Tea linked to cancer – but only if you drink it like this

Do you enjoy a good cuppa? And what exactly does “a nice cup of tea” mean to you? With milk

Do you enjoy a good cuppa? And what exactly does “a nice cup of tea” mean to you? With milk or lemon? In a cup or mug? Leaves or bags?

Of course, most people would agree that a good cup of tea has to be hot. But if you like to drink your tear hotter than hades, then you might need to weigh up the pleasure of the scald with the risk of cancer.

While it has long been suspected that there was a link between hot beverages and cancer, it wasn’t until recently that a strong association was made between scalding hot tea and cancer of the oesophagus.

And the hotter the tea, the higher your risk, the ABC reports.

A study in Iran, where people like to drink their tea as hot as humanly possible (up to 80 degrees!), found that regularly drinking very hot tea (over 65 degrees Celsius) was associated with eight times the risk of oesophageal cancer.

Those who drank their tea just hot (60 to 65 degrees) were found to have twice the risk of those who chose to let their tea cool down a little.

Here, where many people add milk, most people are drinking our tea at significantly cooler temperatures.

Professor David Whiteman, head of the Cancer Control Group at QIMR Berghoffer, says it may not be the heat of the beverage that directly causes the cancer, but chronic inflammation caused by the scalding liquid.

“It’s known that heat causes inflammation, and inflammation is a factor that’s involved in many cancers in many organs in the body.”

In regular drinkers of hot tea, “that endless cycle of damage and repair can make the cells unstable and prone to mutation that can set up conditions in which cancers can arise” he said.

Reducing your risk is simple: “Adding milk drops the temp by 5 to 10 degrees immediately… and allowing the tea to sit in the cup for two minutes or so will also take some of that scalding heat out of it and tea can be consumed without causing injury,” said Professor Whiteman.

How do you take your tea? Do you like it hot? 

  1. I only like tea, if it is coffee, can’t stand Tea at all, the taste is like drinking mouldy socks

  2. Every thing gives you cancer in here, soon we will all need to be drip fed with only soluable vitamins and then they will proably give you cancer

  3. I love my tea let it cool in cup a little, always made with high quality leaves and don’t add sugar or milk, might have a slice of lemon sometimes.

  4. Rubbish. Live your life, laugh a lot and love your family!! None of us are getting out of here alive !!

  5. I did drink my tea like this for 20 years so I guess I am in trouble

  6. Omg what next, as an English woman who loves her cups of tea. I drink my tea with bucket loads of milk and enjoy it very much. Us Poms are known for our tea drinking. Something will kill us off in the end and I sure don’t think it will be from me drinking cups of my English Breakfast Tea. 😂😂

  7. You can’t eat Bacon, burnt toast, eggs, and now tea. I am going to continue eating and drinking what I have been for the past 60 odd years and if I’m meant to go I’ll go doing what makes me happy, seriously what next?

  8. No risk of too hot! I always wait for it to cool and usually leave it too long and have to nuke it!

  9. I don’t like it, I only drink coffee and love my coffee machine because I don’t have to leave home to get a great latte.

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