Atrazine and its effect on the endocrine system

This blog post will outline the effects of atrazine found in our food systems and its effect on our body, specifically our endocrine system. Our endocrine system is made up of glands. These glands are controlled directly by the nervous system and chemical receptors in the blood and hormones produced by other glands. Glands regulate the functions of the organs in our body. Those functions include cellular metabolism,  reproduction, sexual development, sugar, and mineral homeostasis, heart rate and digestion to name a few. This information and more obtained here.

The anatomy of the endocrine system is as follows–

The hypothalamus is a part of the brain, located superior and anterior to the brain stem and inferior to the thalamus. The hypothalamus serves many different functions in the nervous system. It is also responsible for the direct control of the endocrine system through the pituitary gland. The hypothalamus contains special cells called neurosecretory cells that secrete the following hormones–

  • Thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH)
  • Growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH)
  • Growth hormone-inhibiting hormone (GHIH)
  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)
  • Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH)
  • Oxytocin
  • Antidiuretic hormone (ADH)

So it is easy to see our endocrine system is vitally important to our living. The endocrine system controls our heartbeat, your ability to make a baby, bones, tissue, and plays a vital role in whether or not you will develop thyroid disorders, diabetes, growth disorders, sexual dysfunctions, and many many other issues connected to our hormones.

Disorder- to disrupt the systemic functioning

Types of Endocrine disorders–

  • Adrenal Insufficiency
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Gigantism
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Precocious Puberty (abnormally early puberty)

What disrupts the endocrines proper function?

  • Either a gland is making too much or too little of a hormone
  • There are lesions in the endocrine system
  • There are issues with the endocrine feedback system
  • Disease
  • Failure of simulation glands to release hormones
  • Infection
  • Injury
  • Tumor

How food in our food system is linked to endocrine disruption–

From NIH–diet plays a significant role in endocrine disruption. That information and more was found here.

For the purpose of this blog post, I will discuss endocrine disruption and atrazine.

First, what is atrazine? Atrazine is a herbicide that kills broadleaf and grassy weeds. Second, where is atrazine used? Many if not most golf courses, lawns, farm fields, ditches, and roadways to name a few. Its primary use is to control weeds in corn crops.  A common tip given by Monsanto to farmers is to mix atrazine with Roundup and you’ll control even the glyphosate-resistant weeds. So, here in the Midwest, where I’ve always lived, many many fields are drenched and have been drenched in atrazine and Roundup for years.

The EPA has noted that atrazine can cause reproductive harm to mammals, fish, and birds.

Out of all the pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers on the market today, atrazine is the herbicide most detected in drinking water.

Filter all your drinking water. I bought a Berkey Water Filter before Christmas and absolutely LOVE IT. It’s affordable, easy to use, the water is out of this world, and it protects me and my family–we have access to safe drinking water 24/7.  Prior to getting our Berkey, we had to deal with really hard water that had high calcium content, borderline high chlorine content, and borderline lead ratings. Nothing, not in the 10 years we’ve lived in this area, has anything ever been said in the media about the city’s water. I go to the city website and read the water report every year to two years when it comes out. It’s scary how a lot of things are right on the border of being an issue. Berkey filters out everything and my family and I wouldn’t be without it. We bought ours on Amazon for $228.00 which included two filters that will last between 6 mo. and a year.

Speaking for a minute on Glyphosate–it is the most widely used agricultural chemical in history and the main ingredient in Monsanto Roundup. It has been determined by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as a probable carcinogen. Atrazine manages to stay just under the radar but is every bit as dangerous.

When amphibians were exposed to atrazine it caused hermaphroditism. The researcher who learned of this was forbidden to release his findings. The article for this information is here.  The EPA was to complete a new assessment of the risks of Atrazine on humans health in 2016, but as yet have not completed a review of this very important issue. The EPA information and site are here.

What the experts do know is that drinking water that is contaminated with atrazine can cause low estrogen, irregular menstrual cycles, hormonal irregularities, birth defects, abdominal defects, and low birth weight for sure. If atrazine can be proven a carcinogen it could be held responsible for ovarian cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and thyroid cancer.

Atrazine has been found in high concentrations in the drinking water in the following states– ” Atrazine has been found in a majority of water samples taken from Illinois, Nebraska, Iowa, and Minnesota, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) found atrazine in 94 percent of drinking-water samples tested.”  This information was taken from here.

According to the CDC, 75% of the population has detectable levels of atrazine in their urine.

What can you do?

  • Eat an organic diet, or eat as much organic food as your budget allows
  • Filter your drinking water

Next up—-what’s in my medicine cabinet