What do you have that chimps don’t have?

Besides your nice new iPhone and a receding hairline, what do modern Homo sapiens have that chimpanzees do not?

Image courtesy Wikipedia

I recently attended a conference in which Dr. Alessio Fasano spoke. Dr. Fasano is a noted celiac disease investigator who has dissected out the details of bowel “leakiness” characteristic of the disease. We also had an opportunity to speak: He is a brilliant and engaging scientist with a great sense of humor who laid out revelation after revelation.

Among the issues he highlighted was the fact that Homo sapiens have a gene that no other species possesses, a gene for a modified form of the protein haptoglobin. Ordinarily, haptoglobin is responsible for “cleaning up” free hemoglobin in the bloodstream. Hemoglobin is contained within red blood cells but, when damaged, free hemoglobin is released which is toxic; haptoglobin then “cleans” up the hemoglobin for disposal.

Humans are the only species with a modified form of haptoglobin, programmed by a gene acquired after human predecessors, Australopithecus, diverged from “Pan” apes, chimpanzees and bonobos, and transitioned towards ancestral Homo species. This protein is haptoglobin 2. The functions of this protein are distinct from haptoglobin’s role of hemoglobin scavenging.

Haptoglobin-2 has another name: zonulin. Zonulin proteins are found within intestinal cells, or enterocytes, with production/release triggered by various foreign bacteria, such as strains of E. coli and Salmonella Once triggered by bacteria, zonulin is responsible for creating bowel “leakiness,” allowing water to leak into the bowel: diarrhea, an adaptive response that develops in response to foreign invaders to flush them out. (Cholera toxin is the penultimate example of this effect, resulting in gallons of watery diarrhea.)

By a quirk of nature, the wheat protein, gliadin, mimics the effects of foreign bacteria and it, too, triggers zonulin. But this function is flawed in that it generates a two-way response: Not only can water exit, but intestinal contents are able to gain entry in the opposite direction: into the bloodstream.

Among the most fascinating findings of Dr. Fasano’s work: The gliadin-zonulin leak effect occurs not just in people with celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity; it occurs in everybody. The effect is longer and more pronounced (5-fold greater) in the enterocytes of people with celiac disease, but the effect of increased two-way leakiness spares nobody.

Only humans have the gene for haptoglobin-2 or zonulin. Chimpanzees and other primates do not have this gene. Interestingly, humans experience 75 different forms of autoimmune disease, while chimps experience none. Dr. Fasano presented compelling evidence, including increased zonulin blood levels, that this mechanism of intestinal leakiness underlies multiple inflammatory and autoimmune conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune hemolytic anemia, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, and type 1 diabetes.

Dr. Fasano was reluctant to declare that, based on his findings, bowel leakiness induced by wheat gliadin was sufficient reason to banish all wheat from the human diet, as he is a very careful scientist who feels he has to further explore this avenue and chart out all the details before making such a bold pronouncement. But I have no such qualms. And, besides, the potential for bowel leakiness is only one among many reasons to lose the wheat.

Lose the wheat, lose the zonulin-triggered bowel leakiness that can lead to the myriad forms of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

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Comments & Feedback...

    • Hi Dr. Davis.
      Wonderful that you have no qualms about recommending WHEAT FREE to everyone. I am a huge fan of gluten free, and since hearing you, I am so glad I switched my family years ago. I would love the opportunity to communicate with you about quoting you in my book and linking my readers to your site/ blog etc. Would you please email me at the above address?

  1. K O

    Wow Doc. very interesting,
    Now then…. How do I become a Chimp ?
    Can I ask you, on top of so many endocrine disorders employed with in my body I also am suffering from Addison’s. I am experiencing the seemly need for more prednisone. It’s ben a couple of weeks now on; No wheat, grains, beans, peas, rice, lentils, and almost no carbs at all etc… The fall out has been immense as you can appreciate… also from 150 – 140 now after 2 weeks… Though I guess my system is very stressed out with this regime… does it make sense I would need a little more prednisone. Ideally want to get off of this all together… though I wonder my dilemma. I was down to about 10 mg per day, though this past week I have had to raise it to between 13-15 mg’s. I take only 2.5 mg at a time, every 4-5 hours in hopes to minimize the toxic effects of this steroid. Even though It feels like I need this, I am also aware of the toxic episodes I go through.
    Now of course I am dealing with varying rising sugars, as I do test every 2-3 hours. Now on the plus side, my sugars are not going over 12, and insulin does not have a real great effect against this rise. The foods I eat seem not to rise my sugar at all, and I am aware of fluctuating sugars through this food regime change.
    Though before this change, and eating the carbs I used reach sugars of up to 20 plus periodically from the prednisone and a carb load together.
    I realize that with in the carbs and sugars we eat it breaks down to glucose eventually in our bodies and it is insulin that burns it off. But I have also become aware that the glucose rise from prednisone, is just that. A rise in sugars due to prednisone, as if it makes it own type of glucose, as in it may be we have two types or more of glucose’s. So I would also suggest that our own cortisol may act the same way.
    It has been stated over and over again that many folks with obesity are also suffering from out of control cortisol production…
    So I ask you Dr. Davis what are your thoughts, and advice on my prednisone use…

    K O

  2. Skippy

    Chimpanzees experience _no_ autoimmune disease??

    In Dr. Fasano’s own words in this 2009 article:

    “While apes, monkeys and chimpanzees do not have haptoglobin 2, 80 percent of human beings have it,” says Dr. Fasano. “Apes, monkeys and chimpanzees rarely develop autoimmune disorders. Human beings suffer from more than 70 different kinds of such conditions. We believe the presence of this pre-haptoglobin 2 is responsible for this difference between species.”

    So they “rarely” get them, which is a big difference than none.a

    I believe in the message, but let’s not get carried away with hyperbole.

  3. James

    Fascinating … a 2-way process ??? if confirmed, it would mean I had been letting crap into my bloodstream for years … that’s nice to know! :(

  4. Wayne Thais

    We eat meat, beef, pork, we also eat chicken an turkey. Do these animals eat wheat and if they do how does it affect them and how does it affect the people that eat it.

    • Laurel Kashinn

      Not sure about genetic mutations in wheat but definitely there is evidence that the ill-effects of Roundup-ready GMO feeds do get passed on down the food chain, from feed –> animals –> meat –> to humans. For details on the research, see the book Genetic Roulette, or watch the movie at http://geneticroulettemovie.com. Early research has uncovered an entirely new organism created by the geneticists; it has properties of viruses, bacteria, and fungii, but is none of those. It is passed along through Roundup-ready GMOs, which in essence releases pesticide-like toxins which drill holes in the gut. Sadly, the US government regulators ignored the urgent warnings of the lead scientists, refused to do any further research, and went ahead and approved Roundup-ready GMO alfalfa in 2011. All animals in our food chain that eat alfalfa may soon be similarly infected with the new GM organism; one study referenced by the authors found the organism living in the blood of 80% of women tested in a Canadian study. The mass blindness to this issue is rather horrifying.

  5. Boundless

    > … increased zonulin blood levels, that this mechanism of intestinal leakiness
    > underlies multiple inflammatory and autoimmune conditions, such as
    > rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune hemolytic anemia, Crohn’s disease,
    > celiac disease, and type 1 diabetes.

    And cancer, as Uncle Roscoe argued back in January, when I first recall seeing mention of Dr. Fasano and zonulin:
    The Fasano discussion is a couple of responses below that.

    In the cancer connection, people are actually testing whether a ketogenic diet (KD) might be useful as a cancer therapy:
    The sample size was too small, and the diseases too advanced to develop compelling data, but they were still able to conclude: “These pilot data suggest that a KD is suitable for even advanced cancer patients. It has no severe side effects and might improve aspects of quality of life and blood parameters in some patients with advanced metastatic tumors.”

    It is probably vastly more effective to switch to KD *before* you get cancer.

    Paleo diet: so easy a caveman can do it.

    • Uncle Roscoe

      About the linked ketogenic diet (kd) and its effect on advanced cancer patients…….

      …..The patients were instructed to follow a KD (less than 70 g CHO per day) with normal groceries and were provided with a supply of food additives to mix a protein/fat shake to simplify the 3-month intervention period…..

      The study reveals mixed results, from neutral to good. The writeup reveals supposed reasons. Some participants got poor results because they dropped out. Some dropouts dropped out because of the medical community’s imposed limitations. The study was limited to terminal, end-stage patients. Some participants dropped out because they could not adhere to the diet. People who continued participating did comparatively well.

      Why were the results not overwhelmingly excellent? I have another reason. The “ketogenic diet” imposed by the study included 70 grams of carbohydrates per day. The writeup did not distinguish between “carbs”, so one must assume the carbs included wheat, legumes, nightshades, fructose and dairy. These “carbs”contain volatile sugars, polyphenols, aspartates, glutamates, lectins and opioids which cause cancer in the first place.

      Incidentally, I retract anything positive I’ve ever said about dairy.

      • James

        > Incidentally, I retract anything positive I’ve ever said about dairy

        Could you elaborate on this point ?
        We removed all dairy products during our first month but reintoduced good quality butter and whole fat cream + my wife is taking a bit of greek yoghurt from time to time. Anything fundamentally wrong with that ?

        Especially butter which is full of naturally saturated fat would be a shame to permanently remove. Any feedback would be appreciated.

        • Uncle Roscoe

          I’ve reacted to lactose, the sugar in milk and cream for 25+ years. After discovering my gluten intolerance, the reason became clear. Humans use lactase to break down and absorb lactose. Lactase is produced in tips of the villi which line the small intestine. The villi are targets of gluten intolerance. I could ingest cheese, but not milk or cream.

          After two years of gluten free living I started getting migraines, neck aches, and blurred vision. It took two more years to discover, but finally eliminating all dairy is eliminating my symptoms. Casein seems to be a big problem for me. It’s probably linked to neuromyelitis optica (NMO). NMO is an disease characterized by an autoimmune attack against aquaporin-4 water channels in the myelin sheaths of optic nerves and the astrocytes which protect them.

          Anyone who doesn’t have problems with milk is good to ingest it. However, there are problems and problems. I’m an autoimmune type. When gut porosity passes bad antigens into my system my immune system reacts by attacking any affected tissue. Most people have immune systems which simply ignore the damage which these antigens cause. These people don’t suffer from autoimmune diseases. They’ll simply suffer from inflammatory disorders …..autoimmune conditions. Symptoms are often muted …..weight gain, lethargy, brain fog, sleeplessness….

          Wheat gluten is faaaaaaar from the only antigen which causes leaky gut. Now I clarify my butter, and remove the milk solids …..ghee. Search Youtube. It seems to work.

          I mentioned lactose and casein in milk. I should also mention tyrosine. Tyrosine is a short protein which mammals, including humans, use for tissue creation. It creates tissue by diverting cellular energy metabolism. As one might expect milk contains lots of tyrosine for growing bodies. Weight gain also represents the diversion of cellular energy metabolism. So does cancer. The body concentrates tyrosine wherever it intends to create tissue.

          Milk is for baby mammals. Cow milk is for baby cows.


          • James

            I agree with your last statement and take the rest of your comment for granted.
            But as I said, we do not drink milk whatsoever at home. We simply reintroduced butter, cheese and fat cream to some extent because they only contain small amounts (even traces only) of casein and lactose. We did not suffer from lactose intolerance prior to our change of diet so traces of it in our new diet seemed a rather small compromise. Since I continue to lose weight and feel good, I don’t see it as a problem for now.

          • Uncle Roscow

            “Traces”? Clarify a pound of butter over water using a double saucepan. I estimate the fat content at about 80%. The rest is lactose, water and milk solids. Heavy cream is probably less than 50% fat. You aren’t losing as much of the lactose, casein and tyrosine as you think.

            Cream and butter are your choice. Just know the facts.

          • Shirley

            Going gluten and dairy free except full cream and butter reduced my genetic alopecia quite a bit. Still not satisfied I finally stopped all dairy with terrific result–0 to 5 strands in the hair catcher since June. Am I a super-responder to casein? Haven’t tried the ghee.

          • James

            Ghee … looks like a very nice thing to have in the kitchen – just browsed a few places describing it. Easy to make and tasty from what I gather … I will give it a try.

  6. Uncle Roscoe

    Dr. Davis, Thanks for posting this encounter with Dr. Fasano, and your excellent adaptive explanation of zonulin. A few interesting offshoot questions……

    As you explained zonulin production is a major distinction between humans and other primates. Dr. Fasano has done an excellent job of answering how zonulin works to make the intestine walls porous, and how zonulin works to mop up spilled hemoglobin.

    Not so well answered? Why do humans have zonulin? …..Why is it advantageous for humans to pass antigens into the bloodstream instead of dealing with them in the intestines?

    Why, given that zonulin places wheat protein into the bloodstream, would it be necessary to mop up hemoglobin?

    Many mammals, including humans, release DPPIV into the bloodstream. In the bloodstream DPPIV’s roll is to mop up, or “digest”, insulin. Humans started releasing DPPIV into the small intestine about 2 million years ago. In the small intestine wheat is digested by DPPIV.

    When we release zonulin in the small intestine the resulting gut-wall porosity interrupts DPPIV’s breakup of wheat protein. The porosity places wheat peptides and zonulin into the bloodstream. But it also adds a big surge of DPPIV to the DPPIV already in the bloodstream.

    Given that DPPIV’s bloodstream roll is to limit the lifespan of insulin, why is it advantageous for added DPPIV to accompany the added wheat peptides in the bloodstream?

  7. Liz R.

    All I know is that when I eat foods with wheat I suffer the next morning with severe cramping and diahrrea until my body gets as much as possible out of my system. I am done!! Its not worth it anymore. One day off wheat and my entire digestive system feels at peace like a calm sea. Its amazing. I slept so good and when I awoke my joints werent so painful. 24 hours that is. I actually felt good this morning. Goodbye wheat and good riddance.

    • Dr. Davis

      Yes, it is simply not worth it.

      I, too, feel awful for 48 hours after an inadvertent exposure: GI distress, mental “fog,” poor mood, etc. . . . just to have a few pretzels? It is definitely not worth it.

    • Dr. Davis

      Yes. Dr. Fasano is working with Alba Therapeutics to market such a drug.

      However, I do not believe this is a good idea except for the small number of celiac patients who react to small inadvertent gluten/gliadin exposures. Dr. Fasano and I butted heads just a bit on this issue, as I argue that NOBODY should be eating wheat, whether or you could block some of the intestinal consequences of gliadin/gluten, as there are just too many OTHER undesirable components in this Frankengrain.

  8. Angie

    Dr. Davis, We have been following your lifestyle change for a few days now and are already feeling better! I did have a question for you though: is there anything special that should be done for babies and children to do this? Baby is 11 months old and is still breastfed as primary food, toddler is 3 years old, older child is 7. I didn’t know if children need a few more healthy carbs or fruits than adults do. Also snack ideas for children would be greatly appreciated! They love cheese, but nuts are difficult for the younger ones. Thank you for this book! I can’t wait to see how our family will be several months from now…

    • Dr. Davis

      Hi, Angie–

      Nothing special except that the young kids are much more tolerant and “needful” of carbohydrates than us Big Toddlers.

      So the small ones do fine on such things as fruit, oats, buckwheat and other non-wheat carbohydrates, much more than you and I.

    • lupo

      Both Peter Attia and Gary Taubes posted what their kids eat in their blogs. Basic summary: Let them eat carbs and even candy sometimes, because being the obnoxious controlling foodie parent is quite counterproductive to good parenting.
      Andreas Eenfeldt (if I remember correctly) once wrote that dwarfism is a known side effect of a ketogenic diet. Physiologically, carbohydrates not only induce insulin signalling, but also IGF-1 signalling, which is an additional growth factor in children.

      • Uncle Roscoe

        Modern medicine is capable of adding years to human life. Medically induced communicable disease resistance alone has added decades of life. Modern lifestyles do not force the physical and environmental dangers upon us which were the plight even of 19th century people.

        Until recently westerners on agrarian diets have increased in height with each generation. I can see where it is a competitive advantage to maximize height if everyone is growing taller. But in a vacuum I don’t see any advantage to the individual.

        In the middle of increasing height and increasing longevity have come increasing metabolic diseases, autoimmune diseases and cancer. Obesity has tripled over the last half century. These conditions are striking westerners at younger and younger ages, tremendously increasing downward pressures on life expectancy. The increase in autism alone has been astounding. And autism shuts down maturation of the brain.

        The increases in western agricultural diseases has been so great that the burden on our medical system is dragging it to knees. In spite of the upward pressure which lifestyle and medical science provide, these agricultural conditions have caused Western longevity and height to plateau.

        But somehow wheat is good for us?

  9. Amanda

    I could not agree more, my family had to go without gluten because I had to do it, and then everybody in my family noticed they felt better without. My husband does not have my genes, how come then he is all of a sudden better without, we have discovered and proved in our family that wheat is poisonous!

  10. Sue

    Dr Davis – please help me!

    I have been wheat free / grain free apart from some rice now and then, for a few months. But instead of getting better, I seem to be getting worse. I look like that bikini lady on the far right, minus the fat legs and arms. I have lost weight all over, I can see the difference, but after a stressful summer when I lost a beloved pet that I nursed for weeks first, my belly distress has increased. Whereas in May I had a noticeably flatter stomach for the first time in years, I now get up with a slightly distended belly each day and go to bed again at night with a belly that looks pregnant and is most uncomfortable. I am up writing that at 5am because I wasn’t sleeping for discomfort. It’s sore and bloated. Basically I have advanced wheat belly – without the wheat.

    Dinner tonight was a cottage pie, nothing in it that wasn’t suitable, and the “potato” topping was mashed cauliflower. I had 3 squares of dark chocolate after.

    I am at a loss, very worried about why I still look like this, and tired a lot of the time. My energy is low. Do you have any ideas what else I can do? Or what might be causing this?

    • wrotek

      In light of Your post I wonder if there is something like detox reaction from wheat accumulated in the human body.

    • JIllOz

      One *possible* cause is exactly that – stress. Cortisol causes distended tummy too, and your tiredness may be exhausted adrenals.
      Just specualtion on my part as I am not a medic, but you might need to get a set of bloodtests and possibly some relaxation time…
      and a full medical examination – you might have something in there!!

    • Dr. Davis

      As others have pointed out, it sounds like something going on gastrointestinal DESPITE the lack of the bowel-disrupting effects of wheat. (If your doctor says something inane like “you aren’t getting enough fiber, get another doctor.) And I assume you are eating healthy fats and proteins and are not experiencing malnutrition from eating nutritionally empty foods.

      Yes, think probiotics, e.g., 50 billion CFUs of bifidobacteria and lactobacillus species. If persistent, someone will need to explore other gastrointestinal issues with you, e.g., adequacy of bile acids, pancreatic enzymes, and hypochlorhydria (insufficient stomach acid). And there are others.

      Your best bet is someone who practices functional medicine. Sadly, the majority of gastroenterologists will only diagnose what they can see with their scopes, generally worthless except for conditions like gastric ulcers, colitis, or cancer.

    • K O

      Also; from Dr. Davis’s site –

      Modern wheat is the perfect disrupter of bowel health, a creation that even Al Quaeda couldn’t top.
      Let’s put aside issues like celiac or gluten-sensitivity triggered by the new gliadin proteins (such as the Glia-alpha9 sequence in most modern wheat), issues that affect 10% of the population. Let’s instead talk about the disruption of bowel health that occurs in EVERYBODY–without the immune activation of celiac or gluten-sensitivity.
      In other words, nobody escapes the bowel effects described below. Eat modern wheat and experience the bowel disruption it wreaks, plain and simple.
      First, wheat germ agglutinin–indigestible to humans–is a direct intestinal toxin. If 1 mg is fed to a laboratory animal, its intestinal tract undergoes extensive damage not unlike that seen in celiac disease. The average wheat-consuming human takes in 10-20 mg per day.
      The direct intestinal destruction of wheat germ agglutinin is made worse by a process first described in 1990 by Dr. Alessio Fasano’s group at Johns Hopkins: The gliadin protein of wheat triggers expression of the zonulin protein in intestinal cells. Zonulin, in turn, disrupts the normal “tight junction” structures (via actin filament polymerization) that provide a normal barrier to foreign substances in the intestinal tract, ordinarily preventing their entry into the deeper tissue layers of the bowel as well as the bloodstream. With the normal tight junction disabled, foreign substances are able to pass between intestinal cells through the impaired tight junction–in short, stuff in your intestine that has no business getting into your bloodstream does. Among the foreign substances allowed access is wheat germ agglutinin.

      Fasano et al 2005
      There are three consequences to health as a result of this gliadin-wheat germ agglutinin two-punch effect:
      1) Wheat germ agglutinin can enter the bloodstream and hitch a ride to other organs to places like your knees, hips, skin, thyroid gland, eyes, airways and sinuses, resulting in inflammation in those organs: arthritis, rashes, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, uveitis, asthma and sinus congestion.
      2) Gliadin likewise enters the bloodstream and triggers immune phenomena via its “molecular mimicry” effect, its capacity to closely mimic the structure of many human proteins, triggering autoimmune responses: rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, polymyositis, neuropathies, etc.
      3) Because the disrupted intestinal lining now acts as a two-way path, water can leak into the intestinal tract, resulting in diarrhea and bowel urgency. In fact, this effect of the gliadin protein has been likened to the effect of cholera toxin that results in intractable watery diarrhea.
      Multi-organ inflammation, autoimmunity, and watery bowels: You can see why I often call modern wheat “a perfect chronic poison.” It is as if this thing was specifically designed for maximum damage, an intestinal jihad perpetrated on us by agribusiness mujahideen.
      So I add,

      Till your all healed up Guts, Stomach, Intestines, Bowels n all !
      You see, even other foods that seem that are okay to eat, may have proteins, and particles that are yet leaking in to your body. Then still the immune system will be stressed >

      K O

  11. K O

    Hi Sue

    Well a conundrum huh?
    1st Sue for many changes like these can very disturbing. It’s that as long as your entering all the correct things in to your system your body will be going through constant re struck. So in essence is Shock n Stress. But also if your consuming foods that are yet either not tolerable for you, or your eating these to early in the game. It is that you need time to adjust and heal all the years of being taken by the poisons.
    Now on the other hand, you need to find your balance of meats/eggs/fish. nuts, oils ( coconut, hemp, olive oil, some others ) Vegetables ( Dark green/Red leafy types ), Your looking for a complete food every day, consisting of 130 minerals and trace elements.
    Most importantly till you start to figure your poisons, your more than likely better off ridding;
    Wheat, Oats, Rye,Barely, Quinoa, Rice, Beans, Lentils, Legumes, Sprouts, maybe onions, leaks, radish, others of like. No pesticides, No pills that are gliaden/gluten based. And probably most if not all Fruits.
    So sounds like like there is not a lot left huh… well?? it’s not that bad at all
    Okay so as your into that, yeah energy will be depleted, so this is where tou will need to try some sort of carbs, maybe organic bananas try 1/2 of one, see how you feel for the next couple of hours, maybe try some grapes, or the fruits that seem to feel rite to you. But limit these and only use them for maintenance of energy. Don’t get fooled by feeling the energy and thinking eating more will give you more energy… though when exercising, walking what have you, yeah more than likely a little more.
    There are supplements that can help here as well, like:
    There are others, though look in to these, again it’s a bit of trial and error… though thses are all fairly quite decent.

    Proteins & Vegetables and limited carbs…. = somewhere for you a balance..
    Like Nature nothing happens overnight, be patient, each day is a new start, and as you know some days are much better than others… though like a piece of coal deep in the earth being pressed, and pressured over time forms a beautiful Diamond .

    Take Care

  12. K O

    Okay Sue

    I would like too add;
    Now also you need to drink a lot of water, and really that’s it, water. I don’t know your intake now, tough if your urine is dark, cloudy, somewhat off colour – dark, you need more water. Also pinch your skin up on top of your hand, let it drop freely. if it lags in time till flattening out your dehydrated. Though If your urine is purely clear all of the time lay off a little.
    AS WELL SEA SAL – Himalayan Sea salt is one of the better…
    Okay you need magnesium, Dr. Davis recommends Magnesium Malate, I use a Magnesium Acetate/Chelate mix, maybe Dr. Davis could explain what’s the difference?
    You may need Copper and Zinc though these are not to be taken long term…
    I will add, when using supplements it’s a good idea to go through a off time for a period pf a week or two every 2.5 -3.5 months.
    Water intake may vary, though it is recommended to flush 2 times your body weight in ounces of water per day. And of course the better your water the better you, reverse osmosis filtering is a good idea.
    You may find eating coconut oil will boost your energy. It great for your triglycerides, and increases your HGL as in Your Heavenly Cholesterol.
    Now also sue, to utilize your metabolic rate to maximum efficiency you want to try to Blend your food. You don’t want to over blend it. You will kill off too many good enzymes. So if you can a blender like a Via-Mix or at least as powerful, where you can blend it all with in 30-45 seconds.
    Fill your mug, put in a big straw, and suck it out… this is part of the key in drinking smoothies. You want to take it in slowly.
    Now, adding Cayenne pepper may be extremely beneficial, a very small amount and add as tolerated. With that, then you can add Raw Organic Cacao, and Carib if you like. In fact if you want chocolate then you should only eat Raw Organic Cacao. You can get the raw Bean, in forms of nibs, or powder. This is Chocolate nothing else is….!!!
    Cacao is Magnesium, our Hearts n Kidneys are also highly made of Magnesium, so are other muscles and such. L-Taurine is a free floating amino acid the only one that has a great effect on for the heart. Also L-Taurine is the main ingredient in Red Bull…
    Are you ready to gain your Wings :-)

    PS Acidophilus Ultra 11 billion plus enteric coated, Enteric coated being key.
    And you may want some type of Plant based enzymes, along with Bromeline for meat break down.

      • K O

        Well no… I my self have drank water like this for the past 6 years…
        my home work comith fromith for to me by my wee little brain….
        Over the years of nothing more than trying to stay alive I have also become library and a humapig of trial and error.
        My research has led me so many ways… but one thing for sure is if I don’t drink at least 3 liters a day I have a hard time functioning…

        Cheers and drink up >

  13. wrotek

    Why does it say on meats, dark chocolates and other foods “it may contain traces of gluten” ? I understand that meat can be from animals consuming wheat, but chocolate ? Perhaps chocolate contains milk from animals that consumed wheat ? LOL

  14. K O

    Chocolate from a package is not fit for human consumption. As soon as it is mixed with milk then put in thru it’s processing regime the entire construct of the chocolate and the milk of course has changed. If you want chocolate, then you want raw cacao mix it with raw carib, if you do heat it then definitely under 112 degree’s. Your better off warming a little water and mixing. If it is important to sweeten then use Manuka Honey 12 plus or higher. Other honey are simply toxic and no good for any body. It is that A high count Manuka Honey will also help build your Blood Oric count, Along with Cacao. The very center of the nuclei of Cacao is Mg. It is that Magnesium is one of the most essential mineral we need, and one of most depleted in our selves and the earths dirt. Both Cacao and High Oric count products help in building the Oric count in our blood while providing a vast amount of nutrition. Cacao nibs, or the raw bean, they taste great, and are a great snack.
    The sugars in such honey burns efficiently, without toxins. Though if you over take then certainly there will be back lash…. you don’t need a lot…
    Also it says this warning about may contain traces, Cause it is processed in or near the same plant. Or maybe in the same storage area.

    • I dont know about Magnesium deficiency in diet. It is not like vitamin, which can be degraded by heat and processing, it is just a mineral. Regarding magnesium in chocolate, i think it is just false advertising to sell more cocoa/chocolate. .

  15. Sifter

    I hear the word Zonulin and think of zonules, the little ‘threads’ that I’m told are responsible for rubbing against my iris and subsequently shedding pigment, leading to my Pigmentary Glaucoma. I wonder if there is more than just a mechanical cause, but also a dietary cause to glaucoma?

    • Dr. Davis

      I believe there is, but that is just speculation.

      It just seems to me that the people who eat the healthiest–shun grains and junk foods–seem to be plagued by less glaucoma,. cataracts, and macular degeneration.

  16. Leaky gut doesn’t just cause auto-immune and allergies, but also is responsible for most mental disorders such as autism, schizophrenia, depression, bipolar, etc. The leaky gut can be healed though, look for Gut And Psychology Syndrome by Natasha Campbell-McBride, more info: http://www.gaps.me

  17. A Elizabeth

    Couldn’t there be other things in other foods that triggers the “zonulin leakiness,” or other toxic reactions? For example, nuts, seeds, and potatoes (in addition to grains and legumes) are high in lectins, which could trigger an immune response and bowel inflammation. Leafy greens contain phytotoxins that are meant to defend against consumption by bacteria and animals (including humans). Some people are histamine intolerant, which means that when they eat foods that are high in histamine (fish, yogurt, pumpkin, tomatoes, cheese, day-old poultry, cured meats) their blood vessels becoming dilated, and they get migraines, rosacea, urticaria, and pseudo-allergic reactions. It wouldn’t surprise me if every single food had some sort of poisonous effect. So what evidence do we have that wheat is especially poisonous?

    I must add that I am not pro-wheat. Eating a paleo-type diet makes complete sense to me. I’m just interested in seeing if the toxicity of wheat has been compared to the toxic effects of various other foods.

    • Dr. Davis

      On the issue of zonulin alone, I do not believe that other foods have been tested, nor components of other foods.

    • Boundless

      If you google:
      “multiple sclerosis ketosis OR ketogenic”,
      you’ll get an eyeful, particularly regarding Dr. Terry Wahls. The WB recommendations are consistent with a keto diet. I haven’t researched any of it enough to have an opinion.

      I know even less about the methanol-MS connection.

  18. JD

    Hi Dr. Davis
    What is your opinion on ketosis? I am following Wheat Belly and am trying to lose weight. I have been reading about programs that promote a state of ketosis for weight loss and finding there are many different opinions on it. I’ve been following the program for 2 weeks now. Feeling great and full of energy. My cravings are under control! My abdominal issues are gone!

    • Boundless

      Dr. Davis oft-repeated net carb recommendation is 15 grams per meal, or per 6 hour period. That would be 45 to 60 grams per day, which is consistent with a ketogenic diet (and that’s something Dr. D. has also confirmed about the WB way).

    • Dr. Davis

      If you are achieving the goals you desire, JD, I do not believe that ketosis is obligatory.

      Ketosis is wonderful and not harmful, but it is also not an absolute requirement to succeed.

      • Boundless

        > Ketosis is wonderful and not harmful, but
        > it is also not an absolute requirement to succeed.

        This raises a question I can’t seem to find an answer for, and does not seem to be addressed in either WB book, and the internet in general is a cornucopia of conflicting data …

        What causes the accumulated fat to vanish if you aren’t in ketosis?

        Clearly, going low carb causes fat accumulation to cease.

        Clearly, being in ketosis burns accumulated fat, and on a low carb diet, we are probably in ketosis at least some of the time (say, while sleeping).

        How is fat metabolized other than by ketosis?

  19. Crayon

    Correlation does not equal causation. Just because they don’t necessarily eat meat doesn’t mean that is why they are so lean. There are plenty of other variables that you are leaving out with this.