The Reproductive and Thyroid Hormonal Profile of Khat (Catha Edulis) Chewers


The effects of khat on the hormonal levels have been established; however, the effects on human beings are controversial. The aim of our study was to investigate the possible effects of khat on the levels of serum thyroid hormones, testosterone, estradiol (E2), prolactin and cortisol in men. A total of 50 blood samples were collected from healthy males who referred to chew khat for more than 10 years and analyzed for the above hormones. The results were compared to the hormonal levels of 35 non khat chewers. Chewing khat causes significant increases in the testosterone (P < 0.03), prolactin (P < 0.05), E2 (P < 0.00005), FT3 (P < 0.04), and TSH (P < 0.05) levels. No significant differences were found in the serum level of FT4 between the two groups. The level of cortisol were significantly lower (P < 0.001) in the khat chewers group compared to the control group. This study suggests that khat chewing can cause reduction in the cortisol level, which may cause increases of testosterone, prolactin and E2. In addition, chewing khat increases the level of TSH and FT3 serum levels. Therefore, khat may contribute to the relevant disorders caused by abnormal levels of the studied hormones in the people who are chewing khat

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S. Al-Ghamdi, "The Reproductive and Thyroid Hormonal Profile of Khat (Catha Edulis) Chewers," Pharmacology & Pharmacy, Vol. 3 No. 4, 2012, pp. 447-452. doi: 10.4236/pp.2012.34060.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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