Love drinking piping, hot tea? It may increase risk of oesophageal cancer

Could consuming hot beverages such as tea lead to cancer? The answer is yes if the tea drinkers also drink and smoke.                      KTNV

Those who drank very hot tea (higher than 65 degrees or 149 degrees fahrenheit) as well as drank more than 15 grams of alcohol (the equivalent of a five-ounce glass of wine) and smoked had a five times greater risk of developing oesophageal cancer compared with those who had none of these three habits.

Adding, "Existing evidence remains inconclusive regarding whether hot tea drinking is associated with oesophageal cancer risk".

Researchers at the China National Science Foundation and Beijing University Health Center who published the report in the American Medical Journal "Annals of Internal Medicine", according to Reuters, surveyed more than 456,000 people aged 30 to 79-year-old, of which 1,731 experienced esophageal cancer over a decade.

The researchers also found that people who reported taking their tea burning hot were also more likely to smoke, drink alcohol daily, drink more cups of tea a day, and take stronger tea.

Heavy alcohol drinkers are considered to be those who consume more than 15grams of alcohol per day, while smokers are defined as smoking more than one cigarette per day.

ELSIE HUL  FLICKR
ELSIE HUL FLICKR

The results showed if people who smoked tobacco or drank alcohol, consumed "hot" or "burning hot" tea, it made their risk of cancer even higher.

This is, however, not a breaking news because previous trials have already shown that the main causes of esophageal cancer are smoking and alcohol abuse.

"Of course, keeping away from both tobacco and excessive alcohol use is the most important means for oesophageal cancer prevention". It is often caused by repeated injury to the esophagus because of smoke, alcohol, acid reflux, and possibly hot liquids as suggested by the new study. China is among the countries with the highest rates of esophageal cancer. This might come as a surprise since tea is considered a healthy drink due to the presence of antioxidants such as polyphenols.

However, for those who did smoke and drink, the increase was fivefold. "Despite this study's rigorous design and careful analysis, its results are observational and may still reflect confounding by other factors and chance", the authors write.

People were only asked about tea, alcohol and tobacco consumption at the start of the study. Researchers in China say this is one of the largest studies of its kind. It is also by far, the biggest consumer of tea in the world.




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