Glyphosate…you know it as RoundUp. And a man was just awarded $80 million for the role RoundUp played in his cancer.
What is it?
Glyphosate is the world’s most widely produced herbicide. It is a broad-spectrum herbicide that is used in more than 700 different products for agriculture and forestry to home use. Glyphosate was introduced in the 1970s to kill weeds by targeting and suppressing the enzymes that produce the amino acids tyrosine, tryptophan, and phenylalanine.
Even though cancer is a super scary result from repeated exposure to this chemical, there are other subtitles that will disrupt your health, especially with autoimmune progression of thyroid disorders.
The ‘T’ in T3 and T4
What does glyphosate have to do with thyroid issues? The ‘T’ in T3 and T4 refers to Tyrosine, which is destroyed by the weed killer.
Let’s think of the implications of this. It’s more than just your body not producing enough thyroid hormone. The body doesn’t want to use a faulty building block and therefore will go into protection mode by producing antibodies against it, in this scenario, Anti-Thyroglobulin Antibodies. You may call this ‘the body attacking itself.’ I look at it as the body protecting itself.
One thing that happens when the body is protecting itself is an increase in oxidation. Oxidation is a normal process from your cells working and creating waste products. Just remember, that everything is good but everything is dose dependent.
When oxidation becomes an issue and leads to further damage is when the cells are working overtime for too long of a period of time. It’s like the definition of busy. Busy is going too fast, in too many directions, for too long of a period of time.
In terms of the thyroid, oxidation helps convert iodide into iodine by way of the TPO (thyroid peroxidase) enzyme. Again, people with Hashimoto’s are typically familiar with their TPO numbers. But when there is too much busy (oxidation), there is potential to harm the TPO enzyme.
And we cycle back into the body going into protection mode of not wanting to produce crappy products. Thus the body makes Anti-TPO enzymes to slow the production of faulty iodine molecules attaching to faulty tyrosine amino acids and there is a potential for both Anti-TPO and Anti-Thyroglobulin antibodies to rise.
But the tyrosine destructing effect of glyphosate doesn’t just impact the thyroid.
Something else to consider is that tyrosine is also the building block of dopamine and epinephrine and norepinephrine. Tyrosine is also a building block of melanin (the tanning effect to sun exposure on your skin).
The implications are far reaching on how glyphosate can disrupt multiple systems. There’s the thyroid discussed above. There’s the cancer effects in the news. Dopamine is your pleasure and motivation molecule. It can disrupt your mood and cravings. Epi and Norepinephrine are your major fight or flight signals. These will disrupt energy and cardiac functions. If melanin is being disrupted, hello skin disorders.
So when your doctor, your brother-in-law, or government sponsored dietician says there’s no benefit to eating organic versus non-organic, you have to define ‘benefit.’ If they are matching nutrients, it might be close. But if we’re arguing toxicity, that’s a different story. It’s not always about what you’re getting but what you’re keeping out.