Better than any NSAID

Karen posted this story of dramatic relief from the inflammatory effects of wheat:

I’ve been experimenting with this diet for the past two weeks. I’m 26 years old and I have scoliosis.

At the age of 23, I got in a car accident and ever since I’ve had constant pain in my back. I just always associated the pain with scoliosis and the accident. When it got really bad, I would go to the doctor and they’d always prescribed NSAIDS [non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs] and muscle relaxers (which I hate because they make me sleep for and extended period of time). I would only take the NSAIDS and still never got relief, so I learned to just live with the pain.

I decided to go on this diet mainly to lose weight and because I heard good things about how it benefits the skin. After only 2 weeks on the diet, every time I see someone they say “Oh you’re glowing!” and I just tell them I’m on the Wheat Belly diet.

Today, as I was walking from my car to the building where I work (it’s a far walk), I noticed my mind was somewhere else for once and not thinking about getting to a seat as fast as possible. The point is I started this diet for other reasons but I’m realizing that the best thing that’s came about is no back pain whatsoever. I was so excited about the realization that I even called up a friend to go work out today!!

Its a really big thing for me since I’ve wanted to be more active for so long but could never really fathom it. I have so much energy right now and I really feel like it’s time for me to finally do what I’ve needed to for so long: get my life together. I’m young and the future looked bleek for me. This has definitely changed my perspective and I don’t think I will ever go back to wheat again!

Modern wheat is the perfect inflammation-provoking food. It inflames joints, skin, airways, sinuses, ileum, pancreas, arteries, even brain. And it does so via several means:

1) Gliadin–Due to gliadin’s unique capacity to “unlock” the normal intestinal barriers to foreign substances, numerous foreign polypeptides and other molecules gain access to your bloodstream, some of which are intrinsically inflammatory, while others trigger autoimmunity (causing the body’s immune system to attack its own organs).

2) Wheat germ agglutinin–The abnormal bowel permeability caused by wheat gliadin is amplified by the direct intestinal toxicity of wheat germ agglutinin. This allows wheat germ agglutinin itself to enter the bloodstream, where it is highly toxic (fatal in microgram quantities if injected directly).

3) Amylopectin A–The high glycemic (blood glucose) potential and, even worse, its insulinotrophic (insulin-provoking) effect result in growth of visceral abdominal fat, the sort of fat that is inflammatory, emitting inflammation-mediating proteins into the bloodstream and thereby amplifying inflammation in other parts of the body.

4) Disruptions of bowel flora–All three above wheat components disrupt bowel flora which, in turn, cultivates inflammatory responses in the intestine that are “exported” to the rest of the body. These data are still preliminary, but promise to be among the most exciting insights into how bowel flora impacts health. Disturbed bowel flora may be intrinsically unhealthy, but their metabolites that gain access to the bloodstream introduce another layer of unhealthy effects.

Believe it or not, there are even more ways wheat provokes inflammation. The means by which, for example, wheat gliadin (“gluten”) causes destruction of cerebral tissue resulting in the dementia of “gluten encephalopathy” likely involves several other brain-inflaming pathways.

It is no wonder that someone like Karen was plagued by pain. But the solution is so simple!

This entry was posted in Inflammation, Joint pain, Wheat-elimination success stories. Bookmark the permalink.

64 Responses to Better than any NSAID

  1. carla says:

    the same things have happened to me. I have felt so much better, my blood sugar is NORMAL, but then I slip, and I can’t seem to get back on it…or should I say OFF the wheat. I don’t remember what to eat for breakfast, or where to start. I feel so miserable I have given up again. SO, if you are wheat free, DON’T go off it! I am still trying, and don’t know where to begin.

    • J. Minten says:

      Have you read WHEAT BELLY? You really should embrace this new lifestyle of eating. Yes, you can fall off this wagon, too, but the wagon stops and waits for you! I started WB in October, 2011. I did great until we went on vacation in April, 2012. I did okay, even lost a couple of pounds the first two weeks. But then, the evil wheat and sugar wormed their ways back into my life. I gained 15 pounds over the last three weeks of vacation. I had done this many times before on other “diets,” but I was never able to shake the habit and get back on the wagon, but Wheat Belly was different! The minute we walked in the door at our home, I knew I could do it! I’ve never looked back since then. I have lost a total of 61 pounds. Go to the Wheat Belly facebook page for lots of encouragement, answers to your questions, etc.

    • HS4 says:

      I find it helps to prepare ‘ready-to-eat’ foods in advance, at least a few things that will last for a week in the refrigerator. If you have the right foods always available you’re more likely to make the right choices and not choose wheat.
      In addition to both Wheat Belly books (especially the cookbook), I’ve also found it very helpful to follow the suggestions in two other books: “Well Fed” by Melissa Joulwan and “It Starts with Food” by Melissa Hartwig & Dallas Hartwig. The second book is mostly about the ‘Whole 30’ concept which is a very effective way of testing sensitivity to various foods including wheat or gluten. Whether or not you want to try their Whole 30 idea, they have a section in the book devoted to pre-preparing parts of healthy meals. Their methods are based on Mel Joulwan’s input for which her book “Well Fed” goes into more details.
      The books make it very easy to prepare a core of pre-cooked meats (based on ground meats such as beef, turkey, pork or lamb; or on pre-cooked boneless chicken thighs) to which vegetables & spices are added to create very tasty meals, in less than 10 minutes for most (and I’ve timed them!). Mel Joulwan suggests some of the best spice mixtures I’ve ever seen; all are easy to assemble and use. Dr D’s books make it possible to also prepare a lot of very tasty baked goods (which I’m working my way through) in advance which will either last a few days or can be frozen. All the books also have other recipe ideas for main meals, special meals, kid-friendly foods, etc…. Between all this, it’s really easy to stick with a GF lifestyle. It does require some advance preparation and planning which is still an issue for me but when it works it does so very smoothly. Even my husband, who is not concerned about avoiding gluten, loves everything I’ve made so far from any of these books.
      Here’s an easy idea for breakfast: try making one of Dr D’s frittata recipes – each one makes a full (large) skillet size meal that will last in the fridge all week. Just heat a portion and serve, or eat it cold. Drizzle with some good fat like olive oil and voila! A great way to start the day.
      Also I would suggest eating out as little as possible, especially in the early stages, since it’s very difficult to truly eliminate wheat which is in everything you can imagine, and then some!

    • Lindsey says:

      It’s like crack. You can’t have just a little, your body demands more and more.
      Funny how it really craves things that are bad for it. I’ve never once craved broccoli. ; )

  2. mleblanc says:

    Going on 2 weeks had a bad wheat craving today , wanted subway so bad ! So glad I did not give into my cravings ! Still having the back pain thou:( hoping soon it will clear up !

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Good job! You are fighting the effects of an opiate in wheat.

      It is NOT about temptation, convenience or comfort. It’s about the opiate you were addicted to!

    • HB Desiato says:

      mleblanc, Hang in there!

      I’ve been wheat free and very low carb for over a year but I still get the occasional craving. I suppose it will never go away completely. I understand your Subway craving and I’ve found that a JimmyJohns “Unwich” (no bun, wrapped in iceberg lettuce) to be a pretty good substitute. My fav is “Club Lulu” with cheese. I don’t do it very often because I suspect there are some flavor enhancers/glutamates added but once in awhile it seems to be ok.

  3. Doyle Perry says:

    I’ve been on the diet for about 3 weeks. Haven’t noticed anything yet, except I’ve lost about 4 pounds, without watching the quantity of food I eat. I have terrible arthritis in my left knee, which just started about a year ago (I’m 63). I’m really hoping it will help.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Large joint pain/arthritis, if it’s going to respond at all, can require several MONTHS to feel better, Doyle.

      So stay the course!

      • Nobelly says:

        That is interesting. Maybe theres hope for my hip pain yet. Been 5 months now wheat free. My migraine headaches are better for sure, but my hip still hurts.

    • derp says:

      From what I understand, rheumathoid arthritis is closely linked to a disbalanced gut flora with an overshoot of Proteus mirabilis bacteria (at least the Ebringer group at King’s College and some others say so). So it will take time to starve these bacteria.
      Coincidentally, the KickAS diet against autoimmune conditions very much looks like a Wheat Belly diet (http://www.kickas.org/asfood.shtml). Users report that reconvalescence takes at least 3 months, with reports ranging to over a year.
      NSAIDs do also harm the blood-gut barrier, so try to avoid them as much as possible.

      Stay strong! You are not doomed to have pain forever.

  4. Lisa L. says:

    Wow! This is such a great story and give such encouragement! Karen, you have such a bright future! I can’t imagine the feelings of euphoria with your new found knowledge! I am sure you are on top of the world! Spread the word! Glad you are doing better!

  5. Sandy says:

    Congratulations to you, Karen! You have learned at a young age the benefits of healthful eating and will enjoy a long, vital life.

    As the only child of both parents in a nursing home suffering from dementia/Alzheimers, this paragraph caught my eye:
    “Believe it or not, there are even more ways wheat provokes inflammation. The means by which, for example, wheat gliadin (“gluten”) causes destruction of cerebral tissue resulting in the dementia of “gluten encephalopathy” likely involves several other brain-inflaming pathways. ”
    I’ve been wheat/grain free for over a year now and am hoping so much that I don’t descend into this insidious disease like my parents. It’s so difficult to watch them slowly losing a lifetime of wonderful memories. My father is already far advanced at 89 years old and doesn’t recognize me. Mama, at 86 still has a bit of life in her, but often refers to me as “her mother”. So sad.
    Thank you, Dr. Davis for writing this vitally important book. I think you may just have saved my sanity in the process!

    • Beck Hiatt says:

      I am so sorry for your continued loss. My father died from Alzheimer’s about two years ago. He was otherwise quite healthy so it was a very, very long journey. I understand your concern for the future. While my mother shows no signs of the disease, my father’s mother and sister were also diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The family suspects a brother who died accidentally much earlier than his siblings may have also had the beginnings of the disease. I, too, am hopeful these diet changes might help prevent the disease from ever presenting in me. Hang in there.

  6. Jessica says:

    Dr. Davis,
    what are your thoughts on ak-mak Sesame Crackers? The ingrediants are, Organically Grown whole wheat flour stone ground,clover honey, sesame oil,dairy butter,sesame seeds, yeast and salt. I really love these?
    Thanks, Jessica

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Throw them on the floor, then stamp your foot over them, pour water on them and repeat. When pulverized to a powder, toss in trash and say, “Good riddens! I will never allow you to enter my life again!”

      NO human should subject themselves knowingly to the adverse health consequences of wheat, organic or no.

    • J. Minten says:

      I was going to say “NO!!” However, I then saw Dr. Davis’s reply, and he said it so much better than I ever could. I hope his answer was emphatic enough for you!!

      Always, always read ingredients as you did. When it says wheat, get it out of your hands as quickly as possible! Read the nutritional values. With wheat and honey as ingredients, I’ll wager that the carb content was HIGH!!

  7. Linda says:

    I gave up the wheat to beat the inflammation – and it’s working for me. I’m older, so it’s taking longer, but the results are there, and getting a little better all the time. It’s been a month, and I’m amazed at the difference. I’m never touching grains again! I’ve noticed that I’m still having trouble with the dairy, so it looks like that’s what’s going next. Thank you Dr. Davis for giving me the information that I needed to put the life back into my life.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Wonderful, Linda!

      And be sure to address the vitamin D and fish oil for added anti-inflammatory effects.

      • Linda says:

        I am following your recommendations from the January 12 post, adding the Vitamin D and Magnesium to the Kelp, Fish Oils, and Probiotics that I was already using. I am also transitioning over to the brands that you recommended, just to be on the safe side. I find it very interesting that I was able to go to an event on this past Saturday and stand for about 5 hours without any pain with only a few sit down rests. I did notice a considerable gain in muscle mass in my quads by Monday – woohoo :) Soon I’ll be able to get back into regular and consistent exercise.
        Thanks again!

      • Lynda (FL) says:

        Listen to the Doc, everybody. I have been working on a vit. D deficiency for several months and the benefits to my body are almost as good as going wheat free (would you believe skin cancers healing?) Reading this blog made me prod my own doctor and I’m so glad I did. Thanks Dr. D.

        PS: loved the recommendation for the crackers!

  8. Janknitz says:

    Pain was my every day companion for a good part of my adult life. Skeletal pain everywhere, worse in my back. On a scale of 10, it was a 7 most of the time, often higher. I was taking way too many NSAIDs just to get through the day, and at my breaking point I was in severe pain just to walk across the room.

    Low carbing helped, but it was not until I dropped the grains that the pain LEFT my body. I’m talking completely left. Gone. No more. Occasionally my back gives me trouble, but it’s not a constant, gnawing pain all the time anymore.

    Over the holidays we visited relatives far from home, and we had one family pot luck dinner where I could not avoid sugar and flour in the meal, they were in EVERY SINGLE dish. The next day I felt TERRIBLE. It reminded me of how I used to feel all the time, and I’m not sure how I got through each day. Every bone and muscle in my body ached. I’m pretty careful with my grain free low carb diet, so I had not experienced this before. And I’m going to make darn sure I don’t experience it ever again!

    • Dr. Davis says:

      I will occasionally be reminded, too, of how I used to feel every day–never again!

      Sometimes these reminders are helpful to poke us in the side and tell us: Wheat is poisonous to humans!

  9. Pingback: Better Than Any NSAID « CrossFit Moncton Paleo Challenge

  10. Mimi says:

    Last summer, I was experienced a myriad of health issues, high blood sugar, extreme pain in my left arm, thyroid issues (hypo thyroid). Dr Brooks Rice suggested I immediately get my thyroid in check by having my thyroid medication changed and to go wheat free, grain free, sugar and dairy free. Started immediately and almost overnight the pain in my left arm that had plagued me for months disappeared. My staff would make comments to me about why I was constantly rubbing my left arm and popping Advil. Once I was off the grains, the pain was gone within days. I have now been wheat free for 7 months, and now my daughter and son in law are wheat free also!
    Thanks Dr Davis, I have shared your book with so many people including my pastor’s wife and her mom. It has been such a blessing to so many people.

  11. Heather Ann says:

    I am starting to see articles in which going gluten free is trivialized as a fad or worse. This particular article starts out with the following statement:

    “Experts are warning that a gluten-free diet can be used to mask an eating disorder.”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2269724/Are-gluten-free-dieters-just-hiding-eating-disorder-How-self-diagnosis-food-allergy-help-diet-extremes.html

    I think the spin cycle has begun. Those profiting from wheat must be very afraid.

    • Janknitz says:

      “I am starting to see articles in which going gluten free is trivialized as a fad or worse”
      My favorites are the articles by medical doctors who say you should never cut grains UNLESS you have tested positive for celiac or gluten sensistivity. My understanding is that testing is difficult and has many false negatives–meanwhile, someone who suspects they are celiac or gluten sensitive should keep ingesting gluten???? Huh?

      And there are too many medical doctors and registered dietitians out there giving dire warnings that people will become malnourished if they don’t eat grains–as if the micronutrients (that often have to be added IN to cereal grains) and fiber aren’t available in other foods. Huh?

      • Heather Ann says:

        Great points, Janknitz. I agree with you completely! It’s interesting to read some of the readers’ comments associated with these articles which state that people who give up gluten are seeking attention or think they are “special.” Maybe some of our doctors feel the same way and consider us to be hypochondriacs or just plain goofy! Gosh, I’m just so happy to not be sick anymore!

        Here’s an article from Forbes by another “expert” which is a bit more balanced — well, kind of. ( I think there are more than 1 in every 100 individuals who have a problem with wheat!) The comments posted reference some interesting studies and articles.

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/katiebell/2012/06/06/is-a-gluten-free-diet-right-for-you-an-expert-weighs-in/

  12. Sara M. says:

    Dr. Davis, I really enjoyed your presentation last night in Whitefish Bay. Great to hear from the author himself. :) I wish there was more time for Q&A, though.

    I, too, have experienced less inflammation when I am not eating wheat. I was in a car accident back in 2010 and got a whiplash injury. It did get better with chiropractic treatment, but I still had occasional flare ups and even migraine headaches from shoulder tension. I have noticed a huge difference since I have been off wheat.

    Also another side note – I have subclinical hypothyroidism. My doctor actually had to reduce my meds last fall (as I was actually a little bit hyper-), after several months off wheat. Anyone else have this same thing happen?

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Thanks, Sara!

      Yes, improvement in thyroid function sufficient to allow a reduction in thyroid hormone replacement occurs occasionally. And I hope your doctor is addressing the T3 thyroid hormone, not just T4!

      • Sara M. says:

        He has me on Armour Thyroid. I actually haven’t had my levels checked in a while, so my doc ordered tests to check levels of all my thyroid hormones, and I’m due to see him again in February. I’m excited to see what the tests yield.

        Also, wanted to ask you … my 11 year old daughter is about 2+ years behind in growth, but was tested and found not to have thyroid or growth hormone issues. Celiac blood test was negative (I know that doesn’t mean much). I’ve had her like 80-90% off wheat since August. Wondering if she will need to be completely off to see some growth results, and if so for how long? She is a good weight for her size, just behind compared to classmates.

        • Sara M. says:

          I also forgot to mention she gets eczema all throughout the winter on her belly and on the inside of her elbows and knees.

  13. Jill says:

    Hi Dr Davis,

    a few months before I found your book, my asthma crisis medication, which had gradually decreased in effectiveness, stopped working completely.
    My ENT doctor, who had worked on my nose/sinus area, had operated on me twice for nasal polyps and wanted me to defray inflammation in the area (which affects asthma too) by going onto cortisone.
    Not short-term, but permanently.
    i checked that the cortisone he recommended is the kind on which you (among other things) gain weight.
    he said it was.
    i have had and do have enough weight/fat etc problems and i flatly refused.
    i told him that was not even an option, i didn’t care how sick i was I didn’t need to exacerbate my condition with permanent cortisone, no matter how anti inflammatory it was.

    a few months later i found your book, went off wheat (bar several relapses), several weeks later tried my crisis
    asthma medication again (just in case) and this time it worked 100%.

    My nasal and chest inflammation have decreased considerably.
    I have a couple of external allergens and such, so I keep my asthma puffers ready; and ice cream is my weakness, but the (&&*^$%^&* cortisone is off the table!
    Actually it was never on, no matter how bad my asthma was. i just figured I should keep looking for solutions.

    Am I glad you didn’t have a terminal case of writer’s cramp to stop publication!! ;)

  14. Jill says:

    Hi Dr Davis,

    a few months before I found your book, my asthma crisis medication, which had gradually decreased in effectiveness, stopped working completely.
    My ENT doctor, who had worked on my nose/sinus area, had operated on me twice for nasal polyps and wanted me to defray inflammation in the area (which affects asthma too) by going onto cortisone.
    Not short-term, but permanently.
    i checked that the cortisone he recommended is the kind on which you (among other things) gain weight.
    he said it was.
    i have had and do have enough weight/fat etc problems and i flatly refused.
    i told him that was not even an option, i didn’t care how sick i was I didn’t need to exacerbate my condition with permanent cortisone, no matter how anti inflammatory.

    a few months later i found your book, went off wheat (bar several relapses), several weeks later tried my crisis
    asthma medication again (just in case) and this time it worked 100%.

    My nasal and chest inflammation have decreased considerably.
    I have a couple of external allergens and such, so I keep my asthma puffers ready; and ice cream is my weakness, but the (&&*^$%^&* cortisone is off the table!
    Actually it was never on, no matter how bad my asthma was. i just figured I should keep looking for solutions.

    Am I glad you didn’t have a terminal case of writer’s cramp to stop publication!! ;)

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Excellent, Jill!

      Yes, many, many asthmatics respond to wheat elimination, often to incredible degrees.

  15. Jill says:

    Apologies for triple posting!!
    Feel free to take off two of them, I had several computer errors in posting.

  16. Pietro says:

    before you cut wheat out of your diet, take a few minutes to read the full NWIC article, and make your decision based on solid science and expert opinions (http://www.cimmyt.org/en/about-us/partnerships/countries/
    doc_download/1734-wheat-improvement-the-truth-unveiled)

    • derp says:

      I laughed.

    • Uncle Roscoe says:

      From your link: “Through our research on maize and wheat cropping systems, we enable impoverished, marginalized rural communities to gain access to environmentally sound agricultural technology that reduces hunger, raises incomes and fosters economic growth.”

      It’s a good thing glutenous grains allow for more people and greater income. The added people will fill in populations decimated by shorter lifespans. The added income will answer the greater need for expensive medical care.

      Feed grains, hopefully not glutenous, to livestock. Eat the livestock.

  17. Nobelly says:

    Today my husband had his oxygen saturation checked and it was 93 ( mine was 97). His temp was really low too at 3 pm 35.7 cent. I understand this could be hyp0thyroid symtoms. Mine seem better after 6 wks on kelp.
    My blood pressure was 102/62 ( used to be 55). My awaking
    temp was generally lower than my husband.

    Does it sound like the kelp is helping me but not my husband.?

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Yes, it could. But the temperature you want is oral temperature (NOT axillary, as is often advised–too inaccurate and variable) IMMEDIATELY upon awakening–no water, no toothbrushing, no coffee, etc.

      This temp should be 36.3 C–the lower, the more likely it is reflective of hypothyroidism.

  18. Nobelly says:

    Bill clinton has apparently reduced his risk of heart disease thru a very low calorie diet. Michael milken has gone into remission of prostate cancer ( advanced) thru a low cal macrobiotic diet.

    I have wondered if these duets simply achieve the same results as a low carb diet by reduing insulin response
    Thru calorie restriction. Also, since calorie restriction is the only diet proven to extnd lufe, is it possible that the same result could be achieved on a wheat free low carb diet?

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Yes, I believe so. While humans can adapt to a wide range of dietary styles, if we are searching for the ideal approach, it would include animal organs and flesh. I do believe that the diets adopted by Clinton and Milken are indeed big improvements over the standard American diet, but they are not ideal. They are likely to also develop deficiencies of vitamin B12, omega-3 fatty acids, taurine, vitamin K2, and other nutrients, as humans are not meant to be herbivorous. Of all the dietary styles adopted by humans in the natural setting, vegetarianism is virtually unknown.

      • Uncle Roscoe says:

        Dr. Davis,

        I agree, and would like to add one caveat. Many people who start on low calorie herbivorous diets report good results ….initially. The initial reports of success come from the fact that any regime which causes weight loss effectively places the dieter on a ketogenic (high fat, low carb) diet. The dieter burns through his/her ingested carb calories, and is forced to start converting stored fat.

        Since the health benefits of herbivorous diets often turn into health nightmares after these dieters burn through their excess body fat, why don’t they just ingest fat and skip the carbs?

        Amazingly popular actor Michael Clarke Duncan switched to a vegetarian diet in 2009. In 2012 he died of a massive heart attack.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGh2_qgYJd8

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Clarke_Duncan

        Vegetarian propaganda paints a picture of people getting healthy on brocolli and avocados. They don’t mention that, to maintain life without ingesting animal protein and fat, people must ingest plant protein and sugar. So a more accurate picture of a vegetarian shows him/her sitting down to a loaf of bread and an ice cream sundae …….an HORRENDOUS diet.

        • Adam says:

          “why don’t they just ingest fat and skip the carbs?”

          “Vegetarian propaganda paints a picture of people getting healthy
          on brocolli and avocados. They don’t mention that, to maintain life
          without ingesting animal protein and fat, people must ingest plant
          protein and sugar.”

          I have been a vegetarian for over a year, and I do ingest fat, a lot of it, and the carbs I get come from vegetables, nuts, and some fruit. I will *not* stop eating those things in pursuit of a an ultra-low carb diet. Why do you seem to think it is impossible for a vegetarian to ingest fat? Cheese, eggs, walnuts, almonds, peanuts, avocados, and extra-virgin olive oil all contain fat, do they not?

          Also, please explain to me how the cheese and eggs I eat do not count as animal protein?

          • Uncle Roscoe says:

            You’re doing what vegetarian T. Colin Davis did in his misnamed book “The China Study”, attempting to classify proteins which are issued from animals as “animal proteins”. They are not animal proteins. They have no relationship to meat. TCD uses legitimate studies which show that these animal-issue proteins are bad for humans. Davis then indicts real animal proteins on this basis. You, on the other hand, are attempting to claim that these animal-issue proteins are good for humans, so you eat them instead of the most hazardous plant proteins.

            I would disagree with you that these animal-issue proteins are good for humans, and agree with T. Colin Davis. What does any of this have to do with meat consumption? Nothing.

            “Fat”? The word has two meanings. One is animal fat, the other includes animal fat and plant oils. You are attempting to indict my points about “fat” based one meaning by invoking the broader term “fat”. Animal fat includes lots of saturated fat and omega 3 fatty acid (EPA and DHA). Humans require these “fats” in abundance. Most plant oils (fats) include mostly unsaturated fats and omega 6 fatty acid, very little omega 3. Flax oil is a source of omega 3 oils, but they come in a form which is, again, bad for humans. The same would be true of nut oils ……another correct point in T. Colin Davis’ book.

            Bottom line? I referred to an unhealthy trend among vegetarians away from healthy meats and (animal) fats toward grains and sugars. You are attempting to buck that trend while attempting to associate your diet with vegetarianism. Good for you for attempting to buck the unhealthy mainstream vegetarian diet trend. Your diet is healthier than the mainstream diet, but it falls far short of optimal.

          • Uncle Roscoe says:

            Oops ……BIG oooooops.

            T. Colin Campbell wrote “The China Study”. All of my above references should refer to T. Colin Campbell.

      • Adam says:

        “They are likely to also develop deficiencies of vitamin B12, omega-3 fatty
        acids, taurine, vitamin K2, and other nutrients [. . . .] Of all the dietary styles
        adopted by humans in the natural setting, vegetarianism is virtually unknown.”

        I thought that in India vegetarianism was their traditional way. No?

        Is there a problem with getting omega-3 fatty acids from raw walnuts?

        I know some people do not agree with dairy consumption, but I eat cheese from a small dairy that claims not to practice “forced canibalism”. Sometimes I eat hard-boiled eggs, too. But in order to be healthy, I must stop being a vegetarian and start eating meat? My consumption of animal protein is already quite high.

        Or is there confusion here between vegetarianism and veganism?

        • Adam says:

          Thank you for the reply.

          “They are not animal proteins. They have no relationship to meat.”

          Then what are they, plant proteins? Please cite your source(s).

          “You, on the other hand, are attempting to claim that these animal-
          issue proteins are good for humans. . . . ”

          “I would disagree with you that these animal-issue proteins are
          good for humans, and agree with T. Colin Davis”

          I neither made nor attempted to make any claim(s) regarding how healthy cheese and eggs are for humans to eat. Please read what I wrote again.

          “The most hazardous plant proteins”?

          Please elucidate.

          “Flax oil is a source of omega 3 oils, but they come in a form which
          is, again, bad for humans.”

          Again? I missed the first time. Source?

          “You are attempting to buck that trend while attempting to associate
          your diet with vegetarianism.”

          My diet *is* vegetarian. It occurs to me that you do not know what vegetarian and vegetarianism mean, and yet you insist on writing about them. I am not familiar with your distinction between animal protein and animal-issue protein, but then I did not make any pronouncements about it.

          “Vegetarian propaganda paints a picture of people getting healthy
          on brocolli and avocados. They don’t mention that, to maintain life
          without ingesting animal protein and fat, people must ingest plant
          protein and sugar.”

          Fats in a narrow, animal-based sense? Alright. You seem to suggest that if people eat meat they will be better off not eating vegetables in order to avoid sugar (Dr. Weil, among others, advises people to eat vegetables). Do you have a source to cite to support your insinuation against vegetable consumption? Or did you mean “sugar” in a narrow, refined-sugar sense?

          You seem to be misusing the word “vegetarian” again, unless to are making a distinction between animal fats and animal-issue fats. I do not recall Udo Erasmus or Dr. Weil criticizing the consumption of plant protein. And do you really think that animal fat is all the fat people need to be healthy? Dr. Weil and Udo Erasmus and others have advocated consuming fats from plants. For health. You seem to disagree with consuming fats from plants. Why? Again, please cite your source(s).

          For the record, please give a summary of what you think an optimal diet is.

          Also, have Udo Erasmus and/or Dr. Andrew Weil criticized omega-3 from plants, or in general fats from nuts? If not, why?

          • Uncle Roscoe says:

            I’d rather talk to a piece of cheese.

          • James says:

            @Uncle Roscoe

            Hi there,

            That’s not really a nice thing to reply. Adam tries to debate in a rational way and feels like it would add a lot to the discussion if you could back up your claims with some sources. I think it is fair enough to ask.

            I am not a vegetarian nor plan to become one but I am always willing to hear new information and presented data of relevance in these nutritional debates. All voices are equal and welcome when courteous and rational in their description of their opinion or questions. I don’t think being rude serves anything.

          • Uncle Roscoe says:

            Sorry, wrong. Opinions are not equal. Neither are people’s abilities to read, comprehend and reason.

    • derp says:

      Calorie restriction does extend lifespan in roundworms and rodents. The research on Primates is much less clear in its results (http://www.nature.com/news/calorie-restriction-falters-in-the-long-run-1.11297).

  19. Melissa says:

    I’m so excited! The following is an article that the director of Tucson Medical Weight Loss wrote for her newsletter. Did she get everything 100% right? No…but she still wrote a glowing review! This is an institution I have gone to in the past for weight loss.

    Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight

    By Dr. Suzanne Bentz

    Recently I had the opportunity to meet Dr. William Davis, author of the best-selling book Wheat Belly. I read hundreds of “diet” books every year and I find they all say basically the same thing with a slight twist or “pop” to sell books. Dr. Davis’ book is revolutionary. I am so excited about it that I am going to make it the focus of this month’s newsletter. While I encourage all of you to read it, I am going to summarize the main points for you here.

    Over the last 15 years, the wheat crop in the United States has changed dramatically. It has been genetically modified, for not only increased growth, but to be drought and pest resistant also. This has given rise to what we can call modern wheat . This introduction of modern wheat to society also coincides with the drastic rise in Obesity rates in the past 15 years.

    There are 2 components of modern wheat that cause a problem for us. First is the protein in wheat called “gluten”. More and more people are becoming Gluten sensitive as is witnessed by all the new “gluten free” menus and food items on the market. For many people, these gluten sensitivities are so severe that they can cause immune mediated illnesses such as Celiac disease. This disease can cause severe symptoms to the gastrointestinal tract resulting in abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloating and severe weight gain. Other immune related symptoms from wheat can cause musculoskeletal pain and major brain dysfunction.

    Gluten, however, is not the component of wheat that is responsible for weight gain. Weight gain is due to the carbohydrate in modern wheat called amylopectin “A”. This particular form of carbohydrate in modern wheat will raise your blood sugar more than eating table sugar would. Eating two slices of wheat toast in the morning will elevate your blood sugar more than a Snickers candy bar! The problem with elevated blood sugar is that it stimulates insulin release from the pancreas. These high insulin levels are a signal to your body to “store fat” thus, leading to weight gain.

    If that wasn’t enough insult to your bowl of “Wheaties” in the morning, eating wheat stimulates the same center in your brain that is also the receptor site for opiates like morphine and heroin. This explains why many of us are addicted to that bagel in the morning, sub sandwich at noon, pretzels and crackers for a snack and pizza or pasta for dinner. The exorphins in wheat increase our appetite and cravings making us eat more and more of the stuff. This also explains why I (with iron clad willpower) cannot open a box of Wheat Thins without consuming the entire thing. Now, becoming wheat free is not an easy task. Not only is it found in our breads, cereals and bakery goods, but if you read labels, you will find it as an ingredient in just about every processed food.

    Now for a word of caution: Do not be fooled by all the “gluten free“products on the market. Although these may be fine for people with celiac disease or other immune illnesses related to wheat gluten, eating these will not lead to weight loss or a reduction in your “wheat belly”. The reason is that these foods substitute rice flour or tapioca flour for the wheat flour. These substituted flours will also raise your blood sugar and insulin levels thus, leading to weight gain.

    The best way to lose weight is to eat foods that are naturally gluten free. I suggest you start by eliminating processed foods first. Try snacking on nuts and seeds, hummus and raw veggies or fresh fruits. Once you have mastered this, start to move away from cereal, toast or pastries in the morning and instead try a cheese omelet, a protein drink, or some Greek yogurt with fresh berries. For lunch, you can choose a Greek salad with chicken. For dinner, try any grilled meat or fish with fresh vegetables and a small portion of wheat-free starch, like quinoa or brown rice. Top it off with a bedtime snack of sliced apples with a wedge of cheddar cheese and you have made it deliciously through the day without consuming any wheat. After one to two weeks of avoiding wheat, you will find that you’ve lost a few pounds and your wheat belly is gone. More than likely you will also have more energy, less joint pain and improved mental clarity!

    Get ready to lose the wheat and lose the weight!

  20. Christine says:

    You said : “Disturbed bowel flora may be intrinsically unhealthy, but their metabolites that gain access to the bloodstream introduce another layer of unhealthy effects.”

    Can you please send me the reference link for this?

    I’ve been wheat-free for nearly 5 years now, and it’s helped immensely… I had a decent-sized subset of all the traditional wheat ailments (no obvious digestive ones, but all the sugar-sensitivity/exhaustion/confusion/joint-pain ones). But about 9 months after I went wheat-free I developed a new ailment, and I’ve been struggling with it ever since.

    I had never had sensitive skin before, at all. But all of a sudden, I did. Specifically, I couldn’t stand to touch soap… wearing a freshly-laundered shirt or sleeping in clean sheets gave me nearly all the symptoms I used to have from wheat (confusion/adrenaline). This was true of **all** soaps; we had a very handy co-op next door, and I tried out every permutation of anything that could be considered a soap. Literally the property of being soap was what my immune system was reacting to. Washing my hands burns (I ignore it), using shampoo (I use J&J’s baby shampoo) makes my nose run. These days I wash my clothes in rubbing alcohol, and buy new ones (yay target) every couple months. I only broke out in spots when the problem first began, before I knew to avoid soap and the symptoms were at their worst… then my skin would turn red like it had been sunburned, or I would break out in itchy spots that looked like achne. Needless to say, a trip to the dermatologist was not productive. I was told I had acne, also that I was probably crazy.

    For what it’s worth, I’ve worked up ‘challenge tests’ for myself: I can correctly distinguish between otherwise identical pieces of cloth with my eyes closed, based on how they burn to touch, related to how much and what type of soap they were washed with. I’m not actually crazy.

    I’ve had four years to apply the scientific method to this, and I discovered that the skin problem is directly related to my digestion. After eating something that’s hard to digest (think a heavy, bland meal), I’ll sweat a thin film which I’m allergic to, which itches. I can wash it off and feel fine. If I’m very careful what I eat for a long period of time, the skin sensitivity gradually decreases. If I mess up what I eat (especially if I accidentally get some wheat), the skin allergy resumes full-force. Taking a pro-biotic like culturelle also causes this itchy sweat, but I tend to feel holisticly better afterwards. A summer living on miso soup (also pro-biotic) did a fair amount to decrease the skin sensitivity. At it’s worst, I didn’t have much feeling in my skin… my finger tips felt like I was wearing silk gloves all the time. Drinking a dose of fumitory, a historic medicinal tea good for treating freckles, would fix that and return sensation (after making me quite thirsty).

    I just discovered your website today, but my going hypothesis has been related, sorta the obvious… that my intestine walls never did heal, and that poorly digested food makes it’s way into my bloodstream and is sweated out through my skin, and tends to collect up under the skin before it’s sweated. That having toxins constantly clustered around like that has sparked an immune system over-sensitivity… thing. What do I do to fix this? How do I *heal* my intestines? I was born lactose intolerant, but it was (very collicky) months before I could be put on lactaid as an infant… I’m guessing my intestines have *never* been in especially good shape. But because I don’t get diarrhea, and I don’t break out in spots, I don’t have the faintest chance of having most medical professionals take me seriously… and I suppose they wouldn’t know what to do with me even if they did.

    You say “All three above wheat components disrupt bowel flora which, in turn, cultivates inflammatory responses in the intestine that are “exported” to the rest of the body. These data are still preliminary, but promise to be among the most exciting insights into how bowel flora impacts health.”

    I know the data’s preliminary… but link please? **Please**? Thank you so much for all your efforts here!

    • Dr. Davis says:

      You are asking for the references to an entire body of literature, Christine. Rather than cite one study, I would go to Pubmed.gov and dig up the studies by entering your desired search terms. For bowel flora issues, look up “celiac” + “bowel flora.”

      For the inflammatory effects of wheat, there are many, many studies, but “Fasano” + “gliadin” and possibly “zonulin” will set you on the right course.