Men whose moms scarfed beef during pregnancy are at significant risk of developing fertility problems, a new study shows. As the Los Angeles Times reports, these sons of steak have a sperm count about 25 percent below normal and are three times more likely to seek out fertility doctors when they plan their own families.
But don’t hurl that brisket across the room in disgust just yet: The researchers speculate that the issue is not cow meat itself, but the anabolic steroids that U.S. farmers use to fatten cattle. Those, or the pesticides and other pollutants that routinely show up in conventional meat.
Doctors say that if the hormones are the culprit, daughters of beef eaters could be at increased risk for polycystic ovarian syndrome, which can also cause fertility problems (not to mention no-fun symptoms like acne, weight gain, and sugar cravings) if left untreated.
Of course, the study needs to be confirmed by further research; I, for one, plan to stock up on rump roasts from my friendly local farmer until further notice.