Detection of Mutagens in the Areca Nut with Two Microbial Assays

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2014-01-15
Authors
Yen, Catherine
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Biology
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
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The areca nut (Areca catechu Linn.) is commonlychewed in India and other eastern countries, and this practice has been associated with an increased incidence of oral cancer. Most known carcinogens are also mutagens, therefore it is probable that areca nuts contain a mutagen. A host-mediated and an in vitro microbial assay were used to screen the areca nut for mutagens. Neither the whole nut nor extracts of it showed any evidence of mutagenic activity. The urine of mice fed the areca likewise gave no indications of mutagenicity. It is possible that the nut does not contain a mutagen, or that a mutagen in the nut is not concentrated enough to detect with the assays used.
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24 pages
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