UPDATE 3-Can coffee cause cancer? Only if it's very hot, says WHO agency

miércoles 15 de junio de 2016 10:48 GYT

(Adds comment from expert in risk communication)

By Kate Kelland, Health and Science Correspondent

LONDON, June 15 (Reuters) - There is no conclusive evidence that drinking coffee causes cancer, the World Health Organization's cancer agency said on Wednesday in a reverse of its previous warning, but it also said all "very hot" drinks are probably carcinogenic.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) had previously rated coffee as "possibly carcinogenic" but has changed its mind.

It now says its latest review found "no conclusive evidence for a carcinogenic effect" of coffee drinking and pointed to some studies showing coffee may actually reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer.

"(This) does not show that coffee is certainly safe ... but there is less reason for concern today than there was before," Dana Loomis, the deputy head of IARC's Monograph classification department told a news conference.

At the same time, however, IARC presented other scientific evidence which suggests that drinking anything very hot - around 65 degrees Celsius or above - including water, coffee, tea and other beverages, probably does cause cancer of the oesophagus.

Lyon-based IARC, which last year prompted headlines worldwide by saying processed meat can cause cancer, reached its conclusions after reviewing more than 1,000 scientific studies in humans and animals. There was inadequate evidence for coffee to be classified as either carcinogenic or not carcinogenic.

IARC had previously put coffee as a "possible carcinogen" in its 2B category alongside chloroform, lead and many other substances.   Continuación...