Drinking cold water after meals causes cancer is a myth!

Feb 20th, 2010 | By puwalani | Category: Health

The article claiming that “drinking cold water after a meal causes cancer” has no evidence as back up and such a connection has not been documented in any reliable cancer health resources.

An e-mail has been circulating around with the article containing the false information with no external references to back up its claims. The article says that, the cold water will solidify the oily stuff that you have just consumed. It will slow down the digestion. Once this “sludge” reacts with the acid; it will break down and be absorbed by the intestine faster than the solid food. It will line the intestine. Very soon, this will turn into fats and lead to cancer. It is best to drink hot soup or warm water after a meal.

Logically the body’s internal temperature which is found in the stomach will bring the contents you take in with meals to a uniform temperature and it is therefore unlikely even ice-cold water to stay cold long enough inside the stomach to actually solidify the oily stuff.

The other fact is that the stomach lining releases enzymes (e.g.:- pepsinogen which gets converted to pepsin within the acidic medium found in the stomach due to secretion of hydrochloric acid) causing chemical digestion of food. In addition to the chemical breakdown of food by the enzymes there is also a mechanical breakdown of food by the muscular contractions of the stomach wall. This breaks down food into smaller parts and also enables better mixing with the enzymes.  This semi-liquid mass is called chyme and it is released in small amounts into the duodenum (first part of the small intestine). It is important noting here that this normally occurs within four hours of eating a meal, but can take six or more hours if your meal has a high fat content.  Thus, even if cold water did solidify oily substances in the stomach contents (highly improbable), the resulting “sludge” would soon be converted into chyme and it would not enter the duodenum more rapidly than any other material.

However there is another concern that cold water can slow digestion. Even if this slowing did occur, it would certainly not fundamentally disrupt digestion in the way described in the message nor would it lead to cancer.

Therefore make sure what you read with your eyes or hear with your ears goes through your brain before you start believing in them!

However if anyone comes through more information on this let us know, so far the news is that it is safe to drink cold water with or after meals and the warning should be disregarded.

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3 Comments to “Drinking cold water after meals causes cancer is a myth!”

  1. Shishir says:

    But the “sludge” sometimes can be dangerous if it is remains in arteries, which may lead to the choking of arteries and increase the risk of heart attack. So please try to avoid cold water after eating oily stuffs.

  2. Hi, You gives good information in your site thanks.

  3. I just sent this post to a bunch of my friends as I concur with most of what you’re saying here and the way you’ve presented it is awesome. : )

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