Banana Spider Venom Has Potential As New Erectile Dysfunction Treatment

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A chemical found in the deadly venom of the banana spider could be used to treat erectile dysfunction.

A study recently published in the [Journal of Sexual Medicine](https://www.jsm.jsexmed.org/article/S1743-6095(19%2930005-0/fulltext) found that the venom from the Brazilian wandering spider could lead to an effective treatment for erectile dysfunction, according to The Independent.

The Brazilian wandering spider, also known as the banana spider, has a poisonous bite that causes victims to experience a prolonged erection before they die. The team of researchers from the Federal University of Minas Gerais created PnPP-19, a synthetic form of the natural chemical that causes this effect but without the deadly consequences.

They created a gel with PnPP-19 and found that its topical application to mice and rats with erectile dysfunction led to erections "lasting about 60 minutes." The chemical caused no signs of harm of discomfort, and results showed that the effects of sildenafil (Viagra) were increased when the two were co-administered.

"We believe it could fill an enormous gap in the market and help millions of people worldwide," Professor Maria Elena de Lima, who led the study, told The Sun. For those that do not respond to existing erectile dysfunction medication, the gel could be a solution.

Both Viagra and the gel use the same mechanism to work. They boost nitric oxide production, dilating the blood vessels that supply the penis and causing it to swell with blood.

The authors concluded that PnPP-19 compound could be "a promising alternative for erectile dysfunction treatment."

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