What is the Shikimic Acid Pathway and Why Should You Care?
What is the Shikimic Acid Pathway and Why Should You Care?
After the pandemic, people are becoming more aware of their health. Our world is filled with toxic compounds that we shouldn't be consuming. That’s why it's a good idea to take measures to reduce the toxins in your life.
One of the major toxic compounds in the food chain is glyphosate. But the good news is that by eating organic foods and restoring the shikimic acid pathway. You can lessen, or eliminate the harmful effects of glyphosate. It might also be a good idea to consume probiotics during this process.
That way you can repopulate your gut with healthy microbes. In this article, we’ll explore the shikimic acid pathway and the confusion about glyphosate. Why do people think glyphosate is safe? In short, it’s because of outdated science.
What Is The Shikimic Acid Pathway?
Way back in 1885, John Fredrik Eykman discovered the shikimate pathway. The shikimic acid (also known as the shikimate) pathway is a biochemical process that takes place in all plants and certain bacteria. The name shikimic comes from the Japanese flower shikimi (illicium anisatum) from which the shikimate pathway was first isolated. Shikimic acid is a key precursor in the biosynthesis of all aromatic amino acids, including tryptophan, phenylalanine, and tyrosine. In plants and microbes, shikimic acid is synthesized from chorismic acid via a pathway known as the shikimic acid pathway (SP).
When you look up the Shikimic Pathway you’ll find that it’s described as “a seven-step metabolic pathway used by bacteria, archaea, fungi, algae, some protozoans, and plants for the biosynthesis of folates and aromatic amino acids.'' Most importantly it says that the pathway is not found in animal cells. Yet when you recall that we have 10 times more bacterial cells than human cells in the body, it begins to be glaringly obvious that although the shikimic pathway isn’t found in human cells, it’s used by our more than 100 trillion bacterial cells that work synergistically within our bodies.The Shikimi Flower
The Myth of Perceived Non-Toxicity Of Glyphosate
Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum herbicide and plant growth regulator. It is the active ingredient in Roundup, Monsanto's flagship herbicide, and hundreds of other products used in lawn care, landscaping, agriculture, and industrial sites. Many consider glyphosate safe as governments don’t seem to bother about the increasing residue limits. In fact, 93% of pregnant women in one study were found to have detectable levels of glyphosate. This is concerning as scientists say that glyphosate has potential teratogenic effects. That means that it can negatively affect fetal development.
The notion that glyphosate is not toxic to humans is predicated on the fact that humans don’t possess the shikimic acid pathway. When realistically, every human contains trillions of bacteria, archaea, fungi, algae, and protozoans. Perhaps it was old-fashioned data that they were using prior to the Microbiome Project launching in 2007. Where we began to understand that we live symbiotically with all of these tiny organisms. Both internally and externally. Now scientists know how a healthy and diverse gut microbiome impacts health. This is significant as chronic illness is on the rise and can be treated by promoting a healthy balanced gut.
The Lie Continues...Many toxicity studies carried out on RoundUp, the commonly used glyphosate product, have only been carried out for 3 months in rodent models. The industry has insisted that 3 months is plenty of time to analyse the potential risk factors associated with Glyphosate. But 3 months is nowhere nearly enough time to analyse build-up in tissues and the long-term effects of glyphosate. This was proven by another study that discovered that the effects of glyphosate only appeared 4 months after continual exposure. This study showed that long-term exposure to glyphosate resulted in mammary (breast) tumours in females, kidney and liver damage in males and an overall shortened lifespan.
Shockingly, the shikimate pathway is involved in the production of many crucial biologically active molecules including:
- Thyroid hormone
- Coenzyme Q10
That’s Where Pine Needle Extract Comes In!
As we’ve discovered the shikimic acid pathway is also found in humans. In particular, it impacts the trillions of microbes that live in and around our gut. If we eat GMO foods, glyphosate builds up in our guts. We need a diverse gut microbiome in order to be healthy, therefore glyphosate obviously harms humans. Whatsmore, in 2020, researchers discovered that 54% of the microbes in our gut are sensitive to glyphosate.Glyphosate harms the shikimic acid pathway (which is why it kills weeds). Pine needle extract contains compounds that inhibit glyphosate from harming the shikimate pathway. Pine needles have been found to contain 1.6% shikimic acid, when extracted and concentrated this is likely more. Both suramin and shikimic acid found in pine needle extract help to reestablish the shikimate pathway functionality. Additionally shikimic acid has antiviral and antioxidant properties. Shikimic acid has also been found to restore bacterial balance in the gut by promoting healthy microbes and eliminating pesky microbes like candida.
Learning about the shikimic acid pathway paves the way to a better understanding of health and wellbeing
Learning about the shikimic pathway paves the way to a better understanding of health and wellbeing. This important pathway is what produces some amino acids and B-vitamins. Therefore a disruption in this pathway can seriously impact our quality of life. Restoring balance into your gut will in turn restore balance in your mind. Leading to a higher quality of life.
Written by Rowanna Watson, who has a passion for natural health. Rowanna is an expert in all areas of holistic health, plant-based nutrition, detoxification Written by best-selling author and integrative nutrition health coach and personal development.
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