New work shows an association between exposure to glyphosate and the presence in the blood of markers of neuronal damage in humans.
- For the first time, scientists show a link between exposure to glyphosate and the presence of a biological marker of neurological damage in a population that is not occupationally exposed to the herbicide.
- Several other studies show an established link between different pesticides, including glyphosate, and certain pathologies such as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) and Parkinson’s disease.
- While scientists are not yet able to say whether there is a direct biological relationship, these new results highlight the need for more in-depth research on the subject.
Coincidence of the calendar! While the European Commission wishes to extend the authorization of glyphosate for ten additional years, until December 15, 2033, a new study points to the possible harmful effects of the herbicide on the human central nervous system.
Alzheimer’s diseases, Parkinson’s diseases, MS… is glyphosate the cause of certain cases?
The results of this work were published in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology last September 6. For the first time, scientists show a link between exposure to glyphosate and the presence of a biological marker of neurological damage in a population that is not occupationally exposed to the herbicide, that is to say in Mr. and Mrs. Everyman.
To do this, the team of scientists used data from a large American epidemiological cohort, made up of 597 individuals. They analyzed levels of glyphosate found in urine and blood levels of neurofilament light chain (NfL) which are proteins released into the bloodstream.following neuroaxonal injury” and which, according to scientists, have imposed themselves “as a reliable biomarker for various neurological disorders”. Among these disorders we find Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, but also multiple sclerosis (MS) and Charcot’s disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).
After taking into account the covariates (age, sex, tobacco and/or alcohol consumption, BMI, etc.), the researchers came to an observation: there is indeed an increase in NfL levels in the blood depending on exposure to glyphosate. A more marked association in certain subgroups of the population, notably people over 40 and those whose BMI is between 25 and 30, i.e. overweight.
Glyphosate and neurological damage: a correlation but not yet causation
The authors of the study emphasize that at present they are not able to say whether there is a direct biological relationship, in terms of causes and consequences, between the controversial herbicide and the neurological damage observed. . “Our results highlight the need for further research into the underlying mechanisms and risk assessment of the neurological effects of glyphosate exposure in adults. These results could have important implications for public health policies and regulatory decisions related to the use of glyphosate”, they conclude.
What do we know about the health effects of pesticides?
Pesticides, which include glyphosate, are products used in agriculture to combat certain plant species considered undesirable and certain organisms considered harmful to crops. But, if they are capable of destroying plant and animal species, what about human beings? Thus, they have been worrying an ever-increasing number of scientists for many years.
In 2021, INSERM published collective expertise indicating an established link between pesticides (chlordecone, glyphosate and succinate dehydrogenase inhibitor fungicides) and four pathologies: non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), multiple myeloma, prostate cancer and Parkinson’s disease. The expertise also highlighted “a strong presumption of a link between occupational exposure to pesticides and two other pathologies: cognitive disorders and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease/chronic bronchitis”.
“The confirmation and highlighting of strong presumptions of links between certain pathologies and exposure to pesticides must encourage better consideration of these issues by the authorities.”, the group of experts then affirmed.