I’ve always enjoyed the movie, “Some Like It Hot” with Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, and Marilyn Monroe (and cameos by Joe E. Brown and George Raft). But when it comes to drinking tea, some like it too hot. Especially those who live in the Middle East and China.
And now, a new study links drinking very hot tea to an almost doubled risk of a deadly type of cancer.
Of course, we’ve known about the link between very hot tea and cancer for a long time. In fact, back in the mid-1980s, I worked on a huge, expensive study in Linxian, China with the National Cancer Institute.
People in that part of the world prefer drinking their tea (and plain water) very hot. But we learned that drinking very hot liquids can damage the upper gastrointestinal (GI) system, which contributes to the proliferation of cells and the promotion of cancer.
We even concluded that this cultural preference, combined with rampant deficiencies in key nutrients like B vitamins, puts people in Linxian at a much higher risk of developing upper GI cancers.
Since our work in the 1980s, subsequent studies have re-examined the connection between hot tea and cancer. Most of them relied on inaccurate dietary surveys though, which simply ask people how hot they drink their tea. But how can you expect people to provide those temperatures with any kind of precision? You can’t!
So, in the end, the results were unreliable.
On the other hand, this new study took a far better approach…
New tea study measures objective thresholds
For this new study, researchers from Tehran University of Medical Sciences recruited 50,000 participants, ages 40 to 75, who lived in Golestan, Iran, near the Caspian Sea. In this part of the world, people also enjoy their tea very hot.
At the study’s outset, the researchers served a “test” tea to 50,000 participants at a scalding hot temperature of 167 degrees Fahrenheit (F)/75 degrees Celsius (C). They noted which participants drank it hot at 167°F. They also noted which participants drank the tea at incremental cooler temperatures.
Then, researchers followed the participants for the next 10 years, checking on their health status.
During the follow-up period, there were 317 cases of esophageal cancer. And it turns out, those men and women who initially drank 700 ml (about two mugs) of tea at temperatures higher than 140°F/60°C had a 90 percent higher risk of developing esophageal cancer compared to those who drank it at cooler temperatures. That’s almost double the risk!
In another recent study, researchers linked consuming “hot” or “burning hot” tea with up to a five-fold increased risk of esophageal cancer in the presence of other risk factors.
The World Health Organization (WHO) also recommends avoiding drinking tea or other liquids hotter than 140°F/60°C to avoid increased risk of GI cancer.
But again—exact temperature is difficult to gauge.
Instead, I suggest you just use the Goldilocks rule…
If it feels too hot, it probably is too hot
If your steaming cup of tea feels too hot to touch with your lips or tongue, don’t drink it. In fact, studies show anything hotter than 122°F will feel “too hot.” So, trust your common sense and natural instincts.
Which brings me to another point…
Why drink hot tea at all? Especially since it’s now linked to esophageal cancer. Plus, green and black tea are high in oxalic and tannic acids, which can irritate your GI tract and your kidneys. And that’s not even mentioning the toxic tea bags…
Plus, as I’ve told you before, the benefits of green tea have been tremendously over-hyped. In fact, you’d have to drink up to 16 cups of green tea to get any of the associated health benefits.
In my view, you’re far better off drinking three or four cups of coffee a day. Or, if you don’t like coffee, try a warm herbal infusion. You can make your infusion to suit your taste by steeping freshly ground or sliced ginger, turmeric, lemon, honey, and/or any of your favorite botanicals in warm (not overly hot) water.
Both coffee and herbal infusions offer several more short and long-term benefits than green or black tea. So, go ahead and indulge in one of those drinks instead.
P.S. Want to learn more about my no-nonsense, all-natural secrets for a lifetime of prevention and survival from cancer? My Authentic Anti-Cancer Protocol offers step-by-step advice for you or a loved one. To learn more about it or to enroll today, click here now!
“A prospective study of tea drinking temperature and risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.” International Journal of Cancer, 3/20/2019. doi.org/10.1002/ijc.32220