as male fertility rates decline, we look at the potential causes. This week: Pesticides on fruit and veg TRYING to improve a man’s diet could indirectly reduce his family chances.
A study of 155 men found that those who ate the most fruit and vegetables containing high pesticide residue levels had a 49 per cent lower sperm count than those who consumed the least.
The study, published two years ago in the journal Human Reproduction, found that men with the highest intake of pesticide-heavy fruit and vegetables — at least 1.5 servings per day — had an average total sperm count of 86 million sperm per sample compared with 171 million for those whose consumption was lowest. ‘I don’t think there is any risk from the occasional unwashed apple,’ says Allan Pacey, a professor of andrology at Sheffield University. ‘Overall, studies of pesticide exposure struggle to find a relationship with male infertility. All the evidence indicates that men who eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day have better sperm.’