Study on neurotoxicity of glyphosate

Glyphosate and Neurotoxicity

Judging by the comments left on our lively Facebook page, you guys are hungry for more of the science behind everything from gut health and tight junctions, to the dangers of GMOs and glyphosate – which we’re going to start talking about Right Now.

We’ve been anxious to share with you this important study that was just published.

Let’s dig in.

What are Glyphosate-based herbicides (GBH) like Roundup®? In essence they are herbicides used in agriculture – both rural and urban. Once believed to be safe and non-toxic, new evidence suggests the contrary.

Initial studies with frogs suggest GBHs may be teratogenic and thus be toxic to the development of an embryo or fetus. The recent study we’re going to discuss here, Glyphosate Induces Neorotoxity in Zebrafish, by Nicole Roy, Bruno Carneiro and Jeremy Ochs of Sacred Heart University, further investigates this theory by using zebrafish to study exposure using technical grade glyphosate.

The key take-home is that GBH is developmentally toxic to the forebrain and midbrain.

Taken from this important study’s Abstract:

Glyphosate-based herbicides (GBH) like Roundup® are used extensively in agriculture as well as in urban and rural settings as a broad-spectrum herbicide. Its mechanism of action was thought to be specific only to plants and thus considered safe and non-toxic.

Mounting evidence, however, suggests that GBHs may not be as safe as once thought, as initial studies in frogs suggest that GBHs may be teratogenic. Here we utilize the zebrafish vertebrate model system to study early effects of glyphosate exposure using technical grade glyphosate and the Roundup® Classic formulation.

We find morphological abnormalities, including cephalic and eye reductions and a loss of delineated brain ventricles. Concomitant with structural changes in the developing brain, using in situ hybridization analysis, we detect decreases in genes expressed in the eye, fore and midbrain regions of the brain including pax2, pax6, otx2 and ephA4.

However, we do not detect changes in hindbrain expression domains of ephA4 nor exclusive hindbrain markers krox-20 and hoxb1a. Additionally, using a Retinoic Acid (RA) mediated reporter transgenic, we detect no alterations in the RA expression domains in the hindbrain and spinal cord, but do detect a loss of expression in the retina. We conclude that glyphosate and the Roundup® formulation is developmentally toxic to the forebrain and midbrain but does not affect the hindbrain after 24-hour exposure.

Check back soon for more on this fascinating, important study.