Researchers claim that lighting the genitals with “red light” for just 60 seconds as part of a groundbreaking treatment plan could lead to increased sex drive in men.
The treatment involves a beam of light from a special lamp through the skin of the penis after injecting a compound into that area.
The compound, known as NORD-1, reacts to light by releasing nitric oxide, a gas that dilates blood vessels, increasing blood flow to the organ and improving erections.
And a new study shows the method is effective in animals, and Japanese scientists believe it may work well for men who don’t respond to drug treatment. They hope to start human trials in the next two years.
Medications such as Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra help some men by dilating the tiny blood vessels in the pelvis, allowing more blood to reach the penis. But about a third of men who take these pills do not feel better.
In these cases, the only other options are to inject drugs directly into the penis, which can be painful and difficult to self-administer, or use a pump that manually increases blood flow to the penis.
Red light therapy may be another option, according to a study recently published in the International Journal of Men’s Health.
The tests involved injecting NORD-1, a synthetic chemical that releases nitric oxide (via a chemical reaction) only when exposed to red light, into the genitalia of mice with ED. And simply introducing nitric oxide into the body to dilate blood vessels is not a solution, as it can cause unwanted side effects such as low blood pressure.
But in this way, nitric oxide is only released when light hits the genitals, making them safer. (Unlike other injectable erectile dysfunction drugs, it is given occasionally, not every time a man has sex.)
Researchers at Nagoya City University in Japan observed changes in rodents after injecting NORD-1 into the penis and turning on a red light for just 60 seconds.
Four weeks later, the results showed a significant improvement in the frequency and duration of erections after red light treatment.
Tests also showed that erections improved even after nerve damage, similar to what happens in men who have had a prostatectomy due to cancer.
This offers hope that men whose sex lives have been affected by prostate cancer surgery may be able to regain their libido with red light therapy in the future, the researchers said.
Professor Paul Chazo, a scientist at the University of Durham who is researching red light therapy for dementia (to improve blood flow to the brain), said: “Nitric oxide release can be helpful in many clinical situations, including erectile dysfunction. it is likely that “this would be helpful. But these results are from mice and may not be good to extrapolate to humans.”
Source: Daily Mail