Dudes, you may want to be pickier about the produce you buy: New research has found a link between pesticide residue and low sperm count and quality, reports The Washington Post.
But don't ditch your side salad just yet. The study, published in the journal Human Reproduction, found the total amount of fruits and veggies consumed were completely unrelated to semen quality.
"These findings shouldn't discourage the consumption of fruit and vegetables in general," Jorge Chavarro, Assistant Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health said in a statement. "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."
As part of the study, participants were asked how many servings of specific fruits and veggies they ate daily. Researchers then looked at the amounts of pesticide residue on each, using data from the USDA's Pesticide Data Program, while controlling for factors such as smoking, obesity and physical activity. Men who consumed the most pesticide residue had 49 percent lower sperm counts, 32 percent fewer than normal appearing sperm, and 29 percent lower ejaculate volume.
"I think this raises a lot more questions," Chavarro said in an interview reported by The Washington Post. "It was actually very surprising to me ... that we were able to identify such a strong association, which to me says there is something going on there."
Plus, the men in the study were already seeking help for fertility issues, which could have impacted the outcome. The study may have opened the door to more questions than it actually answered. More research needs to be done on the subject.
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