Estimation and Comparison of Copper Content in Raw Areca Nuts and Commercial Areca Nut Products: Implications in Increasing Prevalence of Oral Submucous Fibrosis (OSMF)
Correspondence Address :
Dr. Philips Mathew,
Reader, Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology,
Rajah Muthiah Dental College and Hospital, Annamalai Nagar, Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu-608002, India.
Phone: 919943066231, E-mail: email@example.com
Background: Oral Squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is often preceded by potentially malignant disorders (PMDs) like oral submucous fibrosis (OSMF). The rate of transformation of OSMF to OSCC ranges from 3 to 19%. OSMF is etiologically related to chewing of areca nut (betel nut), a habit prevalent among the population groups in south-east Asia. Along with alkaloids, the high copper content in areca nut plays an important role in the pathogenesis of OSMF. The increased prevalence of OSMF in the last two decades or so corresponds with the increased processing and commercialization of areca nut products.
Aim: The aim of the study was to estimate and compare the copper content of raw areca nuts in three different stages of maturity, and commercial areca nut products.
Materials and Methods: Raw areca nut samples of three different maturities were obtained from four plantations in Sullia, Karnataka, India and commercial areca nut products were obtained from local shops in Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, India. The samples were grounded and subjected to Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (AAS) for copper analysis.
Results: There was statistically significant difference in copper content in raw areca nuts of all three maturities (p<0.05) and was highest in the exfoliated mature nuts. Importantly copper level was significantly higher in the commercial products compared to raw areca nuts of different degrees of maturity (p<0.05).
Conclusions: The copper levels in commercial products are significantly higher than that of raw areca nuts in all three stages of maturity. The increase in copper content on processing and post commercialization can be related to the increasing prevalence of OSMF.
Copper, Areca nut, Oral submucous fibrosis
Financial OR OTHER COMPETING INTERESTS: None.
Date of Submission: Nov 01, 2013
Date of Peer Review: Nov 13, 2013
Date of Acceptance: Dec 15, 2013
Date of Publishing: Jan 12, 2014
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