June 19, 2017
My last post about circulation of snake venom in the human body (yikes!) reminded me of a certain chain-mail twaddle that goes around these days: about the supposedly healthy habit of drinking hot tea with your meals instead of cold beverage. It invokes the “great wisdom” of the Ancient Chinese who, it says, pioneered the habit. I’ve seen it thrice in a dozen years, most recently from a “Doctor of Medicine,” no less! The article explains that a hot beverage flushes toxic waste and getters fatty impurities from your blood stream — which cold drinks cannot do.
Therein lies an absurdity. The first time I saw that message, it was forwarded to me by a colleague. I reminded him of the first lessons of biology that we learned in high school: metabolism maintains the body temperature of all mammals at a constant value, which, for humans, is ~37oC (~98oF). No matter how hot or cold the morsel you swallow, it will rapidly adjust to your body temperature as it goes down your gullet to your stomach, is digested, and finally absorbed into your blood stream — unless, of course, you’re already a cadaver (in which case) you can’t swallow anything, hot or cold. So, nothing you eat or drink will raise or lower your core body temperature, much less getter impurities from your blood.