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Some herbal alternatives to Viagra and other prescription sex medications which are available in the US could actually kill users, it has been claimed.
An investigation carried out by the Associated Press found that men who were already taking heart and blood-pressure drugs could have a stroke, or even die if they took one of the pills.
It found that some so-called “all-natural” products actually only work because they contain unregulated versions of the pharmaceuticals they are supposed to replace.
As a result they pose a danger to the the millions of men in the US who take nitrates, which are prescribed to lower blood pressure and regulate heart disease.
Researchers have found that when nitrates are mixed with impotency drugs they can slow blood flow, leading to a heart attack or stroke.
James Neal-Kababick, director of Oregon-based Flora Research Laboratories, said about 90% of the hundreds of herbal samples he has analysed contained forms of patented pharmaceuticals – some with doses more than twice that of prescription erectile dysfunction medicine.
Since 2001, sales of supplements marketed as natural sexual enhancers in the US have risen £48m, to £192m last year, according to estimates published in the Nutrition Business Journal.
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