Hot drinks linked to oesophageal cancer - study

Scientists have issued a dire new warning that hot drinks dramatically increase the risk of oesophageal cancer. The oesophagus is the long tube connecting your mouth to your stomach.

A new study published in the Journal of Cancer looks at the data of more than 50,000 Iranian people and their risk of this cancer.

It found drinking 700ml of hot tea per day - defined as temperatures over 60degC -  is "consistently associated" with a 90 percent increased chance of getting oesophageal cancer compared to people who drink tea at a lower temperature.

"Many people enjoy drinking tea, coffee, or other hot beverages. But according to our report, drinking very hot tea can increase the risk of oesophageal cancer. It is therefore advisable to wait until hot beverages cool down before drinking," says lead author Dr Farhad Islami.

It's believed that the scalding temperatures can inflame tissue, which could directly affect DNA bases. Alternatively, damage to the oesophagus allows increase exposure to carcinogens.

"This study adds to the evidence that having drinks hotter than 60degC may increase the risk of oesophageal cancer, but most people in the UK don't drink their tea at such high temperatures," Georgina Hill, the health information officer at Cancer Research UK, told The Telegraph.

"As long you're letting your tea cool down a bit before you drink it, or adding cold milk, you're unlikely to be raising your cancer risk.

"Not smoking, keeping a healthy weight and cutting down on alcohol will do much more to stack the odds in your favour."