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Viagra can make roses last longer, too

Consumer Reports News: February 14, 2013 09:08 AM

Just in time for Valentine's Day comes this, ahem, uplifting tidbit from our director of health research, who stumbled upon it while looking into the erectile-dysfunction drug sildenafil (Viagra) for entirely work-related purposes. It seems that in addition to its well-known human effects, the popular drug might also give a boost to wilting plant life.

In a study in the British Medical Journal, researchers in Australia and Israel tested a 1 milligram dose of Viagra (a small fraction of the human dose of the drug, which comes in 25, 50, and 100 mg tablets) in two vases of water that were filled with cut flowers. The result: The flowers stood up straight for as long as a week beyond their natural life span. The scientists found that Viagra has a similar effect on plant ripening as it does on men's sexual organs, by slowing the breakdown of the same enzyme.

No word on whether Viagra's competitors tadalafil (Cialis) and vardenafil (Levitra) have similar stem-firming effects. Or whether you should call a florist if your roses last longer than two weeks.

Read about the best treatments for erectile dysfunction and other sexual challenges, and why "all-natural" sex enhancers are a bad idea.

Jamie Kopf

   

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