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Why your oats are killing you

Ok it’s story time… I used to eat oats every day until last year I did a food sensitivity test and it said I was reactive to oats, so I cut them out. In the last week I have eaten oats probably four times because #quarantinelife means I have limited food supplies so have resorted to oats.

In the last week I have noticed a dip in my concentration capacity, I’m forgetting words and I’m struggling to sit still to complete a task. So as I always do, I questioned if I’ve changed anything in my diet (DIET = COGNITIVE PERFORMANCE). Then it hit me - OATS!!

I realized that the oats I’ve been eating for the last week aren’t organic, which in the US means they are sprayed with glyphosate. Glyphosate is a herbicide weed killer and is sprayed on non-organic produce like oats. Not to be dramatic but glyphosate IS THE DEVIL, it is an endocrine disruptor which means it interferes with your hormones, increasing your risk of genetic mutations.

Glyphosate has been linked to the following conditions:

  • ADHD: The journal Environmental Health Perspectives reported in 2002 that exposure to Roundup [glyphosate herbicide] was linked to attention deficit disorder (ADHD), likely due to the herbicide’s capacity to disrupt thyroid hormone functions.

  • Autism: A research scientist at MIT says exposure to glyphosate has a number of biological effects that align with known pathologies associated with autism. One of the parallels is gut dysbiosis among children with autism and glyphosate’s suppression of pathogenic bacteria. Glyphosate also promotes the accumulation of aluminum in the brain. Aluminum is a neurotoxin and the established cause of dialysis dementia.

  • Birth Defects: Glyphosate exposure can disrupt the Vitamin A signaling pathway, which is critical for normal fetal development. A study from Paraguay found that babies born to women living less than a mile from fields sprayed with glyphosate herbicide were more than twice as likely to develop birth defects.

  • Cancer: The International Agency of Research on Cancer (an agency within the World Health Organization) published a study in 2015 that determined glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen. There is also a meta-analysis study from 2014 published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health and a 2008 Swedish study that link glyphosate and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Other studies, including a study in Argentina of 65,000 people in farming communities where Roundup is used (communities referred to as “the fumigated towns”), found cancer rates to be two to four times higher than the country’s national average. Specifically, the study noted increases in breast, prostate and lung cancers. In a comparison of two farming communities—one that sprayed Roundup and another that didn’t—31 percent of residents in the Roundup sprayed community had a family member with cancer. In the community that didn’t spray, only three percent of residents had a family member with cancer.

  • Celiac Disease: A study of fish exposed to glyphosate herbicide showed that some developed digestive problems similar to those with Celiac Disease. Parallels between glyphosate exposure and Celiac Disease include impairment in enzymes critical to detoxifying environmental toxins, imbalances in gut bacteria, amino acid depletion and certain mineral deficiencies.

  • Heart Disease: A study published in Entropy found that glyphosate exposure can cause disruption to the body’s enzymes, causing lysosomal dysfunction, which is a factor in heart failure and cardiovascular disease.

  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease: In the same Entropy study, researchers found that exposure to glyphosate creates a severe tryptophan deficiency in some, which can cause inflammatory bowel disease.

  • Kidney Disease: Glyphosate herbicide exposure may explain the recent spike in kidney disease statistics among farm workers in India, Central America and Sri Lanka. According to the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health: “Although glyphosate alone does not cause an epidemic of chronic kidney disease, it seems to have acquired the ability to destroy the renal tissues of thousands of farmers.”

  • Liver Disease: A 2009 study showed that very low doses of glyphosate can disrupt liver cell function.

  • Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: A paper analyzing nearly 30 years of research on the relationship between Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL) and occupational exposure to pesticides found a positive association between glyphosate herbicide exposure and B cell lymphoma.

  • Parkinson’s Disease: Several lab studies show that glyphosate can induce the cell death characteristic of Parkinson’s.

More than 250 million pounds of glyphosate are sprayed on American crops per annum, and is highest in:

  • Soy

  • Corn

  • Oats

  • Almonds

  • Wheat

  • Peas

  • Carrots

  • Sweet potato

  • Quinoa

For these foods specifically it is really important to buy organic or avoid them completely. So next time you're deciding what to eat for breakfast: it's not oats.

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