In a study of Danish greenhouse workers, an unexpectedly high sperm count was found among organic farmers, who grew their products without the use pesticides or chemical fertilizers. The sperm count was more than twice as high in these men as in a control group of blue-collar workers.2 Although these findings are not definitive, they suggest that consuming organically grown foods may enhance fertility.
Environmental exposures (e.g., formaldehyde), smoking, and use of recreational drugs (e.g., marijuana, cocaine, hashish) may reduce sperm count or cause abnormal sperm morphology (shape).3,4 Smoking adversely affects the semen quality of infertile men.5
2. Abell A, Ernst E, Bonde JP. High sperm density among members of organic farmers' association. Lancet 1994;343:1498.
3. Hruska KS, Furth PA, Seifer DB, et al. Environmental factors in infertility. Clin Obstet Gynecol 2000;43:821-9.
4. Wang SL, Wang XR, Chia SE, et al. A study on occupational exposure to petrochemicals and smoking on seminal quality. J Androl 2001;22:73-8.
5. Zhang JP, Meng QY, Wang Q, et al. Effect of smoking on semen quality of infertile men in Shandong, China. Asian J Androl 2000;2:143-6.