Health Effects of Glyphosate

Do you use Round Up? The herbicide, glyphosate, which is present in ‘Round Up’ was classified by the World Health Organization in 2015 as, ‘Probably Carcinogenic to Humans’. Since this report, Glyphosate has been banned by many countries. containing products have been banned, or greatly restricted in California and a number of countries, including France, The Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Sri Lanka, El Salvador, Brazil and India, because of potential links with health problems, including cancer. There are no such bans in New Zealand, although Auckland and Christchurch passed resolutions to ‘reduce the usage of chemicals for weed and pest control in public places.’ The Physicians and Scientists for Global Responsibility, a New Zealand charitable trust, called for a glyphosate ban in 2015.

Glyphosate spraying has found its way into our food. Glyphosate has been found in the urine of milking cows. A Study by M.Kruger et al 2013 found a severe deficiency in serum Manganese and Cobalt in Cows exposed to glyphosate:

The food chain matters!

So, why is Glyphosate so dangerous to our health and how might it lead to Cancer?

Well, it turns out that the body is a whole!…. So an effect on one part can also impact another part….: Let’s try and make a few links:

The Effects of Glyphosate on the Gut

Glyphosate directly impacts the microbiome – diminishes beneficial bacteria and increases pathogenic bacteria, such as Clostridia. This can cause a hyperpermeable gut lining (leaky gut), damage to the endothelial lining of the gut, with consequent inflammation, which may become systemic, depending on which organ is the most susceptible. Leaky gut will also reduce absorption of nutrients that are needed for detoxification of glyphosate, in order to prevent the chemical from becoming carcinogenic. Low nutrient status is likely to reduce energy levels and we need energy to detoxify.

Effects of Glyphosate on the Brain

Clostridia, caused by high glyphosate levels, can inhibit dopamine conversion, leading to high dopamine in the nervous system. This can result in high dopamine-o-quinone levels that can cause brain cell death.

Glyphosate inhibits the serotonin pathway, via enzyme inhibition in the Shikimate pathway (the pathway that it is designed to inhibit in plants). Serotonin is our ‘feel good’ brain chemical and low serotonin is linked to depression. A healthy brain creates a healthy body and prevents disease. Stress directly impacts our gut and our ability to absorb nutrients for detoxification and energy.

Glyphosate inhibits glutathione production. Glutathione is our body’s main anti-oxidant and protects us from oxidative stress, inflammation and disease, including cancer. Glutathione also modifies production of dopamine-o-quinone, thereby minimizing brain cell death.

Effect of Glyphosate on energy

Glyphosate directly impacts the mitochondria, which are our cellular energy power-houses. Damage to mitochondria has a negative effect, therefore, on our energy. We need energy to fight diseases, like cancer.

Effect of Glyphosate on nutrients

Glyphosate depletes iron, Manganese, Zinc, Sulphur and cobalt through chelation. Cobalt is required to process and to absorb B12. Reduced B12 has a direct impact on energy and the ability to detoxify, which in turn makes us more susceptible to cancer.

Effect of Glyphosate on Heavy Metals

Glyphosate chelates heavy metals from the environment and increases their absorption. It may also bind to heavy metals already present in tissues and cause damage to those tissues. Having heavy metals in our system puts us at much higher risk from oxidative stress and disease, including cancer.

So, there are the links. Obviously, the effect of glyphosate is compounded if it is over-used, if we eat non-organic vegetables and meat, if we have genetic variants that make us more susceptible to oxidative damage, or if we are low in nutrients that are required for us to detoxify.

If you are concerned about your use of Round Up, you can get tested for Glyphosate toxicity. This is a test run by Mosaic Diagnostics. It is a simple urine test and can be ordered at Louella Natural Health.

Please feel free to get in touch.



About the Author

Louella Wood

Registered Naturopath DipNat, member NZSN, AIMA. BA (Hons)Env. Std., Dip.Tch. Working at Whangarei Natural Health, Whangarei.