Can wheat elimination make you . . . younger?

Joan posted these interesting comments about her apparent dialing back of the age clock minus wheat.

I went grain free in early September after reading about the low carb, high fat, moderate protein way of eating, and I found and read the Wheat Belly book in late September.

In late October, a woman who works in our building, who I hadn’t seen in about 6 weeks, asked me if I’d had a face lift. I said “No.” She then asked if I’d had botox or Restylane injections. I said I hadn’t. She was surprised and said that my skin looked so good.

The pharmacy tech, who regularly checks me out when I pick up my script, asked me what I was doing that my skin looked so much better. My son-in-law said I look 10 years younger since losing 40 lbs and going grain-free.

The only change I made was my diet and I believe it’s from giving up the wheat and other grains and eating more real food. My eczema is better this year and I live in a very dry and extremely cold climate. I’m truly enjoying this way of eating and rarely miss those junk carb “foods.”

I don’t have the mid afternoon slump and I have great energy at age 58. I take hour-long high-intensity Zumba classes and can keep up with the 20-year olds. When my husband and I are at our house in Las Vegas, we regularly enjoy 4-5 mile brisk walks.

Thank you Dr. Davis!

Hmmmm. Botox, Restylane, face lifts, eczema, more energy, capacity to engage in high-intensity activity requiring fast reflexes and limber joints–at age 58? Many people pay thousands of dollars just for the cosmetic effects. Many people lose the quickness and flexibility of youth at age . . . 40?

So Joan is enjoying the compliments of many people about her youthfulness, smooth skin and energy matching that of people much younger, just because she gave up wheat and other grains and sugars.

Wheat elimination involves a reduction of inflammatory phenomena, especially when visceral fat of the wheat belly is lost. It leads to a marked slowing of glycation that underlies the progessive changes of aging. It can improve the hormonal milieu of senescence. It’s a mix of phenomena I do not fully understand, but stories like Joan’s continue to make me believe: Wheat elimination, along with minimizing other grains and sugars, is youth-preserving and anti-aging.

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78 Responses to Can wheat elimination make you . . . younger?

  1. pam says:

    after cutting out junk carb for 2 years, some of my sun spots or age spots have disappear; also skin is nicer.

    your book mentioned that AGEs can’t be repaired. :-( however, i’d like to stay optimistic!

  2. Kimberly Robinson says:

    I most definitely feel younger. In two months I have gone from dragging myself around in a few stiff, sore, fatigued body to having the energy and stamina I had 20 years ago. My skin looks better, and so many other things are better the clock feels very much “turned back”!

  3. James says:

    “Let Food Be Your Medicine and Medicine Be Your Food”


  4. Chuck says:

    This fact alone should have every woman in America interested in being wheat free.

    • Boundless says:

      > This fact alone should have every woman in America interested in being wheat free.

      Any number of readers have have lamented the fact that the WB book cover design seems to be targeting the vain, rather than those keenly seeking a healthy diet. But history may record that this was brilliant marketing. It has grabbed significant mindshare, perhaps more than any other approach might have.

      And yes, many people will miss or dismiss it, for a while, due to that positioning. We only discovered the book by accident whilst browsing a book store for low-carb cookbooks.

      But word will reach everyone, and just about as fast as the food industry can respond.

  5. wrotek says:

    I was wondering…My whole family has been eating wheat all our lives…Why havent we got obese and diabetic ?
    Well i suffered asthma and allergies, but mine father did not, neither my mother…Weird

    • allison says:

      Maybe you are all the lucky ones amongst us that don’t suffer any ill effects, but also take a look at other things like heart disease, arthritis, cancer, back pain, even supposedly little things like gas… all can be caused or made worse by wheat, grain and sugar consumption.

    • Shirley says:

      My older sister and younger brother are Type 2 (she’s about to lose a toe) and dad was too. I’m fine and mom was too. She lived to 95 on a mid-west diet of white flour products, vegetables and meat cooked to just short of jerky. My ailments were minor allergies and finger stiffness, now long gone.
      Possibly genetics?

      • wrotek` says:

        yes Shirley, possibly genetics, but whos, human or plant genetics :) maybe both
        There just passed a bill in parliament in Poland to make possible grow GMO . It is a disaster, they passed bill quietly while other more pressing matters where happening.

        Allison, lucky one U mean genetics ? after all it is a roulette.

    • Donna says:

      The wheat hasn’t always been hybridized. As I recall, Dr. Davis says it has been since about 1985.

  6. Dan says:

    Hi Dr. Davis,

    Gary Taubes wrote extensively about Advanced glycosylation end products (AGEs) driving aging in “Good Calories Bad Calories.”

    I consider the two of you to be from the same school of thought.

  7. Melissa says:

    I have long felt that sugar accelerates aging. I’ve been eating this way for a week, and I thought I’d given up sugar. I realized last night that it was in the natural peanut butter I have been eating (duh), so I plan to give that up as well. Can anyone recommend a peanut butter that doesn’t have sugar? Is there such a thing?

    • Allison Essinger says:

      You can make your own. I’m sure there are recipes on line.

    • Laura F says:

      There are quite a few peanut butters that don’t have sugar. Just check out the labels. When I lived in the US I always bought Teddy brand with salt but no sugar.

      • Pam says:

        I’ve switched from plain ol’ peanut butter to Trader Joe’s Almond Butter Creamy with Sea Salt….OMG, so delish! It needs to be refrigerated after opening but it’s so worth it!! Give it a try!

    • Geoffrey says:

      You can also go to Whole Foods or most natural food stores and use their machines to grind fresh peanuts or almonds into peanut or almond butter.

      • Donna says:

        Even Laura Scudder’s Natural has no sugar added. Most of the Adams products. It does mean label reading to be sure.

    • JoAnne says:

      I really like the ‘Crazy Richards’ brand peanut butter. It comes in creamy & chunky. The list of ingredients is: peanuts. That’s it! Peanuts. The label states:”NO added salt, sugar or hydrogenated oils.” And it tastes great! No refrigeration required. Their website is I’m in Maryland, and I can get it at Wal-Mart & Redner’s Supermarket. You can also find it online at Amazon.

    • Shirley says:

      Make sure the peanuts are dry roasted.

    • JIllOz says:

      HI Melissa,

      have you tried making your own peanut butter??

      Suga droes contrinbute to aging. If you want to find out more, Dr Nicholas Perricone has written several books on the subject of sugar, inflammation and cells – and an anti inflammatory diet.
      (We can ignore the grains elements.)

      Dr Davis, if you’re interested, do look him up too, before going into the beauty/skin/inflammation/
      area with lots of skincare patents, this doctor studied gerontology and and aging then went into skincare.
      Lots of overlap but his books are sensible and explain the scientific basis of his recommendations.
      I found them worthwhile reading.

  8. Bruce S says:

    I see yesterday (Dec 6th) in an article in the Vancouver Sun newspaper, that national bread companies in Canada are fighting back at the gluten-free and wheat bashing trend of late.
    There is also a reference to the “best selling book Wheat Belly”. Get over it boys, you’re fighting a losing battle!

  9. Mark says:

    I read the article Bruce linked to in the Vancouver Sun. It’s clear that they are running scared. The formation of that new organization is a desperate act. They are on the wrong side of history. I have been wheat-free since February. I am minus 38 lbs, feel great, clothes fit great, etc. Thanks Dr. Davis!

  10. Kath says:

    @Melissa: I love Adams peanut butter. It’s widely available (at all grocery stores) in the Pacific Northwest. It’s just peanuts and salt. Creamy or crunchy. They do have an unsalted peanut butter, too. It can be ordered from amazon if it’s not available where you are.

  11. murray says:

    I’ve had the same experience regarding skin. I’ve noticed that on calorie-reduced ketogenic days, my skin is noticeably more supple when I wake up after the night’s sleep. My wife even notices. Coconut oil also enhances skin health, whether eaten or applied topically.

    I have also noticed the same thing with greying of hair. My hair was starting to go grey about 5 years ago but once I went wheat-free, very low carb this reversed and I have not had greying since. A few years ago we were at a party and their was an elderly East Asian women with almost jet-black hair and fit and lively. Several people asked her what she did. Exercise, etc. My wife had the wit to ask, do you eat foods with sugar? Almost never.

  12. Ania says:

    I am only 30 years old and actually look young for my age. Most people would guess early 20′s which is great. Since going wheat free 3 months ago, I keep getting asked about my face, what are you doing, you look so great, your face looks thinner. What I have noticed other then dropping 15 pounds, is that my face looks less “puffy” and although I have always had a good complexion it has gotten much better. I look at pictures from when I was 20, then pictures from 6 months ago, and now and I would say the 20 year old face and my current face look the same. I never actually noticed the change in my face until I went wheat free. But it is wonderful. Thank you Dr. Davis for helping me feel better and look better too!

  13. Patricia says:

    The article says: “The Healthy Grains Institute website features a rebuttal to the book’s arguments — including its central notion that today’s wheat is so radically changed from 100 years ago, because of intensive plant breeding programs, that human bodies can no longer cope with it. Using that logic, nearly all commercially available fruits and vegetables could be potentially dangerous because of their hybridization, writes Julie Jones, professor emeritus in nutrition at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minn.”

    Well, I think that may be true. The fruits/veggies today that are not raised naturally can be problematic.

  14. Nicole says:

    Of course wheat pushers are running scared.
    The problem is they will not be able to get away with their BS about wheat, since the proof is in the elimination of wheat.
    The positive results are too great to ignore and very obvious.

  15. Kelly says:

    I must add my story to Joan’s for I have witnessed something still under work here. I have been a victim of acne for the past five years and have tried the elimination process food wise to see what the problem is. Most people around me would say my skin problem was hormone related but truthfully, it did not make sense to me as a female to be in a constant ”hormonal balance” stage for five consecutive years. I did not want to opt for invasive skin treatments involving heavy medication to ”rid” the acne as that did not solve the problem really. It just did the esthetics. I instead started the elimination process : ie eliminated all dairy for a period of time, then all caffeine and alcohol, then I got into blood types and eliminated some types of meat accordng to my blood type. Nothing seemed to have worked and wheat was not even a candidate on my elimination list since I held zero knowledge on that front. I then fell pregnant and more elimination took place (raw fish, unpasteurised products, etc) and that’s when I fell on the Wheat Belly book (Thank the Lord!), not for losing weight in my case, but the chapter ”Yo pimples face!” caught my eye. To think that wheat could possibly play a role was inconceivable but I was so keen on eliminating whatever was necessary to find the solution I went ahead and tried it.
    Miracle is what happened. Literally.
    Within a week, my acne on my forehead became ”inactive” and flattened out. My face was not acne active all of a sudden – every week I had gotten used to a nice new acne pimple grownig on my face – and it suddenly stopped. So sudden, I could not believe it. It has been several months now I am wheat free, and twice I consummed wheat only to pay the price each time. After my wheat consumption, I had a new acne type pimple grow on my face – literally and unbelievably the day after! Could I be a better guinea pig than this? Putting myself to the test was the best thing ever. I am conscious though being pregnant that there are real hormonal changes, and sometimes acne problems get worse or better depending on the person. So I am curious to see once I deliver my baby, how my face will change. I have gotten the best compliments I have received in many years on the quality of my skin.
    I am still under work here, and I definitely look forward to seing how my situation will conitnue to improve.

    So yes, thank you Dr. Davis for sharing this knowledge including your recipes in your book that I tried which are truly delicious!

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Wonderful, Kelly: wonderful!

      I’d like to post your story as a blog post. Too many people suffer silently with this condition, paying lots of money for all manner of “remedies” . . when the solution is SO painfully simple!

  16. Vivian says:

    I love this! People who haven’t seen me since the spring ask me what I have been doing…I’m so slim and seem much younger!? I am 63, have lost 30+ pounds since June and am told that I could “pass” for a thirty-something…all because I don’t eat grains anymore and gave up sugar long ago. The “train” is powering up and heading out of the station…I don’t think BigAg can stop it now! I’ve been trying to explain the WB concept to many people (“Oh, I could never give up my bread!”)…now I just tell them to buy the book! Thanks Dr. Davis!

  17. Charla Eastwood says:

    Having the same results with my skin here. It has been especially noticeable this week. Female, 55 years old, lost 42 lbs. altogether. Feel amazing! Getting back into my exercise routine that I haven’t felt like doing in years. Sleeping well, all typical menopause symptoms have been alleviated. It’s just AMAZING! I like what the one poster said about the train has left the station. In just the few months I’ve been following wheat belly blog, it seems like the positive response and people jumping on the train is multiplying very rapidly.

    I have eliminated all grains and sugar, and doing Atkins/low carb/Paleo – ish diet. I’m also using the organic coconut oil on my face and neck. You know how some people when they lose a lot of weight they look older cuz the fat has been plumping up their skin? Well, I was worried about that, too, but my skin on my face and neck is just sucking up tight again as I lose the weight!!! Again, it’s just AMAZING!

    I’m having a massage next week – my first one ever – and I am requesting she use the organic coconut oil for massage oil. Oh, yeah!

    I almost feel as if I’ve been given a second chance in life. LOSE THE GRAINS, PEOPLE!!!!! Don’t let it steal any more of your life!

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Precious, Charla!

      Enjoy your massage. You deserve it, having endured a lifetime of torture at the hands of modern grains!

  18. Charla Eastwood says:

    Oh, I forgot to mention in my earlier post that one of the biggest things going grain-free did for me, was it COMPLETELY ELIMINATED food cravings. I had been marginally successful on a low-carb diet, but food cravings were regularly sabotaging me. I was getting so down on myself because it seemed like at times that I just could not stop eating. I always thought I had more willpower, but just couldn’t control myself and I was soooo terribly down on myself for that, that it was affecting many areas of my life. Once I got rid of the grains, I eat so much less food, and unlike the horrible cravings, just normal/regular hunger is not hard to resist.

    Thanks again, Dr. Davis!

    • Caro says:

      The same goes for me. Eliminating wheat only helped somewhat, but elimating all grains controls my sugar cravings.

    • Rong says:

      My experience is identical. Low carb worked to a degree but appetite was a constant fight. No grains since Sept. 2011 and no all consuming appetite. I am down to two meals a day with or without a nut snack in the evening. Makes the weight loss and other health benefits easy to maintain.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      You are liberated, Charla, from the appetite-increasing bonds of modern wheat!

      It’s like being exposed to the appetite-stimulating effects of marijuana that somebody keeps on sneaking into your diet, making you wonder why you are hungry, all the time, every day, 24 hours a day. It’s the wheat!

  19. stephen ottridge says:

    I’ve lost 20lbs, still dropping at about 1 lb a week. My walking motion is much more fluid and I’m playing the best duplicate bridge of my life. People who see me say I look much better and have more colour in my face.

  20. Teresa says:

    Your comments are all so inspirational. I bought the book and read it, tried it for three weeks, felt so much better, no headaches, down 3 pounds, then backslid for a week and felt crummy again. I am jumping in again, wheat-free and sugar-free this time (didn’t drop the sugar the first go around). Wishing I could inspire my sister to get on board, too. She is diabetic and has just been diagnosed with arthritis. I just know she would feel better. So… guess what book she is getting for Christmas??
    Thank you all so much!

    • Boundless says:

      > She is diabetic …
      Ordinary Type 2, and note T1 or LADA?
      Emphasize to her that T2D is not really a disease. It is a 100% avoidable, but perfectly predictable, metabolic response to excess carbs in the diet, exacerbated by the malicious direct and side effects of technowheat. T2D is also largely reversible – entirely in many cases.

      The WB message ought to be taking the world by storm on this basis alone. You’d think that people would be interested in avoiding, arresting and reversing this heretofore seemingly inevitable, expensive, annoying, but entirely unnecessary, ailment.

      > … and has just been diagnosed with arthritis.
      Don’t be surprised at relief for that too.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Live and learn, Teresa!

      Eat wheat: Feel awful. Stop eating wheat: Feel wonderful. It’s an awfully simple equation!