A recent study shows that pesticides found in fruit and vegetables may affect the quality of a man’s semen
Semen quality is an important component of male fertility—men with low sperm counts and/or abnormally shaped sperm may experience fertility problems. A new study demonstrates that men need to be made aware of the potential relationship between pesticides and sperm quality.
Diet and sperm health
We know that men who eat healthy diets with lots of fruits and vegetables are healthier. The fruits and vegetables that contain the highest levels of pesticides are spinach, peppers and strawberries. Higher levels of pesticides can be found in apples, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, nectarines, peaches, potatoes and snap peas.
Dallas-Fort Worth Fertility Associates does not recommend that our male patients quit eating fruits and vegetables, but we do recommend that they follow guidelines for pesticides and semen quality.
- Try to choose and consume organically grown fruits and vegetables as often as possible.
- When you do eat fruits and vegetables known to contain high residues of pesticides, choose organic and thoroughly clean and rinse the produce.
The best way to wash produce
If you are concerned about pesticides and semen quality, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) recommends washing produce to remove as many pesticides as possible.
- Use large amounts of cold or warm tap water, but no soap, to wash fruits and vegetables, scrubbing with a brush as needed.
- Remove and discard the outer leaves of leafy vegetables (cabbage, lettuce, etc.).
While more studies are needed to confirm the relationship between pesticides and semen quality, we do know that pesticides can affect sperm quality, so we would like to see men take precautions to reduce their exposure to pesticide residue. Continue to eat a healthy diet, rich with lean proteins, fruits, vegetables and whole grains, but avoid pesticide residue by buying organic and properly cleaning all produce.
For more information about male infertility, contact us at Dallas-Fort Worth Fertility Associates. Our experienced and highly trained fertility doctors are here to help you.