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Glyphosate: Can It Damage Intestinal Epithelium?

Wednesday, April 12th 2023 10:00am 7 min read
Dr. Jessica Peatross dr.jess.md @drjessmd

Hospitalist & top functional MD who gets to the root cause. Stealth infection & environmental toxicity keynote speaker.

Glyphosate is a widely used herbicide that was first introduced in 1974 under the trade name Roundup by Monsanto. It is commonly used in agriculture, forestry, and home gardening to control the growth of weeds. Glyphosate has become the most widely used herbicide in the world, and its use has increased dramatically over the last few decades. However, recent studies have shown that glyphosate can damage the intestinal epithelium and lead to a range of health problems.

Glyphosate is a systemic herbicide that works by inhibiting the activity of the enzyme 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS) in plants. This enzyme is essential for the synthesis of aromatic amino acids, which are needed for protein synthesis. By inhibiting this enzyme, glyphosate disrupts the plant’s ability to produce these amino acids, leading to the death of the plant. Glyphosate is generally applied to the leaves of plants as a spray, and it is absorbed through the leaves and transported to the roots, where it acts on the EPSPS enzyme.

Glyphosate is also used as a desiccant, which means that it is sprayed on harvested crops to accelerate the drying process. This is particularly important for crops such as wheat, barley, oats, and canola, which are often harvested when the weather is damp. By spraying glyphosate on these crops, farmers can speed up the drying process and reduce the risk of mold growth. However, this practice has been controversial, and some countries, such as France, have banned the use of glyphosate as a desiccant.

Recent studies have shown that glyphosate can damage the intestinal epithelium, which is the layer of cells that lines the inside of the intestines. The intestinal epithelium plays a critical role in digestion, nutrient absorption, and immune function. Damage to this layer of cells can lead to a range of health problems, including inflammatory bowel disease, leaky gut syndrome, and autoimmune disorders.

One study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives found that glyphosate can disrupt the balance of gut bacteria and promote the growth of harmful bacteria. The study found that exposure to glyphosate led to a significant increase in the levels of two types of harmful bacteria: Enterococcus faecalis and Escherichia coli. These bacteria are known to cause a range of health problems, including urinary tract infections, sepsis, and meningitis.

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