It may be hard to believe, but the pesticide residue contained on commonly eaten produce items could be responsible for the fertility problems experienced by both men and women.
Research has long since concluded that pesticide exposure can have a significantly adverse impact on a couple’s ability to conceive a child. However, in recent years, medical studies have revealed that the consumption of fruits and vegetables contaminated with pesticides can also precipitate this well-known, yet difficult to solve and sometimes gut-wrenching reproductive issue. The following short piece examines scientific data compiled, discusses how the fertility of both sexes is affected, the edible products at the root of the problem, the types of pesticides considered to be most at fault and the steps people can take to potentially avoid becoming part of these unfortunate statistics.
How the Consumption of Pesticide-Laden Produce Impacts Male Fertility
In the case of men, the ingestion of elevated pesticide levels can result in diminished sperm counts and quality. A Harvard University study conducted over an 18-month period examined more than 150 men struggling with and being treated for fertility problems. Researchers, through careful questioning and perusing relevant data, discovered that 49 percent of these men had lower sperm counts and an additional 32 percent had sperm deformities. The commonality was that all of these test subjects consumed a diet rich in fruits and vegetables tainted with pesticides.
The Impact Upon Women’s Fertility
The consumption of pesticide-tainted fruits and vegetables yielded just as—if not more—staggering numbers in another study conducted by Harvard University researchers. These scientists examined 325 women receiving treatment for fertility difficulties and discovered the vast majority of the test subjects ate, on average, in excess of two serving of tainted produce per day. Furthermore, the researchers concluded these women were 18 percent less likely to conceive and a whopping 23 percent less likely to carry a child full-term.
What Type of Fruits and Vegetables are Responsible?
There was no one particular kind or even one specific category to blame. The edible products believed to play a role in these fertility challenges comprised many different types of fruits, such as strawberries, blueberries, peaches, plums, apples, pears, grapes and raisins. The tainted vegetables most consumed were peppers (red, green and yellow), spinach, celery, potatoes, kale, mustard greens and chard greens.
What Types of Pesticides are Often Used On Fruits and Vegetables?
Numerous different types of chemicals are sprayed on fruits and vegetables. These pesticides are designed to eradicate the insects and microorganisms that can invade and destroy these edible products before they are shipped to and placed on supermarket shelves. The five most common ones used on fruits and vegetables are Endosulfan, Permethrin, Diazinon, Malathion and Chlorpyrifos.
How to Avoid Consuming Pesticide-Ridden Products
It is estimated that the average American has the traces of roughly 29 different pesticides circulating through his or her body. The aforementioned paragraphs illustrate how these chemicals can potentially impact fertility. However, the frightening truth is that the continued ingestion of these toxins might also result in the development of other severe health manifestations: pesticides are associated with an increased risk of diabetes, certain forms of cancer, cardiovascular disease and other disease of civilization. With such considerations in mind, many may wonder if there are any steps they can take to avoid the ingestion of pesticide-tainted fruits and vegetables.
One option to consider is purchasing organic products. Organic fruits and vegetables are typically pesticide free. However, these items can be quite costly and could prove too expensive for individuals operating on a limited budget. Should the purchase of organic fruits and/or vegetables be out the question, people must ensure their store-bought products are thoroughly washed. Effective cleansing methods include rinsing fruits and vegetables under warm water for several seconds. Unfortunately, not all residues can be removed reliably with this method. Therefore special cleansing products designed specifically for pesticide removal are necessary to eliminate pesticedes completely. These productes are available in supermarkets, but can also be produced by oneself.
While scientists believe more research needs to be conducted to firmly conclude that the consumption of pesticide-tainted fruits and vegetables directly leads to infertility, the limited data available suggests the notion is worth our attention.