Tuesday, November 22, 2016

BioDynamic Farming

The biodynamic movement originated from a group of eight lectures given by Rudolf Steiner in Poland in 1924. Rudolf Steiner was a Christian seer who originated the anthroposophical society. He is the originator of the Waldorf educational system and anthroposophical medicine. Farmers in the anthroposophical society asked him to address agricultural problems of their time. There were problems with the decline of soil fertility and farm viability even at this time, prior to the huge use of chemicals and poor farm management which has ensued since then. They were concerned about degeneration of seed strains in many cultivated plants. Crops could not be grown in the same fields for as many years as they had grown previously. There was an increase in animal disease, with sterility and foot-and-mouth disease amongst other problems. In the lectures, Steiner gave answers which nurtured sustainability of farms through health of the whole farm organism.  He requested farmers test his ideas rather than take them as gospel truth. Farmers have been using his methods ever since, getting wonderful results and adding to the biodynamic wealth of information.

Biodynamic farming is more than a body of information, it is a spiritual attitude towards all life. In biodynamic farming the farmer is considered a spiritual caretaker of the land. The farmer's job is to maintain a healthy organism through education, careful planning, spiritual guidance and thoughtful activity. She learns to become an intricate part of a larger organism. The farm becomes a holy place where daily activity takes place with reverence and love. All the beings on the farm depend on each other for their continued existence. An intricate web is formed. The farmer has direct experience of the rhythms of the seasons and intimate communication with the smallest of organisms unseen in the soil to the largest of organisms, such as the farm itself. There is a recognition of the interdependence of all the organisms which make up the farm.

A biodynamic farm strives to be a self reliant organism.  Manuring materials are produced on the farm via animal manures and green manuring. Composting is an integral part of the farm. Compost is enlivened with the use of biodynamic preparations from animal and plant substances which have undergone fermentation processes. Other biodynamic preparations are applied by spraying them directly on the soil or the plants themselves. These preparations support the life of the soil or support the plants ability to draw what it needs from the soil or from the sun and the rest of the cosmos. The biodynamic methods support the vitality of the farm organism as a whole. The emphasis is on quality of life and the health of the plants and animals. Whereas the main interest on most farms is on quantity, the main emphasis of a biodynamic farm is on the  increased  flavor, nutrition and vitality of the food as well as the enhanced life experience for all entities involved.

In biodynamic farming a plant can not be diseased by itself. If there is a  problem with a plant, there is something wrong with the environment. The environment of the plant is nourished so that it can sustain a healthy plant.

Biodynamic growth of healthy plants and animals supports the vitality of the human beings who consume these organisms.  Intake of these essential  life forces and the harmonious biodynamic lifestyle nourishes human beings, allowing them to live a rewarding life of equanimity.

Biodynamic preparations are used to rectify the chronic and symptomatic imbalances of our time. Small potentized amounts are used, similar to homeopathy. Over time the  preps in conjunction with respect for nature and good farming practices, bring the environment into harmony creating a healthy farm organism.

In Germany and Sweden experiments have compared vegetables grown with biodynamic methods and other modern day methods. The Biodynamic vegetables tend to have higher vitamin levels, higher  levels of true proteins, and longer storage times.  In European studies Biodynamic farms show increases in soil fertility over time.  There has been a lot of research comparing biodynamics with other farming systems. Unfortunately many of them are not in English. In 1995 The American Journal of Agriculture published a comparative study of Biodynamic farming and other farming practices from  English publications. This review was compiled by John Reganold, a crop and soil science researcher of the University of Washington (USA). It is called Soil Quality and Profitability of Bio-Dynamic and Conventional Farming Systems; In Review., Volume 10, number 1, 1995. This research review finds Biodynamic methods to have higher organic matter, microbial activity, enzyme activity, earthworm channels, earthworms and total nitrogen than the topsoil of chemically fertilized plots and control plots. Research has also shown higher nitrogen rates, organic matter, enzyme activity, microbial biomass and total nitrogen in biodynamic plots compared with organic plots.  Besides better soil found on biodynamic farms the studies showed that biodynamic farms had lower crop yields, but equal or greater net returns than their conventional counterparts. Lower crop yields were thought to possibly be due to choice of seed strains while increased returns were due to greater market worth of the Demeter (biodynamic certifying agency) certified products. The emphasis in bio-dynamic farming is on quality, not on quantity.  


Some of the preparations use cow, deer or elk organs as part of their processing.  Some people have asked if there are alternatives to using animal organs in these preparations. Perhaps, but I don't know of any. You may find it important to know that the deer and elk bladders in the Oregon Biodynamic group are harvested by a butcher who collects them for our group when someone brings an animal to him to butcher. The cow parts are harvested each year from one of the cows, which are butchered on a biodynamic group member's farm. We are using the parts of the animals no one generally makes use of. Animals are not dying specifically for this one purpose. Our group makes the preparations together. The preps are sufficient in number for our members as well as other people in our area who purchase them. The preparations are used in minute amounts just like homeopathic preparations.

Horn manure - #500 is applied in the autumn and  spring as well as on transplants. 500 enhances root growth. It promotes root activity. It specifically stimulates soil micro-life and increases beneficial bacterial growth. It regulates calcium and nitrogen content. 500 helps release trace elements and stimulates germination of seeds. It is diluted in water, potentized, sprayed on the ground prior to planting, in seed beds and used as a root dip for transplants. It consists of cow manure packed into cow horns and buried around Michaelmas (September 29). It remains in the ground until spring. It is dug out between Easter and Ascension (Spring Solstice). In Oregon it is dug out as late as possible.

For one acre use one 5 gallon pale of water filled 2/3 full of water, add prep, stir for one hour. (see stirring directions) The 500 can be sprayed by dipping a whisk broom into the prep water and shaking the prep onto the soil. The prep must touch bare ground. 500 is best applied in the late afternoon or early evening. It should be applied on slightly moist ground and not in direct sun. It should not be applied  before a heavy rain.

501 is used for above the ground growth, for the flowering and ripening processes. It enhances light metabolism of the plant. It stimulates photosynthesis and formation of chlorophyll. It influences color, aroma, flavor and keeping-quality of crops. 501 is made from very finely ground quartz. The moistened quartz is packed into a new fairly recently removed cow horn. This is buried in the ground from about mid June until the end of October or the beginning of November.
For one acre use one 5 gallon pale of water filled 2/3 full of water, add prep, stir for one hour. (see stirring directions) Put into a spraying apparatus used only for biodynamic preps. Spray in a very fine mist onto foliage or fruit, in the early morning, not immediately before rain.  This spray can burn tender new leaves if sprayed late in the morning on a bright day. Don't spray on transplants unless the root system is well developed and the plant is putting out vigorous new growth. This spray can cause lettuce or spinach to bolt immediately if they are close to bolting. Only spray early in their cycle.

COMPOST PREPS #502- #507

502 assists plants in attracting trace elements in extremely dilute quantities for their best nutrition. 502 is made from Achillea millefolium (Yarrow blossoms) collected in June before St. John's Day. The flowers are picked prior to pollination or at least while they are fully vibrant, prior to making seeds.  They are used fresh or dried and reconstituted later. An empty stag or elk bladder is filled with these flowers. The bladder is hung in the air and sun until Michaelmas when it is buried. It is dug up between Easter and Ascension.
(Helps assimilation of minerals as a bio prep and as a medinial herb ingested by humans.)

 503 stabilizes nitrogen within the compost and increases soil life so as to stimulate plant growth. 503 is made from reconstituted Matricaria recutita (German chamomile) flowers which are stuffed inside the intestine of a cow, bull, steer or  heifer. The sausages are buried at Michaelmas and dug up between Easter and Ascension.

504 or Urtica spp. (Stinging nettles) stimulate soil health, providing plants with the individual nutritional components needed. It enlivens the soil.
504 is  made with Nettles. The whole top of the plant is collected in flower in June, before St. John's Day if possible. They are bundled together and placed into a hole lined with peat.
Nettles are also used as a fermented tea. This is sprayed on sick or stressed plants as a liquid manure.

505 provides healing qualities to combat harmful plant diseases. 505 is made from Quercus spp. (Oak bark) around Michaelmas. The bark is gathered from a living tree. It can't be mossy or flaky. You can't go too deep into the red bark. The bark is ground, moistened and inserted into the brain cavity of a skull from a large domestic animal. Cows are usually used. All the holes are sealed with bones, wooden pegs or dowels. The skull is placed on the side of a small stream, or in a damp, marshy place where water will trickle through. The prep is removed in the spring.

506 stimulates the relation between silica and potassium so silica can attract cosmic forces to the soil. 506 is made from unpollinated reconstituted Dandelion flowers. The flowers are wrapped in the fresh peritoneum of a bovine animal. It is buried at Michaelmas and dug up between Easter and Ascension.

507 is used the evening before a frost is expected. 507 stimulates compost so the phosphorus content of the compost can be properly used by the plant.
507 is made from Valeriana officinalis (Valerian) flowers which are ground up immediately after  harvesting. The pulp  is squeezed through cheesecloth and the juice put into amber bottles with corks.

508 is used to prevent fungal growth. It is helpful on seedlings to prevent damping off. 508 is made with Equisetum arvense (Horsetail). The sterile shoots are harvested in  May through June prior to the silica losing its organic bond and becoming crystallized. The plant is dried and used as a tea.

Bio-Dynamic Compost

Making Compost: 502-507 preps  One set of preps 502-507 is sufficient for a pile of 1-10 tons (one cubic yard of material). If you make a smaller compost pile, you still need to use the full set. The compost must sit on the ground. If you make layers, make them thin, about 2". Use coarse stalky material  on the bottom layer to trap pockets of air in the pile. Sprinkle small amounts of soil over each layer. The layers should consist of weeds or garden plants, leaves, animal manure and bedding, kitchen food and soil. These are used in alternate layers with soil spread between layers and on top. If limestone is added it should go in with the leaves. If adding rock phosphate, don't add it with the limestone.  To inoculate the pile with biodynamic preps, use the following method:  Use a broom handle or shovel handle to make 5 holes in the compost pile. They should be as far apart from each other as possible and the hole should reach half way to the ground or 1.5 feet from the top of the pile.  Each of the 5 preps get put into their own hole. Add preps 502, 503, 504, 505 and 506 into their separate holes. Cover the opening to the holes with the outer layer of compost and soil.  Take preparation 507 and dilute it in water (the water must be spring water, river water, rain water or if necessary tap water which has sat out for 2-3 days to let the chlorine evaporate), Use about 32 -64 oz of water in a quart jar or 1/2 gallon jar. Stir the mixture with a wooden stick or spoon. Stir for 15 minutes (See stirring directions). When the mixture is finished, make a 6th hole in the center of the pile and pour 50% of the mixture into this hole, sprinkle the rest of the mixture over the pile. 507 helps all the rest of the preps work together in a harmonious way. Once the pile is built, covered with earth or straw and inoculated with preps, simply leave it. It will be ready in 3-9 months depending on moisture and heat.

Stirring Preps
Use a stick which makes a good vortex in your pail of water. Also use a stick that is comfortable to hold. You need to use the stick to make a vortex all the way to the bottom of the pail. Tree prunings can be saved to use for these sticks. Get in a comfortable stirring position, start by making a vortex in one direction. As soon as it is well formed, quickly change directions creating a vortex in the opposite direction. The water will become chaotic, then a new vortex will form in the opposite direction. Once again reverse directions creating a vortex in the other direction. This alternation between a stable vortex and chaos between the two directions is very important.

Storage of Preps
Fill a cardboard or wooden box with peat and bury each prep so it is completely covered and surrounded by peat.  The box must have a lid on the top of it. Preps can be put into small glass jars with cork lids or earthenware containers. 500, 502-507 should be stored in the peat container. 501 should be stored in a glass jar with a cork cover or paper rubber banded over the top and left in the sunlight. Avoid storing the preps in metal or near electric wires or active machinery.

Timing is Everything
Biodynamic preps will enliven and enhance the cosmic rhythms which are already at play on any given day. This can be beneficial or detrimental. For this reason it is necessary to use them in conjunction with a guide of cosmic forces such as the Stella Natura. This is a publication created by Kimberton Hills. It is a biodynamic agricultural calendar. Sowing seeds, transplanting,  harvesting, thinning, pruning, weeding and other activities are all planned according to weather conditions, the plants needs and planetary forces or cosmic forces. This calendar gives us the play by play movements of the cosmos each day and break it down as to how it effects farming. It is well known by farmers that trees pruned in the full of the moon have more chance of losing large amounts of sap. It is also known the full moon is the best time for germination of seeds. These are some commonly known facts of farming due to the celestial influences of the moon and its effect upon earth's organisms. There are many other relationships between the celestial planets,  each other and how their physical movements effect farming on our planet. The more you learn these rhythms and use this knowledge in your farming, the better results you get. If you don't know much about the movement of the planets and their effects you will want to purchase a book such as Astrological Gardening to use in conjunction with the calendar.

If you want to know more about the herbs used in biodynamic farming, I wrote an article on the herbs which you can find at this link. Look for "Farm Data Blog Series"

Oregon BD Group: http://oregonbd.org

The Bio-Dynamic Farming & Gardening Association Inc

National address for preparations and cow horns:
Josephine Porter Institute for Applied Biodynamics
PO Box 133
Woolvine, VA  24185-0133   phone: 540-930-2463

Suggested Reading:
1. Grasp The Nettle by Peter Proctor
2. BIODYNAMICS: Farming and Gardening in the 21st Century - a journal available from Josephine Porter Institute for Applied Bio-Dynamics
3. Agriculture by Rudolf Steiner
4. Herbal Renaissance by Steven Foster
5. Herbal Emissaries by Steven Foster
6. The Biodynamic Farm by Herbert Koepf
7. Bio-Dynamic Agriculture by Koepf, Pettersson, Schaumann
8. The Potential of Herbs as a Cash Crop by Richard Miller
9. Dirt, the Ecstatic Skin of the Earth by William Logan
10. The Earth manual - How to Work on Wild Land Without Taming It by Malcolm     Margolin
11. Astrological Gardening by Louise Riotte
12. Stella Natura by Kimberton Hills – purchase via Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Ass.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Mold in Brewers Yeast

Brewers yeast is especially rich in b vitamins and has other nutritional constituents that has endeared itself as a valuable food supplement. Many people use brewers yeast added into smoothies or other foods they are ingesting. However, recent German research shows 90% of 46 samples of brewers yeast contained a mold toxin called ochratoxin A. The amounts ranged from 0.01 ug/kg - 4.2 ug/kg. There are no maximum levels for OTA in nutritional supplements such as brewers yeast, but the researchers recommended brewers yeast should be analyzed for  mycotoxins in the future as part of a quality control check.

This is bad news for folks with mold sensitivities that use brewers yeast. Some people have trouble removing mycotoxins (the toxins made by molds) from their body after exposure to a moldy environment. These people take "binders" such as cholestyramine, charcoal, clay, yeast cell walls, probiotics etc.  to help remove mycotoxins as they pass through the gut during enterohepatic circulation.

Some strains of brewer's yeast are known to be capable of acting as a mycotoxin binder. The very fact that it bind mycotoxins means it is more likely to have mycotoxin contamination if it came in contact with mold at any point during it's processing or storage. The take home for me here, is that anyone who uses binders for mycotoxins needs to be careful that they are free of mycotoxins when they ingest them. I had some clay that had been in storage for a long time and found when I opened it up that it smelled revolting to me. I was stupid enough to taste it and it ended up making me sick. So, lesson be learned. Mind your nose. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Glyphosate (RoundUp active ingredient) Injecting Itself Into the Very Structure of Our Bodies Proteins

Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff provided us with another amazing review article this year. I have written up a synopsis of their fantastic article and tried to introduce some of their material in a less scientific manner. (At least I try to. Sorry, some of it is just out-right scientific mumbo jumbo.) 

They reviewed a vast quantity of research to support the theory that glyphosate is being substituted for glycine and ending up incorporated into proteins and other places in the body where it should not be. It is a logical idea and explains many of the correlations seen between glyphosate use/ingestion/inhalation and associated diseases.

Please see their actual article for all the details, including the references to support the claims listed below. Their actual paper is lengthy and goes into very specific detail. I have written this short review of their paper for folks to get an inkling of what they have uncovered as this is a VERY IMPORTANT article.

The issue:
Glyphosate is the number one herbicide sold in the world. It is used everywhere. Both on farms, in apartment complexes, on the side of roads, perhaps in your own yard. Previous articles by Samsel and Seneff have reviewed the  myriad health effects that appear to be associated with glyphosate use. I have listed the links for their other articles below as well as a link to another earlier review I did on one of their prior articles. 

Their current review, looks at the possible mechanism that appears to be the method behind how glyphosate can be associated with so many disease states. Some of these health conditions they examined were inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, parkinson’s disease, kidney disease, various cancers, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes. For a full understanding of the connection between glyphosate and these and other diseases, I suggest you read all of their research reviews on glyphosate.

In prior papers they examined the chelating effect of glyphosate and how it can rob the body of minerals, the negative effect glyphosate has on our intestinal microbiome (gut bugs), how it interferes with production of key nutrients and suppresses one of the major biotransformational (detoxifying) systems of the body called cytochrome P450 enzymes, as well as examining the correlation between glyphosate and many different diseases.

In this article they asked themselves if there was something more insidious and fundamental than these known methods of action taking place with glyphosate. What they realized was that glyphosate, which is a synthetic amino acid analogue, may be substituting for glycine in peptides incorporated into our bodies. Think of what this would mean if glyphosate was pretending to be glycine and incorporating into the peptides and proteins that make up our tissues. If glyphosate incorporates into our cells and tissues it could cause self-destruction of these same cells and tissues when the body recognizes them as abnormal.  Our body has a normal process called apoptosis that is used to destroy old or "bad" cells. As tissues are destroyed, it effects the function of those tissues and ultimately the organ those tissues are a part of. This would cause many varied negative effects and would explain how one toxin could cause so many different diseases.

Glyphosate is an N-substituted glycine. Researchers have said that N-substitued glycines can be viewed as amino acids. This would make glyphosate a glycine analogue. The evidence presented by Samsel and Seneff lead you to believe that indeed glyphosate’s deleterious biological effects may  largely be due to it being an analogue for glycine.

Basics of how this works in plants:
Glyphosate disrupts chlorophyll synthesis in plants – the main reason is probably due to it’s inhibition of omega aminolevulinic acid synthesis. Aminolevulinic acid synthesis is the rate limiting step in the synthesis of the pyrrole ring. There is also the added disruption of the shikimate pathway. It is thought that Glyphosate competes with glycine and with succinyl coenzyme A for aminolevulinic acid synthesis.

Specifics of what glyphosate does biologically in mammals that supports it being a glycine analogue:
Glyphosate has been shown to activate NMDA receptors in rat hippocampus. (Thought in part to be due to it acting like glycine.)
Over expression of glutamate is induced by glyphosate.
Glyphosate can suppress the growth of some tumor cells. This is probably due to its suppressing glycine synthesis.

It appears glyphosate is  interfering with glycine’s activity at cell receptors (as a substance that binds to that receptor and induces biological changes). It also appears to act as a substrate in the place of glycine and suppresses glycine synthesis. It appears it could be taken up in place of glycine in protein synthesis. This has been shown to happen with other analogues of amino acids. Although, not yet proven for glyphosate, the research should be undertaken to study this since other amino acid analogues have shown this behavior. There is some research on plant root microbiomes that points in the direction of possible glyphosate substitution of glycine based on the protein changes in the bacteria found on the roots of the plants.

With these basic ideas in mind, Samsel and Seneff reviewed research literature to see how glyphosate posing as glycine is correlated with and may be a causative factor in many of the diseases that are currently becoming epidemics on our planet since the advent of using RoundUp and other glyphosate containing herbicides.

Why we care about glycine
Samsel and Seneff give a brief statement on how glycine works in the body, but I want to expound on that just a bit here, so people will get an idea as to how important glycine is in our bodies.

• As a neurotransmitter, it is mostly thought to be inhibitory.

• It is a substrate for glutathione. Glutathione is made from three amino acids (glycine, L- cysteine and L-glutamine). Glutathione is very important for our biotransformational system (detox system).

• It is a substrate for heme which is an component of hemoglobin which is the main element of our red blood cells.

• It is a substrate for creatine which combines with phosphate in the body to make phosphocreatine or creatine phosphate which is found in muscle and serves as a storage of energy used for muscle contraction.

• It is a substrate for nucleic acids which as deoxynucleic acid and ribonucleic acid serve as carriers of information and are needed to synthesize proteins. 

• Glycine acts as a cell protecting antioxidant

• Glycine plays a part in regulation of the metabolism

• Samsel and Seneff point out that due to glycine's special properties, its most important role is as a residue in many proteins. Especially proteins that require flexibility and mobility such as cellular ion gates that need to open and close.

The destruction of glycine affects every gland, organ and tissue and thus pre-disposes life to mitochondrial dysfunction and disease. Any glycine analogue has the potential to also cause mitochondrial dysfunction and disease.

The Monsanto and Dupont carbon-14 radio-labeled studies show that the glycine analogs incorporate into every gland, organ and tissue at a molecular level. 

Considering the fact that glyphosate is an antibiotic and was originally patented as an antibiotic, we know it destroys our gut bacteria. I heard Samsel suggest that the mix of killing of our gut microbiome and its ability to chelate our minerals with the addition of posing as glycine is enough to create a "perfect storm".

I have to warn you that the rest of this article gets a bit more scientific. However, don’t let it stop you from reading it. I try to explain things as much as possible. Sometimes I just need to list scientific data though.

What happens if glyphosate substitutes as glycine in the body

For a starter all the things I just mentioned above that glycine is involved with will be altered and alteration is usually a bad thing. Our bodies are set up to use specific types of amino acids, not amino acid analogues that have slight differences.

Glyphosate research on animals using a single radio-labeled dose of glyphosate orally or intravenously, showed metabolites from glyphosate in the urine (This means the body transformed the glyphosate.), and radioactive CO2 was found in the expired air (shows that it was absorbed into the body and metabolized and part of it expired at CO2). Additionally it was found in all tissues, glands and organs. (Oh my goodness!)

They go on to talk about how glyphosate has been shown to bioaccumulate in other research performed on animals. They look at additional research on chickens, eggs, and goats as proof of this.

They then move on to looking at genetic damage. Yes, we are talking about damage to the blue print of our bodies, DNA. They explain the role of glycine here and how early research by Monsanto showed DNA damage in bone marrow of mice exposed to glyphosate.

They examine the association of glyphosate and obesity. The explain that a substitution of glyphosate for glycine in lipase can be at the root of obesity as well as adrenal insufficiency. They continue on through many disease processes explaining how specific substitutions can increase the risk for Alzheimer’s disease, cancer. They note that insulin receptors can be effected by glyphosate posing as glycine, leading to a defective insulin receptor and ultimately diabetes.  They mention the role of glycine in hormonal releasing hormones, that are needed for proper thyroid and adrenal hormone release.

There is a section on how glyphosate may be involved in impaired cholesterol and fat metabolism. Although, the makers of statins would have you believe cholesterol and fat are evil, all your cells need good fats and cholesterol to function. You need cholesterol for hormones. You do not want to impair your natural ability to make healthy cholesterol and fats. They go into detail on hormone sensitive lipases necessary for lipid (fat) hydrolysis (breaking apart with water) and cholesterol ester hydrolysis. Hormone sensitive lipases are also necessary to release fatty acids from tissues for fuel. Hydrolase disruption leads to lipotoxic effects that can induce mitochondrial dysfunction, and inflammation amongst other things. They note that impaired hormone sensitive lipase function is linked to obesity, atherosclerosis and type two diabetes. 

Glyphosate has been linked to a new disease  of birds called ‘avian keratin disorder’ which is widespread in some parts of the United States and seems to be increased in areas of agricultural runoff. You see crossed beaks and other malformations in the birds. It is especially noted in chickadees who frequent bird feeders with sunflower seeds. (Are you purchasing the GMO sunflower seeds and feeding them to birds. If you are, all I can say is stop! Buy organic sunflower seeds as you can’t trust the rest of it.) Many of the other pesticides have been studied in regard to this disease issue and they do not seem to be the cause, but glyphosate has not been studied in relation to it. The reason Samsel and Sennef think glyphosate is implicated in the bird disease is that it is a disease of hyperkeratosis. It is thought that glyphosate is substituting for KEAP1, causing constitutive expression of Nrf2 leading to hyperkeratosis. If you want details, check out Samsel and Seneffs super duper research review.

Inflammation is a part of many if not most chronic disease processes. They go into a lengthy explanation of how glyphosate has been shown to cause acute inflammation.  They give the example of acute poisonings with glyphosate by Indian farmers who commit suicide by drinking glyphosate. They also go into a fascinating explanation of how it may be related to the fourth largest cause of death in the United States, which is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD. They support their reasoning with  Monsanto research that until recently, the EPA had kept sealed and away from the public. (Thanks to Anthony Samsel for his requests for these documents under the Freedom of Information Act we now know about this research.) Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections are seen in people with more severe forms of COPD. Samsel and Seneff mention Pseudomonas aeruginosa is one of the very few microbes known to metabolize glyphosate and use it as a source of phosphorus.  Glyphosate is also known to disrupt normal bacterial activity leading to overgrowth of unhealthy bacteria. This could lead to a lack of healthy bacteria and increased Pseudomonas aeruginosa.  This would make me concerned about people with COPD eating or inhaling glyphosate. (OK, I am concerned about all of us really, not just the folks with COPD.) In fact it leads me to wonder if the rise in COPD has something to do with the vast amount of glyphosate being sprayed on our planet.

 Samsel and Seneff mention the fact that the USGS has found glyphosate to be present in our atmosphere and therefore people could be inhaling glyphosate directly into their lungs.  (I have written a prior article on inhalation of glyphosate.)  Glyphosate is sprayed heavily in cities as well as on conventional and GMO farms. Driving down the freeway or country road with your car window open in the spring can be a health hazard due to the heavy spraying and volatilization that goes on. Please read this article I wrote and check out the link to research showing glyphosate may be directly absorbed into the brain from the olfactory mucosa.)

And now back to their rocking article. We can’t leave out hypothyroidism. They explain how the substitution of glyphosate for glycine in the conserved CAGYC region of the beta-subunit of thyroid stimulating hormone could be taking place. They further note this could take place in adrenocorticotropic hormone also.

Next they talk about endothelia nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) which plays a variety of roles in our bodies. The family of NOS enzymes are important for vascular tone, insulin secretion, airway tone, and peristalsis as well as angiogenesis and neural development. They go into some lesser known theories expounded by researchers of how eNOS is acting in the body which are very interesting and I suggest you take a look at the original article for the details. They explain the necessity of glycine for eNOS  activity. They note that eNOS is not the only enzyme that contains a conserved N-terminal glycine that supports myristoylation. They mention a number of other important enzymes. If glyphosate is substituted for glycine on eNOS, depending on where it is replaced, it will either have an issue with producing sulfate or nitric oxide. They note that this could cause many effects such as anemia, a decreased supply of cholesterol sulfate to tissues, vascular constriction leading to hypertension. They also mention a substitution on iNOS could lead to impaired immunity.

They next examine neurodegenerative diseases and the relationship of glyphosate to Prion disease, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease. (Remember that prion diseases are those new and scary diseases that we call Spongiform Encephalophathies and are due to misfolded proteins. In cows we call it “Mad Cow” or “Bovine spongiform encephalopathy. In  people it is called “Creutzfeld Jacob Disease”. In deer it is called “Wasting Disease”. They point out that Bovine spongiform encephalopathy first appeared in the United Kingdom in 1986 after glyphosate had been used to control weeds in the process of growing animal feed, for about ten years. This was the original appearance of this disease which is not usually discussed. We hear how it is spread from eating tissues from these diseased animals, but never is the original cause of this disease examined. Guess what Samsel and Seneff point out. That prion proteins contain lots of glycine. I bet you already guessed this.

Now they move onto Alzheimers. Samsel and Seneff point out that amyloid beta contains conserved glycines at two positions. They think that glyphosate takes the place of glycine here, increasing the solubility and preventing proteolysis. So ultimately they say that this substitution interferes with removal of residues 41 and 42 by gamma-seretase which damages the beta42 peptide. They also explain how the chelation of magnesium, copper, zinc and ferrous iron by glyphosate may be involved with amyloid formation. (Glyphosate chelates these minerals.) Now, don’t think they stop here. They go on to explore the binding of aluminum by glyphosate and the formation of fibrils that may be related to the neurofibrillary tangles of phosphorylated tau protein seen along with the amyloid beta plaques. Lastly they link Alheimers plaques and cataracts. It seems the same amyloid plaques seen in Alzheimer's brains are seen in cataracts. Hmmmm.  Monsanto found a link between rat exposure to glyphosate and cataracts. They go over this research.

If this was not enough, they next wade into the link between Parkinson’s disease, ALS and glyphosate. This is followed by information on glyphosate and microbes regarding glycine activity. They also mention glyphosates inherent toxicity to microbes. Many people don’t seem to know it was first patented as an antimicrobial agent. So, of course it damages the gut microbiome. However, Samsel and Seneff explore the fact that it disturbs the shikimate pathway in the microbes and  the other possible disruptions it may be involved with surrounding glycines relationship with the microbiome.

They additionally discuss the disruption of human tyrosine phosphatase vaccinia H1- related (VHR) which is found in high amounts in immune cells called T lymphocytes. VHR may play an important role in protection from HIV due to its expression in T-cells. VHR is disrupted by glyphosate. For full explanation of VHR and how it relates to HIV and glyphosate disruption of VHR, read their wonderful review.

They make a good case for glyphosate substitution in protoporphyrinogen oxidase leading to a non-genetic porphyria and the substitution in KEAP1 would enterfere with KEAPS’s ability to suppress the overexpression of Nrf2. This would lead to protoporphyrin-induced fatty liver disease, cholelithiasis and end stage liver disease and liver failure.

There has been an epidemic of kidney disease and kidney failure in agricultural workers around the world. This has been associated with glyphosate use and some countries have restricted its use due to the kidney failure associated with it. Samsel and Seneff explain how the tubular necrosis seen in the kidney is linked to simultaneous iron deficiency and iron toxicity due to defective uptake  from siderophores in the proximal tubes. They examine the details of glyphosate causing this, as well as how it may be involved in additional kidney damage as a glycine imposter.

We then come to the big cytochrome P450 effect.  Research on rats has shown glyphosate suppresses Cytochrome P450 enzymes in the liver. They explain how glyphosate substitution of glycine in CYPs can cause mutations that enterfere with the proper folding and binding of the CYPs.  

Glycine is the most common amino acid in collagen. They point out that osteogenesis imperfecta is a disease wshere there is genetic mutations in collagen. These mutations are often due to substitutions for glycine. They go into a case of a child born with tryptophan substituted for glycine and how it caused the child to be born with numerous fractures at birth and many more after birth. He suffered from generalized osteoporosis. They think that random replacements of any of the glycines molecules in collagen with glyphosate would also disrupt the collagen structure leading to osteoporosis and increased bone fractures. The mention the “shaken Baby Syndrome” that may be relted to this as well as the fact that Osteoporosis has become a modern epidemic.

They go on to link non-hodgkin’s lymphoma and neural tube defects as well as autism to a glyphosate substitution for glycine. I will leave you in suspence and let you read about the lymphoma connection when you read their article.

Glyphosates ability to pass through the placental membrane to the fetus enables it to cause birth defects. Samsel and Seneff mention microcephaly, anencephaly, cleft palates and facial defects as an issue in areas where there is extensive use of glyphosate on crops in S. America. In Yakima Washington in an area where there has been extensive use of glyphosate to control waterway weeds, the number of anencephaly births are 4 times the national average. Samsel and Seneff mention research on zebrafish embryos where they used glyphosate to induce microcephaly in the zebrafish.

They provide extensive data on various studies regarding neural tube defects and how glyphosate disrupts folate production in plants and gut microbes. They also link glyphosate substitutions of glycine at multiple key points to neural tube defects, large ratios of grey matter to white matter in the brain (features of autism), and vanishing white matter disease. Their data is riveting.

This research article is a labor of love as is all the glyphosate reviews that Samsel and Seneff have offered up to the public. I am very thankful to them for the immense amount of time they have spent on this project and highly recommend you read all their research reviews on glyphosate and its relationship to various diseases.

Article on Inhaltion of Glyphosate Effecting the Brain

I reviewed the Samsel and Seneff first article on Glyphosate and CYP450 and you can find that synopsis here. Their full article is linked below also.

Samsel and Seneffs Review Articles