Glyphosate and Chemical Detox | Podcast #334
Most people don’t realize that glyphosate is not just found in farm fields and on GMO crops but is lurking in your next-door neighbor’s garage and your neighborhood park, on the local golf course, or in your kid’s playground. You can find glyphosate on nearly 100 non-GMO food crops, including vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, and cereals like wheat and oats. You can find it in wine, beer, ice cream, and pretty much everything else. Also, you wouldn’t imagine in a whole host of ingredients, such as corn starch, beet and cane sugar, and even honey!
Glyphosate interrupts the body’s ability to turn natural sulfites from food into sulfates that the body needs to detox and stay healthy. High sulfate levels heal the gut while supporting the absorption of many vital nutrients. Sulfates assist in clear brain fog and improve memory through increased blood flow.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this podcast, we cover:
1:27 Glyphosate (what it is, how it works)
8:42 Clean Water, Osmosis Water Filter
17:12 Powerful Antioxidants
23:23 Water Plunge, Saunas
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live. It’s Dr. J here in the house with Evan, Evan, how we doing today, my friend? Really excited to chat with you.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Likewise, and this is a big topic. So Huh, you got hundreds of millions of pounds of glyphosate being sprayed on our beautiful Mother Earth every year. It’s terrible, how much is being sprayed. If you look at the stats, they just go up and up and up and up and up. And we have GMO corn and soybean accounting for the major places that people are being sprayed. So if you’re simply just cutting out, yep, those foods from your diet, and you’re eating animals that don’t feed on the soybean and corn, you’ve already done a great job. But but that’s not enough, because I recently spoke with Stephanie senath, who’s been educating and researching about glyphosate. And she’s talked about which you and I’ve known for a long time, but it’s good to hear somebody else validate the research is, it’s in the water supply, it’s in the food, it’s in the air, it’s everywhere. So you really have to put in a detox protocol on going to be able to deal with this because even parts per billion levels of glyphosate act as an antibiotic and will kill beneficial bacteria in the gut. And you and I, we don’t necessarily call ourselves gi specialist, but we are when it comes to naturally approaching gut infections and restoring gut integrity and gut health. And part of that is getting the glyphosate out of the system. So we can truly allow our beneficial bacteria to thrive. So that’s kind of the setting the stage of where we’re where we’re going today.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. So glyphosate is essentially roundup. Right? It’s essentially Roundup, it’s a pesticide. And so essentially how it works, it’s a mineral key later. So what it does is it basically thrips away or, or kind of as a magnet of all the key lay of all the minerals away from the plant. And so essentially by robbing the plan of all those minerals that essentially kills it is that the major mechanism and how that works.
Evan Brand: Yeah, it inhibits the photosynthesis, I don’t know the full chemistry behind it. But yeah, basically it starves the plant to death, and then the the byproduct, the byproduct or the the process of doing that, you’re robbing and basically cleaving off these amino acids. And that’s the problem. And that’s why it’s going to end up in joints and everywhere else in the body. Because the body’s trying to basically absorb the minerals, if you will, but by accident, it’s absorbing the glyphosate. So it’s number one thing is you got to go organic to get away from it. But the problem is, if you’re not filtering your water, if you’re not filtering your air, you’re probably still getting exposure there. Or if you eat out at restaurants, which even I and you and I, we try to do the best we can if we eat out, but we may get exposed to trace amounts there. And kids too. I mean, you send the kid with a school lunch, that’s organic, but if you don’t, they’re probably getting exposed to it there. And this stuff accumulates over time. And as Stephanie was talking about with me, the individual parts meaning like a little bit of glyphosate here, it’s a problem. But when you mix it with the dicamba and the 24D and all these other chemicals and the xylene and the gasoline additive chemicals and the plastics and the Falaise in the BPA and the other endocrine disruptors, that’s when you really get into trouble. So it’s important to hyper focus on one chemical like this, but I want people to just know, it’s the sum that really creates the problem. And you and I measure for this on the urine. So if people listening like, Well, what do I do? How do I investigate this problem, you simply do a urine urine sample. And we can measure this. And the fun part is when we get people on a detox protocol, and we retest, you can see the levels go down. And a lot of cases, we get the levels to nd non detected non detectable limits, that is the most exciting part. So I want to inspire hope with this too some of the stats are really depressing on it. But there is hope that you can get this stuff out of your body.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. And so the mechanism how it works is it’s a key later pulls that away, and also affects the protein synthesis of the plants. There’s a pathway there, it’s called the shikimic. It’s kind of a funny name, the shikimic pathway that affects you know, essentially the the protein synthesis of these plants. So it disrupts that it does it by disrupting protein synthesis. And it does it by collating away a lot of these important minerals. And I think that’s part of the reason why a lot of foods that are grown in Roundup, or glyphosate is used on them, I think you’re gonna also see a decrease in nutrient levels. Part of the means why is because it’s creating a lot of those minerals away from the plants. And the plants don’t have adequate minerals in the soil. And others there’s data on it like when there’s less manganese in the soil, the vitamin C production in that plant is less for instance. So we do know there’s a disruption, there’s a correlation with low minerals in the soil can have a major impact on the nutrient production by that plan as well. And so there’s a nutrient issue on one side, and then there’s also a toxicity issue. And we can go deeper into that. Any questions on that?
Evan Brand: So the the big, the big problem with people is, here’s one of the mechanisms and people can check out the podcast. I mean, we don’t have to get into the the advanced chemistry. I mean, some of the stuff even goes over my head. But basically, one of the big problems is glyphosate is pretending to be glycine. And that’s what she talked about. Basically, it’s your body-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: it’s just an amino acid.
Evan Brand: Right? So it’s looking for glycine, but then it sucks up glyphosate in place of it, right? That’s where you get into trouble.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, you kind of similar to what may happen in your body with iodine, and fluoride, for instance, or bromine, right, it’ll it’ll suck up your thyroid will suck up a lot of those nutrients which can impact its function because it’s not the primary nutrient it’s looking for.
Evan Brand: And then here’s what it says advocates claim that glyphosate is not harmful to humans, as the shikimate pathway does not occur in humans. But the truth is, glyphosate enters our gut and primarily targets the good bacteria, and then that’s when you get the bacterial overgrowth. So that’s kind of what the industry will will counteract on let’s say, well, humans don’t have chicken meat pathways. That’s why it’s not dangerous. But the mechanism is that it’s killing the good bacteria in the gut. And it’s really an antibiotic that, you know, disguised as an herbicide. And so that’s the problem.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I think the big thing that if you look at some of the studies on the topic, where they look at glyphosates impact on the gut lining and the brush border, in the small intestine, the brush borders, what secretes a lot of enzymes and aids in digestion. And if you just look at the thinning out of the gut lining in the small intestine, and you look at the increase in gut permeability that can happen from that. All of those type of mechanisms are part of what’s driving a lot of autoimmunity. So when you have increased gut permeability, weaken gut lining, you have a imbalance in the healthy bacteria in the guts all of those tilts your immune system in the direction of autoimmunity, it tilts your immune system in the direction of lack of nutrient absorption, which then affects the immune system as well. So all of these things compound right gut in bad gut bacteria and balanced dysbiosis. Right, more bad bacteria than good gut permeability, increased autoimmunity, increased food allergens, less nutrient density, obviously, you’re eating plants that have a lot of Roundup, there may be less nutrients in those plants, right. So all of those things just kind of spiral out of control. And, and typically, if you’re consuming the big foods that are going to have the highest residue, they’re going to be a lot of your grains, right grains, and soy and corn and wheat and all those things. So if you’re eating a lot of those foods, that’s a lot of processed food anyway.
Evan Brand: Yeah. And that’s why you and I talked about, a lot of people feel so much better on like grain free or more paleo template, because not only are they getting rid of the allergenic foods, but they’re getting rid of the chemicals too, because everything is so heavily sprayed. Now one of Stephanie’s arguments, which was interesting was that the people are having so much gluten sensitivity is because of the glyphosate. And so she told me she actually eats organic wheat, and she feels totally fine. And I said, Well, what about gluten and zonulin? And all that? And she goes, I don’t know if that’s the full story because I feel fine. But feeling fine. I don’t know. I’d like to see like a stool test, right? And look at gut inflammation and all that and try to confirm because and look at gluten antibodies, because I still even if it’s organic You and I are still not going to recommend people going into the grains.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. And then also the other element of this whole thing is what about glyphosate, when it’s heated up? What if you have glyphosate residue on certain foods, and then you’re cooking, you’re heating those foods up? What does that do to it? Because I know, there’s some data out there showing that a lot of these pesticides become more toxic when they’re heated. So that’s another area another avenue of discussion, probably not a lot of data on it, but definitely a lot of theoretical, what well, you know, what if that does make it worse, and so that’s definitely a concern. So, you know, out of the gates, I think the big thing people can control is going to be water and runoff. So everyone should have at least a reverse osmosis water filter to filter a lot of the roundup glyphosate out of that, so you’re not getting exposed via water. And then number two is do your best to eat organic or if you’re on a budget, try to do at least clean 15 these are going to be the foods that are going to have a relative peel over it right avocado, banana, those kind of things that will decrease the amount of residue because as a peel, and they just going to have less of the glyphosate anyway, and so try to do at least clean the clean 15 and then avoid the Dirty Dozen if you will, but try to go organic free range as much as you possibly can. Because it’s not just the nutrient density that’s important with organic it’s the decrease in toxic load. There’s both you win twice you you win with nutrient density, and you decrease toxic load. I think it was um, I had Joel Salatin on my podcast last year. And he talked about his eggs that are pasture fed, and he sent a bunch of conventional eggs to the grocery store. And to a lab Actually, I’m sorry, to a lab. So conventional eggs he bought at the grocery store to his own pasture eggs in his backyard, his farm, right. And he compared the nutrient levels of it. And so he just compared one nutrient full eight. And he found that his eggs had 19 times more full light than the conventional x 19 times. So if you look at it, it’s like wow, I’m getting 19 times a day. An important nutrient. And maybe the eggs cost twice as much. What’s kind of a pretty good deal? That’s a pretty good ROI on your investment there.
Evan Brand: It is. Yeah, I love that. Yeah, I need to interview him. He’s awesome. And I love his books and love seeing the farming videos. A lot of people I know he has like students, though, they’ll do all the work for him. He’s got an amazing setup, because he pays like zero labor costs, because everybody wants to learn. So he’s got all these people like harvesting his chickens for him.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it’s a pretty sweet gig. So yeah, it’s really interesting. I think it’s good for everyone to understand that to know about it to be on top of that, and to look at your food differently, right? You got to look at it like, Alright, I’m decreasing the toxic load. So that’s one important big vector. And then I’m increasing the nutrient density side. And if you look at it like that, I think you go into the grocery store and you make different food choices. I think it was Michael Pollan talked about this in his book Omnivore’s Dilemma, as a society today, we allocate way less of our income towards food, I think it’s today, it’s like 9% of our income goes towards food. As a society, I think about I think it was 50 to 100 years ago, it was twice that was 18%. And so people prioritize food a lot more. From an income standpoint, you know, they’re willing to put more of their money where it counts. And today, that’s not the case. And so I just think it’s really important that people really look at allocating their money towards food, because that’s the foundation of everything, especially once you get sick, you’re going to really wish you did.
Evan Brand: Well, let’s take it a step further to so you got the glyphosate in or out of the picture in your diet. And now, not only are you getting, as you mentioned, potentially 19 times more folate and who knows a lot more B vitamins and other nutrients. But now you’re also getting all these different amino acids, which are going to fuel your neurotransmitters. So you’re going to be happier, yep, you’re going to be able to tolerate stress better, you’re going to be less depressed, you’re possibly going to have better sleep, you’re going to feel better, you’re going to have more energy, so you’re going to perform better at work, you’re going to be a better parent, because you have enough nutrients to stabilize your blood sugar. So you’re not hangry. So I love how you kind of illustrated that you’re not just getting less toxin, more nutrition, you’re really getting a whole better human. And that’s going to extrapolate that out to your friends, your family, your boss, your spouse, everything gets better. So it’s tough when you see people that like even the other day we drove past a Popeye’s chicken. And that’s probably like the lowest quality fast food you could get. Maybe there’s something worse McDonald’s or something. But we’ll see like a brand new Range Rover, you know, $100,000 vehicle, and they’re in the drive thru parking lot getting like a $2 lunch, but they’ve got $100,000 car, it’s like, you got to just focus on the good good stuff. I’d rather drive. You know, like I did for years, a 1990. When I had my 1992 Honda Accord, I was still buying the pastured bison, grass fed beef, steaks, all organic vegetables, you know, even though I had a $4,000 car, I probably spent 4000 a year on high quality groceries.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, exactly. So it’s a lot of it is an education thing, getting people to reprioritize kind of where they’re at and it gets number one out of the gates. And then two is just really educating people on the benefits, right? It’s like it’s all about value. So the big thing today that we’re kind of hammering on is the glyphosate component, how that affects your gut lining how that affects dysbiosis, how that affects nutrient absorption, how that affects your immune system, because 80% of your immune systems in the golf and the malt in the stomach and the small intestine. So all these play a major role. And we know that autoimmune conditions are on the rise right there massive amount of increased, not all immune conditions, 150 least different conditions that are out there now. And we know gut permeability plays a major role. We know gluten, we know Roundup, we know gut bacterial imbalance plays a major role. So if we know the mechanisms, then we can work on creating an execution plan to help believe that.
Evan Brand: Yeah, there are several charts online, you could just look this up yourself. You could type in autism, glyphosate, and you can see some of the correlation not necessarily causation. But definitely the correlation charts, where you’ll see the autism rates skyrocket exponentially, along with the exponential use of glyphosate. And, you know, Stephanie’s talked about this many times. Dr. Kurt Waller, he’s hit on this. He’s done many great presentations on autism, and has some courses all about that one of the integral pieces of his protocols I know is detox. So let’s talk about that. What do you actually do? You and I have many, many before and after on ourselves personally, but also clinical case studies where I’ve seen literally 1000s of percent off the chart, I mean levels so high that the lab can even give you a range for it. And we’ve been able to take those people and significantly reduce it, especially in children. I’ve seen kids that are four or five, six years old, off the charts with two four D glyphosate and many other of the organophosphate pesticides and holy crap, it’s scary when you first look at it. You look at the symptoms, you look at the gut, you look at the skin, you look at the behavioral problems, but man within six months to a year I’m confident most people listening could clear out 90 plus percent of their chemical load.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, 100% I think it’s, it’s super important to be empowered like that. So, so you hit a couple of the big mechanisms there. So I think one of the first things people have to look at is when there’s stress, there’s going to be indigestion, right, there’s going to be some level of bloating or gas, we’re just not breaking a lot of the nutrients down. And we have to look at what are the nutrients, we need to run a lot of these pathways, you kind of hit some right there. But we need amino acids, we need a lot of sulfur, we need a lot of the sulfur rich cruciferous vegetables, we need a lot of B vitamins, we need a lot of antioxidants. So for eating nutrient poor food, we’re not going to get those we also need a lot of good high quality sulfur based amino acids. And when you know from our healthy pasture fed eggs and animal products, and if we’re not eating those things and breaking them down optimally, then we’re gonna have problems, we’re not gonna be able to get the amino acids to make our powerful glutathione to help with our B vitamins, and our methylation and acetylation glucuronidation are phase one cytochrome p 450. Or phase two cytochrome p 450. oxide pathways that require on the phase one B vitamins and antioxidants, phase two, all the sulfur amino acids to run those pathways.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and the glyphosate messes up that P 450 cytochrome p 450 pathway too, so that was another mechanism that gets screwed up. And even if you have the nutrients and to fuel that pathway, if you’ve got a big Roadblock, there are you mentioned the glucuronidation pathway. That’s another issue. We’ve done podcast on this but the the spark notes the long story short for people listening is when you have bacterial overgrowth in your gut, which could be traced back to glyphosate exposure, damaging your good bacteria, therefore allowing the dysbiosis to happen. That then messes up this enzyme, which is the beta glucuronidation enzyme which we test for via stool now your re circulating hormones and recirculating toxin. So, like, you know, Justin and I will do protocols where we may throw in something like calcium D glue gray to inhibit that enzyme, but we have to work backwards and fixing the gut. So all this could be traced back to your glyphosate exposure sounds get reference. Sounds crazy to think like, wow, me eating conventionally sprayed toxic strawberries lead to my depression and my anxiety, but there’s the link of how it can all go down.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct. So we talked about a lot of the key nutrients, right, we talked about the gluten, and we talked about the antioxidants. Also, if we have a lot of inflammation happening in the brain, what do we do? So of course, we have powerful antioxidants like glutathione we have, which is it’s twofold, right? Because it also helps with the pathways of elimination, but it’s also a powerful antioxidant. So it deals with a lot of the oxidative stress that happens from these toxins. We also have things like vitamin D, we have things like curcumin, curcumin, like compounds, or is bare trawl gingko bacopa things that have anti inflammatory cognitive enhancement benefits. Because a lot of times what we have is we have this immune response that’s over reactive that’s stimulated in the brain, we have our immune cells called microglial cells in the brain that are overstimulated. And so a lot of times, we have to attenuate that and get that kind of calm down and relax because it’s in this positive feedback loop is once it starts getting ramped up and ramped up and ramped up and ramped up, it’s kind of at this arching level of it’s just it’s continuing to increase, increase, increase. And if we can calm that down what’s powerful antioxidant compounds, while we also stop adding fuel to the fire with a lot of these toxins and pesticides, that’s going to help us a lot.
Evan Brand: Yeah, absolutely. And the big heavy lifters, we won’t say the names because who knows in the future, our ideas and thoughts may change. So we’ll be putting some links in the show notes on your app to where you can view these products. But let’s break down some of the nutrients at least in the products in case we come out with our own or we come out with better versions in the future something the biggest heavy lift or I would say is definitely going to be chlorella. And specifically, as opposed to the conventionally sold mass marketed what’s called broken cell wall chlorella, which is decent, we like to use one that’s called a micronized chlorella, which is extremely small molecules of chlorella, that is able to get across the blood brain barrier. That’s the magic sauce that most chlorella products fall short. And I literally have 100 case studies where I could show you a before and after of getting children and adults on these products. And we’ve been able to massively reduce the levels at a woman in Canada just last week, she was off the chart with nearly every chemical gasoline xylene validates pesticides, herbicides, two, four D glyphosate, the whole nine yards. And within six months to a year of doing some of this stuff. Her levels are now non detected in a lot of categories. She’s not fully out of the woods, if we could get her in a sauna, which is another way to help with glyphosate. I think she would speed it up but just the chemical detox alone using nutrients massive success.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love that. I love it. Yeah, like you mentioned binders we have different chlorella we have different maybe activated charcoal or bentonite clay compounds we have a kind of our own formulated products that we love. We’ll put the links down below, we have a lot of the glue defi on or solidify on sulfur amino acid precursor building blocks, those are really powerful. We have a lot of liver tonifying and supporting herbs to help the liver and gallbladder whether it’s milk thistle or, or, or dandelion or phosphatidylcholine. We have a lot of those nutrients that we’ve kind of formulated up. And I think that outside of that would be we get some of the B vitamins, the binders we hit some of the tonifying herbs. cloudify owns sulfur amino acid, I think we hit all the major ones out of the gates, I would just say there’s some different lipidsoma curcumin, and resveratrol and anti inflammatory compounds that the we’re looking at that really have great clinical benefits. Also binders on the activated charcoal a zeolite, citrus pectin side. So we’ll put some of our links to products that we’re personally using with ourselves, patients and family and clinically every day. And we’re kind of looking at the results that we’re getting and trying to always adjust it. So it’s the best. We’ll put those down below. Anything else Evan, you want to add today?
Evan Brand: Yeah, so the MCP, the modified citrus, pectin, that’s something we can use, we’ll often use that in a blend, and then fulvic and humic acids, those tend to do really, really good too. I don’t like those in isolation. So a lot of people have really jumped on kind of the fulvic acid train, I think it’s smart. I think they’re great. But I’ve seen, you know, before and after test results, and I haven’t been super impressed in isolation. So we might use those foam fulvic and humic acids quite a bit. But it’s going to be in a blend, it’s not going to be by itself. We’re gonna have the chlorella, maybe the cilantro. As you mentioned, milk, this whole other liver support, maybe lymphatic support thrown in there to infrared, sauna, rebounding, anything you can do to sweat hot baths, Epsom salt, where you can boost that sulfur pathway, fixing the gut getting the gut infections address, so you can get that glucuronidation pathway working better, doing the testing on your stool to see where your gut is, if your systems even working properly, to do the detox, and then obviously doing the before and after chemical testing. And I will tell you, there’s not a single non toxic human on the planet unless they’ve done a really great job with chemical detox. But just coming in your average person coming into us with complaints doing the testing, you’re going to have chemical levels off the chart, I only had one guy who came to me over hundreds and hundreds of chemical profiles who didn’t have much of anything. And this was a guy who was doing a sauna for almost an hour, five times a week. And I was like, Whoa, you’re proof that Asana excretes a lot. So everyone else they were pretty much off the chart.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And I had a patient just recently to did a sauna session. And this person had eye level of mercury. And the kind of one of the biggest things I preach is you have a good sulphur soap, that’s going to decrease that lipid barrier and get a quick shower right afterwards. So you can get all the chemicals and stuff off your skin that are fat soluble metals and such toxins, make sure you do that as soon as possible. This person waited think 10 to 15 minutes. And during that timeframe that next day, they had a major herxheimer or issue. And my concern is if you don’t get those toxins off your skin fast, there’s a great chance you’re going to reabsorb them, and then you’re going to reabsorb met a very high level. And that can create a lot of herxheimer. So you got to be very careful. If you’re using an infrared sauna, you won’t want to flush those toxins off your skin fast and make sure you’re really hydrating well, and you may even want to go into that sauna session with binders and solidify them before and during just in case you reabsorb some of those toxins.
Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s great advice. And that’s why a lot of people recommend like a cold like water plunge or a cold shower afterwards. So you can really just seal up get those goosebumps get your pores sealed up to where everything is off. I know for me, it was crazy, because I was kind of skeptical. I thought is that really are you really reabsorbing stuff. So I did kind of a warm shower. It was soap and then I did a cold shower. And who knows maybe it was all the benefits of cold in general. But I tell you I feel so much better with a cold shower after the sauna. as brutal as it is to put that thing all the way on cold, especially in the winter. It’s cold, but man, I feel like a million bucks after that.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, no, I think that’s that’s smart. So I urge patients if you’re going to do an infrared sauna, which I think is powerful, just kind of start with five or 10 minutes, do a quick shower afterwards have a good soap ready that can kind of cut that lipid by layer. Because remember, a lot of these toxins are going to be they’re going to be fat based. They’re going to be what fat soluble toxins. So it’s like imagine cleaning a pan that you just had bacon in right? With just water. You need that emulsifying dawn soap or whatever organic soap to kind of cut that friction off the pan and allow that grease to kind of come off you right? If you don’t, you’ll feel that greasiness afterwards. Well, it’s the same thing with these fat soluble toxins. You really want to use that soap emulsify what’s on your skin so it’s flushed off so you don’t reabsorb it later.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and you made a good point. I’ll just take a step further on the hydration piece and the mineral balance piece. If you’ve got adrenal issues, mineral imbalances, electrolyte problems, you know, thyroid issues, sleep issues, you’re chronically sleep deprived, you know, you’re just kind of a weak constitution. You got to be careful and go slow and steady with the sauna. If you get woozy, you get lightheaded, if you do pass out or you feel like you’re gonna pass out your heart’s racing uncontrollably, you’re getting heart palpitations, you’re gonna know you’re mobilizing too much. So when your body’s saying stop, stop, don’t push through. I made the mistake of pushing through one time. It took me like two to three days to recover. So don’t don’t do that.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. 100% Well, I like it. Guys. If you enjoyed today’s podcast, please feel free put it down in the comments. Let us know what you liked about it. Let us know your own experiences dealing with chemical detoxification. And a lot of the pesticides and chemicals we chatted about today, we’ll put links down to our favorite products, detoxification, support water filters, things that are going to decrease toxin load in your body and things that are going to help your body expel toxins better. And it guys if you enjoy today’s podcast, feel free head over to EvanBrand.com or JustinHealth.com. We are available worldwide to help you all out if you need that extra functional medicine, nutrition support. We are here as well. Anything else?
Evan Brand: No, that’s it, you covered it all. And thanks for listening.
The Truth About GMO’s
By Dr. Justin Marchegiani
GMO stands for genetically modified organism. Essentially combining different genes whether it be a jellyfish and a tomato or any other type of plant and animal combination. Many people think GMO’s are natural and the process is commonly compared to hybridization.
I will compare and contrast the difference between the two and you can come up with your own opinion regarding what’s natural and what’s not.
Hybridization is crossing different species of plants via a natural interaction ranging from the wind, bees and forced interaction via a laboratory or greenhouse setting. Cross pollinating specific species of plants is used to produce a plant that are stronger and or more palatable. We see this through many crops over the centuries such as producing fruits that are sweeter as well certain crops that are potentially more resistant to drought. Hybridization can occur naturally and when it’s not it could be akin to an arranged marriage.
Regarding the creation of genetically modified organisms, a gene gun is used to fire DNA coated particles into plant tissue. The DNA is marked using a resistant gene to the antibiotic “vancomycin” which allows for confirmation that the DNA made its way into the plant. The plant is then exposed to the antibiotic vancomycin, where it is assumed that the plants that survive, possess the resistant gene to the antibiotic as well as the genetically modified material. Does this sound natural? This is also raises questions regarding antibiotic resistant bacteria because of our increased exposure to these compounds.
There are two different types of genetically modified organisms.
1. The pesticide drinkers
Certain crops are made resistant to a pesticide known as Roundup. Roundup is the trade name of a specific pesticide named glyophosate. Glyophosate essentially hugs or binds up minerals away from plants including weeds to essentially kill them. This pesticide is usually sprayed from planes making weeding easier for farmers. This type of farming is usually done on an industrial scale not locally. Instead of Roundup being used specifically, it is sprayed on the entire field. So as long as the crops are resistant to Roundup there doesn’t have to be any specificity regarding where the Roundup is sprayed. The problem that is created is that more pesticides are now used while the research regarding Roundup shows more destruction to the topsoil as well as well as decreased soil mineral levels because of it.
Our body has this process known as apoptosis which essentially programs cells to die. This is an important process that prevents cells from growing out of control. When enough cells grow out of control they become cancerous and produce a tumor. There is research showing that glyophosate can affect our bodies mechanism to activate apoptosis in certain cells.
According to the integrative Journal of applied toxicology: “The Roundup tested alone from 1:20,000 ppm is necrotic and apoptotic from 50 ppm, far below agricultural dilutions. This could delay the activation of apoptosis.”
Glyophosate or Roundup does this through stealing specific nutrients and minerals away from the plants. There is research showing that nutrient deficiencies occur in these Roundup resistant plants as a side effect to the Roundup. The Journal “Plant and soil” in an article in November 2008 showed that glyophosate induced micro-nutrient deficiencies in Roundup resistant soybeans. Showing a decrease in manganese and zinc nutrient levels in soybeans that were Roundup ready (2).
2. The pesticide producers
certain crops are genetically engineered to produce pesticides, one of these pesticides is known as BT toxin (Bacillus thuringiensis) toxin. So essentially these plants can produce their own pesticides, on first glance this sounds great. When you dig a little bit deeper one may want to know what happens to the pesticides in these plants when they are consumed by humans. As there are studies out there showing that genetically modified foods that produce BT toxin can irritate and inflame of the gastrointestinal tract. It’s important to note that this BT toxin kills insects by punching holes in their gastrointestinal tract as well. The next question to ask is can this happen to humans?
Originally BT toxin was thought to be inert to human beings. But with new research coming out in the Journal of applied toxicology showing that BT toxin can exert toxicity in higher concentration. With these toxins being more prolific in our food supply is very difficult to control the average person’s dose. The majority of junk foods out there are full of genetically modified foods whether they are in the form of soy or corn that is used to produce the high fructose corn syrup which is the most common sweetener used today.
Below is a picture of the cells of the stomach lining of rats who works were fed experimental GMO potatoes for just 10 days from a 1999 article in the scientific journal “The Lancet” (1). You can see the cells of the stomach lining and intestines were significantly altered. When you look from slide A to slide B, you can see a significant increase in the amount of cells in the gastrointestinal tract. This raises concerns regarding specific conditions such as cancer which thrive off of uncontrolled cell growth.
There’s a great deal of research in the scientific literature that autoimmune conditions are primarily induced by a leaky gut or gastrointestinal permeability through the tight junctions of the small intestines. The mechanism has been researched and shows that undigested food particles can slip through these tight junctions and create inflammation by the immune system attacking the undigested food particles that typically don’t show up in the bloodstream. The surface proteins of some of these foods such as gluten and dairy are similar to other tissues in the body. As someone gets more inflamed their immune system can easily confuse the surface proteins of the undigested food with the surface proteins of various tissues in the body. This confusion can cause the immune system to to start destroying organ tissues such as the pancreas, the brain the thyroid and many other tissues.
With autoimmune disease on the rise many doctors such as myself are seeing excellent results clinically pulling patients off of GMO’s as well as other gut irritating foods and noticing a significant reduction in inflammation. I personally see antibody levels of my patients dropping when these changes are made.
Monsanto and DuPont are two of the main companies that own this GMO technology and they stand to make lots of money off the pesticides as well as the patented seeds. It’s important to note that DNA in the seeds have been altered so they have what’s called a “Terminator technology.” Essentially the seeds cannot be saved from one harvest in the next, which is vastly different than organic variety’s of heirloom seeds which can be saved and used for future seasons. This essentially creates a dependency on Monsanto for the seeds and will inherently make food cost more expensive. What a great business plan!
There have also been certain myths propagated that genetically modified foods are the answer to starvation and nutritional deficiencies like vitamin-A in many third world countries. A specific breed of rice was created known as “golden rice.” This rice was used in India to help with vitamin A deficiency which was causing blindness throughout the land. The rice was programmed to be drought resistance so in poor weather it would grow and provide the natives with enough vitamin A. What they found was the rice was a failure and did not provide adequate nutrition like it promised.
This happens over and over again with GMO foods, if you just google Indian farmer suicide, you will see that over 100,000 farmers over the last decade in India have committed suicide due to their debts in investing in GMO foods followed by the technologies lack luster results. The sad thing was the farmers typically committed suicide using the same pesticides they purchased from Monsanto “Round Up” (3).
The reality is if the seeds were so productive why are so many farmers resorting to suicide? Farmers in the United States are also being sued by Monsanto for patented seeds that blow into their fields causing them most to have to give up their farms just to pay their legal bills.
Genetically modified foods are not the answer to solve starvation in third world countries; this is the straw man in which GMO food are typically justified and promoted under. Getting back to sustainable local organic agriculture is the solution. All the money being thrown into vaccinations and genetically modified foods for the third world would be better spent on water filtration as well as sanitation measures. Farming with pesticides, chemicals and genetically modified seeds is a relatively new phenomenon. We need to help the third world get back to the basics, and if you read the book “Farmers of 40 Centuries” you will see organic farming at a local level is sustainable, inexpensive, and can feed more people than you think.
1. The Lancet: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(05)76708-8/fulltext
2. Plan soil: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11104-008-9760-8
3. The BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21077458
Why Should You Go Organic?
By Dr. Justin Marchegiani
Today eating organic has been the trendy thing of late. Add gluten free and paleo to the mix and it just makes it even more confusing. Alright so let’s break it down… What is organic actually?
Organic Food: Is food that isn’t grown with pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and is GMO free. Depending on the organic certification some are stricter than others. Certain certifications require farm fields to have not used pesticides for at least 3 years and others are much looser in regards to their regulations. Your best bet is to get to know some local farmers in your area and figure out what standards they adhere to. You may even find many farmers don’t bother paying for an organic certification even though their crops are just as good as organic ones.
Check out www.eatwild.com or www.eatwiththeseasons.com to figure out where you can access local organic food and farms in your area. Many towns have local farmers markets that meet weekly in downtown areas and sell their goods directly to consumers.
In regards to animals, organic refers to animals that haven’t been injected or fed various medications including hormones, antibiotics or foods that were produced with pesticides or other chemical agents.
Again animals can still be fed an unnatural diet, I.E. chickens being fed soy and flax and cows being fed grains. It’s important to know what is natural for a given animal’s diet, organic or not, if an animal isn’t designed to consume it, the animal won’t be as healthy for you to eat as it could have been.
Remember, healthy animals help make a healthy you. It’s virtually impossible to consume sick and toxic animals and plants and expect to create health out of it. Said another way, you can’t make chicken salad out of chicken crap.
The Benefits: So eating organic does provide many benefits. The first is that you are not providing additional toxins to your body from all of the above mentioned toxins that are abundant in conventional farming. That alone is a huge plus! Research also shows a robust increase in nutritional value when comparing organic food to non-organic.
The pesticides and other chemicals that are used in conventional farming have a terrible effect on the microbiota and minerals that are present in the soil. Plants can only be as healthy as the soil, so healthy soil=healthy plants that taste good and are nutritionally dense.
There is a great deal of misinformation put out there by multi-national corporation like general mills or Kellogg’s to name a few that say, organic and conventional food have the same nutritional value.
These huge corporations have created their own organic labels, and have thus downgraded the overall meaning of what organic represents and stands for. When you compare organic food from a local farmer who practices organic farming methods, you will see these conventional foods don’t hold a candle to it.
Again even if the nutritional value doesn’t sell you on going organic, just the fact that you aren’t consuming know carcinogenic hormone disrupting toxins should be enough of a benefit by itself.
Cool Story… Did you know that researchers at the University of Florida found that in the everglades female alligators weren’t reproducing at a normal rate due to the severe reduction in size of their male alligators’ genitalia! All the males reading this post, I hope I have your attention by now!
When these male alligators’ blood was drawn, they had nearly the same estrogen levels of their female counterparts. Researchers have attributed the pesticide run off as the cause because of its estrogen like effects (xeno-estrogens). These synthetic estrogens play a major role in infertility, decreased libido and muscle mass in men and women alike.
PS: These same estrogen’s are also found in plastics too. If you are drinking or eating out of plastic containers, you may want to switch to glass or stainless steel containers.
Reference: The Disappearing Male (Documentary)
Take Home Message:
- Eat organic, ideally from local farmer that you know.
- If money is an issue, at the very least eat from foods with a lower pesticide residue. Please See “The Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen” below. These foods are categorized by the lowest and highest level of pesticide residue. Avoid the high residue plants and consume the low residue ones.
- Just do it! No arm chair quarterbacks here. Give it a try for a few months, add in some healthy animals products too and see if how you look, feel or perform improves.