Would it surprise you to know that one of the greatest risk factors from drinking coffee, tea – or even hot chocolate – doesn’t come from the TYPE of drink you’re having at all, as I explain in the following short clip:
The Facts Behind the Fuss:
According to a study published in the British Medical Journal, drinking very hot beverages increases your risk of oesophageal cancer by up to 8 times..! Researchers at the University of Tehran, Iran, studied over 300 people in Northern Iran who had the disease and compared lifestyle factors against 500 people from the same region who did not. The region does not have high rates of alcohol consumption or smoking – the two most common risk factors for oesophageal cancers – but the inhabitants are prolific tea drinkers, often downing over a litre of black tea per day!
Researchers concluded, however, that it was not the tea, per se, that caused the problems, but that fact that the tea was HOT.
According to Dr Michael Thun of the American Cancer Society “The problem is not the tea, but the chronic inflammation that results from drinking it hot.”
So how hot is too hot?
Drinking a very hot drink at 70 degrees Celcius (158 degrees F) or above raises your risk by 800%. Tea drunk slightly lower than that only doubles your risk, and hot drinks less than 65 degrees C (149 F) poses little or no risk at all.
Bear in mind that a cup of coffee at 65 degrees is still pretty hot, so don’t think you’re missing out on a heart-warming winter experience by taking the temperature of your drink down just a little bit…
Careful you don’t gulp your hot drink either…. Finishing a cup of tea in less than 2 minutes could increase your risk of oesophageal cancer by up to five times, whereas adopting a more leisurely (and some would say “polite”) pace of four to five minutes, poses little risk of damage – and possibly offending your fellow tea-drinking companions!