Glyphosate has adverse effects on gut bacteria essential to human health
(NaturalHealth365) Rates of chronic disease have skyrocketed in the United States in the past few decades – with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting that conditions such as heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes and obesity are now among the most common health problems. Independent researchers and natural health experts warn that glyphosate – used in the weed killer Roundup – is one of the culprits contributing to surging rates of these “21st century diseases.”
To learn more about the ways in which glyphosate exposure could be harming your health, keep reading.
Increasing rates of chronic diseases correspond closely to rising rates of glyphosate use nationwide
Glyphosate, a broad-spectrum, non-selective, systemic herbicide, is widely used on food crops, as well as on residential lawns, gardens and public parks. According to Beyond Pesticides, a nonprofit organization working to protect the public health, the United States uses 300 million pounds of glyphosate in agriculture – and almost as much for roadsides, waterways and other land areas.
Although Roundup’s manufacturer, Monsanto, insists the product is ‘safe,’ studies have found associations between glyphosate and cancer. In fact, the International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified glyphosate as a “probable carcinogen.”
In a review of research published by Beyond Pesticides, author Terry Shistar, Ph.D., noted that glyphosate and its formulated products cause endocrine disruption, damage DNA and adversely affect fetal development.
In addition, emerging research shows that glyphosate can destroy beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract, contributing to a growing list of modern-day “plagues” that include diabetes, obesity, food allergies, autoimmune disease, autism, heart disease, cancer, asthma, irritable bowel disease, Celiac disease – plus many other devastating health conditions related to the digestive tract and immune system.
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How does glyphosate disrupt microbial balance?
The community of bacteria contained in the intestinal tract – known as the gut microbiome – contains different species of beneficial bacteria that play an indispensable role in human health. Among other functions, these “friendly” bacteria help to absorb nutrients, produce fatty acids and vitamins, synthesize amino acids, neutralize toxins, boost immunity and prevent infection.
Glyphosate blocks a vital enzyme in the shikimate pathway, a system found in plants. This pathway does not occur in humans or animals, but it does exist in bacteria – meaning it can affect their survival and, consequently, human health.
(If the destruction of bacteria sounds like a trivial matter, remember: bacteria are so numerous that they constitute an astounding 90 percent of the cells in the human body. Life would not be possible without them.)
Glyphosate causes dybiosis – and encourages the growth of various pathogens
A disturbing fact: glyphosate is actually patented as an antibiotic. However, many pathogens – including salmonella and clostridium – are highly resistant to it.
At the same time, beneficial bacteria such as Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus (which would otherwise help to keep pathogens under control) can be highly susceptible to glyphosate. As a result, microbial balance can veer out of balance – a condition known as “dysbiosis” – promoting the survival of dangerous microbes and triggering a host of inflammatory diseases.
Researchers say that celiac disease, for example, is associated with the presence of pathogenic bacteria such as staphylococcus, salmonella and shigella. Ironically, glyphosate may actually help these microbes to thrive.
Natural health advocates spearhead a growing outcry against toxic glyphosate
Naturally, Monsanto continues to publicly insist that glyphosate is a harmless substance with no potential to cause cancer. Falling in line behind the “most hated corporation in America,” the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains that glyphosate is “not likely to cause cancer” – despite scientific evidence to the contrary.
But, people are calling Monsanto to task for their lies.
In a lawsuit filed by jointly by Beyond Pesticide and Organic Consumers Association, the plaintiffs assert that Monsanto falsely claims that Roundup targets an enzyme “not found in people or pets.” (The enzyme is, in fact, found in the gut bacteria of people and animals, causing glyphosate to disrupt the health and functioning of the microbiome and immune system).
In addition, over 1200 lawsuits against Monsanto allege that exposure to Roundup caused the plaintiffs or their loved ones to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer originating in the lymphatic system.
The International Monsanto Tribunal has concluded that Monsanto has engaged in practices that negatively affect the right to a healthy environment, food and health – in other words, committed the crime of “ecocide.”
And, a collation of well-respected scientists and researchers has presented a consensus “Statement of Concern,” maintaining that evidence of glyphosate harm has mounted over the past few decades.
You can protect your microbial health by reducing glyphosate exposure wherever possible, avoiding indiscriminate use of antibiotics, and getting proper nutrition. According to David R. Montgomery, Ph.D. – expert on micribiome health and author of “Growing a Revolution,” – an organic diet rich in whole plant foods, unprocessed whole grains and fiber is your best bet for protecting and nourishing your indispensable microbiome.
Sources for this article include:
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