Nails in the coffin

There are several of what I call “nails in the coffin” for wheat.

These are potential issues related to wheat that are so bad that, if any one of them prove true, then once and for all it will be goodbye to wheat’s image as saviour of health, protector of weight, darling of “official” agencies.

Among these nails in the coffin:

Gliadin as a cause of autism–We’ve all heard that autism has increased considerably over the past two decades, now affecting 1% of all children, and nobody knows why. Autistic kids have difficulty engaging in relationships and making friends with other kids, and usually have to be placed in special educational tracks to accommodate their unique needs.

We know that celiac disease can masquerade as autism, generating the full spectrum of the disorder. We also know that mothers with rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases and families with type 1 diabetes have increased likelihood of autistic children. We also know that autistic kids have an exaggerated reaction to wheat gliadin/gluten, along with increased likelihood of antibodies against gliadin. And wheat consumption has been associated with decreased fertility, suggesting an effect on the fetus and/or the uterine environment.

Can in utero exposure to wheat gliadin underlie the neurological changes that lead to autism in the newborn? If this relationship holds true, the lifelong implications for the child are so overwhelming that it can only mean that wheat has no role in the diet of any female contemplating pregnancy .

Wheat lectin as cause of leptin resistance–There is well-founded speculation that the lectin of wheat, wheat germ agglutinin, may be the instigator of leptin resistance. Leptin resistance is reflected by the paradoxic increase in leptin blood levels seen in overweight people. While increased leptin is supposed to turn off appetite and induce satiety, overweight and obese people have high levels of leptin despite their weight. This has been attributed to the condition of leptin resistance, the failure to respond to circulating leptin.

This group of investigators has speculated that lectins are perfectly crafted to be the trigger for leptin resistance. If true, it means that wheat consumption = weight gain via leptin resistance. It means that, in addition to the amylopectin A-induced straight-up rise in blood sugar/insulin and the appetite-stimulating effects of gliadin, wheat consumption = obesity.

Wheat lectins as a cause of gastrointestinal cancer–Could Steve Jobs, who died of pancreatic cancer, have actually died of long-term exposure to the lectins of wheat?

Think about it: People who eliminate wheat experience marked and often total relief from acid reflux, cramps and diarrhea of irritable bowel syndrome, improvement (and occasional cure) of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. There are marked shifts in bowel bacteria and changes in pancreatic function with wheat elimination. If the irritative and inflammatory effects of wheat consumption on the gastrointestinal tract are so marked, and the effects of removal so dramatic, is it much of a leap to believe that the chronic inflammation and irritation caused by wheat could, over time, also lead to cancer?

After all, a major cause of cancer (“oncogenesis” or “tumorigenesis”) is long-term, repetitive irritation and/or inflammation. The prolonged inflammation and irritation of ulcerative colitis, for instance, can result in colon cancer. People with celiac disease have increased risk for cancer of the small bowel, colon, biliary tract, and other gastrointestinal cancers. If we view celiac disease as just one end of the spectrum of wheat-related gastrointestinal irritation, then these conditions like acid reflux and irritable bowel syndrome that we might view as “celiac disease lite” may also heighten risk.

The Wheat Lobby and its friends in high places at the USDA, the U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services, and other “official” providers of nutritional advice all agree: Replace white processed flour with whole grains, and incidence of cancer is reduced. That is indeed true. But the effects of NO grains is what is in question.

My prediction: “Healthy whole grains” will prove to be the #1 most substantial cause of gastrointestinal cancers from mouth to anus (oral, esophageal, gastric, small intestine, colon, rectal, pancreatic, biliary) and thereby the #1 most preventable cause of gastrointestinal cancers.

Any one or all of these questions, if they hold true, will add a nail in the coffin for this incredibly corrupt invader of diet. The era of “healthy whole grains” will join bleeding with leeches and burning witches at the stake as crimes of incredible gullibility and folly.

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. JanetDarbey

    On my facebook I am asking friends and contacts to give up wheat for just two weeks instead of making the usual New Year resolutions to stick to a diet that does not work. I found a huge difference in just three was almost two years later that I was finally diagnosed with celiac disease. I feel so much better on a grain free diet!

  2. Heather

    What I find fascinating right now is these commercials that have these supplements that are supposed to reduce inflammation. Really? Why not figure out what is causing the problem to begin with? Why are your joints and ligaments inflamed? Could it be that it was SOMETHING you ATE?! I was once told that any “adverse” reaction to a substance was an “allergic” reaction even if it did not include hives, obstructed airway, or vomiting. Seems to me that inflammation is an “adverse” reaction to some thing. And being its internal — it would have to get in there some how — um, likely by eating it.

    As far as autism – I have seen children behaving normally until vaccines were administered. Could it be that the vaccines along with the adverse effects of the wheat finally overload the brain? I no longer vaccinate due to complications (thankfully not autism – but could be just as bad.) — of which I was utterly ignored by the pediatrician we saw — and thankfully have a doctor now that understands my concerns about them.

    • Kaylana Miller

      Hi Heather,
      We, too, don’t vaccinate. Yeah for healthy happy children!
      Regarding the inflammation issue, have you looked into how estrogen causes inflammation. I’ve recently learned that wheat prevents estrogen from being properly eliminated from the body. It then recycles back into the body building up and leading to estrogen dominance.
      Look it up. Interesting research out there!

      • Anne

        My brother had a bad reaction to the MMR vaccine, gave him a pretty bad fever etc. he is autistic. BUT- he was “off” before that point. Didn’t act like the other siblings as infants. Made zero eye contact, even using things like rattles and moving them close to your face didn’t work. My mother said if he was her first infant, she may have blamed the vaccine and not noticed the odd behavior prior to it (It was a few years before the Wakefield “study” came out). But he was #4 and she noticed from the get go he wasn’t anything like the rest of us.

        I really wish she’d request a wheat free diet for him though, at least to test it out. Anxiety is horrible in autism, I know he’d still be autistic, but a happier, less anxious, more mellow autistic would be great. I noticed a big shift in my own anxiety, and would be willing to put money on seeing some improvement in his too. I don’t feel horrible like I used too- and I don’t have to worry about the mile long list of side effects if I were on pharmaceuticals.

        • AllisonK

          We cut grains out of my son’s diet, and within a week we were having conversations with him. Something that had never happened before. Even now, if we have a day or two of him eating normally(like going to visit family) he goes back to his old self.

          • Anne

            Thank you so much for your reply. I keep telling my mother about my own improvements, and quote the book quite often, hoping she will at least consider it an option. (I’ve read her the part pertaining to the study of schizophrenic patients in WB. Another condition that is in our family.)

            It still shocks me how much this diet has affected my mood and well being for the better. I’ve also cut all grains. Did you feel the elimination of corn, and rice in addition to wheat makes that much more of a difference in your son?

  3. phil

    Steve Jobs, while dropped out at Reed College was famous for eating lots and lots of Roman Meal Cereal. It was 50 cents a box back then.

    • I guess we can follow the train of breadcrumbs, Phil!

      While tragic regardless of cause, if his cancer was due to something entirely avoidable, then that would be especially tragic.

  4. Mike

    From a realistic standpoint, there is no way Dr. Davis’ wheat-free program will succeed in the mainstream. Opposition from various fronts is far too overwhelming. The economic consequences if the majority of people give up wheat are staggering. The best that I and other wheat-free people can hope for is that we believers in a wheat-free lifestyle will form a small but dedicated “fraternity” relishing our improved health.

    • AllisonK

      The natural supply and demand cycles will fill any economic holes eventually. No demand for wheat? Farmers will turn to other crops or pasture animals instead.
      If the government steps out of the way and stops reimbursing wheat crops the farmers will grow what the market demands, and the government can stop trying to shove all this wheat down our throats.

          • Heather

            I have hope that someday this message will become main stream. Until then, I am happy to be a living example of being healthier without grain! I will tell anyone who will listen to me.

    • Boundless

      The U.S. Surgeon General warned everyone off tobacco in 1964. In 2011, the USDA is still running a price support program for that killer crop. Some things can take a long time.
      for additional pessimism, and on the other hand, why word-of-mouth propagation may be just what is needed.

      This situation is unprecedented. We have no mental model for it, outside science fiction. How quickly cultural awareness will rise is entirely unpredictable.

    • Anne

      I would think it won’t be the norm because people don’t -want- to give it up. When there is a will to feel better and healthier there is a way, you just make it happen. The people I see complain about the cost, it’s usually an excuse to keep doing the same things that got them sick and nothing more. (these are people buying $4-5 loafs of bread, $6 boxes of cereal, $12 cases of granola bars)There are exceptions. if you need a food bank, or other service yes, you are limited to what they can provide to you, and the food is anything but healthy.

      Unsure of food prices in the US, but in Canada my diet is far cheaper then the wheat filled alternative. I see how much people spend on the pre-packaged grain foods. Yes, The upstart can be a bit more, but the real savings comes as soon as the appetite suppression kicks in, and you notice the savings elsewhere (not buying pain pills, medicated shampoo, skin treatments. – long term, not having prescriptions, or dental work from poor diet)

      When I was on a tight/strapped budget I’d buy a lot of sales items. Watch the flyers and figure out my meals from the best priced meats and vegetables. If something legal was really on sale, I’d stock up as much as possible. Things like iceburg, ground beef or pork, were usually on my list. and I only used cheese to compliment meals (I’d buy on sale, and use coupons when possible for dairy.). I worked a lot, so meals normally took a pan, and under a half hour to make.

      I think there will be enough of us that the industry will have to respond. I foresee gluten free restaurants with real food on the menu popping up more and more in the coming years. :)

    • Agreed, Mike. Though I hate to say it.

      In the meantime, I believe most, if not all, of us are convinced that not only is wheat not healthy, it is among the most destructive things you can put in your body. But it is also highly profitable and careers and companies have been built by it. It means that they will fight, scratch, yell, and file lawsuits to slow the process down. It is, by the way, not stoppable, only something they can slow.

  5. Jana

    I get so frustrated trying to find good dietary advice for pregnancy. I’m pregnant with my 2nd child and you are told flat out that not eating “healthy whole grains” will harm your unborn child, possibly giving them disabilities or miscarrying. I hate that they use such fear tactics in dietary advice for women who are on a roller coaster of emotions due to their fluctuating hormones. I really wish there was a good website out there that gave good advice on eating during pregnancy. I’ve found a few that give brief mention but no dedicated site to women who are pregnant or just had a child and are breastfeeding. Any sources I could use?

    • Heather

      I don’ t know of any sources that are going to tell you to not eat “whole grains”. I do know this — if I had a choice to go back to my very first pregnancy 21 years ago and do “healthy eating” all over again you can bet your bottom dollar I would have been wheat free for years. I would have likely done “Paleo” lifestyle even then especially considering how I feel now – energetic, sleeping better and just generally feeling physically better altogether. Google “Paleo diet” and am sure you will find some blogs and such of other young mothers that have their children off of wheat and grains in general.

    • AllisonK

      I can offer my own experience. Pregnancy 1: Bread and pasta was my main staple, sick all the time. Our son has autism, which may or may not be related to my diet, but I’m sure it is (especially after some added info from Dr Davis blog above).
      Pregnancy 2: Wheat/grain free. Barely sick at all. Our daughter is the poster child of healthy babies. If we had her first I would have noticed problems with my son right away.
      All pregnancies and women are different, but after my experience I’ve come to the conclusion that morning(all day) sickness is my body’s way of getting rid of toxic grains harmful to my baby.

      • What we need, Allison, is a randomized trial: Half the moms eat wheat, the other half don’t, then observe if there is a difference in autism incidence. It would require thousands of mothers participating, due to the 1% incidence.

        Impractical and perhaps never to be performed during our lifetimes. So we need to look for these “smoking gun” type associations.

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    • Rose

      I have noticed Paleolithic diet websites such as Mark Sisson’s, Paleodietlifestyle have information on pregnancy and breastfeeding while grain free.

    • Jen

      Have you heard of the Brewer Diet? I followed it in my last two pregnancies.
      It’s highly recommended, though I don’t think that many ob/gyn’s have heard of it. I have to say I have never had anyone tell me the things you have been told. I have had to cut down on carbs in my last two pregnancies (before cutting out wheat) because it would cause sever reflux. Everyone shrugged their shoulders and said that I could get all the nutrients I need from veggies.

    • PJ

      My first thought about whether or not I should or should not eat grains would be this: how to I feel when I eat grains and would I want my baby feeling this? Secondly, how in the world did billions of mothers give birth to billions of healthy babies for thousands of years without eating “whole healthy grains”? How could NOT eating grains give your child disabilities when we know that children and adults who eat them develop all types of disabilities? I think Weston Price would certainly have something to say on this subject!

  6. Uncle Roscoe

    I think you hit the nail on the head with your assertion that wheat’s amylopectin A is a “straight-up” cause of leptin resistance. Research leaves little doubt that wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) causes insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. You said WGA’s pathway leads through the same leptin resistance. I think that pathway mostly leads through fat gain and associated cytokine release. Another pathway is more direct. Research shows WGA to have the same direct influence on cell walls as the concavalin A lectin in legumes. It directly causes cellular insulin resistance.

    Either way, we agree. Eat wheat and become type 2 diabetic. How fast? It depends on the person.

    • You now, Uncle Roscoe, it’s like we’re discussing a pathogen, something that afflicts our bodies and fills it with infection/metabolic distortion/tumor-creating responses, etc.

      But we are discussing the darling of the food industry and “official” diet advice, wheat. Truly incredible.

  7. Uncle Roscoe

    People who merely get type 2 diabetes can be considered lucky. Hallucinations, the hallmarks of schizophrenia, are directly attributable to wheat gliadin and gluten-facilitated proteins.

    Psychiatry can observe and documents schizophrenic hallucinations because they occur in people who’s brains matured sanely. Schizophrenics have a basis in normal perception and operation. Departures from this basis define the observations perceived as hallucinations. But what about people who don’t mature sanely? People who never establish a basis in normal perception and operation have no basis for perceiving that hallucinations represent a departure from normal perception. Even if they did they would have no communication skills to express this departure. We call these people autistic.

    Even if autistic people had communication skills, they couldn’t relate to other people enough to care about communicating with them. Autism is to children what schizophrenia is to adults. And wheat is to autism what wheat is to schizophrenia.

    Different vested interests prefer pointing fingers at genetics, disease and chemical pollutants. Yes, autism and schizophrenia have genetic components. All wheat damage has genetic components. And yes, autism and schizophrenia can have disease and pollution components. But I’m convinced, in the large majority of cases the damage would not happen without wheat.

    ……Same with the myth that some gluten intolerance can “mimic” multiple sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis IS gluten intolerance.

    • Hear, hear, Uncle Roscoe.

      Add dementia to the list, too. With what other common food do we discuss the possibility that it causes paranoid delusions, behavioral disorders, distortions of brain chemistry and structure, and even dementia? 20% of human calories?!

      It is truly an astounding situation that has resulted.

      • Mike

        As a child I exhibited clear signs of Asperger’s syndrome. At the breakfast table the smell of bread toasting would sometimes nearly make me gag. I now suspect it was my body’s way of telling me to avoid eating the bread. I was also a physically stunted child and my parents tried to fatten me up by feeding me – you guessed it – bread. It didn’t work. At night I was so anxious I could hardly sleep – I would lie awake half the night semi-hallucinating, and when I did sleep I had apocalyptic nightmares.

        Even as an adult I had never slept well, that was until I gave up eating wheat roughly one month ago. Now I sleep pretty much perfectly every night, and my anxiety has almost disappeared. I am convinced that wheat was the issue. I just wish I had realised it many years ago because my life might well have turned out quite differently.

        Back in 2000 I became highly paranoid and suffered (for the first time) an acute psychotic episode for which I required medical intervention. Although I had been in a highly anxious and stressed state, in the 24 hours leading up to the ‘episode’ the only thing I had eaten was two slices of (wheat) toast. Makes you wonder.

          • Mike

            When I had the psychotic episode they just said I had a dopamine imbalance and put me on medication. I don’t remember anybody ever asking me what foods I had eaten prior, so I guess it was taken to be irrelevant. I suppose back then too I assumed like most other people probably still do assume, that wheat must be safe since over three quarters of the planet is regularly eating it. I don’t reliably get any digestive type symptoms when I eat wheat and I no longer gag at the smell of toast. In fact I can quite enjoy eating wheat products.

            ‘Wheat Belly’ was the first book I had read that indicated there could be other adverse effects from eating wheat other than just celiac disease. When I stopped eating wheat and I noticed how much better I sleep at night and how less anxious I feel during the day I realised that clearly there is something in wheat that my body or brain is reacting badly to. Did it cause my psychosis all those years ago? Perhaps not. But I would not be surprised if it played some part – perhaps tipping me over the edge. And when I was in the day hospital back then, under psychiatric observation, they offered me and encouraged me to eat lots of – wait for it – sandwiches! LOL

          • Very interesting, Mike.

            I suspect there are thousands of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest kinds of stories of incarceration, hospitalization, medication, all to treat exaggerations of neurological predispositions to wheat.

            We can only imagine the toll this has taken. I’m glad you have escaped its clutches!

  8. Rose

    Dr. Davis You seem to have the courage to say the things I think and to back it up with relevant research. If it was Thanksgiving, I would give thanks for you! Oh heck, I’ll do it anyway – Thank heavens for Dr. Davis.

      • Pam

        I know this may seem weird, but what about eggs? Lately all the cartons say “vegetarian fed” “whole grains.” Besides raising chickens and letting them eat proteins as bugs, worms do their eggs get affected by the wheat they eat and in turn we eat the eggs/chicken? Just asking

        • The “free range” designation, when true (and not just a little door in the end of the warehouse) generally modifies a number of nutrients, including increased linolenic acid, reduced linoleic acid, as well as increased vitamin A, among other differences.

  9. amine

    i try to refer this blog this blog to as many people as possible. The health benefits of being grain free are unbelievable. I think fruits are also a problem since they are loaded with Sugar. Any opinion on fruits my friends?

    • Pam

      I stay away from fruit just because of the carb load. I will eat 4-5 raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries on some plain greek yogurt.

  10. Monica

    I have the same question as susan
    Does wheat germ oil contain the same negative properties as wheat itself?

  11. Uncle Roscoe

    Dr. Davis, Interesting cancer/wheat discussion also. Please allow me to add some internet insight.

    In 1931 Otto Warburg won a Nobel prize for his discovery that cancer feeds itself only by fermenting sugar. Because Warburg’s discovery happened in the context of Nazi Germany, Warburg’s discovery was largely forgotten. However, recent discoveries have vindicated Warburg.

    First, cell research pinpointed a critical chemical reaction which is required for cancer fermentation. Pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2) leaves its normal tetramer (four part) configuration and forms dimers (two parts). Tetrameric PKM2 directs cells to make energy. Dimeric PKM2 directs cells to make tissue. Cells responsible for making tissue can direct this transformation. However, when blood glucose concentration becomes elevated cells perform this transformation spontaneously.

    Elevated blood glucose is the hallmark of type 2 diabetes.

    Recently European researchers confirmed a strong association between cancer and type 2 diabetes in the overall population using a massive meta study. See the above discussions for how wheat causes type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance and elevated blood sugar.

    Other researchers discovered a pathway capable of feeding transformed cells in a way conducive to creating mutated tissue instead of normal tissue. Picture the insulin resistant cell of a type 2 diabetic. Blood glucose is high, but the cell is incapable of importing any of the glucose. Such a cell is capable of feeding on glutamine. Glutamine is a very simple sugar/protein hybrid molecule. Cells can import glutamine without using insulin. Cells normally use glutamine in exertion mode. Glutamine is not a good fuel for a cell in resting mode because glutamine redirects the cell’s energy cycle in a way which causes mutation …..”glutaminolysis”.

    Tissue transglutaminase (tTG) is a catalyst, but it is also a structural protein. tTG secures glutamine to form the extracellular matrix around cells. Essentially, together tTG, glutamine and cells make up soft tissue. So we have this cell starved by wheat-caused insulin resistance. What else does the wheat do? It sends proteins which attack tissue transglutaminase (tTG), causing it to release its glutamine. The glutamine becomes free for the starving cell to import. Inside the cell the corrupted glutamine cycle combines with PKM2 dimers to create mutations and cancer.

    • Uncle Roscoe

      Oops. I should complete the Warburg tie-in.

      The cellular dimeric PKM2 pathway produces tissue through fermentation. The cancer mutations which result from the above process incorporate dimeric PKM2 fermentation and tissue creation into their new operations. Cell mutations which are able to feed on increased blood sugar survive, while mutations which cannot just die.

      The new cancerous cells do not need insulin to feed on the vast supply of blood sugar in their diabetic hosts. Cancer gains a better source of food than the surrounding tissue.

      • What if we found out, Uncle Roscoe, that something like 50% of all gastrointestinal cancers come from following conventional advice to “eat more healthy whole grains.” Not only will they have added to the diabetes and obesity epidemic, but may be responsible for untold suffering from GI cancers.

        We need more data on this question, but I predict that it won’t be pretty.

        • Uncle Roscoe

          Dr. Davis, The link between wheat and gastrointestinal cancer is a throw-down. The medical establishment is already convinced that celiac disease is caused by wheat ingestion. They were drug there kicking and screaming by the fact that celiac disease happens in the small intestine, where wheat gets digested. After losing this much ground the medical establishment is determined not to lose any more. The standard for linking any ……ANY other of the diseases we are discussing requires that we prove that it is caused by celiac disease.

          And gastrointestinal disease is caused by celiac disease ……hands down.

          I provided the pathway from wheat ingestion to all cancers.

        • Uncle Roscoe

          Oops. Make that “gastrointestinal cancer is caused by celiac disease.”

          The reason why brave doctors like yourself, willing to stick your necks out for the cause of truth, only claim 50% of gastrointestinal cancers are caused by wheat ingestion? I figure that’s about the turnover point in the “hands down” relationship where gastrointestinal cancer stops being directly related to celiac disease, and starts being related to gluten sensitivity diseases like GRD, Crohn’s, IBS, diverticulitis…..

          Prostate cancer is such a different type of cancer from other cancers, I wonder if its pathway is related to wheat in the digestive tract. Oooooo …..must erase picture …..pinch …..burn …..bite ……better now.

          • I suspect that you are absolutely correct.

            The trick is in proving it. It will require many years and tens of thousands of people to be tracked, since we would be looking at cancer incidence and not treatment of established cancers. And imagine trying to craft the wheat-free versus the “untreated” group.

            I keep on wondering if there is a way to prove this concept without a $30 million, 10-year long study in thousands. Is there a database that somehow includes a non-celiac, wheat-free cohort?

  12. juliette

    was wondering if the old varieties of wheat(which contain very little gluten) are to be abolished as well? When did wheat become “the” crop , when did only a few varieties start to be planted? Thank for answering :-)

  13. Joyce

    This is what giving up gluten has done for me:

    No more acid reflux
    No more arthritis symptoms
    No more exhaustion
    Less depression
    No more brain fog
    No more toe neuropathy
    No more carpal tunnel syndrome

    Sounds like a snake-oil miracle cure, but all the above is true.

    I might add that i can’t even eat large amounts of quinoa or other gluten free grains (except for chia and flax – they never bother me) any more, or some symptoms will come back. Dr. Davis, your book really nailed it!

    • Hi, Joyce–

      That’s excellent!

      I wish I could tell you that I’m a genius, but it’s just about having witnessed these effects over and over and over again.

      If you observe many people eliminate wheat and observe consistent health benefits, you can’t help but come to similar conclusions.

    • Lori Binder

      I am so curious about the effect on your carpel tunnel syndrome. I am 3 weeks being wheat free, gluten free, low carbs, no, sugar and no starch. I just had a visit with the surgeon for a pre-op discussion and am on the list for surgery (may take a year). I wear a brace at night otherwise I wake up in horrible pain. I am going to try and sleep without it on the weekend. How soon did you notice a difference?


    • Hi, Joyce–

      We’re in the discussion stage over a cookbook. I’ve just had a change of editors, so the new editor is getting acquainted with the Wheat Belly message!

  14. Sandra

    Just ordered the book in Bangalore (from Flipkart) . Will take 14-21 days before it reaches. Trying to lose my belly and increase energy levels. Looking forward to the book.

  15. Fiona Reynolds

    As a school psychologist dealing with students with Autism and their parents, everything you’ve said makes me cringe. Autism is a much more complex disorder for which the cause has NOT been empirically established- if anything, there are multiple plausible explanations. You may have cherry picked research to sell your book, but the impact this has on parents of students with Autism is devastating. Parents deny their kids immunizations, wheat, dairy, sugar…. and want desperately to “cure” their students. Guess what, though? Their students are still served through special education with direct social skills training and make slow, natural progress that way.

    Also, its’ incredibly disrespectful to say “autistic.” Person first, disorder second. “People with autism.”

    Going to go enjoy a nice piece of toast now.

    • Boundless

      > As a school psychologist …

      Of curiosity, what percent of your workload is autism-related?

      > … dealing with students with Autism and their
      > parents, everything you’ve said makes me cringe.

      Which “everything”? The book? This blog?
      Just this article? (which is clearly identified as a “what if”)

      > Autism is a much more complex disorder for which
      > the cause has NOT been empirically established-
      > if anything, there are multiple plausible explanations.

      So the simple and nutritionally harmless experiment of trying a grain-free low-carb diet should not even be tried?

      >You may have cherry picked research to sell your book, …

      Can you cite some examples from the 295 footnotes in the book? I haven’t run them all to ground, and would be interested in any that evidence bias.

      > … but the impact this has on parents of students with Autism is devastating.

      Have you seen the testimonials from parents on this blog regarding behavioral changes with wheat removal?

      > Parents deny their kids immunizations, wheat,
      > dairy, sugar…. and want desperately to “cure” their students.

      What has been your anecdotal experience with parents that removed wheat? If you have evidence of disastrous outcomes, the readers here need to know.

      And oh by the way, is your school’s food program supportive of students who need or just want a grain-free low-carb diet?

      > Guess what, though? Their students are still served through
      > special education with direct social skills training and make
      > slow, natural progress that way.

      When I was in school, back at the outset of the genetic malpractice that lead to today’s technowheat, we didn’t HAVE school psychologists. Autism is up. Kids haven’t changed. So what has? We need to find the cause, and not consign ourselves to resigned counseling.

      > Going to go enjoy a nice piece of toast now.

      Contemplate the possibility that instead, the toast is going to enjoy you. You are aware that due to the exorphins in technowheat, wheat eaters may have a textbook DSM-IV 304.90 dependency?

      • FR

        I’m sorry to have triggered such a defense! Indeed Special Education has not always been a perfect system, and is very flawed in many ways still. As you said yourself, “Autism is up” and so in turn, school psychologists and social skills teachers are in a higher demand, working with more and more students with Autism.

        My concern here is not for wheat itself or a student’s right to eat wheat, but for those who are desperately pouring time and money to “cure” Autism with simplistic means when it is clearly a more complex problem. Gluten and casein free students with Autism I’ve known have not shown any improvements at all, despite parents hoping and looking for changes while spending money on expensive alternatives (often difficult to afford). Most students with Autism that I’ve known are quite picky eaters, and it is hard to get them to have a varied diet when people start removing daily and gluten, etc. It’s awful to see people misled by those who are looking to gain financially, only to be repeatedly disappointed with the results. I think it is a difficult thing to come to terms with a child’s disability, particularly one so mysterious. Who wouldn’t want a simple fix or prevention? Unfortunately, I’ve never seen it work. Disastrous results? Not so much, but very sad after a family has tried so many. Especially for the kid who can’t have cupcakes with the class on his friend’s birthday :)

        It’s certainly not an issue with just wheat- I’ve heard of several bizarre “anecdotes” to the disorder, and parents that have tried them all to no avail. They’re an easy market, and I feel bad for that. It’s sad to watch, particularly coming from the point of an overworked public employee who does not charge parents a fee for services that are evidence- based.
        In my district, we have wheat- free classrooms for those who require it, and would never force feed a student wheat if their parent wished for their child not to consume it. We’re respectful of dietary needs. I’m not sure what “resigned counseling” is, but generally these do receive inclusion- based social skills training as well as a social skills class to learn social behaviors that are not intuitive to them. We see progress from year to year on specific goals we set for them. Sensory issues are also accommodated for. It’s not perfect, and it’s a long, difficult process.
        Some individuals in general probably digest different foods better than others, and I myself have certainly tried different kinds of dietary choices to see how they effect my overall health, etc. Claiming that the contents of a book I wrote can stop a mental health disorder from occurring or progressing? No- that’s playing a little dirty.

        I only saw this comment thread because my husband left it up on my laptop, and couldn’t but roll my eyes- partially because wheat- free is his newest health fad, and partially because this not the first claim I’ve seen by a non- expert that they have special insight into a disorder that currently has no cure. I’m not trying to offend the People’s Republic of Wheat-Free Diets as much as pointing out the thoughtlessness/insensitivity of such claims.

        • Uncle Roscoe

          So lemme get this straight. A doctor sees the same improvements in patient after patient after they follow a single treatment regime, wheat elimination. The improvements are born out both by pathway science and by population studies. So this doctor writes a book connecting the dots so that other people can benefit. And to you this is “playing a little dirty”.

          My thought after reading the first half of your throttled rant was to ask why you would even visit a site expressing a view you disagree with so much. But you answered the question with an afterthought. You’re here because ostensibly you happened to see it on your wheat-abstaining husband’s computer screen. As a longtime observer of human nature, please allow me to speculate on two deeper causes for your presence, and for your polite negativity.

          1. You are a bureaucrat responsible for treating children with learning disorders. Your future success depends on having a constant supply of children with learning disorders. You are in the business of treatment. You are not in the business of curing. A cure represents a threat.

          I urge you and beg you. Open your mind, and let this lead wherever it goes.

          2. As a wheat abstainer, your husband no longer participates with you in what I call the “mmmmm-fest”. You fix wheat opioid into first one, then another, tasty part of a social encounter. You and your husband taste the concoction, look in each other’s eyes and say “mmmmm” ……all in anticipation of reinforcing your buzz.

          I speak from experience. When I stopped eating wheat my wife and I realized that we had made the social aspects of eating wheat an extremely important part of our relationship. We changed that.

          It’s normal. Wheat opioid and the ritual of eating draw people together. These things may seem like an important part of your marriage, but they are not, especially compared to your husband’s health. Find out what your marriage is really based on.

          • FR

            You’re right. I should probably stop eating wheat to save my marriage. It all makes sense now. You’ve uncovered the very basis of our entire relationship and the inherent evil that wheat- eating brings to the table. How can you establish a relationship based on mutual respect, trust and love while ingesting bread? Divorce is indeed on the rise- we may have another solution on our hands here.

            Since the only Special Education population I work with is Autism, I must admit I am desperately trying to raise the incidence of this because 1) public schools are over-funded and we educators need to justify our fat salaries and 2) Autism is incredibly easy to manage in a school setting. Since I’m in charge of these students’ diets and am not legally bound to research-based interventions, I should probably start recommending this book to people.

            I thank you for your input.

        • Boundless

          > I’m sorry to have triggered such a defense!

          My interest is in what you are trying to say, and what data you may have. Keep in mind that the second sentence of the base article here says: “… if any one of them prove true …”. No “claims” are being made here.

          > Gluten and casein free students with Autism I’ve
          > known have not shown any improvements at all …

          a. Gluten-free isn’t necessarily wheat-free , or free of the other worrying components of wheat. It’s also not necessarily grain-free, and is rarely low-carb if the parents are just buying “GF” tagged products.
          b. Don’t confound the remove-wheat-and-all-its-works message with other food restrictions.

          Of the “gluten free” cases you’ve seen, how many were also grain-free and low carb, and in how many of them do you have high confidence that the parents understood how to avoid wheat components from all sources? Were the children mature enough to be able to avoid encounters with these substances outside the home? What period of time was observed, and with what outcomes?

          > It’s awful to see people misled by those who are looking to gain financially …

          Which is not this site. There’s nothing for sale here but the book, and it’s aimed at adults. Based on the results with Dr. Davis’ own [adult] patients, speculation about the implications for children is unavoidable. Something caused the rise in autism over the last half century. It needs to be isolated and undone. The rise in counseling correlates, but is probably not the culprit :).

          And you still haven’t made your case for “cherry picking”. Cites please.

        • Pam H

          My daughter is highly autistic. or, as they say, “low functioning”. She is non-verbal.

          I, like you, poo-pooed the concept of gluten free diets for autistic people, figuring it was an attempt to make more money in an already well financed attempt for yet another “diet” or solution. I am an engineer-highly capable, and high on scientific process.

          However, I have found that most school officials do NOT have the same abilities as medical doctors, OR engineers… :)

          Have I put my daughter on a gluten free diet? Not completely, not yet. And that is because I am trying to figure out how to replace certain food items in her “diet”, because life is tough enough for her. However, I notice, when eating a meal high on glutens, intestinal problems increase. I have noted, that our lunch program, in its infinite wisdom, has INCREASED its wheat products by almost double, justifying their “whole wheat” as a healthier choice. They have even replaced corn meal on corn dogs with a wheat based product. This, from a meal program that last year, had combinations of foods that could result in 7000 mg of sodium in one meal alone.

          So-if gluten free helps a person, albeit not you, because perhaps you are in the select group of people who are not sensitive, who are you to insult their choices? I have a heart problem, have been told that it is incurable, and really would like to extend my life a bit, so that I can be around for my daughter if for no other reason. Gluten free has reduced my chest pains, reduced my arthritis pains, minimized intestinal issues, given me more energy, and overall, I feel better. Is my problem cured? No. in fact, my C reactive proteins are higher than they have ever been. (at least test results). So a friend, who had gone gluten free, but reverted back at Christmas, told me that it must be the gluten free diet. My reaction was, no, it was the stress-so I am still gluten free.

          Science vs. black magic- If we went back in time, and pulled out an IPOD 100 years ago, we would be labeled as witches. Dr. Davis says, “try it, see if it works”. NIH has recognized that some people have gluten sensitivity that is not testable. If it works, even if only through a placebo affect, (which is a valid method of medicine by the way, along the lines of Heal thyself), why do you belittle the process? But, in reality, this is NOT a placebo affect, and if it is observable through medical facilities which do not yet understand “the why”, then why not give it a try? If your child were autistic, and struggling in a world in order to toilet train, or talk, or function in a highly stimulatable environment, wouldn’t YOU try just about anything if you really cared about that child?

      • MJ

        Unfortunately, it’s also the loss of the kids she “treats.” When my son was in Special Ed, I ran into several of these so-called experts who were mired in the cement shoes of their own outdated beliefs.

  16. Boundless

    Dr. Davis: “Replace white processed flour with whole grains, and incidence of cancer is reduced.”

    How do the wheaties explain this?
    What is their imagined mechanism for cancer reduction?

    “Hey. If I turn this dial from 100 to 95, cancer goes down by 5%”.
    Cool. What happens at 0 ?
    “Why would I do that?”

  17. Uncle Roscoe

    Hi Dr. Davis,
    More pathway science, this time via evolution. As humans started eating grain, it challenged the human genome so greatly that survival of the species required another mutation.

    Primitive mammals and early hominids used a blood-based enzyme to mitigate reactive hypoglycemia caused by ingestion of carbohydrates. The enzyme is DPPIV. DPPIV works slowly, and breaks down blood insulin by deamidating it. Ingestion of simple sugars can cause such a fast rise in blood sugar that the pancreas must assume the blood is receiving a large quantity of sugar. The combination causes reactive hypoglycemia, a rapid drop in blood sugar. DPPIV in the blood mitigates this drop, and returns blood sugar to normal.

    However, eating grains provided a new challenge to this system. Grassy grain proteins are virtually impossible for carnivores like humans to digest. So humans started employing DPPIV in the small intestine in order to digest grains.

    DPPIV digests wheat gluten slowly in the small intestine through deamidation. But here’s the kicker. The dual rolls of DPPIV represent flawed therapy against the damage caused by wheat. Given time and age people start reacting to wheat with zonulin and intestinal permeability. The permeability reaction arrests the digestive action of DPPIV. The permeable gut wall places undigested gluten and other intestinal contents into the bloodstream

    Along with these contents a large amount of DPPIV goes into the bloodstream. In the bloodstream the influx of wheat sugars cause the pancreas to release insulin. The prehistoric amount of DPPIV would probably be adequate for mopping up the wheat sugars.

    But blood sugar is not the only cause of insulin release. Endorphin also causes insulin release. Wheat gluten contains a large load of endorphin-mimetic opioid proteins. These proteins cause an uncontrollably sustained flood of insulin. The wheat-caused influx of extra DPPIV into the bloodstream is required in order to maintain life under these conditions.

    • I didn’t know that, Uncle Roscoe!

      An interesting twist, the endorphin-insulin connection.

      By the way, I am planning to further explore many of these lesser known connections in wheat via clinical research. While there are reams of data that prove beyond any remaining doubt that modern wheat has no role in the human diet, it will take repeated validation to convince most people. It’s coming.

      • Uncle Roscoe

        Dr. Davis,

        Your new research promises excitement. This leaves me wishing I lived in your neighborhood.

        The pancreas monitors blood endorphin in order to monitor fight-or-flight level catabolism. The pancreas releases insulin, and re-invokes anabolism before muscles can permanently damage themselves.

  18. Uncle Roscoe

    My post above contains a couple of technical errors. Here’s a replacement. Mods may release my previous post at will.

    Hi Dr. Davis,
    More pathway science, this time via evolution. As humans started eating grain, it challenged the human genome so greatly that survival of the species required another mutation.

    Primitive mammals and early hominids used a blood-based enzyme to mitigate reactive hypoglycemia caused by ingestion of carbohydrates. The enzyme is DPPIV. DPPIV works slowly, and breaks down blood insulin by deamidating it. Ingestion of simple sugars can cause such a fast rise in blood sugar that the pancreas must assume the blood is receiving a large quantity of sugar. The pancreas responds by releasing lots of insulin. The insulin causes reactive hypoglycemia, a rapid drop in blood sugar. DPPIV in the blood mitigates this drop, and returns blood sugar to normal.

    However, eating grains provided a new challenge to this system. Grassy grain proteins are virtually impossible for carnivores like humans to digest. So humans started employing DPPIV in the small intestine in order to digest grains.

    DPPIV digests wheat gluten slowly in the small intestine through deamidation. But here’s the kicker. The dual rolls of DPPIV represent flawed therapy against the damage caused by wheat. Given time and age people start reacting to wheat with zonulin and intestinal permeability. The permeability reaction arrests the digestive action of DPPIV. The permeable gut wall places undigested gluten and other intestinal contents into the bloodstream

    Along with these contents a large amount of DPPIV goes into the bloodstream. In the bloodstream the influx of wheat sugars cause the pancreas to release insulin. The prehistoric concentration of blood DPPIV would probably be adequate for mopping up the insulin caused by wheat sugars.

    But blood sugar is not the only cause of insulin release. Endorphin also causes insulin release. Wheat gluten contains a large load of endorphin-mimetic opioid proteins. These proteins cause an uncontrollably sustained flood of insulin. The wheat-caused influx of extra DPPIV into the bloodstream is required in order to maintain life under these conditions.

  19. Boundless

    Wheat is still a contender for cause or aggravator of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

    A team that thought they had isolated the cause (XMRV, a virus) has just had their paper formally retracted from Science, and they are being pressured to concur with that move.

    • Tanya

      That is very interesting! I have been diagnosed by my family MD with fibromyalgia/CFS. I am on reduced work hours due to overwhelming fatigue, but since modifying my diet I have much improved! At this time last year I kept having to take sick leaves from work & I am actually surprised and grateful that I was not laid off due to those! I am still not 100% but at least I can work 5-hour shifts without going home early. I’ve read the XMRV theory but didn’t know it was discounted. What else can you tell me about this?

      • Dr. Davis

        Great on your response, Tanya!

        Sorry, but I don’t know what the “XMRV theory” is. Can you elaborate?

  20. Randa

    Hi Dr. Davis,

    What you’ve written here is in line with what Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride wrote in her book called “Gut and Psychology Syndrome,” which was borne out of her own son’s autism diagnosis (which she reversed… he is now cured). That is a fascinating read, and I would recommend it for anyone who needs to know more about this important subject.

    Thanks for all you do!

    • Dr. Davis

      Hi, Randa–

      Yes, I am impressed that many of us are coming to similar conclusions from a variety of different perspectives.

  21. Annette

    Just came out today that Utah has the highest rate of Autism 1 in 47. Not shocked by this as they are huge eaters of bread and things made with wheat. Every get together I been to has breads and lots of it And desserts made with flour not so much of the fresh fruit or veggies. So after reading some of your book and some of this blog. It makes total sense to me. I did a test and ate 6 paper thin whole wheat crackers after not eating for at least a week and I felt crappy.

  22. Kristi

    Dr. Davis,

    Do you have any opinion on whether you think stool testing for antibodies is reliable in diagnosing gluten intolerances? My son has eosinophilic esophagitis and ever since taking him off wheat his symptoms have been almost gone. His conventional gastroenterologist though has recommended him being off many more foods too for now, so we are in that add-back food trial process also. We ordered stool testing on both my son and daughter through Enterolab, and both results showed IGA Antibodies to gliadin and anti-tissue transglutiminase, which they said means they both are having an immune response to gluten. Our gastroenterologist said stool testing means nothing to him and that those tests are not something they use. My daughter’s blood celiac screening panel came back normal though. My son never had one because the “gold standard” biopsy of the small intestine came back fine. What is your opinion on the accuracy of stool testing to determine gluten issues? Enterolab explains that stool testing can pick up antibodies quicker since it’s taking them right from what’s in the digestional tract, but it takes longer for them to build up in the blood enough to show up as elevated on blood tests.



    • Dr. Davis

      Hi, Kristi–

      Enterlabs has been in the forefront of testing for wheat intolerance, but their technologies have been released faster than their clinical validation. So we have these “abnormal” tests without full benefit of full exploration of how they compare to other tests like biopsies.

      However, your gastroenterologist is guilty of thinking that all wheat intolerance is celiac . . . or else you are not intolerant. This is among the biggest blunders made.

      My view: Your son is better. That’s all the proof you need. Educate your son that wheat was harming him in countless ways. Never eat it again and tell your gastroenterologists to read his own literature rather than seeing everything from the end of his scope.

  23. Kristi

    Dr. Davis,

    Thanks for your reply! I agree-seeing first hand results is what’s most important. If we add back all the other allergenic foods and his esophagitis does not return, then we know we’re left with that is was just the wheat. We are saving wheat for last and do not even plan on adding it back at all unless one of the other foods would show to be the cause first. I think it’s wheat, but his scope after being off of wheat for 3 mos. still showed elevated eosinophils so they said it could not just be wheat. Our chiropractor/allergist told us though that it could take longer than 3 mos. for the body to heal and the allergic reaction to be gone once going off wheat, so I’m hoping that is the case.


  24. J. Berg

    It’s all about the health of the gut; giving up wheat and “gluten-free” products isn’t enough. In the 1950s a doctor developed the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) to help his patients who were having serious intestinal/digestive problems. I urge everyone to take five minutes to Google SCD. This diet was seen as the “cure” to Celiac Disease, until the medical community decided Celiac Disease was a gluten allergy. The SCD was “forgotten” until another another scientist took up the cause years later. The book Breaking the Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall explains the science behind the SCD and why it works; the past 50+ years of case studies have proven it works. More recently, another doctor in the UK uncovered the link between the gut and the health of the brain and used the SCD as a base to develop a special diet to help children with autism, ADHD, as well as adults and children with Leaky Gut Syndrome, schizophrenia, depression, and other psychological disorders. The book is called Gut and Psychology Syndrome and the diet is called GAPS. These books/diets saved my life and my story is a common one. As I aged, my food sensitivities increased and I began to eliminate foods in the hopes to be healthy. The initial well-being I felt made me think I was being healed. I gave up gluten …. then a few years later, dairy, soy, sugar,…. then potatoes and corn … then bananas… and so on. I was down to fish, chicken, olive oil, coconut oil, organic fruits and vegetables and herbal tea. Everything was homemade from scratch. My health continued to deteriorate. No one ate healthier than I did — fresh veggie juices, no junk food EVER…. but my body was not digesting these foods and it was dying. As well as the strange symptoms (neurological, circulatory, auto-immune, etc.) I was dropping more and more weight (I was thin to begin with) and soon even organic fruits and vegetables were starting to cause me pain. I was down to 5 foods and could see the writing on the wall — soon I’d be down to no foods. Reading the GAPS book made me realize that I needed to heal my gut first. That all the healthy veggies and fruits I was eating were irritating and further damaging my damaged intestines. The first few weeks on the GAPS/SCD (they are very similar) and I was already feeling better and starting to gain weight. I’ve been able to reintroduce some foods — slowly — and I continue to heal. These books pointed out that there are many things causing our guts to be damaged, and wheat is only one of them. The gut needs to be healed through diet and repopulating the gut with healthy bacteria. I urge everyone to look into these.

    • Dr. Davis

      I have long suspected this to be true, Mazarine.

      It is simply too consistent with what we already know about modern semi-dwarf wheat and its relationship to multiple inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

  25. Jill

    I was just watching a you tube video of a seminar you did and had to watch it AGAIN to try to comprehend what you have discovered. I have a question, is it just the “clearfield” wheat or all wheats? I have access to locally grown organic wheat, not sure yet what (strain?) it is but if it’s NOT clearfield would you consider that a safe alternative?

  26. We have autistic patients, children, that have been helped with NRT and gluten free diet. However the remedies in testing call for brain support and proDHA from Nordic Naturals for sleep and calmness and managing anxiety. Sometimes their heart is taxed from all that and cardiac food support is allowed. We find these kind of children inevitably cheat or try to cheat and then toxins form with all the emotional overload from their anxiety and require support for the immune challenges.

    • Boundless

      > We have autistic patients, children, that have been helped with NRT and gluten free diet. However…

      However, gluten free rarely means low carb, and doesn’t imply high fat at all (which may be what they need). What else are they eating?

  27. Frank - Spring,Texas

    Dr.Davis !
    Suprised there is no mention of the possible effect that a Wheat Free Lifstyle would have on kids who are ADHD.

  28. Annika

    Dr. Davis: Have been interested in your information as well as just having ordered the book. I am a diabetic, with autoimmune problems, ranging from thyroid, to arthritis, and have been gluten free for 2 years. Our son with Autism has been gluten free for 20 years. Just wondering why you do not recommend the gluten free products like the flours. They still have problems?
    We have no one in the family like our son, but I was addicted to carbs. Have lost over 49 pounds and am healthier, and look totally different. I have wondered if wheat was the trigger for our son’s Autism. When we removed it he did so much better. Thank you!


    • Dr. Davis

      Well, Annika, gluten-free products made with rice flour, cornstarch, tapioca starch, and potato starch are AWFUL!

      The very high blood sugars that result after their consumption are exceptionally unhealthy. That is why you see the recipes in the Wheat Belly book and on this blog do not use them, but use almond meal, coconut flour, ground golden flaxseed, etc. that do NOT raise blood sugar. Remember: High blood sugar is a very fundamental issue that leads to cataracts, arthritis, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and cancer. Yes, conventional gluten-free products cause dementia and cancer!

  29. Boundless

    This was just brought to my attention.
    Starving Cancer: Ketogenic Diet a Key to Recovery
    It’s not about wheat, however, and in fact says: “It involves cutting out carbohydrates, beginning with the worst carb of all – sugar.”

    The key points that are apt to gain public traction:
    >Although it wasn’t easy, Hatfield stopped eating carbohydrates, which turn into glucose inside your body. Cancer cells love glucose and need it so badly, that if you stop giving it to them, they die.

    All cells, including cancer cells, are fueled by glucose. But if you deprive them of glucose, they switch to the alternate fuel, ketone bodies.

    Except cancer cells. A defect prevents them from making the switch to using ketone bodies as fuel and therefore, cancer cells can only survive on glucose. All other cells can use either glucose or ketone bodies.”

    Notice that they don’t call it a “cure”. Ketogenic metabolism doesn’t cure cancer – glycemic metabolism CAUSES it. The advocates for the keto approach need to be contacted, and brought up to date on the real worst carb and inflamation agent: wheat.

      • Boundless

        This cancer situation is jaw-dropping in its scope and implications. Here we have the story of a person with an apparent stage 4 cancer, given 3 months to live by multiple physicians, yet made a complete recovery just just by changing diet … and reported by CBN, not as an isolated supernatural event, but as the simple exploit of a long-known fact about cancer biology.

        As one of the links puts it:
        “This book (The Biology of Cancer, Robert A. Weinberg) needs a chapter on the Warburg effect and a comprehensive review of Cancer Metabolism. It is interesting that students are taught that tumors can be imaged because cancer cell metabolism is profoundly altered, but little effort is given to explain the nature of the metabolic dysfunction. As discussed in previous posts, it’s strange that oncologists exploit this Warburg effect to image tumors, but they don’t use this information to kill the tumor.”

        Even if not all cancers are glucose brittle, it sounds like keto is easily worth a try in every case. Of course, it means that years spent in study towards an oncology specialty were largely a waste of time, and that the cure is not some advanced expensive drug/treatment, but a cheap change in diet. So why isn’t this a headline on every newsstand publication?

        Many citizens support massive public expenditures on finding cures for our modern plagues.
        “Sure, I’ll go door to door for the ADA, and sign up for the race for the cure”, they say.
        But I confidently predict that when they are told:
        “These are entirely optional diseases. All you need to do is ditch the carbs, starting with wheat, which is worse than just a carb.”,
        they’ll say:
        “Oh, I could never give up my bagels.”

  30. Adam

    Well its well known cancer is fuelled by sugar, hence wheat would fuel it.
    Also, sugars fuel fungus, which release mycotoxins, some of which are some of the most carcinogenic substances known to man, like Aflatoxin.
    Makes sense that a persistent fungal infection could be flooding your body with cancer causing waste products and suppressing the immune system.

  31. Pippa

    Hello Dr Davis
    Over the Christmas period I was diganosed with breast cancer. Since losing 11 kg’s from the WheatBelly diet, my breasts had shrunk in size. I am absolutely positive that this enabled me to see in the mirror that my right breast had formed an unusal shape which I’d not noticed before losing the weight (I was actually raising my arms above my head to see how much skinner I could look!!). Anyway, the offshoot has been that a 1.2cm cancerous tumour was detected and I was operated on just after Christmas. I am, according to my breast surgeon, “right at the positive end of the sprectrum” and “only” need radiotherapy and Tamoxifen for 5 years to prevent the cancer from returning.
    I am convinced that if I hadn’t been on the diet and lost that amount of weight, I would not have noticed the cancer until much later.
    I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your marvellous insights and expertise and the diet you’ve devised.

    • Dr. Davis

      Wow, Pippa: What an extraordinary story! I’m glad it turned out well.

      And be absolutely, positively, 100% sure that you correct your vitamin D blood level. The data are clear: The likelihood of remission is markedly enhanced with normalization of vitamin D. I aim for 70 ng/ml (180 nmol/L), a level that generally requires around 6000 units in gelcap form. I would rank vitamin D as #2 behind wheat elimination as powerful anticancer strategies.

        • Pippa

          Can I confirm – the Vitamin D I am currently taking is Cenovis Bone Health Vitamin D3 (1000IU) – one tablet per day – is this sufficient?

        • Ali

          Hi. Make sure you are getting enough vitamin K2. There is new research coming out that indicates K2 is necessary for proper metabolism of vitamin D and calcium among other things. K2 in food is found only in pastured meat, eggs and dairy, and in fermented foods like natto, kefir and sauerkraut, etc. As pastured food is so rare these days, and the Western diet does not include much, if any fermented food, people are very deficient in this element. It is believed to be the ‘Activator X’ that Weston Price discovered in raw pastured butter and which proved to be so healing.

          I take vitamin D3 with K2. You cannot overdose on it. As long as you are taking enough to trigger all the processes it controls, any extra will apparently be eliminated. It’s a good element to research.

    • Boundless

      > … and “only” need radiotherapy and Tamoxifen for 5 years to prevent the cancer from returning.
      Be sure to google: “ketogenic diet cancer therapy”
      and keep an eye on developments.

      The conjecture is that cancer cells are glucose brittle, and cannot survive on ketone bodies (whereas normal cells do fine in ketosis). The Wheat Belly dietary recommendations are consistent with a ketogenic diet, if you keep the carb intake low. Be sure to work with an oncologist who is comfortable with the concept that human diet has much more influence on health than might have been implied by their 4 semester hours on nutrition in med school.

  32. On a Mission

    Hello Dr. Davis…
    I believe 100% that the lectins in wheat can cause gastric cancer. I lost my husband last month from complications from gastric cancer. I believe he should have never eaten it his entire life. But like all the rest of us we were dupped into believing wheat…especially whole grains were good for us. He put two and two together a few years ago before this was all exposed. Our son bought us a book for our bathroom called “What Your Poo is Telling You.” He figured it out in the “soft serve” chapter. I believe the damage was already done. Yes, I also agree with you that it is inflammatory from mouth to anus and anywhere in between. I am on a mission to tell young and old alike to steer clear from this poison. I tell them to “gift” themselves two weeks out of their lives to see what changes they experience. I gave it up just to be able to cook easier for the both of body looks and feels totally different. I have ZERO gas. My GI tract thanks me. I’m just sorry this information wasn’t out there years ago. I can tell a wheat consumer a mile a way…they are “puffy.” Also…a probiotic and naturally fermented vegetables are an absolute must for the health of the gut. No sugar and no grain in this body. I have been eating coconut oil for over 10 years…amazing oil…anti-bac, anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-parasitic…and the gut and thyroid love it. I thank you for your book and I hope it will save someone from going through what my husband went through. For those of you struggling…keep up the fight. Give your body time to come back into balance…I look forward to hearing you speak locally in the near future as I’m in the area. Regards…

    • Dr. Davis

      Hi, Mission–

      I am truly sorry that you had to hear about these ideas after losing your husband. Your experience is a reminder of how grave these issues can be if not recognized.

      I agree: You can pick out most wheat-eaters by their look of puffiness, the edema, inflammation, and weariness that this awful, awful thing exerts. Please feel free to share your crusade with us, as we are all trying to accomplish the same.

  33. Anna Williams

    As far as the comparison goes between wheat and other archaic medicine practices… Well, at least there benefits to a leech bath.

  34. Northern Ontario

    Hello Dr. Davis;

    I have been through many blood tests and have had requests by my doctors to take certain anti inflammatory and steroid type drugs in the past 5 years to try and fix this hair loss issue in my beard and constant puffiness and athletes foot. I did a food type experiment last year with myself. It was strange, I kept noticing puffiness in my feet and my hands almost to the point where it was uncomfortable to stand at work and or bend my fingers. My athletes foot, which I thought was from wearing workboots was unbearable and painful. Embarrassed to expose my feet, and very sore to walk in sandals and especially in the mornings right after getting out of bed. Tinactin only masked the pain for so long. My joint pain was just ridiculous. I am now 36 and this has been going on for at least 6 years. Last year I finally had enough with how certain foods were making me feel. Tuna gave me heart burn, beef and chicken made me sick, Dairy of any sort made me keel over in pain and I started noticing that bread and certain beers would just blow me right up. Hands felt huge, almost to the point where I couldn’t see my veins anymore. Picture Barney Rubbles hands. It is hilarious in a sarcastic sense that my doctors could not find anything wrong in 6 years. My wife and I had enough of my complaining…. We stumbled upon Forks Over Knives and Engine 2 and your book. We then cut out all meet, dairy and because wheat made me feel so huge I also cut that out. I lost 36lbs in 4 mo’s. I have a hard time with sugar and I still use it in my coffee in the morning. I use cane sugar but I’m sure it still has an effect on my weight. I’ve introduced eggs and fish back into my diet on occasion. I only eat fresh water non farmed fish and eggs have to be from a local farmer. It’s been a year and a bit now and I have experimented with Ezekiel and whole rye bread. To no avail, I still puff out! My beer choices have changed to only containing rice, so budweiser and expensive organic rice beers are my only relax choices. Dominican Republic was a challenge. I have spent numerous amounts of money on natural doctors and health food remedies with no success. Not until I found your book, the Engine 2 book, Forks Over Knives and removed other foods from my diet. No more puffiness, no more stomach issues, no more headaches, snoring has decreased but I still have a weakness for sugar. I am down to 230 lbs and need to lose alot more since i’m only 5’7″. I have to thank you for your book it has helped me….I used to follow Dr. MacDougall for advice but the bread push is a bit too much. I don’t get that about his site… Anyways….My long winded post was to thank you for your insight and a great read. If you have any suggestions for sugar it would be greatly appreciated….Now for another 30+ lbs. Thanks again!!!!


  35. Cameron

    I’m not being sceptic just scientific. About autism and cancer are big clams, but it dosnt sound unreasonable. Is there any scientific evidence for this or research being done at the moment…’s all very interesting.


    • Boundless

      > About autism and cancer are big claims …

      Well, I just finished reading:
      Cancer as a Metabolic Disease: On the Origin, Management, and Prevention of Cancer
      by Thomas Seyfried
      ISBN-10: 0470584920
      ISBN-13: 978-0470584927

      Dr. (Phd.) Seyfried makes a convincing case that cancer-as-a-genetic disease researchers are digging in the wrong place. He lays out the biochemistry for cancer as a disease that results from respiratory distress in the mitochodria. He also has a credible explanation for metastasis (which the gene researchers don’t, really). I did learn that cancer cells need to be deprived of both glucose and glutamine. Limiting blood concentrations of glucose is much easier than glutamine.

      He ends up recommending that cancer sufferers consider KD-R (Ketogenic Diet, Restricted) before blasting themselves with rad and chemo. Early KD-R results (all rogue patients and rogue doctors) are promising. There are almost no real well-controlled studies of KD therapy (outside of epilepsy), because there is limited opportunity for profitable patent-protected drugs here, and putting people on an Eskimo diet for a few months is so, umm, “difficult” and “dangerous”, don’t you know. He also thinks that some new drugs targeting cancer metabolism might be useful in mop-up – making sure the cancer is 100% gone.

      Seyfried, and the KD-R (aka RKD) therapy community, and the keto communities at large don’t seem to be aware of the peculiar hazards of any amount of wheat or fructose in the allowed carb load. I was able all too easily to find “keto approved” recipes with these toxins. I wonder if the KD would have to be quite so R absent these inflammatory agents.

      Meanwhile, the book also concludes that being on a keto diet is likely to be highly preventative.