If you're a frequent smoker or drinker you may want to think twice about consuming hot tea, in order to decrease your risk of developing esophageal cancer, a new study discovered.
According to a study published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, drinking hot tea was associated with esophageal cancer, but only for people who smoke and drank alcohol.
The study said that people who smoke or drink alcohol more than once per day were at a higher risk of developing the cancer.
Excessive alcohol was defined as 15 grams or more of alcohol, a 12- ounce glass of beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine or a 1.5 ounce shot of distilled spirits per day.
Researchers in China say this is one of the largest studies of its kind. Nearly 500,000 people between the ages of 30 and 79 monitored their smoke, alcohol and tea consumption over a nine-month period.
According to the study, participants who drank hot or burning hot tea and consumed an alcohol beverage every day had a 127 percent increased chance of developing esophageal cancer.
Participants who smoked one or more cigarettes a day had a 56 percent risk of developing esophageal cancer, study says.
Researchers found that those who did all three increased their chances of developing esophageal cancer by five times.
Researchers noted that recent medical studies suggested that there's little risk from consuming hot beverages at temperatures below 149 degrees Fahrenheit. The Annals of Internal Medicine researchers said their participants did not measure the exact temperature of tea, but were asked to describe the consumption levels as hot, warm, or burning hot.
The editorial also said that most people drink their tea and coffee at temperatures that aren't likely to cause cancer.
If you're a tea drinker who does not smoke or drink excessively, researchers say you're not at any elevated risk.
The Tea Council of the USA said that the health benefits of tea outweigh the possible risks.