Leaky Gut Syndrome

The medical community is witnessing a rapid rise in the deterioration of human digestive health not only in adults, but in kids. Food allergies and inflammatory bowel disease has skyrocketed by as much as 40% in the last decade and intestinal permeability, more commonly referred to as leaky gut syndrome, is also on the rise. Although the disorder is something of a medical mystery, this serious digestive disorder compromises the stomach lining (epithelium) making it so porous that damaging bacteria and endotoxins can leak through. As the incursion becomes chronic, our immune systems weaken ultimately triggering chronic inflammation which may leave the door wide open for any one of the autoimmune diseases that are currently on the rise: irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, Alzheimer’s 20 and most recently Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Systemic in the processed food we eat, two separate and potentially dangerous factors co-exist and studies indicate both may be affecting our well-being and that of our children. Roughly 85 percent of all genetically engineered plants are herbicide-tolerant and are sprayed with high levels of glyphosate which accumulates in the growth points of the crop. Glyphosate immobilizes nutrients and destroys the beneficial micoflora in the gut which can trigger chronic inflammation.

Researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory examined more than 300 studies on the herbicide and conclude that “the negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body.” Stephanie Seneff, PhD, coauthor of the study, says that when the delicate beneficial microflora like bacillus and lactobacillus are wiped out, harmful pathogens like Clostridium botulinum, Salmonella, and E. coli can survive leaving the body vulnerable. Interestingly, when researchers studied the effects of Colony Collapse Disorder, they discovered that the honeybees left in the hive were mineral deficient as well. Somehow two fundamental digestive components honeybees have in common with humans have vanished. Without Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium the majority of the adult and unborn honeybee population were left susceptible to a chronic disease that is now destroying their species.

BT toxins are also systemic in the cellular structure of the transgenic plant. Since the toxin has become part of our regular dietary intake, it’s showing up in human blood and we now know it can pass from mother to child. Advocates claim BT toxins pose no danger when in the blood, but, these crops are virtually untested.

Independent research already shows that BT toxins have ill effects on laboratory animals, producing a potent immune response. Advocates of agriculture biotechnology maintain BT toxins attack structures in the insect gut that aren’t present in humans. But specific receptors called cadherins, to which the BT toxin adheres to in insects, are present in humans. To date, eighty different types of cadherins have been identified and sequenced in humans but there are many more that haven’t yet been sequenced. Cadherins play an important role during fetal development in cell adhesion (binding cells within tissue together), neural development and the brain’s temporal patterns of expression. After birth, they continue to be vital to cell maintenance.

Today, there is no hard evidence that links meat protein fed BT grains and digestive health. Long term feeding studies are expensive and distressingly there is too much vested interest to encourage impartial exploration. But while the debate that links BT toxins and glyphosate to digestive health and chronic inflammation continues, independent science is hard at work demonstrating the safety claims of transgenic agriculture may have been overstated.

The average person eats 200 pounds of beef, pork, poultry and fish per capita per year. Two out of every three farm animals in the world are factory farmed meaning the vast majority of the 50 billion animals that are processed to meet this demand have one thing in common. Just before slaughter, they are ‘fattened up’ using a transgenic cuisine made from BT grains peppered with a healthy dose of glyphosate, antibiotics and an array of other questionable chemicals including the drug Ractopamine, a growth additive that’s been banned almost everywhere except USA and Canada. Brazil’s University of Brasilia demonstrated that contrary to industry claims, BT toxins are much more toxic to mammals than previously thought and at much lower levels. They also demonstrated the toxin bioaccumulates not only in the environment, but in fatty tissue which could pose a direct threat to human health. Dr. Monika Krueger at Leipzig University shows that a mere tenth of a part per million of glyphosate is all that it takes to kill human Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium and Enterococcus faecalis. Yet, in the face of all this independent scientific evidence, the EPA in the US has doubled the health levels of glyphosate allowed in food.

The danger of transgenic food whether boxed or slaughtered is not that the consumer suffers an acute onset of disease; it’s the concentrated amounts consumed overtime that may be causing the damage, just like the deadly effects of cigarette smoking. Considering BT crops and glyphosate have tainted over 70% of the food products on the shelf and in the vast majority of meat protein in the refrigeration aisles, we’re swallowing the controversial duo at every meal. We owe it to our children to stop shovelling billions of dollars into subsidies and research for chemical agriculture and start investing in the research that will help safeguard their future.