During the colder months, after a long day at work, the best way to wind down is settling on the couch with a warm drink. But turns out if you’re a tea drinker, you could be putting yourself at serious risk of cancer.
According to a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, if you’re a smoker and consume alcohol, drinking hot tea can increase your chances of cancer.
Regular smokers consuming just one drink a day were five-times more at risk of esophageal cancer if they also consumed hot tea, mentions the report.
“We found that the association between temperature tea consumption and esophageal cancer risk was dependent on alcohol and tobacco consumption,” says Jun LV, the lead author of the study, speaking to Time.
The research, based out of Peaking University’s School of Public Health in China, analysed more than 450,000 Chinese people aged between 30 and 79. All participants had no signs of cancer. Over a the nine year period in which the study was conducted, 1700 people developed esophageal cancer.
Chinese authors speculate that hot tea may have damaged the lining of the tissue, aggravating the effects of smoking and drinking. Another reason may be that hot tea could constantly irritate the esophagus, causing the inflammatory compounds to arise.
If you don’t smoke or drink, tea can actually help fend of cancer. Check out 4 other foods that help prevent the illness.