• Betel quids raise pharma concerns in Bangladesh
    Chewing betel quids could lead Bangladeshi people to need pharma intervention


Betel quids raise pharma concerns in Bangladesh

Feb 08 2011

Pharma firms operating in Bangladesh must contend with relatively high levels of poisons including arsenic and manganese in the groundwater supply, note researchers writing in BMC Public Health.

The team from Leicester's De Montfort University explain that excessive manganese exposure can cause negative health effects similar to those seen in Parkinson's Disease.

However, they have now looked into the possibility of exposure to the element through betel quid chewing, using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry to analyse urinary output.

A betel quid consists of chopped areca nut, calcium hydroxide, flavourings such as tobacco leaves and an outer layer of Piper betel leaves.

Some ten per cent of the world's population chew betel quids on a daily basis, the researchers add.

However, the negative impacts could leave those in Bangladesh requiring pharmaceutical assistance, as they exhibited a 210 per cent increase in manganese concentration in their urine.

BMC Public Health specialises in publishing research pertaining to the epidemiology of disease and its impact on populations in general.

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