• IASbaba
  • October 21, 2021
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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.

Key takeaways 

  • 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).

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