Phew! No evidence coffee causes cancer, group says

Publish date:
Updated on

There's no conclusive evidence that coffee causes cancer.

That's from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (working under the World Health Organization), which Wednesday announced the results of a review meant to look into a possible link.

Coffee had actually been listed as "possibly carcinogenic" back in 1991.

But this group of 23 scientists reviewed more than 1,000 studies about coffee and its effect on humans and animals (including plenty of new research since then), and found there wasn't really evidence to suggest coffee itself increases the risk of cancer.

So you can feel good about that cup of joe in the morning.

Americans alone consume more than 400 million cups of coffee every day, the Huffington Post has reported. The United States though is not in the top 10 when it comes to most amount of coffee consumed per capita.

Very hot coffee – or any drink – could be a problem though

One interesting find however: There's some limited evidence drinking "very hot" beverages (more than 150 degrees Fahrenheit) could increase a person's risk of throat cancer.

A study from 2008 said hot beverages (such as coffee) are usually served at 160-185 degrees, but liquid that hot can cause burns. And the study found people generally preferred the drink around 140 degrees.

Esophageal cancer is the eighth-most common type of cancer in the world, and led to 400,000 deaths in 2012, the World Health Organization says.

The overall results "suggest that drinking very hot beverages is one probable cause of esophageal cancer and that it is the temperature, rather than the drinks themselves, that appears to be responsible," IARC Director Dr. Christopher Wild says in the release.

Next Up