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Fruit and vegetable intake and their pesticide residues in relation to semen quality among men from a fertility clinic.
Hum Reprod. 2015 Jun; 30(6):1342-51.HR

Abstract

STUDY QUESTION

Is consumption of fruits and vegetables with high levels of pesticide residues associated with lower semen quality?

SUMMARY ANSWER

Consumption of fruits and vegetables with high levels of pesticide residues was associated with a lower total sperm count and a lower percentage of morphologically normal sperm among men presenting to a fertility clinic.

WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY

Occupational and environmental exposure to pesticides is associated with lower semen quality. Whether the same is true for exposure through diet is unknown.

STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION

Men enrolled in the Environment and Reproductive Health (EARTH) Study, an ongoing prospective cohort at an academic medical fertility center. Male partners (n = 155) in subfertile couples provided 338 semen samples during 2007-2012.

PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS

Semen samples were collected over an 18-month period following diet assessment. Sperm concentration and motility were evaluated by computer-aided semen analysis (CASA). Fruits and vegetables were categorized as containing high or low-to-moderate pesticide residues based on data from the annual United States Department of Agriculture Pesticide Data Program. Linear mixed models were used to analyze the association of fruit and vegetable intake with sperm parameters accounting for within-person correlations across repeat samples while adjusting for potential confounders.

MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE

Total fruit and vegetable intake was unrelated to semen quality parameters. High pesticide residue fruit and vegetable intake, however, was associated with poorer semen quality. On average, men in highest quartile of high pesticide residue fruit and vegetable intake (≥1.5 servings/day) had 49% (95% confidence interval (CI): 31%, 63%) lower total sperm count and 32% (95% CI: 7%, 58%) lower percentage of morphologically normal sperm than men in the lowest quartile of intake (<0.5 servings/day) (P, trend = 0.003 and 0.02, respectively). Low-to-moderate pesticide residue fruit and vegetable intake was associated with a higher percentage of morphologically normal sperm (P, trend = 0.04).

LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION

Surveillance data, rather than individual pesticide assessment, was used to assess the pesticide residue status of fruits and vegetables. CASA is a useful method for clinical evaluation but may be considered less favorable for accurate semen analysis in the research setting. Owing to the observational nature of the study, confirmation is required by interventional studies as well.

WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS

To our knowledge, this is the first report on the consumption of fruits and vegetables with high levels of pesticide residue in relation to semen quality. Further confirmation of these findings is warranted.

STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTERESTS

Supported by National Institutes of Health grants ES009718, ES022955, ES000002, P30 DK046200 and Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award T32 DK007703-16. None of the authors has any conflicts of interest to declare.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA.Department of Environmental Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA.Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA.Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA Department of Biostatistics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA.Vincent Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA.Department of Urology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA.Department of Environmental Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA.Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA jchavarr@hsph.harvard.edu.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

Language

eng

PubMed ID

25824023

Citation

Chiu, Y H., et al. "Fruit and Vegetable Intake and Their Pesticide Residues in Relation to Semen Quality Among Men From a Fertility Clinic." Human Reproduction (Oxford, England), vol. 30, no. 6, 2015, pp. 1342-51.
Chiu YH, Afeiche MC, Gaskins AJ, et al. Fruit and vegetable intake and their pesticide residues in relation to semen quality among men from a fertility clinic. Hum Reprod. 2015;30(6):1342-51.
Chiu, Y. H., Afeiche, M. C., Gaskins, A. J., Williams, P. L., Petrozza, J. C., Tanrikut, C., Hauser, R., & Chavarro, J. E. (2015). Fruit and vegetable intake and their pesticide residues in relation to semen quality among men from a fertility clinic. Human Reproduction (Oxford, England), 30(6), 1342-51. https://doi.org/10.1093/humrep/dev064
Chiu YH, et al. Fruit and Vegetable Intake and Their Pesticide Residues in Relation to Semen Quality Among Men From a Fertility Clinic. Hum Reprod. 2015;30(6):1342-51. PubMed PMID: 25824023.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Fruit and vegetable intake and their pesticide residues in relation to semen quality among men from a fertility clinic. AU - Chiu,Y H, AU - Afeiche,M C, AU - Gaskins,A J, AU - Williams,P L, AU - Petrozza,J C, AU - Tanrikut,C, AU - Hauser,R, AU - Chavarro,J E, Y1 - 2015/03/30/ PY - 2014/11/04/received PY - 2015/02/03/accepted PY - 2015/4/1/entrez PY - 2015/4/1/pubmed PY - 2016/2/26/medline KW - fruits and vegetables KW - pesticide KW - semen quality SP - 1342 EP - 51 JF - Human reproduction (Oxford, England) JO - Hum Reprod VL - 30 IS - 6 N2 - STUDY QUESTION: Is consumption of fruits and vegetables with high levels of pesticide residues associated with lower semen quality? SUMMARY ANSWER: Consumption of fruits and vegetables with high levels of pesticide residues was associated with a lower total sperm count and a lower percentage of morphologically normal sperm among men presenting to a fertility clinic. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: Occupational and environmental exposure to pesticides is associated with lower semen quality. Whether the same is true for exposure through diet is unknown. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: Men enrolled in the Environment and Reproductive Health (EARTH) Study, an ongoing prospective cohort at an academic medical fertility center. Male partners (n = 155) in subfertile couples provided 338 semen samples during 2007-2012. PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: Semen samples were collected over an 18-month period following diet assessment. Sperm concentration and motility were evaluated by computer-aided semen analysis (CASA). Fruits and vegetables were categorized as containing high or low-to-moderate pesticide residues based on data from the annual United States Department of Agriculture Pesticide Data Program. Linear mixed models were used to analyze the association of fruit and vegetable intake with sperm parameters accounting for within-person correlations across repeat samples while adjusting for potential confounders. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: Total fruit and vegetable intake was unrelated to semen quality parameters. High pesticide residue fruit and vegetable intake, however, was associated with poorer semen quality. On average, men in highest quartile of high pesticide residue fruit and vegetable intake (≥1.5 servings/day) had 49% (95% confidence interval (CI): 31%, 63%) lower total sperm count and 32% (95% CI: 7%, 58%) lower percentage of morphologically normal sperm than men in the lowest quartile of intake (<0.5 servings/day) (P, trend = 0.003 and 0.02, respectively). Low-to-moderate pesticide residue fruit and vegetable intake was associated with a higher percentage of morphologically normal sperm (P, trend = 0.04). LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION: Surveillance data, rather than individual pesticide assessment, was used to assess the pesticide residue status of fruits and vegetables. CASA is a useful method for clinical evaluation but may be considered less favorable for accurate semen analysis in the research setting. Owing to the observational nature of the study, confirmation is required by interventional studies as well. WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: To our knowledge, this is the first report on the consumption of fruits and vegetables with high levels of pesticide residue in relation to semen quality. Further confirmation of these findings is warranted. STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTERESTS: Supported by National Institutes of Health grants ES009718, ES022955, ES000002, P30 DK046200 and Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award T32 DK007703-16. None of the authors has any conflicts of interest to declare. SN - 1460-2350 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/25824023/Fruit_and_vegetable_intake_and_their_pesticide_residues_in_relation_to_semen_quality_among_men_from_a_fertility_clinic_ L2 - https://academic.oup.com/humrep/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/humrep/dev064 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -