Effect of chewing betel nut on measurements of salivary progesterone and estradiol

Alejandra Núñez-De La Mora, Robert T. Chatterton, Esnar T. Mateo, Fahmida Jesmin, Gillian R. Bentley*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The measurement of steroids in saliva is both simple and non-invasive and has been widely used in field and clinical-based research. The observance of particular cultural practices by some populations, however, may hamper accurate hormonal analyses. The present study evaluated the effects of one such practice-the chewing of betel nut-on the accurate measurement of salivary progesterone and estradiol. A time series experiment was conducted among Bangladeshi women who are regular users of betel nut. Salivary steroids were analyzed by radioimmunoassay in samples collected prior to and then 30, 60, 120, and 240 min following betel quid use. Results show no significant difference between basal steroid levels and those obtained 60, 120, and 240 min after chewing betel nut. We conclude that with specific collection protocols that take into account time since chewing, salivary steroid analyses can be undertaken in populations among whom the practice of chewing betel nut is endemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-315
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Anthropology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007


  • Areca catechu
  • Betel quid
  • Radioimmunoassay
  • Saliva
  • Steroids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Anthropology

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