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Did You Know?: Hot Tea & Esophageal Cancer

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Air date: April 26, 2009


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Did you Know? is presented by Wishard Health Services, becoming Eskenazi Health in 2014.

Hot Tea

Iím Jeremy Shere.

Did you know that hot tea can be too hot?

Now, hot tea with a little lemon and sugar is delicious Ö but tea thatís really hot has been linked to a significant increase in the risk for esophageal cancer.

Thatís according to an Iranian study. Researchers there looked at 300 subjects in the Golestan Province, where people drink a lot of tea, and have uncommonly high rates of esophageal cancer.

The scientists found that people who drank tea hotter than 65 degrees Celsiusóthatís 149 degrees Fahrenheitówere twice as likely to have cancer as those who drank cooler tea. Tea that was ten degrees hotter upped the risk eightfold.

So why might hot tea cause esophageal cancer?

Some studies have found evidence that burning the esophagus can spark cancer. But thatís really just an educated guess. Scientists are still trying to understand possible links between heat and cancer.

Meanwhile, the Iranian study noted that tea along is not the culprit. So itís fine to enjoy a cup of steaming Earl Gray Ė you may just want to it cool a bit before taking the first sip.

And now you know.

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