The UN cancer agency has said drinking very hot drinks such as coffee or tea “probably” causes cancer of the oesophagus, AFP reports.
The agency revealed this on Wednesday, June 15, while lifting suspicion from coffee and the herbal drink mate if consumed at “normal serving temperatures”.
The announcement follows a review of more than 1,000 scientific studies on whether there is a link between coffee and cancer, conducted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
The director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Christopher Wild said: “These results suggest that drinking very hot beverages is one probable cause of oesophageal cancer and that it is the temperature, rather than the drinks themselves, that appears to be responsible”.
Both had been classified as “possibly cancerogenic to humans” since 1991, when the last evaluation was conducted.
Evidence gathered since then suggested that neither drink could be linked to a higher cancer risk, said the agency.
However, there was some evidence that drinking these and other beverages at temperatures above 65 degrees Celsius (150 degrees Fahrenheit) — may cause cancer of the gullet.