“Drink more hot water” Chinese scientists shook their heads when they heard it! The latest research, the temperature exceeds 54 degrees can induce esophageal cancer

There was a popular vote abroad, what do you think is the most Chinese behavior? A high-voted answer that has been liked more than 400 times is: drink hot water.

(Image source: Quora)

How much do Chinese people like to drink hot water?

As the so-called “eight glasses of boiled water a day, if you don’t drink it, you are not Chinese”. Whether it is a cold and fever, a headache or a stomachache, or swimming in the mountains and water, quenching thirst and quenching fatigue, as a mature Chinese son and daughter, everyone will hold a steaming thermos cup in their hands.

Hot water seems to be a unique symbol of the Chinese people. With its unique effect of “cure diseases and strengthen the body without diseases”, it is the cheapest The first of the health care products, but also omnipotent than long pants.

(Image source: Internet)

But who would have thought that in the rapidly changing 21st century, the hot water, which is loved by the Chinese people, has actually overturned!

A report published by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in “Lancet Oncology” showed for the first time that hot drinks above 65°C may cause esophageal cancer or throat cancer, which is a class 2A carcinogen (meaning “probably carcinogenic to humans”).

Subsequently, researchers from the American Cancer Society also found that drinking more than 700 ml (about 2 large cups) of hot water with a temperature of more than 60°C per day increases the risk of esophageal cancer by 90%. (God, it’s terrible)

Coincidentally, a study, also led by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, also found that habitually eating hot and fast food compared to moderately warm and slow-chewing food People, the highest risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma increased nearly 4 times!

(Image credit: Lancet Oncology)

Nani? The “hot water plot” deeply embedded in the Chinese people’s bones can actually cause cancer! 1.4 billion Chinese said “I don’t understand”. Although the association between drinking hot water and esophageal cancer has been confirmed in recent years, the molecular mechanism of its induction of esophageal cancer is still an unsolved mystery.

Recently, in a study published in the British Journal of Cancer, the team of Li Zhiyuan of the Chinese Academy of Sciences revealed for the first time the mechanism by which heat stress promotes the occurrence of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, and proposed

strong>Thermal activation temperature is 54°C.

54°C is lower than the dietary temperature in the general population and below the recommended dietary risk temperature for hyperthermia (65°C) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. This research provides a new direction for cancer prevention and treatment.

(Image source: BJC)

Based on years of research on transient receptor potential ion channels (TRP), the research team detected the effect of thermosensitive transient receptor potential vanilloid receptor (TRPV) on human esophageal squamous epithelial cells expression and function.

Unexpectedly, the thermosensitive transient receptor potential vanilloid receptor 2 ( TRPV2) expression was significantly up-regulated. This indicates that the response of TRPV2 to heat stress is likely to be the key to the induction of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.

TRPV2 expression in ESCC cells and non-tumor cells (NE2)

The researchers were ecstatic about the discovery, and they designed a series of experiments to test the conjecture.

First, they briefly and frequently stimulated ESCC cells at a temperature (54°C) capable of activating TRPV2 channels in vitro and in vivo, respectively.

Surprisingly, under heat stimulation in vitro, the proliferation, invasion and promotion of angiogenesis and other malignant cell behaviors of ESCC cells were significantly enhanced; while heat stimulation in vivo significantly promoted the subcutaneous growth of nude mice. Tumor formation and tumor metastasis by tail vein injection.

Schematic illustration of tumor cell invasion in vitro under heat stimulation (54°C)

Schematic illustration of ESCC cells invading lungs in vivo under heat stimulation (54°C)

So, is this high temperature-induced carcinogenesis really mediated by TRPV2?

In order to explore the role of TRPV2 in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, the researchers further used TRPV2 antagonists or CRISPR-Cas9 to knock out the TRPV2 gene in ESCC cells, and re-examined the tumorigenic effect of ESCC. detection.

They were surprised to find that when TRPV2 was inhibited or not expressed, the malignant behaviors of ESCC cells, such as proliferation, invasion and angiogenesis, were significantly attenuated!

Conversely, after TRPV2 was overexpressed in non-tumor cells, thermal stimulation (54°C) or TRPV2 agonists for brief and frequent effects on cells also significantly promoted cell proliferation, It appeared aggressive and formed subcutaneous tumors in nude mice, suggesting that activation of TRPV2 tumorigenic non-tumor cells.

The effect of TRPV2 on ESCC migration (Image source: BJC)

Therefore, the “hub position” of TRPV2 in heat-stimulated carcinogenesis is established. The researchers further revealed the signaling pathway that activates TRPV2 to induce cancer, and found that its role was mainly regulated by the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway. When heat stimulation activates TRPV2, the PI3K pathway is also activated, and the functions of target proteins Akt1 and mTORC1 are upregulated through the downstream signaling protein PDK1.

Heat stimulation is involved in the signaling pathway of TRPV2 in promoting esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (Image source: BJC)

Speaking of this, the molecular mechanism of esophageal cancer caused by “drinking hot water” has been explained clearly. It is believed that drugs for the prevention and treatment of esophageal cancer will eventually emerge as the times require.

This study also reminds us once again that although “drinking hot water” and “eating hot rice” are good for health, the temperature should still be cautious, and “blow” before eating, don’t be too hasty And hurt your esophagus~


[1] Loomis D, Guyton K Z, Grosse Y, et al. Carcinogenicity of drinking coffee, mate, and very hot beverages[J]. Lancet Oncology, 2016, 17(7): 877.

[2]https:https://edition.cnn.com/2019/03/20/health/hot-tea-linked-to-higher-cancer-risk-study-intl /index.html

[3] Masukume, G., Mmbaga, B.T., Dzamalala, C.P., et al., (2022). A very-hot food and beverage thermal exposure index and esophageal cancer risk in Malawi and Tanzania: findings from the ESCCAPE case–control studies. Br J Cancer, DOI: https:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41416-022-01890-8.

[4] Huang, R., Li, S., Tian, ​​C. et al. Thermal stress involved in TRPV2 promotes tumorigenesis through the pathways of HSP70/27 and PI3K/Akt/mTORin esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. Br J Cancer (2022). /10.1038/s41416-022-01896-2.

Writing | Le Yi

Editor | Alaska Treasure