Are you the kind of guy who likes to get his hard on the all-natural way? Or, at least by downing a herbal supplement drawn directly from the bountiful bosom of Mother Nature herself? It turns out that a sizable number of those natural supplements are full of the same chemical compound used to make Viagra.
In the past week alone, the Food and Drug Administration has uncovered 25 supplements tainted with the active ingredients found in prescription erectile dysfunction drugs, such as Viagra and Cialis.
"We're not talking about trace amounts of this stuff," Pieter Cohen, an assistant professor of medicine at the Cambridge Health Alliance who specializes in the supplement industry, told BuzzFeed News. "FDA doesn't say how much they've found, but whenever we've taken a look at this, these dosages are really significant."
"They can contain dosages twice as high as Viagra itself," Cohen added.
Buzzfeed's story is worth reading in whole, it charts the interesting and unregulated territory of the supplement industry - particularly that portion promising you a never-ending boner.
Most of the all-natural supplements are produced in China and the FDA has virtually no power to oversee either their manufacturing or sales. Rather, regulation of the industry generally falls to pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer who has a "vested interest in rooting out fake versions of Viagra, which raked in nearly $1.7 billion for the company last year."
Experts suggest that the high price of Viagra and Cialis, coupled with a mandatory doctor's visit, drive consumers to the unregulated market. Solutions? Give the FDA more power to regulate and collaborate with law enforcement. Or, as one expert told Buzzfeed, "Make Viagra an over-the-counter medication." But given Pfizer's large financial stake in the erectile dysfunction meds market, that's unlikely to happen.
Image via AP.