Flash in the Pan Fad Diet?

Wheat Belly Blog reader, Boundless, left this wonderfully detailed comment on his/her thoughts on how the Wheat Belly message might be handled by various agencies and media. (This is a repost, since we lost the posts of the last 48 hours. The IT people say it is a technical difficulty, not a hack. We are taking additional precautions, nonetheless.)

Let’s sum up the high points of the Wheat Belly message:
1. The most common ingredient in current food is a prompt poison for 1% of the population, and a relentless stealth saboteur for the other 99%.
2. Even ignoring wheat, current dietary dogma is materially mistaken and must be radically reconsidered.
3. If people change their diet, the need for medical attention and drugs will plummet.
4. It’s going to become much more challenging to feed the world.

So who wants to deliver this message to you, and when?

Your doctor?
… is not going to wake up until the New England Journal of Medicine has a cover story entitled “EVERYTHING WE KNEW IS WRONG.” You can see that this might take some time.

Let’s consider organizations (including the FDA). Organizations tend to act like organisms. Over time, the top priority of the organization becomes preservation and advancement of the organization, mission statement notwithstanding. Keep that in mind.

Eyewitless News?
Alleged news shows, sites and publications are already having Dr. Davis appear, but he tends to get sandwiched between the Fleeting Food Fright of the Week, and the Flash In the Pan Fad Diet of the Month. Because these “news” sources also tend to be agenda-, entertainment- or advertiser-driven, the public is not apt to credit his appearance, nor learn about sound bites from these soundbites.

Your Health Club?
What percent of the members are just there to work off the wheat? Advising members to step away from the grains could be financial suicide.

The AAA (American Affliction Association)?
The American Diabetic/Dietetic/Heart/Etc Associations are all on record endorsing “healthy whole grains” with no footnotes about wheat except maybe for celiacs. If they wake up to wheat, the subtext message is going to be: “We today admit that we have zero credibility, but we have some important news, so pay attention.” Again, not soon.

The AMA (and other medical societies)?
Associations like the AMA are consensus based, and rarely react quickly to emergent truths. How many thousand years did it take the physicians guilds to admit that perhaps bloodletting wasn’t the wisest therapy for the majority of ailments? First, do no harm? Well, maybe someday. Meanwhile, look to the rogue doctors.

The CDC?
If it isn’t contagious, or doesn’t kill you quickly, the Centers for Disease Control are probably not interested. Expect no news here.

Actual Mission Statement: “We provide leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, and related issues based on sound public policy, the best available science, and efficient management.” Notice that “public policy” (i.e. politics, esp. lobbying) takes priority over “science”. Expect grain wagon circling here, and not actual leadership. The U.S. Department of Lobbyists, excuse me, I mean Agriculture’s food pyramid scheme, always a political lightning rod, will be revised only after the majority of the population aren’t eating grains anyway.

The DEA?
If you were to isolate the addictive components of wheat, and sell it as a recreational substance, I’m confident that the crack agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration would carefully set down their donuts and whistle up some warrants for “dynamic entries” at the wrong addresses. Not before.

The FDA?
If wheat were marketed as a drug, it wouldn’t be. It would fail the required safety testing and not be approved by the FDA for sale. If wheat were marketed as a food supplement, it would already be banned (like ephedra* is), based on the enormous library of adverse wheat reactions already documented. The FDA is waiting for the horse to leave the barn. They will then call a press conference to brag about closing the door.
* Ephedra’s main problem is that it’s actually effective.

The Surgeon General?
Just maybe. Unofficial SG subtitle: “Usually the Last to Admit Knowing”. Based on the About_OSG Page, the top prority is overseeing 6500 PHS employees. The office is a political appointment and beholden to the Senate. Getting re-appointed means not saying anything controversial. The present OSG initiative on childhood diabetes advocates a healthy diet based on the USDL pyramid scheme. However, if the SG doesn’t care about another term, they can make surprising statements (e.g. Koop, Elder), and the current General does appear to have a wheat belly …

Frankly, expect the agencies, administrations, associations and societies to remain in denial, then rush to the front of the parade some years from now, millions of lives, and billions of dollars, too late.

In the meantime, this is a grass roots effort. Don’t eat the grass seeds.

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. In my opinion, these associations, lobbyists and all others participating in repressing the truth about what is good for us versus what is bad have been purposefully running things this way with power and greed fueling their madness. When we put the puzzle pieces together, the big picture doesn’t lie. They don’t care one iota about our health, except to slowly erode it–just enough to keep us alive but dependent on the processed food/medical/pharmaceutical industries so not only our health is slowly squeezed out of us, but our hard earned dollars.
    Make no mistake, it isn’t out of ignorance or incompetence on the part of the groups you’ve listed that the citizens of this nation are at their sickest/unhealthiest ever. It has been set up this way by those who control this genocidal system. THEY WOULD NEVER BECOME FILTHY RICH AND ABLE TO CONTROL THE MASSES IF WE WERE HEALTHY AND THINKING CLEARLY–more reason to get off the wheat.
    (Bluntness intended.)

    • Boundless

      re: … have been purposefully running things this way …

      I tend to disagree. Some salient points:
      1. Humans have been eating grains for 10,000 years. No conspiracy lasts that long.
      2. Technowheat only gradually emerged in the last 50 years. We never test food for safety (other than for contaminants and spoilage).
      3. Your GP won’t even consider the notion that wheat is a poison and our diets should be low carb. This attitude is representative of the mindset of the regulators and educators who could act, and aren’t.
      4. If it were a government conspiracy, we’d be required to eat wheat. If you aren’t in prison, you have a choice.
      5. The U.S. government is particularly poor at civil conspiracies. Someone always blabs.
      6. The DHS would have seized this site for aiding foreign food supply terrorists or something.

      However, there are a few individuals in regulatory agencies, and more than a few in the wheat industry, who either know, suspect, or have deliberately avoided learning about wheat.

      • “Technowheat”?

        Ah, genius, Boundless! I love it.

        Yes, I tend to believe that the creation of this thing called wheat was just a series of blunders. The way it has been used most recently, however, I believe is intentional.

    • Bluntness welcome, Eva!

      Best case scenario: The “official” agencies are ignorant and just haven’t kept up with the science, while turning a blind eye towards the shenanigans of geneticsts.

      Worst case scenario: They’ve known about the ill-effects of wheat for years, but allowed it to be used against us to increase revenues.

  2. Uncle Roscoe

    Two key words drive mainstream resistance to acknowledging the danger of wheat, “exorphin” and “opioid”. Heroin is addictive because it mimics endorphins. Wheat is addictive for the same reason. It mimics endorphins.

    The body does not simply use endorphins as a pain killers. It uses them to convey information and cause chemical changes. Wheat opioids interfere with proper endorphin activity. They convey information when it is inappropriate, and block information when it is appropriate. At the same time they tell the brain ……”mmmm this feels good” ……”I must protect my supply”.

    The property of wheat which causes illness also keeps users from seeing and acknowledging the damage. Officials with vested interests in wheat know they can keep telling wheat addicts that eating wheat is good for them.

    • Yes, the mere fact that a food yields a substantial opioid is, by itself, incredible. And the effect of wheat exorphins are far more powerful than any other food opioid, contrary to the silly carryings-on of the Wheat Lobby about this issue, who say multiple foods have similar effects. They propose, for instance, that broccoli should be as addictive as bread.

  3. Boundless

    Speaking of flash-in-the-pan fad diets, the NYT had an article on 11-27 entitled: “Should We All Go Gluten-Free?”

    They think low-carb is a fad, quote:
    “Food companies are always trying to take advantage of the latest dietary trend or health craze. (Low carb, anyone?)”

    Another interesting quote:
    “Murray found that young people today are nearly five times as likely to have celiac disease, for reasons he and others researchers cannot explain.”

    I suspect that wheat, going from under 10 to over 40 chromosomes, without safety testing, had something to do with it.

    • Hi, Boundless–

      I had a conversation with Dr. Murray, and I think I turned him onto the notion that it’s not humans that have changed; it’s the wheat that has changed.

      I think the notion that the wheat itself has been changed, all amply documented in the agricultural genetics literature, is an easier, cleaner explanation than speculating that humans have undergone some fundamental change that heightens susceptibility.

  4. The one thing that can never be discounted in this day and age is the power of the internet. People who seek out the truth about anything can find a large amount of information in a small time period. The information can be assimilated or not, but success stories have a way of finding the light of day.
    Last, about the health club thing: I attend a CrossFit gym and that’s where I first learned about Paleo nutrition, which led me to Wheat Belly, and other resources. Don’t discount all health clubs.

  5. Uncle Roscoe

    Lectins are sticky proteins. Wheat has a significant lectin load to say the least. Some lectins are capable of binding red blood cells together. Wheat lectins fall into this category. Clumped red blood cells are incapable of collecting oxygen from the lungs, and are incapable of delivering oxygen to cells which need it.

    In addition, wheat causes the small intestine to release the enzyme zonulin. Zonulin defeats the tight junctions which bind together the cells lining the small intestine. The lining becomes porous, and the partially digested intestine contents wash into the bloodstream. The result also places a significant load of zonulin into the bloodstream. In the bloodstream zonulin becomes a form of haptoglobin. Haptoglobin is a binder of free hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the iron-rich protein in red blood cells which allows them to transport oxygen into cells.

    Aging red blood cells break and spill their hemoglobin into the bloodstream. Hemoglobin is toxic. Haptoglobin’s job is to collect spilled hemoglobin, and deliver it into the spleen for reinsertion into new red blood cells. This effect of zonulin is pretty new, so I’m not aware of any studies yet on the effects of this flood of wheat-caused haptoglobin. But it can’t be good. The body creates and maintains the proper concentration of haptoglobin. The addition of extra haptoglobin would have to add unwarranted binding of hemoglobin.

    Add one more factor. Hemoglobin gets its toxic properties from the iron it carries. The liver monitors iron overload in the blood by becoming inflamed. The inflammation causes the liver to release hepcidin, a transport blocking enzyme. The small intestine lining normally transports iron from food into the blood the same way it transports all nutrients. The lining cells use ferroportin to absorb iron from the intestinal lumen, and deposit it into the bloodstream. Hepcidin from the liver blocks ferroportin, and blocks the absorption and transport of iron into the blood. This is how the body guards against iron overload.

    When wheat causes intestinal porosity, the porosity allows iron to bypass the body’s system of iron regulation. Iron from food, especially from wheat, can flood into the bloodstream in uncontrollably toxic levels. This iron inflames the liver, causing it to release more iron-blocking hepcidin. Cells all over the body use iron to regulate the flow and use of oxygen for metabolism. Unfortunately these cells use ferroportin, the same iron transporter which intestinal cells use. The liver’s iron blocker blocks cells all over the body from absorbing iron, and severely inhibits the proper metabolism and disposal of oxygen.

    Celtic people from Ireland have been studied for their increased genetic susceptibility to celiac disease, an autoimmune attack against the small intestine caused by wheat ingestion. It has been discovered that these same celts tend to have a high genetic predisposition to hemochromatosis …..iron overload. It is theorized that people who are not genetically selected for wheat ingestion retain and store higher levels of iron than people who are selected. Placed in a wheat-consuming culture these people tend to over-absorb iron. Since the permeability issue in celiac patients is the same permeability issue in metabolic and other autoimmune patients, one must conclude that the same iron mechanisms at work in celiac patients are at work in all autoimmune and metabolic disease patients.

    I think poor iron activity is responsible for many of the symptoms associated with wheat ingestion. Wheat eaters are at a severe stamina disadvantage. You find them wheezing under the smallest of strains. Wheat eaters are also swollen and inflamed from toxic iron overload. It’s unfortunate, given the extra iron wheat eaters constantly flush through their systems, that they are incapable of placing it to good use.

    • Hi, Uncle–

      I am guilty of not having discussed lectins sufficiently in the book, but I agree that they are yet another component of wheat with profound health implications.

      Is there any end to the bad stuff we can uncover in this thing?

      • Uncle Roscoe

        Hi, Dr. Davis-

        >Is there any end to the bad stuff we can uncover in this thing?<

        "No" is the obvious answer ….which points out that you could write 100 books and still not cover the evils of wheat ingestion.

        Thanks. You're making significant headway!

        • Thanks, Uncle!

          I suspect you are correct. I could write 100 books, we could carry on many fascinating discussions, but we still will face a USDA Food Plate dominated by wheat, organizations like the American Dietetic Association sticking to their whole grain message.

          This is why this remains a grassroots effort for those of us seeking real-world solutions, and not the distilled nonsense from “official” purveyors of health and nutrition information.

  6. Boundless

    On the conspiracy front, one thing I do expect to see happen is that the wheat industry will seek some sort of legal liability protection. They already get some under the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004, which requires “wheat” to be specifically identified on packaging (and see later for what “wheat” is). Getting a Surgeon General’s Warning would give the industry the same on-going protection that the tobacco industry gets, but liability for pre-warning harm is an issue.

    If it isn’t already in some enacted omnibus law package, beware of wording slipping into legislation reading something like: “Food producers are hereby indemnified for harm caused by ingredients listed per FDA guidelines effective as of the date of manufacture.” Courts might not sustain it, but expect the industry to lobby for it.

    Speaking of the FDA …

    The FDA has lately re-opened the “gluten-free” topic for comments. They want to make the 20ppm threshold official. There are valid arguments for setting it lower, but testing for that may be impractical. Interestingly, it’s not just about wheat, either: “… to mean that the food does not contain any of the following: An ingredient that is any species of the grains wheat, rye, barley, or a crossbred hybrid of these grains (all noted grains are collectively referred to as “prohibited grains”) …”

    “Prohibited grains” – that’s a startling phrase.

    Q: What is considered “wheat” for purposes of section 201(qq)?

    A: The term “wheat” in section 201(qq) means any species in the genus Triticum. Thus, for the purposes of section 201(qq), wheat would include grains such as common wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), durum wheat (Triticum durum Desf.), club wheat (Triticum compactum Host.), spelt (Triticum spelta L.), semolina (Triticum durum Desf.), Einkorn (Triticum monococcum L. subsp. monococcum ), emmer (Triticum turgidum L. subsp. dicoccon (Schrank) Thell.), kamut (Triticum polonicum L.), and triticale ( x Triticosecale ssp. Wittm.).

  7. Dr. Davis,
    We would love to have you as a guest on ‘The Mothership Connection’ radio show on AM 1050 WLIP in Kenosha, WI. We are on Sunday evenings from 8-Midnight, and have been on since March of 2008. We talk about all kinds of topics, but health issues have been especially relevant lately. We’d love your input and also be able to plug your book, website, blog, etc. My number is 312-692-9915, FYI. Email dobiemaxwell@aol.com. Thanks.

  8. john carragher

    we are getting pressure from friends that strongly suggest we juice wheat grass. i cannot find any literature on wheat grass other than promotional articles for it. Everything you read on “wheat grass” is positive. Could dr davis please post his recommendation. most say no gluten in wheat grass. i am trying to talk my friend out of juicing wheat grass as it is wheat……..

  9. > The FDA is waiting for the horse to leave the barn.
    > They will then call a press conference to brag about closing the door.

    Well, this week the slumbering FDA woke up and noticed that the transfat horse was still at large.
    They have now closed that particular door, and not necessarily for sound reasons. They still think saturated fats are as “bad” as transfats, and they seem to have no clue about what the real problem is with LDL cholesterol.

    Consequently, product formulators may eliminate the TFs, but odds are high that they’ll replace them with something even less healthy (highly processed Omega 6 seed oils, I’d bet). The readership here, of course, is not likely to have been eating any products that had TFs.

    Anyway, transfats are officially no longer GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe).

    Clearly, it will be years before the FDA discovers that grass isn’t GRAS either.