Cutting-edge molecular profiling analyses reveal that the popular weedkiller Roundup causes serious liver damage to rats at low doses permitted by regulators, reports Claire Robinson. The findings suggest that residues of glyphosate-based herbicides in food could be linked to rises in the incidence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, obesity, diabetes and ‘metabolic syndrome’.
The weedkiller Roundup causes non-alcoholic fatty liver disease at very low doses permitted by regulators worldwide, a new peer-reviewed study published by a Nature journal shows.
The study is the first ever to show a causative link between consumption of Roundup at a real-world environmentally relevant dose and a serious disease.
Science can’t prove it and the industry denies it, but Gary Taubes is convinced that the sweet stuff kills.
“I hope that when you have read this book I shall have convinced you that sugar is really dangerous,” wrote John Yudkin in his foghorn-sounding treatise on nutrition from 1972, Pure, White and Deadly. Sugar’s rapid rise to prominence in the Western diet, starting in the mid-19th century, had coincided with a sudden outbreak of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Yudkin, one of the United Kingdom’s most prominent nutritionists at the time, believed that one had caused the other.
Then, as now, there was no decisive test of his idea—no perfect way to make the case that sugar kills. It’s practically impossible to run randomized, controlled experiments on human diets over many years, so the brief against sugar, like the case against any other single foodstuff, must be drawn from less reliable forms of testimony: long-term correlations, animal experiments, evolutionary claims, and expert judgments.
We know how important gut health is for overall health. We understand that it improves digestion, that our pursuit of extreme sterility has compromised our immune systems, and that the gut biome is etiologically involved in the pathogenesis of various health and disease states. We’re even familiar with the more esoteric functions of gut bacteria, like converting antinutrients into biovailable nutrients, synthesizing sex hormones and neurotransmitters, and mitigating the allergenicity of gluten. But what about gaining and losing body fat, the real reason most people get interested in diet in the first place—are the bacteria in your gut responsible for the fat on it?
Studies have shown that bariatric surgery can lead to remission of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in rodents and humans, but this beneficial effect cannot be explained solely by weight loss. In a new study, researchers investigating gastric bypass in a mouse model of T2DM confirmed that bypass surgery improves glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. Interestingly, the improved metabolism occurred in conjunction with changes in gut microorganisms, suggesting a potential role for gut microbiota in diabetes remission.
As the saying goes, you are what you eat. But new evidence suggests that the same may also be true for the microbes in your gut.
A Harvard study shows that, in as little as a day, diet can alter the population of microbes in the gut particularly those that tolerate bile—as well as the types of genes expressed by gut bacteria.
“What we are really excited about is we and others have shown in animal models that diet can rapidly have major effects on the microbes that are in the gut,” said Peter Turnbaugh, a Bauer Fellow at the Center for Systems Biology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. He is senior author of the paper, which appeared in Dec. 11 edition of the journal Nature.