A new Harvard Study suggests that pesticide residue on fruit and vegetables could affect the fertility of men.
Research by Harvard University found that men who ate the greatest amount of fruit and vegetables with high levels of pesticide residue had a 49% lower sperm count and a 32% fewer normally formed sperm than those who consumed the least.
The study was published in Human Reproduction and revealed that “more research was needed and that their findings should not encourage men to reduce their consumption of fruit and vegetables.”
“We found that total intake of fruit and vegetables was completely unrelated to semen quality. This 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,” said Jorge Navarro, an assistant professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard’s school of public health.
The study was fairly comprehensive and included 338 semen samples from 155 men between the ages of 18 and 55 who visited a fertility center. The research used data from the U.S.D.A. pesticide data program to evaluate whether a fruit or vegetable was high, moderate or low for pesticides.
There are limitations to the study — in particular, men already going to fertility clinics have infertility issues. In addition, there was no information as to whether the fruits and vegetables were organic.