Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Fruit or contraceptive?
While sitting in class the other day, one of my teachers noted that there was a study that Lemon juice may be used as a contraceptive and may cure AIDS. This is kind of a big deal, so after doing some research, I thought I would share this with everyone.
First thing I found out... A high concentration of lemon juice has been found to kill the HIV virus and sperm in laboratory settings. This is important because it means that this is NOT proven in humans, so please use a condom and protect yourself from pregnancy and HIV. It is interesting that when this story came out (in 2002), there was actually a lot of media coverage. While it is revolutionary in that it has shown to kill the HIV virus, why is it 6 years later and there are not huge campaigns stating: "Drink lemonade! Cure HIV!" Obviously there were some problems with this study.
Apparently, lemons were used as a contraceptive in the Mediterranean for hundreds of years before condoms were invented. The researcher of this study, Robert Short of Melbourne University in Australia, said that "I'm a great believer in history. People would not have used it for 300 or 400 years if it did not work." He also went on to talk about how women in his lab said that the lemon juice was not uncomfortable. He suggests that this could be revolutionary because it is cheap to grow fruit and this could help developing countries. Obviously, six years later we still don't use lemon juice as a contraceptive or HIV cure, so we should be suspicious about his information.
As a response, "Julian Meldrum of the London-based National AIDS Manual [said]: 'The basic principle that acids such as lemon juice can inactivate both sperm and HIV has been known for some years.' But although lemon juice was used historically as a contraceptive, 'it is unknown how much damage this did both directly to the vagina and the interior of the cervix and uterus, and indirectly, through effects on microbes in the vagina.'"
After looking at the legitimacy of this research, I would recommend keeping food as an aphrodisiac, or just using it to keep sex fun and yummy, let's leave the contraceptives to the Trojans, not the Aussies.