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Can Intake of Very Hot Drinks Trigger Cancer?

Experts have warned against exposure to UV radiation from the sun, smoking, alcohol consumption and air pollution because they are possible cancer risk factors. There are other cancer-causing agents such as fried foods, red and processed meat, DDT and the human papillomavirus which is linked to cancer of the cervix. Now the World Health Organization has reviewed and investigated a connection between high-temperature beverages like tea, coffee and mate and their potential link to cancer.

Available evidence concludes that drinking very hot beverages of above 1490F (65C) poses a higher risk of esophageal cancer. Conducted research on animals has also hinted that very hot water can increase the risk of this cancer. Studies revealed that temperature scalds the delicate tissues in the esophagus, which damage and trigger more rapid turnover of the cells leading to out-of-control malignant growth. However, there is no adequate evidence to conclude that coffee is a carcinogen as expressed below:

  • Recent quality studies support benefits of coffee in lowering the risk of cancer in certain parts of the body. The IARC has concluded that there is inadequate evidence for the carcinogenicity of coffee drinking.
  • It is found that people who drink coffee seem to have lower rates of certain cancers including endometrial and liver cancers.
  • However, scientists argue that hot beverages directly affect the mouth, throat, esophagus and the stomach, meaning that taking extremely hot coffee may also link to a high risk of esophageal cancer.It is recommended that hot beverages should be taken below 149F to reduce the risk of esophageal cancer. For all coffee drinkers, just don’t drink it too hot.

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