Dr. Oz Show: Are You Addicted to Wheat?

The Dr. Oz Show segment about Wheat Belly to discuss the destructive health effects of modern wheat airs Monday, December 3rd, 2012!

The full preview is viewable here on the Dr. Oz Show website.

On the show, I got a chance to discuss several of the important reasons why wheat is perfectly crafted to cause weight gain and destroy health, and why complete elimination is the most powerful weight loss and health-regaining strategy I have ever seen.

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157 Responses to Dr. Oz Show: Are You Addicted to Wheat?

  1. Jess Lyman says:

    Dr. Davis, nothing regarding any recent news reports has thrilled us more than seeing you on Dr. Oz yesterday. A former Dr. Oz fan, I had stopped watching his shows after reading your book in August 2011, with his continually promoting “healthy whole grains.”

    Now 16 months later, inspired by your book (bear with me, I’ve written here in the past), both my husband and I are low carb, wheat free, all grain free, sugar free, starch free, and soy free. My hubby has lost 46 pounds, quit smoking and started walking and… stopped taking 7 pills a day! His IBS symptoms are gone!

    I was always slim and exercised but suffered with severe full body pain due as a result of a crumbling spine. Every disc in my back, from C1 to L5, is herniated (via MRI studies). I became pain free since about a month after starting this regime. My blood sugar was high after eating and dismissed by our doctor since my A1C was 5.7. I always struggling with constant hunger, feeling deprived and dieting to maintain my weight. Now, I only eat when hungry and load up on “healthy foods” with no desire for the foods I wrongfully thought were healthy in the past.

    My husband retired from a 42 year job on Halloween and in 4 weeks we leave the US to travel the world for the next 5-10 years as fit senior citizens. I could barely go to the grocery store 16 months ago and now I can travel the world!!! My blood sugar is now normal at all times including after eating. YOU inspired me to begin checking my blood sugar, only to be horrified in the readings of 180-200 after eating even a modest amount of grain or fruit carbs which I have now totally given up.

    We started writing a blog to document how we’ll enjoy food and life traveling around the world (www.WorldWideWaftage.com), wheat and grain free! No, pasta or bread in Tuscany next summer! We’re OK with this. Our health nourishes us. We’ll enjoy fresh foods from the local markets.. When one is not plagued with hunger, its easy to eat good food.

    So, thank you again, Dr. Davis and (of course, Dr. Oz) for presenting the extraordinary work you have done to enlighten us at the risk of constant criticism by the medical profession and the nay-sayers who have been blinded by agri-business and the likes of Monsanto.

    Warmest regards,

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Terrific, Jessica! Very nice results.

      Please travel the world and be healthy by avoiding all manner of wheat, no matter what international denomination!

  2. Now what says:

    Ok now what? I believe the facts about dwarf wheat variaties, BUT the the north american “machine” that produces wheat(farmers) is an unstoppable machine. In regard to the short stem of dwarf wheat, this was bred into the wheat because there is much less straw to handle after harvesting the grain. Less straw makes it easier to continuous crop the land. In the early to mid seventies farmers planted a crop every season, before that most farmers would give the land a season off this is called ‘leaving the land fallow’. But increased production for what ever reason forced farmers to plant the grain every season.

    • grass fed rancher says:

      Lets put a good portion into grass and raise good grass fed beef. We must however get the right type of cattle, not the corn and wheat burning machines. The rest of the grains could be used to make bio-fuels it might not be real economical, but look how it could cut our health costs. We have been wheat free and LCHF for almost a year now feel great, not going back. Eat more good grass fattened BEEF.

    • Boundless says:

      > Ok now what?
      The market for wheat is going to permanently collapse (and not even revert to hierloom). Farmers (and I own some “wheat ground”) need to figure out what else to do with the land. We’ve seriously considered going to grass and running cattle, but our cattle tenant tells us it take several years to convert tilled ground to pasture.

      > …BUT the the north american “machine” that produces wheat(farmers) is an unstoppable machine.
      So was tobacco.
      I also work in the farm machinery business. We need to be prepared to support whatever direction the customers go. Wheat, however, is doomed.

      How fast the market collapses is really up to the final consumer. If Dr. Oz joins the parade, the process will speed up. If the Surgeon General joins in, expect a tobacco-scale implosion.

      • Now what says:

        Tobacco was/is a different thing, 99.99 house holds have a loaf of wheat bread in the kitchen. Some of it really crappy bread, that white, moist and no real structure(wonder bread like). If you look at “100%” whole wheat flour it looks like its reconstituted from enriched flour, germ plus ???.
        Its the enriched flour that makes it not much better than wonder bread. How about the white bread with added ruffage!

        As the OZ show stated alot of packaged food also contans wheat, So whole real foods are the only way to go, with a patch of ancient grain planted in the back yard. The masses of North America are doomed to aquire diabetes and colon cancer.

  3. Parker says:

    Dr. Davis,

    Really enjoyed your interview on Dr. Oz’ show and only wish, as cardiologist, he would have taken it one step farther: shown the arteries of a patient with heart disease before embarking on your program (or any low carb program) and after. We see all of the benefits of a vegan diet such as Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn’s (or the alleged benefits of Ornish’s) on shows such as Dr. Oz’, but, I’ve yet to see him demonstrate the benefits of a good, low carb diet for the public. At least the blood sugar demonstration validated the concerns of regarding bread.

    I’d also suggest this consideration: have you seen the evidence that a (good) low carb diet may be more effective for improving prostate health than other dietary approaches? http://www.dukehealth.org/health_library/news/10177 I’ve actually written to several vegan doctors and asked for their thoughts…essentially, the feedback was “that’s nice, but….” Perhaps for your next project you might look into this added benefit of a low carb diet. I’ve actually started passing this information on to friends who are giving it a try. I actually found several boards where men suffering from elevated PSA levels cut them in half in weeks and have never looked back.

    Finally, regarding Mr. Taubes advice? My only suggestion is this: having been forced to survive off of the “wild” for several weeks, I can share his “dietary” advice vs. reality are two different things. In fact, “reality” is much closer to Art Devaney, Robb Wolf and Wheat Belly. Fatty meats, cheeses (dairy) and even eggs are simply a dietary rarity or non-option in the wild. How much milk did Paleo humans consume? (Zero) Cattle was not even domesticated until the time of agriculture…eggs are very difficult to come by in large volumes in the wild.

    Small animals–rabbits, squirrels–and fish provide most of the energy until a larger animal can be killed. Root vegetables. Limited berries. And lots of intermittent fasting while you’re seeking that next meal.

    Sorry for the long post, but, wanted to thank you again.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      It would indeed have been nice to have gotten into a discussion about implications of this approach for coronary risk and atherogenesis (causation of atherosclerosis). Alas, that is not what nice housewives hope to hear!

    • Dr. Davis says:

      I’m going to bet that there are a variety of reasons for observing such an effect. But among the reasons: the flaxseed, given its incredible hygroscopic property (water absorption), may serve to displace other foods, reduce appetite, and blunt the usual postprandial (after-eating) flood of particles from the byproducts of digestion.

      Beyond this, the rich soluble fiber component of flaxseed, digested by bowel flora in the large intestine, may play a role, as well.

  4. Janknitz says:

    Great Job, Dr. Davis!

    I didn’t care much for the hokey demonstration pouring the yellow water (seems like Dr. Oz gives little credit to his audience’s intelligence) but the rest was spot on. He seems to really have read the book and took the points you make seriously.

    I don’t doubt that he’ll be back to recommending whole grain products tomorrow, but at least he gave you a fair hearing before his wide audience.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      It’s a start, at least!

    • Tanya says:

      Yup! He was back at the ‘healthy whole grains’ party line on yesterday’s show! (The metabolism one) He had 3 sisters, each with apparently a different metabolism, and he recommended one of them should eat a very high percentage of carbs including whole grain bread… it was on the presentation table.. guess old habits really do die hard!

      • Boundless says:

        > He was back at the ‘healthy whole grains’ party line on yesterday’s show!
        When was that show taped vs. the Dr.Davis footage?
        It might have been earlier.

  5. RokShox says:

    I was very impressed with how Dr. Oz handled the fact that your no-whole-wheat advocacy contradicts the advice he’s been giving for years about whole wheat. I understand the logic, (bad vs less bad vs get rid of it altogether), but I would expect the typical media type to have been very defensive and snarky, perhaps even trying to ambush you. (Say, with the results of the blood glucose test). Anyway, excellent job.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Thanks, Rok!

      I tried to cast it in a positive light, as nobody likes to look stupid or be wrong.

  6. Robin says:

    You mentioned that the wheat we eat today is not our grandmothers’ wheat, rather genetically engineered . So if I am buying and grinding my own wheat and baking my own bread, would that be healthier? Did my grandmothers wheat contain the protein that triggers the appetite center?

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Well, Robin, first of all, wheat is not “genetically engineered.” It has indeed been changed, but using techniques that predate modern genetic engineering. The techniques used to modify wheat were, in many cases, WORSE than modern genetic engineering.

      And, no, no matter what you do to it, it remains modern, high-yield semi-dwarf wheat with all its awful components.

  7. Kathy says:

    I’ve not watched more than a few Dr. Oz episodes. He was interesting as a guest on Oprah (about the only time I watched her show), introducing viewers to their own bodies’ inner workings – a valuable “public service”, even if that wasn’t the intent. Viewership = sponsors = money, you know. His own show, on the other hand, is just more “daytime tv”.

    So I was really pleased with your appearance on his show, spreading the word to a whole new audience. And it was all so civilized! Not once did I hear you have to defend yourself against an attack. What’s daytime tv coming to?

    Good job, Doc!

  8. Jeanne says:

    On Dr Oz you said small amounts of Bulgar could be used. Is Bulgar not a wheat product? I am confused.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      I don’t think I said that. If I did, it was a slip, Jeanne!

      No, no bulgur. You correctly point out that bulgur is closely related to wheat.

      • Jeanne says:

        Dr. Davis,
        Thanks for the quick response and clarification.

        • Jeanne says:

          I thought I must have been sleep posting! Haha. But it is another Jeanne! Welcome. Are you a nurse too? Wouldn’t that be a coincidence.

          Jeanne C.

  9. Tanya says:

    I’m curious why Dr. Oz says wheat’s addictiveness ‘has been discussed, we’ve talked about this on the show in the past’ ~ this was Dr. Davis’ first visit right? So who else has been on his show talking about this?

  10. Nina says:

    Yay! Doctor to doctor. Oz introduces you with a copy of the book and the announcement that it has been at the top of the best seller list for 6 months. Check mate. He can’t junk your experience medically. If he junks your book, he risks losing some of his popular audience and not recruiting your audience.

    So what does Oz do? He doesn’t highjack you in the way he did Gary Taubes, but sets up a visual demonstration (as if he was the originator of the ideas).

    You da man! Respect!


    • Dr. Davis says:

      Thanks, Nina!

      I do give Dr. Oz credit for at least being willing to listen. While more and more of my colleagues are beginning to understand the power of this approach, many still refuse to even hear the logic.

      The ones who listen tell me about all their patients with relief from multiple ailments, losing unprecedented quantities of weight. The ones who don’t want to hear about it will be busy dispensing drug after drug, recommending imaging procedures and surgeries, making lots of money for their hospitals and systems. This is the sad reality of modern healthcare.

  11. Fred says:

    Please put the links to the show here on the blog… sent several over, guess they are on Facebook only?

    • Dr. Davis says:

      The link to the Dr. Oz Show is just below the graphic, Fred.

      Or, of course, Google “Dr. Oz Show” and click on “episodes.”

  12. Debbie Picozzi says:

    Dr. Davis,
    How do you respond to the following research?
    1. Reddy, S.T, Wang, C.Y., Sakhaee, K., Brinkley, L., and CYC. Pak. Effect of low-carbohydrate high-protein diets on acid-base balance, stone-forming propensity, and calcium metabolism. Am. J. Kidney Dis. 40(2):265-74, 2002.

    Effect of low-carbohydrate high-protein diets on acid-base balance, stone-forming propensity, and calcium metabolism.
    Reddy ST, Wang CY, Sakhaee K, Brinkley L, Pak CY.
    Department of Internal Medicine, Section of General Internal Medicine, The University of Chicago, IL 60637, USA. sreddy@medicine.bsd.uchicago.edu
    Low-carbohydrate high-protein (LCHP) diets are used commonly for weight reduction. This study explores the relationship between such diets and acid-base balance, kidney-stone risk, and calcium and bone metabolism.
    Ten healthy subjects participated in a metabolic study. Subjects initially consumed their usual non-weight-reducing diet, then a severely carbohydrate-restricted induction diet for 2 weeks, followed by a moderately carbohydrate-restricted maintenance diet for 4 weeks. Results: Urine pH decreased from 6.09 (Usual) to 5.56 (Induction; P < 0.01) to 5.67 (Maintenance;P < 0.05). Net acid excretion increased by 56 mEq/d (Induction; P < 0.001) and 51 mEq/d (Maintenance; P < 0.001) from a baseline of 61 mEq/d. Urinary citrate levels decreased from 763 mg/d (3.98 mmol/d) to 449 mg/d (2.34 mmol/d; P < 0.01) to 581 mg/d (3.03 mmol/d; P < 0.05). Urinary saturation of undissociated uric acid increased more than twofold. Urinary calcium levels increased from 160 mg/d (3.99 mmol/d) to 258 mg/d (6.44 mmol/d; P < 0.001) to 248 mg/d (6.19 mmol/d; P < 0.01). This increase in urinary calcium levels was not compensated by a commensurate increase in fractional intestinal calcium absorption. Therefore, estimated calcium balance decreased by 130 mg/d (3.24 mmol/d; P < 0.001) and 90 mg/d (2.25 mmol/d; P < 0.05). Urinary deoxypyridinoline and N-telopeptide levels trended upward, whereas serum osteocalcin concentrations decreased significantly (P < 0.01).
    Consumption of an LCHP diet for 6 weeks delivers a marked acid load to the kidney, increases the risk for stone formation, decreases estimated calcium balance, and may increase the risk for bone loss.
    Copyright 2002 by the National Kidney Foundation, Inc.
    [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Hard to say, Debbie, as I don’t have access to the full-text publication to understand the composition of the diets used, along with potential confounding issues such as weight loss during dietary manipulations.

      For instance, if by “low-carbohydrate diet” they mean a largely meat-based diet that is lacking in vegetables, nuts, some fruit, then the meat-based diet can indeed do this.

  13. Crystal says:

    I just read your book and am introducing it into my life. I do eat very clean and dont necessarily have a ‘wheat belly”….I am more concerned with leg and butt fat. Also, I have dark circles under my eyes that wont go away no matter how much I sleep. In October I found out I have an egg allergy and eliminating it has been great. I just had a few questions:
    - does wheat add to butt and leg fat
    - can it affect eye circles…sinuses?
    - is it normal to feel thin in the morning and by the end of the day bloated and bigger in the butt and legs
    I work out quite a bit but read the Hormone Diet book that stated that working out too much is not good for hormone health. Im trying to find balance and think eliminating wheat will be my next step!

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Those phenomena could indeed be due to wheat consumption.

      There is a very easy test to connect cause and effect: Eat no wheat! That is the beauty of this approach: No drugs, cleansing solutions, enemas, meal replacements to buy–just eat no wheat and you should have your answer. I’ll bet that at least some of your symptoms go away, if not all.

      • Crystal says:

        How long after going wheat free do people normally notice a difference? Does wheat cause fluid retention due to the high GI effects?

  14. anne says:

    You said something on the Dr. Oz show about how wheat stimulates the opiate receptors, but it doesn’t make you high like, say, heroin. Well, maybe not like heroin, but I think it does do *something* along those lines. My husband has a form of celiac disease and I don’t, so I can eat wheat, although I have scrupulously avoided it since Wheat Belly was published. Before the book, though, I would infrequently have bread when out, the occasional small serving of pasta, birthday cake, etc. One Christmas I was making cookies for the rest of the family and decided to indulge a bit. I had maybe half a dozen cookies as they came out of the oven and definitely noticed a fabulous increase in positive energy and mood a short time later. I was nearly euphoric – as if I had taken something – as if I was high! So I think it’s possible that it actually does have that effect when you’re not used to eating wheat.

    And by the way, eating half a dozen cookies only made me want more, of course. But the subsequent cookies over the course of the next few days didn’t give me that pleasant euphoric feeling again. Just unwanted holiday weight gain.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Yes, indeed, Anne: Wheat exerts a range of mind effects that vary, depending on your susceptibilities.

      In addition to increased appetite, some experience a mild “high” as you did. Others experience mind “fog,” anger, anxiety, behavioral outbursts, paranoia, or food obsessions. Is it any wonder we have so much mental illness and stress in our world? It’s not ALL due to wheat, of course, but a lot of it is!

  15. PJ says:

    I finally got to watching this interview and I must say, for the first time I was impressed by Dr. Oz. He listened without making faces when you spoke and what you said. What I first noticed when I saw the two of you side by side was the surface health differences. While you had the “good health glow”, Dr. Oz had the typical low fat, heavy grain look (dark circles under his eyes, gaunt face). Who would I want to take nutritional advice from?

    I have to give Dr. Oz a big “atta boy!” when he admitted that all along he has been giving incorrect advice to his patients. Since he does have a huge fan base, I predict there are going to be a lot of WB converts.

    Love watching your interviews and the reactions the hosts display.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Yes, I was impressed that, at the very least, Dr. Oz was willing to listen.

      I don’t know if I made an impact on his thinking, but perhaps we got the wheat-free ball rolling in his head!

    • Dan Austin says:

      Going based on “looking healthy” is a decidedly unscientific approach given the low sample size. If that’s your methodology, then Clarence Bass — http://www.cbass.com — is far fitter and healthier than either of the docs here, even though he is much older — and he advocates a mostly whole-grain diet. Be mindful not to confuse science and religion.

      • Jason says:

        I completely agree with Dr. Davis’ research but PJ, you are being ridiculous.
        Dr. Davis had the healthy glow and Dr. Oz having the heavy grain look?

        Obviously one cannot see the insides of the two individuals in question but Dr. Oz definitely appears to be in better physical shape and appearance on the surface.
        Again I completely agree with Dr. Davis’ research. As a fan of both of these gentlemen I believe that your comment is ludicrous PJ. Even if one were not to adopt my viewpoint, I do not believe that one can conclude that Dr. Davis had a significantly healther appearance than Dr. Oz.

  16. Crystal says:

    In terms of carbs, how many would you suggest in a day (grams)? I did a survey from Jillian Micheals and it stated that I am an equal oxidizer and would require 30% of fat and 35% of carbs and protein. What is the max amount of carbs that should be injested in a day. I am a 30 year old female, 5’3 and weigh approx 115 lbs.


    • Dr. Davis says:

      35% of carbs is, I fear, absurd, Crystal, the sort of “wisdom” that comes from people who, while well-intended, do not understand nutrition nor the consequences of such an eating pattern on health. That advice is, in effect, the kindergarten version of nutrition.

      Most people can tolerate up to 15 grams “net” carbs per meal, i.e., total carbs minus fiber. Exceed this and varying degrees of hyperglycemia/glycation and small LDL provocation develop (consequent to hepatic de novo lipogenesis).

  17. cynthia says:

    So is white bread healthy? or honey wheat?

  18. lissajean says:

    Hi I saw that interview with Dr. Oz. I really thought the demonstration with the yellow H2O was ridiculous. The study of modern wheat and what it does to the body is really rather complicated for daytime television, so they set up this silly demonstration with sponges. With no disrespect intended, I’m surprised you went along with it.

  19. Jason says:

    It’s an analogy Lissajean.
    The purpose of an analogy is to simplify complex matterrs so that everyone may understand them.
    I agree that it was making a complex matter very simple; then oyu could also argue that Dr. Davis’ cigarette analogy was equally “silly.” Both analogies were perfectly valid.