Is coffee a cancer risk? WHO says, Probably not, but make sure it isn’t very hot
The World Health Organization research arm has downgraded the classification of coffee as a possible carcinogen saying there is not enough proof to show a link to cancer. Coffee is now in a classification whose cancer risk is “Unclassifiable”.
However, the WHO issued a warning on Wednesday that says liking beverages such as coffee
too hot may increase your risk for Esophageal cancer. A 23 scientist working group stated that drinking beverages hotter than 149 degrees Fahrenheit is “probably carcinogenic to humans”. Until last week, the National Coffee Assn. recommended that hot coffee be served between 180 and 185 degrees Fahrenheit.
The report states clearly that it is temperature that makes an espresso, cappuccino or plain coffee risky — not the coffee itself.
Comment: It would be sensible to be mindful of the temperature of hot beverages and if too hot, let it cool.
The World Health Organization noted that epidemiological evidence connecting beverage temperature and esophageal cancer risk showing that the hotter the beverage consumed, the greater the incidence of esophageal cancer “has strengthened over time.” The group of scientists stated one plausible explanation: that drinking very hot liquids can injure the cells lining the esophagus. That, in turn, might unleash a cascade of biological processes leading to cancer. It was also stated that even at temperatures below 140 Fahrenheit, hot beverages can scald the skin. It stands to reason that very hot beverages might cause a “thermal injury” in the throat that eventually could promote the growth of tumors,
Perhaps the 130 million daily coffee drinkers in the US are feeling vindicated by the report. The expert panel said that coffee may actually reduce the risk of liver and endometrial cancers. They also cleared it of any role in causing cancers of the breast, uterus and prostate.