Sunday June 3, 2007
Researchers produce Viagra alternative from walnuts
By ROYCE CHEAH
PETALING JAYA: It may sound nutty, but walnuts may just be the remedy for erectile dysfunction.
One of the researchers, UM Faculty of Medicine Physiology Department lecturer Prof Dr Kim Kah Hwi, said that so far 40 volunteers had tried the tablet and responded positively.
On its efficacy, Prof Kim said the new pill was comparable to Viagra and he claimed that it was safer as well, although a person would have to consume about 3.3kg of walnuts for the same effect as one tablet.
“It takes about an hour for the effects to set in and it will last for about four hours.
“Furthermore, because it is not a drug, it is safe for those with hypertension or diabetes, or (those) who have recently had heart bypasses,” he said, adding that some of the volunteers had undergone bypass surgeries.
Prof Kim said the active ingredient was arginine, an amino acid that is absorbed into the body and converted into nitric oxide.
“This enlarges blood vessels and enhances blood flow to the penis,” he said, adding that the walnuts were sourced from China because they were cheaper there.
As to how he ventured into exploring walnuts to treat erectile dysfunction, he said it all began with something he read.
“I read articles about Romans and French having eaten walnuts for this purpose. I thought if it had been documented that long ago, then there surely has to be something there,” he said.
Prof Kim said his team then spent two years to find the correct extraction method.
The tablet, called “N-Hanz”, also bagged the gold medal for best invention at the recent International Invention, Innovation, Industrial Design and Technology Exhibition 2007.
Prof Kim said that the tablet had been approved by the Health Ministry.