Very Hot Coffee Causes Cancer – Study

Very Hot Coffee Causes Cancer – Study
Coffees Maria Keays / Flickr CC BY 2.0
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Coffeeholics may need to sip their favorite drinks at a lower temperate, as a study showed that extremely hot drinks, including coffee, may cause cancer.


After WHO earlier issued a warning that coffee might cause cancer, the health agency retracted its earlier statement, saying “very hot” drinks, such as coffee, might cause cancer. WHO retracted its earlier warning after finding out that there’s no conclusive evidence that would link coffee to developing cancer.

Not 100% Risk-Free

Just like WHO, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) also changed its mind on coffee as a carcinogenic agent, or food or chemicals that may cause cancer, Reuters reported. The IARC, however, noted in a recent press briefing that this does not mean coffee is absolutely risk-free.

The agency previously rated coffee under the 2b category of carcinogenic substances. It’s the same category where toxic substances such as chloroform and lead, among others, fall. The only way of lowering such risk is to let extremely hot drinks cool off.

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Let It Cool Off

During the same press briefing, IARC’s Dana Loomis noted that drinks that exceed the 65-degree Celsius mark could potentially cause cancer of the esophagus, a channel that’s part of the alimentary canal that links the mouth and the stomach. The report included drinks such as water, coffee, and any other hot beverages.

“(This) does not show that coffee is certainly safe … but there is less reason for concern today than there was before,” Loomis was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Data from the National Cancer Institute reveals that there are around 36,857 individuals in the U.S. who suffer from cancer of the esophagus as of 2013. The survival rate for esophagus cancer was pegged at 18.4 percent. The estimated death due to esophagus cancer was 15,690 or 2.6 percent of all cancer-related deaths in the United States.

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