Everyone loves a good cuppa, whether first thing in the morning, at noon or with supper.  However, new research reveals that if you have a preference for scaldingly hot tea, you’re putting yourself at risk of oesophageal cancer.

So how hot is hot?

The new research was conducted in North Iran, a region that worships a “teariffic” hot cuppa – up to 80 degrees Celcius! This population experiences the world’s highest incidence of squamous cell oesophageal cancer, with around 15 people per 100,000 having this type of cancer.

Researchers found regular consumption of very hot tea – more than 65 degrees Celsius – may be associated with an eight-times higher risk of oesophageal cancer, compared to lower temperatures, while regular hot tea drinkers who consume the beverage at a temperature of between 60-65 degrees, were linked with double the risk.

According to Professor David Whiteman, head of the Cancer Control group at QIMR Berghofer, Brisbane, although heat is the factor that increases an individual’s risk of oesophageal cancer, no one really knows why. The most plausible hypothesis involves chronic inflammation due to the regular consumption of scaldingly hot drinks.

“Its known heat causes inflammation, and inflammation is a factor that’s involved in many cancers.”

For regular hot tea drinkers, “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,” Prof Whiteman told the ABC.

Is there a safer way to drink tea?

According to Prof Whiteman, there is a way to minimise the risk of developing oesophageal cancer by “adding milk drops” which reduces the temperature by five-to-10 degrees immediately, and by “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 the tea can be consumed without causing injury”.

To learn more, head to: http://ab.co/1MAp5JO