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Spider venom could cure erectile dysfunction

Published: 2:55PM Thursday August 30, 2012 Source: Newstalk ZB/ONE News

  • The Phoneutria, commonly known as the Brazilian Wandering Spider, is the world's most venomous spider. (Source: Supplied.)
    The Phoneutria, commonly known as the Brazilian Wandering Spider, is the world's most venomous spider. - Source: Supplied.

Venom from the world's deadliest spider could cure erectile dysfunction within 20 minutes.

Scientists have discovered the Brazilian Wandering Spider's venom boosts performance by increasing the release of nitric oxide, a chemical that dilates blood vessels and improves blood flow.

Brazilian scientists first became interested in the deadly spider's ability to boost sexual performance when victims of bites reported major improvements in their sex lives.

Researchers from Brazil and the United States extracted the toxin, called PnTx2-6, from the deadly venom and injected it into rats which had age-related erectile dysfunction, Britain's Daily Mail reports.

The researchers found the toxin boosted erections by triggering the release of nitric oxide, which boosts circulation in the male genitals by helping blood vessel walls relax.

In a report on their findings, published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, the researchers said: "The decrease in erectile function associated with age was partially restored 15 to 20 minutes after injection with PnTx2-6."

Drugs such as Viagra and Cialis have revolutionised treatment in the last 10 years but around 30% of men who take them see no improvement, the Daily Mail said.

A drug made from the spider venom could prove to be an effective alternative.

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