Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

The Shikimate pathway, GMOs, and glyphosates

Dr. Andrew July 18, 2023

Before we move on, let’s take one more look at the Shikimate pathway. The Shikimate pathway is the only way bacteria can produce those very important aromatic amino acids. And what happens when you eat genetically modified foods like corn, soy, wheat, and more? The Shikimate pathway gets destroyed by these life-negative chemicals. We now know that the active ingredient glyphosate destroys the Shikimate pathway in bacteria.16 Without this pathway working, the good bacteria in our bodies will tend to die off and more aggressive forms will take their place. This is the real, hidden danger of glyphosate. Not only does it act like an antibiotic in our gut, but it will alter our microbiome so that every body system, including the liver, brain, and even the methylation cycle, will suffer the effect.

Because this book focuses on how methylation and genes impact health, it is important that you understand how the environment plays a role. You’ve heard me say over and over again that our genes are “not our destiny, but they are our tendency.” What that really means is that the environment—in our body, our homes, our food, our water, and so on—is the deciding factor of whether we experience health or disease. Genes cannot be changed except by changing the environment to improve how those genes express. And with that key concept in mind, let’s turn our attention to how glyphosate, the most popular herbicide in the world, creates an environmental disaster inside our bodies. Glyphosates are powerful herbicides developed to kill weeds in croplands, and GMO foods are genetically modified to tolerate being sprayed with glyphosate herbicides such as Roundup. When we eat GMO foods grown with glyphosate herbicides, we are harming our microbiome and raising the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and depression.

As we take a deeper look at these issues, let’s again consider the work of Stephanie Seneff, PhD, an MIT researcher with more than 170 published papers under her belt. A computer science and artificial intelligence researcher by training, Seneff has applied cutting-edge data analysis techniques not only to the autism epidemic but also to the relationships between glyphosate use and cancer. What she uncovered in the data sent shockwaves through the natural health world. Analyzing data from the years 1990 to 2010, she found that glyphosate use correlated almost perfectly with the incidence and death rate for common cancers such as thyroid, liver, pancreatic, and bladder cancers. Her research shows us that the more glyphosate we use, the higher the rates of cancer and death from cancer.17 She theorizes that as healthy gut bacteria are destroyed by Roundup and other glyphosates, the intestines degenerate into a state of chronic inflammation and leaky gut, which, over time, create the perfect storm for cancer growth.

Unfortunately, glyphosate doesn’t just cause gut problems, it also creates one heck of a hormone mess. Like so many toxic chemicals in our environment, glyphosate appears to mimic the activity of the female hormone estrogen. In support of this fact, researchers published a study in 2013 proving that glyphosate acts like estrogen, activating the estrogen receptor inside the cells and causing breast cancer cells to grow.18 Not only must we avoid GMO/glyphosate—grown foods because of the damage they can cause to our digestive systems, we also must limit our exposure to chemical estrogens that increase our risk of cancer in many parts of our body.

It’s not only independent researchers such as Dr. Seneff who are sounding the alarm over GMO foods and the poisonous chemicals used to produce them. Even the World Health Organization has joined the conversation. In a 2015 publication from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, experts from eleven countries came together to study the data and determined that glyphosate is now a likely cause of cancer in people.19 The WHO is a conservative organization, so when it says the active ingredient in Roundup causes cancer, we should all take notice. Adding weight to this discovery, the WHO conclusion that glyphosate is a cause of cancer was published in the prestigious medical journal The Lancet Oncology.20 You don’t need me to tell you that everyone should avoid GMO foods and eat organic as much as possible. Even though this data can save lives, it will not be shared by the companies and corporations that produce and use this toxic poison.

Regardless of our age, sex, or background, we are collectively losing the battle for our mental health because of harm to our microbiome. Not only do pharmaceutical drugs and antibiotics harm our digestion, but GMO/glyphosate–toxin-laden foods are causing serious damage as well. Each exposure to these gut toxins forces us to take a step back in our health. To move our health forward and optimize our genes, we must take excellent care of our digestive system. We should always look to alternative methods such as herbs, vitamins, chiropractic care, and dietary changes before reaching for antibiotics at every little bump in the road. And eating clean, truly organic food is absolutely essential as well.

In summary, our ability to produce serotonin, dopamine, melatonin, and adrenaline depends on the availability of aromatic amino acids, many of which come from our gut. Antibiotic drugs in the food and water supply, along with GMO foods grown with glyphosate poisons, harm our gut bacteria, limiting their ability to produce these important amino acids. Methylation-related problems often involve neurological symptoms such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, worry, panic, ADD/ADHD, and more. Because the gut provides aromatic amino acids, it plays a key role in our methylation cycle and brain chemistry. When the gut bacteria cannot produce aromatic amino acids because of exposure to antibiotics, glyphosate, or other toxins, we experience depression, digestive upset, brain fog, fatigue, low energy, and other chronic health issues. In short, we experience ill health when the aromatic amino acid pathways in our gut have been compromised. It’s worth it to take an effort to eat organic, avoid all unnecessary medications, and seek the advice of naturally minded doctors whenever possible. Your gut will thank you!