Viagra would have an unexpected side effect that could save thousands of lives

Because of its specific effects on male physiology, Viagra has changed the lives of countless men throughout the world over the past two decades. But that’s not all. Obviously, an unexpected side effect of the little blue pill could save thousands of lives.

Researchers studying the effects of Viagra (aka sildenafil) on mice have indeed discovered that a small daily dose of the drug in the drinking water of the animals significantly reduces their risk of developing colorectal cancer. “Giving a small dose of Viagra can halve the amount of tumours in these animals,” says biochemist Darren D. Browning, of Augusta University. Keep in mind that so far this surprising result has only been shown in mice, not in humans. But inevitably, this is the next step.

The team hopes to continue this research in a clinical trial with patients likely to develop colorectal cancer – or with a family history of the disease. If such a test gets the green light and the effects can be reproduced in humans, it could be a big step forward to save millions of lives lost every year. It should be remembered that colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the world. According to the researchers, it would be possible for us to be able to reduce these sinister figures with Viagra.

The researchers have shown that the daily dose of Viagra halves the formation of polyps – abnormal clumps of cells – which form on the intestinal mucosa, and which tend to become tumors. Another drug experienced by researchers, linaclotide – used to treat constipation and irritable bowel syndrome – seemed even more effective than Viagra. But this one caused diarrhea, which ultimately makes it unfit for prolonged use, the researchers say. On the other hand, low-dose Viagra does not appear to cause any side effects in humans.

The drug appears to favour the production of a chemical called GMP (GlycoMacroPeptides) in the intestines. The exact process by which these peptides benefit the intestinal mucosa is still being studied, but research suggests that the chemical suppresses excessive cell proliferation – the formation of new cells – in the intestine. In short, they appear to stimulate the formation of normal cells while eliminating abnormal homologues.
It is also worth noting that the drug would act here in prevention. Viagra does not seem to be able to fight the already cancerous tissues.

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