Your tea temperature in the cup should be comfortable to avoid increased risk of esophageal cancer.
Drinking beverages while their temperature is still very hot is strongly associated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer.
Some studies have shown that green tea may reduce the risk of esophageal cancer but that benefit may be lost with very hot beverage temperatures.
A new study has confirmed that drinking extremely hot green tea increases the risk of esophageal cancer.
Comparing 1520 cases of esophageal cancer and 3879 controls in China, there was a significantly increased risk of cancer as the temperature of the hot tea increased.
But there was no increased risk when it was consumed at normal comfortable temperatures (Wu M, Green tea drinking, high tea temperature and esophageal cancer in high- and low-risk areas of Jiangsu Province, China: a population-based case-control study, International Journal of Cancer, April 2009).
In areas where people have the cultural habit of drinking extremely hot beverages on a regular basis, even to the point of still boiling, the sensitive tissue of the esophagus becomes scalded. This chronically scalded tissue can increase the risk of cancer development.
For safety, always drink your hot beverages at a comfortable temperature.
Make sure you let them cool several minutes in your cup before drinking.
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This page last updated by Sharon Jones.
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