The use of glyphosate, the active ingredient in the broad-spectrum herbicide Roundup, has dramatically risen over the past 15 years, right in step with the use of GE crops.
According to Dr. Stephanie Seneff, a senior research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), glyphosate appears to be strongly correlated with the rise in celiac disease.
Dr. Anthony Samsel and Dr. Seneff produced some phenomenal research on this connection, which was published in December last year. Previously, she has investigated the relationship between glyphosate and the development of a wide array of modern diseases, including autism.
She believes that glyphosate may, in fact, act as a transporter for aluminum (a common vaccine adjuvant) into the brain. It also appears to transport arsenic into the kidneys. For more in-depth information on this glyphosate-autism link, please listen to the full version of Dr. Seneff’s interview.
Use of Roundup Matches Increased Use of GE Crops, and Rise in Chronic Diseases
Her initial findings were published in the journal Entropy last year, which was followed by a second paper, again co-authored with Dr. Samsel, which links glyphosate to celiac disease specifically.
“There’s an extremely strong correlation between the use of Roundup on corn and soy over time and the increase in all these different diseases, and celiac disease is one of them,” she says.
“We certainly have seen an explosive appearance of celiac disease almost overnight in the last five to 10 years… Now you have a growing section of gluten-free choices of various food products…
Lots of people are intolerant to gluten, of course. But people aren’t thinking, ‘Why is this now true? This didn’t use to be true’… I was really puzzled because wheat is not a GE product… GMO wheat is not a product that’s on the market.”
So what’s going on? Dr. Seneff’s research reveals that when it comes to gluten intolerance and celiac disease, the problem actually doesn’t stem from genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Rather it’s related to the use of glyphosate just before the harvesting of many of the non-organic wheat crops, in order to reduce the amount of residue that needs to be cleared and to get a head start on next year’s weeds.
Glyphosate-Treated Wheat Promotes Celiac Disease
Celiac disease is a severe reaction to gluten that primarily affects your gastrointestinal system. Glyphosate has been shown to severely damage your gut flora and cause chronic diseases rooted in gut dysfunction.
The use of glyphosate on wheat crops has risen in tandem with the rise in celiac disease. In fact, it correlates to a greater degree than glyphosate usage on corn and soy.
According to Dr. Seneff, desiccating non-organic wheat crops with glyphosate just before harvest came in vogue about 15 years ago. Interestingly enough, when you expose wheat to a toxic chemical like glyphosate, it actually releases more seeds. “It ‘goes to seed’ as it dies,” Dr. Seneff explains. “At its last gasp, it releases the seed.”
This results in slightly greater yield, and the glyphosate also kills rye grass, a major weed problem for wheat growers that is resistant to many other herbicides. What they’re not taking into consideration is the fact that rye grass helps rebalance the soil, and from that perspective is a beneficial plant.
So, most of the non-organic wheat supply is now contaminated with glyphosate. A large percentage of processed foods are made from wheat, and this helps explain the explosion of celiac disease and other gut dysfunction.
What happens is that the villi in your gut get destroyed by the glyphosate, which reduces your ability to absorb vitamins and minerals. Also, wheat contains gliadin, which is difficult to break down. Normally, a reaction takes place that builds connections between different proteins in the wheat.
But glyphosate gets right in the middle of that process too, resulting in wheat that is highly indigestible. Dr. Seneff and her co-researcher Dr. Anthony Samsel believe the glyphosate may attach to the gliadin as a consequence of a chemical reaction. The end result is that your body develops an immune reaction. As noted in their study:
“[G]ut dysbiosis, brought on by exposure to glyphosate, plays a crucial role in the development of celiac disease. Many CYP enzymes are impaired in association with celiac disease, and we show that glyphosate’s known suppression of CYP enzyme activity in plants and animals plausibly explains this effect in humans.”
Glyphosate Disrupts Important Sulfate Pathway Implicated in Celiac Disease
Glyphosate causes gut dysbiosis (a condition of microbial imbalance in your intestines that can lead to gut inflammation and leaky gut) and an overgrowth of pathogens. Sulfur, and the sulfur pathway, plays in important part in optimal health, and when your gut is inflamed, your body’s ability to transport sulfate is impaired.
This is in part why Dr. Seneff recommends soaking in magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt) baths rather than taking a sulfur supplement (such as chondroitin sulfate, for example.) This way, it can bypass your gut mucosa. The sulfur pathway is also implicated in celiac disease, and this is the connection between glyphosate exposure and celiac:
“There are two classes of molecules that transport sulfate. One is the sterols: cholesterol, vitamin D, and all sex hormones – estrogen, testosterone, and DHEA. On the other side, you have all the neurotransmitters. This is the dopamine, melatonin, serotonin, and the adrenaline. All of those transport sulfate. They’re all derived from this pathway that glyphosate disrupts,” Dr. Seneff explains.
“Glyphosate disrupts the shikimate pathway, which is a biological pathway in plants and in microbes. That pathway produces the precursors to all those neurotransmitters. When you can’t produce those precursors… because of the glyphosate, you become deficient.
This links directly to celiac disease because serotonin is very strongly implicated in celiac disease. In fact, you have an overproduction of serotonin whenever you have dietary tryptophan. In celiac, these cells are hypersensitized. They take in the tryptophan and make serotonin out of it [editor’s note: the majority of serotonin is produced in your gut, not your brain].
Tryptophan is one of the products of this pathway that glyphosate disrupts. Your body is really eager to grab every bit of tryptophan it can find in the diet and immediately turn it into serotonin… But too much serotonin causes diarrhea. That’s how you get a connection to the celiac disease behavior.”
To summarize, most of the serotonin that’s produced in your body is produced in your gut in response to tryptophan. Wheat is a good source of tryptophan, but when the wheat is contaminated with glyphosate, your gut cells go into overdrive and begin producing too much serotonin, which in turn produces many of the common symptoms of celiac disease, such as diarrhea.