You have most likely heard of glyphosate before, the active ingredient found in Monsanto's Round Up, because it is literally everywhere.
Glyphosate is a broad spectrum herbicide that is the most widely used in the world as a potent weed killer.
It's especially prominent in North America whereas other places such as the Netherlands, Vietnam, Germany, France and others have prohibited its use or are in the process of banning it.
North Americans are said to be a greater risk of exposure to glyphosate than Europeans as regulations and allowable levels in the U.S and Canada are much more lax.
The problem is, the safety of glyphosate is questionable. In 2015, the World Health Organization labeled glyphosate as a possible carcinogenic to humans and it has been linked to other health problems including non-Hodgkin lymphoma, gluten intolerance, and thyroid, immune, neurological, reproductive, and endocrine dysfunction (1).
Though more research is likely needed to confirm its effects, there is sufficient evidence indicating that glyphosate is better off avoided for the sake of human health. One of the best ways to do this is by buying organic as much as possible while avoiding non organic genetically modified crops such as corn, soybeans, canola, alfalfa and sugar beets.
But what if you are exposed or have been exposed, what can you do then? Today we explore two ingredients that may have the potential to detoxify and remove glyphosate from the body.
Fulvic & humic acids
Fulvic and humic acids are powerful healing compounds that have been shown to boost health in a number of ways including enhancing the absorption of nutrients from food, improving gastrointestinal health, and boosting immunity (2).
Humic and fulvic acids may also help to neutralize the effects of glyphosate on the body.
Let's explore these two mineral complexes a little closer:
Fulvic acid is the main active ingredient that makes up humus (no, not the famous chickpea dip). Humus is a dark organic material that is found in water and soil and is the result of plant and animal decomposition. It is rich in nutrients and made of a variety of organic compounds including fulvic acid, humic acid, and humin.
These molecules have been shown to detoxify many toxins including glyphosate and inhibit mechanisms of action that glyphosate has on our gut bacteria (3)(4).
Fulvic acid is a compound and supplement often recommended for supporting detox and gut health as it can bind onto toxins and heavy metals and attract free radicals for safe elimination out of the body.
Nowadays, our bodies are often lacking in fulvic acid due to the depletion of our soils, which can interfere with our health. The good news is that we can optimize our health by replenishing these soil nutrients through supplementation.
As fulvic acid delivers beneficial compounds such as minerals into the cell, it also exchanges them for cellular waste that it picks up and removes from your system.
Humic acid is also found in humus, and has similar properties and effects as fulvic acid.
Humic acid is able to bind to glyphosate in the soil, preventing its uptake by plants. It is said to act similarly in the body by binding onto and removing environmental chemicals such as glyphosate (5). One of the issues of glyphosate is that it can damage the intestines and harm our beneficial microbes. Humic acid can help to reduce these effects and protect the gut environment.
Who knew that dirt could do so much for your health?
Fulvic and humic acids are most commonly found together in supplemental formulas as they may act synergistically. These compounds have a high safety profile as they are naturally found in soil and have been safely used in both animals and humans (6).
Though there are no known side effects, always consult with your practitioner before implementing new supplementation especially if you are taking medications.