La Trobe
1200146_Cirillo,N_2022.pdf (682.49 kB)

Are There Betel Quid Mixtures Less Harmful Than Others? A Scoping Review of the Association between Different Betel Quid Ingredients and the Risk of Oral Submucous Fibrosis

Download (682.49 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 2022-05-16, 04:56 authored by N Cirillo, PH Duong, WT Er, CTN Do, MEH De Silva, Y Dong, SC Cheong, Elizabeth SariElizabeth Sari, MJ McCullough, P Zhang, SS Prime
Oral submucous fibrosis (OSF) is a potentially malignant condition of the oral cavity characterized by progressive fibrosis of the submucosal tissues. OSF is typically associated with the use of betel quid (BQ), a chewing package made of natural products (e.g., areca nut, betel leaves), with or without smokeless tobacco. BQ ingredients contain pro‐carcinogenic bioactive compounds, but also potentially protective biomolecules, and we have shown recently that the chemical properties of different BQ recipes vary, which may explain the unequal prevalence of OSF and oral cancer in BQ users in different geographical regions. Hence, this scoping review was aimed at evaluating the existing literature regarding different BQ compounds and their association with OSF. The repository of the National Library of Medicine (MEDLINE/PubMed), medRxiv databases, Google scholar, Baidu scholar, CNKI, and EBSCO were used to search for publications that investigated the association between BQ chewing and OSF up to November 2021. The search terminology was constructed using the keywords “betel quid” and “oral submucous fibrosis”, and their associated terms, with the use of Boolean operators. The search was conducted under Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta‐Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA‐ScR) guidelines, together with clear inclusion and exclusion criteria. The review showed that the risk of developing OSF varied between different BQ recipes, and that chewing BQ mixtures containing betel inflorescence (BI) significantly increased the risk of OSF, as did the addition of tobacco. Conversely, the use of betel leaf in the mixture was likely to be protective, which may be due to the presence of polyphenols. Although further research is needed to determine the effect of individual BQ ingredients in the development of OSF, our pilot results provide the scope and rationale for informing future chemopreventive strategies for OSF and oral cancer in BQ chewers.


Publication Date









(p. 664-664)





Rights Statement

© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (