Can Drinking Hot Coffee Cause Cancer? Study Suggests
Can Drinking Hot Coffee Cause Cancer? Study Suggests.
In 1991, WHO classified coffee drinking as “possibly carcinogenic to humans,” but now it’s classified as “not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans.”
In simpler terms, the research shows coffee drinking isn’t an independent risk factor for developing cancer. But in 2016,
Research shows that Coffee drinkers shouldn’t feel bad if they’re confused whether drinking coffee is good or bad for them. There are hundreds of studies out there that give mixed reviews on the health benefits or detrimental effects of one of the most popular beverages in the world.
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Now, there’s something new to think about while sipping that morning brew.
After reviewing more than 1,000 human and animal studies on coffee, the cancer research arm of the World Health Organization (WHO) has found no conclusive evidence that drinking coffee causes cancer.
But in recent research, a new study suggests that there may be a downside to your morning brew: Researchers found that drinking two or more cups of coffee or tea may increase a person’s risk of lung cancer.
The findings were presented on March 31, here at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.
Of note, the link was even true for nonsmokers. Because people who smoke cigarettes are also more likely to drink coffee and tea, it was difficult in previous studies to disentangle the effects of these drinks from those of smoking, in developing lung cancer, said lead study author Jingjing Zhu, a Ph.D. student at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee.
In the new study, an international group of researchers analyzed data from 17 different studies that included a total of 1.2 million participants in the U.S. and Asia. The studies noted whether participants drank coffee or tea or smoked cigarettes. About half were nonsmokers.
The participants were tracked for an average of 8.6 years. During that time, more than 20,500 participants developed lung cancer.
The researchers found that nonsmokers who drank two or more cups of coffee a day had a 41 percent higher risk of lung cancer than those who didn’t drink coffee. Similarly, nonsmokers who drank two or more cups of tea a day had a 37 percent greater risk of lung cancer than non-tea drinkers. (Because data was taken from multiple studies, the exact definition of a cup varied.)
The study also found that a person’s risk didn’t change significantly between ages, races or the type of coffee people drank — both decaf and caffeinated coffee seemed to be associated with similar risks. In fact, decaf coffee was associated with a 15 percent higher risk than caffeinated coffee, Zhu said.
Still, Zhu noted that “this [was] only an observational study” and didn’t prove cause-and-effect. But the researchers hypothesize that it isn’t caffeine that’s behind the link. Instead, it may be that something in the roasting process is driving the link between coffee and lung cancer risk, Zhu told source.
However, though there’s still much more research needed.
Mixed Results In Studies
The National Cancer Institute cites studies in rodents that show that exposure to acrylamide in drinking water increases the risk for several types of cancer.
People and rodents absorb and metabolize acrylamide at different rates, though, so it is difficult to use the results of animal studies to predict what will happen in people.
Lab tests in rodents also use acrylamide levels many times higher than what you would be exposed to by drinking coffee.
Results from studies in people looking for a link between exposure to acrylamide in the diet and cancer have been mixed.
A 2014 review of previous studies found no consistent link between dietary acrylamide and cancer. The authors caution that these studies may not have accurately estimated how much acrylamide people ingested in their food.
Dr. David Carbone, lung medical oncologist at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, said that people should be cautious about the chemical but within reason.