A team of scientists from the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina in Florianopolis-Santa Catarina, Brazil, set out to verify the merits of an existing body of research on glyphosate, which has previously determined the chemical to be a powerful endocrine disruptor. They looked specifically at how exposure to low doses of glyphosate affects Sertoli cells, which live in the testicles, sustain healthy sperm, and are required for normal and healthy male sexual development.
As it turns out, when Sertoli cells are exposed to relatively low doses of glyphosate, they end up dying through a series of glyphosate-induced changes. According to the team's analysis, Roundup exposure at a mere 36 parts per million (ppm), or 0.036 grams per liter (g/L), led to both oxidative stress and the activation of multiple stress-response pathways that ultimately led to Sertoli cell death in test mice. The herbicide also increased levels of intracellular calcium (Ca2+) in cells, an overload of which can also lead to cell death.
"Glyphosate has been described as an endocrine disruptor affecting the male reproductive system," wrote the authors in their study abstract. "We could propose that Roundup toxicity, implicating in Ca(2+) overload, cell signaling misregulation, stress response of the endoplasmic reticulum and/or depleted antioxidant defense could contribute to Sertoli cell disruption of spermatogenesis that could impact male fertility."
Beyond this, the same study also found that glyphosate by itself is capable of down-regulating reduced glutathione levels in the body. Glutathione, which is often referred to as the "master antioxidant," just so happens to be the most powerful, naturally-occurring antioxidant in the human body. It is responsible for detoxifying cells and neutralizing free radicals, as well as regenerating the brain, heart, liver, lungs, skin and arteries.
"As glutathione is an antioxidant (electron donor) found within every cell in the human body, protecting it against oxidative stress, as well as maintaining a wide range of biochemical reactions such as DNA and protein synthesis and repair, amino acid transport, prostaglandin synthesis, amino acid and enzyme activation, a dysregulation of glutathione can result in a wide range of adverse effects," writes Sayer Ji for GreenMedInfo.com in reference to the findings.
You can view the study's abstract here: http://www.greenmedinfo.com
Millions of men could become sterile as a result of continued glyphosate use
As far as men are concerned, continued exposure to glyphosate through the conventional food supply could have lasting effects on our ability to reproduce. Untold millions of men are already threatened by this quiet assault on our hormones, and yet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) actually wants to raise the maximum allowable limit for glyphosate contamination of the food supply.
No matter how the industry tries to spin it, glyphosate is clearly toxic to humans, and it quite literally acts as a contraceptive in men. Allowing any trace of it in the food supply is akin to slowly forcing birth control pills down the collective throat of the male species. So when will the nation's regulatory agencies finally fess up to the truth and admit that this poison should no longer be sprayed on conventional agriculture?
Sources for this article include: