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Spider Venom the new cure for ED

A chemical made from the venom of a South American spider may offer an alternative to today’s erectile dysfunction drugs, a new study suggests.

The chemical  named PnTx2-6, comes from the bite of the feared Brazilian wandering spider (Phoneutria nigriventer). In humans, a bite from a wandering spider is very painful. The excitement is that many male victims find themselves with priapism, or unrelenting erections. It was this result of the spider bite, that got researchers attention that this could be a new cure for ED.The substance has been shown to improve erections in rats with hypertension and diabetes; now, researchers have tested it in aging mice and found that the toxin is effective in reversing age-related ED as well.  Its too early to tell if this spider holds the cure of many illness, but its promising.

Viagra, Levitra and other ED drugs on the market work by inhibiting an enzyme called chemical in the body called PDE5. To get an erection, a man’s body must release nitric oxide (NO2), which relaxes the smooth muscle around the arteries of the penis, allowing for his blood vessels to fill up with blood. The NO2 is a first step in a series of chemical reactions that allow this muscle relaxation to take place. One step in the series is a process called cGMP, a signaling molecule that acts to keep the muscles relaxed. PDE5 degrades cGMP. This is important because it make sure that erections don’t last forever, but too much PDE5 can mean an erection doesn’t happen at all. By blocking the enzyme, PDE5 inhibitors solve the problem.  This is the process that Viagra focuses on.

The spider bite works very differently. Instead of affecting PDE5, the compound seems to trigger nitric oxide release, acting directly to relax the smooth muscles. About 30 percent of patients don’t respond to PDE5 inhibitors like Viagra and the rest. The spider bite venom could provide a much needed alternative to ED treatments currently on the market researchers say.

The big hurdle before it can be tested in men is the risks of side effects.  Researchers seem positive that any issues can be over come.

The spider’s name means “Murderess”.  The Brazilian wandering spiders can grow to have a leg span of up to 4–5 in. Their body length ranges from 0.7 to 2 inches.

Wandering spiders are so-called because they wander the jungle floor at night, rather than residing in a lair or maintaining a web. During the day they hide inside termite mounds, under fallen logs and rocks, and in banana plant.  They are also known to hide in dark and moist places in or near human dwellings.

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