Drinking hot tea 'raises the risk of throat cancer'
A new study, published in the British Medical Journal, has revealed that drinking steaming hot tea is actually linked with an eightfold increased risk of cancer of the food tube or the oesophagus.world Updated: Mar 27, 2009 11:52 IST
Relish your tea, for researchers have claimed that sipping scalding tea could raise the risk of developing throat cancer.
A new study, published in the British Medical Journal, has revealed that drinking steaming hot tea is actually linked with an eightfold increased risk of cancer of the food tube or the oesophagus.
According to lead researcher Reza Malekzadeh of the Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran, "Informing the population about the hazards of drinking hot tea may be helpful in reducing the incidence of oesophageal cancer..."
In fact, the researchers came to the conclusion after analysing tea drinking habits of 300 people with throat cancer and 571 people without the disease.
Compared with drinking tea at 65 degrees or less, drinking tea between 65 degrees and 69 degrees was associated with a doubling in the risk of cancer and drinking even hotter tea was linked to an eight fold risk, the study found.
To be specific, people who drank their tea less than two minutes after it was poured had a five times higher risk of the cancer than those who drank it four or more minutes after pouring.
In order to minimise the risk that tea drinkers misjudged how hot their drink was, the researchers tested the temperatures of tea drunk by almost 50,000 people in the area, the British media reported.
And, in an accompanying editorial in the journal, David Whiteman of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research wrote: "These findings are not cause for alarm, however, and they should not reduce public enthusiasm for the time honoured ritual of drinking tea.
"Rather, we should follow the advice of Mrs Beeton, who prescribes a five to 10 minute interval between making and pouring tea, by which time the tea will be sufficiently flavoursome and unlikely to cause thermal injury."
However, the study found no association between the amount of tea consumed and the risk of cancer.
First Published: Mar 27, 2009 11:43 IST