Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sperm can out race Coca-Cola (Good to know!)

Taken from the British Medical Journal (BMJ 2008;337:a2873 )

Coca-Cola douches were a part of folklore about birth control during the 1950s and 1960s, before effective contraceptive methods were readily available.1 It was rumoured that the acidity of Coca-Cola killed sperm, and the classic coke bottle provided a convenient "shake and shoot" applicator. Recently, an old study from our group confirming the spermicidal effects of various Coca-Cola formulations2 was awarded the 2008 IgNobel prize in chemistry.3 The press releases surrounding our IgNobel award might have repopularised this method, and soft drink douches are apparently still used to prevent pregnancy in resource-poor settings.4 There are, however, many reason why women should not rely on this method.
That's old news. An article published in Human Toxicology already dealt with this myth in 1987 (Hum Toxicol. 1987 Sep;6(5):395-6).
The inhibitory effect of Old Coke, caffeine-free New Coke, New Coke, Diet Coke and Pepsi-Cola on human sperm motility was studied with a trans-membrane migration method. None of them could decrease sperm motility to less than 70% of control within one hour. A previous study which claimed a marked variation of spermicidal potencies among different formulations of Coca-Cola could not be confirmed. Even if cola has a spermicidal effect, its potency is relatively weak as compared with other well-known spermicidal agents.

PIP: Testing of various cola formulas on sperm motility using a trans-membrane procedure did not decrease motility to less than 70% control in a 1-hour period. Diet Coca-Cola had the strongest spermicidal effect followed by Classic Coca-Cola, Caffeine-free Coca-Cola and New Coca-Cola. Since there are no known substances in cola that effect cellular membranes, the results of these tests were not unusual. Other tests have been done using higher dilution of cola which could effect sperm motility and give different results for spermicidal potencies. The results show that cola has little if any spermicidal effect. Its use in postcoital douching is ineffective and could cause complications such as infection.
Via Radio-Canada's website!

UPDATE: Pepsi and Coca-cola used as pesticides......


Julia said...

The BMJ report is Dr. Anderson reconciling her 1985 study (which demonstrated that Coca-Cola could have a contraceptive effect on sperm in a 5:1 Coke:sperm ratio) with the 1987 report which ostensibly showed the opposite (albeit with a 1:5 Coke:sperm ratio).

And both studies earned Dr. Anderson and the Taiwanese team a joint Ig Nobel Prize in Chemistry.