The World Health Organization just poured a slug of good news for coffee fans worldwide. On Wednesday, the WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) announced that 25 years after it declared coffee a possible contributor to bladder cancer, it now finds there is no conclusive proof that coffee is a carcinogen. The IARC looked at more than 1,000 studies on coffee that found no link to cancer, and its about-face puts the United Nations cancer research agency in line with other major cancer research bodies. In recent years, numerous studies have not only shown no clear link between coffee and cancer, but found evidence that coffee may actually protect people from certain types, like liver and uterine cancer, The Wall Street Journal reports.
In its Wednesday report, however, the IARC did say that "very hot" beverages are "probably carcinogenic." Most cups of coffee are served just hot, but the WHO research arm warned about China, Iran, and many countries in South America that drink tea and mate at temperatures above 150-160 degrees Fahrenheit (65-70 degrees C). Americans drink tea, too, but coffee is the country's most-consumed beverage — even more than tap water, according to the National Coffee Association. So, drink away, Americans — just don't scald your esophagus in the process.
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.