What is the impact of pesticides on the body? Can organic nutrition reduce levels of toxic substances from our urine and generally from our body? A new peer-reviewed study by researchers at the University of Berkeley and the University of California has shown that an organic diet can quickly and dramatically reduce exposure to pesticides in just six days.
All of us are exposed to a cocktail of pesticides and plant protection residues every day, albeit in limited quantities, in virtually every product we consume. From glyphosate and other used herbicides that inevitably remain in the crops and, consequently, in the foods we eat. These minimal residues, added up, end up having in the long run an inevitably not positive impact on our health. Organic products, by definition, are produced without the use of these substances. Can a totally organic diet, make a difference and reduce the levels of pesticides in our bodies?
It is from this question that some American researchers have conducted a peer-reviewed study showing how biological choice can really protect us from exposure to toxic pesticides. The experiment, also conducted in collaboration with the Friends of The Earth association, monitored the pesticide levels of four families living in different parts of the United States. In the first week the 16 participants, adults and children, ate their typical non-organic food diets, while the following week they ate completely organic with products provided by the researchers. Urine samples from each individual participant were taken over the course of these research days, particularly from 14 chemicals representing potential exposure to 40 pesticides, particularly organophosphates, pyrethroids, neonicotinoids and 2.4-D herbicide phoenixes.
The results were surprising: as the graphs also show, the levels of all the chemicals detected dropped dramatically in just six days of a biological diet with an average of -60.5% and with a range between 37% and 95% depending on the compound. In particular, the class of pesticides, nerve agents called organophosphates, such as malathion (MDA) and chlorpyrifos (TCPy) fell by 95% and 61% respectively. Chlorpyrifos is a neurotoxic pesticide that has recently been linked to increased rates of autism and learning difficulties in children.
In short, as the analysis concludes:
“The biological diet has been associated with significant reductions in the urinary excretion of numerous metabolites of plant protection products and parental compounds. This study adds to a growing body of literature that indicates that a biological diet can reduce exposure to a range of active substances in children and adults. Further research is needed to assess dietary exposure to neonicotinoids, which are currently the most widely used class of insecticides in the world.”
Currently, despite the expansion and continued growth of the organic sector, even in Italy, there remain many doubts and especially scepticism on the part of consumers who too often tend to remember only “the scams” and the high price of organic products, but forget that choosing organic means investing in their own health and that of the environment.