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It is difficult to imagine that such a therapeutic drink as our favorite tea, which is known for its anti-aging and anti-cancerous properties, can contribute to possible development of cancer. But, it is not really about tea itself, it is all about its temperature. According to the results of a recent study published in the British Medical Journal, regular drinking really very hot tea at the temperature above 70C drastically increases the risks of having esophageal cancer. At the same time, the researchers are convinced that drinking hot tea (65-70C) also increases the risk of having esophageal cancer twice. Annually, this type of cancer kills about a half million of people.

The study was initiated by an international group of scientists in Northern Iran, in Golestan province, where the rates of esophageal cancer occurrence is extremely high. 300 residents diagnosed with esophageal cancer and 570 healthy locals were interviewed and asked questions about their tea drinking habits. Overwhelming majority of the participants with cancer (about 98%) reported about their habit of drinking very hot tea in under two minutes. In cooperation with the British, American, Australian, French and Swedish medical specialists, the researchers continued their study and analyzed tea drinking habits of nearly 50,000 Iranian tea lovers. The results proved the fact that there is a strong connection between regular consumption of very hot tea and developing esophageal cancer.

УThese findings are not cause for alarm, however, and they should not reduce public enthusiasm for the time-honored ritual of drinking tea,Ф says David C. Whiteman, PhD, one of the leaders of the research. His colleague, Oliver Childs, a spokesman for Cancer Research UK, commented on the study as the following: “People in the region of northern Iran often drink very hot tea as part of their daily routine. We’re a nation of tea lovers in the UK, but we don’t tend to drink tea at such high temperatures and we usually add milk, which cools it down.” If you do not like adding milk to your tea, in order to avoid negative effects of the hot beverage you should wait for about 3-4 minutes before drinking freshly boiled black, green or herbal tea.

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