Whistleblowers wanted

So something happened to wheat in the 1970s during the efforts to generate a high-yield strain that required less fertilizer to make a 24-inch, rather than a 48-inch, stalk. Multiple other changes occurred, including changes in the structure of gluten, changes in wheat germ agglutinin, changes in alpha amylase (responsible for wheat allergy) . . . to name a few.

But chief among the changes in wheat were changes in the gliadin protein molecule. We know, for instance, that the Glia-alpha 9 sequence, absent from traditional wheat, can be found in virtually all modern wheat. This is likely the explanation underlying the four-fold increase in celiac disease over the past 50 years, since Glia-alpha 9 predictably triggers the immune reaction that leads to the intestinal destruction characteristic of celiac disease.

But modern wheat also stimulates appetite . . . not a little, but a lot. The introduction of modern high-yield, semi-dwarf wheat was accompanied by an abrupt increase in calorie consumption of 440 calories per day, 365 days per year. This is because modern gliadin in wheat is an opiate. But this opiate doesn’t cause a “high” like heroine; it causes appetite stimulation.

Big Food companies, commanding tens of billions (not millions, but billions, or 1000 millions) of dollars of revenues per year, employ some very smart food scientists. Among their many responsibilities, food scientists are charged with observing the eating behavior of humans who eat their products, often conducting taste tests and trials to observe eating behavior. (Anyone read Brian Wansink’s Mindless Eating? Great stories of food experiments with human subjects.) Surely food scientists noticed that, somewhere around 1985, appetite was enormously triggered by consumption of crackers, breads, pretzels, bagels and the multitude of other test products made of wheat making entry into the marketplace. After all, the business of food scientists is to observe eating behavior.

So why didn’t they sound the alarm? Why didn’t we hear food scientists declare “We think there’s something wrong in some of the new foods we are creating. Specifically, it appears that foods created from the new high-yield strains of wheat are triggering appetite substantially”?

Perhaps they couldn’t, being employed by Big Food companies with a need to maintain proprietary inside information. Or, perhaps they said something like “Shhhhhh! Don’t tell anybody! Let’s just put it in . . . everything!” How else can we explain the fact that, in the 1970s, wheat was only in primary wheat-based foods like breads, cookies, and cakes, but now wheat is in everything: It’s in canned and instant soups, salad dressings, licorice, granola and candy bars, virtually all fast food . . . you name it, wheat’s there. (Remember: Big Tobacco did precisely this kind of thing when they used to dope their cigarettes with higher nicotine content to increase addictive potential. As with many things wheat, tobacco showed us in how many ways big corporations can bend products and issues to their own agenda, your health be damned.)

Unfortunately, this is just my speculation, given the incredible and difficult-to-explain ubiquity of wheat. So I’m hoping to identify a whistleblower, someone from inside the walls of Big Food, preferably back in the 1980s when this phenomenon got underway. If you have such insights, please post a comment here, anonymously if you prefer.

In other words, it would be priceless to be able to prove that, not only did food scientists in Big Food know about the appetite-stimulating effects of modern wheat, they used this knowledge to increase revenues.

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. Jennifer Johnston

    I’m not a conspiracy theorist by nature… but I strongly believe that what you suspect, Dr. D, is EXACTLY what happened and continues to happen.

  2. jeffrey ward

    I was told that in Canada 90% of the wheat crop is a traditional non GMO hard red spring wheat. Is the research that is in wheat belly USA specific? How does the wheat grown in Canada differ if at all? Does the wheat from Canada stay in Canada for the most part or does it get exported to other places?


    Jeff Ward

    • Lou Groff

      I farmed in Canada from 1957 to 1979 including a stint on a research station and do not remember the change happening in wheat that is being suggested, nor any related discussion. So I can’t confirm what really happened. Until the evidence is in I think we need to keep an open mind as to what really happened.

      • Dr. Davis

        That’s because your experienced predates the introduction of semi-dwarf wheat.

        To see the evidence of 24-inch tall semi-dwarf wheat, Lou, drive into the countryside. It’s right there.

        It grows right down the street in my neighborhood.

  3. ThatWriterChick

    I’d also love to hear from any of the scientists who worked in the labs where the strains of wheat were altered and altered again over the years to create Frankenwheat. Did they discuss any potential ill effects on human health they might be purposely (or unwittingly) creating with each alteration they made?

    • Kath

      I expect that the effects on human health will have been an unwitting byproduct of pursuing disease resistance, increased yield, better keeping qualities of the grain etc. All of those factors would logically give more food for an increasing population to eat. The (mores subtle and longer term emergent) side effects on human health are hard to predict and only become evident over time in the more susceptible members of a large population. THe whole population become the test subjects. Unfortunate, but often true!

  4. Karla

    Dr Davis,
    I’ve been tracking and following your discovery since last fall when you gave a brilliant explanation (on the 700 Club) of the GMO wheat we are all eating now. Or at least WERE eating! Listen, people…just try it! Give it up for 2-3 weeks and then return to eating it again. You will have your answer!

    • Walking Tall

      There is not a Gun made by man, or a Steriod-Freak Moster Big enough, that could make me eat Genetic Modified Wheat!

      Each day, I see people I love, and people I do not know, chunk this crap down, like it is Manna From Heaven–not knowing it is a man-altered entity, from the pitts of Hell!

      It is leagle, cheap, and the smell alone can entice anyone, anywhere no matter if rich, poor, educated or willfuly dumb as a brick.

      If more people are informed, pressures will mount, and some of The Powers That be, must come forward, if not to blow the whistle, but, to be held accountable . . . .

      This Franken Food almost destroyed me–and was taking my future away, with ill health–and a side order of anxiety and severe depression . . . .

      Bet I will fight like hell–as I will not be silent! I tell all I can, point them to the Dr.’s Book . . . and this site!

      Gotta win, one at a time . . . . and that will add up . . .

      Not looking for a top-down Govt. solution–as it takes an irate minority, from the bottom, up, to effect positive change . . .

      Do not give up, Dr Davis . . .

      Walking Tall

      • Dr. Davis

        Thanks, Walking!

        I truly look forward to your heartfelt and insightful thoughts. Keep them coming!

  5. Dr. Davis: My son-in-law is on the Atkins diet, and had me take a tiny bite of his caramel-and-nuts Atkins bar. Delicious! Is this bar, sugar alcohols and all, acceptable for Wheat Belly dieters?

    • Shannon

      I’d have a Lara Bar instead, made from dates, nuts, a few spices, and occasionally veggies like carrots or fruit like coconut or unsweetened berries or pineapple. MUCH better than a bar filled with fake sugar, chemicals, genetically modified soy and other unpronounceable crap.

      • Shannon

        Feel I should add: I only eat these when eating real, fresh food is not an option or as an occasional snack. You’re always better going with unprocessed food when you can. Dr. Davis has some great recipes if you want to feed your sweet tooth. I like blueberries with coconut flakes when I need something sweet, or a banana with almond butter or a dark chocolate bar. MUCH better than a chemical bar.

  6. Johannah

    Everyone should read “The Oiling of America” by Mary Enig and Sally Fallon ( http://www.westonaprice.org/know-your-fats/the-oiling-of-america ) which gives a history about the demonization of healthy animal fats and the rise of vegetable oils. It is also about Mary’s struggles to expose the dangers of transfats to America. This will give you an idea about how hard a fight this will be to expose the truth about wheat.

    • Kaylana

      Excellent video!
      This presentation was the beginning of my journey away from hydrogenated products and all soy products. Sally has an excellent rebuttal for the USDA recommendations.
      Wheat was only the next logical item to be removed for me and my family.

      Dr. Davis, by the way, has anyone shared about how wheat removal has helped their children? I could share what it has meant to my 5 year old son who had concentration problems, stuttering, incontinence, etc. It is night and day! He can now do 2 reading lessons at a time AND remembers them the next day! His confidence level is so much higher now and my little boy is starting to emerge from his ‘fog’. It is a true delight as a parent. Thank you!

      Also, I have a few names of researchers that might interest you. Is there a way to email you?

    • mike

      Yep.I believe Mary was the first one to scream bloody murder about trans fats in 1978,and was promptly told to go soak her head.”Know your fats” is a must have book.

  7. AllisonK

    Did Big Food really use this information to increase revenues, or were they just creating products to meet consumer demand.

    • AllisonK

      And is flour just in everything because of it’s cheapness because of subsidies? It’s also a very versatile ingredient.

      • Kaylana

        My frustration in trying to help some families here (overseas) is that they are so poor they can’t afford to buy anything but wheat products. It’s SO disheartening.

        • AllisonK

          I have a friend who brags about how she can feed her family supper for 50 cents. (2 packs of ramen noodles). I used to do that too….
          And then she is baffled at her sons ADHD, anxiety and major eczema. I suggested trying wheat free, especially since all my skin problems went away, and for the first time ever, I could have a conversation with my autistic son. Despite all of my family’s wonderful results I was basically pushed away because she thinks they can’t afford it.(I think they’re also just too addicted). Sad. I want her and her kids to have the best future possible.

          • Dr. Davis

            Yes, very said, Allison.

            To be given what is likely to be a major solution, or at least improvement, with lifelong implications for her son’s health, but be too disinterested or addicted.

  8. Hello,

    Have you spoken to Bruce Bradley yet? He’s a whistleblower for the big food industry, not specifically focusing on wheat but perhaps he could be a good starting point. His blog can be found here: http://www.brucebradley.com/

    Thanks for what you’re doing. Ever since I cut way, way back on my wheat consumption and gone Primal in my diey (especially thanks to marksdailyapple.com), all my stomach problems are gone. Actually, this reminded me of a test I took a few years ago from Navigenics in which it showed that I had a higher then average sensitivity for a protein (I guess it was a protein) that impacted my stomach somehow. I should go and find that report back and let you know what it was exactly.

    • Dr. Davis

      Excellent idea, Kurt!

      I know about Bruce Bradley but hadn’t thought about approaching him for this question. Great suggestion!

      I’ll bet it was a gliadin antibody test.

  9. Vanessa S

    I’m new to your site – and you’ve just crushed me ;o) For 10 years I’ve been grinding my own Montana wheat to make fresh bread, etc. for my family of 6 children – after all it’s fairly inexpensive to make, tastes wonderful, more fiber, healthier, no preservatives like the store bought stuff. I can’t even eat “white” bread anymore it tastes so lacking in nutrients! BUT I’ve also felt that all the GMO foods are harmful because they’re not the way God intended them to be, lacking in nutrients and we can’t digest them… locally at Iowa State University they’re considering a way to put the flu vaccine in corn seeds so everyone is protected!!! I’m shocked people are thinking this is good. Sorry, I digressed . . .

    BUT, you’ve burst my bubble because it never dawned on me that the wheat I’ve been grinding is also altered – and the seeds I put in my garden, etc. Would you have to get heirloom seeds to get pure food? Are there any wheat berries, corn, etc. that aren’t altered?

    In looking for a whistle blower, it may help to be on WHORadio with Simon Conway – the station in heard all over the state, listen to by farmers (granted they’re mostly corn farmers – but corn has been altered too), and Simon has recently been diagnosed with celiac. I’ve posted about you on his FB page and hopefully the 2 of you can connect.

    • Dr. Davis

      Hi, Vanessa–

      Virtually all wheat has been changed, organic or not, regardless of method of grinding, addition of additives, etc.

      For additional conversation about the older forms of wheat, I would urge you to read the book.

      • Vanessa S

        So, Dr. Davis, I went to Wheat Montana’s website ( WheatMontana.com ) which is the grain I get in 50# bags. The video on the homepage states that they are organically grown and non-GMO. Is this not true in your estimation? And at some point the wheat was modified and still causes the adverse health effects you talk about? I’m just trying to figure out for sure if there really is ANY non-GMO foods anymore – including what you plant in your garden.
        Curiously, would cross-pollination be considered GMO? I use to work for a seed-corn company and there were “originators” whose identity was very secret that did just that. They would cross pollinate to create varieties of corn that would be more drought tolerant, or withstand more moisture in the soil, etc. Not to mention Round-Up Ready varieties . . .
        Thanks so much for your time!

        • Kim

          It’s a problem with a definition. Note they say their wheat is “non-GMO”, and read what Dr.Davis writes back to you, “Virtually all wheat has been changed…” You see the confusion with their advertising. Dr. Davis has never claimed wheat is Genetically Modified. He has written in his book a very thorough explanation of this and informed us that wheat has been ‘hybridized” – it has been cross-bred with other species of grass, and by doing this breeding – it has been changed or altered. It’s this changed wheat that no one tested to see if humans could even consume it without difficulties. (Or at least if they did they haven’t released their findings.) They just put it into our food system, and the rest is a mess.
          Watch for this in arguments and advertisements – to genetically modify a species is entirely different than crossing it with other species. They try to defend themselves by standing on the premise that wheat is not GMO. The insult to our intelligence is irritating. But the damage to our health is criminal.

          • Vanessa S

            Thanks, Kim!! That does make sense – and a good explanation. I haven’t been able to read the book yet, but I’m thinking that there are virtually NO foods that are “pure” as our Creator intended them to be. Maybe Heirloom seeds? It is very sad and disturbing what we have done to ourselves on the marble we call earth.

  10. Tyrannocaster

    Dr. Davis, you are articulating my exact thoughts. Ever since I discovered your book in October and then stopped eating wheat three days before Halloween I have experienced such a change in virtually all aspects of my life that it’s just incredible. I too find it impossible to believe that the commercial interests had no clue that the changes in wheat would produce the effects on humans that they do – there is simply too much money riding on the possibility of increased profits in a very competitive industry. Since publicly held corporations are under relentless pressure to increase quarterly profits or die (ever been to a shareholders’ meeting?) I think it is a no-brainer to assume that they have left no stone unturned, even if they throw the stones at the consumers.

    Suspicion is not proof, though. I suspect they have covered their tracks as well as they can. But people always screw up at some point; I think eventually you will find the whistleblower you are looking for, or at least some smoking gun material. I also think it is not paranoid to assume that this is the approach that the agribusness culture would have taken.

    Best of luck! You’re my hero.

    • Dr. Davis

      Thanks, Tyranno.

      Gotta try! It just fits too nicely. I cannot believe that this whole messy situation is just an incredible series of blunders.

  11. Lou Groff

    I did 6 months wheat free and low cholestrol (to please my cardioligist). 4 times a week for 15 minute I did brisk walks. I lost 25 pounds; had relief from acid reflux; significant reduction in joint pain; improved sleep patterns; improved energy levels; My blood tests showed reduction by a half of my tryglicerides and LDL.
    The last 2 months I have been on a eat everything in the house diet (which includes any remaining wheat products) I have gained 6 pounds; my acid reflux is beginning to return; and I now have significant joint pain again.
    So Its back to being wheat free. I what to loose another 20 lbs and hopefully get back to how I felt 2 months ago.

  12. Rachel

    Is this just stuff grown in the USA or is it the case in Europe too? I’m in England. My friend has given up gluten and found it’s made a huge difference, but she’s finding it’s in so many products and it’s hard to know whether things contain it or not.

    • Dr. Davis

      It’s a worldwide problem, Rachel, not just the U.S. or just the U.K.

      And wheat is in everything . . . on purpose. It’s an opiate, but one that does not induce a “high,” but induces appetite stimulation.

      Trigger your appetite, sell more products. Simple as that.

  13. Kacie

    With all the terrible things added in food today—such as corn starch, high fructose corn syrup and tapioca starch—I am sure that if they didn’t know what the effects were then, by now they have caught on.

    Without wheat in my life—to keep me riding the “Dinner Roll-er-choaster” I am able to pinpoint which foods are contaminated with appetite stimulators simply by how they make me feel right after I consume them. I no longer have a desire to put corn starch based bbq sauce on my chicken for that reason. And my appetite for candy is gone.

    I find it interesting that candy companies operate under the same corporate umbrella trying to sell us “healthy whole grains” which increase our appetite for things like… their candy!

    • Dr. Davis

      Plenty of inbreeding, Kacie, among the food and agribusiness industries, not to mention the USDA and FDA.

      Yes, the appetite-stimulating effect of these foods is quite perceptible once you’ve been enlightened.

  14. Thank you for being the Canary in the room! I was just having this discussion with a friend of mine comparing wheat to the tobacco suit. Wheat affects every human in the industrialized world.

  15. Stephanie

    I am continually gobsmacked at this new (to me) knowledge of the wheat from the 70’s. In the 70’s I was a tall, skinny kid who was healthy as a horse, by late 70’s my home life changed and my diet saw more processed/boxed foods. It was the early 1980’s when I hit puberty and by the mid 80’s I was showing signs of PCOS and gaining weight uncontrollably. We had no clue then! I probably still would not have had a clue were it not for my daughter’s leukemia diagnosis 2 years ago this week. That forced such stress on me that autoimmune issues blew up out of control. So a blessing in disguise I guess, plus this has helped her during her treatment tremendously. Her liver is MUCH happier now on a gluten free diet (something an organic, local, seasonal diet was not accomplishing) .

    • Dr. Davis

      Yes, the trends in industrial food, especially wheat, changed many lives, Stephanie.

      I know it changed mine for many years, years of misery, bowel urgency, struggling to focus, weight gain, diabetes . . . Good riddance!

  16. Jennifer Snow

    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity. It’s not so much that malice doesn’t exist, but you won’t make yourself crazy and paranoid if you don’t assume people are conspiring against you without proof.

  17. Shannon

    Maybe it’s just that I’m a jaded ex-journalist, but I’ve got to say I’m not really surprised by any of this. I would never expect a food company to be focused first and foremost on my health. They want to sell a product and make lots of money. Even putting the whole wheat thing aside, they have a terrible reputation. These are companies that market sugary cereals, fruit-flavored corn syrup “snacks,” and pre-made meals loaded with preservatives, soy and eight kinds of sugar as healthy family food options. Let’s be clear–they don’t give a flying fig about whether you’re healthy, so long as you buy their food. That’s why they push our buttons for advertising–they never say their box-o-junk meal is healthy, but rather it’s quick to prepare so you can have that picture-perfect family dinner moment with your family. Sugar cereals are fun, and look! You can raise money for your kid’s school by cutting out the little icon on the top of the box! And, we’ve added a toy and/or cartoon character on the box so your kid will scream for it while you get nasty looks from other shoppers and are forced to either put it in your cart or push a raving lunatic of a 2-year-old through the store! (Oh yeah, I’m a mom, too if you can’t tell.)

    And, again, this jaded ex-journalist who got to watch the sausage (bread?) being made in federal, state, and local government meetings certainly wouldn’t trust any government entity to step up and protect my health, either. Why should they care if I get cancer/diabetes/heart disease? They won’t have to pay for my care unless I live past 67. Anyone with a cursory knowledge of the DC lobbying culture and campaign finance should know better than believe the food pyramid was based solely on what our bodies need to be healthy.

    It’s shocking to see all this presented in one book like Wheat Belly, but what’s more surprising to me is how many smart, critical thinkers fall for the advertising in the first place. Yeah, they’re companies and they want to make money, not make you healthy. OF COURSE they want you to eat more of their food!

    I hope you can find a whistle-blower, but they’re very, very hard to find. Trust me, I know. You’ve got to find someone willing to rise up against the company/culture that supported them, go against the work they’ve done or supported, possibly violate legal agreements, open themselves up to liability, and be prepared to be attacked once the whistle is blown. It’s a really tall order. I’d suggest making as many friends as you can within the industry, or with other whistle-blowers. Keep popping up, being respectful and sympathetic, and maybe they’ll start to talk. And keep digging. I’d love to help you do that. It’s always fun to nail some corporate b@#$^&$& to the wall. Have you thought about teaming up with Gary Taubes? Your medical knowledge paired with his reporting skills would be pretty fearsome to behold. I almost think you’d do just as well to use the old journalist trick of “following the money.” No easy task, but I bet the results would be amazing. I’d love to help.

    • Dr. Davis

      Everything you say, Shannon, rings painfully true. And I agree that finding a whistleblower will be tough–but I’m confident it will happen.

      You seem to be articulate, knowledgeable, and have experience. If you’d like to contribute formally in some way, please let me know where your particular passion and expertise lie.

      • Shannon

        I would LOVE to contribute in a more formal way–I’ll send an e-mail to your media contact address. (I couldn’t find another one.) I was both a government and business reporter for small and large daily newspapers, and I’d love to take an in-depth and serious look at the money side of all this. It drives me crazy when people say things like, “But, the food pyramid says you have to have grains! Why would they say that if grains were bad?” Because EVERYTHING in Washington is seen through the lens of money. Every. damn. thing. Money from grains is good, science condemning grains is very sciency and hard to understand, the grain industry is very large and employs a lot of people….so grains are good!

        The other topic I’d like to rip wide open, for my own selfish reason as a parent, are programs that reward schools for parents feeding their children crappy food. Box Tops for Education, Campbell soup labels, Market Day, candy sales, all of it. I have a first grader and I’m constantly appalled at how the school BEGS me to feed him junk food so they can make money. I’ve seen a lot of media coverage of soda vending machines in schools, and complaints about cafeteria food, but I think these programs are far, FAR worse. If I don’t want my kid to eat or drink the junk they sell at school, I can easily avoid that (lunchbox plus empty pockets) and he’s not punished or ostracized for not participating. But be the mom who won’t buy food with Box Tops and you’ve got a crying 7-year-old saying he’s the reason his class lost the competition and his friends are mad at him. *&P^&$^YUGUJHI (head to keyboard)

        Stepping off soap box….As you can see, I obviously need a more constructive way to get all this out of my system. ;)

  18. Walking Tall

    Dr. Davis and Others.

    All I care about, is Truth, no matter the cost.

    There are some that are so entreched–and have become wealthy–and live the life-style Kings of Old–would never have dreamed . . . .

    Not that I want to get into a speal about the Nature of Human Nature, but, reguardless of one’s philosophy, on that subject, the lure of easy money–and The Powers That Be–are a position of influence, few have–and, once you have it, it is as addictive as any drug–perhaps more so, than even Geneitc Modified Wheat!

    As dismal as I think on Human Nature, I think that some one in the Powers That Be, elected, non-elected, or of massive wealth, will have a crisis of Conscience and come foward–as I know some ex-KGB did, during The Cold War.

    Dr. Davis has chosen to boink the bug eyes of a horrid beast and that beast will lash back, in some form or other–as many are entrenced in the Halls Of Power–have much to lose, if this knowlede becomes Main-Stream–and people find out that the Govt. and their ignorance is as much to blame–as people that have made a fortune, off thier Snake Oil solution to World Hunger–by offering Human Pesticide.

    Some Big-Wig will come forward–as He or She may have lost a loved one, to this Human Food Hoax, or they, them selves, may have been Genetic Modifed Wheat’s Victim.

    Walking Tall

  19. Autism Recovery

    Dr. Davis,
    I just found videos of you today, and I’m thrilled about your message. I want to find out if you are aware that autism is yet another chronic disease caused in part by wheat? My son was diagnosed with Asperger’s at age 2. He also had severe ADD symptoms. Last summer we started him on nutritional herbs and in September we started him on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). SCD is free of gluten, dairy, and starchy vegetables such as potatoes, corn, and some beans. Within 3 months of starting the diet, 70 to 80% of his autism symptoms had resolved. He was so much better that he was removed from the special ed program at his school. Now, 90 to 95% of his symptoms are gone. His ADD is under control, and he’s been off of ADD meds for almost a month.

    I have now met 4 other moms whose sons have recovered from varying degrees of autism by removing gluten and dairy, adding supplements, and detoxifying. Please pass along the news that autism can be treated. For more information, see autism.com.

    Thanks so much for getting out the word!

    PS Through the same diet, I have recovered from insulin resistance, thyroid problems, migraines, chronic muscle pain, and Celiac. Thank you for your great work! You are preventing so much needless suffering!

    • Dr. Davis

      Hi, Autism Recovery–

      Yes, I am aware and believe that the connection to 1) worsening the phenomena of autism, and 2) perhaps contributing to the in utero causes are among the most important issues related to wheat that I am aware of.

      We really, really have to explore and further validate this connection. We have formed a Wheat-Free Research and Education Foundation and I believe this is one of the areas that clearly deserves further research.

  20. William Taylor

    It looks like the battle has started, read this article from NC about The North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition threatening to send a blogger to jail for recounting publicly his battle against diabetes and encouraging others to follow his lifestyle.


    Although Wheat Belly is not specifically mentioned, he is on the right track with a low carb diet.

    By the way I have been wheat free for 24 days and lost 13 lbs so far, and enjoying all the associated side benefits. Thank you Dr.Davis.

    • Dr. Davis

      Excellent, William Taylor!

      Yes, the lines are being drawn. Unfortunately, we find much of the dietary community on the WRONG SIDE!

      Some of my friends are dietitians and they are embarrassed by this stuff, i.e., the heavy-handed effort to regulate nutrition conversations.

  21. Jesrad

    In all my examinations of conspiracy hypotheses, I’ve again and again come to the conclusion that there was no master plan. Every single time I looked at a seemingly vast collusion of interests coordinating thousands or even millions of people’s efforts into something nefarious, it all happened in an emergent manner, and neither early whistleblowing (which did happen everytime) nor late public consciousness (which barely happened) did change the course of things. And that’s normal, because you cannot go against emergent trends from within the system that exhibits those trends, you can only fight it with a different emergent trend. Emergence is very powerful, and though it does wonders all around (coordinating production planet-wide so that we do not suffer massive food shortages anymore, for one) sometimes it whacks us on the head.

    In the case of appetite-stimulating wheat, it probably all went under the threshold of consciousness of everyone invovled because they would rather pin increased consumption on the “eat healthy as in less fat and more grains, and exercise more” messages spewed forth at the time. The food scientists involved would rather think it was heightened health-consciousness from the public, rather than something unusual in their production – in the 80s we saw people take up jogging / aerobic exercise en masse, after all. The people in charge of the food scientists would rather think they picked all the right decisions and hired the right guys for the job, and that the increased revenue was justly earned, rather than they were poisoning people. The people who’d buy more of the grain crap would rather believe they were really just demonstrating strong-will in changing their habits for good, than falling for gliadin-induced delusion of hunger. Add asymmetry of information to the mix, in the form of from-the-top-down nutritionnal advice raining down from the USDA, bouncing onto the medical associations then dripping onto the doctors and dietitians and nutritionnists, and finally soaking the general public, each level speaking down from a position of authority that suffers no criticism without retaliating – meaning it all goes one-way only, no feedback possible… so even customers becoming aware of the situation could not send the signal back upwards. So, it’s no surprise we’re thigh-deep into tragedy and prospects look grim.

    There was no secret handshake, no late-night meetings, no deliberate hiding of information. Just the casual sum of thousands upon thousands of little individual hypocrisies and weaknesses and cowardices.

    • Dr. Davis

      Maybe, maybe not, Jesrad.

      But I’d sure like to hear about this from some industry insiders willing to spill the “flour.”

    • Shirley

      And aren’t all of the scientists, USDA folks, doctors, nutritionists, etc. eating today’s wheat too?

  22. Bowing the Whistle: Cilia-alpha 9 – Celiac Stimulatory Epitopes Higher in Modern Wheat
    Cutting edge research by Dr. Hetty van den Brock in Holland has proven that modern wheat is more toxic. Van der Brock compared gluten proteins in 36 modern wheats and in 50 landrace wheats grown a century ago. The presence of the Glia-α9 epitope was significantly higher in modern wheat and almost non-existent in landrace wheat. Modern wheat, bred for higher gluten for industrial wonder breads, contains significantly higher celiac-toxic ‘glia-alpha-9’ epitope. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2963738/

    Let us publicize Hetty’s important work and the solutions: to eliminate all modern wheat and to grow, bake with and restore the little-known gluten-safe, ancient grains such as Einkorn (T. monococcum), Zanduri (T. timopheevii), Dika (T. carthlicum), and more rare grain species that evolved in low-input organic fields over millennia, but today area almost extinct. Since I am allergic to modern gluten, I am searching the world genebanks and traditional farmer’s field world-wide to collect the forgotten grains that are gluten-safe and delicious!
    Eli Rogosa, Heritage Grain Conservancy

    • Dr. Davis

      Good to see you here, Eli!

      You are adding an important component to the discussion and understanding.

  23. Bruce

    I do not believe it is or was any sort of conspiracy. Food companies (and I use the term food loosely) are interested in one thing and that is profit. They may say they have your health interest at heart, but, they are lying. Profit pure and simple is the name of the game. This can be achieved easier through the use of deceptive and colorful packaging. Reduction of the size of the package over the course of years. Reduction of the more expensive ingredients over the course of years. (anyone had a Girl Scout peanut butter cookie lately? And peanuts are cheaper compared to 30 years ago)
    Fast food restaurants and restaurants in general use the cheapest ingredients possible. Many of the non chain restaurants utilize stock and frozen packaged ingredients from large manufacturers such as Nestle, Conagra etc. I think our taste buds get used to eating crap after a while, but, our bodies do not. We overeat crap food. If you go to a good restaurant that uses herbs, spices, a simple reduction type sauce, you usually pay more for the food, but, it usually fills you up more then a typical restaurant meal. Cooking at home can do the same thing. When my grand niece was visiting a few months back, I made waffles from an old recipe that I have that uses whipped egg whites, melted butter, and buttermilk. OMG!!! Compared to Eggos or whatever. You just eat less of them. My wife and I recently returned from vacation and while out we tried double stuff Oreos. Have not eaten them in 25 years. What in the heck did they do to them?? The cream inside taste like whipped sugar and the cookie part barely held up to a dunk in coffee. I believe Oreos, like so many other foods, also have crapped on your taste buds over the last years.
    Look at Emerald nuts. About 2 years ago I looked at the container of the deluxe mixed nuts I had bought. They now list all of the nuts and the oil they cook them in. But, now one of the ingredients at the end is “natural flavoring”.
    In mixed nuts.
    Why would deluxe nuts need natural flavor???
    I wrote them an email asking about it, and they replied that they were sorry I was disappointed in the product and they would send me a coupon. That was it. It was a 5 dollar coupon. I spent $5.99 for the nuts.
    I’m sorry for rambling, I guess it boils down to: Always check the ingredient labels. Do not buy fake food

  24. hitfan

    It’s been a while since I’ve posted here.

    But 11 weeks later, my weight went from 223 to 198. I was physically active before (a weightlifter), as I am now. My strength levels have actually remained constant, I’m even stronger in some exercises in spite of losing weight. I thought that such loss of fat would have been correlated with some loss of physical strength, but I can still lift heavy.

    The arthritic pain in my right knee is completely gone–I don’t even have a slight tingle. The psoriatic arthritis in my hands and foot are improving steadily, and I have more good days compared to the bad ones lately. My hopes for my PA is that healing in that area will reach critical mass at some point.

    I keep telling people I know who have health problems about the benefits of not eating wheat, but they don’t believe me or they tell me “I tried going gluten-free once, but it didn’t do anything for me”. But when I press those who supposedly “tried”, it appears that they only moderated their wheat intake (they basically cheated) and then went back to their regular eating habits after a few weeks.

    I think opposition to going wheat-free is that it sounds like a fad diet. Most people view diets as a temporary measure where they will lose weight for a while and then go back to eating whatever they were eating before. Another canard I hear is that “…but once you stop the diet, you’ll gain the weight back!”.

    I thank you Dr. Davis, I have to say that I am eternally in your debt. You’ve certainly made a strong case that wheat should be banned outright.

    • Dr. Davis

      Great to see you here again, Hit!

      By the way, I am looking for compelling stories to relate in my Wheat Belly Cookbook. If you’d be interested in allowing me to tell your story in the book, please let me know. (No personal identifying details to be revealed, of course.)

  25. Whistleblower, right here! Well- I try as much as possible. What you are describing above is what I like to call “healthwashing” – where companies, under the pretense of offering healthy alternatives to junk, are really just marketing their junk as healthy. It can get dirty- but like wheat, soy is in everything too and these are both things we shouldn’t be consuming (wheat at all, soy in moderation). Consumers need to know what exactly is in their products- and this is why I push making your own food from scratch, using whole foods and a plant based diet to avoid all this hooey. Thanks for sharing, Dr. Davis!

    • Dr. Davis

      And keep up your very excellent work, Meghan (even though I still blush when I read the name of your blog!).

      And I agree: Cooking from scratch is a great solution to many issues, a way to get away from the cellophane-wrapped, just-add-water ingredients of processed foods.

    • Christine Hebert

      I am allergic to soy. I believe that my allergy is a direct result to an increase in soy in foods over the last twenty years. Add to that the fact that most of the soy in the food supply is GMO and the “healthiness” of soy is even more in question. The genetic modification of the soy makes it more allergenic than non-GMO soy. It is the ninth most allergenic food, and is used only as a condiment in Asia. It is not a healthy food choice. Soy is cheap and is thrown into EVERYTHING even more than wheat is!

  26. Sara

    Have you seen this article out today? It’s an eye opener about Agribusiness and seeds that have been genetically engineered to be immune to an ingredient in Agent Orange. Although the article is specifically about corn, the chemical can contaminate neighboring farm crops and waterways, and is definitely something to think about. Corn, like wheat, seems to be in everything.

  27. Jim G

    Are there “degrees” to the reduction in Wheat and the benefits? For example, if a person eliminates all wheat in their diet, but because they like beer, drink 3-4 Redbridge beers — and Dr. Davis says to avoid all Gluten — does the person lose all the benefits from the other diet (wheat elimination) because they let “wheat” in their diet with the Red Bridge?
    Yes, eliminating all wheat will have benefits, but eliminating 95% — does that have benefits?

    • Dr. Davis

      Good news, Jim: Redbridge is wheat- and gluten-free!

      Reducing, as opposed to eliminating, wheat is indeed beneficial. But the effect defies math. For instance, I find a 90% reduction yields about 40-50% of the usual benefit–better, but not ideal. I view this as kind of like saying “Smoking 6 cigarettes a day is better than smoking a pack a day.” In other words, the adverse consequences of smoking are so bad that even this small exposure has undesirable effects.

  28. Little Sister

    I don’t need to slap on my tinfoil hat to believe that the manipulation of appetite and craving, in service of profit, will one day be revealed.

    Oh, it could never happen, right? Read Kessler’s book, The End of Overeating. Food industry people right now meet regularly to discuss ways to make products irresistible once the first bite is consumed. That’s a pretty complex and expensive task, but they do it. If the addition of small amounts of wheat, or even concentrated quantities of the appetite-stimulating factors in wheat would increase consumption?

    Believe it. We’re at the forefront of this thing right now thanks to Dr. Davis and others who are recognizing the deadly properties of grains. Think of tobacco in the ’50s and ’60s. Think of what that industry went through to hide the fact that the were long aware of the addictive and deadly properties of that product. Think of how many lives have been diminished, how many people have suffered, how many deaths, the unbelievable cost of treating tobacco-related illness.

    Then tell me with a straight face it couldn’t be true for wheat too.

    • Wes Whitewolf

      Its very true!…coming from the words of a researcher at one of the top U.S. Agricultural colleges :) Read my upcoming contribution awaiting moderator review!!!

  29. Wes Whitewolf

    Greetings Dr. Davis,
    I’m a former researcher from Oregon State University in Agricultural Sciences specializing in developing alternatives to synthetic pesticides & herbicides and the field of Allelopathy–which is a science discipline dealing with the biological phenomenon by which an organism produces one or more biochemicals that influence the growth, survival, and reproduction of other organisms.
    I just now listened to your interview on Red Ice Radio and am very impressed with your work and efforts to make others aware of this troubling situation which IS wrought with dirty politics which I can testify to as it highly influenced my decision to leave the “Ivory Tower” due to the political pressures that large agrochemical companies like Monsanto had on my research and other researchers around me at that time (late 90’s).
    Further, I am a Type II diabetic (insulin dependent) now experiencing diabetic neuropathy and have hypertension. Most recently, I have become afflicted with Fibromyalgia coupled with water retention in my legs. Interestingly, this latest condition is a result of my moving to Germany. I was somewhat aware of the toxic effects of wheat but did not understand the extent of this until I listened to your RIR interview and the pieces to my puzzle became very clear. Germans have a very high reliance on wheat and wheat products and I would most seriously consider it to be their #1 food staple…it all makes sense now since my increase in wheat-based product consumption since living here (18 months) coupled with my latest afflictions.
    I am more than willing to share my story which includes what I know concerning the Ag Industry politics at the University level, my own history leading up to the present and the effects here-on-out as I completely remove wheat and wheat products from my diet. Please contact me for further suggestions on how we can assist each other.
    Many thanks for your efforts and the latest interview on Red Ice Radio!
    Wes Whitewolf

  30. sister7

    Does ‘wheat’ go by another name? I am a big label reader. if hubby wants a bottle of ranch dressing, what do I look for to know I’m not buying salad dressing with GMO Wheat??

    • Dr. Davis

      Hi, Sister–

      Please see Appendix A in the book. It lists all the hidden sources of wheat, e.g., hydrolyzed vegetable protein.

      • Annette

        We make our own better tasting and for you. We know exactly what we put in it.
        mayo, fat free fage Greek yogurt, fresh dill, garlic powder, onion powder ans salt and pepper and thin it to the consistency u like with buttermilk. keeps a week in fridge it it lasts that long.
        our fave dressing though is balsamic and evoo yum yum

      • Tom

        “Hydrolyzed vegetable protein” What a diabolical name. People see vegetable and protein, if they even read the label, and probably think it’s healthy.

        • Dr. Davis

          It is, isn’t it, Tom?

          Technically accurate, but still potentially very misleading . . . and dangerous.

  31. paulina

    are italians in italy suffering the effects of this “new” wheat or only us in the US?

    • paulina

      And can any organic farmers resuscitate the old, original, uncorrupted wheat?

      • Dr. Davis

        Yes, a growing number are.

        I know of at least one farmer in my area planning to do so this season, several others in the midwest, probably a dozen or so in Canada.

  32. Ali

    You emphasise that modern wheat is the culprit of the many, many health problems that affect us these days- do you have any information on older, traditional wheat varieties? Their effects? Are they available anywhere?

  33. FINALLY. I was inadvertently found out that I have Celiac disease in 2009. Before that I was extremely sick for about a year and a half and couldn’t figure out why. Even my doctor diagnosed me with hypothyroidism, severe anemia and CFS but never looked for the underlying cause of all of those things. After all, you don’t just wake up one day and have a bunch of autoimmune disorders. I tried everything and then someone told me to try getting off of gluten. I did and within 4 months my symptoms abated. It was a miracle. I started to do research because this stuff fascinates me and I started to notice things. Every time I did research on all of my ailments like hypothyroidism, things like diabetes would come up. If I did research on depression, ADD and autism would come up. If I did research on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, things like Adrenal Fatigue and fybromyalgia would come up. I thought it was weird but then I started to do research on Celiac disease and I found stories from individuals that linked all of these issues and disorders and more.
    I started to put two and two together and made the assumption that genetic modification had somehow increased the gliadin and gluten proteins in wheat. I haven’t found the smoking gun yet but I am so glad to see that others are taking up the fight and doing this kind of research as well. Thank you so much for calling attention to this issue Dr. Davis and for helping raise the alarms on this epidemic of autoimmune dysfunction. Something bad is in this water.

    • Dr. Davis

      Yes, Jessica: Many of us are coming to similar conclusions from varying perspectives.

      This thing is truly bad. We have plenty of battles ahead of us to get others to understand that the arthritis, diabetes, leg edema, migraine headaches, etc. they are suffering are really due to consumption of modern wheat.

      In the meantime, enjoy your wheat-free enlightenment!

  34. The Heritage Grain Conservancy is a seedbank of hundreds of landrace wheats that were grown
    BEFORE the modern genetic changes. I started collected ancient grains in the Mideast and Europe because I am allergic to modern wheat, like many on this blog. In addition to the bloating and weight gain, etc effects of modern wheat – modern wheats are woody, hard and rigid short plants with stunted stubby root systems. In contrast, the heritage wheats are tall, graceful, vital plants with extensive active root systems. At least 500% greater leaf area for photosynthesis. Many are on the verge of extinction due to the modern wheats. Grow them to see for yourself!
    Eli Rogosa

  35. Rachel

    I found the articles about the increase in the Glia-alpha 9 epitope, but I wasn’t able to find the article(s) talking about this also being an appetite stimulant. Anyone know where those are?

  36. Roy Thatcher

    Dear Dr. Davis,
    I see a big opportunity in Michelle Obama’s plan to try to educate youth and particularly
    the poor living in big cities about good nutrition. If she can absorb the message in Wheat Belly,
    she can help spread it not only to the poor but to everyone.

    If we could send her a persuasive letter and a copy of your book, that could make a real difference.

    Warm regards,


  37. Connie

    Hi, just wondering if I need to be off of all gluten to reap healthy benifits, or can I just stay off of Wheat? Thanks, Connie

    • Dr. Davis

      Unless you have celiac or gluten-sensitivity, wheat-free is the essential. However, rye seems to share many of the same adverse effects, so it is worth avoiding. Strict gluten-avoidance for those of us trying to minimize appetite stimulation, for example, is not as important.

  38. Joni

    I watched a documentary titled “The Future of Food” made in 2001. It explained the Monsanto effect of seed engineering making Roundup Ready crops and how that all evolved into the seeds we have today. It was frightening.
    My news station did a report on the Wheat Belly Diet yesterday and ended with the statement from the Wheat Association stating “there were no genetically modified wheat crops in the United States”. Tell that to the farmers in North Dakota (based on the documentary information).
    It is an extreme situation that scares me. I’m doing all I can to change my food habits.

    • Dr. Davis

      Hi, Joni–

      The “no genetically modified wheat crops” comment makes me laugh.

      They are correct: Wheat is not “genetically-modified,” i.e., no gene splicing technology was used to modify wheat. Instead, all the changes introduced into wheat pre-date genetic modification. The techniques used to change wheat were crude, less predictable, less precise, far WORSE than genetic modification!

      Is that the best the Wheat Lobby can do?

      • Joni

        Thank you Dr. I can’t say I grasp how it all works, and am only half way through your book, but I can see the results of people messing with what God created and am making some serious changes in my diet now, and likely more by the time I finish the book. Thanks for making me more aware.

  39. sabrina

    I am now on a gluten/wheat free diet since march 2012.. my weight is 124, I excercise, drink plenty of water and eat plenty of fruits and veggies. The problem is i get constipated, wondering if there is something i could take naturally to relive this.
    I also just recently lost my mother to cancer and im thinking if stress has something to do with my constipation??

    • em

      try a magnesium supplement like natural calm. works every time for me and added bonus: better sleep. i take some daily. good luck!

  40. torchsinger

    I am quite late to the comments here, but I wanted to note that you may find some of your answers to your questions in alumni magazines from America’s ag colleges.

    I attended Oklahoma State, and I remember past magazine issues where stories were done on wheat research being done by graduate students in the lab and in the experimental fields. Those stories may not have a lot of detail, but they might point you in the right direction.

  41. Sabine Smith

    I loved your book and have actually been gluten free since Summer of 2010. I was overweight and despite the gluten free diet, I did not loose a single pound. In December of 2011 I was told by a naturopath to also not eat dairy and corn and miraculously I dropped 40 lbs effortlessly in 3 months. I went from 210 to 170. I always wondered why that is and if corn has been modified in a similar way as wheat around the same time frame. Any ideas?

  42. Janine

    I would highly recommend anyone with constipation to try gong wheat free. I read on another website that the opiates in wheat will “paralyze” the bowel. I initially committed to a couple of weeks of wheat free, and that was enough to convince me. I won’t be going back to wheat. I buy gluten-free flour now and have found lots of good recipes – muffins, brownies, tea biscuits. I buy gluten-free bread. I find if I’m out somewhere and do a “wheat cheat” I’m still okay as long as I’m good at home on a regular basis. I mean, geez, I used to eat wheat probably five times a day. Anyway, for me, wheat free is constipation free. Yay!

  43. BLF

    Are we talking about conventional wheat or organic wheat, because I don’t have any of these symptoms. I eat organic wheat and have no problems.

    • > Are we talking about conventional wheat or organic wheat, …
      Either. The difference between organic wheat and non-org wheat is about the same as the difference between organic and non-organic hemlock. The benefits, if any, of “organic”, are drowned in a sea of other toxins.

      > .. because I don’t have any of these symptoms. I eat organic wheat and have no problems.

      You don’t have any problems that you are aware of, or don’t have them yet.
      Give up wheat, 100% for a month, and see what happens.

  44. Rothbardeaux

    I was introduced to your book by Dr. Michael Eades who said “Wheat Belly is the book I wish I had written!” Coming from an author of several low-carb books, that was about the best recommendation imaginable.

    One great benefit of eliminating carbs for me is I don’t experience any heart burn or acid reflux. When I eat wheat products of any kind or sugar I experience terrible acid reflux. Funny, my Italian mother used to prescribe a dry piece of bread when I would complain of acid explaining, “it will soak up the acid.” That would always make it worse. Without wheat, acid reflux is a thing of the past. Why is that?

    Over the last 4 months I have consumed ZERO wheat, Zero corn products, and Zero sugar or other sweeteners (both natural and artificial). I’ve lost 12 pounds which is great, but my weight loss has completely stalled. Any suggestions for kicking it into high gear? I weigh 237 lbs. and my goal weight is 190.

    Thank you for an amazing resource.