Among the most ignorant about wheat? Celiac experts!

The University of Chicago Celiac Center’s Facebook page contained this response to my CBS This Morning interview from a Dr. Stefano Guandalini:

I was quite surprised to see that CBS news would provide unquestioned credibility to Dr. Davis, the author of Wheat Belly, on CBS This Morning on September 3rd, with no knowledgeable physician on the program to present a more accurate, balanced viewpoint on such an important issue as the role of wheat in nutrition and disease.

The assertions made by Dr. Davis (a cardiologist, not a nutritionist nor a gastroenterologist) are not grounded in fact, let alone any evidence-based research. Gliadin a new protein? Gliadin proteins are major components of gluten and their existence has been known since Dicke and Van de Kamer studied wheat in the 1940s. It is not a new protein created by genetic modifications; and it is indeed a poison, but only for those with celiac disease. Gliadin an opioid that binds to the brain? Sure this is a stunning statement. What is the evidence? Aside from an obscure article that appeared almost 30 years ago reporting an opioid-like activity for some gliadin fractions, nothing else is available in the literature and certainly no data are there to show any binding to the brain.

There is enough confusion around celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity and the issue of who benefits from a gluten-free diet (only those with wheat allergy, celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, I might add). Regrettably, CBS This Morning has added to the confusion and did a disservice to its viewership to allow such questionable information be portrayed as fact.

I have no ties at all to the wheat industry, nor do I have any interest in “protecting” it. My interest, as a physician and specialist in celiac disease lies only in protecting my patients and the public from those who would perpetuate unsubstantiated health claims as fact.

Stefano Guandalini, MD
Professor and Chief, Section of Pediatric Gastroenterology
University of Chicago
Founder and Medical Director, Celiac Disease Center”

This is the nonsense that comes from an “expert” in celiac disease, the very same people who advocate that people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity to consume gluten-free foods made with cornstarch, rice starch, tapioca starch, and potato starch.

Here’s the problem: It’s NOT about gluten, nor is my primary concern people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivty. I am primarily addressing the other 90% of people who have problems with:

1) The new forms of gliadin–Dr. Guandalini is correct on one account: Gliadin is not entirely new–it’s the forms of gliadin (the amino acid sequences) that are new. But we should not be surprised at his ignorance of this well-documented fact, as he would only know this if he were to read the agricultural genetics research and/or talk to agricultural geneticists. The gliadins of 2012 are NOT the gliadins of 1960, nor are they the gliadins of the 19th century, the Bible, or of pre-Biblical times.

2) Shall we ignore the opiate effects of the new gliadin proteins that stimulate appetite to consume 440 more calories per day? This has nothing to do with celiac disease nor gluten sensitivity. It just makes us eat and eat and eat, makes us hungry much of the day, and makes a major contribution to the diabetes and obesity epidemic. The very same new and unique gliadin proteins also cause behavioral outbursts in children with ADHD and autism, paranoia in schizophrenics, mania in bipolar illness, and food obsessions in people with susceptibilty to bulimia, anorexia, and binge eating. None of these people have celiac disease. Exposing his ignorance, Dr. Guandalini claims that only one study documented this effect 30 years ago. He must have missed the other several hundred studies, the very same studies that have explored the area of opiate/opioid brain receptors that has culminated in an FDA application for naltrexone, the opiate-blocking drug, for a weight loss and appetite-reducing indication.

3) How about the direct intestinal destruction wrought by the lectin protein in wheat, wheat germ agglutinin? Unlike the indirect immunologic activation triggered by gluten, wheat germ agglutinin directly damages the intestinal lining. That’s why experimental animals fed purified wheat germ agglutinin develop extensive destruction of the lining of the small intestine. And what about the Trojan horse effect of wheat germ agglutinin that allows foreign substances to gain entry to the bloodstream, likely underlying the activation of immunologic and inflammatory diseases like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, polymyositis, polymyalgia rheumatica, and Sjogren’s disease? None of these people have celiac disease.

4) And what about the high glycemic index of wheat products that explain why two slices of whole wheat bread raise blood sugar higher than 6 teaspoons of table sugar? High blood sugar is followed by high blood insulin, the cascade that leads to insulin resistance, visceral fat accumulation, inflammation, and diabetes–no celiac disease required!

5) Shall we ignore the explosion in wheat allergies in children, likely due to the unique alpha amylase inhibitors of modern semi-dwarf wheat? These kids get rashes, diarrhea, asthma and other allergic phenomena–none have celiac disease.

In other words, I’m sure Dr. Guandalini is a very nice guy and means well. (“Protecting his patients”? Don’t know what the heck he’s getting at there.) But I fear he has blinders on and has fallen for the nonsense that whole grains like wheat are good for you and only pose a problem to people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.

Nope, sorry. Get your nose out of the gastroenterology books and open your eyes to the changes introduced into the entire plant. You will find that celiac disease and gluten sensitivity are only a small part of the problem. I am sure he is doing a capable job in “protecting his patients” from gluten. But I am talking to the other 90% of the population that he chooses to ignore and consign to a lifetime of wheat consumption.

Want wisdom on wheat? Don’t ask a celiac expert, because he will likely tell you to eat it. Wheat elimination is not only for the gluten-sensitive. Wheat elimination is for EVERYONE.

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. Leah

    My point of view on him saying the point of protecting his patients was more so that because so many people are jumping on a wheat free or gluten free or grain free diet he probably feels as though people who have debilitating symptoms, such as celiac sufferers, others who are doing it for just general health or weight loss don’t understand the severity of celiac or gluten intolerance.

    • Dr. Davis

      Well, Tyson, why didn’t I think of that?

      I will somehow have to weasel that comment into the conversation!

  2. Kent

    Dr. Davis,

    I have been challenged by my Dentist brother-n-law to find any proof of your claim that gliadin was inavertently altered in the 1970′s. He believes this is just another fad to make money and has seen nothing to substantiate the claim about the new forms of gliadin. Can you provide me with studies or documentation to share with him to show this is not something only you know about.

    Thanks!
    Kent

    • Dr. Davis

      Your dentist brother-in-law should be getting his fork and knife ready, Kent . . . because he will be eating crow! This is actually among the BEST DOCUMENTED among the unique genetic changes introduced into wheat.

      Be warned: This is a very tedious and complex literature to understand. Here is just one study:

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16403227

      In particular, a search of the unique Glia-alpha9 sequences will yield the literature demonstrating the unique changes introduced into the gliadin protein by genetics manipulations.

      There will also be a painfully tedious discussion of this in the upcoming Wheat Belly Cookbook–it’s not just a cookbook!

  3. Amen to this! Those who have lived the horrors of this and then find, oh so powerfully yet anecdotally, that all the autoimmune issues they have been living with go away when wheat and grains are eliminated .. what? we need to be protected from our own ignorance…even though we are the ones who have had to make the changes in SPITE of physician guidance to the contrary??? Had I listened to conventional wisdom I would still be on drugs that would cost an arm and a leg, be at higher risk for complications of those drugs and very likely dead by now. If not that, then that strategy would have only made me less worse, not better. Radical statements in the eyes of standard medical practices are sometimes needed to help shake the blinders off. I live on the lunatic fringe. Eating grain free organic full healthy fat, low carb has reversed supposedly irreversible joint damage from severe rheumatoid arthritis as well as heal my gut from the damage of celiac disease. No, I don’t merely eat gluten free, which is a SAD commercial response to celiac, I eat far different than gluten free. Your book “Wheat Belly” has been an important part of my re-education. I have been fortunate to share it with friends who weren’t as sick as I was who are now experiencing profound improvements in health as a result of applying what they have learned. You just go on and keep being a radical to all those backward thinking “experts” and I will keep cheering you on… After all, I am in bonus days now!

    • Dr. Davis

      Thank you, Charles, for your vote of confidence!

      This issue is bigger than any one personality or book. It is about taking back control over diet and health, the revenue-building interests of agribusiness be damned!

  4. Gretchen

    Go Dr. Davis!
    As you said, he may be a very nice man, but that’s not enough. He makes the assertion that he is in no way associated with the Wheat Industry. OK, perhaps he isn’t. However, he *may* just have a vested interest in NOT looking like he has been giving out poor advice for most of his career! Isn’t that a big reason why so many physicians and so-called experts don’t want to really consider new information? To admit that current “wheat-as-toxin” thinking is correct, would mean that a lifetime of medical advice was wrong… oh boy.

    What critics are not understanding is that there is no WAY a movement of this magnitude could have gained any traction at all, if it wasn’t for the THOUSANDS of positive anecdotal accounts of success in regaining real health. Hearsay doesn’t move mountains… mountains get moved by each of us helping our neighbor to grab a handful of dirt ;) Spread the word, buck conventional wisdom that is obviously not working, and take health into your own hands and away from the Big Food and Big Pharma industries.

    We’re with you all the way!

    ~Gretchen
    http://www.ggiswheatfree.wordpress.com

    • Dr. Davis

      Thank you, Gretchen!

      Yes, the booming wheat-free movement speaks volumes, doesn’t it? And yet none of us have celiac disease!

  5. Denise

    Thank you for you informative comments. I had an interesting experience with a friend when telling her about your book and the changes I am making to my own diet to eliminate wheat. Her sister has Celiac’s and so she believes she is an expert on the subject. She tried to convince me how bad it would be for me to give up wheat and not neccessary, unless I had Celiac’s. I have been studying the affect of food on our bodies for 12 years now ever since my son was diagnosed with autism. Even with all my research and knowledge aquired, I was not willing to change my own diet until I read your book. I am continually amazed at how people attack you when you want to make a change, often due to their own ignorance. Before going wheat free I was eating uncontrollably due to stress. I would eat until I was stuffed, like you feel after a big Thanksgiving meal. I would eat that way every day, all the time and couldn’t stop. I have continued to gain weight steadily. Now, in just two weeks of going wheat free.I have lost 8lbs, have more energy than ever before, less joint pain, less back problems, greater control of my emotions, and am excited about life. The strong cravings I had only lasted 3 days when first going wheat free. Now I do not even have a desire to overeat. I only eat when I am hungry and am satisfied when I am full, not stuffed. I will continue this journey and am so thankful to you for writing your book. Thank you, thank you, thank you.!!!!

    • Laura F

      I was also once verbally attacked by someone with Celiac disease when I explained I don’t eat gluten grains. Actually I might show up on tests as gluten intolerant, but I’ve never had a test and that’s part of what made her mad. Even if giving up wheat (and other gluten) changes your life for the better, you’re only allowed to be gluten free if a doctor tells you you have to, apparently. She went on a long rant about gluten-free diets being trendy etc. I don’t get it. Wouldn’t everyone with Celiac disease prefer to have more awareness of gluten free eating, more gluten free restaurant menus, etc? But for a few of them, they seem to feel like they are at the cool kids’ table and the rest of us dorks are trying to join them without invitation.

    • Dr. Davis

      That’s terrific, Denise!

      Yes, let’s ignore the ridiculous pronouncements from the celiac community, who seem to believe that we are somehow invading their space.

      This is nobody’s space. It is a rejection of modern wheat, pure and simple.

  6. I am not a celiac but I know I have wheat issues. Typical bloating etc. I have been tapering myself off the wheat for quite awhile now and boy do I notice the difference. I have gluten free bread in the freezer for those moments when I want something but I really don’t like it that much. I’m on a cleanse right now that I started on Sunday which does not allow any wheat products and I feel really good.
    Anytime I had wheat in the evening the next day I would wake up bloated and puffy faced. Not pretty.
    I’m not sure I even understand why Dr. Guandalini was so bothered by what you said on CBS. I would say he does have an interest somewhere.

    keep up the good work Doc.

  7. Jeff

    I hope you left a response to his comment.. … Maybe not one actually calling him ignorant, but pointing him toward a few more sources so he can educate himself. I’ve read and researched for my own education, so I know it can be a daunting task finding peer-reviewed studies, but what really me baffled is how many success stories does it take for recognition of a fact?

  8. greg sweet

    The proof is in living it..i was told im celiac 10yrs ago..but what is known on Celiac did not apply to me,only until Wheat Belly did every thing become clear no more confusion,our family problems sister and mother and myself began along with the introduction of the Frankin Grain
    which no longer resembles the original grain.

  9. Christine Fletcher

    Apparently this individual did not even browse the book and its 16 pages of smaller print, single-spaced lists of studies from a variety of peer reviewed journals that myself (librarian at a large research university) and a friend who turned me onto Dr. Davis (did graduate work in neuroscience and managed biology labs) recognize as respected titles in their respective fields. Indeed, it is the sheer variety of fields covered that helps prove Dr. Davis’ assertions. This is an extremely well-documented work on nutrition and diet.

  10. Neicee

    Why yes, with a doctor telling you that if you care/want to test for gluten sensitivity or celiacs disease you’ll have to resume testing it by injesting tons of wheat and high carbs in general is one I never ever ever care to donate one red dime towards nor see as one to help me with the problem. Tons more that endured the ravages of wheat for a lifetime feel the same way. The damage and illness recommended by that nonsense is one of the craziest and most harmful I’ve ever heard of and seen. Blahhhhh, talk about being in the dark ages and out of the loop….yuk.

  11. Lucy

    Dr Davis,

    Does white flour have wheat germ agglutenin in it, since it has been stripped of that portion? My husband has an autoimmune disease and will not give up eating wheat, so I was wondering if it would be better if he ate white flour products?
    Lucy

    • Jeff

      I have run into the same sort of resistance in people. One told me they’d “rather die than give up wheat or sugar, and certainly not both.” Another said he “didn’t want to do all it takes to do that” – whatever that means – “I just take my insulin and meds and I’m fine.” Really?
      Within my own family, I have not had true success, either, but I keep trying. I am thinking maybe I can make a few substitutes – bread, cookies – to slip in without them knowing until after the fact, I might have a little more success.
      As for your husband, a different doctor telling him to give up wheat and grains might be necessary. I would bet he has refused to even look at the Wheat Belly book……

      • Lucy

        Jeff, you are correct, he has not read it. Also, my daughter’s husband HAS celiac disease and she cooks gluten free for him and eats some of it herself but continues to eat wheat also. This, in spite of the fact that she has a mysterious rash that’s not going away. She says she’s not ready to give it up.

        Lucy

    • Dr. Davis

      Absolutely not!

      It is NOT free of wheat germ agglutinin nor the other components of modern wheat that make it a poison.

      Sadly, your husband is an addict, an addict to the gliadin protein of wheat.

  12. Rick Morgan

    I think the problem is if someone can just quit eating wheat and solve many of their ills, what need would there be for a Celiac specialist!

  13. Rock on, Dr. Davis!
    I have argued with “experts” all my adult life about the effects of wheat on my body. It was after reading your book, as well as Mark Sisson’s work, that I gave up on my doctor, and then gave up wheat and grains. I feel DRAMATICALLY better…the diarrhea, cramping, and bloating that have plagued me for years are gone, and I have lost 20 pounds. Thank you for your work! Chuck that SAD, CW right out the window!

    • Dr. Davis

      And a Goddess you are, Kat, for rejecting the idiocy that passes for nutritional “wisdom.”

      Eat gluten-free foods? From an “expert” supported by gluten-free food manufacturers? Why not just push the statin drugs, Protonix, and Nexium while he’s at it?

  14. Cindy T

    I was surprised you didn’t call him out on saying that there was ‘no knowledgable physician’ on the program! It was my understanding that a cardiologist would have attended medical school just like he did. He may have been fed a little more balony in residency about nutrition, but to say that Dr. Davis is unqualified to comment on nutritional topics is a bit presumptive, I’d say.

    • Suzie_B

      It’s just lunacy to think anyone without a bunch of alphabets listed behind their name can know anything about anything. For those of us without these letters, we are obviously too stupid to do research and comprehend what’s good for us. MD stands for “Me Deity” and PhD is “Piled Higher and Deeper”. It’s doctors like Dr. Davis that can redeem their profession so some of them get my respect. Dr. Davis, I thank you for the knowledge and better health you’ve brought my family!

      • Dr. Davis

        Don’t lose any sleep over this, Suzie.

        I’m going to be sending the good Dr. Guandalini a salt shaker to sprinkle on his upcoming serving of crow!

    • Dr. Davis

      Don’t worry, Cindy: Perhaps I’ll sneak up on him from behind in the University of Chicago Hospitals cafeteria and spy him eating fake pudding and rice crackers, then call him out on it!

      I’ve never met him, but it would be priceless if he were obese!

  15. Hi Dr. Davis.
    No wonder many of us have lost faith in our medical practitioners.

    First off. I am 73 years old and have lost more than 60 pounds this year. 23 of those pounds melted away in the second half of January. Since I was unable to record my weight before I went wheat free, about Jan 3rd, I probably lost closer to 30 pounds during the first 4 weeks wheat free. My weight loss continues more slowly but there are other health benefits which are priceless. I have at last been able to reduce my blood pressure medication. Still take the same amount of Plendil but have reduced the Accuretic to Accupril and halved the dose. I will check my BP this afternoon and expect a slight rise but I feel so much better that I will continue with what I am doing unless there is a dramatic and frightening increase. I no longer have crippling pain in my fingers and other joints and I no longer take p everyday. My general well-being is improving and it’s more than simply from weight loss. I am far better able to manage the stressful aspects of life, and there have been some serious ones in the last 12 months, and I am less likely to feel anxious, depressed and negative.

    I have long suspected wheat to be a problem for me but it was not until I read Wheat Belly that I understood why. My doctor tested me for celiac disease but when that came back negative considered that I was imagining my intolerance of wheat. Fortunately she is changing her tune and delighted in my weight loss and telling me to continue what I am doing because it’s working.

    My 76 year old husband was so impressed with my progress that he decided to follow my lead. In 3 months he has lost about 17 pounds, he is not trying to lose weight as I am. The rosacea has cleared up, and chronic sinus is not the severe problem that it had become. He is not a grumpy old man any longer. Sadly he was prescribed a statin for a vascular problem in his leg. After nearly two months on Lipitor he has stopped taking it. The pain and weakness in his legs, which increased while he was taking Lipitor, have gone and he is enjoying short walks again. He will have an ultrasound of the offending leg in early October and we are waiting with a great deal of interest to see what it reveals. The vascular damage is related to crush injuries he had many years ago.

    Now that I’ve outlined my credentials and testimony to the benefits of being wheat free let me get to the point of this post.

    When knowledge becomes available to the masses there is a terrible backlash from those who have power based on the old or traditional standpoint. The internet has enabled people to pool their experience and discover that science does indeed back up their stories of improved health, particularly in the case of being wheat free.

    I am reminded of the reaction of the priests when the Bible was made available to anyone who could read and the priests lost their power over the people. I am also reminded of the reaction of the populace to early explorers who sailed around the world proving the earth is not flat. And what about the doctors who could not believe washing their hands stopped the spread of disease?

    Science combined with personal experience becomes irrefutable evidence. The time will come when today’s wheat is recognised as the chronic poison it is. In the meantime we will continue to be harassed by those who don’t want change, who have wooden heads or are afraid if losing their power.

    Recently I was reminded of how long and how many attempts it took Edison to perfect the light bulb. Can you imagine how his friends and peers must have laughed at him for his persistence and ‘obsession?’ Your position may not always be comfortable. You will be on the wrong end of criticism for years to come but you are strong enough to withstand whatever is thrown at you even if it is rotten eggs. I hope you will always remember you are in the company of many great men. Thank-goodness for the internet which can be a powerful medium of support and encouragement.

    I am extremely grateful for people like you who do not give up. Thank-you.

    Blessings.

    Anne and John Franklin,
    Coromandel Peninsula,
    New Zealand.

    • Anne – that’s great news regarding you and your husband! I also had rosacea, and my current MD perscribed an anti-bacterial creme to get rud of it. This was back in 2011. My rosacea didn’t clear up one bit. That is, until about week three of going wheat-free, when I looked at myself one day after a shower, and examined my cheeks and forehead. The redness is all but cleared up!

      Dr. Davis, you have the support of the DDP Yoga community! “Diamond” Dallas Page encourages all of his peeps to cut out the wheat, and boy, has it changed my life. Lost weight that I thought I’d never be able to shed, better breathing, healthier skin, and I can’t wait to see my cholestoral readings when I go in for my physical next year.

      • Dr. Davis

        And I’ll bet you did NOT get that information from a celiac “expert,” Mark!

        That’s great on the rosacea.

    • Dr. Davis

      Anne–

      You are a gem!

      Whenever I question where this is all going, I am going to refer to your deeply inspiring and wise comments.

      Thank you kindly for your support. It counts for so much when I hear from people who see the issues from the broader perspectives, past the hype and silliness, and realize that we are all just humans trying to find our way.

  16. Dr Davis,

    You handled this very well… As one that has a Celiac diagnosis and was told by my gastroenterologist that the only treatment was a gluten free diet, period. I return for a follow up a few weeks later and start asking questions about the gluten free diet and my doc told me that I already knew more about “going gluten free’” than he did… I remember reading that around 8% of celiacs ever heal their guts from a gluten free diet alone and many of us have sensitivities to dairy, and other grains as well, which are often difficult to diagnosis and a regular GI doc probably won’t know what you’re talking about. I’ve heard from many in the celiac community upset with the Wheat Belly as a weight loss plan, because most diagnosed celiacs gain weight after going gluten free! The unfortunate reality is that the gluten free as in non-wheat refined stuff-diet, is still highly glycemic, which leads to insulin spikes and weight gain! I agree wheat is bad for everyone, all the time, no exceptions… The challenge are those that think of going gluten free as a fad or new diet, that doesn’t help anyone. One day the established medical community will come around… Keep fighting!

    • Dr. Davis

      Ah, thank you, Doug: You are among the enlightened!

      Yes, the battle really should NOT be with the celiac community. It should be with agribusiness and its laissez faire attitude towards its ability to markedly change our food, then keep it a secret. And, when word of the adverse health effects of their handiwork get out, fight it with lobbying, marketing, and slander.

      We have no battle with celiac experts. But I do have issues with celiac “experts” who make false accusations without knowing the facts and clearly in the dark about all the issues. Dr. Guandalini should be ashamed of himself.

      • Completely agree the battle is with the Agribusiness… it’s sad when experts can’t see the forest through the trees…. My guess is he’s getting subsidies from the gluten free manufacturers though!

        On a side note, my cardiologist noted a slight spike in my total cholesterol… recommended I might need a statin, typically because a gluten free diet tended to cause rises in those numbers. I said no thanks….

  17. Diana

    I used to think that pediatric gastroenterologists would be the most knowledgeable professionals on the planet with regard to food-caused health problems. Then we had to actually see a pediatric gastroenterologist for our son, and she spent the entire visit lecturing us on why we should wean our child off of breastmilk and put him on formula. Big-time FAIL. I’m sure all pediatric GEs aren’t that horribly ignorant, but I lost a lot of respect for the profession then, and this just makes me lose more. Sad.

  18. OOps. I just submitted a post with an incomplete word. I do not take P and never have but I do have a prescription for Pantoprazol 40 mg which I no longer take daily.

    Blessings

    Anne Franklin

  19. Unfortunately, many of Dr. Guandalini’s pediatric patients that eat wheat, sugar, and other starches will be Type 2 diabetes in adulthood. Eliminating wheat, sugar, and excessive starch has no side effects and no deleterious effects on overall nutrition. There’s no compelling reason to eat it and many reasons to eschew it. By setting the bar for a “wheat-free” diet so obscenely high, he guarantees an uninterrupted flow of patients from his GI clinic, to that of the endocrinologists.

  20. Warner Walker

    I see today the National Association of Wheat Growers is piling on by issuing a statement today saying “the assertion that wheat’s nutritional value has been changed is patently untrue”. They provided no support or evidence for this claim. They said so so I guess that makes it true.

      • Boundless

        At the risk of disturbing the ghost of Richard Nixon, that sort of statement is called a “non-denial denial”, in this case a denial of an assertion that wasn’t actually made.
        But humorously, it means they voluntarily admit that the changes have also not increased the nutritional value. Make a note of it.

  21. I have noticed that mainstream doctors often feel very threatened by patients and other doctors who broaden their lenses beyond their specialties, to arrive at conclusions their myopia prevents them from seeing. They can become downright hostile in fact. It must threaten their ego sense of authority. I had this happen when I went for an annual check-up with my OB/GYN last year. I’d followed up on her advice from my previous visit, to go and get a full physical, as I’d been past due for one. I thanked her for her advice and shared the good news of what I’d learned, how better I felt after getting blood work done, finding out I was gluten intolerant and eliminating wheat, sleeping better after starting to address adrenal fatigue, finding out I had low thyroid and was on medication that improved that issue. Then she asked who the doctor was and when she found out it was a naturopath, she went ballistic. Spent the rest of my exam berating NDs and me for choosing one, and arguing with me for what a foolish choice in doctors I had made. I was in shock. She actually did not even complete my exam and with clenched teeth almost slammed the door on her way out! I had been her patient for almost 20 years! Needless to say, I have a new, more open-minded OB/GYN.

    • Dr. Davis

      Yup. That is the right response, Laurel: Vote with your feet!

      Let the old Ob/Gyn peddle her brand of ignorance to somebody else.

      • tteamotter

        well, laurel, you have certainly hit the nail on the head with this one! physicians trained in Western medicine know very little about Eastern medicine or alternative forms of medicine. they find it threatening- and they should. Western medicine is great for acute problems: trauma, infection, broken bones. but Western medicine is at a loss when it comes to dealing with day to day discomforts and chronic health problems. even physicians trained in Western medicine throw up their hands and “balk” at patients who return time and time again, with the same problem, which has not responded to their recommended treatment. they refer to these folks as “whiners”- and yet often aren’t willing or down have the allotted time to really listen to the patient and explore these other options. physicians are as guilty as the general public in not pursuing alternatives to the established protocols they have been following for their entire career.
        this is frustrating but i feel for the physician: medical treatments and practices are indoctrinated in a very rigorous environment that does not encourage deviation from the norm with regard to thinking.
        it is up to us, the general public, to continue exploring these alternative methods- enjoying the many benefits and celebrating the reclamation of our own health!

  22. Dave

    “I have no ties at all to the wheat industry, nor do I have any interest in ‘protecting’ it.”
    – Dr. Guandalini

    General Mills is a corporate sponsor of Dr. Guandalini’s organization.
    http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/who-we-are/sponsorship

    To be fair, his organization is also sponsored by a lot of gluten-free companies. But it looks like these companies provide a gluten-free, high glycemic care package for recently diagnosed celiacs. I doubt Dr. G is a low carb doc.
    care package sponsors: http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/living-with-celiac/care-packages
    care package pic: http://tinyurl.com/9zqho5m

    • Dr. Davis

      Hmmmm.

      Makes you wonder how free and clear his “eat gluten-free foods” message truly is.

      Is he a shill for the gluten-free industry in disguise?

      • Neicee

        Dave, thank you/thank you for making the best catch of the article. I’ll use it on those that will assuradly quote this guy’s rant against Dr. Davis and the whole LCHF gluten free/grain free argument. :) You just made my afternoon smile…..

  23. Annette

    If his patients get healthy then they wont come and see him and then he will be needing to find new people to treat with $$$$$$$$ meds. It is all about the almighty dollar.
    I tried a sample of a Travolta at costco and i did not like it. In the past i would have wanted to go back for thirds

  24. chiz

    Dr. Davis…

    I know this an off-the wall question…but I have been eating cottage cheese a couple times a day and was just again browsing in “Wheatbelly” book (for about the 10th time) and noticed that we are only suppose to have 1 serving of cottage a day and we can eat all the other types of cheese without any limit….why ???
    J. Chizmar

    • Dr. Davis

      It has to do with the insulinotrophic action of whey and the estrogen content of dairy.

      They are not huge issues but can still have health and weight implications for some people. It applies to all dairy products, but least of all the cheese.

  25. Grebulocities

    What are the best sources in the scientific and medical literature about the differences between the gliadin found in pre-1960 wheat and modern semi-dwarf wheat? I’d also be interested in knowing more about the molecular basis for any differences in the effects of modern gliadins on obesity along with any problems associated with opioid effects. Other genetic differences (e.g. alpha-amylase inhibitor differences) would be interesting too.

    • Dr. Davis

      Search Pubmed.gov for “Glia-alpha9″ and that should get you started, Greb.

      I also discuss this extensively (more than most people want to know!) in the upcoming Wheat Belly Cookbook.

  26. Marta

    Hi Dr. Davis,
    Does your book come in different languages? Ukrainian or Russian…I’d really like to get it for my mom. I really believe that everything from her belly fat to her tumors can diminish in ways that to her are unthinkable.

    Thank you,
    Marta

  27. Jeanne

    While I agree with Dr.Davis and others who think we are healthier without grains100%, and do my best to eat accordingly, I think those in the celiac community , and their docs generally , are worried about 2 issues:

    1. An Un- diagnosed Celiac slipping though the cracks.
    If a person has celiac disease and doesn’t know it, but just knows they feel better off gluten they may never get the information a person diagnosed needs to stay healthy. They may already have severe nutritional deficiencies that need correction supplementally. Genetic issues with family members and inherited susceptibility to celiac will not be identified and addressed.
    A celiac needs a MUCH stricter control of gluten entering their diet than non celiacs. Cross contamination whether it is in a restaurant, the home, the hospital, etc.medicines that contain gluten, are a very real concern health wise for celiacs. Damage to the small intestine is not always symptomatic. Not all celiacs have gastrointestinal symptoms .

    2. The public becoming too casual about the gluten free diet.

    It is perceived as faddish today and as much as we KNOW it is a very real health problem! your average person does not share that perception.
    The rigors associated with a celiac disease level of control regarding gluten exposure are quite daunting day in and day out over a lifetime. Celiacs don’t want people making light of a gluten free diet because it is hard to get restaurants, servers,and even family and friends sometimes, to fully understand the consequences of an errant crouton in their salad!
    It may mean days of gut gripping pain, nausea and diarrhea or silent internal damage. Everyone is different.

    While I think the celiac doctor, who is quite well known, was unnecessarily snarky and demeaning, I think he is only concerned with his little piece of the medical world and protecting his turf and patients. Bit of specialty tunnel vision knowledge wise over grains and health as a whole. He is not concerned with the health and welfare of non celiacs, period.
    From the other side of the ring is Dr. Davis , who is concerned with the rest of the population admittedly.
    Yes, I personally think Dr. Guandalini should be a bit more knowledgeable on grains and health, but I hope Dr. Davis, who I adore, can see where the celiac community is coming from as well.

    There is room on the playground for everyone and good health for ALL is the end goal, right?
    Sorry for the long post, this is a subject I have given much thought to- from both sides of the fence and in both communities .

    • Jeanne

      It goes without saying, I hope , that Dr. Davis’ message includes so much more than a gluten free diet!
      Blood sugar control , LDL partical size and a healthy diet encompass so much more than this one issue.. Just didn’t want that getting lost in the thread.

    • Dr. Davis

      I hear you, Jeanne.

      What bothers me about Guandalini’s response, however, is that he clearly NEVER READ THE BOOK! Yet he makes accusations that clearly reveal his obvious ignorance on multiple issues surrounding modern semi-dwarf wheat.

      It is a shame that this man, in a potential position of influence, resorts to such silliness. The battle should NOT be with celiac experts. The real battle is with agribusiness giants, Big Food, the USDA and other purveyors of misinformation.

      If his concern is undiagnosed celiac disease, then his push should be for widespread serologic screening with transglutaminase or gliadin antibody testing, not bashing the people who actually are on the same side of the issue.

  28. Dr. Davis, I do hope you can meet with Dr. Ford when he gets to WI. Dr. Ford is from New Zealand and will be speaking in the US Sept and Oct at various gluten support groups. He has recently written a book “Gluten:Zero Global” and in it he mentions Wheat Belly. He also wrote an excellent response to Dr. Guidalini.

    Dr. Ford’s speaking schedule can be found here: http://drrodneyford.com/extra/zeroglobal.html

  29. Mary

    I do not have celiac disease, but I was suffering tremendously from arthritis. . . I am 55 years old but felt as if I was 85. After two weeks on Dr. Davis’ wheat belly diet, I feel better than I have in years, not to mention I am losing weight, too. I am a strong believer and will be eternally grateful to Dr. Davis.

    • Dr. Davis

      That’s great, Mary!

      According to conventional thinking, it is all your imagination!

      You and I KNOW better. So much for experts!

    • Uncle Roscoe

      Hi Mary,

      The relief which most arthritis sufferers experience after wheat elimination comes from elimination of wheat germ agglutinin (WGA). WGA is the primary lectin in wheat. Lectins are sticky proteins which “agglutinate” tissues. Cartilage is a natural receptor for WGA and other lectins. After WGA attaches to cartilage the immune system recognizes it as an antigen attack. The immune system responds by destroying the affected cartilage.

      Unfortunately WGA is not the only hazardous carb-based lectin. The lectins in beans and potatoes have virtually identical effects. Other proteins in wheat have harmful and disastrous effects. But if you suffer from WGA-induced arthritis, you should also test your reaction to potatoes and beans.

      Lectins can have the same effect on red blood cells as they have on cartilage. Don’t be surprised if, after eliminating all of your lectin triggers, you gain stamina and endurance.

  30. Excellent post Dr. Davis! I do hope you’ll be able to meet up with Dr. Ford when he is in WI. I noticed an error on Dr. Ford’s website for his WI events.

    Here is the correct info…
    http://www.gigofecw.org/news/files/DrRodneyFord_coming_to_WI.php

    October 1st, 2012 – Madison, WI
    American Family Insurance Training Center
    6000 American Parkway
    Madison, WI 53783

    4:30pm – 5:15pm – Check-In for Dinner
    5:30pm – 7:00pm – Gluten-Free & Vegetarian Catered Dinner
    7:00pm – 8:00pm Gluten: ZERO Global.
    30 min Q & A session following presentation – Dr. Rodney Ford

    Advanced ticket purchase required for the dinner only
    Presentation is free and open to the public

    October 2nd, 2012 – Ripon, WI
    Ripon High School
    850 Tiger Drive
    Ripon, WI 54971

    7:00pm – 8:00pm Gluten: ZERO Global.
    30 min Q & A session following presentation – Dr. Rodney Ford.

    Presentation is free and open to the public

    Thanks!

    Alan Klapperich – Branch Manager
    GiG of East Central Wisconsin
    al@gigofecw.orghttp://gigofecw.org/
    http://facebook.com/gigofecw

  31. Marv

    It would appear Guandalini might think the hundreds of success stories to be found here (mine included) were just made-up by mindless idiots chasing the latest diet fad.

    The folks here are intelligent, thoughtful, and would not hesitate to let Dr. Davis know if he was wrong. In fact, Davis is one of my personal heroes Guandalini (a short list) for standing up to clowns like you.

    “Dr” Guandalini can kiss my @ss if he can find it (not much of it left anymore…).

  32. Jeanne

    Agreed! On all counts. Keep rocking’ their world Doc!

    I’ve been the cause of all my Doc’s ” head scratching” for a couple of decades.

    Funny though, it has all come to be standard practice and mainstream now.
    I just like cutting edge, always have. ;-)

  33. JEY

    This doctor apparently has not read your book, nor its study citations…please send him a copy:-)
    Your interview on CBS was excellent, no wonder he is worried. Knowing you had only a few minutes, it was your best interview yet staying on message, highlighting the changes in wheat without too many sciency terms, perfect amount for a TV audience, stunning examples of success stories, clear answers to newscasters objections, all the focus required for short media interviews. I have been emailing the CBS link with the print recap of your interview to many who have asked about my wheat-free diet. Can you add it to this post?

    • Dr. Davis

      Thanks, JEY.

      The link to the CBS interview is right at the beginning of this post. It is also listed under the Press/Media section.

  34. Kent

    Dr Davis,

    I have been challenged by my Dentist brother-n-law to find any proof of your claim that gliadin was inavertently altered in the 1970′s. He believes this is just another fad to make money and has seen nothing to substantiate the claim about the gliadin shift. Can you provide me with a link to some documentation that I might share with him?.

    Thanks!
    Kent

  35. Paul

    Once again, as I often do, I must resort to quoting Upton Sinclair…“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”
    Or another quote which may apply, and that I like very much….”follow the money”.
    Think about it, if everyone in the world stopped eating wheat, and Celiac disease was not an issue for anyone any longer, the good Dr. Guandalini would have to find a new specialty- and since he’s no spring chicken, he’d probably just have to retire.

  36. Firebird

    My doctor is not a nutritionist. Most aren’t, yet the give nutritional advice. So why does this doctor give those doctors a pass, but puts Dr. Davis’ head on the chopping block? They’re the ones who are giving erroneous information. Dr. Davis’ results are very real. There was a pro wrestler named Baron Von Raschke whose signature line was “and that is all the people got to know” and it is appropriate here.

  37. Pam

    Hello Dr. Davis,
    I am new to your blog as I’ve just recently finished your book. My daughter was tested for celiac’s recently but all tests came back negative. Though she does not have the disease, she find she is feeling much better being off gluten for about 6 weeks now. She says it feels like a fog is lifted and she can think clearer now. She has more energy and has also lost 20 lbs.
    I find your insights quite intriguing and am now on a path to being wheat free. It certainly is a challenge. I am not doing it for weight loss but overall health. I lost 40 pounds three years ago using Weight Watchers. Though I felt 100% better I still felt puffy/bloated most days and my joints ached. Along with this new way of energizing my body by giving up wheat, I have also given up drinking soda which has already helped in the aching joint department.
    Recently I was introduced to another doctor/author that was would be interested in your take on his position. Have you heard of or read about Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D.? I have not read his book but from what I hear his opinion goes beyond eliminating wheat from your diet.
    Thanks,
    Pam

    • Dr. Davis

      I predict that you will have extravagant success, Pam, in reversing the low energy, aching joints, etc. just by eliminating wheat.

      While Dr. Esselstyn means well, he is way off course. This ENT surgeon, unfortunately, has a rudimentary understanding of diet and coronary health. I don’t pick on him nor people like Dr. Dean Ornish (following his diet, by the way, vegatarian and strict low-fat with plenty of “healthy whole grains,” fruits, and vegetables, made me a diabetic–I’m no longer diabetic doing the exact OPPOSITE of what they both advocate). While you can indeed do better with a plant-based diet compared to a standard American diet, the approach he articulates is needlessly restrictive (and you thought Wheat Belly was restrictive!) and often does not accomplish what it sets out to do.

  38. Stephanie

    The struggle to get the media and medical world to accept that modern wheat is causing these problems reminds me of the story of Pellagra. It was chronic in the southern US in 1900′s due to a change in corn processing resulting in a lack of Niacin (Vitamin B3).

    In 1915, Dr. Goldberger proved that Pellagra was caused by a lack of a nutrient in the poor southern diet, but couldn’t figure out WHICH nutrient. However, despite proving that a corn-based diet was causing the problem with many experiments, people didn’t believe him.

    He resulted to making pills of Pellagra victim’s vomit and feces, eating their mucus, etc to prove that it wasn’t an unknown virus. People STILL didn’t believe him. It wasn’t until 1937 that another doctor was able to isolate the exact nutrient that caused it and it became the accepted treatment.

    Millions of lives could have been saved if they had listened to Dr. Goldberger in 1915. The wiki here doesn’t go deep into his struggles to get it accepted but the TV show Dark Matters does: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niacin_deficiency

  39. Pat

    I researched the whet belly book on pub med , etc before I ever started going wheat free. Two years ago I developed hypertension and lost 20 lb to try to keep from going on mess.
    In July I stopped eating wheat and my bp dropped so low I had to come off my mess because I was having drops in my pressure. I had only lost 10 lbs at that point. I am 18 lbs lighter now and my blood work is better than it has ever been. So, it worked for me and I am in the groove now and staying there.
    I worked with those insecure egos for 40 yrs and know they will protect their egos at their patients expense. Closed minds are very dangerous. Just ask the deceased.

  40. Leslie

    Um, I’m confused. He says that those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity should be gluten free. So all of us who have identified symptoms that are relieved by elimination of gluten should fit that diagnosis, even without gastric symptoms, correct? Are we not as helped simply because we don’t all have blood results or biopsies? The ability or desire to treat patients by how they feel seems to have been obliterated by the development of blood tests. Any trained monkey or relatively adequate piece of software can treat by blood numbers. I’m so tired of suffering untreated symptoms because a doctor says my blood work all looks ok.

  41. Leslie

    Oh, and a google image search revealed that he is not obese. But then neither was I. You couldn’t diagnose my hypothyroid, migraines, or asthma by looking at me. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t the wheat just because I was still slim.

  42. Sheila Pena

    Dr. Davis,
    Wow…Dr. G??
    I read the blog daily and love it. I don’t post because everyone else says it so well…..but I did want you to know from me that I am so thankful for you and your book!! A really great man I knew always said “Never Give Up”. I think at times like this we have to think like that. It is exhausting trying to help people sometimes. But I keep trying and passing along the Wheat Belly info. And you have given all of us the perfect tools. NO DIET….just happy health : ) And I can say from WHEAT-FREE (grain, potato, sugar etc) experience (which should count for some kind of research, right?) that you are right and it does work. I have been wheat free for almost four months and am loving it. My husband joined me on the quest and he is definitely more skeptical than I and he is doing great as well. Do you have any like minded Cardiologist suggestions in the San Francisco Bay Area??
    So as all those before me said….
    YOU DO ROCK!
    KEEP FIGHTING! (and we will do what we can to help spread the truth)
    and NEVER GIVE UP.
    And of course……THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU
    Sheila
    (and I think I scored a perfect 10 on the wheat-belly-itis test…haha)

    • Dr. Davis

      Well, Sheila . . . Don’t keep so quiet!

      Nice people like you who have PLENTY to offer should speak your mind. I’m looking forward to hearing more!

  43. Alex

    This is what I now know, regardless of who is the “gluten or celiac guru”: if it was not for that CBS morning show, God know when and how I could find out about TODAY’S wheat we consume. Dr. Davis could have been a GED dropout and still I would have followed & looked into his “message” and nothing else. And boy I did listen to his message! I stopped immediately eating wheat related cookies, 5min noodles, cheese struddle to name a few.

    It is now 16 days and I’ve logged my daily weight from 190 to 185. Brain-wise, I feel a big cloud inside my brain has been moving away. I do take Generic Adderall and I have lowerd my daily take by 10mg about 4pm. Waking up in the morning is much easier for me by 80%. My manly breast that he mentioned in his book, they are there but I feel they are shrinking by at least 20-25%.. My level of physical excercise since I started? Zero: none: nadda.. nothing!! I’m just avoiding anything wheat.

    Now instead of this Dr. Guandalini to thank you for you contribution in outing the wheat Frankestien created with all the good intention sceintists, he is shooting the message and the messenger. He is not connected to wheat industry? I believe it after an independent lie detector testing. I now know gluten can sneak on you in so many way without saying “we are wheat lobby of ADM and alike”.

    I believe many such organizations are out there first created by the industry to do one thing and ONLY one thing: to:” CONTAIN” the exposure of the zombie grain they’ve created and every year they are making it worse! so their storyline is that: ” you have to be a celiac pateint” to be alergic to wheat. And their 2nd line of story is: “only 1% of population is sensetive to wheat!!”.. So they prop up these fancy-dancy “firms”, and they try to take away the microphone from people like you that shows up in a morning show and says ( I’m rephrasing): “wheat is the AIDS that came out of sceince labs and has made all people fat. Want to lose weight? Avoid wheat.” period. End of story.

    I do not have celiac, yet in 2 weeks of avoiding wheat I see SOOO much improvements in my weight, emotion, concentration, reduced man breast size!!! So if I’m not medically labeled as a “celiac” person then what on earth do you call these changes in me in 2 weeks??

    I’m 500% sure that in 3-4 months I should lose at least 20 lb. And yes, I’m also eating gluten free cookies and still I feel much better than before.

    what freaks me out is after reading the book, about the vetran hospital testing on mental pateints by not feeding them wheat for a month and drastic improvement in their condition, AND starting the wheat feeding again and noticing same increase in mental problems they got!!! This is a and 60 minutes should have a 120 minutes story about it.

    • Dr. Davis

      Welcome to the club, Alex!

      You can see what we are up against. You can also see how extravagant the benefits of wheat avoidance can be!

      Keep on telling us about your experience and you will help spread the word!

  44. chris

    Hi Dr. Davis.

    You mention an increase in wheat allergies in children. Can you link to a related source, as I’m curious to read more? I am raising two children, and am doing my best to keep them free of gluten.

    Also, I searched your blog for your opinion on white rice and occasional corn. I eat clean (paleo), but wondered what your thoughts were on those grains.

    Cheers.

  45. So true! Many of the celiac experts I am associated with tell only gluten tolerant people to avoid wheat….its crazy how the mainstream will not capture this subject to everyone. Oh wait, because it would compromise the wheat and GMO industry.

  46. Audrey

    Dear Dr. Davis;

    All I have to say is thank you….I am a diagnosed Celiac person 10 years ago. I agree with you that they still do not understand Celiacs disease or the “wheat” problem. Because I was told “You don’t have to worry about it unless you loose weight uncontrolably or have chronic diahria.” Guess what I’ always had a weight GAIN problem since I’ve been an adult. Just started your Wheat Belly Diet new years and all ready lost weight and feel much better… So Thank you.

  47. My son had digestive issues,eczema and sensitivity to textures of food and we were able to treat(or so we thought) later got thrush and we treated and started gagging again over textures and slowly lost weight) Seemed to not digest or fat protein well either . Went to ND and found only a uti nothing else even after extensive testing(she never tested for celiac or gluten intolerence though. Got better and gained wait slowly back and 4-5 months later got thrush again and started getting sensitive to food textures and lost weight so fast ended up in hospital and fed tpn .Lots of testing done and I kept insisting it was something digestive finally it was found he has celiac gene.and slow motility of his stomach(gastroparesis)after while he was switched to a (still gluten free )formula and gas switched couple times but still gluten free but I did notice it has whey protein.He has had at least 4 more UTIs and they attribute to his brain since it caused some damage when he went into cardiac arrest. I’m wondering can your symptoms change over time? Is it likely he has food allergies to milk? I’ve read a book on celiac ,gluten intolerence andfood allergies and all of my sons symptoms are on the list and I have several but both his and mine have changed over time(his only the past year or2 and mine over past 20 or so years.

  48. Bob

    I happened across your web site in March of 2012. After reading for about an hour, I decided to stop eating wheat, or anything with wheat in it. Through the prior 35 years, I had developed 3 major health issues. Arthritis, Ulcerative Colitis, and Sleep Apnea. The symptoms were so bad that my consumption of pain relievers, of every kind, had become impossible to live with. I was under the care of 3 specialists and a G.P.
    Prescriptions, procedures, recommendations, programs, lab work and tests until I thought I was losing my mind. No one suggested removing the wheat from my diet. Now, I can honestly say I am living proof that wheat is a slow killer, and I have removed that threat to my life by a simple change in my diet. Since last year I no longer use a Bi-pap machine to sleep. The pain medications have been gone for over a year, and the joint pain went with it. I am also free of all the symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis. When I started, I weighed in at 206. I now weigh 173. I encourage anyone reading this to give it a try. Within 6 months you won’t believe how much difference it will make. You will feel so much better. Thanks so very much for your web site.