Viagra could cut diabetes risk

19 November 2015

Sildenafil, which is often known by its brand name Viagra, could help improve insulin sensitivity in people at risk of developing diabetes, it has been suggested.

Researchers at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center have found that of 42 participants randomly treated with sildenafil or a placebo, those who received the active medication were likely to have significantly improved insulin sensitivity.

Unlike other drugs that are used to treat people at risk of diabetes, sildenafil does not lower the activity of anticlotting agents, meaning that cuts and other injuries are less dangerous.

Nancy Brown, chair of the Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt, said: "Sildenafil and related drugs could offer a potential avenue for addressing the rising number of diabetes diagnoses."

It was already known that sildenafil can inhibit an enzyme called phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5), resulting in relaxation of smooth muscles, vasodilation and increased blood flow. This makes it an effective treatment for pulmonary hypertension as well as erectile dysfunction.

Posted by Jeanette Royston


 

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