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Toxic Food 5 - glyphosate mimics glycine

A relatively new discovery about the toxic effects of glyphosate is presented in a paper by Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff, two researchers who are producing prolific amounts of research into the effects of the weedkiller on human health.  As fas as I can tell this paper is purely theoretical, in that the lab experiments needing to confirm their hypothesis have not yet been carried out. If this hypothesis turns out to be correct the long term implications are hugely significant, as it describes a mechanism that could account for many baffling diseases that afflict the developed world. This new science suggests that, far from being harmless, glyphosate may be toxic to humans at much lower doses that have previously been acknowledged, in fact there may be no safe dose at all.

One of the consequences of this discovery is that the effects of glyphosate may not show up immediately, but months and years after it was first consumed. It slowly builds up in our tissues, silently accumulating in concentration before suddenly, one day, bursting out as a chronic disease. This is because glyphosate interferes with the very basic processes of life itself.

The mechanism that the paper describes is that glyphosate (a man made amino acid) is able to take the place of glycine, a natural amino acid that is one of the 22 that are coded for in our DNA and forms part of all the proteins in our bodies. Samsel and Seneff claim:

Glyphosate substitution for conserved glycines can easily explain a link with diabetes, obesity, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary edema, adrenal insufficiency, hypothyroidism, Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease, prion diseases, lupus, mitochondrial disease, non- Hodgkin’s lymphoma, neural tube defects, infertility, hypertension, glaucoma, osteoporosis, fatty liver disease and kidney failure.

That is a massive list of illneses, when added to those covered in previous articles due to disruption of the gut microbiome, mineral deficiency, damage to mitochondria and suppresson of detoxification by the liver.

To understand what the authors are suggesting, we have to go back to the basic mechanism that cells use to transcribe the genetic code in our DNA to proteins, which is based around special molecular machines called ribosomes. These take strings of genetic material and use them to assemble sequences of amino acids into long chains which then foldup and combine to make complete proteins. Each "word" of the genetic code selects one of 20 amino acids to be added to the chain. Each amino acid has a different shape and set of chemical properties, which when combined allow the protein to perform its function. Slight changes to the coding occuring in crucial locations can disrupt the functioning of the protein - this is how mutations to the genetic code can be damaging.

The hypothesis that Samsel and Seneff are putting forward is that glyphosate can fool the ribosome mechanism into allowing it to be incorporated into proteins instead of glycine. If this glycine happens to be in a key location in the protein it can stop it working, with disastrous consequences for the functioning of the cell. The body has mechanisms for dealing with rogue proteins that haven't been correctly assembled, they get broken down and the components recycled. Unfortunately glyphosate disrupts this disassembly process, leaving residues of incompletely disassembled material.  It is thought that this is the process that creates the amyloid plaques found in Alzheimer's disease.

Glyphosate accumulates in body tissues

When I first made the connection between glyphosate and my health problems, I naively assumed that if I changed my diet and stopped taking it in, it would flush out of my system within a few days and I would start to recover. Now it must be true that some of it is being excreted, from the observation I've made that my urine seems to be capable of killing plants. However, over time it gets incorporated into the cells of our bodies, through the glycine mimicry process I've described. It seems that while 70% of the glyphosate we take in is removed from our bodies, there's a residue of around 30% that stays and accumulates.

And of course, it's not just our tissues that accumulate glyphosate, it's those of our animals too.  So for example, Samsel and Seneff have looked into gelatine, that is derived from the bones of cows and pigs.  Seneff says "Everything I have tested so far containing gelatin is contaminated including the global vaccine supply that uses gelatin"

Glyphosate causes enzymes to malfunction

Our 20 amino acids are fundamental building blocks of life - all life on the planet, not just human.  Therefore something that disrupts one of these building blocks has the potential of wreaking havoc.  Glyphosate is a molecule which has been synthesised in a laboratory, as far as we know it didn't exist on earth before man produced it.  Therefore nature has no defences against it, no enzymes to repair the damage it could potentially do.

If Samsel and Seneff are correct and this molecule is getting incorporated into our proteins, there is virtually no biological system that will remain unaffected, no disease that could not be triggered and made worse. In a sense that makes it pointless to try and list them all, but it's probably worth listing a few to illustrate the sheer range of problems we face.

Developmental disorders - children and animals being born with major birth defects such as missing brains, frogs with extra legs, and this poor bird with an overgrown beak.

Neurological diseases - at least four neurological diseases can be related to problems with protein shape. Alzheimer's disease has already meen mentioned above, also Parkinson's disease, Creutzfeld-Jacob disease (CJD), the human variant of "mad cow disease", Moton Neuron disease (ALS).

Obesity - obesity is usually blamed on the patient and their lifestyle - eating too much of the wrong food and getting too little exercise. While these may be factors, there is also the impact on environmental toxins on the body's metabolism.

Metabolic disorders - by disrupting our mitochondria, which are fundamental to providing our cells with energy, a huge range of diseases may be caused.

Autoimmune diseases - the glyphosate that has become incorporated into our proteins makes our immune system treat those proteins as foreign, and it attacks them. Essentially our body is attacking itself.

The list is endless, and the diseases may continue to emerge for decades after the cause, the glyphosate, is removed.


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