Very Hot Drinks Probably Cause Cancer, According to WHO
Around 25 years ago scientists had labeled coffee as carcinogenic. Today (Thank God) that theory has been overthrown due to a lack of evidence. However, there is a new study performed by a group of 23 scientist which suggests that beverages which are being drank at a temperature at or above 65 degrees C (149 degrees F) might be carcinogenic to humans. (A cup of tea is usually served around 160 and 185 degrees F.)
The IARC’s job is to classify foods, chemicals, and other items into one of five categories: carcinogenic to humans, probably carcinogenic to humans, possibly carcinogenic to humans, not classifiable, and probably not carcinogenic. Things like tanning beds and smoking are in the first category because evidence indicates they definitely cause cancer. Hot beverages are now in the second category because the research linking them to cancer isn’t as strong.
Researchers have 5 categories such as: carcinogenic to humans, probably carcinogenic to humans, possibly carcinogenic to humans, not classifiable, and probably not carcinogenic. The hot beverages are currently in the second one.
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The conclusion of the group was based in part on studies done in countries (such as China, Turkey, and South America) where tea or mate is traditionally drunk extremely hot. The research showed that the risk of cancer “increased with the temperature at which the beverage was drunk,”.
The IARC has also had animal studies which have suggested water hotter than 65 degrees C can promote the growth of tumors.
“Smoking and alcohol drinking are major causes of cancer, particularly in many high-income countries,” Christopher Wild, Director of the IARC, stated. “However, the majority of cases occur in parts of Asia, South America, and East Africa, where regularly drinking very hot beverages is common and where the reasons for the high incidence of this cancer are not as well understood.”
The WHO’s spokesman in Geneva, Gergory Hartl, told Reuters that the new classification was based on limited evidence, and that more research is needed. But in the meantime, the agency is suggesting people avoid sipping anything scalding hot: “We say: be prudent, let hot drinks cool down.”
However, perhaps, there are still not enough evidence to support this theory completely so, stay away from drinking scalding hot beverages until more evidence comes to the surface.