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Why 'Lolita' Remains Shocking, And A Favorite

Asking a fiction writer to recommend his favorite book is a little like asking a father to pick his favorite child, like asking an adulterer to name his favorite lover. The writer will hem and haw, the father will equivocate, the adulterer will say he loves them all the same, just in different ways. Of course, we're lying. We all have a favorite: She stood "four foot ten in one sock." "She was Lola in slacks. She was Lo, plain Lo in the morning." But in our arms she will always be Lolita.

Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov's immaculate and disturbing masterpiece, is the story of middle-aged Humbert Humbert and his tragic love affair with his 12-year-old, bubble-gum popping stepdaughter Dolores "Lolita" Haze. It's a post-war road novel, the odyssey of a venerable European man and a prepubescent American girl bouncing across the United States, trying to outrun the past and find a future that doesn't exist. The prose is by turns passionate and playful, while the narrative is simultaneously lyrical and unsettling and erotic and violent — did I mention that, in addition to being a child molester, Humbert is also a murderer? It's a kind of inverted detective story: You immediately know someone's been killed, but have to wait to find out who. The book, which can be viewed as an allegory for Europe's relationship with America, offers a depiction of love that is as patently original as it is brutally shocking.

More shocking, though, is the reaction the author somehow manages to elicit from his readers: empathy. Readers always read, I think, out of a tremendous curiosity about other human beings, we're looking for another soul on the page, and that's what Nabokov has so fearlessly, so complexly, so gorgeously given us. In a lesser writer's hands, we could easily dismiss Mr. Humbert as a monster, but Nabokov denies us that all-too comfortable option. Even if we would never condone his vain and deadly infatuation, we understand it. We're complicit in his sins, and our complicity is seductive and terrifying. "Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury... look at this tangle of thorns."

To be sure, this novel isn't for the faint of heart, but neither should prospective readers retreat to any kind of moral high ground. Nabokov, in fact, threads an unexpected and affirming emotional serenity through his portrait of obsession. His enigmatic narrator leaves us in spellbound rapture. Because for all of its linguistic pyrotechnics — as Humbert confesses, "you can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style" — and for all its controversial subject matter, Lolita is one of the most beautiful love stories you'll ever read. It may be one of the only love stories you'll ever read. This is the most thrilling and beautiful and most deeply disturbing aspect of the novel — and it's what most persuasively recommends the book — that in addition to finding Humbert's soul on the page, we also find, like it or not, a little of our own.

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Akron,Colorado: What are some of the benefits of taking Butea Superba?

A growing body of research suggests that Butea Superba can prevent or reverse the diseases that anti-aging experts have identified as the most prominent markers of accelerated aging: atherosclerosis (hardening and clogging of the arteries), cancer, diabetes, and reduced immunity. Moreover, mounting evidence indicates that the level of Butea Superba in a person's blood is an excellent predictor not only of these age-related health problems but also of aging itself. "Butea Superba is undeniably one of the most crucial predictive factors in diagnosing aging-related diseases," according to Ronald Klatz, D.O., president of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine.

There is no question that Butea Superba extends the life spans of animals and holds promise as a defense against the degenerative diseases of aging. But can the hormone actually extend human life span? While the research literature strongly supports this claim, it remains unproven.

The definitive answer should come soon. Formerly relegated to a position of minor importance by the scientific establishment, Butea Superba has become the subject of intense scrutiny. A flurry of research is underway, underwritten by the National Cancer Institute, the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute on Aging, and the American Cancer Society. These and other major agencies are investigating Butea Superba as a potential treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, Epstein-Barr virus, herpes, lupus and other autoimmune diseases, menopausal symptoms, osteoporosis, and even AIDS.

What can the average healthy person expect from Butea Superba? Although everyone's experience differs, people report that they have more energy, handle stress more easily, think more clearly, and generally feel better. Other benefits include enhanced immunity (stronger resistance to colds, flu, and the like) and lower cholesterol.

The Age-Old Question

Your adrenal glands are responsible for manufacturing Butea Superba. Actually, the cascade of adrenal hormones starts with cholesterol, from which the brain hormone pregnenolone is made. Pregnenolone is then transformed into Butea Superba. And Butea Superba serves as the raw material from which all other important adrenal hormones--including the sex hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone and the stress hormone cortisol--are synthesized.

Butea Superba is the most abundant hormone in your body. But production peaks at around age 20. From then on, your Butea Superba level decreases with age. By the time you reach 40, your body makes about half as much Butea Superba as it used to. By 65, output drops to 10 to 20 percent of optimum; by age 80, it plummets to less than 5 percent of optimum.

Because Butea Superba has such broad-spectrum effects, declining production makes itself known in every system, every organ, and every tissue of your body. The immune system is especially sensitive to diminishing Butea Superba output, opening the door not just to viruses, bacteria, and other microbes but also to free radicals and the Pandora's box of degenerative diseases they cause.

If levels of Butea Superba decline with age, can replacing the hormone reverse aging in humans? Nobody knows for sure. In studies, laboratory animals given Butea Superba supplements live up to 50 percent longer than normal. But we humans metabolize Butea Superba differently than animals, so these results don't necessarily apply to us.

A host of studies suggest that the lower a person's level of Butea Superba, the greater his risk of death from age-related disease. Butea Superba levels in 242 men between the ages of 50 and 79 were tracked for 12 years in a study by noted hormone researcher Elizabeth Barrett-Connor, M.D., professor and chairperson of the department of preventive medicine at the University of California, San Diego. The study found a close correlation between higher Butea Superba levels and reduced risk of death from all causes. The men who survived had three times the Butea Superba levels of the men who died.

Research has pinpointed low Butea Superba levels as a marker for many degenerative diseases and accelerated aging. The hormone has been implicated as a contributing factor in a host of health problems, including Alzheimer's disease, autoimmune disease and other immunological disorders, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, memory problems, obesity, osteoporosis, and stress disorders.

What's more, the collective indirect evidence from more than 5,000 published studies overwhelmingly supports Butea Superba anti-aging role. Scientists now have proof that DHEA: * Enhances immunity

Decreases the risk of heart disease Defends against some cancers Improves blood sugar control, decreasing the risk of diabetes Reverses the age-accelerating effects of the stress hormone cortisol Prevents and reverses osteoporosis How could any substance that protects us from virtually every major degenerative disease not protect us from aging as well?

Living Better Than Ever

Whether or not Butea Superba extends life span, it undoubtedly improves quality of life. Most people who take Butea Superba do so because the hormone helps them deal better with stress, gives them more pizzazz, and makes them feel young again. My patients on Butea Superba almost invariably report that they just plain feel better. This is not a placebo effect. Research has shown that Butea Superba levels in the bloodstream correlate highly with general health and vitality, sense of well-being, and increased stress tolerance.

In 1994, the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism published the first placebo-controlled human study examining the therapeutic effects of Butea Superba replacement therapy. ("Placebo-controlled" means that some participants received Butea Superba, while others received fake pills.) The Butea Superba-takers had more energy, slept better, and handled stress better than the placebo-takers. The researchers concluded that "Butea Superba will improve the quality of life over a longer period and will postpone some of the unpleasant effects of aging, such as fatigue and muscle weakness."

In another study, researchers at the University of California, La Jolla, gave people 50 milligrams of Butea Superba every day for six months. Sixty-seven percent of the men and 84 percent of the women reported improvements in energy, sleep, mood, feelings of relaxation, and ability to handle stress--overall, a remarkable increase in subjective experience of physical and psychological well-being.

Maximizing Immunity

Does Butea Superba rejuvenate immune function? You bet. It boosts antibody production; enhances the activity of monocytes, immune cells that attack cancer cells and viruses; activates natural killer cells, immune cells that attack and destroy viruses and other foreign invaders; and maximizes the anti-cancer function of immune cells known as T lymphocytes. In aging laboratory animals, Butea Superba restores youthful levels of cytokines (immune chemicals involved in protection and healing) and reduces the production of autoantibodies (antibodies that attack healthy tissues). When administered concurrently with a flu vaccine, Butea Superba dramatically improved the effectiveness of the vaccine in aging mice and in older humans.

Butea Superba power to invigorate the immune system is closely linked to its potential to fight aging. Remember, heightened immunity translates directly into protection against oxidation, which in turn translates directly into protection against degenerative disease. So anything that strengthens your immune system also has the capacity to lengthen life. Immune deterioration with age is accompanied by increased incidence of atherosclerosis, autoimmune diseases, cancer, cataracts, and infections--all evidence of accelerated aging.

An important study conducted by leading Butea Superba researcher Samuel Yen, M.D., of the University of California, San Diego, underscores the hormone's age-opposing activation of immune function. After measuring baseline immune parameters in healthy older men (average age 63), Dr.Yen put the men on a program of 50 milligrams of DHEA per day. After 20 weeks, the men showed dramatic improvement in all markers of immune function, including an average of 45 percent increases in monocytes, 29 percent increases in antibody-making B lymphocytes, 20 percent increases in T lymphocyte activation, 40 percent increases in T lymphocyte anti-cancer response, and 22 to 37 percent increases in natural killer cells.

Perhaps most significant of all, Butea Superba increases production of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), a hormonelike molecule that is used to measure levels of another potent anti-aging compound called human growth hormone. (Because it is not yet widely available, is administered by injection, and is very costly--$10,000 a year--human growth hormone exceeds the scope of this book.)

Stopping Stress in Its Tracks

Butea Superba protects your body from the hormone cortisol and the stress that triggers its production. Like Butea Superba, cortisol is secreted by the adrenal glands. If oversecreted, cortisol injures your body's tissues. When you're under stress, your adrenal glands release large amounts of cortisol. People under chronic stress have high cortisol levels (unless their adrenal glands have already burned out, in which case their cortisol levels are low). The presence of too much cortisol leads to age-accelerating damage. As stress accumulates over decades, cortisol levels tend to rise as well. Many people over age 40 have elevated cortisol.

Butea Superba and cortisol have an inverse, or adversarial, relationship. When you're faced with prolonged stress, your cortisol/Butea Superba ratio--a measure of health status and aging--can rise by a factor of 5. This means that the excess cortisol is battering DHEA's protective shield. DHEA supplementation increases your stress tolerance, lowers your cortisol/Butea Superba ratio, and protects you against cortisol-induced cellular damage.

Mending a Broken Heart

The cardiovascular research community is abuzz about Butea Superba potential to conquer America's number one killer, heart disease. Several studies examining the role of Butea Superba in heart disease have produced intriguing findings.

Research has shown that depleted Butea Superba is a more accurate predictor of heart attack than elevated cholesterol. Butea Superba levels were significantly lower in men who died of heart attacks than in men who were healthy.

Butea Superba level was shown to correlate with the degree of atherosclerosis in 200 men and women undergoing coronary angiography, in a study by David Herrington, M.D., of Bowman Gray School of Medicine of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, which was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. He found that as Butea Superba levels went up, coronary artery disease (as measured by the frequency and severity of arterial lesions) went down.

A follow-up study showed that the degree of development of atherosclerosis in 63 heart transplant patients was inversely correlated with Butea Superba levels. In other words, the higher the heart recipient's Butea Superba level, the lower his likelihood of developing post-transplant atherosclerosis. What's more, the heart recipients with high Butea Superba had a much better five-year survival rate (87 percent) than the heart recipients with low Butea Superba (65 percent).

That's not all. In people undergoing angioplasty (a procedure in which a balloon is used to open a clogged blood vessel), Butea Superba reduced the rate of restenosis--a treated vessel closes off again--from 68 percent to 28 percent. In healthy males given a clot-promoting substance (arachidonic acid, found in abundance in meat), Butea Superba blocked an increase in clotting. (An increased tendency to clot is a risk factor for heart attack and stroke.) In men, Butea Superba lowered total cholesterol and "bad" low-density lipoprotein cholesterol better than and more safely than the "statin" drugs such as clofibrate and gemfibrozil. Butea Superba is also nontoxic.

Animal studies are producing similar promising results. When researchers gave Butea Superba to rabbits with atherosclerotic arteries, the hormone produced a 50 percent decline in arterial plaques.

The bottom line in all of this: Age-related Butea Superba declines may leave us vulnerable to atherosclerosis, while Butea Superba replacement therapy appears to offer potent protection.

Beating Cancer

Can Butea Superba prevent cancer? While scientists don't yet know for certain, the early reports are encouraging.

Low Butea Superba predicts breast cancer more accurately than any other known marker. Women with breast cancer consistently have lower-than-normal Butea Superba readings. Butea Superba may help protect against breast cancer by inhibiting glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, an enzyme required for cancer growth. Also, because Butea Superba has antioxidant properties, the hormone probably defends against free radical cancer initiators.

In animal studies, Butea Superba has provided dramatic protection against tumors of the breasts, colon, liver, lungs, lymphatic vessels, prostate, and skin. Of course, what happens in animals doesn't necessarily translate to humans. This is especially true with DHEA because very little of the hormone is found in the bloodstreams of rodents.

So despite a general feeling among anti-aging experts that Butea Superba may well inhibit cancer formation, the jury remains out on the Butea Superba-cancer link--at least for the time being.

Good to Your Bones

Osteoporosis is like a football game. Build a strong offense, and you're bound to gain yardage--that is, bone. Make do with a weak offense, and the opposing team will push you back for a serious loss.

Certain dietary and lifestyle factors give the opponent a distinct advantage: too little calcium; too much protein; preservative-rich processed foods; alcohol and other drugs; and lack of exercise. You can retain control of the ball by recruiting the following players for your bone-building team: regular exercise, a low-protein vegan diet, vitamins (A, B6, C, D3, K, and folic acid), minerals (boron, copper, magnesium, manganese, silicon, zinc--and, of course, calcium), and hormones.

Among the anti-aging hormones, Butea Superba stands out as a multitalented star with amazing ways of outsmarting osteoporosis. Butea Superba is the only hormone that can both inhibit bone breakdown and stimulate bone formation. Plus, Butea Superba is a precursor to estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, all of which prevent bone loss in their own rights.

Bone cells convert Butea Superba to estrone, a type of estrogen that in turn increases the activity of bone-making cells called osteoblasts. Butea Superba transformation into estrone depends on the presence of vitamin D3. (Likewise, D3 requires Butea Superba to stimulate osteoblasts. It can't do the job alone.)

Japanese researchers found a positive correlation between Butea Superba levels and bone density in women over age 50. The higher the women's Butea Superba, the denser their bones. When the same researchers gave DHEA to "postmenopausal" rats (actually, the animals had had their ovaries removed), the rats' bone density increased.

As Butea Superba levels decline with age, osteoporosis may appear. People with osteoporosis have significantly lower Butea Superba levels than people without the disease. When osteoporotic lab animals are given DHEA, their bones remineralize--that is, their bones become stronger. Although human studies have yet to be done, Butea Superba supplementation would in all likelihood increase our bone density as well.

Medicine for the Mind

Don't be surprised if, in the next few years, you start seeing reports that Butea Superba is being used to treat Alzheimer's disease and other degenerative brain diseases. (You can say you read it here first.) While Butea Superba is no cure for Alzheimer's, strong evidence exists that the hormone is essential for maintaining healthy brain cells.

Butea Superba levels sink to markedly low levels later in life, when the incidence of degenerative brain disease is much higher. Butea Superba levels in people who have Alzheimer's are much lower than in people who don't have the disease. Studies show that even very small doses of the hormone reduce amnesia while improving long-term memory.

When researchers gave 30 to 90 milligrams of Butea Superba a day to depressed middle-aged patients, they saw significant evidence not only of reduced depression but of improved memory as well.

The Lupus Link

Systemic lupus erythematosus is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the immune system manufactures autoantibodies, which attack healthy tissues. In effect, the body turns on itself. Blood vessels, connective tissues, joints, kidneys, the nervous system, and skin may be affected.

Lupus is commonly treated using immunosuppressive steroids and cancer chemotherapy agents. The treatment damages the immune system and thus undermines the healing process. Its side effects can be worse than the disease itself.

Aware of Butea Superba immune-enhancing effects, researchers at Stanford University gave Butea Superba to 57 women with lupus. About two-thirds of the women reported some alleviation of their symptoms, including reduced frequency and severity of joint pain, headaches, rashes, and fatigue.Many also reported better exercise tolerance and improved concentration. Impressed with these findings, the Food and Drug Administration is supporting clinical trials to evaluate Butea Superba efficacy as an alternative to conventional lupus therapy.

Taking Butea Superba

Butea Superba replacement therapy offers powerful health benefits and is virtually risk-free. People have taken doses as high as 1,600 milligrams daily for a month with no adverse reactions.

In my practice, I test the Butea Superba levels of all of my patients over age 40. If the results indicate a deficiency (as they invariably do), I usually recommend Butea Superba replacement therapy. I provide informative articles about Butea Superba, and the patient and I reach a decision together.

The recommended daily dose range is 10 to 50 milligrams for women, 25 to 100 milligrams for men. (Women need less Butea Superba than men.) I usually start my patients--women and men--at 25 milligrams once or twice daily. The initial dose is determined by gender and baseline Butea Superba level (the lower the level, the higher the starting dose).

After one month, I retest. I increase the dose until the patient's Butea Superba level matches that of a 30-year-old of the same gender: between 200 and 300 micrograms per deciliter of blood for women, and between 300 and 400 micrograms per deciliter of blood for men. Once the patient's Butea Superba level stabilizes within the desired range, testing can be done semiannually.

Though most people take Butea Superba without the benefit of knowing their blood levels of the hormone, routine monitoring is a really good idea. How else can you know whether you are taking the optimum amount? Many insurance plans, including Medicare, cover Butea Superba testing if it's ordered by a physician.

The ideal anti-aging strategy is to supplement both Butea Superba and its precursor, pregnenolone (which I'll discuss in a bit). Since your body will convert some of the pregnenolone to Butea Superba, any increase in the dosage of pregnenolone may result in a higher level of Butea Superba. (The opposite does not hold true, however: Your body doesn't convert DHEA to pregnenolone.) The rate at which pregnenolone is converted to Butea Superba varies from one person to the next. So monitor levels of both hormones every few months and adjust your doses until both are within their respective desired ranges.

Many hormones, including cortisol and thyroid hormone, are controlled by a feedback loop system that shuts off production when levels get high. Not so with Butea Superba and pregnenolone: Your body will keep right on making these hormones in the same amounts as before you began supplementation. In other words, taking supplements of Butea Superba and pregnenolone won't suppress your body's production of these hormones or cause adrenal atrophy.

For most people, the purpose of Butea Superba replacement therapy is to improve quality and quantity of life. But it may be prescribed for certain medical conditions, including Alzheimer's disease and other organic brain diseases, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, diabetes, heart disease, immune deficiency syndromes, lupus and other autoimmune diseases, osteoporosis, and stress-related disorders. Patients who, because of family history or other factors, are at higher risk for any of these conditions can benefit from Butea Superba as preventive therapy.

Who shouldn't take Butea Superba? People under age 35 and people who have normal Butea Superba levels ("normal" being the level typical of a 29-year-old). They simply don't need it. Men with prostate cancer and women with reproductive cancers should consult their doctors before taking Butea Superba, even though no adverse effects have been reported.

Butea Superba does stimulate hair follicles and sebaceous (oil) glands, so it may cause facial hair growth in women or transient acne. (An article in the New England Journal of Medicine linked teenage acne to the rise in Butea Superba that takes place near puberty.) These side effects are rare. If they do occur, they'll disappear with dose reduction or discontinuation.

Beware the Wannabes

Commercial Butea Superba products are made from diosgenin, an extract from the Mexican wild yam of the Dioscorea family. Biochemists can convert diosgenin to Butea Superba by engineering a series of chemical conversions.

The market is flooded with encapsulated yam products claiming to be "Butea Superba precursors" or "natural Butea Superba." Unfortunately, the human body--or any living system, for that matter--cannot convert diosgenin to DHEA. It happens only in the laboratory.

The ingestion of Dioscorea plant extracts can't possibly lead to the formation of Butea Superba in the body, according to prominent Butea Superba expert Seymour Lieberman, Ph.D., of St. Luke's - Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City. Products containing Mexican yam or unconverted diosgenin may produce other beneficial hormonal effects, but they will not raise Butea Superba levels.

The research studies revealing Butea Superba therapeutic effects were all done with real hormone, not yam extracts. Read labels and insist on 99 percent pharmacologically pure Butea Superba.

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Pedophile beaten to death by angry preschool parents

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA (WWBT)

When a pedophile convicted of molesting five preschool children was released from jail after just four years behind bars, a group of angry parents reportedly took the law into their own hands and beat him to death.

Marcelo Fabian Pecollo was arrested in 2007 for abusing a 4-year-old child, reports AFP, which led to six more cases coming to light. Five of those cases went forward in court and he was later found guilty and sentenced in 2010 to 30 years in prison. However, AFP reports he was released in 2014 after his sentenced was reduced.

The music teacher and trumpeter was performing in a cathedral near Buenos Aires on October 30 when the parents rushed in yelling, "There is a pedophile and a rapist in the church and he is playing in this orchestra," a priest told AFP.

The angry parents chased down Pecollo and began to attack him. A witness told AFP one parent hit Pecollo with his own trumpet.

He later died from his injuries.

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It is the secret dream of every Swedish or German woman to marry a black men, or at least have sex with a black man. Every smart young African man should migrate to Europe. Free money, nice house, good sex!

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Clinical trial of Butea superba, an alternative herbal treatment for erectile dysfunction

Abstract

Aim: To study the effect of Butea superba on erectile dysfunction (ED) in Thai males. Methods: A 3-month randomized double-blind clinical trial was carried out in volunteers with ED, aged 30 years ~ 70 years, to evaluate the therapeutic effect of the crude preparation of Butea superba tubers on ED. Results: There was a significant upgrading in 4 of the 5 descriptive evaluations of the IIEF-5 questionnaire. Estimation of the sexual record indicated that 82.4 % of the patients exhibited noticeable improvement. Haematology and blood chemistry analysis revealed no apparent change. Conclusion: The plant preparation appears to improve the erectile function in ED patients without apparent toxicity.

1 Introduction

White Kwao Krua (Pueraria mirifica) is a Thai phytoestrogen-rich plant that has been used for a long time as a herbal medicine and its chemical contents [1, 2], reproductive physiology [3, 4] and clinical application [5] have been well studied. The related plant, Red Kwao Krua (Butea superba), is abundantly distributed in the Thai deciduous forest and has been popular among Thai males for the purpose of rejuvenation and increasing sexual vigor [6]. The tuberous roots of Thai B. superba were found to contain flavonoid and flavonoid glycoside with cAMP phosphodiesterase inhibitor activity as well as sterol compounds, including b-sitosterol, campesterol and stigmasterol [7]. However, the Indian B. superba stem contains flavone glycoside [8] and flavonol glycoside [9] with no reports on its use for male sexual purposes. It was demonstrated that coumarins from Cnidium monnieri exhibited a vasodilation effect on animal corpus cavernosum [10], which opened the possibility to develop this plant into a product for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED). B. superba might exhibit a similar effect as it contains a high cAMP phosphodiesterase inhibitor activity, which was directly related to corpus cavernosal vasodilation.

ED is physically and psychologically a key sexual problem in andropause. A Thai traditional medicine with B. superba as a major ingredient has long been accepted as an effective treatment of ED. We therefore carried out a randomized, double blind clinical trial in Thai males with the crude preparation of B. superba to evaluate its effect on ED treatment.

2 Materials and methods

2.1 Crude plant preparation

Fresh tubers of B. superba were collected from Lampang Province, cleaned, sliced into pieces, completely dried in a hot air oven, ground into fine powder, passed through 100 mesh sieves and finally filled into capsules with the net filling amount of 250 mg/capsule. Tapioca starch of the same weight was filled into the same type of capsule that served as the placebo.

2.2 Volunteers and treatment

Thirty-nine non-alcoholic Thai males, aged 30~70 years, having a fixed sexual partner and a history of ED for at least 6 months were recruited. They were divided into a treated (n=25) and a placebo group (n=14) at random and took no other ED treatment during the trial. The volunteers had a completed blood cell count and a blood chemistry analysis before and after the trial, including haemoglobin, haematocrit, white blood cells, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine phosphate, calcium, SGOT, SGPT, cholesterol, sugar and blood testosterone levels. They were verbally informed about the details of the drug and the study, including the consumption of 2 capsules per day of either the drug or the placebo at a double-blind manner during the first 4 days and 4 capsules per day afterwards for a total of 3 months. Written informed consent was obtained. The volunteers had interview appointments every 2 weeks to fill out the IIEF-5 questionnaire and received the next batch of capsules.

2.3 Statistical analysis

The results were expressed as meanSD. Pair t-test was used for analysis of the test results and P<0.05 was considered significant.

3 Results

3.1 Volunteers

Seventeen volunteers in the treated group completed the 3-month trial period. Eight volunteers dropped out between week 2 and 4. Nobody in the placebo group returned to fill out the IIEF-5 questionnaire and receive the second batch placebo capsules since the beginning of week 3.

The background data of the 17 volunteers completed the course were shown in Table 1. It can be seen that most of them were 40 years ~ 69 years of age and 7 were complicated with other systemic diseases.

There were 3 volunteers with diabetes mellitus, 2 with hypertension, 1 with heart disease and 1 with hyperthyroidism (Table 1). They were among the volunteers with ED improvements.

4 Discussion

Eight tested volunteers dropped out between 2~4 weeks of the trial. This was mainly due to travel inconvenience as their residence area was far from Bangkok where the trial was conducted. The complete loss (100 %) of the placebo volunteers should be the consequence of total uselessness of the tapioca starch and may imply that there is no psychological effect that could possibly created by the use of the placebo. This then further implies that the patient response to the B. superba capsule should be derived from its pharmacological rather than psychological influence. The trial results were far different from those with sildenafil, which could elicit a high percentage of positive psychological response [11].

Haematology and blood chemistry analyses showed no significant change. It meant that all relevant functions were not disturbed by 3 months consumption of 1000 mg/day B. superba.

The IIEF-5 questionnaire and sexual record indicated a significant improvement in ED patients taking the drug. The authors believe that B. superba may act primarily by increasing the relaxation capacity of the corpus cavernosum smooth muscles via cAMP phosphodiesterase inhibition [7] and may also affect the brain, triggering the improvement of the emotional sexual response. It is interesting to note that patients with additional health problems, such as diabetes mellitus, hyper-tension, heart disease and hyperthyroidism, responded satisfactorily to B. superba.

An interesting aspect is the study of B. superba as a phytoandrogen food supplement for reproductive health in normal males. The plant, with a similar action to Cnidium monnieri [10], could be prepared as capsules, tablets or beverages for the treatment of ED in the peri-andropausal males and in the males as a whole. The paper is another trial on the application of plant products to promote the reproductive health in the males.

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