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Is Roundup by Monsanto Behind Skyrocketing Celiac Disease?

Celiac.com 04/03/2014 - Since the introduction of glyphosate-based herbicides, like Roundup, by Monsanto in the 1970s, celiac disease levels have increased 400%. Could these herbicides play a significant role in driving the autoimmune condition that is celiac disease?

Photo: CC--msdonnaleeA team of independent researchers claims that data show glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide, Roundup, to be the most important causal factor in epidemic rises in celiac disease levels.

The researchers were independent Scientist Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff, with the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Their paper on the subject is called Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases II: Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance, and it may be read in its entirety in Interdisciplinary Toxicology.

Some interesting tidbits from their paper include:

Celiac.com 04/03/2014 - Fish exposed to glyphosate develop digestive problems that are reminiscent of celiac disease. Celiac disease is associated with imbalances in gut bacteria that can be fully explained by the known effects of glyphosate on gut bacteria.

Characteristics of celiac disease point to impairment in many cytochrome P450 enzymes, which are involved with detoxifying environmental toxins, activating vitamin D3, catabolizing vitamin A, and maintaining bile acid production and sulfate supplies to the gut.

Glyphosate is known to inhibit cytochrome P450 enzymes. Deficiencies in iron, cobalt, molybdenum, copper and other rare metals associated with celiac disease can be attributed to glyphosate’s strong ability to chelate these elements.

Deficiencies in tryptophan, tyrosine, methionine and selenomethionine associated with celiac disease match glyphosate’s known depletion of these amino acids.

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Celiac disease patients have an increased risk to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which has also been implicated in glyphosate exposure.

Reproductive issues associated with celiac disease, such as infertility, miscarriages, and birth defects, can also be explained by glyphosate.

Glyphosate residues in wheat and other crops are likely increasing recently due to the growing practice of crop desiccation just prior to the harvest.

The researchers argue that the practice of “ripening” sugar cane with glyphosate may explain the recent surge in kidney failure among agricultural workers in Central America.

They conclude with a plea to governments to reconsider policies regarding the safety of glyphosate residues in foods.

The repost offers compelling data to support the claim, and certainly the report will receive a great deal of attention, but it remains to be seen how much provable evidence the report contains.

There's an old saying that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. The claim that Monsanto's glyphosate-based Roundup is driving global rates of celiac disease is an extraordinary claim. As such, more than circumstantial evidence, however compelling, will be needed to prove this claim one way or the other.

Doubtless, this is a story that merits close scrutiny. Stay tuned to see what specific evidence, if any, can be offered in support of the assertions about the data made by the researchers.


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12 Responses:

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said this on
03 Apr 2014 6:28:28 AM PDT
Sure anything can be analyzed with research, but Italy has a 10% celiac diagnosis and they don't support Monsanto products. Mostly the USA supports these types of products. Do you know more about this?

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said this on
07 Apr 2014 1:35:41 PM PDT
Regardless of whether they allow GM seeds or not, Italy uses plenty of glyphosate.

Kit Kellison
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said this on
03 Apr 2014 11:15:49 AM PDT
This study has been discredited and debunked all over the internet because of it's inability to show cause and effect between the use of glyphosates and celiac disease. We know that the prevalence of CD has skyrocketed, but we also know that the environmental changes since the Fort Walton samples were first taken are innumerable. There has been such a variety of unknown poisons fracked into the water table, run into or directly dumped into our rivers, so many different chemicals used on lawns and farms and in industry that we can only guess which ones are killing us.

But the points Jefferson makes aren't going to go away. Truly the claims weren't well-proved, but neither have they been disproved because there hasn't been near enough testing on humans to show that RoundUp, as commonly used, is safe for our consumption.

Peter Olins, PhD
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said this on
03 Apr 2014 3:54:28 PM PDT
The simple answer is, no!

I suspect that many people will just read the abstract of the Samsel/Seneff article, and assume that it is true. Few people on earth will have the stomach to read the whole article, let alone verify if the numerous references actually support their alarming claims. I have spent several days doing just that, and am pleased to report that the article provides no reason for concern that glyphosate causes celiac disease! In fact, in my reading, I was surprised to discover how much research has been actually done on glyphosate, and was amazed by the large margin of safety.

I think we just need to put this notion to rest, and move on.

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said this on
04 Apr 2014 6:31:39 AM PDT
Good to know you're taking advice on biomedical issues from a computer scientist.

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said this on
09 Apr 2014 6:06:12 AM PDT
Computer scientists (software and hardware engineers) are the ultimate detectives and masters of logic, not lawyers.

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said this on
04 Apr 2014 11:03:07 AM PDT
Thank you!! Very intriguing!

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said this on
06 Apr 2014 5:32:46 AM PDT
I found Dr. Seneff years ago when she was talking about cholesterol, brilliant mind. Regardless if you can 'prove beyond a reasonable doubt' that GMO and RoundUp and other toxins are causing Autism, Alzheimer's or any other Auto Immune disease including celiac (which we all have in our family but didn't know it until just recently). Diet is responsible for the skyrocketing numbers, you are what you eat.

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said this on
07 Apr 2014 10:03:01 AM PDT
I don't know if Roundup caused my celiac disease, but I do know how sick I got after being sprayed with it by a country road crew spraying it along the road in front of my house. I get stomach pains from eating GMOs and other foods associated with that herbicide. And considering all of the other health damage that can be caused for everyone, by that toxic chemical, I will continue to avoid eating anything that is likely to be contaminated with it. Anyone who claims that a chemical herbicide or pesticide is totally safe have a right to their own opinion, but should respect that other people also have a right to question harmful substances, that may impact their health and safety. Pesticides and herbicides kill stuff. That is their only purpose. Naturally, sensible people are going to consider that, and try to avoid them as much as possible.

Jared M.
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said this on
09 Apr 2014 6:17:19 AM PDT
Despite being pretty far to the left on most social issues, I am growing tired of the left continuously trying to link every scientific advancement in food production to celiac and other diseases. The fact is that even more people would be hungry than there are now without these amazing ways to grow food in harsh conditions (weather, insects, etc). With the epic droughts we've had lately in California and the southern plains, we'd be facing substantially higher food prices than we already are.

I am also alarmed that when I see articles like this, there is not even a passing comment about the higher awareness and better diagnosis of celiac disease over these last couple of decades. When I was diagnosed seven years ago, testing for CD was one of the LAST things my doctor thought to look for - it took nearly two years! Doesn't anyone think that might be why celiac is "on the rise"? Maybe it's just that celiac DIAGNOSIS is on the rise, but not the occurrence of the disease itself.

Seth Bittker
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said this on
16 Sep 2014 12:28:54 PM PDT
This is an interesting hypothesis but the data do not bear it out. Regulations to allow glycophosphate to be used on foods entering the EU were only approved in 2002.

Yet the significant increases in celiac rates in many European countries predate use of glycophosphates. For example there was a dramatic increase in Sweden in the mid-1990s that other researchers have attempted to explain.

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said this on
04 Apr 2017 2:43:37 PM PDT
One sketchy article is being re-plastered all over the internet. The link between Round Up and celiac is not even remotely proven.

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Hi Galaxy, This does not mean that you don't have celiac. You need a full panel done. I only test positive on the DGP IgA test. You still need tTG IgG, DGP IgA, DGP IgG and EMA. Ask your Dr to order the rest? Do keep eating gluten until all testing is complete and definitely keep advocating for yourself! You deserve to feel good!! ((((((Hugs))))))

HI all. Blood, genetic and 3 biopsies diagnosed Celiac 2007. Spent 10 years on elimination diet of 9 foods to have stable colon and CRP. Never had bad Celiac numbers and my weight dropped 90 lbs from inflamation under control. Great cholesterol. Last two years have been adding foods. Last summer developed sharp pain in right flank, severe. After ultrasounds and MRI no diagnosis. Three back to back bladder infections and high CRP, Westergreen and Cholesterol later I went back to elimination diet for 30 days. Hard with food and starvation fear. Blood perfect again. Just wanted to share that obviously some food I added took me down hard. I am militant gluten-free and my Celiac blood work was normal throughout. Pain is gone. Anyone else experience this. Did you find out what it was and what test or Lab? Thanks to all who share here.

http://www.popsci.com/peppers-marijuana-gut Found this and found it interesting, I will admit I love making edibles and it always seemed to help with my gut lol. "Your gut is something of an immunological mystery. Unlike the rest of the body, which tends to treat foreign invaders with a singular purpose?seek and destroy?the stomach cannot afford to be so indiscriminate. It exists to help fuel the body, and that means routinely welcoming foreign bodies in the form food. ?If we injected ourselves with the food that we eat, we would have a massive immune response,? said Pramod Srivastava, an immunologist at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. When our gut?s immune system starts acting more like that of the rest of the body, the gut gets inflamed and starts attacking its own cells. The end result is illness. Diseases like celiac (an autoimmune reaction to gluten) and ulcerative colitis (one of two types of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, the other being Crohns) occur when the gut?s immune system starts treating food, and our own body, like an interloper. These conditions often leaves sufferers in tremendous pain and at an increased risk of both malnutrition and colon cancer. But if researchers could figure out how to calm down that immunological response, it might be possible to create a treatment. Srivastava?s recent study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests we may be one step closer to finding a cure. He found that anandamide, a chemical that the body makes naturally and that is very similar to chemicals found in marijuana, helps calm down the immune system?at least in the guts of mice. If his studies hold up in humans, he says it could eventually lead to a cure for ulcerative colitis. To understand how Srivastava came to this conclusion it helps to look at his earlier work. Srivastava found that when he exposed immune cells to hot temperatures that the cells became highly activated?in other words, the immune cells went to work. Previous studies have shown that elevated body temperatures (better known as fevers) can help immune cells work better. But what Srivastava wanted to know was why. How exactly did the cells know that it was getting hot in there? ?It was known that there were certain calcium cells that open up in the nerves when they are exposed to high temperature,? said Srivastava. ?So, if the hand encounters a hot stove, those calcium cells open, calcium falls into the nerve and that nerve impulse goes to the brain, and we know that it is warm or hot.? It turns out that the same calcium channel is also how immune cells knew that their Petri dishes were getting warm. If physically hot temperatures activate the immune cells, Srivastava wondered, would capsaicin?the chemical that makes chili peppers feel hot?do the same? The answer was yes. Immune cells exposed to chili pepper in a Petri dish behaved just like cells exposed to higher temperatures. But our cells aren?t exposed to capsaicin directly when we bite into a spicy dish. So Srivastava fed the chemical to mice with type 1 Diabetes (which, like IBD, stems from autoimmune inflammation) to mimic our actual exposure. Since the Petri dish experiments showed that heat and capsaicin tended to make immune cells more active, the mice fed capsaicin should have developed more diabetes than the control group. But the opposite happened. Srivastava found that capsaicin didn?t ramp up the immune cells in their guts?it chilled them out. The mice fed capsaicin actually stopped being diabetic. It turns out something else happens when a mouse chows down on capsaicin. A special kind of immune cell, CX3CR1, also gets activated. And that immune cell tends to suppress immune responses in the gut. Since the body can?t really depend on a steady diet of chili peppers to keep us healthy, Srivastava went looking to see what else binds to the same calcium channel as capsaicin. He discovered that anandamide does. Anandamide was discovered in the 1980s when researchers were trying to make sense of why our body, especially the brain, has cannabinoid receptors. Cannabinoids, found in marijuana, are part of a class of chemicals that can alter neurotransmission in the brain. Nature didn't develop those sensors just so humans could get stoned: anandamide is similar to the cannabinoids found in marijuana, but our body actually produces it. ?The person who discovered anandamide had an interest in Indian languages,? said Srivastava. ?And in India, the word ?ananda? means bliss.? Nobody knows whether anandamide actually induces a sense of bliss, but mice fed anandamide experienced the same healing effects?stretching from the esophagus down through the stomach?as mice fed capsaicin. Srivastava also discovered that when he gave mice capsaicin, it seemed to stimulate their bodies' production of anandamide. In both cases, it was ultimately the anandamide that was healing the gut, which suggests that other cannabinoids like marijuana might have a similar effect. As with all studies, there are some limitations. Srivastava?s work was done in mice, not people. But it does fall in line with anecdotes from IBD sufferers who have found that marijuana relieves some of their symptoms, and other studies that have found that people who eat chili peppers live longer. Because anandamide is a cannabinoid, it?s pretty heavily regulated?you can?t just give it to humans. As a result, Srivastava hopes to work with public health authorities in Colorado?the land of medical (and recreational) marijuana?to see if legalization has led to any improvement in colitis patients who consume edibles. If it has, that could help Srivastava make the case for a study that repeats his experiment in human patients. In the meantime? Well, if you live in Colorado and want to try something new for your IBD, you're sure in luck. But most patients should probably hold off on trying to mimic the study results at home: many IBD patients report negative reactions to spicy foods, likely because they increase stomach acid and often contain nightshade plants. So guzzling hot sauce might not be a safe way to boost your body's anandamide production."

Even when glutened, I have YET to have a positive TTG (IgA or IgG). Before you give up on a celiac diagnosis, get the GI to order the rest of the panel. Make sure it is firmly ruled out. This happened to my 20 year old niece. celiac disease was completely ruled out (blood and endo), and colonoscopy clear. Finally, a pill camera found Crohn's at the end of her small intestine out of reach of both scopes. Note that she could still develop celiac disease one day. Not saying you have Crohn's, but be persistent and continue to advocate for your health! Keep eating gluten!

Ok does anyone know if meaningful beauty is gluten free and what the source of the tocopherol found in some of there products is from( hoping not wheat germ oil) I'm new to this and I'm so confused when it comes to if it's safe to use facial and beauty products containing this ingredient or any gluten ingredients for that matter. I figured I would be safe as long as I'm not accidentally ingesting it! Thanks