Beef may cause lower sperm count

March 28, 2007

A study has revealed that women who eat beef regularly during pregnancy are more likely to produce sperm-deprived sons.

The report, which was published Wednesday in the United States, came after Copenhagen University researchers concluded that sperm counts in boys have been falling since about 10 years ago and exposure to pesticides and industrial chemicals are thought to be a part of the problem, Britain's Telegraph reported.

One of the most likely candidates for the low sperm count are the "gender- bender" chemicals that act like the human sex hormones and are used to stimulate growth in cattle.

The study was done using men living in the Unites States who were born between 1949 and 1983. The study proved that the mothers who ate more than seven beef meals a week produced children with a sperm concentration of more than 24 percent lower than in men whose mothers ate less beef.

Professor Shanna Swan, head of the study published in the journal Human Reproduction, said: "These findings suggest that maternal beef consumption is associated with lower sperm concentration and possible sub-fertility, associations that may be related to the presence of anabolic steroids and other xenobiotics (foreign chemicals) in beef."

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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