The study involved 325 women who went to a fertility clinic in Boston. Data on their eating habits and pregnancy outcomes were examined by researchers. The findings showed women in the study who ate fruits and vegetables with higher levels of pesticide residue impaired their ability to get pregnant and sustain pregnancy.
Women in this study were participating in the Environment and Reproductive Health Study. The objective was to identify determinants of fertility among couples studied at the Fertility Center. Variables were considered, including smoking, diet habits, and supplement intake. Researchers concluded:
“…intake of high–pesticide residue [fruits and vegetables] was associated with lower probabilities of clinical pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing infertility treatment.
They report that their findings are consistent with animal studies that have shown low-dose pesticide ingestion likely causes adverse effects to fertility.
We already knew that women occupationally exposed to pesticides and women exposed to pesticides used in agriculture by virtue of living in or near agricultural production areas experience greater risk of infertility, pregnancy loss and other adverse reproductive outcomes.” – Dr. Jorge Chavarro of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
Women in the study were 35 years old on average. Most were white and had at least a college education. They all underwent fertility treatments between 2007 and 2016.
Researchers estimated that replacing a single serving day of produce containing high levels of pesticide residue with a different, lower-pesticide option could increase pregnancy odds by 79 percent, and increase the chances of a live birth by 88 percent.
Women in the study were 35 years old on average, typically white, and they had at least a college education.
Dr. Chavarro stated that the study is the first to show that low doses of pesticide residue in conventionally grown fruits and vegetables can have adverse health effects. He also stated that washing produce does not reduce pesticide exposure, and buying organic fruits and vegetables makes sense for foods that typically have high levels of pesticide residue.
Pesticide Levels In Produce
The environmental working group puts out a list of the worst offenders and the better choices for conventional produce, helpful to those on a budget or who don’t have access to enough organic produce. The * indicates the item may be genetically modified. And don’t forget, grow your own!
EWG’s Clean Fifteen
- Sweet Corn*
- Sweet peas frozen
- Honeydew Melon
EWG’s Dirty Dozen
- Sweet bell peppers
- Considering Home Birth
- Detox Cheap and Easy Without Fasting – Recipes Included
- Start Eating Like That and Start Eating Like This – Your Guide to Homeostasis Through Diet
- How to Make the Healthiest Smoothies – 4 Recipes
- Galactagogues Foods, Herbs, and other Ways to Increase Breast
- Pesticide residue on fruits and veggies tied to infertility – Reuters
- EWG’s Dirty Dozen – Environmental Working Group
- EWG’s Clean Fifteen – Environmental Working Group