Do Hot Drinks Cause Cancer?

Hot coffee or tea

There is no conclusive evidence suggesting that hot drinks, such as hot coffee or tea, directly cause cancer.

There has been some research interest in studying the potential association between consuming very hot beverages and an increased risk of certain types of cancer, particularly esophageal cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a part of the World Health Organization (WHO), classified drinking beverages at very high temperatures (hotter than 65°C or 149°F) as “probably carcinogenic to humans” based on limited evidence.

The concern arises from the possibility that regularly consuming very hot drinks might damage the cells lining the esophagus, potentially increasing the risk of developing esophageal cancer over time. However, it’s important to note that this risk seems to be more strongly associated with the temperature of the beverage rather than the type of drink itself.

Many factors contribute to the development of cancer, and it’s often a complex interplay of genetic, lifestyle, environmental, and dietary factors. Moderate consumption of hot drinks at temperatures considered safe for consumption (not excessively hot) is not generally considered a significant risk factor for cancer.

To minimize any potential risk, you can take the following precautions:

  1. Allow hot beverages to cool down to a temperature that is comfortable before drinking.
  2. Be cautious when consuming extremely hot drinks, especially if they cause discomfort when swallowed.
  3. Practice moderation in the consumption of any food or beverage, including hot drinks.

As always, it’s advisable to maintain a balanced and varied diet, follow recommended guidelines for beverage temperatures, and consult with healthcare professionals for personalized advice about your diet and any potential health concerns. Additionally, ongoing research might provide further insights into the relationship between hot beverage consumption and cancer risk.