Who says hot beverages can cause cancer

You walk into a restaurant and you demand your food to be piping hot. You sit at a cafe and insist you want a steaming hot cup of coffee. Did you know that too hot isn’t actually good for you?It may turn out quite a damper for many people who just love to drink the hottest cup of coffee on a cold winter morning, but before you do, take a moment to read this as what you’re doing could be bad for you.


A new study initiated by WHO (World Health Organization) has just found that drinking beverages piping hot may not only burn your throat, but increase the risk of cancer. Yes! You read it correctly, hot beverages can cause cancer.

1 Hot Drinks Classified As Carcinogenic By WHO

An investigation by the WHO found that drinking too hot beverages like tea or coffee may increase cancer risk, because hot beverages have now been classified as carcinogenic. The risk is enhanced when the beverage is drunk at temperatures at 65 degrees Celsius, which has the potential to cause esophageal cancer. The study completed for WHO by the IARC (International Research on Cancer) was published in The Lancet Oncology.


Alarming as it may sound, why would your favorite hot cup of coffee give you cancer? Well, read on to find out.

Hot Drinks Classified As Carcinogenic By WHO

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2 Wait For Your Coffee to Cool Down

The problem arises when coffee or tea is served at temperatures between 60 to 70 degrees C. This can cause burns to the throat and esophagus. It is the scalding that damages skin cells whose condition then triggers the disease and put you at risk of cancer. The association is the same between Alcoholic drinks and esophageal cancer.According to Nutritionist Adriana Salmon of the MD Anderson Cancer Center of Texas University, those who love their coffee and tea should wait a few moments for the beverage to cool down a bit before sipping.

The research study was presided over by 23 scientists of the IARC. One of them, Mariana Stern went on to state that it wasn’t easy defining how hot could a beverage be, to cause cancer because the information was still a matter of research. The current common assumption brought about by the study was that injury of the esophageal lining caused by heat was the main factor in causing cancer. Past studies had also found an association between hot drinks and esophageal cancer.

hot coffee can burn your throat

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3 Heat or Scarring Can Trigger External Carcinogens Present In the Body

Stern also stated with better details as to how hot drinks can cause cancer. Humans are living in constant exposure to carcinogens from processed food, environmental pollution, passive smoking, alcohol and oxidative stress. Such factors cause repeated damage to DNA in the body. However, the damage isn’t always pronounced and remains dormant, but when such carcinogens are stimulated by factors such as heat, then such cells are provided with favorable conditions for growth, which then causes cancer.


When esophageal cells get damaged due to hot drinks and the new cells are growing, it is then that carcinogens proliferate into the new cells and induces inflammation and mutation, which then causes tumors.

Heat or Scarring Can Trigger External Carcinogens

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4 Constant Wear And Tear of the Esophagus Is the Main Culprit

Doctor Brant Oelschlager, esophageal surgeon at Washington University offered a similar explanation, saying that when a person is habituated to the constant routine of hot drinks, the routine damages the cells and the regeneration of the esophageal lining can scar the epithelial cells, which then have a high risk of developing cancer as the cells may be open to deformation or incorrect regeneration in the DNA;in other words- mutation.

So what do all those people who love their morning Cuppa do? If hot drinks can cause cancer, do you stop drinking your favorite beverage? Well, you don’t really need to as long as you allow it to cool off a bit. Just don’t drink it too hot so that it burns or scalds your throat.

Girl drinking coffee

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