Is Roundup to blame for gluten intolerance?

The use of Roundup, a glyphosate herbicide, has increase exponentially over the past twenty years. Monsanto, its manufacturer, has consistently held that the product is safe and in fact, went on the air with one of its senior managers to claim that it could be consumed straight from the bottle with no adverse effects. (When the manager was asked to demonstrate that “fact”, he promptly walked off the set.)

So the question remains: is Roundup safe and what effect, if any, has it had on human health over its lifespan.

This is a fascinating study from the Interdisciplinary Journal of Toxicology that was published in 2013. The two U.S. scientists argue that increased use of Monsanto’s  Roundup could be the cause of the epidemic of symptoms labeled as “gluten intolerance.”

Interestingly, the scientists observed that fish exposed to Roundup (glyphosate) developed digestive problems that mimic gluten intolerance.  Celiac disease, or gluten intolerance, is known to impair an enzyme that is crucial for detoxifying environmental toxins, activating Vitamin D and catabolizing Vitamin A, among other things and, likewise, Roundup exposure has been shown to impair that same enzyme. There are other similarities too. Certain specific amino acid and mineral deficiencies occur in both Roundup exposure and symptoms related to Celiac, or gluten intolerance.  And to further their observations, check out this graph that tracks use of Roundup with cases of Celiac/gluten intolerance from 1990-2010. Coincidence??

Roundup on Gluten Intolerance

So maybe it’s not the grains we should be avoiding but the herbicides that coat them. After all, we have been eating grains as a species for over 20,000 years.