"Matè", a popular hot infusion of a herb (Ilex paraguayensis) drunk in large volumes, is a known risk factor for squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus and there is a suspicion that high temperature of boiled water used for the infusion may contribute for carcinogenesis. Methods - We measured the temperature of "matè" infusion drank by a sample of the population at risk for this carcinoma in Taquara, southern Brazil. We interviewed inhabitants for drinking habits and the temperature of the infusion was measured with high precision thermometers. Temperature of the infusion was asked to consumers and their estimate compared to our measurements. We considered 60°C or higher as "hot". Results - In 36 residencies, 107 individuals were drinking "matè". Most individuals drunk it daily (97,2%), and the medium daily volume was 1,265 ml (SD ± 1,132 mL) ranging from 250 to 6,000 mL The measured temperature was 60°C or higher in 72% of residencies with medium of 63.4°C (51-78°C) and median 64.4°C. Conclusion - In this study, "matè" was consumpted in large volumes at high temperature and individuals did not estimate correctly the temperature of infusion. High temperatures of "matè" may contribute to carcinogenesis in this population.
De Barros, S. G. S., Ghisolfi, E. S., Luz, L. P., Barlem, G. G., Vidal, R. M., Wolff, F. H., … Prolla, J. C. (2000). High temperature “matè” infusion drinking in a population at risk for squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus in southern Brazil. Arquivos de Gastroenterologia, 37(1), 25–30. https://doi.org/10.1590/s0004-28032000000100006