A recent insight advises caution on the part of expectant mothers in the consumption of beef during pregnancy. Beef eating mothers may cause their sons to have unhealthy sperm counts which could jeopardize their fertility.
The sperm counts have been record low among men in the western nations due to their exposure to pesticides and industrial chemicals. The growth promoters used in cattle is thought to be behind the low sperm counts. The most recent study involving men in the United States born between 1949 and 1983, revealed that expectant mothers who consumed more than seven beef meals in a week had sons whose sperm concentration was 24% percent less compared to men whose mothers had consumed less beef during their pregnancy.
Prof Shanna Swan, the lead author 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 in beef. Theoretically, the fetus and young children are particularly sensitive to exposure to sex steroids. Therefore, the consumption of residues of steroids in meat by pregnant women and young children is of particular concern."