Somali Medical Forums

Health Related Forums => Health News and Events => Topic started by: Admin on June 29, 2010, 10:58:42 PM

Title: Extracts From The Khat-plant Kill Cancer Cells!!
Post by: Admin on June 29, 2010, 10:58:42 PM
Therese Bredholt’s PhD work shows that extracts from the khat plant may provide better treatment against leukemia.

An article published in “På Høyden” explains how Therese, who recently completed her public defence at The Gade Institute/Department of Medicine, has shown that extracts from the khat plant may have a positive medicinal effect on leukemia.

The khat plant

The khat plant is used as a stimulant in parts of Africa and Arabia. The plant contains the narcotic stimulant cathinone which, on a molecular level, is quite similar to amphetamine. Extensive usage of the plant has been linked to several negative consequences for the user, such as high blood pressure, increased risk of acute myocardial infarction and various conditions of the gastrointestinal system. In spite of this, the plant has also been used as a medicinal drug against for instance malaria, influenza and chest pains.

A new substance

Experiments conducted by Therese during her PhD work revealed that extracts from the plant were more toxic to leukemia cells than to normal white blood cells. This could pave the way for the development of new and better treatment strategies against leukemia as an alternative to the conventional chemotherapy.

Through her studies of the medicinal effects of the khat plant, Therese further discovered a substance (phenylpropanoid glycoside) in the plant which has not been described earlier. Therese’s research shows that it is this substance, and not cathinone, which is effective against the leukemic cells. It is possible that this substance represents a novel compound and Therese is currently aiming at full characterization of the molecular structure of the substance. Therese hopes that in time the substance may be utilized to develop a new anti-cancer drug.

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