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Herbicides and depression

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posted on Dec, 28 2010 @ 01:07 PM
Herbicides and Emotional problems?

I was wondering if there could be a connection between herbicides, pesticides and emotional problems (as well as other diseases such as cancer).

Glyphosate (a herbicide developed by Monsanto) works by stopping the synthesis of certain amino acids in plants to stop them growing. These amino acids are tryptophan, phenylalanine, tyrosine. According to wikipedia all three of these amino acids seem to play a role in stopping depression.

So, if this herbicide (the most greatly used in the US) is sprayed on crops to inhibit weeds from growing, and these crops are ingested, are we ingesting glyphosate? Glyphosate stops the synthesising of these three amino acids in plants. Could the same happen in humans?


Glyphosate (N-(phosphonomethyl) glycine) is a broad-spectrum systemic herbicide used to kill weeds, especially perennials. It is typically sprayed and absorbed through the leaves, injected into the trunk, or applied to the stump of a tree, or broadcast or used in the cut-stump treatment as a forestry herbicide. Initially patented and sold by Monsanto Company in the 1970s under the tradename Roundup, its U.S. patent expired in 2000. Glyphosate is the most used herbicide in the USA,[3] where every year, 5–8 million pounds (2,300–3,600 tonnes) are used on lawns and yards and another 85–90 million pounds (39,000–41,000 t) are used in agriculture.[3]


For many organisms (including humans), tryptophan is an essential amino acid. This means that it cannot be synthesized by the organism and therefore must be part of its diet. Amino acids, including tryptophan, act as building blocks in protein biosynthesis. In addition, tryptophan functions as a biochemical precursor for the following compounds (see also figure to the right):
Serotonin (a neurotransmitter), synthesized via tryptophan hydroxylase.[9][10] Serotonin, in turn, can be converted to melatonin (a neurohormone), via N-acetyltransferase and 5-hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase activities.[11]
Niacin is synthesized from tryptophan via kynurenine and quinolinic acids as key biosynthetic intermediates.[12]
Auxin (a phytohormone) when sieve tube elements undergo apoptosis tryptophan is converted to auxins.[13]
The disorders fructose malabsorption and lactose intolerance causes improper absorption of tryptophan in the intestine, reduced levels of tryptophan in the blood[14] and depression.[15]


Phenylalanine is found naturally in the breast milk of mammals. It is used in the manufacture of food and drink products and sold as a nutritional supplement for its reputed analgesic and antidepressant effects. It is a direct precursor to the neuromodulator phenylethylamine, a commonly used dietary supplement." target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow">Tyrosine

A number of studies have found tyrosine to be useful during conditions of stress, cold, fatigue,[12] loss of a loved one such as in death or divorce, prolonged work and sleep deprivation,[13][14] with reductions in stress hormone levels,[15] reductions in stress-induced weight loss seen in animal trials,[12] improvements in cognitive and physical performance[10][16][17] seen in human trials. Because tyrosine hydroxylase is the rate-limiting enzyme, however, effects are less significant than those of l-dopa.

posted on Dec, 28 2010 @ 09:16 PM
While Monsanto agrees to self regulation, this has proven to be ineffective for big business when conflicts of interest arise mainly due to money. A lot of independent studies and new reports are picking up on problems with the Genetic Modified Organisms and their introduction.

If the risks associated with GMO are not handled responsibly the threats are huge.


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