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Lower Your Pesticide Levels By Eating Organic Foods

organic grains, oatsAchieve dramatically lower pesticide levels in your body in a few days! No need for "colonics" or "detox regimens". All one has to do is eat organic food to lower pesticide levels! And the more organic food in the diet, the better.

We ingest small amounts of pesticides when we eat and drink conventionally grown foods, and these pesticides can be measured in our urine and blood. Studies have found that switching to an organic diet lowers the amounts of pesticides (e.g. chlorpyrifos, 2,4-D) in the body, and now glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) can be added to the list. This is because glyphosate is used to grow conventional foods, but it is not allowed to be used on organic crops or in organic food production.

A recent study found that eating an all organic diet lowered glyphosate and AMPA (glyphosate metabolite) levels, in both adults and children, more than 70% in 6 days. The study measured glyphosate and its metabolites (in the urine) in members of 4 families who typically did not eat organic food, and who lived in different parts of the US. During the organic phase lasting 6 days, all the food the 16 people ate was organic - it was provided to them.

Before the organic phase of the study, both glyphosate and AMPA (glyphosate metabolite) were detected in more than 93.5% of urine samples in the study participants. Glyphosate and AMPA levels were substantially higher in children than in their parents, and this was true in both the conventional and the organic diet phases of the study, even after levels went down. The researchers thought that perhaps children were getting more environmental exposures (parks and school grounds), or perhaps they metabolize the pesticide slower than adults. (It's unknown why.)

Glyphosate has been linked to cancer, to effects on the kidneys and liver, endocrine disruption, and alteration of the gut microbiome. The overwhelming majority of people have glyphosate or its metabolites in their bodies. We get pesticides into our bodies through inhalation, absorption through the skin, and we ingest them in foods and beverages. As more and more glyphosate is used each year on crops, the levels in our bodies have been increasing.

Glyphosate is especially concerning because it is the most widely used pesticide in the world. In the USA about 280 million pounds are used each year on cropland (most heavily in the midwest), especially on GMO corn, cotton, and soybeans, and also as a pre-emergent herbicide and preharvest dessicant on non-GMO crops. Another 26 million pounds are sprayed on public parks, rights of way and in gardens.

More health reasons to eat organic were given in the study: "For instance, an investigation of nearly 70,000 adults reported that increased frequency of organic food consumption was correlated with reduced incidence of various types of cancer (Baudry et al., 2018). Other studies have reported decreased risk of diabetes (Sun et al., 2018) and improved fertility treatment outcomes (Chiu et al., 2018) associated with higher frequency of organic food consumption."

The researchers also pointed out that: "Organic foods are produced in accordance to strict regulations governed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture which prohibit use of approximately 900 pesticide active ingredients allowed in conventional production (USDA National Organic Program, 2020)" Keep that in mind: eat organic to avoid 900 pesticides!

Excerpts from Environmental Health News: Organic diets quickly reduce the amount of glyphosate in people’s bodies

Eating an organic diet rapidly and significantly reduces exposure to glyphosate—the world's most widely-used weed killer, which has been linked to cancer, hormone disruption and other harmful impacts, according to a new study. 

Authored by researchers at the Health Research Institute and the nonprofit organizations Commonweal Institute and Friends of the Earth, the study measured glyphosate and its main breakdown product, aminomethyl phosphonic acid (AMPA) in the urine of 16 people (seven adults and nine children) from four demographically and geographically diverse families. Researchers tested participants' urine for glyphosate and AMPA over six days on a conventional diet, followed by six days on an all-organic diet, and found average reductions of more than 70 percent in both the adults and children.

These reductions were achieved after just three days on the organic diet, which is in line with animal studies showing most glyphosate leaves the body after five to seven days, though a smaller amount remains in and is eliminated more slowly from bone and bone marrow.

Published today in Environmental Research, the paper is the most robust examination of glyphosate levels in people after a dietary switch and provides important information about how people can avoid exposure to the herbicide, the main ingredient in Bayer's weed killer Roundup. While other studies have tested for glyphosate in cereals and other foods on grocery shelves, few have measured the pesticide in human bodies related to diet.

Glyphosate use has risen dramatically since 1996 when the first genetically-modified (GMO) "Roundup Ready" crops were introduced. Some 280 million pounds of glyphosate are sprayed each year in the U.S., on approximately 298 million acres of cropland, largely for GMO corn, cotton and soybeans. Another 26 million pounds are sprayed on public parks, rights of way and in gardens.

Credit: USGS

The researchers found glyphosate and AMPA in 94 and 97 percent, respectively, of the urine samples tested. A total of 158 urine samples were collected, which allowed the researchers to find statistical significance in the results even though the study group was small.

Children had significantly higher levels of glyphosate and AMPA in their urine than adults during both the conventional and organic diet phases of the study. Glyphosate levels in children were about five times higher (1.27 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml) versus 0.26 ng/ml in adults during the conventional phase, and 0.46 ng/ml in children versus 0.09 ng/ml in children during the organic phase).

Emerging science links glyphosate to non-Hodgkin's lymphomahormone disruptionkidney diseasechanges in the gut biome, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that glyphosate is a probable carcinogen, and an international group of scientists later concurred with that finding. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, however, continues to assert the herbicide poses no public health risk.

The study is the second of a two-part series analyzing the impact of an organic diet intervention on pesticide levels in urine. The first study, published last year, tested for organophosphates, pyrethroids and neonicotinoids, and the herbicide 2,4-D and found similar results. Both add to a growing body of research demonstrating that an organic diet is an effective way to reduce exposure to pesticides.

Glyphosate's use as a desiccant for drying oats, wheat, garbanzos and other grains and beans just prior to harvesting results in the largest residues on food products, according to Charles Benbrook, coordinator for the Heartland Study, a hospital-based research project investigating the potential link between U.S. midwestern herbicide use and harmful reproductive outcomes. Glyphosate has been approved for many vegetables and fruit crops and has also been found in orange juicewine and honey.

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