It seems that it is becoming more difficult to stay away from chemicals that affect our reproductive systems. Shortly after research showed the negative effects that DEHP has on women, a new study shows that pesticides are hurting men in similar ways.
Research shows that men who eat fruits and vegetables with high levels of pesticides have a lower sperm count and less normal sperm than men who do not.
Jorge Chavarro, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology, highlights the importance of the study. “To our knowledge, this is the first report to link consumption of pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables, a primary exposure route for most people, to an adverse reproductive health outcome in humans,” he says.
Researchers collected data from the samples of over 150 men from 2007-2012. Results showed that men who ate pesticide-rich fruits and vegetables (more than 1.5 servings per day) had 49% lower sperm counts and 32% lower percentages of normal sperm than men who ate lesser amounts (less than 0.5 servings per day).
Despite these frightening numbers, Chavarro is adamant that people not forsake fruits and vegetables altogether.
“These findings should not discourage the consumption of fruits and vegetables in general…In fact, we found that consuming more fruits and vegetables with low pesticide residues was beneficial,” he said.
Chavarro goes on to say that picking the right kinds of fruits and vegetables will go a long way. He suggests avoiding foods with typically high levels of pesticides -- such as strawberries, spinach, apples, pears, and peppers. Instead, he urges people to buy these and other foods if they are grown organically.
The study was released in the journal Human Reproduction on March 30th, 2015.