Part 2: How Roundup directly affects our bodies
Part one of this series explained how Roundup reduces our food’s nutritional value. Unfortunately, it also has many direct effects on our bodies. When reading through published research, I felt a bit overwhelmed by these many mechanisms, and so gathered them together in the following categories:
Roundup is found throughout the body: Roundup’s harmful effects in the soil also occur in the human body when we eat plants and animal products that contain Roundup. Roundup has a free pass to go throughout the body because the additive, surfactant, allows glyphosate to bypass the liver—the major organ that clears poisons out of the body. That is why Roundup has been found throughout the human body and has such wide-spread detrimental effects.
Roundup binds minerals in our body: Not only are there fewer minerals in the food we eat, but when Roundup binds the minerals in our bodies, these minerals can’t perform their myriad of functions. For example, the body becomes unable to clear toxins, repair damaged DNA or even generate energy.
Roundup kills the bacteria in our large intestines: The last five feet of our intestines is known as the large intestines, or colon. It is here that the vast majority of bacteria are found in the intestines—tens-of-trillions, in fact. Back in the 1980’s our knowledge of these bacteria was confined to their essential role in digesting food. We also learned that using too many antibiotics, which only happened in the hospital setting, caused the large intestines to be overrun with the bad bacteria, C. difficile.
Today, people who haven’t been hospitalized or put on any prescription antibiotics are getting this same dangerous and uncomfortable bacterial infection. Now that Roundup is incorporated in most processed foods, the majority of Americans are eating this antibiotic daily.
Another consequence of ingesting daily antibiotics is the surge in gluten intolerance and its more severe form, Celiac disease. The latter has gone from being extremely rare to now being found in five percent of our population. The medical world tells those that suffer from these uncomfortable diseases that they should avoid wheat—but wheat hasn’t undergone any basic changes. Wheat that contains Roundup, from when it was dried before harvest, is the difference.
The known consequences of killing these bacteria got even worse when scientists realized intestinal bacteria play many essential roles outside the large intestines. For example, ninety percent of serotonin, a chemical that is responsible for our feeling of well-being, is manufactured by bacteria in the intestines. Killing these bacteria can result in a depressed mood for us as well as big profits for pharmaceutical companies that sell serotonin as an antidepressant.
Glyphosate inserts itself in our body’s proteins: One of the more frightening aspects of having Roundup in our bodies was only recently discovered. In 2016, it was shown that the main ingredient of Roundup, glyphosate, is mistaken by the body for the small amino acid, glycine. Proteins are able to perform their unique roles because they are made up of amino acids linked together in specific order and size. Glyphosate is larger than glycine and therefore prevents proteins from folding into their normal shapes. When they lose this ability, these proteins can’t perform their required functions.
The wide-spread implication of damaged proteins is almost too much to imagine. Some proteins are part of the enzymes in our bodies that speed up all chemical reactions. Other proteins form hormones like insulin that regulate blood sugar. Proteins also serve to transport other substances such as hemoglobin that carries oxygen. It’s no wonder that scientists conclude that many diseases that have soared during the last three decades can be linked to Roundup’s ability to damage proteins
It seems evident that having Roundup throughout our bodies would result in disease as it binds minerals, kills good bacteria and distorts proteins. The increase in the following diseases since the 1970’s correlates with the amount of Roundup in the environment and in our bodies:
Autism and Alzheimer’s have reached epidemic proportions: It’s frightening that autism and Alzheimer’s, that weren’t even in the medical textbooks in the 1980’s, have become household terms. Autism’s incidence has increased from two in 10,000 in the 1970’s to currently being 59 in 10,000 according to the Centers of Disease Control (CDC). Alzheimer’s disease was defined as “a rare, pre-senile dementia.” It is now more common than vascular disease as the cause of dementia. Different types of studies—laboratory models, correlation studies and biochemical models—strongly link both diseases to Roundup.
Cancer is now wide-spread: The incidence of cancer has also taken an astronomical leap from 1/100 in the 1970’s to one-of-two people today. Although I worked with an oncologist for three years in the 1980’s, I never saw a case of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, pancreatic cancer or lung cancer in a non-smoker. These cancers are now so common that most of us know of someone who’s had them. Since sugar cane workers in Central America have been exposed to Roundup, they have been dying in their 40’s of renal tubular carcinoma—a disease that was not previously present.
Based on both Roundup’s link to cancer and many international studies, the World Health Organization declared glyphosate a “probable carcinogen” in March of 2016. Shortly after, four farmers filed a lawsuit against Monsanto saying that their exposure to Roundup gave them Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In August of 2018, the Superior Court of California awarded a large settlement to a former school district groundskeeper who stated his Non-Hodgkin lymphoma was caused by prolonged exposure to Roundup. Although Monsanto is contesting this, many other lawsuits have been filed.
The list of diseases continues: Besides autism, Alzheimer’s and cancers, Roundup’s ability to kill bacteria, bind minerals and distort proteins is linked to diseases as varied diabetes, obesity, asthma, amylotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease, lupus, neural tube defects and infertility.
In the third part of this series, I’ll discuss how we can keep ourselves safe.
Mary Lou retired as a physician and now homesteads with her husband, Tom, south of Columbus, Ohio. Her book, Growing Local Food can be bought through Carlisle Press at 800-852-4482.
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