Eating organic during pregnancy reduces some birth defects

Photo credit: Frank de Kleine Photo credit: Frank de Kleine

A new, groundbreaking study out of Norway shows that eating an organic diet while pregnant can reduce the occurrence of certain birth defects. Specifically, the researchers examined hypospadias (a condition where the opening of the urethra is on the underside of the penis instead of the tip) and cryptorchidism (the absence of one or both testes from the scrotum). They found that consuming organic food, especially organic vegetables and dairy, reduced the likelihood that babies would be born with hypospadias. Meanwhile, the study did not see any association for cryptorchidism. The authors suggest that the consumption of conventional food introduces pesticide residues that disturb the placenta or disrupt hormones in the developing fetus, increasing the occurrence of hypospadias.  Researchers concluded that consumption of organically produced foods during pregnancy was associated with a lower prevalence of hypospadias. The findings add to a long list of research that highlights the importance of eating organic to avoid pesticide exposure, especially for pregnant women and young children.