More bad pesticide news: Eating fruit and vegetables containing pesticide residues lowers sperm counts

pest-150x150A study published online in the journal of Human Reproduction examined the relationship between fruit and vegetables pesticide residues and the detrimental impact on the men’s semen. The study participants consisted of assessing 155 men who donated 338 semen samples. Their diet was assessed through a food frequency questionnaire, where they were asked how often, on average, they had consumed how many portions of fruit and vegetables, using standard portion sizes such as one apple, or half an avocado.

The fruit and vegetables were differentiated as being high, moderate or low in pesticide residues based on data from the annual United States Department of Agriculture Pesticide Data Program. Fruit or vegetables that were low in pesticide residues included peas, beans, grapefruit and onions. Those that had high residues included peppers, spinach, strawberries, apples and pears. These data took account of usual practice in food preparation, such as whether the fruit and vegetables had been peeled and washed. [1]
The researchers divided the men into four groups, ranging from those who ate the greatest amount of fruit and vegetables high in pesticides residues (1.5 servings or more a day) to those who ate the least amount (less than half a serving a day). They also looked at men who ate fruit and vegetables with low-to-moderate pesticide residues.

The group of men with the highest intake of pesticide-heavy fruit and vegetables had an average total sperm count of 86 million sperm per ejaculate compared to men eating the least who had an average of 171 million sperm per ejaculate a 49% reduction. The percentage of normally formed sperm was an average of 7.5% in men in the group with the lowest intake and 5.1% in the men with the highest intake a relative decrease of 32%.

The study findings revealed that men who ate the highest amount of fruit and vegetables with high levels of pesticide residue had a 49% lower sperm count and a 32% lower percentage of normally-formed sperm than men who consumed the least amount. The group of men with the highest intake of pesticide-heavy fruit and vegetables had an average total sperm count of 86 million sperm per ejaculate compared to men eating the least who had an average of 171 million sperm per ejaculate a 49% reduction. The percentage of normally formed sperm was an average of 7.5% in men in the group with the lowest intake and 5.1% in the men with the highest intake a relative decrease of 32%.

Source

Y.H. Chiu et al. Fruit and vegetable intake and their pesticide residues in relation to semen quality among men from a fertility clinic. Human Reproduction, 2015 DOI: 10.1093/humrep/dev064
Hagai Levine and Shanna H. Swan. Is dietary pesticide exposure related to semen quality? Positive evidence from men attending a fertility clinic. Human Reproduction, DOI: 10.1093/humrep/dev065

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