KHAT LINKED TO SPERM PRODUCTION
Long thought to be linked to male impotence, khat - the succulent
green crop widely grown and chewed in Kenya and locally referred to as
miraa-is now said to boost men's sperm production.
Researchers at King's College in London say they have established that
a chemical found in khat in Kenya could, contrary to the widely held
belief, boost the power of men's sperms.
However, researchers at the British university still maintain that a
prolonged consumption of miraa may actually damage the sperm.
The findings, published by the British Broadcasting Corporation's
(BBC) online health desk, will undoubtedly raise debate within the
local research community, crop growers and drug regulators.
In the study, controlled laboratory tests found that treated sperm
became fertile faster and stayed fertile longer than untreated sperm.
Invariably referred to as the "green gold" for the lucrative trade it
oils in Kenya, miraa is a controversial mild narcotic, producing a
"high" when chewed, but its use has been linked to long-term problems.