New data shows major depression has been on the rise across all age groups in the US, sparking concerns about its underlying causes. At the same time, exposure to the herbicide glyphosate, increasingly used in agriculture, reaches an all time-high.
A recent study has shed light on the connection more precisely, finding a correlation between glyphosate exposure and neurological damage. Data from health insurance providers, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield, highlights the extent of the rise in depression, which has been most prominent among teenagers and young adults.
Several factors have been proposed as drivers of the escalating rates of depression:
- Social Isolation: Since COVID lockdowns, many people have not recovered from the extended isolation and lack of normalcy in their previous social circles.
- Screen Time vs. In Person Time: Excessive screen time has become commonplace, reducing face-to-face interactions. The shift towards digital connections can provide a false sense of connectedness, which eventually contributes to feelings of pressure and isolation. People are inherently social mammals; lack of touch and non-verbal communication negatively affects mental and physical health.
- Social Media's Double-Edged Sword: While social media can connect individuals and provide support, it can also intensify societal pressures and contribute to feelings of inadequacy, especially among younger generations.
- Video Game Addiction: Dr. Karyn Horowitz of Bradley Hospital in Rhode Island suggests that video game addiction, coupled with sleep disruptions, may lead to increased rates of depression among adolescents.
- Chemical toxicity: It’s no secret that environmental toxins affect mental health, especially depression, but this new research suggests that glyphosate in particular is correlated with depression.
In this groundbreaking study, researchers investigated the correlation between glyphosate exposure and neurological damage. Glyphosate, the most widely used herbicide globally, has been linked to various health concerns. Neurofilament light chain (NfL), a protein released following neuroaxonal damage, emerged as a reliable biomarker for neurological disorders, confirming the link Moms Across America reported last month from a similar study.
This new study examined data from the 2013-2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to explore the potential link between urinary glyphosate levels and serum NfL levels.
The study revealed significant findings:
- Positive Association: Researchers found a significant positive association between urinary glyphosate levels and serum NfL levels, suggesting that higher glyphosate exposure was associated with increased neuroaxonal damage.
- Dose-Response Relationship: When glyphosate levels were divided into quintiles, a dose-response relationship was observed, with increasing mean NfL concentrations corresponding to higher quintiles of glyphosate exposure. This lends more credence to the correlation between glyphosate and neurological damage.
- Subgroup Differences: Certain subgroups, including individuals aged 40 and older, non-Hispanic whites, and those with a BMI between 25 and 30, showed a more pronounced association between glyphosate exposure and neuroaxonal damage.
Another recent study found that glyphosate can affect neurobehavior and specifically, the cholinergic and glutamatergic pathways in the brain, which affecting cognitive dysfunction plays an essential role in the regulation of synaptic plasticity and cognition. The study found that herbicides and insect repellents are associated with neurobehavioral functioning in adolescents, specifically as it relates to memory, attention, and cognition.
These studies on glyphosate and neurological damage carry significant implications. Various studies like those conducted by Barbara Reed Stitt, author of Food and Behavior, the Natural Connection, and a recent study on glyphosate exposure and mental health, link these disorders to exposure to toxins and the lack of nutrients in the food supply.
Agrochemicals such as glyphosate have been proven to negatively impact the gut microbiome, which is the stronghold of not only the immune system, but is where Serotonin and Melatonin are held, important hormones that influence mood, sleep, and risks of developing depression, violent and obsessive behavior, suicidal and homicidal thoughts and actions.
The serious implications of this link can not be overstated in light of the increasing levels of glyphosate in the food supply. Moms Across America has just released the results of extensive lab testing on the top twenty fast food brands in America. Forty-two samples of 21 brands were tested for glyphosate, 236 agrochemicals, 4 heavy metals, PFAS, phthalates, and mineral content. One hundred percent of fast food samples were positive for Glyphosate Herbicide.
This new study is a reminder that our lifestyle choices play a significant role in our mental well-being, warranting a holistic approach to address the rising tide of depression and other chemically-induced symptoms of cellular damage. A definite focus on limiting exposure to environmental toxins in the food supply is critical for every family. The good news is much of this exposure is controllable by simply avoiding fast food and by making conscious choices in the grocery aisle, or better yet – at your local farmers market and community gardens.