Pesticide Residue On Produce May Effect Fertility In Men

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Pesticide residue on some produce could be harmful to men’s fertility, according to a new study.

Researchers noted that peppers, spinach, strawberries, apples and pears tend to contain the highest concentrations of pesticide, averaging a 49 percent lower sperm count than those who ate less of those items or consumed organic products.

The study was conducted by a fertility center in Boston, where 155 men were tested. The findings were based on 338 semen samples along with a questionnaire about the men’s diet. The pesticide levels on the fruits and vegetables were never measured.

Experts claimed, however, that the findings shouldn’t alarm men into cutting back on their fruit and vegetables consumption.

“These findings should not discourage the consumption of fruit and vegetables in general,” Jorge Chacarro, author of the study, said. “In fact, we found that consuming more fruits and vegetables with low pesticide residues was beneficial.”

While previous studies have shown that eating non-organic fruit and vegetables can lead to a high level of pesticides in urine, and the other studies have linked pesticides to sperm count, this study is the first of its kind.

“The idea has been raised before, but to my knowledge this is the first paper that has investigated this question in a systematic way,” Allan Pacey, a professor at the University of Sheffield, said. “That said, whilst results are tantalizing, they should be interpreted with caution as the study is not without its flaws and limitations.”

Information regarding which products were likely to have higher levels of pesticide were based on U.S. Department of Agriculture advice.

The results were published in the journal Human Reproduction.

Source: The Independent


 
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