People who are accustomed to having hot tea and also consuming alcohol excessively and smoking are exposing themselves to the risks of esophageal cancer by about five times reports a study from China.
The study which was published online on Tuesday by the Journal reviewed by peers under the name of Annals of Internal Medicine reviewed the habits of drinking tea of more than 450,000 people between the ages of 30-79 over a period of nine years. The researchers questioned participants about their habits of drinking tea apart from other lifestyle choices in a survey.
What were the findings of the survey?
The survey conducted suggested that the people who were drinking hot or extremely hot tea frequently apart from indulging in excessive alcohol consumption and smoking are exposing their risks of developing esophageal cancer.
Smoking and alcohol have already been identified as the two known causes of this problem. The survey defined excessive smoking as having one or more cigarettes every day. 15 g of pure alcohol was defined as excessive alcohol consumption.
The researchers haven’t been able to come up with conclusive evidence to confirm their findings to claim that a possible link to cancer exists from drinking hot tea. The research was financed by the Chinese Foundation for Natural Science along with the program for Key Research And Development. Both these programs are identified as national in China. China also has the steepest rates of esophageal cancer globally.
The study provides no information about how many of the participants were consuming alcohol excessively or even smoking beyond the limits which are defined as excessive. The only information provided by the study indicates there could be a link between the consumption of hot tea and esophageal cancer without providing the evidence needed to confirm it is indeed a fact.
It is quite possible that the high rates of this condition witnessed in China could be a result of consuming cheap alcohol or adopting other lifestyles which could be increasing the risks.
Esophageal cancer cannot be developed by drinking hot tea
A large number of participants in the survey conducted by China may suggest there could be some truth in the findings that have been reported. However conflicting views have been provided by the president of the Tea Association of the United States by releasing a statement by Peter F Goggi. The statement released by the president also provided research which was conducted to suggest that prevention of cancer was actually possible by having tea.
The Tea Council of the United States reiterated that tea was associated with a number of health benefits rather than having any harmful substances. The risk factors for esophageal cancer appeared to be the consumption of alcohol and the use of tobacco Goggi mentioned in the statement.
Tea had not been identified as a carcinogen by the international agency for research on Cancer which is a part of the WHO along with the national toxicology program. The only information which was provided by the IARC suggested that extremely hot beverages where the temperature could be higher than 149° may potentially cause the problem of esophageal cancer.
Under the circumstances can the study conducted by the national natural science foundation of China be considered as just a smoking gun? Does it give an indication that the Chinese population is falling prey to this condition simply because of excessive consumption of tobacco and cheap alcohol?
The Chinese study cannot be considered as authentic unless they can provide conclusive evidence of why the country has the highest rates of esophageal cancer in the world.
Could the tea Council of the United States be hiding facts?
Tea is a beverage which is consumed throughout the world and the chances of the Chinese being the largest consumers of this beverage cannot be negated. People around the world do not like to drink their tea lukewarm or chilled but in most cases prefer to have it piping hot.
The numbers of people suffering from esophageal cancer in other parts of the world are not as high as China. While the Chinese study provides inconclusive evidence research conducted by the tea association suggests exactly the opposite and states that the beverage could, in fact, prevent cancer.
The Chinese are popular for spreading false propaganda and this could be just another one their smoking guns that didn’t have the right ammunition for the world to take notice.