If you’re a coffee drinker, you’ll be happy to hear that the World Health Organization (WHO) has downgraded coffee as a cancer risk. But make sure you’re not drinking it at excessively high temperatures, as hot beverages are now classified as carcinogens.
Coffee is “Unlikely to Cause” Cancer
WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), composed of 23 scientists from 10 countries, put coffee on its list of possible cancer risks in 1991, when studies revealed a link to bladder cancer. Modern, more sophisticated tests have shown there is no way to prove a definitive connection.
Further review of current studies has led IARC to conclude that coffee most likely does not cause breast cancer, prostate cancer or pancreatic cancer, while risks of liver cancer and endometrial cancer may actually be reduced. Coffee beans contain antioxidants, which are believed to protect against cancer, but increased consumption of caffeine can lead to other health problems, including insomnia and migraines.
Link between Cancer and Excessively Hot Beverages
Studies of hot beverages focused on consumption of mate, a caffeine-rich tea popular in South America. A link was found between mate and esophageal cancer, but the drink is traditionally served at temperatures above 149°F, while in the United States coffee and other hot drinks are served at lower temperatures.
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