Pesticides In Fruits and Vegetables May Lower Sperm Count In Men

Jorge E. Chavarro, M.D., Sc.D. Assistant Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Assistant Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School Boston, MA 02113MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Jorge E. Chavarro, M.D., Sc.D.
Assistant Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School Boston, MA 02113

Medical Research: What is the background for this study?

Dr. Chavarro: Previous studies have shown that occupational exposure to pesticides is harmful to sperm production. However, whether the same is true for pesticide residues in our food, the most important source of exposure to pesticides for most people, is unclear.

Medical Research: What are the main findings?

Dr. Chavarro: Bottom line, men who consumed the greatest amounts of fruits and vegetables with large amounts of pesticide residues had significantly lower sperm counts and fewer morphologically normal sperm.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Chavarro: It is important to remember that lower semen quality does not necessarily imply lower fertility. However, those concerned about how pesticide residues in food might impact their fertility consuming organically grown produce or choosing fruits and vegetables known to have few pesticide residues may be the way to go.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Chavarro: As far as we know, this is the first report linking pesticide residues in food to an adverse reproductive health outcome in men. It is therefore important that other studies replicate these findings and establish whether the differences in semen quality observed in our study translate into differences in fertility. It would also be ideal if this relation were examined I randomized trials.

Citation:

Fruit and vegetable intake and their pesticide residues in relation to semen quality among men from a fertility clinic
Y.H. Chiu, M.C. Afeiche, A.J. Gaskins, P.L. Williams, J.C. Petrozza, C. Tanrikut, R. Hauser, and J.E. Chavarro

Human Reproduction, March 30, 2015, doi:10.1093/humrep/dev064

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jorge E. Chavarro, M.D., Sc.D (2015). Pesticides In Fruits and Vegetables May Lower Sperm Counts