Summary of Coffee, Maté, and Very Hot Beverages

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In the early 1990s, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified coffee and hot maté as possible carcinogens, substances that can cause cancer in humans. Approximately a quarter of a century later, the agency’s researchers looked at new studies to re-evaluate its former findings. In this Q&A, accompanying a monograph on the subject, the IARC explains why the beverages were classified as possible carcinogens in 1991 and outlines what has changed since that original evaluation. getAbstract recommends these insights to public health professionals and coffee and maté enthusiasts.

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The International Agency for Research on Cancer is the specialized cancer agency of the World Health Organization dedicated to promoting international collaboration in cancer research.



Is drinking coffee or hot maté hazardous to your health? An evaluation of coffee’s and hot maté’s carcinogenic properties in 1991 indicated a possible link between coffee drinking and cancer, and a probable link between cancer and hot maté consumption.

Studies then revealed a possible link between coffee consumption and bladder cancer; however, researchers established the link based on limited evidence. Also, “chance, bias and confounding” factors may have influenced study results. Re-evaluating coffee’s carcinogenic properties...

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