It’s in our waterways, air, and food supply. Glyphosate is a sickness plaguing our planet. The bad news? It’s starting to show up in our bodies.
Glyphosate has many adverse side effects, and may be a contributor to chronic conditions like autism-spectrum disorders and cancer.
This is why it is so essential that we do a glyphosate detox. Not only will the following recommendations help chelate glyphosate from deep down in your tissues, but they will assist in the removal of other harmful pesticides, herbicides and toxins from the body.
What is Glyphosate?
Glyphosate is the primary active ingredient found in Roundup herbicides, as well 700 other products ranging from household products to non-Roundup herbicides.
Glyphosate was originally developed as an industrial cleansing agent to chelate heavy metals and other substances from clogged pipes (1). When the discovery was made that glyphosate actually kills microbes, it was transformed into what became one of the most widely used weed killers in conventional agriculture.
Nearly 200 million pounds of glyphosate are dumped on American soil each year. This includes Roundup that has been sprayed for agricultural purposes, as well as home use for gardens and yards.
While hundreds of tests and independent, reliable studies have shown that glyphosate is a major threat to human health, the FDA and EPA only rely on tests done by the manufacturer. This means results are largely biased, and as a result, no regulations are put in place to protect humans, animals, or the environment.
Dangers of Glyphosate
When our bodies start storing glyphosate, it becomes evident in the form of chronic health conditions. This is why it is so important to perform a glyphosate detox. This chemical has no purpose in the body, other than making us chronically inflamed and sick.
Studies have found that Monsanto’s GMOs increase human allergy susceptibility, suppress the immune system and possibly cause autism, Parkinson’s and cancer (2). In 2009, glyphosate was temporarily banned in Argentina after incidents of cancer and birth defects started rising in areas where people lived next to glyphosate-sprayed crops (3).
A recent study published in JAMA (4) tracked people over the age of 50 in Southern California from 1993-1996 to 2014-2016. The researchers collected urine samples over this time to measure excretion levels of glyphosate and its metabolite aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA). They found that the percentage of people who tested positive for glyphosate increased by over 500% in that time period. The levels of glyphosate usage during this time period also spiked by over 1208%. Coincidence? I think not.
The researchers go on to note that the values observed in their study are higher than in European adults. They also state that chronic exposure to glyphosate-based herbicides can “induce adverse health outcomes,” as they go on to cite a study that makes the following claims (5):
– Glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs) are the most heavily applied herbicide in the world, and their use continues to rise
– GBHs, worldwide, contaminate drinking water sources, precipitation, and air, particularly in agricultural regions
– The half-life of glyphosate in water and soil is longer than previously recognized
– Glyphosate and its metabolites are widely present in the global soybean supply
– Human exposure to GBHs are rising
– Glyphosate is now authoritatively classified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a probable human carcinogen
– Regulatory estimates of tolerable daily intakes for glyphosate in the United States and European Union are based on outdated science.
And while glyphosate-containing products don’t kill people on the spot, that doesn’t mean it is safe. The effects of glyphosate are slow and build up over months and years until you finally start presenting symptoms.
Over time, glyphosate slowly damages our delicate gut flora, leading to chronic diseases rooted in gut dysfunction (like gut inflammation and leaky gut). By destroying our gut villi, glyphosate reduces our ability to absorb vitamins and minerals (6).
Glyphosate also disrupts the shikimate pathway found in beneficial gut microbes (7). The shikimate pathway is a probiotic pathway that helps synthesize critical amino acids as well as cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes. These enzymes are used by the body to detox chemical compounds in the body, as well as xenobiotics.
As you can probably guess, a lack of enzymes to help remove toxic substances from the body means that anyone who is exposed to high levels of glyphosate become even more vulnerable to the damaging effects of other chemicals and environmental toxins they encounter.
Glyphosate Detox: Crops To Avoid
One of the first things you should consider when doing a glyphosate detox is to quit eating the very foods this chemical is sprayed on. GBHs are used on crops like maize, soy grain, canola, wheat, barley, and edible beans (8). That’s not all, though. Glyphosate is also sprayed as a desiccant on things like almonds, grapes, and rice (9).
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the following non-organic crops are sprayed with glyphosate (reporting years: 2004-2013) (10):
9. Beans, Green
12. Brussels Sprouts
26. Dry Beans/Peas*
45. Peas, Green
60. Sugar Beets**
63. Sweet Corn*
*Over 100,000 pounds of glyphosate herbicide sprayed on them throughout the year
**Over 1,000,000 pounds of glyphosate herbicide sprayed on them throughout the year
Applying glyphosate to non-GMO crops as a desiccant before harvest is probably one of the worst times to spray, because the glyphosate then absorbs into the food crop directly. In other words, glyphosate can’t simply be “washed off,” as it has become part of the food itself. This chemical is them ingested by those who consume the whole, unprocessed food, or via processed foods that contain glyphosate as an ingredient.
To be honest, I was a little shocked by the number of crops that are sprayed with glyphosate. I was always under the impression that the major crops to stay away from (and to buy organic) were those like wheat, soy, canola, and the basic ones you hear mentioned by many health food websites. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
Glyphosate doesn’t only taint our food supply, but it can enter ground water and taint organic crops. Not to mention spray fall-out which can travel miles upon miles on windy days. If we’re not directly eating glyphosate-sprayed crops, then we’re inhaling it, or drinking it (or even bathing in it). There is quite literally no way to escape the glyphosate chemical giant Monsanto (now owned by Bayer) has created.
As a result, we need glyphosate detox methods, and thankfully, certain foods and herbs help remove this herbicide with ease.
Glyphosate Detox: How To Rid Your Body of Harmful Herbicide and Pesticide Residues
Scientists and clinicians have identified some ways in which harmful herbicide and pesticide residues can be removed or lessened in the body. One of the best ways is to consume a “detox diet.”
Dr. Robert Zieve, an integrative medicine expert and medical director of Partners in Integrative Cancer Therapies, in Prescott, AZ poses the question:
“How do we engage in this lifelong process of detoxification? As a foundation, this involves eating healthy food. This means organic, GMO-free food,” he said in an e-mail interview (11). “Herbs such as cilantro help us to eliminate metals such as lead and mercury,” he said. “Herbs like turmeric and garlic help to lower the levels of inflammation that are often the underlying causes [of chronic diseases.]”
Dr. Zieve also recommends adaptogenic herbs like Siberian ginseng, ashwagandha, rhodiola, and other similar herbs to help guard against the herbicide-induced endocrine disruption. Other herbs like milk thistle and dandelion root help protect the liver. Dr. Zieve philosophically points out that “detoxification is a lifelong process. The body already knows how to do this. We just need to get out of the way and support it in doing what it already knows how to do.”
If you believe you have high levels of glyphosate poisoning in your body, you can also order a Glyphosate Environmental Exposure Test from Health Research Institute. It also screens from AMPA, the metabolite of glyphosate, at no extra cost.
A study published in the December 2014 issue of the Journal of Environmental & Analytical Toxicology found that by consuming the following substances, you can effectively reduce your urine levels of glyphosate (12):
– Fulvic and humic acids
– Activated charcoal
– Bentonite clay
– Sauerkraut juice
While this study was conducted on cows, it is important to note that there was significant reductions of glyphosate in urine following supplementation. Of course, the amounts they fed the cows were to make up for their weight. A normal serving of these detox items could very likely perform similar glyphosate detox effects in humans.
Other studies have found that certain plant extracts help restore CYP enzyme (mentioned above) activity often disrupted by glyphosate (13), as well as protect liver cells from glyphosate intoxication (14).
These plant extracts include:
– Alder buckthorn
– Milk thistle
– Burdock root
– Greater celandine
Other suggestions to help eliminate glyphosate from the body are as follows:
– Use infrared sauna for sweating out toxins
– Consume probiotic-rich foods, or take a high-quality probiotic (I love the brand Genuine Health)
– Eat nutrient-dense whole foods, particularly raw, organic fruit and vegetables
– Eat organic foods as much as possible
– Avoid animal products like meat or dairy where GMO foods were used to feed the animals
– Avoid using herbicides and pesticides on your lawn
– Avoid consumption of GMO foods that are directly contaminated with glyphosate