Oh, to be a researcher at Osaka University... or a rat being researched by said researchers. Newly announced findings indicate Resveratrol, a polyphenol found in red wine, can help rats achieve and maintain erections. I said "erections" - the rats can get it up but they're not yet ready for democracy.
But I digress, so let's return to the red wine researchers and their randy rats. It seems the research team at Osaka University managed to induce diabetes in their beady-eyed test subjects; and a prime symptom of diabetes is erectile dysfunction (ED). Nice going, guys, you managed to piss off the Mickeys AND the Minnies.
Luckily things weren't left in limp-bo, as the diabetic (and depressed, likely as not) rodents were fed Resveratrol powder over a four-week period. What, you thought the rats were treated to a month-long wine & cheese party? No such luck.
It got worse for the rats, however, as "electric shocks were administered to induce erections." C'mon research dudes, you're geeks and you're in Japan: there HAD to be some rat porn available somewhere. Once the shocked - SHOCKED, I say! - rats sprouted their stiffies, the (cruelly smirking) researchers measured blood flow to the critters' genitals... no, I don't know how they did that but your hints are the words "blood" and "flow".
Wonder of wonders, the rate of blood flow had rebounded to 80 percent of normal from an esteem-busting, girlfriend-losing 50 percent. While it's tempting to ascribe the improvement to the electric shocks - and don't try that at home, kids - the researchers say that blood vessels in the rats' penises (penii?) widened because the rats were producing more Nitrogen Monoxide due to their Resveratrol diet. In short, a little NO leads to a great big YES!
The next step, of course, is to try and reproduce these results on human test subjects. One wonders if the effects of Resveratrol would counter the well-known effect of alcohol intake on male sexual performance.
One also wonders if future human test subjects will be receiving electric shocks to induce erections... if so, I vote that the Osaka University researchers should be the test subjects. If it'll be a month-long wine & cheese party, on the other hand, count me in - and I'm bringing the rats with me. (via Asahi Shimbun)