risk and from the study found 1731 cases of esophageal cancer.
"This study found evidence of increased risk of esophageal cancer with higher tea temperatures. But additional research is required to confirm our findings, "said Dr. Lv.
The study concludes that the findings suggest that abstinence from hot tea may be beneficial for people who drink excessively or smoke.