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I’ve long been suspicious of the rumors that organic foods are actually better for me than their counterparts. Spinach is spinach, right? I used to think that if Roundup was so bad, why did the government allow it on our foods and in our soil? I think I even recall telling people that only trace amounts end up in our food and that the major toxicant found in Roundup gets cleared out of our system pretty quickly anyway, therefore it couldn’t do us much harm. Unfortunately younger, naïve me was wrong. I’m writing today to make amends for the misinformation I’ve spread in the past. This post should hopefully shed just a little light on a topic I’m sure we will be seeing a lot more of in the future.

In order to keep this brief I am only going to concentrate on one major chemical and use it as an example of the damage these substances can do to us. And since I already mentioned Roundup, let’s discuss its active ingredient, glyphosate. Glyphosate does a few really harmful things to use. The first is that it creates gut disbiosis, meaning that it creates an imbalance of gut bacteria. Glyphosate kills its targets via the shikimate pathway (for you biochemistry nerds). Humans don’t possess this pathway, ergo it is “harmless” for humans. However, our gut microbes do possess this pathway, and glyphosate seems to preferentially kill the good bacteria. Gut imbalance has been leaked to a plethora of health problems like leaky gut, obesity, heart disease, depression, diabetes, autism, and even conditions like cancer and Alzheimer’s.

Glyphosate also disrupts your serum sulfate transport, specifically your liver’s ability to make sulfate. Not concerned, yet? What if I told you that sulfate was a key component of an important type of your body’s natural detoxing enzymes? So this particular toxicant diminishes your ability to eliminate the other toxins in your body. And if that still isn’t enough, what if I told you that the latest research is showing that heart disease seems like it is more of a sulfate issue than a cholesterol issue? Cholesterol was intended to bind with sulfate making cholesterol sulfate, a compound that is both water and fat soluble. This union gives the compound the ability to be easily transported to anywhere the body needs either cholesterol or sulfate. Without sulfate to bind with, cholesterol appears to build up where it’s most accessible for future sulfate molecules, the arteries near the heart, leading to heart disease (the current reigning champ for non-iatrogenic causes of death in our country).

I wish I could tell you not to worry about this, that our bodies are tough and can handle it. And most of us probably could handle it if all we had to worry about was glyphosate. According to the nonprofit organization Environmental Working Group, the average newborn baby has 287 known toxins in his or her umbilical cord blood. I think it’s safe to say that we have at least a few floating around ours as well besides glyphosate.

So what do we do about it? For starters try to avoid toxins where they can be avoided. Eat and drink as cleanly as possible. Same goes for the household products that you use. Next, eat things that naturally help detox the body. Anything with chlorophyll is typically good. This means green foods like spinach, kale, asparagus and the like. Green tea has also shown to be an effective way to clear toxins. If you are concerned you need more sulfate you can eat more broccoli, drink San Pellegrino mineral water, get more sunshine on your skin, and maybe best of all you can eat more egg yolks (preferably from healthy eggs). Come to think of it I may have to write a post specifically on the best ways to detox. There are many great options and it really deserves its own post.

So that ought to do it for today. As always, thanks for reading and have a great day.