Hot tea is a staple beverage in winter time; it can help to keep us warm and soothe sore throats. It can give us that energy boost in the morning or help to relax us in the afternoon. However, a new study suggests that drinking hot tea may have serious negative consequences for some of us.
Across the world, hot tea is a much-loved drink; Euromonitor International estimate that around 2.9 million tons of tea were consumed in 2016 alone.
This comes as no surprise, seeing that teas are tasty and can bring many health benefits, often brought about by the antioxidant effects of compounds such as polyphenols.
However, a recent study from Peking University in Beijing, China, has found that the temperature at which tea is consumed could affect health — particularly in certain groups already at risk of negative health outcomes.
Lead study author Jun Lv, a doctoral student from Peking University’s Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, found that the consumption of hot tea correlates with the onset of esophageal cancer.
According to the World Cancer Research Fund International, esophageal cancer is the eighth most common type of cancer worldwide.
In the United States, there were an estimated 16,940 new cases of esophageal cancer in 2017, while in 2014, approximately 45,547 people had this type of cancer.
According to Lv, drinking hot tea on a regular basis is linked to esophageal cancer in people who also smoke and drink alcohol habitually, thus pointing to a complex favorable conjuncture for the development of this disease.
Lv and colleagues conducted their research as part of the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the National Key Research and Development Program. The study’s findings were published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.