glyphosate

Roundup herbicide's health risks recognized by Danish scientists

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 by: L.J. Devon, Staff Writer
Tags: Roundup herbicide, health risks, enzyme pathways

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(NaturalNews) Monsanto's Roundup is coming under fire in Denmark as scientists awake to its effect on enzymes activities and the gastrointestinal health of mammals. Danish scientists are calling out for further investigation of the weed killer and other glyphosate-containing pesticides. Citing glyphosate's potential for abuse on the health of livestock, the scientists report that the chemical is most dangerous during a mammal's sensitive life stages.

Likewise, the weed killer has been proven to inhibit specific enzyme pathways in the guts of mammals -- enzymes that play an important role in allowing the body to detoxify naturally.

Danish scientists recognize that glyphosate affects livestock at sensitive life stages

Current health assessments of livestock in Denmark show that genetically modified soy feed, which is doused with glyphosate, has negative effects on mammalian health. Scientists from Denmark's Aarhus University investigated various farmer reports at the request of the Danish farm minister.

One of the scientists, Martin Tang Sorensen, hit the ground running, reviewing study after study identifying the risks that glyphosate poses to livestock health. Evidence pointed out that glyphosate impacts livestock the most during sensitive phases of the animal's life.

Two hypotheses were studied and were of great concern to the researchers. The first investigated glyphosate's damaging effect on the microorganisms in an animal's gastrointestinal system. The second studied an animal's mineral status as a secondary effect of glyphosate exposure.

Glyphosate disrupts good bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, leaving livestock more prone to infections

For cattle and poultry, glyphosate disrupts the natural "good" bacteria balance in the gut. This is evidenced by the recent uptick of Clostridium botulinum infections in cattle. In the past ten years in Germany, botulism infections have increased dramatically, showing how a diminished gastrointestinal tract favors the growth of infectious disease. For example, salmonella and clostridium were found to be highly resistant to glyphosate. At the same time, beneficial bacteria such as Enterococcus, Bacillus and Lactobacillus were found to be most susceptible, destroyed in the presence of glyphosate. Without enough good bacteria, the gut of the livestock becomes a nest for disease to replicate.

Glyphosate limits the body's detoxification abilities

Further research showed that glyphosate inhibits the cytochrome P450 enzymes in humans. These enzymes are used to help detoxify unhealthy chemicals from the body. By blocking the action of these enzymes, glyphosate allows other environmental toxins to persist in the body. Glyphosate basically acts as an enabler for cellular toxicity, allowing food-borne chemicals to remain. The toxic substances are then allowed to compete with minerals in the body, depleting the immune system of its preventive powers.

Still, glyphosate is advertised as safe for human and mammal consumption since it disrupts the shikimate pathway of plants, not mammals. This premise fails to mention that the shikimate pathway is also present in human gut microbes, which are overlooked in human physiology. With the role of aiding digestion, synthesizing vitamins and detoxifying harmful chemicals, gut microbes are important for providing immunity. If these bacterial pathways are disrupted, the gastrointestinal tract can be more readily permeated by harmful substances and the immune system can suffer.

Glyphosate increases ammonia levels, raises questions

Further investigation finds that glyphosate-treated plants also produce excess ammonia due to increased activity of phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL). This PAL enzyme, which is found in plants, animals and microbes, catalyzes the reaction that releases ammonia. The excess ammonia creates a growth disruption in plants. Through the induction of the PAL enzyme, glyphosate allows toxic phenolic compounds to be released alongside bouts of ammonia.

If this action stunts growth in plants, how might this action stunt proper gut microbe development in humans?

How might these disruptions in the gut be tied to inflammation occurring throughout the body?

Sources for this article include:

http://www.gmwatch.org

www.mdpi.com/journal/entropy

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