Part of: Prelims and GS – II – Health
Context A book titled Arecanut has said that arecoline hydrobromide, a major active principle of arecanut, is found to arrest the growth of cancer cells.
- The book has quoted this from a recent study at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, Atlanta, the U.S.
- In a recent study at the Winship Cancer Institute, arecoline hydrobromide is found to arrest the growth of cancer cells.
- It was reported that arecoline hydrobromide inhibited the activity of the enzyme ACAT1 (acetyl-C0A acetyltransferase) which leads to reduction of cancer cell proliferation and tumour growth in mice.
- The antioxidant activity of arecanut might play an active role in repairing DNA damage in cancer cells.
- According to the book, Arecanut in its pure form is not dangerous but has got a plethora of medicinal properties, including curing ulcers, wounds and even cancer.
What is Arecanut?
- The arecanut palm is the source of common chewing nut, popularly known as betel nut or Supari.
- In India it is extensively used by large sections of people and is very much linked with religious practices.
- India is the largest producer of arecanut and largest consumer also.
- Major states cultivating this crop are Karnataka (40%), Kerala (25%), Assam (20%), Tamil Nadu, Meghalaya and West Bengal.
Do you know?
- Arecanut has been allegedly associated with ill-effects of human health. It is regarded as carcinogenic (one which causes cancer).