Give Harvard Health a piece of your mind!

Harvard Health Publications of the Harvard Medical School just published this bit of conventional tripe, written by Holly Strawbridge, Executive Editor of the Harvard Heart Letter:

Going gluten-free just because? Here’s what you need to know

Some choice quotes:

” . . . lately it’s become hip to go gluten-free. Based on little or no evidence other than testimonials in the media, people have been switching to gluten-free diets to lose weight, boost energy, treat autism, or generally feel healthier.”

“If you’re determined to go gluten-free, it’s important to know that it can set you up for some nutritional deficiencies.”

And the closing comments:

“There’s one more thing you might consider doing: keep your dietary choice to yourself. The more than 300,000-plus people in this country with celiac disease have to follow a gluten-free diet, because the tiniest taste of gluten will trigger debilitating gastrointestinal discomfort. It’s time consuming, expensive, and restrictive. ‘It’s a gigantic burden for those who have to follow it,’ says Dr. Leffler.”

Clearly, the amount of research Ms. Strawbridge conducted to write this article likely went no further than a nutrition textbook. “Keep your dietary choice to yourself?” What the heck does that mean? Perhaps Ms. Strawbridge is working to protect those nice grants her institution receives from the likes of Nabisco, Kraft, and General Mills. (By the way, there are 3 million people in the U.S. with celiac, not 300,000–she’s off by only 90%!)

Here is the comment I posted in response:

This article misses many of the essential points that are driving the tidal wave of wheat-rejection. Let me make a few of the most important points:

1) Gluten is just one protein in wheat. There are over 10,000 others.

2) The gliadin protein of wheat exerts opioid effects on the human brain that, via the tetra- and pentapeptide digestates of gliadin, stimulate calorie consumption: 400 more calories per day, every day. The effect is blocked by naloxone/naltrexone, opiate-blocking drugs. (An FDA application is currently pending for such an application of naltrexone.)

3) The gliadin protein has been demonstrated (Fasano et al) to induce increased small intestinal permeability, permitting entry of polypeptide antigens into the bloodstream/lymph, suspected to be the first step in generating autoimmunity. (A serum test for the zonulin protein will be commercially available near-future. Dr. Fasano tells me.)

4) Wheat germ agglutinin, a direct intestinal toxin in animal models, exerts disruptive effects on gastric, small intestinal, and colonic mucosa.

5) Unique forms of alpha amylase inhibitors are suspected to be among the factors responsible for the explosive increase in childhood allergies and asthma.

This all comes to a head in our time because agribusiness and agricultural geneticists have been busy changing the genetics of wheat, e.g., chemical mutagenesis (the purposeful induction of mutations using sodium azide) to create imazamox-resistant wheat (“Clearfield,” patents held by BASF, the world’s largest chemical manufacturer), now grown on nearly 1 million acres in the U.S. The quadrupling of celiac disease, for instance, is largely explained by the enrichment of the Glia-alpha 9 gene in modern wheat, virtually absent from the wheat of 1960. This is just ONE of the thousands of changes introduced into the genome of modern wheat in the cause of increased yield-per acre.

To argue that wheat products are necessary for B vitamins and fiber and to ignore all the other issues that now surround modern wheat is, well, ignorant.

Unfortunately, the readership of this Harvard publication and the patients of physicians like Dr. Leffler will be deprived of real insights into this phenomenon of agribusiness-altered wheat. To call this a ‘fad” is like calling avoidance of glyphosate-resistant and Bt toxin-inoculated corn (both products of genetic modification) a fad—it is obviously not; it is a rejection of the worrisome genetic changes introduced into crops to suit the agenda of agribusiness, while ignoring the health effects on the consumers who eat these products.

People like Ms. Strawbridge help perpetuate the ignorance that prevails among healthcare providers. We should not let her get away with such nonsense—Don’t hold back: Go to their site and post a comment. Let them know what you really think!

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. Great post! I am tired of the superficial understanding that ‘professionals’ have about nutrition. It makes my job as a personal trainer and behavior coach emphasizing on weight loss and health improvement 10x harder than it needs to be! I am constantly explaining the truth after people read junk like this…..

    Keep up the wonderful education and I will continue to share it too!!!

  2. Renee cummins

    Thank you, again! Why is it that I’m simply an associate degree nurse and I can see the implications in the “new” wheat we all consume in mass quantities?!? I agree, more studies can and should be done, however… The obvious is too important to ignore! I believe money is playing a huge part in doing the right thing and I am grateful you have highlighted this issue! And, for the bazillionth time: for those of us not Gluten intolerant, it’s about wheat, specifically!! (Well, and other genetically modified foods)

    I, too went WHEAT free for 10 days…I no longer suffered hip pain, I slept better, and my skin glowed! When I broke down, to a doughnut, lol, I actually got “high” prior to crashing!

    Renee Cummins, RN

  3. Elizabeth Klub

    Who funded this malarky? Wheat-free is a life time experience with over 45,000 testimonials. Some day wheat-eaters will catch up with the rest of the world. You think cigarette smoking is bad? Wait until you realize the true ramifications of wheat consumption!

  4. Debbie

    I couldn’t agree more, I have been researching this myself and am so frustrated with the unwillingness to acknowledge the science, and the proof that Wheat is not the same today as yesterday and what its genetic engineering is doing to this country and their waistline. As a Professional Trainer it becomes very frustrating for this to be ignored or lumped into the FAD category…Thanks for the article and ability to vent!

  5. Elizabeth

    I’m 6 weeks out with going with Wheat Belly. I saw my primary about 2 weeks into it and shared this with her. She’s a nurse practioner as a side-light to this story. At any rate, she applauded me and wished me well with it going on to say she wanted to read the book. Later she introduced me to the doctor in the clinic (I’d just followed her to a new practice) and announced to him what I was doing. He dissed me saying…”Oh, it’s just another fad diet like South Beach!” I told him to at least be open-minded and read it because I’ve read South Beach (been there done that) and this one is much, much more.
    Anyway, I had had IBS issues prior to being on W.B., I have rheumatory issues, fibromyalgia and more. I’m not only losing weight, my glucose numbers are within normal range and I’m confident that my inflammation issues also will improve along with my HDL/LDL readings. This is a “life-style” and NOT a “diet”!!!
    People are being sold a bill of goods through marketing with all the processed foods and with wheat in just about everything. You would think that the medical field would applaud a way for people to become healthier!! I can see myself living this way long-term PLUS I want to tell that doctor “I told you so!”

  6. Hope

    Good to see you commented on their web site! I was aghast when I read the ignorance there. :O I had respected the Harvard site in the past. I am a “newbie” to working on being wheat free. I have been dealing with intense arthritis pain that has progressively crippled me from walking my dog any length of time, to being able to go grocery shopping, and not have to sit for 24-48 hours to recover. This has gotten progressively worse in the past year. Rx pain drugs had too many side effects and against doctor’s advice, I have continued the ibuprofen because it was the only thing that helped w/ the inflammation and pain of my arthritis. But keeping to minimal doses meant the pain & limitations continued, even though I could sleep better. My doctor finally suggested acupuncture so I could get off the ibuprofen. Since starting acupuncture in late Dec. 2012, my acupuncturist suggested I cut the wheat back to no more than a single serving a day, if that. Along with diet changes, better supplements and acupuncture, I am now walking my dog, being on my feet for shopping, going to the library, you name it, with so much more mobility and less pain! My cane now stays home and gathers dust! :) I am down to 1/2 of one ibuprofen pill (100 mg of a 200 mg. pill), once in the morning and once at bedtime. I am progressing to giving up the morning dose and will soon be completely off ibuprofen! I have energy now. My mind is clear without the “slump” in energy every couple hours, as well. I haven’t felt this good in over a year! I would have never thought of wheat if it hadn’t been for my acupuncturist as well as subsequently an email discussion that brought up your book, Dr. Davis. Now I have your book, and the cookbook. I am on my way! :)

  7. Lois

    I do wonder about the parts of the medical community that continue to deny what is apparent to most people who actually try the wheat free life style. I went went free 7 months ago due to sx that I paid attention to mostly because my daughter was already wheat free because of possible celiac.
    The first thing i noticed was that the red rash I had developed on my face was slowly going away and after about 3 months it was gone and has not returned. The bloating is gone unless I happen to inadvertently eat some wheat unknowingly. Over this time I have lost about 12 pounds, not a lot, but I have to admit, I still enjoy a piece of gluten free bread on occasion and I have not given up ice cream and chocolate just reduced how much. After 76 years bad habits are harder to get rid of.

    Most people think and ask if I have celiac I tell them I’m not sure but that I do feel better living without wheat. Trying to explain to the average person in detail is usually not worth it because they believe what they see on the televsion or print advertising. They will ask questions if I have peaked their curiosity. What is great now is that I find more and more products marked “gluten free” in the supermarket.
    Thanks Dr Davis for bringing all this into the light of day.

  8. Thank you for your rebuttal to this article. I started the Wheat Belly program about 3-4 weeks ago. I have had a life time weight problem (I am 59 years old) with fatigue, fybromyalgia, and arthritis in my hip and hands. I have completely eliminated wheat from my diet and what I’m noticing right now is my decreased need for food. This is the first time in my life that my brain is telling me I’m full after about half of what I’d normally consume. And I am losing weight. The other problems are still there so far, but I know the weight loss will help with those. All I know is that, so far, my appetite is significantly decreased after about 35 years of struggle with overeating. From what I understand from your book, that’s right about the same time as the new, mutant wheat began to flood the market. Thanks again for your endeavors to inform us about these issues.

  9. Annette roussel

    At 48 I have diabetes fibromyalgia high blood pressure I’m overweight I have irritable bowl. It has to be something in my diet. I try to eat clean whole foods nothing packaged like paleo lots of fresh fruits and vegies. Still have inflamation. It’s got to be wheat. I’m trying it.

  10. Jan

    I encourage all the wheat belly community to go to the link above and give your two cents! Boundless…..always love your comments!

  11. AYB

    Its funny how Dr.D seems to have his own private army of online minions :D
    Anyway still nice to see your able to flex your muscles and give few slaps back at the wheat lobbers too.

  12. Beth

    I think they’re deliberately misguiding people. They say “gluten-free” means people will lose out on nutrients, when it means that people eating gluten-free SUBSTITUTES for wheat products will lose out on nutrients. And they fail to mention that it’s because wheat products are fortified! If we’re eating primarily whole foods (and not relying on carbohydrate-laden, gluten-free snacks), we should be fine. They don’t think we’re smart enough to understand the distinction so tell us that “gluten-free” is a fad when obviously it’s not.

    Thank you for posting this!

    • Marje

      “deliberately misguiding people” …. YA THINK?

      There are billions (with a B) of dollars involved in keeping us sick …. BigPharma, BigFood, BigAgra… they are laughing all the way to the bank. The sicker we are, for years and years, the WAY MORE MONEY they make.

      BigPharma, BigFood, BigAgra are funding the organizations and journalists who dispense the healthcare information that’s keeping us sick!

      It’s only when we, the health care consumers, do our own in-depth research that we discover this deception. It is important that we TALK BACK to these charlatans…. CALL THEM OUT for what they are …. leaches on the suffering of others.

  13. Joann

    You tell ’em, Dr. Davis!!! I am so sick of these money-hungry corporations feeding us crap and calling it food! I never realized until I went wheat-free just how many wheat-containing products there are in an average supermarket (and that includes “health” food stores)! The perimeter of the store is where all the real food is, and just about everything in the middle is wheat-laden junk, devoid of nutrients, with all kinds of scary unpronounceable additives. And because wheat is so cheap, the mark-up on these products really lines the pockets of the producers. If you scraped the toppings off a frozen pizza, you’d end up with a dinky handful of veggies/meat/cheese and you’d be left with a huge round of crust! Any nutrients the pizza contains is in the small amount of toppings and the rest (the crust) has nothing to offer you. And to top it all off, you get charged upwards of $10 or more for that pizza, and the company who made it invested just a wee bit in that handful of veggies on top! All-you-can-eat pizza and pasta joints, same thing. They serve a lot of food for one “low” price, but its mainly wheat with a little veg/meat/cheese mixed in. How about mac-n-cheese, 4 boxes for $1? You think that’s a bargain? But look at what you’re getting! A teeny dose of cheese, and a ton of pasta! The folks who manufacture this stuff probably have about .05 cents invested in a box of mac-n-cheese, and look at the return they get!!! Just look at the bakery inside the store, wall-to-wall wheat and sugar with exorbitant price tags. And what do they have invested in that big beautiful cake but 3 cups of flour and 2 cups of sugar?! Wheat is junk food and a rip-off. It has nothing to offer the human body in the way of nutrients that you can’t get a hundredfold when you eat your veggies. To insinuate that you’d be asking for a nutritional deficiency if you stop eating it is ludicrous!

    • Dr. Davis

      Very well said, Joann!

      You have seen the curtain pulled back and you now see the processed food industry for the nutritional thugs they are!

      • Jan

        “Nutritional thugs”!……I like it Dr. Davis! On another note, when do you expect your foundation to be up and running as we’d love to support your educational efforts! In the meantime, we’re passing around your books to anyone interested!

  14. My comment on the post:

    If “supermarket aisles abound with products proudly labeled ‘Gluten free’, and many restaurants now offer gluten-free options,” why is following a gluten-free diet “extremely challenging”? Even on vacation in in Chicago, where half the restaurants are pizza and pasta places, I didn’t have a bit of trouble finding wheat-free meals. There’s a wide world of foods out there that don’t include gluten.

    The claim about becoming deficient in B vitamins on a GF diet is BS. A 100-gram hamburger patty (75% lean) has a comparable amount of thiamin and folate, and far more riboflavin, niacin, B6 and B12 than a slice of wheat bread. (Source: You fail to mention that wheat has a nutrient blocker called phytic acid, which blocks minerals such as magnesium, iron, calcium and zinc. And there’s no need in the human diet for fiber.

    “If you think you might have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, it’s best to see a doctor before going gluten free.” Trolling for business much? Most doctors don’t study nutrition, remember?

    • Dr. Davis

      Great, Lori!

      You can see that, once you penetrate the thin veil of understanding of these people, many of their arguments fall apart as utter nonsense.

  15. Robin

    I also had problems posting a comment to that article. Go Dr. Davis! Thank you so much for your important medical work, advocacy, teaching, and commentary style. I gave up all wheat and sugar 4 years ago (after reading Dr. Davis’s previous blog, before the book came out), and my health and energy have improved a great deal. I’ve always been athletic, but I am now cycling more miles than previously, in addition to working 2 jobs on my feet all day, at age 56. I’ve also lost 20 pounds, which are still falling off. I’m also a big follower of Dr. Joseph Mecola ( who is also very anti-wheat, anti-sugars. What all of this has taught me is how terrible corporate propoganda is, and its great cost to public health.

    • Dr. Davis

      Thank you, Robin!

      We are the same age: I hope, like me, you also feel 30 years old minus wheat!

  16. Lisa

    Yes, going wheat and grain free is expensive….my daughter and I have lost so much weight that we have had to go out and buy new clothes in smaller sizes!! But, I am also saving money now I don’t need blood pressure medication any more. We will never eat wheat ever again, that’s for sure.

    • Marje

      I have had the good fortune of watching my husband’s pants fall down several times since he’s gone wheat free. (His belly is fast disappearing. )

      That, along with the health benefits, is why I am championing the wheat-free life!

      Thanks, Dr. Davis, for the fun…… he he he he he!

  17. Bruce

    I hate to do the let’s compare this to smoking” thing. but…
    When she writes, ” . . . lately it’s become hip to go gluten-free. Based on little or no evidence other than testimonials in the media, people have been switching to gluten-free diets to lose weight, boost energy, treat autism, or generally feel healthier.”

    Imagine it is the 1960’s and someone were to write in a “scientific” paper …” . . . lately it’s become hip to go smoke free. Based on little or no evidence other than testimonials in the media, people have been switching to smoke free diets to breathe better, boost energy, treat emphysema, or generally feel healthier.”

    Not all smokers get or got lung cancer. Many just developed high blood pressure, emphysema, heart disease and whatever else that doesn’t kill you immediately, but weakens your health system in total. So it is being suggested/taught by Wheat Free. Is eating wheat going to kill the majority of the people in one weeks time? No, we know it doesn’t, just like smoking doesn’t kill you in 10 days time. But the eating of it over time can cause many side effects that people attribute to something else that, thank you big pharma, there is a pill for.

    Not preaching here. I’m an ex smoker for 25 years, and at times I still miss it. I don’t want it to be good for your health, I just wish it wasn’t so bad.

  18. janet

    This is my comment to Holly Know Nothing–Here is what SHE needs to know .

    I saw an interesting chart–picture a footfall field with 100 yards–consider that length the length of human existence where we ate meat, greens, eggs, veg but NO grains as that would have been not practical–who chews on a grain of wheat and enjoys it? Now, this field represents about 2.5 million years. Now go to the tiny line marking 10,000 years that man has been eating grains when farming began and now has led to industrialized farming and industrial food. That is just a line’s worth on the chart. That is NOT long enough in time for the human body or any animal to evolve to eat the crap we are eating and being told to eat now. So, according to HOlly Know Nothing, what humans ate for 2.5 million years and thrived on is now BAD for us? That eggs and decent meat somehow turned BAD around the 1980′s? This is absurd thinking and, I might add, dangerous thinking and in practice, disastrous for human health. We see it all around us. By the way, when humans began farming and eating grains, health went way down, we got shorter, brains smaller, bad bone structure, diseases of civilization became more prevalent. Ancient Egyptians ate mostly grains and studies show them riddled with disease. Ancient means only about 10,000 years ago, folks. We are at the end results of this “improvement” in human health and life and some of us are getting it. I have stepped off the merry go round of death that the likes of Holly Know Nothing and the shills for the corporations and yes, the governments, have pushed us on.

    I could have written a book.
    ► Reply

    • Dr. Davis

      Very nicely stated, Janet!

      You have struck at one of the least appreciated but CRUCIAL aspects of the whole grain story: It is a food for the hungry, desperate, or ignorant!

  19. Marcy

    Dr. Davis,

    You are a fearless badass!! :) I read your book and went wheat free two months ago and have lost just over 20 lbs!!! I’m only 27 and I can see the difference of energy that I now have. Before I went wheat free I thought it was normal to always feel tired or sluggish with a mental fog. My skin is clear now and no more heartburn!! I feel so alert and awake! I will never go back. I am trying to convince other to go wheat free. I’m Mexican so its hard to re-create Mexican food, but its totally possible!! And I do not believe the media or any “credible” institution telling me what I should eat ever again!! I see that wheat is addicting and its sad that its the last thing people are willing to give up in order to be healthier. But I see a wheat-free movement in the near future!! THANKS a million for all your work and for exposing the truth about the food industry as well as the pharmaceutical industry. YOU RULE!!!! :)

    • Dr. Davis

      My teenagers will get a kick out of the “badass” part, Marcy! Thank you!

      Yes, skepticism is, unfortunately, necessary nowadays in any nutritional discussion.

      If you come up with some nice Mexican dishes wheat-free, corn-free, and sugar-free, please share them with us! I’ve only dabbled in recreating healthier versions of Mexican dishes, but never got very far.

      • Esteban

        WOW, there are many!!, please try Nopales (tender cactus) on the grill; boiled and mixed with onion, garlic, chunk tomatos and panela cheese, it is served cold like a salad. It helps to a lot of diabetic patients.
        (H) Cuitlacoche, the corn`s mushroom, delicious.
        Pumpkin flower with goat cheese or just steamed and mixed with carmelized onions.
        Avocados, many beans recipies, etc,
        Whith pleasure I can share many recipies with you.

        • Neicee

          Esteban, please do. I love everything from Brazil north….lots of different cuisines but love them all. We gotten some of our best recipes from different contributors. Oh, and did I say please? Thanks.

      • Wonderfully Wheat Free!

        There is a “BadAss” doctor in SE Arizona! My husband! He has come out of retirement to get the word out about wheat/grains & sugar. He has held free workshops all over the west for the last 16 months, helped 1000’s improve their health & lose weight by giving them the tools to take charge of their own health. Number one on his reading list is “Wheat Belly”.
        Thank you Dr. Davis for wakening the giant!


          • True, but why does it matter?

            Both need to be gone from the human diet.
            WB advocates ditching both, by being wheat-free, and by being very low carb (which allows for nearly zero added sugar).

            Get your caplocks key fixed :).

    • Esteban

      Marcy, mucho ánimo. Recuerda que los mexicanos somos muy reacios con nuestras costumbres y a la presión familiar de tragar en grupo. Creo que estamos en ventaja sobre otras culturas en no utilizar tanto trigo. Tal vez podamos hacer un blog latino, serìa interesante.

  20. flor

    must be an early april fool’s piece/industrial mouthpiece.
    gluten free: i got rid of severe asthma (muscle atrophy and lack of periods from excessive steroids inhalation), eczema, arthritis, fatigue, edema, food obsession, constant hunger/headaches, 20+ varying allergies including chicken eggs/seafood/casein/many fruits/produce. i could finally go out to eat again; gluten free is a cinch compared to a gazillion food allergies leading to asthma attacks.

      • flor

        thanks Dr.Davis. the food allergies boil down to one thing- tight junctions being opened up by gluten, leading to all sorts of foreign food material escaping the gut to cause asthma. once i stopped gluten, in 2 months i could eat all the previously off limits food. also was eating prebiotics inulin and cactus pear (helps with goblet cells producing mucous), both of which i’m sure accelerated the healing of the GI. thanks to your edifying information about zonulin, i was able to make sense of all that happened.

  21. Cynthia

    “It’s time consuming, expensive, and restrictive. ‘It’s a gigantic burden for those who have to follow it,’ says Dr. Leffler.” REALLY?? It’s not time-consuming to stop eating foods with wheat in them. How about making a roasted chicken with a salad? How is that time-consuming? Expensive? How? I needn’t replace wheat-filled foods with expensive gluten-free alternatives that are made with junk ingredients. and once wheat free, celiacs don’t have to miss work, purchase expensive medications or continue seeing doctors who spout the same misinformed lines about nutrition. One gets used to not eating “bready” things. I do not have celiac, but even if I did, I have found wheat-free eating to be anything but burdensome. This myth about how difficult it is is what kept me from going wheat-free for quite some time. I kick myself for not doing it sooner and can attest that it has been easy, not expensive and far from burdensome. these people want to keep the hysteria going. Oh please…spare us the unnecessary drama.

  22. Tyrannocaster

    I posted the following comment on the Harvard blog site:
    To me, the most telling thing about this blog post is not the misinformation it hands out – it is the complete lack of rebuttal to all the criticism it has received. This is very similar to what happened when the grain lobby reviewed Wheatbelly; normally, the posts on their blog get about, say, six comments. That one got 117. ( ) Nobody answered the criticisms there and I suspect they wish they had never posted the review. Perhaps if they ignore the comments hard enough they will simply disappear, LOL.

    Anyway, this post does the same thing. Holly, if you have something to back up your claims, show it to us. Otherwise, your silence speaks for itself.

    • JillOz

      They rely on adhominem. That tactic is polluting several political debates.

      It’s really amazing – even if everyone never ate wheat again, we’d still need medical research!!

      But this makes you not care aboiut what they say or do, because of their blatant contempt for “the public”.

  23. Drae

    My favorite comment over there is the guy saying he’ll be the one on campus begging for B vitamins. I laughed out loud for real. I can just see the signs now, “Will work for folate!” LOL

      • Jackie

        I just posted a comment on the Harvard blog site, too – I just had blood work done (working through thyroid issues) and my doctor ordered B levels as well. Guess what – well within normal after being wheat free for 5 months. Go figure. Wonder how I’m getting them without eating “fortified breads and cereals”. . .

  24. Tim

    Dr Davis,
    I know you are a cardiologist, but do you see patients for GI issues and celiac issues in your practice, who have removed the gluten? The dr.’s at chicago’s top hospitals want me to reintroduce gluten for a month just to see if the can confirm celiacs, since gluten is “so important for nutrients” ha! I am in need of soome good medical advice.

    • Boundless

      I presume you have asked them: “Just exactly what important nutrients?”

      Let me see if I understand this … your quacks want you to re-introduce this toxin, so these mad scientists can then check you for anti-bodies. Yes, it’s true that the standard tests for celiac are false negative if you have been off gluten for a while. Then, if you test positive, they’ll prescribe that you do what you are already doing – avoid gluten.

      That insanity aside, there’s another problem: you’re actually five times more likely to have an acute non-celiac wheat sensitivity. Which means you have over an 80% chance of testing genuinely negative, and then being dismissed by your malpracticers because you aren’t celiac, acute identical symptoms notwithstanding.

      • Tim

        Hi boundless! I couldn’t believe what they were telling me either! Even though my symptoms have gotten better without gluten, as in I no longer wake up with stabbing pain, and all kinds of other issues I will spare you of..just for fun, let’s see if we can get a true diagnosis of celiac! No matter if I have celiac or not, wheat is still crap! Here is the best part…I m pregnant and they STILL want me to try this experiment! No thanks! Hoping to find one day, a dr. who can help me. The paleo diet is helping but I still get the bloating and diarrhea. I just started the paleo diet 2 weeks ago, but gluten free for 7 mths now.

        • Jan

          Have you tried the probiotic that Dr. Davis recommends when beginning a gluten/wheat free diet?

          • Tim

            Hi, thanks all for the tips :-) I take a probiotic, but if there is a specific brand Dr. Davis recommends I would love to try it! Thanks, again!

          • Lisa

            Could somebody please let me know what this specific probiotic is? Much appreciated. Thanks!

  25. Drae

    @ Tim-

    There may be other GI issues besides the gluten or possible Celiac. You may have a secondary GI infection or parasites. I started my gluten/wheat education by reading The Gluten Effect by Drs. Vikki and Richard Petersen, who stressed the importance of screening for additional GI complications when gluten removal wasn’t enough for their patients. Find a doctor who will screen you for these problems and spend you money on this doctor – NOT on “doctors” who insist you take a step backwards to tell you what you already know – wheat stinks.

  26. Mia

    While shopping on Amazon for yet *another* copy of Dr. Davis’s Wheat Belly book and cookbook as a gift for relatives, I was surprised to discover the number of “wheat belly copycats” who have recently sprung up (some even with similar photography style to “Wheat Belly” on the cover!) Several of these other books had similar titles, with only a word or two changed here and there. I’m sure you don’t mind that the wheat-free message is gaining ground Dr. Davis, but I wonder how you feel about all of these spin-offs of Wheat Belly? I suppose it’s good overall that the message is gaining popularity and that people are catching on. :-)

    • Boundless

      On another thread, which I now cannot find, Dr. Davis said that the Rodale lawyers go after the blatant frauds and copyright violators, but that would be with respect to misrepresenting the work as WB or literally copying its content. You can’t copyright titles.

      You can trademark phrases however, and I see that Dr. D. has finally done so, just last month. So that’s
      Wheat Belly(R)
      now, which should give the book pirates some trouble.

      Unfortunately, someone else has nabbed a phrase I suggested to Dr. D. that would have been very useful for branding food products.

  27. Very surprising piece for a Journal that is reputable. I know people who have turned their health around after the doctor ordered gluten free diets for them.

  28. Boundless

    My contribution, assuming they even take note of the comments:
    Actually, there is a real:
    “here’s what you need to know”
    about GF: Almost nothing on the GF aisle at the store is fit for human consumption. It’s largely high-carb junk. That oversize GF label might bring relief from acute wheat reactivity, but your diabetes, atherosclerosis and acne aren’t going anywhere.

    Glycemic metabolism has been a 10,000 year old mistake made by the majority of human cultures, and is now spinning out of control thanks to dwarf hybrid wheat (which contaminates a huge fraction of prepared foods), fructose (HFCS), low fat insanity and lesser missteps in diet. The future, if we are to have one, appears to be aggressively low carb, perhaps often ketogenic.

    Just look at the trend charts for most ailments, such as Type II diabetes. T2DM is not just at a historical high, and not just rising, but accelerating. Yet, switching to a low-carb diet halts it, prevents it, and can often reverse it. Conventional dietary advice has utterly failed to correct such trends. The question that needs to be confronted is: are the official diets contributing to the problem, perhaps even causing it?

    Please stop parroting the industry line on B9, which is only in wheat flour (not in “whole grains”) because it’s added to it. That parrot only appears to be standing because its feet are nailed to the perch.

    Yes, going low-carb grain-free very-low-fructose paleo is a bit challenging at the moment. This is a temporary transitional situation. The immediate and long term health benefits are easily worth the modest extra effort.

    • Dr. Davis

      Wonderful commentary, Bound!

      Your passion and intelligence shines through with powerfully persuasive unique observations.

  29. Drae

    Huh. Harvard deleted one of my comments to “ScienceGal” where I pointed out the Paleo Diet was based off that science-y concept called evolution. So now Harvard is not only pushing bad science, but they are also engaging in the silencing of critics.

  30. DonM

    Harvard should interview one of my acquaintences who has Celiac.

    When visiting his parents who are stationed in Morocco, he has no problem consuming products made from the locally grown older wheat variety.