Sugar and Glyphosate: A Tale of Two Toxins
By Laurie Lentz-Marino, M.A.
Special to JenniferMargulis.net
One is sweet, one is poison, but sugar and glyphosate have something in common: they can both kill you.
Your kids eat sugary cereal and doughnuts for breakfast. You reach for a chocolate bar as an afternoon pick-me-up. Ice cream is the perfect after-dinner dessert. Sweet treats are keeping you going during these trying times. So what’s the big deal?
When you understand the biochemistry of nutrition, you quickly learn that sugar and glyphosate are both devastating for your health. I’m going to walk you through some of the reasons why sugar and glyphosate are so bad. But if you want a primer about sugar, I recommend Tom and Chareva Naughton’s DVD, “Fat Head Kids,” which is a crash course in the biochemistry of nutrition. It’s geared towards kids but the book and DVD are incredibly helpful for people of any age. 
And before we continue: I’m introducing many complicated scientific terms. To help you better understand them, I’ve included a glossary at the end of this article. Words that are glossed at the bottom have an asterix (*) after them.
Okay, let’s go on.
So why is sugar so bad for you?
Sugar is associated with or actually causes the following health problems in humans:
Aberrant blood cholesterol
Dementia, i.e., “Type 3 diabetes” of the brain 
Dental problems, including cavities
Heart disease 
Insulin elevation 
Metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes
Nutrient and vitamin deficiency
Some forms of cancer 
Tinnitus (ringing in your ears)
Unstable blood sugar
Depletion of antioxidants,* AGEs* 
Sugar also damages the immune system. The body considers sugar a toxin that must be disarmed. Processing sugar is an energy consuming task for your body, which means that sugar’s effect is to divert resources from other important tasks. And the flood of insulin released in response to sugar—to get rid of it—drastically slows down all immune processes. Sugar is not an infectious agent, but the energy expended dealing with it is not available for the high-energy demanding immune system’s response needed to be able to staunch “real” infections.
Finally, sugar causes incessant hunger. When you eat refined sugar, your blood sugar elevates and dips, often leaving you famished after just a few minutes or hours. Eating continuously chronically raises your insulin levels, making it impossible for your body to fast, and fasting allows your body to rest, repair, and regenerate. . The parasympathetic* and immune responses rebuild and defend your body.
Insulin is required for life, but sugar keeps too much in your bloodstream, stimulating fight, flight, stressed, and sympathetic nervous action. Again, a normal process, but too much and for too long is harmful to your health.
The good news is that you can reverse damage caused by eating too much sugar. But first I need to tell you a little more about the immune system and the crucial role of proteins. Then we’ll talk about solutions below.
Your immune system includes highly specialized cells and molecules that engage constantly in defending you from infection, injury and disease. Its various components are distributed everywhere in your body. The physiology of human immunity is extremely complex. It is one of your most energy-consuming systems. Biochemically speaking, the energy currency required for all activity is via a molecule called ATP.* This is a little complicated, but stay with me.
How our proteins work for us
Proteins are linked chains of amino acids.* Proteins help form the blood-brain-barrier. They are also the oxygen carriers. They promote the lungs’ surface absorption of oxygen. They help the kidneys handle waste. They play a role in nerve conduction. They also hold us up—collagen, an important part of our bones, is made of proteins.
Furthermore, proteins are integral to the immune system. They are the machinery that makes the energy molecule ATP. Every cell in your body uses ATP. It is the biochemical way your body stores and uses energy. And, an interesting fact: Each person actually makes their weight in ATP every day.
Proteins play diverse roles in our body. Enzymes are proteins. Hemoglobin is the protein inside red blood cells that transports oxygen. These proteins play a part in cell-to-cell communication. Our 50 trillion cells have to talk to work together, so proteins send and receive the messages. Proteins also run our mitochondria* , they are inside our cells working for us. They are abundant in our muscles and essential for muscle contractions. They maintain many cells’ membranes. Think of a cell membrane like a coat that each cell wears. Proteins make channels within cells’ membranes and they transport materials in and out of our cells.
What glyphosate does to our proteins
Glyphosate, the main ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, is a highly problematic chemical that is ubiquitous in the environment. Think of glyphosate as a fabricated monster molecule adversely affecting your proteins.
One of the biggest problems with glyphosate is that it is an amino acid* mimic, at least according to the hypothesis proposed by Samsel and Seneff in 2016.  Glyphosate is an exact duplicate of the coding amino acid glycine, except that it has extra material attached to its nitrogen atom. This should not prevent it from fitting into a protein chain and messing up the protein’s function because of that extra material. If this hypothesis is correct, what it means is that glyphosate easily inserts itself into protein. But because glyphosate is an unnatural amino acid, proteins built with glyphosate embedded in them are difficult for our bodies to break down. Cells become cluttered with misfiled, dysfunctional proteins that they can’t get rid of.
Biochemically speaking, glyphosate damages our proteins and hobbles their function.
Equally as concerning, glyphosate is bodily and environmentally persistent. Think of it as gumming up the works, more and more, as time and exposure progresses. It’s similar to the dangers we faced with DDT.* 
What does all of this mean?
To explain I need to introduce a few more biochemistry terms. As glyphosate is taken up into the proteins in our bodies, it can alter the functioning of some or all the processes listed above that proteins do. It can have some of its most negative effects on the proper work and integrity of the immune system and our ability to resist and clear infections.
What is a human biochemically?
We are basically constructed from water, ions, amino acids, proteins, membranes, fats and lipids, cholesterol, DNA,* RNA,* and energy (ATP), as well as two sugars: ribose and glucose.
There are essential* amino acids, fats, vitamins, minerals, and cofactors. Our genes are made of DNA. Our electrolytes include zinc, iodide, iron, potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, chloride, sulfate, phosphate,* and carbonate, to name just a few.
There is a lot that is disastrous for human health from glyphosate. Glyphosate hobbles proteins, as I’ve already explained. But it gets worse: glyphosate can work to disturb our genes too.
It adversely affects our DNA, RNA, and ATP. It also degrades those all important cell membranes that I mentioned above. The unnatural, unbreakable phosphONate* bond in glyphosate is C-P, a very unusual bond linking carbon directly to phosphorus that few enzymes can break. Glyphosate’s phosphate interferes with its close cousin phosphate, which inserts an oxygen atom between the carbon and the phosphorus atoms: C-O-P. This makes all the difference in the world to life and to health.
Back to sugar and glyphosate
Processed sugar is likely to be contaminated by glyphosate. You are also getting exposed to glyphosate directly if you use weedkiller on your lawn and from the residue that is left from the plants you eat that have been contaminated with it. Almost any food you eat that is not organic is likely to contain glyphosate. Some vaccines given to children have also been found to be contaminated with glyphosate.
Sugar is already a bad dream. Glyphosate is a nightmare. Put them together and you’re creating a horror film in your body.
The two in combination are exponentially worse for you, causing greater damage than either glyphosate or sugar causes by itself.
You are what you eat
You inherit your genes from your parents. That’s your genetics and conventional scientific thinking posits that you can’t change them.
But the molecules (think of them as actors) that sit on top of your genes are modifiable. This is your epigenome. The epigenome refers to chemical modifications to the genome by a number of powerful small molecules, which alter the way genes are expressed. In a sense, the epigenome tells your genome what to do. The epigenome is modifiable. Which means that your diet is crucial to compromising or enhancing your health, either hobbling or helping your genes and epigenes.
Your genes are translated into protein at the direction and permission of your epigenes. Dietary sugar is inflammatory and can garble a lot of those signals. And then, when protein is made with incorporated glyphosate in place of glycine, glyphosate disturbs the protein’s functioning.
See the problem?
You can control your health. You are in charge of what you eat.
I don’t care what your doctor has told you. You are in control of your health. You can improve your health exponentially by making small but profound lifestyle changes. You can support your immune system, making it less likely that you will catch, or have adverse reactions to, infectious diseases, including COVID-19.
Prevention is key. In order to be healthy you must be proactive. There are gentle and safe methods to improve your health, boost your mood, and better fight off infectious diseases.
When you implement certain lifestyle changes, you help your body fight off infectious diseases. Your immune system will be boosted to either clear infection once it sets in, or defend against and obviate infection upon exposure, thereby preventing infection.
If this is new to you and the list below feels overwhelming, remember baby steps count. Start small and make just one or two changes. As you start implementing healthier habits, you’ll find yourself with more energy to implement more. These best health practices will act synergistically to give you even more protection.
We can’t limit all toxic exposures, and it may be unrealistic to never eat sugar. But we all have remarkable control, power, and say over our health.
- Eat organic food. I know it’s hard to afford. But the more organic food you eat the less likely you are to have an overwhelming body burden of glyphosate.
- Choose whole foods over processed foods: organic vegetables and fruits, grass-fed grass-finished meats, organic chicken, wild fish and other seafoods, nuts, and seeds.
- Skip the sugar. Banish table sugar from your kitchen. It’s refined bleached garbage that does nothing but wreak havoc on your health. If you have cravings for sweets, eat fresh fruits or dates instead.
- Don’t spray Roundup on your property. Keep it as far away from your plants, animals, and children as you can. Lobby your city and school administrators to never use Roundup in parks or public spaces.
- Exercise. Sweating helps the human body detoxify. Try to exercise every day. Cardio is incredibly helpful. But also incorporate movement into your daily routine. If you are physically disabled, find exercises that you are able to do safely.
- Get fresh air. Keep your windows open, allow for air circulation. You don’t want to be breathing a build-up of carbon dioxide, which is immune degrading. Having lots of houseplants can also help you clean the air.
- Try not to eat grains. Grains, even organic grains, are often cross-contaminated with glyphosate. Eating a lot of refined grains can also create the chronic insulin elevation I talked about above. It’s okay to eat some organic grains, but try to limit grain consumption. Grains also contain plant proteins that can degrade the gut-blood barrier and spark autoimmune reactions all over the body.
- Always avoid aspartame.  Aspartame, a popular artificial sweetener, can cause atrial fibrillation, a dangerous heart arrhythmia, among other health problems
- Soak in EPSOM salt baths. EPSOM salts help boost magnesium and sulfate levels. 
- Gaze at the blue portion of the sky. This stimulates the pineal* gland.
- Get enough sun. Most humans are vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D plays an essential role in helping the immune system function properly. Get outside, without sunscreen, to get your vitamin D. 
- Take vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential* to human health and a properly functioning immune system. Since we can’t synthesize it ourselves, it’s always helpful to eat lots of vitamin C-rich foods and to consider taking a high quality organic supplement. 
- Remove, and refuse, mercury amalgam fillings. Mercury is a brain-damaging heavy metal. Do everything you can to avoid it. 
- Meditate. Slowing down and slowing your mind have been shown to greatly relieve stress. Meditation will enhance your sense of calm and wellbeing.
- Practice your faith. Longevity research shows that older adults who practice their faith and attend services four times a month or more tend to live longer, healthier, more connected lives.
- Do yoga. Yoga helps manage stress and anxiety and can boost the parasympathetic nervous system.
- Try earthing. Earthing is a fancy word for walking outside barefoot or lying on the ground. The ground, as long as it’s not contaminated with glyphosate or other poisons, is the best and least expensive source of antioxidants. 
- Breathe through your nose. Breathing through your nose helps stimulate the parasympathetic system. 
- Always avoid ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Both of these painkillers are highly problematic and harmful to human health. Tylenol should never be taken during pregnancy or given to children. Try safer alternatives, including homeopathic pain relief 
- Eat healthy fats. Healthy fats give your body energy and support your cells. Foods that contain healthy fats include avocados, eggs, nuts, olives, sardines, and salmon. 
- Don’t eat unreal, industrial, concentrated, inflammatory vegetable oils. Highly processed oils, like other highly processed foods, are toxic to human health. 
- Disinfect surfaces with hydrogen peroxide. It turns out that hydrogen peroxide may be the best way to keep coronavirus at bay. I also gargle with it. Instructions on the bottle.
- Eat garlic, onions, prebiotics, and probiotics. These are all foods that help fuel your healthy microbiome. Eat them often!
- Socialize and laugh. Humans thrive on human-to-human contact. And laughter always makes everything better. Be sure to get off your screens and together in community as often as you can.
Lastly, work with your body. Your biochemistry and physiology are unique to you. Have faith in your body’s wisdom and experience and problem-solving mastery. Life is a miraculous wonder.
The suggestions above are safe, cheap, accessible, and easy. Unfortunately, they are also usually totally ignored by mainstream, status quo medicine. Doing them is all in your complete control. The lifestyle health practices I’m recommending will invigorate and even supercharge you: all of the suggestions, or even just a subset, will help.
Lifelong good health doesn’t come from a pill
American medicine is often state-of-the-art when it comes to treating acute, emergency situations. But status quo medicine fails miserably when it comes to helping humans maintain good health, repair our bodies after an illness, deal with chronic conditions, and resist and prevent infections and disease in the first place.
We have to understand that our health is first and foremost in our own hands. It’s advantageous not to look at immunity as a “war” or a “battle.” Our subatomic particles, atoms, molecules, subcellular organelles, cells, tissues, organs, bodies, families, communities—these are all coordinated, cooperative, and a majestic collaboration that works together.
We are resilient.
Biology is brilliant.
There are gingko trees in Hiroshima, Japan that still survive from the A-bombing on 6, August 1945.
If lifestyle changes, including a healthier diet, regular exercise, stress relief practices, sun exposure, and avoidance of toxins and toxic medications [24, 25] don’t work, medical interventions are still an option. Use them sparingly. Use them as a last resort.
Good health is not a fight against unseen evil but an invitation to be in harmony with the intelligence of nature. Being in good health can be win-win, not a zero-sum game.
What will help you most? Not feeling fearful and helpless. Fear does not provide security and is not protective . And certainly not sugar and glyphosate.
Feeling hopeful, educating yourself about biochemistry, and learning and implementing better health practices … This is the path to take if you want not just to survive and get by, but also to thrive.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment of any kind. For health-related questions, consult your doctor or healthcare provider.
About Laurie Lentz-Marino, M.A.: Laurie Lentz-Marino teaches and is director of protein and metabolism, and nucleic acids biochemistry labs at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. She teaches or has taught courses in immunology, genetics, organic chemistry, general chemistry, biology, eukaryotic molecular genetics, and physics. An expert in glyphosate and other toxic chemicals, Lentz-Marino is also a practicing biochemist. When she’s not in the lab or pouring over peer-reviewed science, she likes to be in the Mount Holyoke Fimbel Maker & Innovation Lab creating interesting things. She works on projects of combining unconventional teaching practices to aid students in the daunting task of learning complex science. Her passions include: family, friends, colleagues, students, community, and reading for pleasure. She believes completely in the enchanting power of art and humor, and in the beauty of connecting with others, especially children and small animals. She is an artist wannabe.
Glossary of terms
AGEs. Advanced Glycation End products. This is an apt acronym, as Advanced Glycation End products literally age you faster.
Adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The energy currency for life, made primarily in mitochondria. Adenosine is one of the 4 components of DNA.
Amino acids. The building blocks of protein, assembled into linked chains.
Antioxidants. Substances that prevent or control cell damage due to unstable molecules that the body produces. Oxygen is the most damaging, oxidizing, substance. We have to breathe it so we need to constantly repair and recover from oxidation damage. These compounds help us do that.
DDT. Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane. An insecticide invented in the 19th century and widely used in America in the 1940s. Once considered safe, DDT has been shown to cause harm to humans. It turned out to be persistent environmentally and is now banned by many countries.
DNA. Our genetic material. A self-replicating material, deoxyribonucleic acid, which is present in most living organisms. DNA is organized into genes, and genes are translated into our proteins.
Essential. This refers to amino acids, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and materials our bodies need but cannot manufacture at all or can’t make fast enough. Thus, they must be in the diet, or our gut bacteria must make them for us. Glyphosate destroys our gut bacteria’s ability to make some essential amino acids.
Inflammation. Redness, swelling, immune system activating. Any injury or assault to the immune system can result in inflammation. While this is a normal process, it can become problematic if chronic or severe.
Mitochondria. The miniscule factories inside our cells that make ATP and provide us with energy. You learned in Biology 101 that mitochondria are the powerhouses of cells. We have tens of thousands of trillions of them.
Parasympathetic. Part of the automatic nervous system that counterbalances the sympathetic nervous system. These are nerves from the brain and the spinal cord that form the rest, digest, repair, rejuvenate, and rebuild branch of the nervous system.
Phosphate. A normal component of DNA, RNA, ATP and membranes; the “P” in the C-O-P bond.
PhosphONate. Identical to phosphate, except that one oxygen atom is missing. This results in the C-P bond that human cells cannot break.
Pineal gland. A pea-sized gland that sits behind the brain’s third ventricle. Known as the “Third Eye,” as it can be stimulated with sunlight. Part of the immune system and a regulator of circadian rhythms.
RNA. Ribonucleic acid, a nucleic acid present in all living cells. RNA performs the work of transcribing, then translating, genes into proteins.
Author’s note: Many of the papers are behind a paywall. If you’d like to read them but can’t get access, please use this website’s contact form to send me an email to my attention.
 Naughton, Tom and Chareva. Youtube Video 2018 Fat Head Kids, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AnpQgsOVWQ&has_verified=1
 Seneff, S Nutrition and Alzheimer’s disease: the detrimental role of a high carbohydrate diet. Eur J Intern Med. 2011 Apr;22(2):134-40
 Lustig, Robert, M.D., Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Foods, Obesity, and Disease. Hudson Street Press, 2012.
 Yudkin, John, et al. Pure, White and Deadly: How Sugar is Killing Us and What We Can Do to Stop It. Penguin books, reprint edition, 2013. First published in 1986.
 Kraft, Joseph R, M.D. Diabetes Epidemic & You. Trafford Publishing, 2008.
 Lustig, Robert. “The toxic truth about sugar.” 2012, 2/Feb. Vol 482 Nature pp. 27-29.
 Warburg, Otto. 1931 Nobel prize in Physiology, for “discovery of the nature and mode of action of the respiratory enzyme” by investigating “the metabolism of tumors and the respiration of cells.”
 See Taubes, Gary, Good Calories, Bad Calories, 2007, and The Case Against Sugar 2016.
 Fellows, Simon. “Science of Fasting,” Youtube video, 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1b08X-GvRs
 Know, Lee. Mitochondria and the Future of Medicine. Chelsea Greene: 2018.
 Samsel & Seneff, Glyphosate pathways to modern diseases V: Amino acid analogue of glycine in diverse proteins Journal of Biological Physics and Chemistry Vol 16(June):9-46 2016.
 Carson, Rachel. Silent Spring, 1962.
 Burkhart, Craig Lone atrial fibrillation precipitated by MSG and Aspartame, 2009 https://www.opednews.com/articles/1/–Lone-atrial-fibrillati-by-Craig-G-Burkhart-091207-399.html
 Waring, Rosemary, Sulphur Metabolism in Autism. Journal of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine 10, 25–32 (2000).
 Jacobsen, Rowan Is Sunscreen the New Margarine? 2019 https://www.outsideonline.com/2380751/sunscreen-sun-exposure-skin-cancer-science.
 Pauling, Linus Linus Pauling Institute, https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/.
 Breiner, Mark. Whole-Body Dentistry, 2012.
 Ober, Clinton. Earthing, 2010.
 Buteyko nose breathing https://buteykoclinic.com/the-buteyko-method/
 Bell, Iris, Adaptive network nanomedicine: an integrated model for homeopathic medicine Frontiers in Bioscience 2013: 5(2):685-708.
 Teicholz, Nina. The Big Fat Surprise, 2014.
 Kendrick, Malcolm. The Great Cholesterol Con, 2008.
 Abramson, John. Overdosed America, 2013.
 Weil, Andrew. Mind Over Meds, 2017.
 Roosevelt, Franklin 1st inaugural address “Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself,” 1933.
Published: April 21, 2020
Last update: April 24, 2020