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Khat plant may create next men’s fertility wonder drug

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  • a mu-min
    replied
    Re: Khat plant may create next men’s fertility wonder drug

    all it does is make you go hyper and loose awareness.


    once a men ate so much khat that he thought the bowl infront of him was a swimming pool so he tries to swim inside the bowl.


    another man thought a flee was a hanger, so he wanted to hang his jacket on this flee that kept running around.

    Leave a comment:


  • embryodoc
    replied
    Re: Khat plant may create next men’s fertility wonder drug

    Salam,
    Subhanallah, about a month ago I read an article in one Yemeni newspaper where a MD ( a director of the fertility clinic) discussed the effect of this plant on the men's fertility. It couses infertility in Yemeni man because of the use of PESTICIDES in a modern agriculture! It reduces sperm count and motility, women are blamed for being not fertile and the reason is a contaminated plant. So, a good turned bad...

    P.S. 1/3 of infertility cases are due to female factor, 1/3 due to the male factor, and 1/3 are unexplained (no definite cause, all lab results are good but couple is unable to concieve)

    Leave a comment:


  • almuawak
    replied
    Re: Khat plant may create next men’s fertility wonder drug

    Originally posted by Ali_Khan
    bloody hell, cant you keep this in the brothers forum at least?
    Funny how the signs of still disturbs few...


    "HEY CRIPPLE sing along! :hidban: :hidban:Kumbaya MY LORD KUMBAYA , :hidban: :hidban:KUMBAYA my KUMBAYA!..
    there we go again...

    Leave a comment:


  • Mary Carol
    replied
    Khat Drug May Improve Male Fertility

    13:43 29 June 04

    NewScientist.com news service

    A plant banned as an illegal drug in some countries could help boost men’s fertility, say UK researchers.

    The leaves of khat, a plant cultivated in East Africa and the Arabian peninsula, contain a chemical that peps up sperm and increase their chances of fertilizing an egg. The researchers suggest the chemical could one day be produced as an over-the-counter treatment for couples experiencing problems conceiving.

    Khat (Catha edulis) has been known for centuries for the euphoria its leaves induce when chewed. The stimulant, cathinone, is not very stable and breaks down to produce cathine and norephedrine. These belong to a group of chemicals called PPAs, which are similar to amphetamines and adrenaline.

    Lynn Fraser and her team at the Centre for Reproduction, Endocrinology and Diabetes at King’s College in London, UK, decided to test the effects of PPAs on sperm. They were studying the final stage of sperm development called capacitation, where sperm "switch on" and develop the ability to fertilise an egg.

    Accelerated effect

    The team placed mouse sperm in four different PPA compounds: cathine, norephedrine, adrenaline and noradrenaline and tested to see how they affected capacitation. All four accelerated capacitation even at low concentrations.

    The team also tested the effects of cathine on human sperm, with similar results. This means that cathine can pep up a man’s sperm, increasing the number able to fertilise an egg.

    The team then tested the effects of PPAs on the final stage of capacitation where the sperm’s head pops open and releases the enzymes it needs to burrow into the egg.

    This "acrosome reaction" is triggered by chemicals produced by the egg, but can also happen spontaneously. Fraser’s team found that cathine prevented this spontaneous reaction, but did not affect the reaction prompted by the egg.

    So cathine can both turn sperm on and stop them peaking too early, maximising the chances of fertilisation. But Fraser says: “I certainly wouldn’t advocate anyone going out and chewing khat leaves.” A consistent, measured dose, as would be found in a commercially-prepared drug, would be preferable, she says.

    Many men experiencing fertility problems have normal sperm counts. The cause may be undiagnosed problems with sperm function, explained Fraser, but no-one knows how prevalent this problem is. A drug based on cathine might help.

    “We are not suggesting that this would be a panacea for infertile couples,” she told New Scientist. However, couples trying to conceive often take steps to improve their chances by altering their lifestyles, such as stopping smoking, she added.

    Taking an over-the-counter drug containing compounds such as cathine could just be an extension of this, especially if conception were taking longer than expected. “Anything that reduces the need to go for assisted reproduction would be valuable,” said Fraser.

    The research was presented on Monday at the 20th conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Berlin, Germany.

    Claire Ainsworth, Berlin

    http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99996086

    Leave a comment:


  • Mary Carol
    replied
    Originally posted by abdulhakeem
    The leaves of the khat plant, which is also known as qat, are chewed for the feeling of euphoria they produce. But scientists at King's College London have discovered that they also contain chemicals that help sperm mature and fertilize an egg.
    Do you know anyone who has used the leaves?

    Are the euphoric effects harmless to the body, both physically and pyschologically?

    It's always amazing when science discovers a modern day use for a plant that has been around for centuries.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ali_Khan
    replied
    bloody hell, cant you keep this in the brothers forum at least?

    Leave a comment:


  • abdulhakeem
    replied
    Yemen's government, residents coping with fallout of khat addiction

    Posted on Tue, Jun. 01, 2004
    BY JIM LANDERS
    The Dallas Morning News

    HAMDAN, Yemen - (KRT) - Brothers Abdullah and Yahia Al-Atia, each holding a teaching degree, are young men with young families launching careers as drug dealers.

    The Al-Atia family grows khat. It is a slight, silvery tree whose budding leaves contain the euphoria-inducing stimulant cathinone. Chew enough khat leaves, and the cathinone hits the central nervous system much like an amphetamine.

    Khat, in other words, is nature's version of speed.

    "It's a good living, thanks be to God," said Abdullah Al-Atia.

    Both the World Health Organization and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration regard khat as a dangerous drug. It is grown mainly in East Africa and in Yemen, where its cultivation and widespread use are raising environmental, health and social concerns.

    The Al-Atia brothers spend their afternoons in a cinderblock watchtower overlooking their khat trees. They chew the crop, drink water and tea, smoke cigarettes and point automatic rifles out the windows.

    "If we don't guard the trees, people will come to steal the leaves every time," Abdullah said. "We shoot at them. They run away."

    Although khat quickly loses its potency once harvested, it is being transported long distances and smuggled across borders. Law enforcement agencies seized more than 30 metric tons of khat in the United States during the first six months of 2002.

    Khat is legal in Yemen. Otherwise, most Yemenis would be criminals. Khat is the basis of social life for Yemeni men and, increasingly, for Yemeni women.

    Chewing sessions begin in the afternoon as friends carrying bundles of khat branches gather in living rooms to sit on the floor or lounge against the walls. Men chew with other men, women with other women. By midnight, the rugs are littered with stems. The conversations are intense, punctuated by laughter and emotion.

    But development agencies say khat irrigation is also depleting the aquifers deep beneath Yemen's water-starved capital city, San`a, at a rate of 10 to 20 feet a year.

    There is a human cost as well.

    Khat turns hard-working Yemenis into afternoon layabouts. Chronic khat chewers are more often sick and die younger. Pregnant women who chew khat are more likely to miscarry. From $5 to $15 a day of household money that could go toward caring for children or other family members goes instead to a drug habit.

    As much as a third of Yemen's economic output - or $3 billion a year - involves the growing and selling of khat, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

    A 2002 report by Canada's International Development Research Centre found more than 23 percent of the irrigated cropland in Yemen is planted with khat trees. The orchards are concentrated on intricate terraces along mountain slopes, at altitudes between 3,500 and 8,000 feet.

    Coffee, sorghum and other crops are disappearing because they produce only a fraction of the cash. The Al-Atia family earns 1.5 million Yemeni rials a year (about $8,100) from its khat crop - three or four times what family members would earn as teachers or from growing anything else, said Yahia Al-Atia.

    Yemen is one of the poorest countries in the Middle East, and even the World Bank agrees khat helps Yemeni farmers while producing some environmental benefits.

    "It leads farmers to invest quite a lot of money in what turns out to be good erosion control. The mountain terraces are kept in good repair," said Robert Hindle, the World Bank's country manager for Yemen. "Against that, you have some fairly dramatic negative social aspects. ... Large parts of family income that should be going to nutrition, health and education are being diverted to khat."

    Forty-two percent of Yemen's 19 million people live below the poverty line. Per capita income is $840 a year by some estimates, but just $460 a year by the calculations of the World Bank.

    "If you were able, from day one to day two, to redirect the money that goes into khat you would reduce the poverty rate by six percentage points overnight," Mr. Hindle said.

    Richard Cincotta, a research associate with Population Action International in Washington, said khat use heightens demographic problems like a high birth rate and land and water shortages - demographics that the population control group said are pointing Yemen in the direction of civil war.

    "It really is amazing. Even if its fertility rate falls to meet the U.N.'s median projection, by 2050 Yemen would have nearly as many people as Russia," Cincotta said. (The contrast between Russia's older, declining population and Yemen's young and growing population, the U.N. notes, would leave Russia with just 101.4 million people in 2050 while Yemen would have to 84.3 million.)

    The World Bank's Hindle agreed that khat use diverts resources needed for development purposes, of which the most acute may be girls' education. Half of Yemeni men can read and write, but only one-fourth of Yemeni women are literate. One of the most effective ways to reduce a poor country's birth rate is to raise female educational attainment. But only 24 percent of Yemeni girls living in rural areas go to school. And the average number of births for a Yemeni woman is seven.

    Abdullah and Yahia Al-Atia say they are familiar with these arguments. They send their own children to school, and expect their sons not to chew khat until they are 12 or 15 years old.

    "If, after school, they can get a good job, they will go there," Yahia said. "If not, they will work here."

    The imams at Yemen's mosques could have an impact if they would sermonize against khat. It is almost non-existent in Saudi Arabia and Oman - two of Yemen's neighbors - because of strong social and religious strictures against khat, Hindle said.

    Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Salih launched an anti-khat campaign in 1997 and again in 1999, when he announced he would quit the habit and instead learn to use a computer and devote more time to sports. Khat chewing was banned for on-duty officers and soldiers of the Yemeni army.

    But the campaign lapsed.

    Abdulwahab Al-Hajjri, Yemen's ambassador to the United States, said Yemen needs a sustained anti-khat campaign similar to the U.S. anti-smoking campaign - heavy on education, and only gradually moving toward bans on its use.

    "We shouldn't try to eliminate it, but to reduce it by 60 or 70 percent," he said. "Usually people want a once-and-for-all program to stop it, but it doesn't work when you try it that way."

    Hindle saw another reason for the government's inability to curb khat use.

    "There are too many senior people who chew khat every day and depend on it," Hindle said.

    In any case, Yahia Al-Atia said, the Yemeni people would not tolerate a ban.

    "The government cannot do that. They know this," he said. "There are millions of people who depend on khat - farmers, dealers, and people who chew."

    http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansas...8808842.htm?1c

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  • abdulhakeem
    replied
    Legal Cocaine-Like Drug Boosts Fertility

    Mon 28 Jun 2004
    By John von Radowitz, Science Correspondent, PA News

    An African plant banned as an illegal drug in many countries contains an ingredient that boosts men’s fertility, scientists announced today.

    Researchers believe the khat chemical could be used to make an over-the-counter pill men can take when trying for a baby.

    For centuries, men in East Africa and the Arabian peninsular have chewed khat leaves believing they can improve their sex drive and potency.

    The plant provides a stimulant effect and acts like a weak form of cocaine or amphetamine.

    Although legal in the UK, where it is popular among Britain’s Somali community, khat is outlawed in the rest of the European Union, the United States and Canada.

    Its adverse effects include paranoia and hallucinations, and it has also been linked with mouth cancer.

    Now a team of British scientists has found evidence that a compound derived from the plant acts as a powerful fertility booster for men.

    When khat is chewed, it releases a stimulant, cathinone, that breaks down in the body into a family of chemicals called phenylpropanolamines (PPAs).

    It is these compounds that have such a dramatic effect on male fertility.

    Tests on mouse and human sperm showed that PPAs help sperm cells through the final stage of maturation, when they develop the ability to fertilise.

    They also keep the sperm in this “primed” state until the time is right for them to penetrate and fertilise an egg.

    Professor Lynn Fraser, from King’s College London, who led the research, said today: “A number of PPAs related to the compounds we have studied are currently used in prescription and over-the-counter products, such as herbal dietary supplements used for weight loss and treatment of asthma.

    “We envisage the development of products that could be taken by individuals, either couples who might be having trouble conceiving or even those who have just decided to try to conceive, and who have no obvious problems.

    “PPAs could also be used at IVF (In-Vitro Fertilisation) clinics as additives to sperm prepared for IVF or artificial insemination.”

    An estimated seven tonnes of khat is imported into Britain each year. The leaves can be bought at specialist market stalls for about £5 a bunch.

    There have been moves to ban khat in the UK. In the United States, where a number of British citizens have been jailed for attempting to smuggle khat, the plant is sold illegally for 10 times its UK price.

    Importing khat into the US is viewed as seriously as smuggling cocaine or heroin.

    To fertilise an egg successfully, sperm has to undergo two key processes called capacitation and the acrosome reaction.

    Capacitation is the final stage of maturation which primes the sperm for fertilisation. The acrosome reaction occurs when a cap on the sperm head bursts open to release armour-piercing enzymes that help it break through the egg wall.

    Sometimes the acrosome reaction happens too soon, causing the sperm’s ammunition to be spent prematurely and preventing fertilisation.

    Professor Fraser and colleague Dr Susan Adeoya-Osiguwa found that one of two khat PPAs, called cathine, significantly stimulated capacitation in both mouse and human sperm.

    But it also delayed the acrosome reaction, ensuring the sperm did not let go of its enzymes too early. They were only released when the sperm reached an egg.

    In un-primed sperm, cathine was found to stimulate production of a chemical messenger that helps to make sperm more active and switch on its fertilising potential.

    The same chemical messenger was inhibited in capacitated sperm cells.

    Professor Fraser said: “When mouse sperm treated with cathine were mixed with unfertilised eggs, they were able to fertilise much more quickly than untreated control sperm. This indicates that PPAs do not interfere with the acrosome reaction induced in the fertilising sperm by the egg. These preliminary data suggest that PPAs, at appropriate doses, might provide a new approach for enhancing natural fertility.”

    The researchers presented their findings today at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology annual conference in Berlin.

    They said that before human treatments could be considered, more work had to be carried out to evaluate the effects of PPAs on animal ovaries, testes and sperm.

    Professor Fraser hopes to confirm the results of another study, which found that sperm production in rabbits was stimulated when the animals were fed a diet including dried ground khat leaves.

    http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=3134702

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  • abdulhakeem
    replied
    Plant May Improve Male Virility, Scientists Say

    Mon Jun 28, 2004 10:16 AM ET

    BERLIN (Reuters) - Men trying to boost their fertility may soon receive help from an unusual source -- a plant grown for centuries in East Africa and the Middle East.

    The leaves of the khat plant, which is also known as qat, are chewed for the feeling of euphoria they produce. But scientists at King's College London have discovered that they also contain chemicals that help sperm mature and fertilize an egg.

    "We envisage the development of products that could be taken by individuals, either couples who might be having trouble conceiving or even those who have just decided to try to conceive, and who have no obvious problems," Professor Lynn Fraser told a fertility conference in Berlin on Monday.

    The chemicals could also be used as additives to sperm in fertility treatments, she added.

    In studies of mouse and human sperm, the scientists discovered that amphetamine-like compounds which belong to a group of chemicals known as phenylpropanolamines (PPAs) stimulated and extended the final maturing process in sperm.

    "These preliminary data suggest PPAs, at appropriate doses, might provide a new approach to enhancing natural fertility," Lynn said.

    Other PPAs related to the compounds in khat leaves are already used in prescription and over-the-counter products such as dietary supplements for weight loss and an asthma treatment.

    But Lynn, who presented the research at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, said more research is needed to study the effect of PPAs on the ovaries, sperm and testes before they can be developed into a treatment for humans.

    http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.j...toryID=5531156

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  • Khat plant may create next men’s fertility wonder drug

    Posted By: News-Medical in Men's Health News
    Published: Monday, 28-Jun-2004

    Until now there have been conflicting reports of the effects of PPAs on male fertility. Amongst people who chew khat leaves there is a belief that it improves a man’s sex drive and ability to maintain an erection, but there is a question mark over whether prolonged use might adversely affect the male reproductive system, possibly causing abnormalities in sperm.

    Now, researchers at the Centre for Reproduction, Endocrinology and Diabetes at King’s College London, UK, have studied the effects of PPAs on mouse and human sperm and found the first evidence that they stimulate the final stage of sperm maturation (capacitation) when sperm develop the ability to fertilize an egg. They then maintain the sperm in a potentially fertilizing state for longer, allowing them more time to reach an egg.

    Lynn Fraser, Professor of Reproductive Biology at King’s College London, believes that these preliminary findings might lead to over-the-counter products that couples could buy to boost their fertility during attempts at natural conception, as well as providing another way to help infertile couples during IVF treatment.

    “A number of PPAs related to the compounds we have studied are currently used in prescription and over-the-counter products, such as herbal dietary supplements used for weight loss and treatment of asthma,” said Prof Fraser. “We envisage the development of products that could be taken by individuals, either couples who might be having trouble conceiving or even those who have just decided to try to conceive, and who have no obvious problems. PPAs could also be used in IVF clinics as additives to sperm prepared for IVF or artificial insemination.”

    Dr Susan Adeoya-Osiguwa, a senior post-doctoral research associate at King’s College London, and Prof Fraser incubated mouse and human sperm with cathine and then tested the sperm to see what effect there had been on capacitation and on the acrosome reaction, which is the final phase of capacitation when the cap (acrosome) present in the sperm head ruptures and releases enzymes that enable the sperm to enter the egg. Mouse sperm were also tested for their responses to norephedrine.

    They found that cathine and norephedrine significantly stimulated capacitation in mouse sperm, while preventing the acrosome reaction. Cathine had a similar effect on human sperm. Cathine also stimulated the production of cAMP (cyclic adenosine monophosphate – a chemical messenger within cells) in uncapacitated sperm whilst inhibiting it in capacitated sperm.

    Prof Fraser explained: “We know that cAMP stimulates sperm motility and that it plays an important role in the phosphorylation of many proteins, some of which allow sperm to ‘switch on’ and acquire fertilizing potential. This research provides the first evidence that cathine can regulate the availability of cAMP, first stimulating and then inhibiting its production; and that inhibition of cAMP in capacitated cells appears to be the molecular basis for preventing the acrosome reaction. If sperm continue to produce cAMP in an unregulated manner, then some will undergo spontaneous acrosome reactions and so ‘burn out’ before reaching the egg. Even if they are still motile, they will not be able to fertilize an egg because the acrosome-intact sperm has special docking molecules that play a vital role when sperm contact unfertilised eggs. No docking molecules, no fertilization!

    “This study has shown for the first time that PPAs have a direct effect on sperm, initially stimulating the final maturing process and then preventing spontaneous acrosome reactions in mature sperm, thus maintaining them in a potentially fertilizing state*. When mouse sperm treated with cathine were mixed with unfertilised eggs, they were able to fertilise much more quickly than untreated control sperm; this indicates that PPAs do not interfere with the acrosome reaction induced in the fertilizing sperm by the egg. These preliminary data suggest that PPAs, at appropriate doses, might provide a new approach for enhancing natural fertility.”

    More research has to be carried out in live animals, administering PPAs and then evaluating effects on the ovaries, the testes and the sperm, before this work can be translated into treatments for people. For instance, Prof Fraser and Dr Adeoya-Osiguwa would like to confirm the findings of another study that showed that sperm production in rabbits was stimulated when the rabbits were fed a diet containing dried, ground khat leaves. However, she said: “The fact that other PPAs have already been approved for use in preparations taken by humans should make the development of any product easier than if one had to start from scratch; toxicity testing will have been carried out already for the related compounds.”

    http://www.eshre.com/

    http://www.news-medical.net/?id=2850
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