We already know that men who face pesticide exposure as an occupational necessity or in the environment that they live in have a higher risk of lowered fertility. But what will the pesticides we find on the fruits and vegetables that we eat do to us?
A recent study on 155 men detailed exactly how much and what kind of fruits and vegetables they ate. This data was then compared to the US Department of Agriculture’s data on how much pesticide residue is found on particular produce. The data showed that peppers, spinach, strawberries, apples, and pears tend to have high levels of pesticide residue. Conversely, peas, beans, grapefruit, and onions have low-to-moderate levels.
It was found that the men who ate at least 1.5 servings of high-pesticide produce per day had about half as many sperm in their semen, and two-thirds as many normal-appearing sperm, as men who ate less than half a serving of high-pesticide produce per day.
While this is not a sure sign of lowered fertility, it would be logical to assume that there would be some impact on their fertility. It should also not be surprising as pesticides are designed to disrupt the reproduction of pests, so they should have some sort of impact or effect on human reproduction also.
However, this particular study did not specify or differentiate which kinds of pesticides are worse.
So, are pesticides killing your sperm? While the answer isn’t absolutely clear, one thing you may want to do is to switch to organic fruits and vegetables if you are struggling with fertility. If that is not possible, try to choose fruits and vegetables that are known to have less pesticide residue.