HEALTH

Brazilian Spider May Become Next Viagra

Who would imagine that a poisonous, eight-legged creature from Brazil could boost your sex life?

Researchers at the Medical College of Georgia say venom from a spider native to Central and South America gives people four-hour erections, and could possibly cure some of the worst cases of impotence – cases not even Viagra could adequately treat.

Phoneutria nigriventer, sometimes called Brazilian wandering spiders or banana spiders, are hairy and unsightly little creatures said to have some of the world’s most toxic venoms. Aside from four hours of supposed pleasure, the venom will also incapacitate a person’s muscle control, cause severe pain and trigger breathing problems. In some cases – if left untreated – it could lead to death, according to a story in the Daily Mail of London.

The spider is so toxic, in fact, it was named the world’s most venomous spider by the Guinness World Records last year.

But this same spider has the potential of becoming the next Viagra.

Studies underway at Georgia Health Sciences University’s medical college in Augusta, Ga., explored why men accidentally bitten by the spider suddenly enjoyed a better sex life.

In a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine last December, Dr. Kenia Nunes, a physiologist at the college, experimented with rats with erection problems. One of the molecules, called PnTx2-6, was stripped from the spider’s toxins and administered to the rats – giving them a prolonged erection that was side-effect free.

‘We found the toxin responsible [for the erections], and performed experiments using hypertensive rats which have severe erectile dysfunction,” Nunes told the Daily Mail. “The toxin was able to normalize the erectile dysfunction in these animals.”

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