But There COULD Be Side Effects...
There may be new hope for chronic
jet-lag sufferers. Argentine researchers say they've seen
encouraging results from test conducted on hamsters, that were
given mild doses of an increasingly common prescription drug.
Reuters reports the hamsters given this "miracle" drug, called
sildenafil, recovered from the effects of jet lag up to 50 percent
faster than those rodents which did without. The results of the
study were published Monday in the Proceedings of the National
Academy of Sciences.
Scientists had to closely monitor just how much of the drug
hamsters were given, however. You see, sildenafil is more commonly
known by its trademark name... Viagra, the male anti-impotency drug
marketed by Pfizer. And yes, the drug affects male hamsters in much
the same way it affects male humans, the scientists wrote.
"...We used the intermediate dose for the rest of the
experiments because at that dose animals did not manifest the
effects of sildenafil-induced penile erections," wrote researchers
Patricia Agostino, Santiago Plano and Diego Golombek, of the
Universidad Nacional de Quilmes in Buenos Aires.
Despite the potential for -- well, if nothing else, social
embarassment -- the drug does show promise as an effective means to
combat jet lag. Viagra interferes with a key enzyme, which lowers
levels of a natural compound in the human body that helps regulate
its internal clock.
Hamsters that were given the drug recovered from "jet lag" --
simulated by turning lights on six hours early, to replicate an
eastbound flight -- much quicker than other hamsters, report the
Scientists recorded the time it took for the hamsters to jump on
their exercise wheels as the defining characteristic. The effect
did not work on simulated westbound "flights," however, in which
lights were turned on later than usual.
The scientists believe the effect can be duplicated on humans,
at lower levels of sildenafil than are currently prescribed to
treat erectile dysfunction. We hope so...