A new study. carried out in the US. showed that men who consume fruit and vegetables which have high levels of pesticide residue had one-third less of the sperm count of men who didn’t.
The study carried out by Jorge Chavarro from the Department of Nutrition and Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, comes as a warning to those who eat fruit with pesticides.
As professor Chavarro said to reporters:
“These findings should not discourage the consumption of fruit and vegetables in general. In fact, we found that total intake of fruit and vegetables was completely unrelated to semen quality. This suggests that implementing strategies specifically targeted at avoiding pesticide residues, such as consuming organically-grown produce or avoiding produce known to have large amounts of residues, may be the way to go.”
For the study, 338 semen samples from 155 participants were analyzed, while the men’s diet was assessed using a food frequency questionnaire. They were asked how often they consumed how many portions of fruit and vegetables.
Fruit and vegetables which are considered to be low in pesticide residue include peas, beans, grapefruit and onions, while those with a high residues included peppers, spinach, strawberries, apples and pears.
The study, which was published in the Human Reproduction journal notes, “To our knowledge, this is the first report on the consumption of fruits and vegetables with high levels of pesticide residue in relation to semen quality. These findings suggest that exposure to pesticides used in agricultural production through diet may be sufficient to affect spermatogenesis in humans.”
An andrology expert from the University of Sheffield, Professor Allan Pacey, told reporters, “This is a very interesting paper that raises the possibility that pesticide residues in our food may be a contributory factor in male infertility, at least in some men. The idea has been raised before, but to my knowledge this is the first paper that has investigated this question in a systematic way.”