- Hot tea, excessive alcohol and smoking may lead to esophageal cancer.
- Tea drinkers who don't smoke or drink alcohol aren't at risk.
- The cluster of hot tea, smoking and drinking is the culprit.
According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the cancer research arm of the World Health Organization, esophageal cancer kills approximately 400,000 people every year. For this particular study, researchers followed 456,155 participants between the ages of 30 and 79 in China. The research was conducted over a period of 10 years and the results were pretty telling. The study result showed that "High-temperature tea drinking combined with either alcohol consumption or smoking was associated with a greater risk for esophageal cancer than hot tea drinking alone."
It further stated, "Compared with participants who drank tea less than weekly and consumed fewer than 15 g of alcohol daily, those who drank burning-hot tea and 15 g or more of alcohol daily had the greatest risk for esophageal cancer." Similar results were observed for heavy smokers who drank burning hot tea. The study basically says that esophageal cancer risks in people who drank hot tea as well as smoked and drank alcohol excessively, was over five times than in those who didn't have any of the three habits.
The study was funded by National Natural Science Foundation of China and National Key Research and Development Program and its limitations include, "Tea consumption was self-reported once, at baseline, leading to potential nondifferential misclassification and attenuation of the association." Talking about the study, lead author Jun Lv, Professor at Peking University in Beijing said, "Drinking hot tea contributed to cancer only when it clustered with smoking and drinking alcohol excessively." This means that you can rest easy and sip on your mandatory morning cup of hot tea, if you don't consume alcohol on a daily basis or smoke excessively.