Short-Term Effects of High-Dose Khat on Sperm Parameters and Reproductive Hormonal Levels in Olive Baboons (Papio anubis)Nyachieo A.a · Kiraithe M.M.a · Spiessens C.b · Chai D.C.a · Kiulia N.M.a · D'Hooghe T.M.a, b · Mwenda J.M.a
aDepartment of Reproductive Health and Biology, Institute of Primate Research, Nairobi, Kenya; bLeuven University Fertility Centre, University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Leuven, Belgium
Dr. Jason M. Mwenda
Department of Reproductive Health and Biology
Institute of Primate Research, PO Box 24481
Karen, Nairobi 00502 (Kenya)
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The biological effects of khat (Catha edulis) on reproduction and fertility are inadequately investigated and controversial, hence we determined the effects of oral administration of high-dose khat on sperm parameters and male hormonal levels in olive baboons. In this study, 6 male baboons received a high dose of khat (500 g/week) during 1 month. Electroejaculation for sperm studies (concentration, motility and chromatin integrity) and plasma collection for hormonal analysis (testosterone, prolactin and cortisol) were done weekly during 1 month before and 1 month during khat administration as well as 2 weeks after the last dose of khat administration. Administration of khat extract induced a significant reduction in sperm motility (p = 0.008), sperm count (p = 0.041), sperm chromatin integrity (p = 0.0003), testosterone levels (p = 0.035) and prolactin levels (p = 0.0115), but not in cortisol levels and sperm volume (p > 0.05). The results suggest that high-dose khat decreases sperm quality and testosterone and hence may contribute to male infertility.
© 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel
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