You know that weed killer you have sitting in your garage that you use every year to keep your driveway and patio looking pristine? Yes RoundUp, that's the one. Did you know that the active ingredient in RoundUp - glyphosate - is not just found there but is also highly concentrated in your food. That's right! You read that correctly. And if you didn't know, you need to know. Especially if you're struggling with your gut or health in any way.
Here are some of the main concerns with glyphosate and why we need to be so mindful of consuming it. Firstly, glyphosate chelates (binds) metals and minerals. It has a special love for aluminum, which can ultimately lead to toxicity. We don't want anything in the body to bind metals. Parasites are a holding tank for heavy metals too. We want the body to filter them out so that we don't end up with an increased toxic load. When it comes to binding and holding onto minerals, it essentially makes them unavailable for your body to utilize. Your gut, all the enzymes in your body - they all require these minerals to function optimally. Glyphosate also acts like an antibiotic. It can wipe out the microbiome destroying essential bacteria like lactobacillus species. When our good bacteria is destroyed we affect the delicate balance in the microbiome which can lead to dysbiosis creating symptoms like bloating, gas, constipation. Not only can this shift in bacteria lead to inflammation but glyphosate in of itself affects a very important enzyme, cytochrome P450. It's responsible for converting arachidonic acid (found in fat) into these pain relieving molecules - our naturally synthesized cannabinoids. But glyphosate blocks its ability to do so. Suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and overall joint pain? I say it's time to analyze what's really in your food. See what's creating this systemic inflammation. Do you suffer from PMS symptoms? Thyroid issues? Glyphosate is also a well known endocrine disruptor. Specific gut bacteria are responsible for the production of tyrosine and when they are killed, it creates a deficiency in these amino acids - essential for the production of your thyroid hormones and dopamine. Glyphosate also affects your estrogen pathways by interacting with their receptors and is shown to decrease testosterone. Truthfully, the effects of glyphosate go way beyond what I have shared here. There are tons of resources online if you're interested in exploring more. This article is one example. So, are you wondering which foods are contaminated with glyphosate? It is most heavily sprayed on wheat. They do it pre harvest to speed up the drying process. The biggest concern with that is there is absolutely zero opportunity for any of it to wash off. In fact, there is a direct correlation with the increase in gluten sensitivity and the increase use of glyphosate. Glyphosate is also found on oats, barley and legumes (chickpeas, lentils). Oh and don't be fooled like I was in thinking just because it's organic it's free of glyphosate. There is contamination because of run off. HOWEVER, organic is still the preferred way to go. I know, it's a lot to take in. But it's just another piece of the puzzle to help get your health back on track. And after all, that's our goal isn't it? As always, livwell! XO, Rachel