Viagra (sildenafil citrate) first hit the market in 1998 as a treatment for sufferers of erectile dysfunction. It started as an accidental side-effect of a drug initially trialled for heart problems and has gone on to revolutionise sex lives globally. But that's not all that the 'little blue pill' can do. As a PDE5 inhibitor that increases blood flow, Viagra has also been found to have some other surprising health benefits.

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Viagra and pulmonary hypertension

In 2005, Viagra's active ingredient Sildenafil was also approved by the FDA as a treatment for Pulmonary Hypertension. This is a rare and life-threatening condition due to high blood pressure in the lungs. It affects an estimated 100,000 people worldwide and without treatment life expectancy is only three years from diagnosis.1

The FDA approval was following the publications of a study of Viagra's effect, versus a placebo, which was carried out on 277 patients. After only 12 weeks of taking Sildenafil, there were significant improvements in the distance these patients could walk in six minutes. After twelve months of the trial, 94% of patients taking Sildenafil were still alive. Pfizer repackaged its key ingredient and launched its new product Revatio (Sildenafil) in 2005.

Viagra and heart failure

Viagra helps blood vessels dilate to allow more blood flow to the penis, which is why it is such as effective treatment for erectile dysfunction. But lately, researchers have been examining whether it could also help improve blood flow for those in heart failure.2

Researchers from the Sapienza University of Rome, analysed the findings from over 24 randomly controlled tests, looking at the effect of Viagra in patients with Heart Failure, versus a Placebo. They found that Viagra was better than a placebo in improving heart function in men with early signs of heart disease. They concluded that as well as early-stage heart failure, Viagra could also be a useful form of treatment for men with cardiac hypertrophy [enlarged heart muscle].

Viagra and type 2 diabetes

Exciting new trials have found that Viagra may be able to offer a preventive cure for the development of Type 2 diabetes, by improving insulin sensitivity with those with pre-diabetes. Type 2 diabetes occurs when a person can't produce enough insulin or insulin no longer works to clear blood sugar from the bloodstream.

When someone is in the pre-diabetes stage, they can start to develop insulin resistance. Without intervention, it's estimated that 30% who are considered pre-diabetic will go on to develop Type 2 diabetes within five years. But a recent study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, found Viagra could offer new hope for sufferers in the future.

In a trial of 42 participants, all of whom were overweight and diagnosed with pre-diabetes, results found that those treated with Viagra (Sildenafil) became more sensitive to the effects of insulin and had lower levels of albumin in their urine. Albumin is a marker used to highlight the risk of kidney and heart disease.3

Viagra and prostate cancer

Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine and VCU Massey Cancer Center also made an exciting discovery with it comes to the benefits of Viagra. Prostate Cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Doxorubicin, a chemotherapy drug, is one of the treatments available but has serious side-effects particularly in relation to damage to the heart.

The researchers found that when Doxorubicin was combined with Viagra, the effectiveness of the treatment was increased. Also, Viagra's inclusion benefited the treatment by protecting the heart and reducing the heart damage caused by the Doxorubicin. The principal investigator Rakesh C. Kukreja stated that

"We believe sildenafil could be an excellent candidate for incorporation into cancer treatment protocols -- with the potential of enhancing the anti-tumor efficacy, while protecting the heart against both short term and long term damage from doxorubicin,"

Other benefits of Viagra

Viagra has been found to help with altitude sickness. It acts by reducing the pulmonary artery pressure at high altitudes and by increasing the ability to exercise in low oxygen level conditions.

For individuals who suffer from Raynaud's phenomenon, trials have shown Viagra (Sildenafil) can alleviate the symptoms. Raynaud's causes spasms of the small arteries affecting the blood supply to the fingers and/or toes when exposed to the cold. It has also been used by doctors, to increase blood flow to damaged areas to avoid amputation or gangrene setting in.

And the health benefits are not just for people…

Experiments have found that Viagra can even help plants to last longer. It is said that by adding 1mg of Viagra to the water they can prolong the life of your flowers by a week, causing them to stand upright rather than droop. It's also been shown that it can have an effect on slowing down plant ripening.

For medical purposes though, Viagra tablets are only prescribed for men who struggle to achieve or sustain an erection, and is available online, after completing a quick free online consultation, which is assessed by a registered doctor. If approved, you can complete your order and have your tablets dispatched for next day delivery.

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