When it comes to difficulty conceiving or carrying a child to term, few people consider pesticide exposures as a possible source of problem, but new research suggests that’s exactly what we should do. Of course there can be many possible factors for infertility or miscarriage, but research shows that pesticide residues warrant consideration as well.
According to the new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) there is a connection between pesticide residues and an increased risk of infertility. Even in those who are able to conceive, there is a greater risk of miscarriage due to pesticide exposures. The study examined 325 women undergoing fertility treatments—researchers found a link between those who ate more fruits and vegetables high in pesticide residues and their likelihood of having a baby than those who did not.
The researchers found that those who ate the highest amounts of high-pesticide produce were 18 percent less likely to get pregnant and 26 percent less likely to deliver a baby. The scientists concluded that typical daily pesticide exposure through the diet may have adverse reproductive consequences.
While this particular study explored the link to female reproduction, earlier research published in the medical journal Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology found that glyphosate-based pesticides like Monsanto’s Roundup increased impairment in sperm structure and reproduction in male animals. Other research in the journal Entropy linked the pesticide to damaged gut health—a factor in many other health conditions. When it comes to health, a damaged gut is the root of (almost) all evil.
Other studies like the one published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives have linked pesticide exposures to the incidence or development of autism.
The fruits and vegetables highest in pesticides are known as the “Dirty Dozen” by many people. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), they include: strawberries, spinach, nectarines, apples, peaches, pears, cherries, grapes, tomatoes and celery. Choosing organic fruits and vegetables as much as possible, but especially of the dirty dozen produce items is a good way to reduce your exposure to the pesticides they frequently contain.
Fruits and vegetables aren’t the only foods that can be contaminated with pesticides. The Organic Consumers Association recently teste Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and found that 10 out of 11 ice cream samples tested positive for glyphosate, which is a disturbing situation considering the ice cream is touted by its manufacturer, Unilever, as a more natural and socially responsible option than other ice cream.
Eating fewer fruits and vegetables is not the answer to reducing your pesticide exposure. Switching to organic fruits and vegetables will not only reduce the amount of pesticides to which you are exposed, it will also help to detoxify pesticide residues that are stored in your body. As shocking as that may sound, a study published in the medical journal Environmental Health Perspectives found that eating an organic diet helps remove pesticides from your body. The scientists found that organic foods eaten on a regular basis diminish the concentrations of compounds that are formed when the body attempts to eliminate pesticides, suggesting that the organic diet helps the body to detoxify the compounds we’ve already been exposed to.
Additionally, it is also beneficial to boost your liver’s ability to purify the blood of toxic chemicals like pesticides. Herbs like turmeric, milk thistle, dandelion root, along with incorporating more foods like lemon, garlic and onions in your diet can help give your liver a boost to help detoxify pesticides from your body. Follow package directions for the herbal products you choose.
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Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-news World’s Healthiest News, president of PureFood BC, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: The Life Force Diet: 3 Weeks to Supercharge Your Health and Get Slim with Enzyme-Rich Foods.