WHO No Longer Thinks Coffee Will Give You Cancer

Unless it's served above 149 degrees
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 15, 2016 8:33 AM CDT
WHO No Longer Thinks Coffee Will Give You Cancer
Drink up!   (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

Celebrate the latest news from the WHO with a cup of joe: The organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer is set to reverse its rating of coffee as "possibly carcinogenic" Wednesday, noting there is "inadequate evidence" linking the beverage to cancers of the bladder, pancreas, and prostate. The WHO labeled coffee as a possible carcinogen—along with chloroform and lead—back in 1991, but recent research hasn't backed up the decision, reports the Verge. In fact, some research suggests coffee may actually reduce the risk of cancers in the liver and uterus, reports the Wall Street Journal, based on the IARC's review of some 1,000 studies.

Mate herbal tea was also found to be safe as long as it doesn't scald your throat. "Very hot" drinks above 149 degrees Fahrenheit, however, likely cause cancer of the esophagus, the IARC says. Several experiments on rodents found "very hot" liquids promoted the development of tumors, reports Reuters. "It is the temperature, rather than the drinks themselves, that appears to be responsible," IARC's director adds, per AFP. Tea is often served at 158 degrees in Iran, China, and South America, per the Verge. But while coffee is best brewed at 195 to 205 degrees, the National Coffee Association says it should only be consumed once it has reached a "comfortable temperature." (More coffee stories.)

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