Sunday, May 5, 2013

Glyphosate: Gateway to Disease?

A few days ago, I began seeing a link to a study floating from wall to wall, particularly amongst pro-organic groups. 

The study, published in Entropy, which is an open access journal,  was about glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup herbicide.

The study is entitled Glyphosate's Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases, and is authored by Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff.

Translation of Title For Those of Us That Don't Speak BioChem 

Glyphosate's Ability to Keep Our Bodies from Eliminating 
Drugs and Toxins

Well, that's my translation, anyway, and if you look up what exactly Cytochrome P450 is, you can understand why I came to that conclusion.

We all know that herbicide and pesticide chemical residue remains on the fruits and vegetables we buy at the grocery store.  This, along with bacteria is the reason we wash our produce before consuming it.

But many times, produce isn't washed well.  Even worse, the residue can be found in pre-washed and pre-packaged foods!


This study shows that glyphosate has the ability to interfere with Cytochrome P450, which means that it effectively ensures that other foreign chemicals zooming through our body don't get broken down and voided. Glyphosate seems to be actively enhancing those toxins' ability to produce negative health effects.


This occurs at a slow rate, rather than having an immediate noticeable effect. The effects?  Well, according to the authors,
"Consequences are most of the diseases and conditions associated with a Western diet, which include gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease." (via the study's abstract, p. 1)
 Talk about a great argument for eating organic!  

I strongly advise reading the full study by clicking on the study's title link, above. I've given you a very basic overview, but it's up to you to read and understand the original study.

The authors recommend that more studies be done, since this isn't something that's been widely studied - we need more.  But they also conclude that
"Glyphosate is likely to be pervasive in our food supply, and,contrary to being essentially nontoxic,it may in fact be the most biologically disruptive chemical in our environment." (study conclusion, p. 30)
 I've believed this for a while, so I have to admit that I'm very biased here, but I'm also relieved.  It shows me that my nervousness about pesticides and herbicides is not unwarranted. 

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