Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology Open Access

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On Some Gastrointestinal Effects of Khat ( Catha edulis )

Erica E Balint, Falkay G, Ghebrekidan H and Balint GA

Background: The possible gastrointestinal effects of khat (Catha edulis) chewing still under debate. Some authors are on the opinion that khat has a gastric and/or duodenal ul-cerogenic effect, while others denies this effect. Considering the absolutely different standpoints in this case, we have decided to investigate this contradiction in different experimental ulcer models of rat.

Materials and Methods: It is known that the main effective (amphetamine-like) constituent of the khat is cathinone, we have investigated the effect of 500 and 1000 ug/kg of its dose in stress (restrain) and drug (indomethacine) induced gastric, as well, as cyste-amine induced duodenal ulcer-models. It seems that in indomethacine and in stress induced models cathinone showed no ulcerogenic effect, moreover in the indomethacine induced model it showed a significant anti-ulcerogenic effect. Moreover, scanning electron microscopic investigations verified that the acute cathinone treatment has no detectable effect on gastric mucosa. In the cysteamine-induced duodenal ulcer-model cathinon showed neither ulcerogenic, nor antiulcerogenic effect.

Discussion and Conclusion: Moreover, our scanning electron microscopic investigations showed that basically no structural changes can be seen in the treated animals’ liver; the only visible change is that the mitochondrial surface area of the treated liver is enlarged. According to our opinion our experimental results presented, gave evidence that khat, at least its cathinone content, have no gastrointestinal (ulcerogenic) effect.