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Infertility Affected by Common Food Additives, EWG Warns

July 20, 2016

Several food additives known to possibly affect infertility have been included in the Environment Working Group’s list of top 12 most hazardous additives found in common food products.

These common foods include:

  • sausage and lard
  • tortillas
  • muffins
  • potato chips
  • beef jerky
  • convenience foods

Infertility and Food

Dr. Joshua Berger, CHA Fertility Center’s Medical Director, advises the following:

Remember, you are what you eat! In today’s modern society, we have become accustomed to the convenience of packaged foods. Most people would agree that things in moderation, and packaged/processed foods as a treat are fine every now and then.

However, one must remember that the food stabilizers, preservatives and additives are combined with food in order to prevent natural processes from occurring. I recently saw a picture of a 40 year old Twinkie that looked as fresh as when it was first made!!!

Processed foods make life easier for us all, but when we are having a difficult time with infertility issues, perhaps it is best to leave them alone for a while. Many of the food additives have been shown to disrupt the endocrine system, which regulates the reproductive system, when consumed in high doses. These include:

  • propyl gallate
  • butylated hydroxyanisole
  • butylated hydroxytoluene

Also, there have been demonstrated effects on sperm count and testosterone levels from others such as propylparaben- a preservative commonly found in corn tortillas.

So, although at the levels found in the foods consumed by humans will usually be incredibly small, they may be additive– in other words, every little bit can add up.

So just be aware of what you eat, look at the ingredients carefully, and try to minimize over-processed and preserved foods when trying to get pregnant.

About EWG

The Environmental Working Group’s mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. EWG is best known for it’s annual ‘Dirty Dozen‘ list of the top 12 produce items to avoid.

About CHA Fertility Center

CHA Fertility Center, Los Angeles (CFC LA) has helped fulfill the dreams of over 10,000 aspiring parents from Southern California and beyond in over 22 countries since 2001. We use the latest in Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), intrauterine insemination (IUI), preimplantation genetic diagnosis/screening (PGD/PGS), and embryo and egg freezing (oocyte cryopreservation) to achieve some of the nation’s highest success rates.


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