Research Shows Adverse Impacts of Glyphosate on the Human Gut Microbiome

April 30, 2021 | A bioinformatics tool developed by researchers at the University of Turku in Finland, published in the Journal of Hazardous Materials, indicates that “54% of species in the core human gut microbiome are sensitive to glyphosate.” Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup. This tool may help predict which microbes in the human gut could be negatively affected by exposure to the ubiquitous weed killer. Because damage to the gut biome is linked to a variety of diseases, this information could prove critical in recognition of the role(s) glyphosate may play in the development of human diseases. The researchers’ paper states, “The widespread use of glyphosate may have a strong effect on gut microbiomes as well as on human health.” Gut microbiota plays a crucial role in lifelong digestive, immune, and central nervous system regulation, as well as other bodily functions. With prolonged exposure to various environmental contaminants, such as glyphosate or other pesticides, critical changes may occur in the gut microbes, influencing adverse health outcomes. [Leino, Lyydia et al. Classification of the glyphosate target enzyme (5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase) for assessing sensitivity of organisms to the herbicide, Journal of Hazardous Materials, Volume 408, 2021.]