Winemakers told business could be killing French Sperm
2012’s groundbreaking French research on sperm quality and count has finally been linked to an unlikely culprit: wine making.
The 2012 research published in the journal Human Reproduction said sperm count among French men from 1989 to 2005 dropped by 32.3% or in a rate of 1.9% a year. Normal-shaped sperm also dropped by 33.4% in the same period.
The original study, which covered 26,000 men, was not able to pinpoint the exact cause of the alarming drop in sperm quality and count. But a recent follow-up study by the same researchers suggests that the wine industry may be to blame.
The new study noted that men who registered the biggest drop came from French regions that were also known for their wine cultivation. Some of these include Aquitaine and Midi-Pyrénées in south-western France, which are known for the Bordeaux labels. They then noted that men in these regions were most likely exposed to pesticides, whose chemicals can disrupt male hormones and affect sperm production.
Institut de Veille Sanitaire researcher Dr Joëlle Le Moal said ‘Wine cultivation is the activity that uses the most pesticides in proportion to the agricultural area.’
However, some regions famous for wine making did not show the same trend, which means the researchers still need to investigate their theory further to find a solution to the mystery.
Le Moal stressed that the study could be mimicked at the international level since it also reveals information on life expectancy.