A new animal study by a group of European researchers has found that low levels of the weed killing chemical glyphosate and the glyphosate-based Roundup product can alter the composition of the gut microbiome in ways that may be linked to adverse health outcomes.
The paper, published Wednesday in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, is authored by 13 researchers, including study lead Dr. Michael Antoniou, head of the Gene Expression and Therapy Group within the Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics at King’s College in London, and Dr. Robin Mesnage, a research associate in computational toxicology within the same group. Scientists from the Ramazzini Institute in Bologna, Italy, participated in the study as did scientists from France and the Netherlands.
The effects of glyphosate on the gut microbiome were found to be caused by the same mechanism of action by which glyphosate acts to kill weeds and other plants, the researchers said.
The microbes in the human gut include a variety of bacteria and fungi that impact immune functions and other important processes, and a disruption of that system can contribute to a range of diseases, the researchers said.