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Disease Area Analytical science, Public health, Cardiovascular

The Game Is Up

What?

Drug counterfeiters, beware. A new method has allowed scientists from China to analyze for adulteration in widely available health supplements – detecting small amounts of Viagra, as well as other phosphodiesterase type 5 enzyme (PDE-5) inhibitors.

Why?

Adulterated medication and supplements can be extremely dangerous to human health.  “Natural” aphrodisiacs are frequently adulterated with pharmaceutical drugs such as PDE-5 inhibitors. Drugs like Viagra can already cause side effects such as dizziness and a runny nose – not exactly conducive to an amorous encounter – but, more seriously, unmeasured or unapproved doses (which are impossible to judge in cases of adulteration) can cause cardiovascular problems and are dangerous for those with heart disease.

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About the Author

Joanna Cummings

A former library manager and storyteller, I have wanted to write for magazines since I was six years old, when I used to make my own out of foolscap paper and sellotape and distribute them to my family. Since getting my MSc in Publishing, I’ve worked as a freelance writer and content creator for both digital and print, writing on subjects such as fashion, food, tourism, photography – and the history of Roman toilets. Now I can be found working on The Analytical Scientist, finding the ‘human angle’ to cutting-edge science stories.

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