Previous studies have already established that working with pesticides caused lower fertility in men. Moreover, new research now shows how eating food with high amounts of pesticide can lower a man's sperm count.
A study by Harvard University published in the journal Human Reproduction showed that men who ate fruits and vegetables with a lot of pesticides had lower sperm counts and more oddly shaped sperm than those who had lower levels of dietary pesticide exposure.
The researchers used data from the Environment and Reproductive Health (EARTH) study which included semen sample from 155 men who they asked about the contents of their daily diet. Their pesticide exposure was then determined by comparing their answers with U.S. government data about produce pesticide levels.
Men who had the highest levels of pesticide exposure had a 49% lower sperm count and 32% fewer sperm that were shaped normally compared to those who ate the least amount of high-pesticide produce.
Fruits and vegetables which contained the highest levels of detectable pesticides, according to the study, are: green, red, yellow and red peppers, spinach, strawberries, celery, blueberries, potatoes, peaches, plums, apples, pears, winter squash, kale, mustard greens, chard greens, grapes and raisins.
“The more pesticides are applied on any particular crop, that seems to be having a bigger impact,” said Dr. Jorge Chavarro, assistant professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health and senior author of the study.
However, as this is believed to be the first study made on the effects of a high-pesticide level diet on men’s fertility, researchers of the study said that more research is needed on the subject.
Sources: March 30, 2015. "A Diet High in Pesticides Is Linked to a Lower Sperm Count". time.com March 31, 2015. "Pesticide residue on food could affect sperm quality, says Harvard study". theguardian.com