As noted above, the researchers in this study found increases in S24-7 bacteria and decreases in Lactobacillaceae family bacteria. The Lactobacillaceae family is part of the Firmicutes phylum of organisms. S24-7 is a family of bacteria within the order bacteroidales and the phylum Bacteroidetes.
In other words, this study found that glyphosate exposure produced a reduction in bacteria of the Firmicutes phylum and an increase in bacteria from the Bacteroidetes phylum. The authors point out that this same pattern has been seen in the microbiome alterations of mice that developed fatty liver disease. An increase in Bacteroidetes S24-7 bacteria is also associated with “obesity and inflammatory events in a mice model,” the authors note.
Finally, and most importantly, those two phyla— Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes—are the two major phyla of the microorganisms that make up the human gut microbiome. The authors write,
“The alteration of the Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio by the exposure to environmental pollutants, including by R as shown in this study, has a profound effect on human gut function because Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes are the two dominant phyla in human gut microbiota.”
The scientists who conducted this study believe that exposure to Roundup residues in the environment, by creating an imbalance in the microorganisms that live in the digestive tract, could play a significant role in the intestinal disorder epidemic that plagues the 21st century. These imbalances play a key role in a wide range of diseases.
What we don’t know about the effects of Roundup and glyphosate-based herbicides would probably fill several books. The same is true of what we are just beginning to find out about Roundup and similar chemicals. The authors of this study call for long-term toxicity studies involving the gut microbiome prior to the market authorization of herbicides like Roundup “to protect human populations from the toxicity of gut microbiome disruptors.”
Sex-dependent impact of Roundup on the rat gut microbiome
Veronica L. Lozano6, Nicolas Defarge5, Louis-Marie Rocque3, Robin Mesnage3,4, Didier Hennequin1, Renaud Cassier2, Joël Spiroux de Vendômois3, Jean-Michel Panoff1,3,5,6, Gilles-Eric Séralini3,6, Caroline Amiel 3,5
- University of Caen Normandy (UCN), UR ABTE, EA 4651 Boulevard Maréchal Juin, CS 14032 Caen Cedex 5, France
- AdGène Laboratoire, 1 Rue des Conquérants, CS 14220, Thury-Harcourt, France
- CRIIGEN, 81 rue Monceau, 75008 Paris, France
- Gene Expression and Therapy Group, King’s College London, Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine, Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics, 8th Floor, Tower Wing, Guy’s Hospital, Great Maze Pond, London SE1 9RT, United Kingdom
- University of Caen Normandy (UCN), Esplanade de la Paix, CS 14032, Caen Cedex 5, France
- Network on Risks, Quality and Sustainable Environment MRSH, University of Caen Normandy, Esplanade de la Paix, CS 14032, Caen Cedex 5, France
Toxicology Reports, 5 (2018), 96-107. Available online December 19, 2017
The Regional Council of Ile de France is acknowledged together with CRIIGEN structural support. The authors also thank Lea Nature and Biocoop Foundations.