Spermicidal and AIDS virus killer: Coke?

By | October 4, 2008

PSI: Don’t use Coke as birth control. According to snopes, you’ll get a yeast infection and by the time you try it, over 100,000 sperm are already swimming around in the uterus, already out of reach of the coke, even if you use the shake and fizz method. But yes, it does kill sperm.

A researcher who figured out that Coke explodes sperm and scientists who discovered that people will happily eat stale chips if they crunch loudly enough won alternative “Ig Nobel” prizes Thursday.

Other winners included physicists who found out that anything that can tangle, will tangle and a team of biologists who ascertained that dog fleas jump farther than cat fleas.

The Ig Nobels honor real research, but are meant as a funny alternative to next week’s deadly serious Nobel prizes for medicine, chemistry, physics, economics, literature and peace.

Awarded by the editors of the Annals of Improbable Research, a scientific humor magazine, the prizes are based on published research, some intended to be humorous but often not. Usually the “honored” researchers go along with the joke.

Deborah Anderson of Boston University Medical Center and colleagues were awarded the chemistry prize for a 1985 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine that found Coca-Cola kills sperm. She said she was serious in testing the soft drink because women were using it in a douche as a contraceptive and, later, to try to protect themselves from the AIDS virus. “It definitely wouldn’t work as a contraceptive because sperm swims so fast,” Anderson said. But Coke made with sugar quickly kills sperm, she said, probably because sperm soak it up. “The sperm just kind of explode,” she said in a telephone interview. It kills the AIDS virus too, she said. … – reuters

Anderson, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Boston University’s School of Medicine, and her colleagues found that not only was Coca-Cola a spermicide, but that Diet Coke for some reason worked best. Their study appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1985. … she does not recommend using Coke for birth control purposes. A group of Taiwanese doctors were honored for a similar study that found Coca-Cola and other soft drinks were not effective contraceptives. Anderson said the studies used different methodology. – abcnews

See improbable.com. According to the FDA, nonoxynol 9 (N-9) spemicide causes inflammation and actually increases the odds of transmission of HIV.

Does coke kill AIDS? Sure, the acid does it. So does saliva, lemon juice, chlorine in swimming pools, coconut oil, infrared femtosecond lasers with carefully selected wavelengths, ozone, and crocodile blood.

As far as my current understanding: The difficulty is that the HIV virus’s RNA incorporates itself into your cells when it is spread by semen or blood. Once that happens, you can’t kill it on contact.

Blood contains the highest concentration of the virus, followed closely by semen, followed by vaginal fluids. …

Oral sex (mouth-penis, mouth-vagina): The risk from oral sex is very minimal as the mouth is an inhospitable environment for HIV, for several reasons. Saliva contains enzymes that break down the virus; also, the skin of the mouth is sturdier than in the anus or vagina. There are, however, a few documented cases where it appears that HIV was transmitted orally. These cases are all attributed to ejaculation in the mouth (i.e., exposure to semen, not exposure to vaginal fluid or pre-seminal fluid). Receiving oral sex is not risky because one is exposed only to saliva. – sfaf

Leave a Reply