So far, Viagra has been used for treating impotency in male and to promote healthy penis function. But, the new studies show that Viagra is a wonderful medicine for treating malaria and a series of other health problems such as memory loss, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, jet lag, and pain. According to a study published recently in PLOS Pathogens, the drug, Viagra has the power to stiffen red blood cells infected with malaria.
How Mosquitoes Spread Malaria?
A parasite called Plasmodium falciparum causes malaria. This parasite is transmitted to humans through mosquito bites. When the parasite enters in your bloodstream, it develops inside your erythrocytes or red blood cells. The infected cells change as the nests of this parasite, but the characteristics of the cells do not change significantly. So, it can attack your body’s defense mechanism.
Normal electrolytes undergo the filtration process of spleen. But, malaria parasites can alter the deformability of cells and they remain in your cells. When the mosquito sucks blood from the infected people, they pass the parasite to more people.
How Viagra Prevents Malaria?
The erection benefits of Viagra were discovered accidentally. Researchers were testing a high blood pressure drug, but they found that this drug had a curious side effect, erection. Now, the scientists have discovered another unexpected benefit of Viagra. The world was desperately searching for a drug for treating malaria. This disease affects around 200 million people a year. The malaria parasite has a complex life cycle and it can move between humans to mosquitoes. Viagra has the power to keep Plasmodium out of human blood. This leads to the breakdown of cycle of transmission.
As mentioned earlier, Viagra stiffens infected blood cells. As a result, your spleen can remove the infected blood cells from your blood effectively. Destroying old blood cells is the major role of spleen. When spleen destroys the infected blood cells, mosquitoes cannot spread the disease. In such a way, Viagra helps to reduce the spread of malaria.
According to the opinions of scientists, infected cells’ staying power in blood stream can be reduced when they are mutated. This will further interrupt the transmission of malaria. Researchers at Cochin Institute in France, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Institute Pasteur found that cAMP molecule is responsible for changing the shape and character of cells. This molecule promotes stiffening cells during the buildup of inside cells.
The scientists discovered that the enzyme phosphodiesterase suppresses cAMP molecule. So, they started to find out the substances that impede its activity and prevent cAMP levels from dropping. The scientists unexpectedly found that Viagra can make cells less alterable. Thus spleen can do the filtration process effectively and can remove infected cells from blood stream.
Viagra is already a licensed drug. Now, the scientists are checking the possibility of doing clinical trials with this new purpose. Researchers could not find the effectiveness of Viagra to treat the malaria patients. But they discovered that this drug can prevent malaria epidemic. However, the medical fraternity is not certain about the awkward side-effects of Viagra when this sex drug is used for preventing malaria.