Increasingly, researchers are linking environmental toxins to everything from chronic diseases to cancer and autism. These toxins make their way into our bodies through our food, water, and air supply in ways that are awfully hard to avoid.
Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer, is a rather infamous toxin, which not only merits the bad press it gets but also should be on everyone’s spring cleaning “get rid of it” list.
Glyphosate Kills Healthy Gut Bacteria
Glyphosate acts as a chelator to bind magnesium, making it impossible for plants to absorb needed nutrients. That’s how it kills weeds. Unfortunately, glyphosate’s detrimental effects don’t just act on weeds, they act on human bodies as well.
Monsanto claims Roundup is harmless in humans because it acts on the shikimate pathway, which is not part of human biology. What they fail to account for, however, is the shikimate pathway is present in our internal bacteria. In this way, glyphosate can have seriously detrimental effects on the human body, as it disrupts the function and lifecycle of microbes. To add insult to injury, glyphosate is thought to disproportionally target healthy bacteria.
Can This Toxin Stimulate Cancer Growth?
A recent study published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology found that, even are extremely low amount, glyphosate may stimulate hormone-dependent cancer growth.
That’s because glyphosate is a xenoestrogen, a toxin that negatively impacts hormone function. Glyphosate was found to induce breast cancer cell growth by working on estrogen receptors and mediating hormone expression.
These findings are a wake-up call for folks who are unaware of just how much harm non-organic produce can cause in the body.
13 Different Pesticides Detected in Children’s Blood
One study tested school children in the Seattle area and found an average of 13 different pesticide residues lingering in the bloodstream. Once the children switched to a strictly organic diet, however, no pesticides could be detected as early as 36 hours after the switch!
Then, once they switched back to eating conventional produce, the residues reappeared just as suddenly as they had gone.
The call is clearly to eat organic. By reducing your conscious intake of toxins like glyphosate and PCBs, and nourishing your gut with plenty of detoxifying nutrients, you can help reverse toxin accumulation in the body and bring balance back to your gut.
PCB Pollutants May Affect Sexual Function
If you haven’t noticed by now, toxins floating around in our food affect everyone – healthy children, women with breast cancer, and now, men with sexual dysfunction. PCBs are a group of industrial chemicals that were used to make electrical transformers, plastics, and lubricating oils until about 1977.
Despite being banned for most uses, PCBs do not break down easily, thus they have remained in our environment as a result of spills and improper disposal for decades. Because PCBs accumulate in our oceans, lakes, rivers, and streams, fish are often contaminated with this toxic compound, posing health risks for people who eat seafood often.
One study found that men who ate fish contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) had lower concentrations of testosterone in the blood. While you may just think of low testosterone as the cause of sexual dysfunction, it has also been tied to a host of health problems, including:
- Loss of libido
- Decreased physical endurance
- Low sperm count
- Poor memory capacity
- Loss of bone density
Endocrine disruptors that accumulate in the fatty parts of fish are thought to alter testosterone levels by mimicking or blocking hormone receptors and altering rates of steroid hormone synthesis and metabolism.
In children, these endocrine disruptors have been found to actually stunt sexual development.
While predominantly found in fish, PCBs can also be found in some meat and dairy products. So be wary of where your food comes from, and be sure to supplement with plenty of detoxifiers to offset the toxins you come into contact with.