The Link Between Glyphosate And Disease – How Toxic Is Roundup?
There is an established link between glyphosate and disease. Studies have shown that glyphosate can disrupt the body’s natural balance of bacteria, resulting in gut dysbiosis which can lead to changes in the immune system and the development of autoimmune diseases.
Additionally, research has suggested that glyphosate acts as an endocrine disruptor, meaning it can interfere with hormone levels and cause inflammation throughout the body. Both chronic inflammation and endocrine disruption can contribute to the development of autoimmune diseases.
What Is Glyphosate?
Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is an herbicide that is widely used in agriculture and has been found to be effective in controlling a wide variety of weeds. It works by inhibiting the growth of certain enzymes that are necessary for plants’ survival and growth, ultimately killing them. Glyphosate can be applied as a foliar spray or incorporated into the soil prior to planting. Additionally, it can be used as a pre-emergent herbicide, which means that it is applied before weeds begin to emerge from the soil.
Glyphosate Health Concerns
Glyphosate has been linked to numerous health concerns including reproductive and developmental issues, cancer, and endocrine disruption, among others. It has been banned in several countries and is the subject of ongoing legal battles. Despite this, glyphosate continues to be used in many places around the world, raising serious questions about our approach to regulating potentially dangerous chemicals.1
There have been growing calls for tighter restrictions on glyphosate use, with some suggesting that it should be completely phased out due to its potential risks. In addition to its negative effects on human health, glyphosate has been found to be highly toxic to beneficial insects and soil organisms, which in turn can cause further damage to the environment. Glyphosate has been detected in water sources around the world and has been linked to declining populations of amphibians, birds, fish, and other aquatic life.2
Glyphosate And Autoimmune Conditions
Several studies have indicated that exposure to glyphosate can increase inflammation in the body and disrupt gut bacteria balance.3 It appears that these disruptive effects may trigger or worsen autoimmune diseases like celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and multiple sclerosis.
In addition to the human studies examining glyphosate’s effects on autoimmune conditions, there is also evidence that animals exposed to glyphosate are more susceptible to developing these conditions. Animal studies have demonstrated numerous health problems in subjects exposed to glyphosate, including skin inflammation, thyroid hormone disruption, and reproductive issues.4
How Does Glyphosate Cause Inflammation?
Glyphosate has been linked to inflammation in humans. Glyphosate works by disrupting the shikimate pathway, which is an important metabolic process found in plants and microorganisms. When this pathway is disrupted, it leads to oxidative stress and damage to cells, which can ultimately cause inflammation in our bodies.5 Glyphosate has been found to increase the production of pro-inflammatory compounds, such as cytokines and prostaglandins, which are known to trigger inflammation.6
How Does Glyphosate Cause Gut Bacteria Imbalance?
Studies have shown that glyphosate can affect the gut microbiome. The reason for this is that many species of our microbiome utilize the shikimate pathway.7 When glyphosate disrupts the microbiome, it works as an antibiotic, killing off beneficial bacteria and leading to an increase in inflammation. Additionally, glyphosate has been shown to interfere with the activity of certain enzymes and proteins that are involved in immune cell activation. These disruptions can lead to an overactive immune response, which can cause further inflammation.8
Glyphosate Inhibits The Cytochrome P450 Enzymes
The Cytochrome P450 Enzymes are a family of heme-thiolate proteins which are involved in the metabolic breakdown of xenobiotics, including drugs, pesticides, and other toxins. They catalyze several reactions needed for drug metabolism, including hydroxylation, dealkylation, and oxidation. In addition, they also play a role in activating certain vitamins, such as vitamin D and vitamin A, as well as synthesizing cholesterol and other steroid hormones.
Glyphosate has been found to inhibit the activity of the Cytochrome P450 Enzymes (CYP). By inhibiting these enzymes, glyphosate increases the toxicity and bioavailability of the xenobiotics in the environment, leading to negative health effects. Studies have shown that glyphosate can reduce CYP activity in a variety of organisms, including fish, birds, and humans.9
Glyphosate And Disease – Celiac Disease
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that is characterized by an intolerance to gluten. Glyphosate is known to damage the intestinal lining, leading to an increased risk of developing celiac disease. Glyphosate has been found in high concentrations in wheat, which contains gluten, meaning people with celiac disease are at an even greater risk of being exposed to this herbicide.10
Glyphosate And Disease – Autism
Studies have suggested that glyphosate may interfere with the body’s ability to produce and utilize serotonin, a hormone known to be essential for healthy neurological functioning. This interference could potentially lead to an increased risk of developing autism.11
Glyphosate And Disease – Rheumatoid Arthritis
Recent studies have suggested a possible link between glyphosate and the development of rheumatoid arthritis. Farmers who have more exposure to glyphosate are more likely to develop RA.
The results showed that there was a higher prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis among those exposed to glyphosate when compared to those who had not been exposed. The longer an individual was exposed to the herbicide, the greater their risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.12
Glyphosate And Disease – Fatty Liver Disease
Recent studies suggest that glyphosate is linked with fatty liver disease. One study found that mice exposed to glyphosate experienced changes in their metabolism and increased fat accumulation in the liver, a key indicator of fatty liver disease. The study showed that glyphosate reduces the production of sirtuin proteins which are involved in regulating metabolic processes. This reduction causes an increase in fat storage in the liver and other organs, leading to obesity and fatty liver disease.13
Glyphosate And Thyroid Hormone Disruption
Glyphosate has been found to disrupt thyroid hormone production and regulation. Studies have shown that glyphosate binds to the active site of the enzymes responsible for producing and regulating thyroid hormones, resulting in decreased levels of these hormones within the body. This can lead to a wide range of health issues such as impaired growth, mental health issues, fertility problems, and obesity.14
Read more about thyroid dysfunction.
Glyphosate And Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder that affects movement and can cause tremors, stiffness, and balance issues. A recent study found that people with high levels of glyphosate in their bodies were more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than those with lower levels.15
Glyphosate And Hormone Dysfunction
Glyphosate has been linked to hormone dysfunction. Studies have found that glyphosate disrupts endocrine function and can lead to estrogenic activity. This is especially concerning since it means that exposure to glyphosate could affect various hormones responsible for regulating metabolism, fertility, and other bodily functions.
In one study, rats exposed to low levels of glyphosate experienced changes in their reproductive hormones and a decrease in fertility. The researchers also noted that glyphosate had an effect on genes related to hormone production and regulation. This indicates that glyphosate can interfere with the body’s natural hormonal processes and cause long-term damage.16
Glyphosate And Reproductive Issues
Glyphosate has been linked to reproductive issues in humans and animals. Studies have suggested that glyphosate can interfere with hormonal balance, leading to lower sperm counts and infertility in both men and women. Additionally, several studies have shown a correlation between glyphosate exposure and an increase in birth defects, miscarriages, stillbirths, and premature births.17 18
Glyphosate And DNA Damage
Glyphosate has been linked to DNA damage in both laboratory and epidemiological studies. Studies have found that glyphosate can cause breaks in the strands of genetic material, which can lead to mutations or cancer. In addition, it has been shown to interfere with the normal repair mechanisms of damaged DNA, further exacerbating the potential for damage.
In laboratory studies, glyphosate has been found to induce oxidative stress, which can lead to DNA damage, inhibit cell replication and cause apoptosis (programmed cell death). In addition, some researchers have suggested that glyphosate could interfere with gene expression and epigenetic mechanisms.19
Glyphosate And Cancer
The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as “Probably Carcinogenic” in 2015 due to the evidence linking it to Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The IARC also found that people exposed to glyphosate were at an increased risk of developing other forms of cancer, including bladder cancer and kidney cancer.20
Glyphosate And Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
Research has indicated that people exposed to high levels of glyphosate could be at an increased risk for developing Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of cancer that affects the body’s immune system. Symptoms of this type of cancer include swollen lymph nodes, fever, and weight loss.21
Glyphosate And Disease – How To Avoid This Chemical
Avoid glyphosate by buying organic produce whenever possible. For the most part, all conventionally grown grain products are loaded with glyphosate. Consider following a diet like my Cellular Healing Diet which focuses on consuming natural foods that improve cellular function.
Read more about detoxing the body and improving cellular function.
1 Schulte, C. (2021, May 24). United States Should Ban Use of Glyphosate on Food Crops. Human Rights Watch. https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/07/13/united-states-should-ban-use-glyphosate-food-crops
2 Glyphosate | US EPA. (2022, September 23). US EPA. https://www.epa.gov/ingredients-used-pesticide-products/glyphosate
3 Tang Q, Tang J, Ren X, Li C. Glyphosate exposure induces inflammatory responses in the small intestine and alters gut microbial composition in rats. Environ Pollut. 2020 Jun;261:114129. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2020.114129. Epub 2020 Feb 3. PMID: 32045792.
4 Levine SL, Webb EG, Saltmiras DA. Review and analysis of the potential for glyphosate to interact with the estrogen, androgen and thyroid pathways. Pest Manag Sci. 2020 Sep;76(9):2886-2906. doi: 10.1002/ps.5983. Epub 2020 Jul 17. PMID: 32608552.
5 Martinelli R, Rufino LR Jr, de Melo AC, Alcántara-de la Cruz R, da Silva MFDGF, da Silva JR, Boaretto RM, Monquero PA, Mattos D Jr, de Azevedo FA. Glyphosate excessive use chronically disrupts the shikimate pathway and can affect photosynthesis and yield in citrus trees. Chemosphere. 2022 Dec;308(Pt 3):136468. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2022.136468. Epub 2022 Sep 15. PMID: 36116622.
6 Pandey A, Dhabade P, Kumarasamy A. Inflammatory Effects of Subacute Exposure of Roundup in Rat Liver and Adipose Tissue. Dose Response. 2019 May 23;17(2):1559325819843380. doi: 10.1177/1559325819843380. Erratum in: Dose Response. 2020 Sep 29;18(3):1559325820965928. PMID: 31205454; PMCID: PMC6537504.
7 Pitchandi P, Hopper W, Rao R. Comprehensive database of Chorismate synthase enzyme from shikimate pathway in pathogenic bacteria. BMC Pharmacol Toxicol. 2013 May 22;14:29. doi: 10.1186/2050-6511-14-29. PMID: 23697663; PMCID: PMC3670998.
8 Maddalon A, Galbiati V, Colosio C, Mandić-Rajčević S, Corsini E. Glyphosate-based herbicides: Evidence of immune-endocrine alteration. Toxicology. 2021 Jul;459:152851. doi: 10.1016/j.tox.2021.152851. Epub 2021 Jul 8. PMID: 34246717.
9 Fathi MA, Han G, Kang R, Shen D, Shen J, Li C. Disruption of cytochrome P450 enzymes in the liver and small intestine in chicken embryos in ovo exposed to glyphosate. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2020 May;27(14):16865-16875. doi: 10.1007/s11356-020-08269-3. Epub 2020 Mar 6. PMID: 32144705.
10 Samsel A, Seneff S. Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases II: Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance. Interdiscip Toxicol. 2013 Dec;6(4):159-84. doi: 10.2478/intox-2013-0026. PMID: 24678255; PMCID: PMC3945755.
11 Pu Y, Ma L, Shan J, Wan X, Hammock BD, Hashimoto K. Autism-like Behaviors in Male Juvenile Offspring after Maternal Glyphosate Exposure. Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci. 2021 Aug 31;19(3):554-558. doi: 10.9758/cpn.2021.19.3.554. PMID: 34294625; PMCID: PMC8316667.
12 Parks CG, Hoppin JA, De Roos AJ, Costenbader KH, Alavanja MC, Sandler DP. Rheumatoid Arthritis in Agricultural Health Study Spouses: Associations with Pesticides and Other Farm Exposures. Environ Health Perspect. 2016 Nov;124(11):1728-1734. doi: 10.1289/EHP129. Epub 2016 Jun 10. PMID: 27285288; PMCID: PMC5089872.
13 Mills PJ, Caussy C, Loomba R. Glyphosate Excretion is Associated With Steatohepatitis and Advanced Liver Fibrosis in Patients With Fatty Liver Disease. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2020 Mar;18(3):741-743. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2019.03.045. Epub 2019 Apr 4. PMID: 30954713; PMCID: PMC6776714.
14 Romano RM, de Oliveira JM, de Oliveira VM, de Oliveira IM, Torres YR, Bargi-Souza P, Martino Andrade AJ, Romano MA. Could Glyphosate and Glyphosate-Based Herbicides Be Associated With Increased Thyroid Diseases Worldwide? Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2021 Mar 19;12:627167. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2021.627167. PMID: 33815286; PMCID: PMC8018287.
15 Eriguchi M, Iida K, Ikeda S, Osoegawa M, Nishioka K, Hattori N, Nagayama H, Hara H. Parkinsonism Relating to Intoxication with Glyphosate. Intern Med. 2019 Jul 1;58(13):1935-1938. doi: 10.2169/internalmedicine.2028-18. Epub 2019 Feb 25. PMID: 30799335; PMCID: PMC6663540.
16 Levine SL, Webb EG, Saltmiras DA. Review and analysis of the potential for glyphosate to interact with the estrogen, androgen and thyroid pathways. Pest Manag Sci. 2020 Sep;76(9):2886-2906. doi: 10.1002/ps.5983. Epub 2020 Jul 17. PMID: 32608552.
17 Milesi MM, Lorenz V, Durando M, Rossetti MF, Varayoud J. Glyphosate Herbicide: Reproductive Outcomes and Multigenerational Effects. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2021 Jul 7;12:672532. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2021.672532. PMID: 34305812; PMCID: PMC8293380.
18 Akça A, Kocabaş M, Kutluyer F. Glyphosate disrupts sperm quality and induced DNA damage of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) sperm. J Environ Sci Health C Toxicol Carcinog. 2021;39(4):413-422. doi: 10.1080/26896583.2021.1969180. Epub 2021 Sep 1. PMID: 35895946.
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20 Tarazona JV, Court-Marques D, Tiramani M, Reich H, Pfeil R, Istace F, Crivellente F. Glyphosate toxicity and carcinogenicity: a review of the scientific basis of the European Union assessment and its differences with IARC. Arch Toxicol. 2017 Aug;91(8):2723-2743. doi: 10.1007/s00204-017-1962-5. Epub 2017 Apr 3. PMID: 28374158; PMCID: PMC5515989.
21 Zhang L, Rana I, Shaffer RM, Taioli E, Sheppard L. Exposure to glyphosate-based herbicides and risk for non-Hodgkin lymphoma: A meta-analysis and supporting evidence. Mutat Res Rev Mutat Res. 2019 Jul-Sep;781:186-206. doi: 10.1016/j.mrrev.2019.02.001. Epub 2019 Feb 10. PMID: 31342895; PMCID: PMC6706269.