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.