A preliminary study on the effects of Khat (Catha edulis) on liver of mice.
Machocho, Alex K.
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Khat is a psychostimulant and its use is gradually expanding worldwide. Khat is associated with health problems affecting the cardiovascular, respirator, reproductive and gastrointestinal systems. Effects of Khat on liver are not well documented. The study aim was to evaluate Khat extract effects on liver of mice. Khat alkaloids were extracted from fresh Khat shoots and leaves. The Khat extract were administered orally through intubation to seven groups of male albino mice, six weeks old with an average weight of 20-25g. Khat extract was administered in combination of 2ml tea, 2ml water, 2ml milk, 2ml coffee, 2ml coke, 2g patico sweet and 2g groundnut. To each group Khat extract was administered at a dosage of 2000mg/Kg/day. Two other groups were used as a negative and positive control. The negative control group consumed only rodent pellet and water. The positive control group was administered with indomethacin at a dosage of 2mg/Kg/day (as a twice dose per day). Before, during and at the end of the study, animal were monitored for morbidity and mortality. After thirty days of Khat extract oral administration, blood samples were collected from all animals for hematological and biochemical analysis. The biochemical analysis included the liver function tests such as serum aspartate aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase and serum total bilirubin. The histological and cytological studies were done using H & E staining technique. There was an increased level of hepatorenal biochemical markers in all albino mice serum into which Khat extract was administered. The hepatorenal biochemical enzyme markers were more elevated in the positive control groups. The levels of hepatorenal biomarkers were within the normal range in the negative control group. There was a significant different between levels of hepatorenal biochemical enzymes biomarkers at p<0.05. There were signs of adverse effects of Khat on liver of mice.