Toxic legacy: New study links glyphosate exposure in childhood to liver and metabolic disease later in life
(NaturalHealth365) The last few decades have been marked by soaring rates of obesity and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in the United States. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, a shocking 73 percent of Americans are either obese or overweight – putting them at increased risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes – while as many as 30 percent have some form of NAFLD. Untreated NAFLD can progress to a more serious condition known as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which can, in turn, lead to liver cirrhosis, liver cancer, and death. Could glyphosate play a role in the rise of these diseases?
While a sedentary lifestyle and poor diet are believed to be key drivers of obesity and NAFLD, some scientists point out that the emergence of these twin epidemics over the past few decades has been accompanied by a corresponding increase in the use of synthetic herbicides and pesticides. Now, a new study published in Environmental Health Perspectives suggests that early exposure to glyphosate, the active substance of the weedkiller Roundup, is linked with liver disease and metabolic conditions in young adulthood.
Let’s look at the alarming findings and their consequences for future generations.
Glyphosate is linked to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
Glyphosate, one of the most widely used herbicides in the nation, was developed by Monsanto in 1974 and is now utilized in a staggering variety of spaces. It is sprayed over agricultural crops and residential gardens and lawns alike – along with school playgrounds and public parks. It may be sprayed directly over GMO crops such as corn and soybeans – but bypassing GMOs is no guarantee of avoiding exposure, as glyphosate is also used on (non-GMO) wheat and oats to speed the drying process. It also may be used on such diverse crops as spinach and almonds – and has even been detected in baby formula.
Glyphosate has already been linked with kidney disease and several types of cancer. A 2021 review showed that glyphosate can change human chromosomes and lead to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and over 100,000 people have alleged that exposure to glyphosate caused them to develop the disease. As of 2022, Bayer, the company that currently owns Roundup, has paid out $11 billion in damages. Plus, in 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as a “probable” human carcinogen.
Researchers tracked glyphosate levels for close to two decades
In a study conducted by researchers at the University of California, Berkley School of Public Health, researchers tracked almost 500 mother-and-child duos living in the Salinas Valley, a farming community and key agricultural area. Using biological samples from the Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas (CHAMACOS), the scientists analyzed levels of glyphosate in the urine of mothers while they were pregnant and of their children as they grew.
They also measured a breakdown product of glyphosate known as AMPA (aminomethylphosphonic acid). Finally, they assessed liver and metabolic health as the children turned 18. What they found was striking.
Increases in glyphosate metabolite cause risk of later-life metabolic syndrome to soar
Higher levels of glyphosate and AMPA in childhood were linked with a higher risk of liver inflammation and metabolic conditions in young adulthood, potentially setting the stage for more serious diseases – including heart and liver disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes – in later life. The team found that a two-fold increase in urinary AMPA during childhood was associated with a 14 percent greater risk of elevated liver enzymes and a stunning 55 percent increase in the risk of metabolic syndrome later in life.
And living near agricultural glyphosate applications from birth to age five was associated with metabolic syndrome at age 18. Metabolic syndrome involves a constellation of linked, unhealthy conditions such as high blood pressure, elevated blood glucose, abdominal fat, and excessive cholesterol levels. The team speculated that glyphosate triggers metabolic disease because it induces oxidative stress, disrupts endocrine signaling, and harms the gut microbiome, the all-important community of bacteria in the intestinal tract that helps to modulate digestion, metabolism, and mood.
The scientists noted that the children’s glyphosate levels were within the reported range for the U.S. population at large. The CDC has reported that an astounding 80 percent of urine samples drawn from children and adults in one U.S. health study contained detectable levels of glyphosate.
“Nothing to see here” – agencies insist weedkiller is safe
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to maintain that glyphosate is not likely to cause cancer. And unsurprisingly, Bayer representatives insist that glyphosate is safe when used as directed. But it’s worth noting: last year, a U.S. federal appeals court vacated this safety finding and ordered the EPA to re-evaluate glyphosate risks, pointing out that the agency ignored important studies.
To minimize your glyphosate exposure, eat an organic diet. Switching from a diet of conventionally grown foods to an all-organic diet drastically lowers glyphosate levels within six days, according to a study published in Environmental Research. Staying well-hydrated assists in flushing toxins from the body, while kimchi and other fermented probiotic foods can help chelate chemicals. Another great idea for removing unwanted toxins from the body is to use a far-infrared sauna, on a regular basis.
For more information about how sauna therapy can remove unwanted toxins: watch this special video presentation, created by Jonathan Landsman – host of NaturalHealth365 Programs.
Some integrative healthcare providers advise supplementing with the amino acid glycine. Check with your doctor before adding glycine to your health routine. You can also choose to bypass Roundup and use organic weedkillers – such as a combination of mild dish soap, vinegar, and salt – or borax powder.
Ultimately, as this new study shows, glyphosate exposure may be sabotaging the future health and well-being of America’s most precious resource: its children. They deserve better.
Sources for this article include: