Environmental Toxins

The Nurses’ Health Study did not look at the relationship between fertility and toxins in the diet or the environment; however, numerous other studies have shown that exposure to dioxins, PCBs, mercury, and other chemicals does negatively affect fertility. Optimal health for all of us, including optimum conditions for fertility, means minimizing exposure to environmental toxins.

Mercury is a neurotoxin that is found on all fish due to pollution. Some waters are more highly polluted than others. Generally mercury levels are lower in deep sea, short-lived, small fish such as mackerel, sardines, wild pacific salmon, and halibut. Avoid larger fish such as tuna, swordfish, shark, marlin, and orange roughy.

Dioxins and furans are common names for toxic chemicals (including some polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)) that are found in very small amounts in the environment, including air, water, soil and our food supply. Exposure to dioxins and furans has been associated with a wide range of adverse health effects. Dioxins tend to concentrate in fatty tissues so choose only organically produced dairy, meat, and poultry.

Fertility Diet Recommendations:

Minimize exposure to environmental toxins to maximize fertility

  • Eat deep sea, short-lived, small fish such as mackerel, sardines, wild pacific salmon and halibut.
  • Choose organically produced meat, poultry and dairy products and use lean cuts of meat and skinless poultry.
  • Go through your home room by room and get rid of toxic chemicals:
    -plastic wrap on hot foods or plastic wrap over food in the microwavs
    -synthetic and toxic cleaning products (replace with natural products)
    -synthetic shampoos, soaps, creams, cosmetics (replace with natural organic products)
    -plastic storage containers (replace with glass or stainless steel)
    -dryer sheets