You might know glyphosate better as the chemical in the product RoundUp. Glyphosate is the world’s most widely produced herbicide – it was introduced in the 1970’s to kill weeds and has been widely used since then. In fact, glyphosate has been so widely used that many weeds and crops became resistant to it. Guess what Monsanto did then? They produced a genetically-modified glyphosate-resistant crops such as soy and corn that can grow even in the presence of the toxic chemical – what a smart business move for them. Glyphosate is now found in more than 700 different products, ranging from herbicides to household products. But what about the connection between glyphosate toxin and your health? Glyphosate is pretty evil all around; and in chronic health conditions where toxic load plays a significant role (which is about all of them) it might be worth investigating.
Glyphosate can enter the body through absorption through the skin, through the digestive tract – either eating foods that have been treated with glyphosate, or drinking water contaminated with it. It can cause disruptions in cellular metabolic function, is a known carcinogen (linked to non-Hodgkins lymphoma, renal tubule carcinoma, pancreatic islet cell adenoma and skin tumors). It is an endocrine disruptor, meaning it can throw our systemic hormone balance off, and causes oxidative stress.
Glyphosate can also disrupt the microbiome – the intestinal world of bacteria, yeast and other microbes that inhabit our gut and keep not only our digestive function in check but also our nervous and immune systems. Disruptions in gut flora have been linked to many chronic health issues including auto-immune diseases, diabetes, depression and autism-spectrum disorders. Sadly, many of the “good” bacteria in the gut such as Enterococcus faecalis, Bacillis, Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus are highly susceptible to glyphosate, while pathogenic “bad” bacteria such as Clostridium and Salmonella are resistant to it.
This chart demonstrates in a rather frightening way the link between glyphosate use (via GMO corn and soy), and autism.
Great Plains Laboratory now has a urine test that measures glyphosate levels. I think this is a tremendous test to look at to assess one’s toxic burden, given the link between glyphosate and so many chronic health conditions. It requires a single morning urine collection, so it is easy to do for children and adults alike. Cost is $99 as a stand-alone test, or just $59 if run along with the GPL-Tox panel, or organic acid test.
I’m going to write next week about two ways to reduce glyphosate load in the body. But let’s get the basics covered here – the first step is to reduce ongoing exposure. Eating non-GMO, organic foods, and drinking water that has been properly filtered using a reverse osmosis system, is going to be the best way to avoid such exposure. More than 90% of soy and corn are now genetically modified. Non-GMO wheat is also treated with glyphosate. Never mind all the different other crops that have been exposed to it too.
So step one – stop taking it in! Say no to genetically-modified foods and choose organic as much as possible. Step two, test for your levels to see what you and/or your child are dealing with (especially if you have a child on the spectrum). Step three – working on detoxing it from your body with the things I’m going to share with you next week. Stay tuned!