New research suggests drinking cola may drastically reduce male sperm counts.
Danish researchers tested 2,554 young men who were being forced to undergo medical examination to determine their suitability for use as cannon fodder.
They gathered data on dietary habits, particularly their consumption of caffeinated beverages, and collected semen samples, which they analysed for sperm count.
Men with low to medium caffeine intake were found to have normal sperm counts, but those taking over 800mg of caffeine each day or 7 litres of cola a week had sperms counts some 30% lower than the norm.
The study also tested for a link between other beverages containing caffeine, such as tea and coffee (which actually contain more caffeine than most soft drinks), but found no link at all between consumption and lowered sperm count, seemingly placing caffeine itself in the clear.
The study also noted cola drinkers tended in general to live less “healthy” lifestyles, enjoying a poorer diet.
Although the link between drinking cola and a lowered sperm count was clear, researchers are unsure as to what actually causes the phenomenon, only saying they were unable to exclude “the possibility of a threshold above which cola, and possibly caffeine, negatively affects semen quality.”
The study did not target specific brands, so unfortunately for shareholders it seems no maker will be able to claim use as an oral contraceptive as a unique selling point.