Nobody wants anything to do with gluten these days. According to a 2013 survey, over 100 million Americans are trying to cut down on gluten and about 10 million households are gluten- free. To put these numbers in perspective, there are just over 1 million Americans who keep kosher and approximately 15 million vegetarians. While some dismiss gluten intolerance as frivolous, people who suffer from symptoms which include digestive issues, nausea, diarrhea, rashes, macrocytic anemia (when blood has an insufficient concentration of hemoglobin and enlarged red blood cells) and depression beg to differ.
Could Pesticides be causing Celiac Disease?
As the rates of celiac disease climb and increasing numbers of people report feeling better when they forego gluten, there are questions being raised about the relationship between chemicals and the plants from which gluten is derived. Some think that glyphosate residues in wheat and other crops are increasing recently due to the growing practice of crop desiccation (in which farmers spray crops with herbicides right before harvest to dry out crops and produce an earlier harvest).
In fact, this study proposes that glyphosate, the active ingredient in one of the world’s most widely used herbicide, Monsanto’s Roundup® is the most important causal factor in celiac disease and gluten intolerance. Even if you believe gluten is a non-issue, the known effects of glyphosate are incredibly damaging and should matter to us all.
Key points of the study
Fish exposed to glyphosate develop digestive issues similar to celiac disease, which is associated with imbalances in gut bacteria
Celiac disease is associated with imbalances in gut bacteria that can be fully explained by the known effects of glyphosate on gut bacteria
In other words, fish exposed to glyphosate had symptoms consistent with celiac disease. Celiac disease stems (in part) from unhealthy gut bacteria. The specific imbalances in gut bacteria can be attributed to the known effects of glyphosate on gut bacteria.
Effects of Glyphosate
Glyphosate is known to inhibit cytochrome P450 enzymes, which are made in the gut and are essential for important things like detoxifying the body of environmental toxins, activating vitamin D3, catabolizing vitamin A and maintaining bile acid production and sulfate supplies to the gut
Deficiencies in iron, cobalt, molybdenum, copper and other rare metals associated with celiac disease can be attributed to glyphosate's strong ability to chelate these elements
Deficiencies in tryptophan, tyrosine, methionine and selenomethionine associated with celiac disease match glyphosate's known depletion of these amino acids
Celiac disease patients have an increased risk to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, which has also been implicated in glyphosate exposure
Reproductive issues associated with celiac disease, such as infertility, miscarriages, and birth defects, can also be explained by glyphosate
Glyphosate, patented as an antimicrobial (Monsanto Technology LLC, 2010), has been shown to disrupt gut bacteria in animals, preferentially killing beneficial forms and causing an overgrowth of pathogens
Mineral & Amino Acid Deficiency
While birth defects, disrupted gut bacteria, a higher risk to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and a decreased ability to detoxify all sound ominous, mineral deficiency and lack of amino acids can wreak havoc on the body. Minerals are critical for normal metabolism, adding mechanical strength to bones and being a component of enzymes and hormones. They also function as buffers and regulate the balance and movement of fluids in and out of cells. Trace minerals are essential elements that occur in tiny amounts, each one making up less than 0.005% of adult body weight.
Amino acid deficiency is also serious business. Cells use amino acids to build new proteins, which include muscles, enzymes, hormone receptors, components of DNA, transport proteins that move nutrients into cells as well as many other functional compounds amino acid deficiency manifests in extreme fatigue, swelling and very slow healing time.
So, remind me again how and why Monsanto’s Roundup is legal in the United States? Why is it that Mexico, Russia, Brazil, France and the Netherlands have had the good judgement to ban glyphosate-based herbicides and our own EPA will not acknowledge that glyphosate is documented as a dangerous, cancer-causing chemical?
Our only hope is that people read the facts and are moved enough to spread the word and speak out. It may not be much, but signing this petition from Moveon.org to ban glyphosate-based herbicides is a start.