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  1. Chong ZX, Ho WY, Yan P, Alshagga MA
    Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 2020 Apr 01;21(4):881-895.
    PMID: 32334447 DOI: 10.31557/APJCP.2020.21.4.881
    BACKGROUND: Conducting systematic review to evaluate plant use as a risk factor to cancer could be challenging. A systematic and well-balanced method should be applied to accommodate in vivo and in vitro studies to make a final decision. In this article, khat, a recreational plant used in some Arabic and African regions, was employed as an example to systematically determine its relationships to the premalignant and cancerous conditions.

    METHODS: Systematic database search was performed to recruit original human, animal or in vitro studies on khat and cancer. Sixteen studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria and subjected to assessment using Risk of Bias (RoB). Office of Health and Translation (OHAT) approach was used to rate the confidence level in the body of evidence. The evidence was integrated to establish the relationships between khat, premalignant conditions and cancer.

    RESULTS: Seven out of eight studies showed that khat causes premalignant oral lesions with moderate evidence level. Four studies showed that khat causes cancer with low evidence level and another three studies showed that khat has anti-cancer effect with moderate to high evidence level. Only one study suggested that khat is unrelated to cancer.

    CONCLUSION: RoB and OHAT approach are reliable systematic tools to evaluate plant risk to cancer and provide objective and uniform summary regardless of the study type. In conclusion, our pooled analysis did not find a direct relationship between khat and cancer but anti-cancer effect would require to be proofed on human studies.

    Matched MeSH terms: Catha/adverse effects*; Catha/chemistry
  2. Alsalahi A, Alshawsh MA, Mohamed R, Alyousefi NA, Alshagga MA, Shwter AN, et al.
    J Ethnopharmacol, 2016 Jun 20;186:30-43.
    PMID: 27025406 DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2016.03.045
    ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Traditionally, the leaves of Catha edulis Forsskal (Khat) are consumed by the people of Yemen primarily for its recreational effect, and secondarily, for achieving certain tasks. Additionally, Yemeni diabetics chew such leaves in the belief that this can control their elevated blood glucose level.

    AIMS: This review focuses on outlining the findings of studies that have been conducted to display the glycemic effect of Catha edulis, while trying to balance it with findings of the association of its chewing with the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM).

    MATERIALS AND METHODS: The search strategy adopted was based on a comprehensive research in Medline, PubMed, Web of Science, JSTOR, Scopus and Cochrane for articles, proceeding abstracts and theses to identify complete reports written in the English language about the glycemic effect of Catha edulis in humans and animals from 1976 to 2016. In addition, bibliographies were also reviewed to find additional reports not otherwise published. Thirty seven records were identified of which, 25 eligible studies were included in the meta-analysis using blood glucose as an outcome measurement. Studies were divided into four subgroups according to the experimental model, namely; non-diabetic animals, diabetic animals, non-diabetic humans and diabetic humans. The pooled mean difference (MD) of blood glucose between experimental and control were calculated using random effects model of the weighted mean difference of blood glucose with 95% confidence interval (CI). Heterogeneity between studies was tested using I(2) statistic and a value of P<0.05 was considered to indicate statistical significance.

    RESULTS: The scientific reports in the literature prevailed that the glycemic effect of Catha edulis were greatly conflicting with the majority of studies indicating that Catha edulis has a mild hypoglycemic effect. However, the meta-analysis indicted that the overall result showed an insignificant reduction in blood glucose (MD=-9.70, 95% CI: -22.17 to 2.76, P=0.13, with high heterogeneity between subgroups, I(2)=88.2%, P<0.0001). In addition, pooled mean difference of blood glucose of non-diabetic animals, diabetic animals and non-diabetic humans showed an insignificant reduction in blood glucose (MD=-18.55, 95% CI: -39.55 to 2.50, P<0.08, MD=-52.13%, 95% CI: -108.24 to 3.99, P=0.07 and MD=-2.71%, 95% CI: -19.19 to -13.77, P=0.75) respectively. Conversely, a significant elevation in the pooled mean difference of blood glucose in diabetic humans was indicated (MD=67.18, 95% CI: 36.93-97.43, P<0.0001). The conflict shown in the glycemic effect of Catha edulis is thought to be cultivar-related, while demographic and epidemiological reports suggested that chewing Catha edulis might be a predisposing factor contributing to the development of type 2 DM.

    CONCLUSION: It was difficult to draw a meaningful conclusion from both the systematic and the meta-analysis with respect to the glycemic effect of Catha edulis since the meta-analysis results were insignificant with high heterogeneity among subgroups and are greatly conflicting. The variation is most likely due to unadjusted experimental factors or is related to Catha edulis itself, such as the differences in the phytochemical composition. Therefore, it is highly recommended that further studies of the glycemic effect of the cultivar of Catha edulis being studied should come with the identification and quantification of phytochemical content so that a meaningful assessment can be made with regard to its hypoglycemic properties. In addition, well-controlled clinical studies should be conducted to confirm whether or not chewing Catha edulis is associated with the development of type 2 DM, since this would be a source of concern seeing that the plant is widely consumed in certain populations.

    Matched MeSH terms: Catha/chemistry*
  3. Al-Abed AA, Sutan R, Al-Dubai SA, Aljunid SM
    Biomed Res Int, 2014;2014:505474.
    PMID: 24982886 DOI: 10.1155/2014/505474
    Khat chewing is associated with unfavourable health outcomes and family dysfunction. Few studies have addressed the factors associated with khat chewing among Yemeni women. However, the family and husband effects on chewing khat by women have not been addressed. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of khat chewing among Yemeni women and its associated factors, particularly husbands and family factors. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 692 adult Yemeni women in the city of Sana'a in Yemen using structured "face to face" interviews. Mean (±SD) age of women was 27.3 years (±6.10). The prevalence of chewing khat by women was 29.6%. Factors associated with chewing khat among women were chewing khat by husbands (OR = 1.8; 95% CI: 1.26, 2.53), being married (OR = 2.0; 95% CI: 1.20, 3.37), frequent family social gatherings (OR = 1.5; 95% CI: 1.06, 2.10), high family income (OR = 1.57; 95% CI: 1.12, 2.21), larger house (OR = 1.63; 95% CI: 1.16, 2.31), and age of women (OR = 0.64; 95% CI: 0.44, 0.92). It is concluded that khat chewing by women in this study was significantly associated with family factors and with khat chewing by their husbands. Urgent action is needed to control khat chewing particularly among women.
    Matched MeSH terms: Catha*
  4. Alshagga MA, Alshawsh MA, Seyedan A, Alsalahi A, Pan Y, Mohankumar SK, et al.
    Ann Nutr Metab, 2016;69(3-4):200-211.
    PMID: 27871070 DOI: 10.1159/000452895
    BACKGROUND: Khat (Catha edulis) is a plant that is deeply rooted in the cultural life of East African and Southwestern Arabian populations. Prevalent traditional beliefs about khat are that the plant has an effect on appetite and body weight.

    SUMMARY: This review assesses the accumulated evidences on the mutual influence of monoamines, hormones and neuropeptides that are linked to obesity. A few anti-obesity drugs that exert their mechanisms of action through monoamines are briefly discussed to support the notion of monoamines being a critical target of drug discovery for new anti-obesity drugs. Subsequently, the review provides a comprehensive overview of central dopamine and serotonin changes that are associated with the use of khat or its alkaloids. Then, all the studies on khat that describe physical, biochemical and hormonal changes are summarised and discussed in depth.

    CONCLUSION: The reviewed studies provide relatively acceptable evidence that different khat extracts or cathinone produces changes in terms of weight, fat mass, appetite, lipid biochemistry and hormonal levels. These changes are more pronounced at higher doses and long durations of intervention. The most suggested mechanism of these changes is the central action that produces changes in the physiology of dopamine and serotonin. Nonetheless, there are a number of variations in the study design, including species, doses and durations of intervention, which makes it difficult to arrive at a final conclusion about khat regarding obesity, and further studies are necessary in the future to overcome these limitations.

    Matched MeSH terms: Catha*
  5. Aziz HA, Tan YT, Peh KK, Yam MF
    Obes Res Clin Pract, 2010 Oct-Dec;4(4):e247-342.
    PMID: 24345689 DOI: 10.1016/j.orcp.2010.07.001
    Khat (Catha edulis) as well as garlic (Allium sativum) has a potential effect on reducing the lipid contents of blood. However, a mechanism by which garlic or khat reduces plasma lipids has not been fully investigated. This study aimed to investigate the direct action of khat and/or garlic (in vitro). The effects of extracted khat and/or garlic on human blood constituents (cholesterol and triglycerides) and on vegetable oil were investigated. The results showed that aqueous garlic extract was able to form an emulsion with oil but not khat extract. Even though, either khat or garlic extract has slight effect on reducing lipid contents of blood; a higher reduction was obtained when the extracts were added in combination. The mechanism of garlic on reducing lipids could be explained by its emulsifying property, while the mechanism of khat is by lipolysis. In conclusion, the synergistic effect of garlic and khat extracts opened an interesting area for further investigation on their roles in combating cardiovascular and obesity disorders.:
    Matched MeSH terms: Catha
  6. Al-Dubai, Sami A.R., Rampal, Krishna G.
    MyJurnal
    Objective: The objective of the present study was to determine the prevalence and factors contributing to psychological morbidity among doctors in Sana’a city, Yemen. Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted among 442 Yemeni doctors. The (GHQ12) was used as a measure of psychological morbidity. Sources of job stress were determined using a 37-item scale questionnaire. Results: The prevalence of psychological morbidity was 68.1 %. Gender, age range of 30 – 39 years old, chewing Khat, type of residence and income were significantly associated with psychological morbidity (p
    Matched MeSH terms: Catha
  7. Aziz HA, Peh KK, Tan YT
    J Sex Med, 2009 Mar;6(3):682-95.
    PMID: 19143913 DOI: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2008.01157.x
    Khat (Catha edulis) is an evergreen tree/shrub that is thought to affect sexual motivation or libido. Its positive effect on sexual desire is more frequently observed in females than in males and occurs when khat is chewed. Thus, khat's effects on sexual behavior may depend on the release mode of its active constituent.
    Matched MeSH terms: Catha/chemistry*
  8. Al-Alimi A, Taiyeb-Ali T, Jaafar N, Noor Al-hebshi N
    Biomed Res Int, 2015;2015:291305.
    PMID: 26351631 DOI: 10.1155/2015/291305
    AIM: Qat chewing has been reported to induce subgingival microbial shifts suggestive of prebiotic-like properties. The objective here was to assess the effect of qat chewing on a panel of classical and new putative periopathogens in health and periodontitis.
    MATERIALS AND METHODS: 40 qat chewers and 40 nonchewers, equally stratified by periodontal health status, were recruited. Taqman, real-time PCR was used to quantify total bacteria, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Tannerella forsythia, Treponema denticola, Parvimonas micra, Filifactor alocis, Synergistetes, and TM7s in pooled subgingival biofilm samples. Differences in microbial parameters between the study groups were analysed using ordinal regression.
    RESULTS: In health, the qat chewers harboured significantly lower relative counts of P. gingivalis, T. forsythia, Synergistetes, and TM7s after adjustment for multiple comparisons (P ≤ 0.007). At nominal significance level, they also carried lower counts of TM7s and P. micra (P ≤ 0.05). In periodontitis, the chewers had lower counts of all taxa; however, only T. denticola withstood correction for multiple comparisons (P ≤ 0.0063).
    CONCLUSIONS: Qat chewing is associated with lower proportions of periopathogens, particularly in subjects with healthy periodontium, which supports previous reports of its prebiotic-like properties. This potentially beneficial biological effect can be exploited by attempting to isolate the active fraction.
    Matched MeSH terms: Catha/chemistry*
  9. Aziz HA, Peh KK, Tan YT
    Obes Res Clin Pract, 2011 Oct-Dec;5(4):e267-360.
    PMID: 24331133 DOI: 10.1016/j.orcp.2011.03.008
    Obesity is one of the most important problems worldwide. Khat (Catha edulis), an evergreen shrub, is thought to reduce body-weight. Its effect is more prominent when khat leaves are chewed. Thus, anti-obesity effects of khat and its associated side effects may depend on the release rate of its active constituents. The present study aimed to investigate the effect of a selected low dose of dried-khat, extracted, formulated as controlled release delivery systems on the body weight (BW), food intake (FI), cholesterol (CS) and triglyceride (TG) levels in rats. Khat extract (KE) was microencapsulated (KE235) and formulated into a parenteral implant (InjKE235). The effects of KE, KE235 and InjKE235 on BW, FI, CS and TG in rats were investigated. The results showed that microcapsules sustained the khat alkaloid release with T50% 1.58 h for KE235 and 14.41 days for InjKE235. KE and KE235 caused maximum reduction in BW, FI, CS and TG during the first to third weeks but rebound gradually thereafter. On the contrary, InjKE235 exhibited a sustained reduction in BW, FI, CS and TG levels for 2 months. The T50% of KE, KE235 and InjKE235 correlated with the reduction in BW, CS and TG but not with FI. In conclusion, the subcutaneous injection and sustained release rate of khat extract play an important role in enhancing the anti-obesity effect in SD rats.:
    Matched MeSH terms: Catha
  10. Al-Zubairi A, Ismail P, Pei Pei C, Rahmat A
    Environ Toxicol Pharmacol, 2008 May;25(3):298-303.
    PMID: 21783866 DOI: 10.1016/j.etap.2007.10.032
    The aim of this study was to evaluate the genotoxic effects of a crude extract of khat (Catha edulis, Forsk) leaves in rats. Two groups were fed khat crude extract, 1000 and 2000mg/kg body weight, for 90 days and were compared with a control group. The alkaline (pH>13) version of comet assay was used in this study. However, no previous published work has been undertaken and showed the effect of khat on DNA migration in the comet assay. To compare the comet assay results with another genetic endpoint, blood samples were analyzed for chromosomal aberrations. These results showed no DNA damage detected using comet assay in both the khat treated groups, while the results of chromosomal aberrations assay showed a significant increase (P<0.05) in the 2000mg/kg body weight treated group compared to the control group.
    Matched MeSH terms: Catha
  11. Alsalahi A, Abdulla MA, Al-Mamary M, Noordin MI, Abdelwahab SI, Alabsi AM, et al.
    PMID: 23259000 DOI: 10.1155/2012/829401
    Hepato- and nephrotoxicity of Khat consumption (Catha edulis Forskal) have been evoked. Therefore, this study was conducted to evaluate such possible hepatorenal toxicity in female and male Sprague-Dawley rats (SD rats) focusing primarily on liver and kidney. In addition, female and male rats were investigated separately. Accordingly, forty-eight SD-rats (100-120 g) were distributed randomly into four groups of males and female (n = 12). Normal controls (NCs) received distilled water, whereas test groups received 500 mg/kg (low dose (LD)), 1000 mg/kg (medium dose (MD)), or 2000 mg/kg (high dose (HD)) of crude extract of Catha edulis orally for 4 weeks. Then, physical, biochemical, hematological, and histological parameters were analyzed. Results in Khat-fed rats showed hepatic enlargement, abnormal findings in serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) of male and female SD-rats and serum albumin (A) and serum creatinine (Cr) of female as compared to controls. In addition, histopathological abnormalities confirmed hepatic and renal toxicities of Khat that were related to heavy Khat consumption. In summary, Khat could be associated with hepatic hypertrophy and hepatotoxicity in male and female SD-rats and nephrotoxicity only in female SD-rats.
    Matched MeSH terms: Catha
  12. Jaber AAS, Khan AH, Sulaiman SAS
    PMID: 29214026 DOI: 10.1186/s40545-017-0124-8
    Background: Evaluating outcomes after tuberculosis (TB) treatment can help identify the primary reasons for treatment success or failure. However, Yemen has a treatment success rate that remains below the World Health Organization's target. This study aimed to identify factors that were associated with unsuccessful treatment and prolonged treatment (>1 year).

    Method: Newly diagnosed cases of smear-positive pulmonary TB were prospectively followed at two centers (Taiz and Alhodidah, Yemen) between April 2014 and March 2015. Standardized forms were used to obtain information from the patients regarding their socio-demographic and clinical characteristics, treatment duration, and TB-related information. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to identify factors that were associated with unsuccessful treatment and prolonged treatment (>1 year).

    Results: The study included data from 273 cases of newly diagnosed TB, with treatment being successful in 227 cases (83.1%) and unsuccessful in 46 cases (16.9%). Among the 46 patients with unsuccessful treatment, 29 patients (10.6%) stopped treatment, 6 patients (2.2%) transferred to another facility, 6 patients (2.2%) experienced treatment failure, and 5 patients (1.8%) died. The multivariate logistic regression analyses revealed that unsuccessful treatment was associated with female sex, illiterate status, and the presence of comorbidities. Prolonged treatment durations were associated with living in a rural area, smoking, chewing khat, a cough that lasted for >3 weeks at the beginning of treatment, and bilateral cavities during radiography.

    Conclusion: These results confirm that the treatment success rate in Yemen is lower than the World Health Organization's target for smear-positive pulmonary tuberculosis. Targeting the risk factors that we identified may help improve treatment outcomes. Furthermore, it may not be prudent to re-treat patients using first-line TB drugs after an initial treatment failure.

    Matched MeSH terms: Catha
  13. Al-Alimi KR, Razak AAA, Saub R
    Afr Health Sci, 2018 Dec;18(4):1036-1045.
    PMID: 30766570 DOI: 10.4314/ahs.v18i4.25
    Backgrounds: People in Yemen and in East African countries chew khat more than five hours daily.

    Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between khat and occlusal caries progression.

    Methods: A cohort study was carried out among 98 Yemeni khat chewers and 101 non-chewers aged 18-35 years old with early occlusal caries lesions. All participants answered questions on socio-demographic, khat , oral hygiene , sugar intake, and oral health knowledge at baseline. All posterior teeth with an early enamel lesion on occlusal surfaces detected by visual inspection at baseline were also subjected to DIAGNOdent assessment to confirm early lesion (DIAGNOdent reading 13-24). Participants were re-examined after 12 weeks. Caries progression was considered to occur when the DIAGNOdent reading was >25. Data were analyzed using Relative risk, Mann-Whitney U test, a Wilcoxon Signed-Rank test and logistic regression analysis.

    Results: Occlusal caries progression incidence between khat chewers and non-chewers, with the relative risk was 1.68. There was no significant difference in occlusal caries progression on chewing side and non-chewing side among khat chewers. Khat chewing was a statistical predictor for those with low income.

    Conclusion: Khat is a risk factor for occlusion caries progression among low income group.

    Matched MeSH terms: Catha*
  14. Alsalahi A, Alshawsh MA, Chik Z, Mohamed Z
    Exp Anim, 2018 Nov 01;67(4):517-526.
    PMID: 29973470 DOI: 10.1538/expanim.18-0057
    People consume Catha edulis (khat) for its euphoric effect, and type 1 diabetics have claimed that khat could reduce elevated levels of blood sugar. However, khat has been suggested to provoke diabetes mellitus through destruction of pancreatic β-cells. This study investigated the effect of an ethanolic khat extract on pancreatic functions in type 1 diabetes (T1DM)-induced male Sprague-Dawley rats and to assess its in vitro cytotoxicity in rat pancreatic β-cells (RIN-14B). T1DM was induced in a total of 20 rats with a single intraperitoneal injection of 75 mg/kg of streptozotocin. The rats were distributed into four groups (n=5): the diabetic control, 8 IU insulin-treated, 200 mg/kg khat-treated, and 400 mg/kg khat-treated groups. Another 5 rats were included as a nondiabetic control. Body weight, fasting blood sugar, and caloric intake were recorded weekly. Four weeks after treatment, the rats were sacrificed, and blood was collected for insulin, lipid profile, total protein, amylase, and lipase analysis, while pancreases were harvested for histopathology. In vitro, khat exerted moderate cytotoxicity against RIN-14B cells after 24 and 48 h but demonstrated greater inhibition against RIN-14B cells after 72 h. Neither 200 mg/kg nor 400 mg/kg of khat produced any significant reduction in blood sugar; however, 200 mg/kg khat extract provoked more destruction of pancreatic β-cells as compared with the diabetic control. Ultimately, neither 200 mg/kg nor 400 mg/kg of khat extract could produce a hypoglycemic effect in T1DM-induced rats. However, 200 mg/kg of khat caused greater destruction of pancreatic β-cells, implying that khat may cause a direct cytotoxic effect on pancreatic β-cells in vitro.
    Matched MeSH terms: Catha/chemistry*
  15. Al-Abed A. Al-Abed, Rosnah Sutan, Sami A.R. Al - Dubai, Yassin Ibrahim, Syed M. Aljunid
    MyJurnal
    Falls are the most common injury causing death or long term disability particularly among children. This study aimed to identify the risk factors of the unintentional injuries due to falls in children aged less than five years in Yemen. This cross sectional study enrolled a total of 439 children under five years old from the emergency department of 6 hospitals in Sana'a city. Multistage sampling was used to select six hospitals from public and private sectors in Sana'a city. Face to face interviews were conducted by using a structured questionnaire. Simple logistic regression and multiple logistic regression were used in the analysis. The prevalence of falls among children under five years old was 21.2%. In the multivariate analysis, factors associated with falls among children were young mother (aOR= 0.9, 95% CI 0.81-0.91), working of mother (aOR= 4.5 95% CI 2.40-7.65), frequent family social gatherings (aOR= 2.7, 95% CI 1.54-4.61), number of children at home (aOR= 2.6, 95% CI 1.43-4.64), chewing khat by father (aOR= 2.4, 95% CI 1.38-4.10), presence of staircase in the house (aOR= 2.1, 95% CI 1.24-3.70), number of rooms at home (aOR= 2.2, 95% CI 1.17-3.99) and disabled children (aOR= 3.3, 95% CI 1.20-9.27). In the study, socio-economic and cultural factors such as family gathering and chewing khat were associated with home fall injury among children under 5 years old in Yemen. Health promotion program should take place to reduce the occurrence of fall injury.
    Matched MeSH terms: Catha
  16. Al-Shahethi AH, Zaki RA, Al-Serouri AWA, Bulgiba A
    Women Birth, 2018 Jul 17.
    PMID: 30030021 DOI: 10.1016/j.wombi.2018.06.016
    BACKGROUND: Perinatal mortality remains a major international problem responsible for nearly six million stillbirths and neonatal deaths.

    OBJECTIVES: To estimate the perinatal mortality rate in Sana'a, Yemen and to identify risk factors for perinatal deaths.

    METHODS: A community-based prospective cohort study was carried out between 2015 and 2016. Nine-hundred and eighty pregnant women were identified and followed up to 7 days following birth. A multi-stage cluster sampling was used to select participants from community households', residing in the five districts of the Sana'a City, Yemen.

    RESULTS: Total of 952 pregnant women were tracked up to 7 days after giving birth. The perinatal mortality rate, the stillbirth rate and the early neonatal mortality rate, were 89.3 per 1000, 46.2 per 1000 and 45.2 per 1000, respectively. In multivariable analysis older age (35+ years) of mothers at birth (Relative Risk=2.83), teenage mothers' age at first pregnancy (<18 years) (Relative Risk=1.57), primipara mothers (Relative Risk=1.90), multi-nuclear family (Relative Risk=1.74), mud house (Relative Risk=2.02), mothers who underwent female genital mutilation (Relative Risk=2.92) and mothers who chewed khat (Relative Risk=1.60) were factors associated with increased risk of perinatal death, whereas a positive mother's tetanus vaccination status (Relative Risk=0.49) were significant protective factors against perinatal deaths.

    CONCLUSION: Rates of perinatal mortality were higher in Sana'a City compared to perinatal mortality at the national level estimated by World Health Organization. It is imperative there be sustainable interventions in order to improve the country's maternal and newborn health.

    Matched MeSH terms: Catha
  17. Alshagga MA, Mohamed Z, Seyedan A, Ebling FJP, Alshawsh MA
    J Ethnopharmacol, 2020 Nov 15;262:113187.
    PMID: 32730892 DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2020.113187
    ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Khat (Catha edulis (Vahl) Forssk.) is a herb from the Celastraceae family (also known as qat, gaad, or mirra) that is widely-consumed in East Africa and in the Arabian peninsula. The green leaves and small stems are consumed primarily at recreational and social gatherings, and medicinally for their antidiabetic and appetite-suppression effects.

    AIMS: The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of khat and its active alkaloid, cathinone, on food intake and body weight in mice maintained on a high-fat diet, and to investigate its mechanism of action in white adipose tissue and in the hypothalamus.

    MATERIALS & METHOD: Adult male mice (C57BL/6J) were fed a high fat diet (HFD) for 8 weeks (n = 30), then divided into 5 groups and treated daily for a further 8 weeks with HFD + vehicle [control (HFD)], HFD + 15 mg/kg orlistat (HFDO), HFD + 200 mg/kg khat extract (HFDK200), HFD + 400 mg/kg khat extract (HFDK400) and HFD + 3.2 mg/kg cathinone (HFDCAT). Treatments were carried out once daily by gastric gavage. Blood and tissue samples were collected for biochemical, hormonal and gene expression analyses.

    RESULTS: Khat extracts and orlistat treatment significantly reduced weight gain as compared to control mice on HFD, and cathinone administration completely prevented weight gain in mice fed on HFD. Khat treatment caused a marked reduction in body fat and in serum triglycerides. A dose-dependent effect of khat was observed in reducing serum leptin concentrations. Analysis of gene expression in adipose tissue revealed a significant upregulation of two lipolysis pathway genes:(adipose triglyceride lipase (PNPLA-2) and hormone-sensitive lipase (LIPE). In the hypothalamic there was a significant (P 

    Matched MeSH terms: Catha*
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