Effects of Catha edulis Forsk (Khat) and ascorbic acid on serum electrolytes in swiss albino male rats
Background: Catha edulis Forsk (Khat) is an evergreen shrub widely consumed in East African countries. Ascorbic acid has been taken as a protective agent in patients with different diseases. However, little is known about the effect of khat and ascorbic acid on serum electrolytes. The aim of this study was to investigate the subchronic effects of khat and ascorbic acid on serum electrolytes in rats.
Materials and Methods: A total of 36 adult (7-8 weeks) male Swiss Albino rats (213 -229g weight) were used. The rats received khat extract (ke) 100 mg/kg, 200 mg/kg and 300 mg/kg b.w), khat juice (2.5 ml/kg), ascorbic acid (AA 200 mg/kg) and Tween 80 in distilled water (T80W- 2% v/v) for twelve weeks. Serum electrolytes were measured using Cobas 6000. The data were analyzed using SPSS version 21.0.
Results: The mean serum sodium level in rats received ke 100 mg/kg (p < 0.01), ke 200 mg/kg (p < 0.001), ke 300 mg/kg (p < 0.001) and khJ 2.5 ml/kg (p < 0.001) was significantly less than in rats received T80W. The serum calcium level was less in rats received ke 200 mg/ kg (p < 0.05) and 300 mg/kg (p<0.05). The serum sodium level in rats which received ke 200 mg/kg (p<0.01) and ke 300 mg/kg (p<0.05) were significantly less than in rats which received ascorbic acid.
Conclusions: khat induced sodium and calcium imbalance, but not ascorbic acid. Effects of khat on acid-base balance and arginine vasopressin should be investigated.