Doncel: Vaginas & Lime Juice, Laptops & Sperm

Gustavo F. Doncel, M.D., Ph.D. [pictured here] is a tireless researcher into diseases and micro-scale injuries in and around people’s reproductive parts. Perhaps his most spectacularly provocative study, from past years, is:

Six-Day Randomized Safety Trial of Intravaginal Lime Juice,” Christine K. Mauck, Susan A. Ballagh, Mitchell D. Creinin, Debra H. Weiner, Gustavo F. Doncel, Raina N. Fichorova, Jill L. Schwartz, Neelima Chandra and Marianne M. Callahan, Acquir Immune Defic Syndr, vol. 49, no. 3, November 1, 2008, pp. 243-50. The authors explain:

“Nigerian women reportedly apply lime juice intravaginally to protect themselves against HIV. In vitro data suggest that lime juice is virucidal, but only at cytotoxic concentrations. This is the first controlled, randomized safety trial of lime juice applied to the human vagina…. Lime juice was used rather than lemon juice because more information is available on its intravaginal use. Lime juice concentrations were achieved by dilution with bottled water supplied to the participant. Participants assigned to lime juice were instructed to wash the limes with water and soap, cut each lime in half, and squeeze out the juice by hand. Women assigned to diluted lime juice used a graduated cylinder modified for this study to dilute their juice…. Based on this study, however, lime juice is unlikely to be protective, may be harmful, and should be actively discouraged.”

Dr. Doncel has turned his attention from limes to laptops. His new attention-grabbing study concerns the latter:

Use of laptop computers connected to internet through Wi-Fi decreases human sperm motility and increases sperm DNA fragmentation,” Conrado Avendaño, Ariela Mata, César A. Sanchez Sarmiento and Gustavo F. Doncel, Fertility and Sterility, epub November 23, 2011. (Thanks to investigator Ivan Oransky for bringing this to our attention.) The authors explain:

“Donor sperm samples, mostly normozoospermic, exposed ex vivo during 4 hours to a wireless internet-connected laptop showed a significant decrease in progressive sperm motility and an increase in sperm DNA fragmentation. Levels of dead sperm showed no significant differences between the two groups.”

BONUS: Frederik Joelving of Reuters supplies further details about the laptop/sperm study.

BONUS: Flugman worries about lime juice elsewhere.