According to World Health Organization’s cancer agency that there is no evidence that drinking coffee causes cancer but it also says that all ‘very hot’ drinks are probably carcinogenic.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) change its mind when they previously rated coffee as “possibly carcinogenic”.
It pointed out in its latest interview that coffee drinking found “no evidence for a carcinogenic effect” and to some studies showing that coffee may reduce risk of developing certain types of cancer.
“(This) does not show taat coffee is certainly safe… but there is less reason for concern today than there was before,” Dana Loomis, deputy head of IARC’s Monograph classification department, told in a news conference.
However, IARC presented other scientific evidence suggested that drinking anything very hot in about 65 degrees Celsius and above including water, coffee, tea and other beverages may cause cancer of the esophagus.
There was an inadequate evidence that coffee was classified as either carcinogenic or not carcinogenic.
Coffee has been previously categorized in its 2B category alongside chloroform, lead and many other substances according to IARC.
The US National Coffee Association welcomed the change made by IARC’s classification as “great news for coffee drinkers”.
The Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee who has six members of the major European coffee companies stated that IARC found no negative relationship between cancer and coffee consumption.
IARC said in its evaluation of very hot drinks, animal studies suggested that carcinogenic effects probably occurred at drinking temperatures of 65 degree Celsius or above.
It was found in some experiments with rats and mice that ‘very hot’ liquids including water could promote the development of tumours.
The agency said studies of hot drinks consumed mainly in South America, tea and other drinks in other countries including China, Iran, Japan and Turkey, found the risk of esophageal cancer with an increase in temperature of drink above 65 degree Celsius.
“These results suggest that drinking very hot beverages is one possible cause of esophageal cancer and that it is the temperature, rather than the drinks themselves, that appears to be responsible,” Christopher Wild,” IARC’s Director said.
Furthermore, David Spiegelhalter, Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk at Britain’s University Cambridge said that he was concerned about the IARC’s review and would create confusion from people.
“Last year the IARC said that bacon is carcinogenic, but it became clear that when eaten in moderation it is not very risky.” David said.
“In the case of very hot drinks, the IARC concludes they are probably hazardous, but can’t say how big the risk might be.”