Hot beverages possibly linked to cancer: WHO

Hot beverages possibly linked to cancer: WHOAlthough coffee itself won’t cause cancer, a new study has found that extremely hot beverages can act as carcinogens. The findings come from the World Health Organization where researchers announced that tea and coffee served at normal temperatures do not act carcinogens, but when consumed very hot they may potentially be cancer-causing beverages.

Twenty-five years ago, the WHO classified coffee as a carcinogenic agent, but its risk went down to zero, as research showed it was safe when served at normal temperatures. The new findings suggest that extremely hot beverages could cause cancer of the esophagus.


Researchers came to their conclusion after 23 WHO researchers explored over 1,000 studies on coffee’s link to cancer. The researchers found that coffee was safe to consume and did not increase a person’s risk of cancer. But researchers are wary of its cancer-causing effects if it is extremely hot. Unfortunately, there isn’t a clear definition of what that means. They do suggest that safe consumption temperature is around 65 degrees Celsius (150 degrees Fahrenheit).
But the carcinogenic effects of coffee aren’t about the beverage itself really, but rather its constant scolding to the esophagus. This could potentially lead to tumors, although evidence is still limited.

The WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) director Christopher Wild said, “These results suggest that drinking very hot beverages is one probable cause of oesophagal cancer and that it is the temperature, rather than the drinks themselves, that appears to be responsible.”

There are numerous studies that demonstrate the protective qualities of coffee and its ability to actually prevent many illnesses and diseases. Researchers from the University of Southampton in the U.K. found positive results with liver disease, concluding that “having two cups of coffee a day appears to reduce the chances of developing the disease by 44 percent, based on data from 430,000 individuals spread over nine studies.”

So before you start to panic that your favorite morning beverage may give you cancer, just beware of its temperature in the meantime to protect yourself.

Also, read Bel Marra Health’s article: More Americans are surviving cancer, hit record of 15.5 million.


Author Bio

Emily Lunardo studied medical sociology at York University with a strong focus on the social determinants of health and mental illness. She is a registered Zumba instructor, as well as a Canfit Pro trainer, who teaches fitness classes on a weekly basis. Emily practices healthy habits in her own life as well as helps others with their own personal health goals. Emily joined Bel Marra Health as a health writer in 2013.