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.

This entry was posted in Autism, Cancer, Gliadin, Leptin resistance. Bookmark the permalink.

126 Responses to Nails in the coffin

  1. Uncle Roscoe says:

    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.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      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 says:

        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.

  2. Uncle Roscoe says:

    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.

  3. Boundless says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

        Great on your response, Tanya!

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

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  8. Randa says:

    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 says:

      Hi, Randa–

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

  9. Annette says:

    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.

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  12. Kristi says:

    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.

    Thanks,

    Kristi

    • Dr. Davis says:

      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.

  13. Kristi says:

    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.

    Thanks,
    Kristi

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  15. J. Berg says:

    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.

  16. Mazarine says:

    Dear Dr. Davis,

    Did you see that new york times article, talking about how if a mother has celiac disease, is supposedly making a child 350% more likely to be autistic?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/26/opinion/sunday/immune-disorders-and-autism.html

    Just thought the autism epidemic might be linked to wheat. Wouldn’t that be horrible?

    Mazarine

    • Dr. Davis says:

      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.

  17. Jill says:

    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?

  18. Bettye says:

    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 says:

      > 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?

  19. Frank - Spring,Texas says:

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

  20. Annika says:

    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!

    Annika

    • Dr. Davis says:

      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!