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Research Journal of Pharmacology
Year: 2007  |  Volume: 1  |  Issue: 4  |  Page No.: 84 - 90

Biochemical Effects of Sub-Chronic Administration of Catha edulis (Khat) Crude Extract in Rats

A. Al-Zubairi, P. Ismail, C. Pei Pei, S.I.A. Wahab and A. Rahmat    

Abstract: The leaves of khat (Catha edulis) are found to have stimulating and pleasurable effects and are chewed habitually by people of East Africa and Arabian Peninsula. Due to the habitual widespread use of khat in many African countries and the Yemen and in order to investigate the effects of khat on various biochemical parameters, the present study was undertaken to evaluate the sub-chronic (13 weeks) administration of crude khat leaves extract in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Three groups were exposed to 0, 1000 and 2000 mg kg 1 body weight/day for 13 consecutive weeks. Fasting plasma levels of Malondialdehyde (MDA) were reduced (p<0.05) in both treatment groups (27 and 29%, respectively) compared to the control group. In contrast, serum values of total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol were shown to be increased (p<0.05) in the 1000 mg kg 1 body weight treatment group. The plasma MDA reducing effect of khat crude extract administration in rats may be attributed to the long term effects of polyphenolic contents of khat leaves, which have been reported to have antioxidant activity. Analysis of serum liver enzymes, uric acid, albumin, total and prostatic ACP and testosterone revealed no changes in the treatment and control groups. These results suggest that the subchronic administration of catha edulis crude extract has no hepatotoxicity and prostate adverse effects in male rats, but may have antioxidant property due to its phenolic compounds.

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