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Study: Pesticides In Produce May Affect Sperm Count

Dorathy Gass

The man in your life may want to reconsider certain produce when shopping at the grocery store: a recent study has found a connection between low sperm count and pesticides in fruit and vegetables.

Published in journal Human Reproduction online, the study revealed that men who consumed produce with increased amounts of pesticide residue had a 49% lower sperm count total and a 32% decrease in normal formed sperm than males who consumed lesser amounts of pesticide-heavy produce.

Jorge E. Chavarro, MD, assistant professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health and co-author of the research project notes that this is not a reason for men to skip on their fruits and veggies come meal time; rather, he advises that they should think about selecting produce that is organically grown, or known to have low amounts of pesticides.

MSN reports this study is the first of its kind to review reproductive effects that pesticides have, there has been well-documented studies in the past which have linked pesticide exposure to sperm count. The team reviewed 338 samples of semen from over 150 men from the ages of 18 to 55. As the men were already seeking assistance with fertility problems at a medical centre from 2007 to 2012, they were open to the Environment and Reproductive Health (EARTH) study.

Male participants filled out a lengthy dietary questionnaire when visiting the fertility center, and talked about the portions of fruits and vegetables they ate. Produce was ranked as carrying low, moderate or increased amounts of pesticide residue according to statistics from the USDA’s Pesticide Data Program.

As this research is the first to reveal the negative reproductive affects produce can have when it comes to pesticide exposure, Chavarro notes that it might not prove that pesticide residue causes low sperm count, or that this could lead to fertility issues, and further research might be needed. Moreover, Chavarro strongly advises that shoppers consider organic options when it comes to produce selection.

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