Glyphosate (key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup) linked to human health problems like Autism and Alzheimer’s
Posted May 08 2013 12:00am
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The cause of many human health problems remains a mystery, yet such diseases, like Autism, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s, are on the rise. We don’t have to look far to find causal (critics will argue correlational) relationships in our environment…just stare at Monsanto. The companies ubiquitous herbicide Roundup is likely to blame, according to a new study. Of particular concern is the ingredient glyphosate and how it interacts with our genes.
Glyphosate impairs the cytochrome P450 (CYP) gene pathway, which creates enzymes that help to form and also break down molecules in cells. There are myriad important CYP enzymes, including aromatase (the enzyme that converts androgen into estrogen) and 21-Hydroxylase, which creates cortisol (stress hormone) and aldosterone (regulates blood pressure). One function of these CYP enzymes is also to detoxify xenobiotics, which are foreign chemicals like drugs, carcinogens or pesticides. Glyphosate inhibits these CYP enzymes, which has rippling effects throughout our body.
Because the CYP pathway is essential for normal functioning of various systems in our bodies, any small change in its expression can lead to disruptions. For example, humans exposed to glyphosate have decreased levels of the amino acid tryptophan, which is necessary for active signaling of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Suppressed serotonin levels have been associated with weight gain, depression and Alzheimer’s disease.
The abstract to the study “Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases” by Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff reads:
Abstract: Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup®, is the most popular herbicide used worldwide. The industry asserts it is minimally toxic to humans, but here we argue otherwise. Residues are found in the main foods of the Western diet, comprised primarily of sugar, corn, soy and wheat. Glyphosate’s inhibition of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes is an overlooked component of its toxicity to mammals. CYP enzymes play crucial roles in biology, one of which is to detoxify xenobiotics. Thus, glyphosate enhances the damaging effects of other food borne chemical residues and environmental toxins. Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body. Here, we show how interference with CYP enzymes acts synergistically with disruption of the biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids by gut bacteria, as well as impairment in serum sulfate transport. 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. We explain the documented effects of glyphosate and its ability to induce disease, and we show that glyphosate is the “textbook example” of exogenous semiotic entropy: the disruption of homeostasis by environmental toxins.
Just this week our school maintenance staff was removing poison oak from around the room furnaces. He asked me, “Isn’t this a place where you would use Roundup?” I told him there is no place for the use of Roundup. I offered vinegar or boiling water as a solution. This peer-reviewed study proves exactly why. Monsanto has done an amazing job of making people believe Roundup is safe. More from the study’s text:
Glyphosate (N-phosphonomethylglycine), the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup®, is the main herbicide in use today in the United States, and increasingly throughout the World, in agriculture and in lawn maintenance, especially now that the patent has expired. 80% of genetically modified crops, particularly corn, soy, canola, cotton, sugar beets and most recently alfalfa, are specifically targeted towards the introduction of genes resistant to glyphosate, the so-called “Roundup Ready® feature” In humans, only small amounts (~2%) of ingested glyphosate are metabolized to aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA), and the rest enters the blood stream and is eventually eliminated through the urine . Studies have shown sharp increases in glyphosate contamination in streams in the Midwestern United States following the mid 1990s, pointing to its increasing role as the herbicide of choice in agriculture.
And there’s Autism:
The recent rise in the rates of autism diagnoses in the United States is a cause for alarm. We have recently proposed that autism can be characterized as a chronic low-grade encephalopathy, where the cascade of events taking place in the brain is a process that enables the renewal of severely depleted sulfate supplies to the brain . We identified a dysbiosis in the gut as a source of ammonia that initiates the encephalytic response, and we proposed glyphosate as one of the many environmental toxins that might be responsible for the dysbiosis and for sulfate depletion. A review of the literature on glyphosate has confirmed our suspicions that glyphosate might play a role, and, further, have led us to believe that glyphosate may be the most significant environmental toxin contributing to autism. While it is pervasive in our food supply, the fact that it is deemed by most regulators to be nontoxic makes it especially insidious. The key pathological biological effects of glyphosate disruption of the gut bacteria, impairment of sulfate transport, and interference with CYP enzyme activitycan easily explain the features that are characteristic of autism.
There’s never a good reason to use Roundup. Don’t be fooled into thinking it is safe.