Reason #87 to Eat Organic: Pesticides are Killing Your Sperm
Planning to reproduce are you, good sir? You may want to start eating organic.
A recent study by Harvard researchers has found that pesticide residues found in conventional produce are associated with an up to 49% less sperm count, lower levels of normal sperm and less ejaculate.
We already know that pesticides are associated with all manner of nasty health outcomes, from birth defects, to leukemia, to Parksinson's disease and to hormone disruption. In men, lots of studies have shown correlations between regular exposure to high levels of pesticides and lower sperm quality -- for example, amongst farm workers.
The researchers studied 338 semen samples over a five-year period and collected data on the participants’ diets. They adjusted for factors known to impact sperm quaity such as smoking and BMI.
What they found was shocking.
Men who ate larger amounts of produce with higher levels of pesticide residue had up to 49% lower sperm count and 32% less normal sperm than those men who ate the least.
So what is a man planning on procreation to do? The study's senior author, Jorge Chavarro, 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.”
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