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Roundup Rains Down, Contaminates Crops, Water Supply and Causes Intestinal Dysbiosis and Fatty Liver Disease

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You Can't Get Away from Exposure to Roundup

A study by the U.S. geographical survey found that a variety of pesticides are now found in our air and rain samples.  Glyphosate was detected in over 75% of air and rain samples in 2007, when use of glyphosate was considerably less than today.(1)  Glyphosate is now also widely used as a drying agent (dessicant) on a variety of crops including fruits, nuts, potatoes, and berries.(2)  This means that even if you purchase organically grown products, they can still be contaminated with pesticdes that rain down on fields and get into the water supply. Glyphosate acts as a chelator for beneficial minerals and is antimicrobial so when it rains down on soil it kills of beneficial microbes and makes nutrients less available to crops resulting in a nutrionally depleted food supply.  You can still reduce the amount of glyphosate by purchasing organic products but not completely eliminate exposure.  Virtually everone in the United States has glyphosate in their system.(3)

Glyphosate Causes Intestinal Dysbiosis

Another study has revealed that Roundup exposure leads to major changes in the microbiome (colony of microorganisms) in the intestinal tract of rats and it’s a finding that has significant ramifications on human health. (4)

This study was carried out by a team of researchers at the University of Caen in France led by Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini. Seralini is a French molecular biologist known for his groundbreaking study that linked genetically modified corn and glyphosate in Roundup to cancer. His findings were so damning that Roundup manufacturer Monsanto took action to have the study retracted, only to see it later republished elsewhere.

Fecal samples of rats were analyzed to assess their gut microbiomes. The researchers also grew bacteria in vitro using feces taken from control animals and then treated with three concentrations of Roundup: 0.1 ppb, 400 ppm, and 5,000 ppm.

The study found a sex-specific alteration in the female rats’ gut microbiomes. There was a rise in the Bacteroidetes family S24-7, while the Lactobacillae bacteria family noted a decrease. These changes were seen in all three of the Roundup doses given to the rats, which would appear to indicate that the effect is more related to the presence of Roundup in the first place than the amount administered. 

What can happen when gut bacteria is out of balance? Several medical conditions have been linked to gut microbiota dysbiosis, including inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer, along with conditions one might not normally associate with gut health, such as diabetes, asthma, cardiovascular disease, liver disease, obesity and autism. The researchers pointed out that a recent spike in gut disease in industrialized countries in the West cannot be explained by genetic reasons alone; environmental factors also play a big role.

This research is interesting on its own, but it could also serve as a useful starting point for further investigations. For example, some experts would like to see the study repeated with a bigger group of animals in an investigation that compares the effects of glyphosate alone and those of Roundup at the various concentrations. This would help narrow down which component of the Roundup herbicide – whether it’s active ingredients like glyphosate, adjuvants, or the combination of the two – is causing these gut microbiome changes.

Glyphosate Causes Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

In addition, another study shows a link between extremely low doses of Roundup and liver damage, which has already been demonstrated in other studies.

Indeed, a two-year study from King's College London  found that Roundup causes non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in extremely low doses.  Non-alocholic fatty liver disease occurs when fat cells accumulate in the liver for reasons not related to alcohol consumption.  It cause tissue scarring that leads to cirrhosis and liver inflammation and contribute to liver cancer and liver failure.(5)

In that study, rats were exposed to levels of glyphosate that were equivalent to those that are approved by regulators in the UK which is much lower than the U.S.. Toxicity studies carried out on rats are typically considered a reasonable indication of the effects a particular substance could have on human health, so it stands to reason that a similar effect can be seen in humans.

This is a frightening prospect when one considers the widespread use of Roundup and how much of it is present not only in our food supply but also rainwater and samples taken from air. It’s been found in tap water, food, and even breast milk.

References

1. Pesticides in Missippi air and rain: a comparison between 1995 and 2007. Environmental Toxicology.  June 2014, June 33(6):  1283-93

2. Dozens of crops treated with pre-harvest roundup.

3.  Glyphosate Contamination in People Across America

3.  Sex-dependent impact of Roundup on the rat gut microbiome - Seralini, Toxicology Reports 5 (2018) 96-107

4.  Multiomics reveal non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in rats following chronic exposure to an ultra-low dose of Roundup herbicide - Mesnage, Renney, Seralini - Nature January 9 2017

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