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Are Betel Nuts Good For You?

Areca nuts may be both carcinogenic and damaging to the liver.

October 7, 2009 |
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Acknowledgements

Image thanks to artist in doing nothing.

Transcript

A common question I get asked when I tell folks to eat nuts every day is “which nuts count?, in terms of cutting our heart disease risk in half. Basically all nuts count, except chestnuts and coconuts, which really can’t be considered nuts nutritionally. Last year, though, someone asked me about betel nuts—something I had never even heard of. It turns out you can find them in Asian markets and, evidently, they are “tasty.”
Betel nuts. Harmful? Not harmful, but don’t really have the benefits of other nuts? Or betel nuts are nuts like any other—helpful?
It turns out, evidently, the public health community has known for a long time that betel nuts cause cancer, but only recently did we discover they can shut down your kidneys as well.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

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Dr. Michael Greger

Doctor's Note

Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out theother videos on nuts. Also, there are 1,449 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos--please feel free to explore them as well!

For some context, please check out my associated blog post: Soymilk: shake it up!

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/mgreger/ Michael Greger M.D.

    Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out the other videos on nuts. Also, there are 1,449 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them as well!

  • amir

     Dear sir
    I have fat liver , is betel nut good for me to decrease fat of my liver ?

  • suri

    Does betel nut have any nutritional benefits- like reducing hypertension, helping digestions cutting cholestrol?

  • Jonathan Martin Collins

    The title of the video says liver, but the video says kidneys at the end. Which one is it?

  • Willow

    When
    you talk about nuts being healthy and lowering heart disease, why do you subtract chestnuts and coconuts from the others ? I am especially curious about chestnuts. Here are 2 links that talk about the wonderful nutritional benefits of chestnuts: http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/chestnuts.html
    http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-roasted-chestnuts-2283.html
    Thanks for any info.