Pesticides may af­fect IVF

The Week (US) - - News 19 -

Eat­ing pes­ti­cide-laden fruits and veg­eta­bles could re­duce women’s chances of get­ting preg­nant through in vitro fer­til­iza­tion, re­ports Re­searchers at Har­vard fol­lowed 325 women un­der­go­ing IVF, giv­ing them de­tailed ques­tion­naires about their diet and other fac­tors that could af­fect the suc­cess of their fer­til­ity treat­ment, such as age and re­pro­duc­tive his­tory. The team then used a De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture data­base to cal­cu­late the av­er­age pes­ti­cide residues on spe­cific fresh fruits and veg­eta­bles. They found that the women who ate more than two serv­ings of pro­duce with the most chem­i­cal residues—in­clud­ing con­ven­tion­ally grown straw­ber­ries, spinach, and pep­pers— were 18 per­cent less likely to con­ceive than those who ate less than one serv­ing of th­ese high-risk fruits and veg­eta­bles. Lead au­thor Jorge Chavarro says more re­search is needed but ad­mits he is “more will­ing to buy or­ganic ap­ples than I was a few months ago.”

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