Diabetes: “Cured by Wheat Belly”

Take a look at Mary’s story posted on the Wheat Belly Blog:

I used to be diabetic. Now I am not. Cured by Wheat Belly.

Fasting blood sugar less then 87 mg/dl consistently. Postprandial [after-meal] readings at one hour at 100 mg/dl or less. HbA1c 5.5.

No dietician can tell me any lies about wheat or proper carb intake. I struggled for 10+ years following ADA [American Diabetes Association] diet guidelines. I gained 15+ pounds. I walked 15 miles a week at training heart rate.

I stopped all that nonsense because it only produced higher and higher blood sugar numbers, even on metformin and with exercise. Something was obviously wrong and I knew it wasn’t my laziness or overindulgence. It was the horrendous advice that was killing me!

Now I avoid carbs with the same dilgence that I avoid dieticians and doctors/nurses who give ADA advice. It doesn’t work and it never will. More people are diagnosed with diabetes and/or obesity every year. And with so many dieticians with such rock-solid advice? Hmm . . . Maybe it’s the dieticians who are propelling people to diabetes and obesity. That was certainly the case for me.

Thanks, Mary. Isn’t that wonderful? And, by saying goodbye to wheat, she has done more than “just” lose the diabetes, of course.

Let’s be clear on this: Grains and sugars CAUSE type 2 diabetes. Wheat is the worst of all grains and therefore wheat causes diabetes. (Wheat also causes type 1 diabetes, by the way, an entirely different, though VERY disturbing, conversation.) Let us count the ways:

1) The amylopectin A “complex” carbohydrate of wheat, given its unusual susceptibility to digestion by the salivary and stomach enzyme, amylase, raises blood sugar to sky-high levels. You know my line: Two slices of whole wheat bread raise blood sugar higher than 6 teaspoons of table sugar. (And, no, it does NOT mean eat white bread!)

2) High blood glucose damages the delicate pancreatic beta cells that produce insulin, a process called “glucotoxicity.”

3) Following consumption of highly-digestible carbohydrates, such as the amylopectin A of wheat, the process of liver de novo lipogenesis causes a flood of triglyceride-rich liver lipoproteins like VLDL particles to enter the bloodstream. This damages the pancreatic beta cells, a process called “lipotoxicity.”

4) Repetitive high blood sugars, such as that developing after a diet rich in “healthy whole grains,” via an uncertain cascade of events, leads to insulin resistance, that places greater demand on the pancreas to produce more insulin.

5) Insulin resistance triggers the accumulation of visceral fat: muffin top, love handles, or wheat belly.

6) Visceral fat is inflammatory fat that worsens insulin resistance.

The above are well documented. Less well documented but potentially just as important: The combined action of the gliadin protein of wheat and the lectin protein, wheat germ agglutinin, are directly toxic to the pancreas, as well as to the gastric/duodenal signaling apparatus for pancreatic endocrine/exocrine function.

In short: wheat consumption = diabetes. Accordingly, no wheat often means no diabetes. Key: Lose the wheat before it’s too late. Pancreatic beta cells for the most part do not regenerate once destroyed. If you have only 70% residual beta cell function remaining, for instance (VERY common), do it now or else the diabetes is irreversible.

It makes Novo Nordisk, Novartis, and Sanofi Aventis very happy when you have incurable type 2 diabetes. Note that the great majority of people on diabetes drugs–responsible for double-digit revenue growth in these diabetes drug manufacturers, recession be damned!–are taking them for a reversible, curable disease. People have heart attacks, develop breast cancer, have strokes, and undergo amputations of limbs and go blind . . . from this reversible disease.

The American Diabetes Association continues to advise diabetics to eat more “healthy whole grains” and to follow a diet that is dominated (60%+ of calories) by grains. They are nicely assisted in their cause by Novo Nordisk, Novartis, and Sanofi Aventis, not to mention Cadbury Schweppes, the world’s largest candy and soft drink manufacturer.

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95 Responses to Diabetes: “Cured by Wheat Belly”

  1. Steve says:

    I really enjoyed reading your book. I recommended it (and your dietary guidelines) to my mother, who has struggled with her weight ever since she was a child. As your book is focused on the benefits of a wheat-free diet for overweight and diabetic people, I’m wondering if a wheat-free diet is advisable for people who are not overweight or diabetic. I have always been athletic and thin (I am 5’9″ and weigh 135 lbs) and have never had any serious health problems. Is a wheat-free diet advisable for skinny or athletic people like me who want to eat properly as “preventative maintenance” to stay in shape and healthy or is it more suitable for overweight and/or diabetic people? I went wheat-free last month and have noticed significant improvements in my strength during weight lifting workouts. I also have had less post-workout joint pain, and I no longer get “the shakes” if I don’t eat on time.

    • Rong says:

      “Significant improvements in my strength” “less post-workout joint pain” “no longer get the shakes when not eating on time”

      I believe you have answered your own question. Wheat is not necessary for human health. Consider how many millions of years humans lived and thrived without it.

  2. JIllOz says:

    Dr Davis, see the potential???

    http://www.seattlepi.com/business/article/Green-furniture-company-turns-wheat-and-straw-1058289.php
    (from 10 years ago roughly),
    The green design industry is much further along now…

  3. LorLor says:

    Is there a handy chart somewhere that shows the optimal levels for various things like triglycerides, TSH, etc.? I see them mentioned in various comments but it would be handy to have a chart listing all the best levels for the various lab tests.

  4. anthony says:

    Sorry to rain on ya’ll’s parade, gang, but I got back my NMR(c) results today after almost precisely one year on “Wheatbelly” and, except for triglycerides, every value was worse. I’m 74, weigh 158.5#’s with a BF% of 12% who does high intensity strength training x1 per week and japanese sword x1 per week.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      If you’d like an intelligent response, Anthony, then provide more details.

      If you are indeed following this approach, then a worsening of “every value” only occurs when there are unique situations present, such as the genetic pattern Apo E4, or something else has entered the picture, such as hypothyroidism, nephrotic syndrome, adrenal dysfunction, or hypogonadism.

      And the exception does not disprove the rule.

      • anthony says:

        Dr. Davis:

        While the exception does not disprove the rule, it is in the exceptions that additional clarity can be discovered. Here are additional data from NMR evaluated by the Raleigh NC group:

        18 months ago one week ago
        LDL-P 1451 2179**
        LDL-C 208 213**
        HDL-C 85 76**
        Trigs 65 31
        Total CH 306 295
        HDL-P 47.6 46.1**
        Small LDL-P 131 157**
        LDL Size 21.9 21.6

        LpPLA2 251 (data f/ Cleveland Clinic) 329 (data f/ Burlington NC)*********

        ** Worse
        ********** WTH???
        One solid year of Wheat Belly. The only substantive difference was a significant reduction
        in continuous motion exercise from on-the-water and Concept2 sculling secondary to
        lower back injury which has become chronic.
        BTW, I intended no disrespect with my post; just an expression of chagrin and disappointment.

        • Dr. Davis says:

          The most likely explanation, Anthony, is that you have a genetic pattern called Apoprotein E4.

          It means that, by eliminating wheat and minimizing junk carbohydrates, you have reduce triglycerides, reduced small LDL (the worst particle of all for heart disease) to wonderfully low levels, and have likely improved phenomena associated with blood sugar like fasting glucose and HbA1c.

          But something is entering the picture to screw up total LDL (LDL-P). This is uncommon but likely attributable to having the apo E4 genetic pattern that makes you exceptionally sensitive to fat intake.

          This is a kind of rock and hard place problem. Eliminate wheat and grains and enjoy the benefits, such as relief from acid reflux, diabetes, and small LDL particles. But it can mean over reliance on fats, which messes up apo E4-dependent phenomena.

          In brief, it means that you would do best by also limiting fats of all sorts. This is a tough pattern to deal with.

          • anthony says:

            Dr. Davis:
            thank you, sir, for taking the time to review my data. Your conclusion is quite concordant with the exercise physiologist with whom I do high intensity strength training. He had recommended dropping out all Palmitic acid SFA’s – and I had been eating a boatload of those puppies: heavy cream, excellent French cheeses of all sorts, fat from grass fed meat (when we could find it), you name it. He also suggested, however, continuing with and adding in SFA’s from Olive oil, avocados, etc. Perhaps I’d do well to drop those out too?

            FWIW, I have a family history of Cystic Fibrosis, and I’m recessive for the gene. My children’s mom and I lost a son to that disease 22 years ago. As you know, CF kids/adults have an enormously difficult time digesting fats – Mike was on a diet that was largely fat free, but high in protein and enough carbs to support his triathlon training. Are there any data you might be aware of that would point to the apoE4 pattern in CF families?

            And you are absolutely correct with respect to insulin sensitivity: here’s a screen excerpt from the most recent NMR:

            anthony says:
            September 25, 2012 at 3:29 pm
            Sorry to rain on ya’ll’s parade, gang, but I got back my NMR(c) results today after almost precisely one year on “Wheatbelly” and, except for triglycerides, every value was worse. I’m 74, weigh 158.5#’s with a BF% of 12% who does high intensity strength training x1 per week and japanese sword x1 per week.

            Reply
            Dr. Davis says:
            September 25, 2012 at 8:47 pm
            If you’d like an intelligent response, Anthony, then provide more details.

            If you are indeed following this approach, then a worsening of “every value” only occurs when there are unique situations present, such as the genetic pattern Apo E4, or something else has entered the picture, such as hypothyroidism, nephrotic syndrome, adrenal dysfunction, or hypogonadism.

            And the exception does not disprove the rule.

            Reply
            anthony says:
            September 26, 2012 at 9:50 am
            Dr. Davis:

            While the exception does not disprove the rule, it is in the exceptions that additional clarity can be discovered. Here are additional data from NMR evaluated by the Raleigh NC group:

            18 months ago one week ago
            LDL-P 1451 2179**
            LDL-C 208 213**
            HDL-C 85 76**
            Trigs 65 31
            Total CH 306 295
            HDL-P 47.6 46.1**
            Small LDL-P 131 157**
            LDL Size 21.9 21.6

            LpPLA2 251 (data f/ Cleveland Clinic) 329 (data f/ Burlington NC)*********

            ** Worse
            ********** WTH???
            One solid year of Wheat Belly. The only substantive difference was a significant reduction
            in continuous motion exercise from on-the-water and Concept2 sculling secondary to
            lower back injury which has become chronic.
            BTW, I intended no disrespect with my post; just an expression of chagrin and disappointment.

            Reply
            Dr. Davis says:
            September 26, 2012 at 9:55 pm
            The most likely explanation, Anthony, is that you have a genetic pattern called Apoprotein E4.

            It means that, by eliminating wheat and minimizing junk carbohydrates, you have reduce triglycerides, reduced small LDL (the worst particle of all for heart disease) to wonderfully low levels, and have likely improved phenomena associated with blood sugar like fasting glucose and HbA1c.

            But something is entering the picture to screw up total LDL (LDL-P). This is uncommon but likely attributable to having the apo E4 genetic pattern that makes you exceptionally sensitive to fat intake.

            This is a kind of rock and hard place problem. Eliminate wheat and grains and enjoy the benefits, such as relief from acid reflux, diabetes, and small LDL particles. But it can mean over reliance on fats, which messes up apo E4-dependent phenomena.

            In brief, it means that you would do best by also limiting fats of all sorts. This is a tough pattern to deal with.

  5. Gary says:

    Dr. Davis,

    Is there a negative correlation between type 2 diabetes and celiac disease? Can one assume that people afflicted with celiac disease, having eliminated their intake of gluten, are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes (provided they also stay away from so- called gluten-free starches)?

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Good question, Gary, but I don’t believe anyone has charted those data.

      I suspect you are absolutely correct, however.

  6. Allen says:

    Love hearing everyone’s success stories. I bought your book on July 18, and I started going wheat free July 21. At 50 years old and everything health wise was becoming borderline to high. As of 9/25 I’m down 17 lbs. My wife thinks I’ve lost enough, but I know better and am committed to staying on this lifestyle. I’ve been on a beta blocker for 3 years, and less than a year ago the doc upped my dosage. As my weight came off, my blood pressure lowered…. alot. I’ve been off my beta blocker for 2 weeks now with stable blood pressure. Also expecting the same results for a1c, previously at 6 with FBS of 98… waiting another three weeks to get it checked and see how I’m doing there. I read a study online that talked about how this type of diet causes c-reactive protein to spike up to 25%, then I noticed the tests were done in a 4 week period when people were losing weight. I think this sounds like Dr. Davis’ warning to wait until after fat loss and you are stable for 6 weeks so things more accurately reflect what is going on in your body. Thanks Doc.

  7. Mary says:

    Dr Davis my son is 17 and has type 1 diabetes . He eats very low carb but does eat carb smart ice cream and when we go out to eat he has fries . But my question to you is if he goes 100% WB what would happen with his diabetes . He takes 28 units of lantis once a day and uses novolog for meals and he takes less then 10 units of novolog a day (2-3 per meal ). He weighs 160 at 5’8 he is not heavy but wants to get down to 145-150 . I told him I know the less novolog he takes would help him lose is the lantis slowing his weight loss too ?
    I would like for you to tell him what he could expecto happen if he went 100% WB ,Thanks

  8. anthony says:

    Dear Dr. Davis:

    right you are again:
    http://primale4.wordpress.com

    And the number on my LP-IR data from my last NMR is 6, reflecting an extremely good degree of insulin sensitivity.
    For some of us, I guess you can’t have it all, eh?
    thanks again,
    tony

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  10. Aaron says:

    I have to ask this question… I am 40 years old, 6’1″ 182 pounds at about 10% body fat… My diet is balanced and includes plenty of whole grains… I eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and lean meats as well.. I would describe my diet as balanced. I am perfectly healthy!! I do not show any of the symptoms that the latest negative trends about whole grains are receiving. So here is my question, “Can someone explain why I am so healthy eating a balanced diet that includes whole grains?” Oh Actually a second question if I may, “Am I honestly the “exception” to the new and old rules?” I have eaten this way for the past 20 years with no health issues. I exercise regularly and find that without carbohydrates (mainly whole grains) in my diet I become soft and weak. I have tried different diets out there but it seems that I am already eating the way I should be. Any comments or answers to my questions are greatly appreciated.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      You FEEL healthy, Aaron, but likely have multiple distortions of metabolism you are unaware of.

      For instance, if you were to run an NMR lipoprotein analysis (the test that should replace cholesterol testing), you will more than likely uncover:

      1) Excess small LDL particles, the #1 cause for heart disease
      2) Exaggerated postprandial markers–e.g., excess VLDL, IDL, due to the process of hepatic de novo lipogenesis in response to grains
      3) Higher levels of HbA1c than ideal due to the extravagant high blood sugar potential of grains

      Also, note that many problems with consumption of modern wheat don’t make their appearance until, one day, you notice that you are wetting yourself, or have unexplained acid reflux symptoms, or pain in your knees–i.e., all the chronic problems of “aging” but really representing, to a large degree, the chronic long-term destructive consequences of grain consumption.

      • Aaron says:

        “Also, note that many problems with consumption of modern wheat don’t make their appearance until, one day, you notice that you are wetting yourself, or have unexplained acid reflux symptoms, or pain in your knees–i.e., all the chronic problems of “aging” but really representing, to a large degree, the chronic long-term destructive consequences of grain consumption.”

        I find it frightening for a doctor to make a statement like “chronic problems of aging” AGING IS A PROCESS NOT A PROBLEM. If I am lucky, I will live long enough to feel my heart give out, not because it has a “problem” but because it was built to stop. So it seems you and all of the gluten/wheat/grain free people have found the holy grail, the fountain of youth! I better eliminate wheat/grain out of my diet immediately then so that I too can enjoy a life without aging “problems.”
        Are these the aging “problems” you speak of:
        An overall decrease in energy and vigor, The tendency to become easily tired
        Changes in sleeping patterns, Decreased memory, Behavioral changes,
        Skin and hair changes such as wrinkles, brown spots on the skin, loss of skin elasticity, and hair loss affecting the limbs, Changes in hair color, A loss or decrease in vision and hearing, Changes in bowel function, Decrease in libido, Sexual dysfunction, Urinary problems such as incontinence, dribbling, and changes in frequency of urination, Changes in menstrual cycle, Abdominal obesity and inability to lose weight .
        Sooner or later, many people develop one or more of the degenerative diseases of aging, such as: Alzheimer’s disease, Stroke, Heart attack, Cancer, Osteoporosis, Diabetes Mellitus, Parkinson’s disease, Arthritis,Cataracts,Glaucoma and Hearing loss.
        The list above was googled and describes some of the effects of the aging process. If people want to be brainwashed into believing this process will stop as a result of eliminating whole grains for ones diet, then may God help us all.

        I found the answer to my questions by doing a search on Amazon.com for diet books…. the search came back with 73,290 diet books. 73,290 claims to the truth… We are so clueless.

        • James says:

          Hello Aaron,

          Nobody forces you to change anything, It is a personal choice. If you feel healthy, then enjoy it.

          I also thought I was healthy, never was obese or anything particularly worrisome. However, I did eventually notice a few things that I was so accustomed to that it took a while to connect the dots. I started to remove a few things from my diet but from learning more here and there, I decided to make it lifestyle and embrace some kind of “paleo” diet.
          After 3 weeks, I feel so great that I can now fully measure the extent of the issues I started to notice a while ago.

          But coming back to you, my question is: why are you coming here ? Are you seeking some advice or have a particular eating issue ? It does not look like it after having read you. You just come to challenge Dr Davis in order to reveal some potential contradiction. You know, you don’t need to buy a book to experiment on things. I have not bought his book, nor do I intend to, I have no need of it. But I recognize on myself the genuine truth behind the WF message. This message is for free and only you can decide whether or not it is worth trying.

          • Aaron says:

            Hello James,
            I am not challenging anything. I have asked the same question on many websites. I want to know the medical opinion of my balanced diet that includes Whole Grains. Am I an anomaly in general population, from a health standpoint? If you read my original post, I asked Dr. Davis, “If I am an exception to this new WF trend.” Dr. Davis, without even knowing who I am or asking any questions, assumed that I only “FEEL” healthy. I will not place all my medical records on this website as some others have elected to do, but I can tell you that I am also “clinically healthy” as well.

            James, you stated, “But I recognize on myself the genuine truth behind the WF message.” That is great and I am happy for you… but what I originally asked Dr. Davis is essentially this, “what makes me so different that I can eat whole wheat grains without any medical conditions?”

            Dr. Davis never answered my question ,but instead assumed (as now you have) that I have no idea what “FEELING/BEING HEALTHY” is. Dr. Davis condescendingly is the one who challenged my authority on my own health without even knowing me!!! That is why I defended myself the way I did. How would you like to take your car to mechanic only for him to tell you that your engine is blown or about to blow without even looking at it!! I’m sure because the mechanic did not go to medical school, you would automatically render him a quack, but when an M.D. type makes these assumptions about your health, it’s okay?

        • Dr. Davis says:

          No, Aaron: I fear that YOU are clueless.

          Or, at the very least, brainwashed by the forces who hope that you will become victim to Big Food and Big Pharma.

          Perhaps you should come back in 5 or 10 years, equipped with your list of 2, 4, or 10 drugs, all prescribed because your doctor advised you to “eat more healthy whole grains” and treat you by the conventional guidelines for hypertension, blood sugar, and “high cholesterol.”

          For the present, I count you among the victims of this system gone awry.

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  13. Mamun Khan says:

    This lesson is given me the best way to cure using Wheat Belly. Really!! It is totally informative and cool. I really love to visit here everyday!
    Thanks