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Chewing Betel nut is commonplace in parts of South and Southeast Asia. Derived from a tree called Areca palm, it is an integral part of cultural and social traditions in many countries. However, there is growing evidence that highlights its harmful effects. 

Causes oral cancer
Research studies have revealed the serious impact of chewing betel nut on oral health, which includes tooth decay, a permanent discolouration of teeth and loss of jaw mobility. Once your gums start to get affected, it can gradually increase the risk of oral cancer. A study published in the American Society for Clinical Nutrition mentions the heightened risk of oral submucous fibrosis in people who consume betel nuts daily.

Slows down the efficacy of medications
Eating betel nut not only affects health but it also slows down the efficacy of any medication. So, if you want to restore and maintain good health, the best you can do is avoid betel nuts. Alarmingly, betel nut addiction has proved hard to get rid of completely. Check in with a doctor to know the best possible way around this problem.

Dangerous when combined with tobacco
For people who like their betel quids with tobacco or have a habit of chewing gutka, the effects might be even worse. The American Food and Drugs Association has revealed that when betel nut is combined with tobacco, the user’s risk of oral cancer, throat cancer, oral submucous fibrosis and breathing problems increases significantly. Not to mention that a combination of two of the most addictive natural compounds can prove to be doubly dangerous for the body.

Leads to pregnancy complications and birth defects
During pregnancy or while breastfeeding, it is best not to have betel nuts in any form. Not only would it hamper your health but also the possibility of the passing of a chemical through the mother’s milk to the baby can jeopardize the infant’s survival.

Causes asthma and other respiratory problems
Excessive chewing of betel nut has a narrowing effect on your airways, which can lead to asthma and emphysema. Betel nut chewing may also worsen asthma attacks. If you want to obviate the risk, it is better to abstain completely from it.

Deteriorates heart health
Regular use of betel nut is damaging for the heart. It can increase your heart rate, which is a common risk factor for heart issues. If you are already suffering from heart-related problems then it is better to eliminate its use completely.

Causes stomach and mouth ulcers
Betel nuts have a scraping and irritating effect on your oral mucosa. It also increases acid secretions in your stomach. Consequently, habitual chewing of betel nut can lead to mouth ulcers and stomach ulcers. You must abstain completely from its consumption in order to avoid the risk of ulcers.

Other side-effects
Betel nuts can have numerous other side-effects, which are equally dangerous for your health. It has also been linked to heart-related problems, metabolic syndrome, chest pain, diarrhea, heart attack, vomiting, increased salivation, abnormal heartbeats, shortness of breath and even coma.

Some of the chemicals in betel nut are highly poisonous, consumption over time can be fatal. So, if you want to live a healthy life, it is time to quit using betel nut.

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