The Dolly Parton Effect

Bread makes males breasts grow. It’s that simple.

Eat a roll, grow breasts. Eat pizza, grow breasts. Eat a sandwich, wrap, donut, sub, pretzel, or ciabatta, grow breasts. See those big tough guys on the construction site, all eating their Big Man sandwiches, or the cops sitting at the donut counter? Take off their tops and, yup, you will witness the B-cup results of repeated wheat consumption.

What is it about wheat that grows breast tissue, what I politely call The Dolly Parton Effect of wheat or, more crudely, Bagel Boobs? Several things:

A direct hormonal effect–Exorphins that are derived from the gliadin protein of wheat (specifically the B5 pentapeptide) stimulate pituitary release of the hormone, prolactin. “Pro” = promotes; “lactin” = lactation, or breast milk production. The B5 wheat exorphin doubles blood prolactin levels in experimental models (Fanciulli 2003). Increased prolactin levels then cascade, via a pituitary effect, to cause reduced production of testosterone by the testicles (“hypogonadism”), as well as erectile dysfunction.

An indirect hormonal effect–The visceral fat (deep abdominal fat) of a wheat belly–yeah, that unsightly protuberance that hangs over the belt in boys, teenagers, young males, mature adults, and elderly men, since it spares no one–produces large quantities of the enzyme, aromatase, that in turn converts androgens (male hormones), androstenedione and testosterone, to estrogen (Williams 2012). This occurs in breast tissue as well as other tissues.

So men with man boobs have higher levels of estrogen and prolactin and lower levels of testosterone, a hormonal mess that stimulates growth of breast tissue. Given this incredible collection of breast tissue-stimulating properties, you might say that modern wheat is a perfect breast growth stimulating food.

As is often the case when nutritional blunders lead to some distortion of health, the drug industry and the medical community come to the rescue with aromatase-blocking drugs and procedures like male breast reduction surgery, the fourth most common surgical procedure in males today.

The effect seems to be more powerful in males than females. This may be because females already have higher levels of the hormones that cause breast tissue to grow, while a male does not and any increase therefore has a greater effect on breast growth. Yes, bread–and all other things wheat–make breasts grow, making for embarrassing moments at the beach, jokes about Kramer’s ambitions for a “mansierre,” and hint at a profound distortion of metabolic and hormonal health. Yes, love is a like a butterfly . . . and male breasts are the tip of the hormonal iceberg.

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102 Responses to The Dolly Parton Effect

  1. Herman Freysen says:

    Hi Dr Davis.
    I was captured by your statement: “Bread makes males breasts grow”
    I’ve looked for some of the research on this topic and came across a few studies indicating that indeed Gluten exorphin B5 (GE-B5) stimulates prolactin secretion in rats[1], [2].
    [1] suggests that the GE-B5 stimulates prolactin production via hypothalamic mechanisms instead of direct action with the lactotroph cells.
    However these are rat studies not human studies. So I have 2 questions that I would like you to comment on.
    How confident are you that GE-B5 acts identical in humans?
    Do you expect that an individual with healthy gut will be less susceptible to increased prolactin production than someone with leaky-gut syndrome?

    I also found this article [3] interesting after reading “there are no data on the amount of GEs released in vivo after gluten ingestion “[1].

    Gluten exorphin B5 stimulates prolactin secretion through opioid receptors located outside the blood-brain barrier
    Short Communication
    Detection of Gluten Exorphin B4 and B5 in Human Blood by Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry/Mass Spectrometry

    • Dr. Davis says:

      There is more to breast tissue stimulation than these effects, though these experimental model findings are very concerning.

      Problem: Would you submit to such a clinical study? Take, for instance, large quantities of the A5 pentapeptide versus another polypeptide, see whether your breasts grow larger? To my knowledge, such a trial has not been conducted.

      So we don’t know which is the greater effect: the testosterone-reducing, estradiol-raising effects of aromatase activation, or the A5 pentapeptide and other wheat exorphin activation of prolactin. Whichever is more important, the end result is the same: Wheat grows breasts.

  2. Ricky says:

    Dr. Davis,

    Based off of what you’ve witnessed, about how long does it take for men’s hormones to return to normal as far as getting rid of man boobs?

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Depends on how much weight and belly fat you have to lose. You belly, or visceral, fat needs to be reduced to a flat stomach.

      • santino says:

        Dear Dr Davis

        I am 30 years old and have suffered from chronic acid reflux for the past 5 years. The pain was so bad that sometimes i used to cry ! I always thought it was dairy and cut out milk and yogurt from my diet completely but this did not help.

        I have tried your wheat free diet for just 2 days and my acidity is gone! as well as the constipation. I wake up in the morning with a huge ‘urging’ to evacuate my bowels and feel great for the rest of the day. I cant thank you enough.

        My question is that despite always being overweight (probably because of the weight) i did manage to lose around 2 stones when i was 20 through extreme exercise. The weight from my chest however did not go and even now it persists. I have had this problem of gyno since puberty. Is there any chance of my success in removing this chest fat once i lose the weight from a wheat free diet and exercise or is the damage too severe ?
        thank you

        • Dr. Davis says:

          A wonderful start, Santino!

          Sometimes the only way to know just how far you can go with the wheat-free path is . . . to do it! I would not be the least bit surprised if you come back here in a few weeks reporting astounding results!

  3. Jerry DeWi says:

    I’ve seen first hand the effects of wheat on the gluten sensitive.

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