|Coffee could protect against some types of cancer, says World Health Organisation NW.V - The Independent (UK)
Drinking coffee regularly may reduce the risk of liver and womb cancer, a new World Health Organisation (WHO) study reveals.
The WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has also reversed a 1991 decision that drinking coffee was linked to bladder cancer.
The change of decision follows a new evaluation of more than 500 studies on the relationship between cancer and drinking different types of hot drinks such as tea, coffee and the popular South American herbal drink, maté.
The IARC team found that coffee drinking had no carcinogenic effects for cancers of the pancreas, female breastand prostate.
For more than 20 other cancers, the evidence was inadequate to enable a conclusion to be made.
National Coffee Association (NCA) president Bill Murray said: "This finding is great news and highly significant for coffee drinkers and confirms evidence from an avalanche of studies by highly respected and independent scientists."
The report did, however, find a link between throat (oesophagael) cancer and drinking very hot drinks.
Dr Christopher Wild, director of IARC, said: "These results suggest that drinking very hot beverages is one probable cause of oesophageal cancer and that it is the temperature, rather than the drinks themselves, that appears to be responsible."
The scientists behind the report advise tea and coffee drinkers to let their preferred hot drink cool down ,especially if they have not added milk.
Dr Rachel Thompson, head of research interpretation at the World Cancer Research Fund, said: "This new research, which shows that drinking very hot drinks can increase the risk of oesophageal cancer, is very interesting.
"Our own research analysis found similar evidence for people drinking the South American herbal tea, mate, scalding hot through a metal straw. It is therefore not surprising that this is seen to be reflected in other beverages that are drunk at very high temperatures. We will be carrying out further research analysis into hot beverages in the future.
"To all the tea lovers out there, these new findings don't mean that you can no longer enjoy hot drinks. It is the very hot temperatures that have been identified as a cancer risk and so, when drinking tea or other hot drinks, just let it cool down for a few minutes especially if you're not adding any milk."
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