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Is weed killer harmful to humans? It’s in your food and water, your bandages, even feminine hygiene products. RoundUp herbicide, known by its main ingredient, glyphosate, has been shown in studies as a cause of many serious health woes, from birth defects to Alzheimer’s disease. And even though it’s been banned in many countries, its use is virtually unregulated in the US.
Glyphosate has been around since the 1970s, but its use skyrocketed in 1987 after genetically modified seeds were created to tolerate it, so it could be sprayed throughout the entire growing season. Now, nearly all corn, soy and cotton grown in the US is genetically modified and sprayed with glyphosate. Monsanto also started marketing RoundUp as a dessicant, used to dry out crops for faster harvest. So non-GMO crops are now routinely sprayed, including wheat, canola, sugar cane, beets (for beet sugar), oats, barley, flax, peas, lentils and other dry beans. It’s being marketed to you as a weed killer, and is used in the park where your kids play and even in your neighbor’s garden.
Glyphosate is minimally regulated here – there is no monitoring of its residues in food or levels in humans by the government. This means there is no information on how much you are exposed to through your water supply, your foods, your yard, local parks, or living near farms with treated fields.
The question remains, if it’s so safe, then why does the state of California and the World Health Organization classify it as a “potential carcinogen?”
Glyphosate works by blocking the proteins and minerals essential for plant growth. But studies have shown it’s harmful for humans in a number of ways. The proteins in your body make a mistake and use glyphosate in place of the amino acid glycine, which carries it right into your muscles and organs. It is an endocrine and hormone disruptor, which is considered the most dangerous type of chemical for humans. Glyphosate is also a major metal chelator, so it binds metals like aluminum tightly and carries them right into the brainstem.
Glyphosate makes other chemicals more toxic by blocking the CYP enzyme pathways in the liver that detoxify a variety of chemicals, including medications like Tylenol. These blocked pathways also keep the liver from converting Vitamin D to its active form, which causes Vitamin D deficiency. These important enzymes are also used to make bile acids. And as renowned nutritionist Ann Louise Gittleman teaches, when bile acids don’t flow, a cascade of health issues arise downstream, not the least of which is mineral imbalance. Iron, manganese, zinc, cobalt, copper and molybdenum can all become deficient and reach toxic high levels in the cells, because glyphosate both holds on to these minerals and blocks our ability to use them.
Glyphosate preferentially kills lactobacillus, the healthy bacteria in your gut, and disrupts the entire microbiome. This means the healthy microorganisms you rely on no longer make necessary nutrients like B vitamins, and neurotransmitters like serotonin that keep your digestive and nervous systems healthy. When healthy bacteria populations grow weak, harmful pathogens have the chance to overgrow, causing inflammation in the gut, which leads to many health issues, from autoimmune issues like allergies to inflammatory bowel diseases and even antibiotic resistance.
Now the picture comes together of cells overwhelmed with toxins they can’t clear, and a weakened immune system in the gut that can’t protect you as well. So Candida yeast and other fungi move in and overgrow. Even though Candida is often painted as the villain, it serves a valuable purpose. In this case, it’s cleaning the cellular environment by digesting all the garbage your cells can’t clear. Recurrent yeast infections can’t heal until the problems that keep polluting your cellular environment are dealt with, so there is no longer a need for the Candida to be present in large numbers.
The list of diseases associated with glyphosate exposure in studies includes: ADHD, Alzheimer’s, birth defects, autism, heavy metal toxicity, cancer (especially brain, breast, lung, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and prostate cancers), Celiac disease and gluten intolerance, chronic fatigue, chronic kidney disease, C. difficile, colitis, depression, diabetes, heart disease, hypothyroid, infertility, IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease), liver disease, miscarriage and stillbirth, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, respiratory illnesses, and hypogonadism (low testosterone).
Many countries have banned glyphosate, determining there is no safe level of its use. 93% of people tested in the US were found to have glyphosate in their urine, at levels 3 to 4 times what is found in Europeans. The highest concentrations were found in children. The key to eliminating glyphosate from your body is found in the process of sulfation, which requires sulfur-rich foods, supplements, and sunlight.
Eat organic. Any plant glyphosate is sprayed on takes the glyphosate into its tissues, so you can’t simply wash it off. Because glyphosate drifts on air currents when it’s sprayed and runs off into waterways, it is found in virtually all US grown produce, but in much smaller levels in organic foods. Eat an organic, nutrient and mineral-rich diet, high in fermented foods with probiotics, and high in polyphenols, which are in the colorful vegetables and fruits. Polyphenols are essential for sulfation.
Supplement. Your body needs support with sulfur-rich amino acids like glutathione; B vitamins like folate (not synthetic folic acid) and Vitamin B6; and minerals including zinc, magnesium, selenium, and molybdenum. Gingko biloba extract has been shown in studies to specifically detox glyphosate. A binder like modified citrus pectin, zeolite, or bentonite clay will bind toxins and help eliminate them from the body.
Sunlight. You need to synthesize sulfate, and for that your skin and eyes need exposure to sunlight. Time in the sunlight, as close to noon as possible, without sunscreen or sunglasses is ideal. The sulfate synthesized from sun exposure, and the sulfate transporters in the foods and supplements all come together to help your body detox glyphosate and restore healthy organ functions over time.