The team at Companion Animal Medical Centre is proud to announce glyphosate testing via VDI Laboratory is now available at our Milford veterinary center.

Glyphosate Chemical Makeup

What Is Glyphosate?

Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide on the planet.  On average, a staggering 736 million pounds of glyphosate is used annually. Due to its high global usage, it’s crucial to take proactive measures to mitigate the effect and impact of glyphosate on both our health and the health of our pets.  Studies have shown that 86% of people evaluated had detectable levels of glyphosate present in their urine, with levels skyrocketing by 380% over the past two decades.

Disturbingly, animals bear an even heavier burden. Dogs were found to have levels up to thirty times higher than humans and cats were found to have levels up to sixteen times higher than humans.

Is Glyphosate Dangerous?

Glyphosate’s harmful effects extend beyond its prevalence; it actively disrupts bacterial populations, intensifies pathogens, and diminishes beneficial organisms.

Moreover, its endocrine-disrupting activity and cytotoxic nature harm multiple cell types. Research links glyphosate exposure to a myriad of health concerns such as fatty liver syndrome, infertility, and an increased risk of certain cancers, including lymphoma, leukemia, hemangiosarcoma, and obesity.

Glyphosate is primarily excreted through urine and feces, which means by reducing or eliminating dietary exposure, these levels can rapidly decline within days.  Urine glyphosate levels reflect short-term exposure (days – week) while hair and fur samples offer a longer-term (week – hair) perspective.

The good news is by combining routine glyphosate testing with strategic diet and lifestyle changes, I can now offer an integrated approach that guarantees a glyphosate level near zero.

Glyphosate and Gut Barrier Integrity:

A recent study shows that glyphosate and its metabolites might negatively affect the epithelial tight junctions, which are essential for maintaining the integrity of the gut barrier. Damage to these junctions could lead to increased gut permeability, often referred to as “leaky gut,” which could allow bacteria and other substances to pass from the gut into the bloodstream, triggering inflammation.

graphic for reference

Celiac disease, or gluten intolerance, are autoantibodies to undigested fragments of gliadin and induces intestinal inflammation. Data shows that the incidence of Celiac and glyphosate application significantly coincides. Data is emerging that food allergies and glyphosate may be linked.

Glyphosate and Pathogenic Bacteria:

Another study from 2013 suggested that glyphosate could potentially favor the growth of harmful bacteria. In this study, the researchers found that glyphosate was non-toxic to several species of the most prevalent Salmonella and E. coli strains, while it could inhibit the growth of beneficial bacteria like Enterococcus, Bacillus, and Lactobacillus.

The Biological Effects of Glyphosate

  • Contributes to metabolic syndrome and obesity.
  • Bactericidal damages the good microbiome present in the gut causing microbiome dysbiosis.
  • Cytotoxic and genotoxic effects, such as damage to cells and DNA.
  • Increased oxidative stress, which can lead to inflammation, tissue damage, and mutations to the DNA.
  • Disruption of the estrogen pathway, which can affect hormone balance and reproductive health.
  • Impairment of important cerebral functions.
  • Correlation with some cancers, such as lymphoma and leukemia.
  • Damage to certain organs like the liver, kidney, pancreas, and more.

The Signs Your Pet Could Benefit From Glyphosate Testing

If your pet displays any of the symptoms listed below, high levels of glyphosate may be responsible.

  • ADR pets with undiagnosed gastrointestinal signs.
  • Chronic gastrointestinal distress.
  • Scratchy, itchy, red, or inflamed skin.
  • Chronic ear infections and head shaking.
  • Excessive licking.
  • Hair loss.
  • Chronic coughing and sneezing.
  • Runny eyes.
  • Diarrhea or vomiting with an unknown source.

My Recommendations as a Holistic Veterinarian

In general, reducing dietary exposure to glyphosate is the cornerstone of my approach. Research has identified certain foods that contribute significantly to the overall glyphosate burden in animals.

Foods desiccated with glyphosate pre-harvest, such as dried beans of grain, pose the highest risk. Genetically modified foods like corn, soy, and sugar beets follow closely behind.  It is important to note that meats (except liver), milk, dairy products, and eggs have been found to have low levels of glyphosate.

By implementing dietary changes, my patients will witness a notable reduction in urine glyphosate levels within a week. Regular testing will confirm this progress, but remember that treats containing glyphosate can influence these values.  Testing urine, fur, foods, and supplements are highly recommended to closely monitor contamination levels and track your pet’s progress in pesticide reduction.  Depending on your pet’s unique circumstances, I may suggest special needs supplements and modalities to alleviate the inflammatory effects of glyphosate exposure and restore vital microflora balance.

Feel free to consult with me to explore these options further.

Take proactive steps to avoid outdoor contact with glyphosate. Stay vigilant about spray notices in parks, pathways, and similar areas. Regular bathing with soap and water will aid in removing glyphosate residues and other environmental pesticides.

Thank you for reading!

Dr. Gwendolyn Steffen, DVM

(Information obtained in this blog was obtained through VDI Laboratory, Intelligence of Nature, and Health Research Incorporated.)


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