Will you survive Wheat Belly?

Dietitian Kristi King reviewed Wheat Belly for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), full text here.

Among her comments:

” . . . there is very little guidance as to what are appropriate substitutions during meals, therefore, one who does not review this diet with a registered dietitian could potentially set themselves up for vitamin and mineral deficiencies, such as B vitamins, calcium, and vitamin D just to name a few.”

“Review this diet with a registered dietitian”? Is she serious? This is indeed consistent with the agenda that the Academy has been pursuing for many years, trying to make dietary advice the exclusive province of registered dietitians. (Witness the lawsuit waged against North Carolina Paleo blogger, Steve Cooksey, by the North Carolina Board of Dietetics and Nutrition. I’ve also talked to several dietitians who formerly played important insider roles in the Academy: They all described efforts to legislate making dietitians the ONLY people legally able to provide dietary advice.)

As is often the case with the dietary community, the response lacks real insight and understanding of the issues. Ms. King’s primary concern with the Wheat Belly arguments seems to be potential for nutritional deficiencies. Is this any merit behind this claim? Will we all suffer nutritional deficiencies that impair health by eliminating wheat?

Of course not, provided you replace the lost calories of wheat with truly healthy foods, such as vegetables, nuts, seeds, meats, poultry, fish, etc. If you do something stupid and replace calories with energy bars, tortilla chips, instant soup mixes, or gluten-free foods made with junk carbohydrates cornstarch, rice flour, potato starch, or tapioca starch, then, yes, there may be deficiencies long-term. But not if you rely on real, single-ingredient foods.

Let’s take her claims of deficiencies one-by-one:

B vitamins–B vitamins, such as riboflavin, folates, niacin, thiamine, B6 and B12, are plentiful in foods such as meats, nuts, and seeds. For example, 4 oz of chicken breast provides nearly 6-fold more vitamin B6 than two slices of whole wheat bread, 4 oz of tuna over 10-fold more. Folates are important B vitamins with 261 mcg in 1 cup cooked spinach, 41 mcg in two eggs, 90 mcg in one cup of fresh avocado, compared to the 50 mcg in two slices of whole wheat bread. Similar analyses can be done for every other B vitamin with the same result: Intake is the same or, more often, increased minus wheat.
Vitamin D–This is an absurd criticism, as most wheat products have zero vitamin D. The occasional fortified products tend to provide something like 40 units per serving, a relatively trivial quantity, usually of the non-human form, ergocalciferol (D2), not the more effective human form, cholecalciferol (D3). Humans were meant to obtain vitamin D from sun exposure, but modern lifestyles of wearing clothes covering the majority of skin surface area, indoor living, combined with the expected loss of ability to activate vitamin D in the skin, create deficiency in the majority of modern people, especially as we age. Modest quantities of vitamin D can be obtained through consumption of fish (e.g., 154 units cholecalciferol in 3 oz canned tuna, 900 units cholecalciferol in 6 oz salmon), and egg yolks (82 units cholecalciferol in 2 eggs). In other words, it is almost impossible to obtain sufficient vitamin D as cholecalciferol from the diet. You can get some sun, though the yield in vitamin D diminishes as we get older, or take truly meaningful doses of vitamin D supplementation as cholecaliferol, or vitamin D3, to make up for the habits of modern life, e.g., 6000 units per day, a dose sufficient to raise 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels to the 60-70 ng/ml range (150-175 nmol/L). Whether or not a few wheat-based products contain some ergocalciferol can make a difference . . . well, that’s pretty dopey.
Calcium–On the surface, Ms. King is absolutely correct: Calcium fortification of breads, for instance, can provide 300-400 mg calcium. Compare this to the 180 mg in a cup of cooked broccoli, 240 mg in a cup of cooked spinach, 125 mg in a cup of arugula, 200 mg in an ounce of most cheeses. So calcium from wheat products might indeed make an important contribution to total daily intake . . . but NOT if restoration of vitamin D is factored in. Correct common deficiency of vitamin D and intestinal calcium absorption is substantially increased; see Heaney et al for one such study. In other words, this notion that everybody needs to obtain 1200 mg total calcium per day needs to be reconsidered in light of the new vitamin D data that suggests something like 600-800 mg calcium per day may be more than enough. And note that calcium supplementation is also being increasingly associated with increased heart attack risk, e.g., this large German study.

The important issues of gliadin-derived exorphin/opiates and their varied mind effects, the high glycemic potential of amylopectin A, the alterations introduced into wheat germ agglutinin that make it a powerful intestinal toxin, the allergies being generated by new forms of alpha amylase inhibitors–ALL ignored. I’d love to hear the Academy’s rebuttal/defense of these issues.

As I often expect from dietitians, NONE of these sorts of deeper insights are discussed or entertained, just a bland recitation from the perspective of traditional dietary dogma. She did not bring up the “fiber deficiency” argument, so that is something I will tackle in an upcoming Wheat Belly Blog post. Don’t worry: You will not be fiber-deficient!

Let’s not forget that, of the 2.4 million years humans have inhabited earth (if we date the appearance of Homo species to the transition between largely herbivorous Australopithecines to omnivorous Homo habilis/rudolfensis), we have consumed grains for 0.4% of that time, a mere blink on the evolutionary timeline of adaptation to life on earth. Those first grains, of course, were wild grains, not the stuff of agribusiness.

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. Annette

    Dr. Davis thanks for posting this. Once again the wheels of corporate america at work telling half-truths. Most people who eat the S.A.D. take vitamins or are lacking nutrients anyway as they eat processed food. Where i live there are so many obese kids, young adults and adults. Also so many of them are so big they ride around in scooters. There baskets are always full of crap food and wheat. Utah loves loves loves there bread.

    • Carole Miller

      You are so right. Once one is following the wheat free way of eating, it’s so easy to spot what foods are bad for you. All of them processed and in a box, not counting all the bakery items. Many times when I’m in the check out line at the grocery store and see what mostly obese people have in their carts, I shudder thinking about the strain these people are going to be on our health care system. Wake up, people!
      Also, any reputable dietician would know how deadly wheat is.
      Are there any reputable dieticians?? Just wondering.

    • Linda

      Yeah, Iowa loves bread/cookies/crackers/bagels/pies/pizza/pasta and so forth as well.
      I also become very saddened to see the grocery carts when I’m out shopping. They are consistently filled with so much junk.
      On the other hand, I have discovered that my local Super Target is a fantastic source for grass fed beef and organic veggies. I also recently located a local supplier of organic fruits and veggies, delivered right to your door, either weekly or every other week.
      It is costing me more initially, but I see it as a health investment in the long run.

      • Janie

        True, this good food does cost more, but in the long run, eating Wheat Belly style will save you lots of money. I have been OFF three expensive prescriptions meds for nearly 1 1/2 years. I went off them about 3 – 4 weeks after changing to the WB lifestyle. Those meds were for arthritis, acid reflux, and high blood pressure. I still take blood pressure med (I was taking 3 different ones), but my arthritis is negligible to the point that it really doesn’t hurt anymore and the swelling of joints is gone. I never have acid reflux anymore–that is a thing of the past! So, I figure that the money I save on prescription drugs is money well spent on grass fed butter, coconut oil, and other healthy foods. (I also save a bundle that I used to spend on wheat/grain products. My days always started with a huge bowl of Kashi cereal mixed with Fiber One. Bread and flour tortillas were another big expense. Now I just stay away from the aisles and stick to the perimeter of the supermarket!!)

      • Sula

        I also get asked about the expence of WB, but I have to say that I now eat a smaller portion size per meal per day. So when you add up the lack of junk food, the lack of medications ( that I used to take ) and the smaller portion size… I think I just might be AHEAD. AND… have you seen the price of things that they try and sell as healthy??? Like Kashi cereal? Have you looked at the amount of sugar in that box? Holy cows! Yup healthy stuff.
        I am glad to be wheat free, grain free and sugar free…. has to be about 6 months now.
        Thx Dr. Davis

  2. Alice

    Go get ’em, Dr Davis! The success stories you post on this blog say all there needs to be said. So many of us are (somehow!) healing and thriving without wheat. It was a registered dietician who told my diabetic mother she could eat muffins, advice she ran with.

  3. Ah, starting my weekend off right with Dr. Bill “Badass” Davis!
    Off topic, but check this out:
    Last night I hung out & slept in my bedroom accompanied by a huge stash of Whole Foods assorted cookies: including old faves like macadamia nut white chocolate chip. And NOT ONE OUNCE of temptation on my part…. not to even LOOK at them, lol. (They were headed to a hospitality suite at a convention today & in my room to keep still-wheat-eating roommates from breaking into them).
    I LOVE THAT, even as a life long overeater (and 2 months+ off wheat) I REALLY AM NO LONGER INTERESTED IN “CHEATING” WITH ANY FOODSTUFFS THAT INCLUDES WHEAT! Once in a while I’ll indulge in chocolate or ice cream…. but after reading and implementing Wheat Belly…. I am truly DONE. WOW, whodathunkit? Not me.

  4. Jocelyn Gordon

    Thanks to Wheat Belly, I’ve been off wheat since the end of December, and haven’t even considered going back. Cutting out wheat and replacing it with real food has made a huge difference, especially with digestion. Fiber from real food trumps processed fiber from bread products. Because of my improved health, I’m not concerned at all about not getting enough nutrients because I know I’m absorbing more without the wheat interference.

  5. Judith

    I would expect nothing less from the mainstream “medical” establishment. Too many of these self-appointed spokespeople get funding from entities who are less interested in health than they are in profits. I would not be surprised to learn that these so-called “dieticians” haven’t actually done any research, but are simply regurgitating talking points provided by Big Ag cereal manufacturers or the like.

    Let me share my success: I changed my diet on January 21st. I’m fortunate to be healthy, but I want to lose fat & weight. I have joint pain from old sports injuries and have suffered from mysterious rashes and heartburn on and off since my mid-40s. It’s been a challenge; my diet is a hybrid of Wheat Belly/Low-calorie/Vegetarian Paleo (e.g., few processed foods and almost no dairy but I’ve had to add chicken and turkey, guiltily, to my diet). I walk my dogs every day and use my rowing machine a few times a week. And I haven’t been perfect; I’ve had brown rice tortillas a few times and a couple bites of the molten lava cakes I made for my Mom’s birthday. Two months later, I’ve lost 18 pounds, 3 inches from my waist, I’m sleeping well, zero heartburn, and the scars from the last mystery rash are finally healing. Mentally, I feel better — less stressed, more optimistic, more patient. More embarrassingly, I was becoming one of those “leaky bladder” advertisements but that, too, has stopped. The only supplements I take are probiotics and, when I remember D3, and magnesium and milk thistle at bedtime. I expect to be at my ideal weight by August but I won’t be going back to grains.

    • Sarah

      Like you.. I felt some guilt on the chicken/turkey front when I switched up my diet. But I had to come to grips with the fact that eating a vegetarian/vegan diet full of grains was destroying my body. Don’t feel guilty. Keep up the wonderful lifestyle you have adopted. You are clearly doing so much better after two months!! I’m seven months grain-free and while it was VERY hard to start eating animals again (about a month in).. it has been so worth it. I’m sure you are already doing this but if you feel guilt just source those critters from the best places you possibly can (I’m lucky to live in an area with great access to local farms so I can actually SEE the animals I’m going to be eating and know they were raised humanely). It also helped me tremendously to start volunteering for an animal rescue group and foster dogs before adoption. It’s mental gymnastics and I feel a little silly for “offsetting” the ethics this way.. but it helps me feel more at peace with putting the poultry on my plate. Keep it up!!

    • Jeff

      Do not EVER feel guilty for “indulgences” of meat or poultry. First off, always buy humanely-treated, which means paying a little more for “free-range” or “grass-fed” and perhaps even a little more for “certified organic”, but the usual mantra that humans shouldn’t eat meats has no substance from the nutritional standpoint, and as for the morality of meat eating, well, there are arguments that NOT eating meat is worse for the environment and the animals. To wit, Allan Savory talks about saving the planet: http://www.ted.com/talks/allan_savory_how_to_green_the_world_s_deserts_and_reverse_climate_change.html
      Here is an article on truly humane and sustainable farming:

      There are plenty more, but if one goes “vegan” because they do not want to be part of the killing of animals, but then feels no shame when eating bread or corn, consider the hipocrisy: A grain farmer or corn farmer working a “conventional” modern farm is killing millions of animals per acre with farm machinery and chemicals to bring that crop to market.

    • derp

      If I read correctly between the lines, your being vegetarian is due to ethical considerations (i.e. animal treatment in industrial settings)? If yes, consider wild game and/or organic meats; if you do not have ready access to such sources, you could buy a big pile of meat and put it in a fridge.

    • Amanda

      Judith, would you like to add eggs to your short supply of protein? I am thinking that if you don’t have enough protein you will feel hungry and you will be more prone to eat too many carbs…Just a suggestion from a very hungry girl, I need my animal protein.

    • Joann

      Hi, Judith…I posted a comment in reply to yours but I put it in the wrong place! You can search around in the comments section of this latest post by Dr. Davis until you find it. Sorry!

  6. Nancy M.

    The other thing about calcium, and other minerals, and grains is that the lectins and phytatic acid in the grain keep you from being able to utilize a lot of the nutrients in them.

  7. Sabrina Beauchamp

    I am surviving just fine sans wheat…enjoyed your blueberry muffins recipe this morning with a glass of almond chocolate milk (tons of calcium) and went for a 45 minute walk ( vitamin D) in the beautiful Arizona sun.

  8. James

    Would we lack essential stuff if we stopped smoking vitamin fortified cigarettes ? hahaha, what a joke of a dietician!!


  9. Terry Duncan

    Dr. Davis – I am not eloquent of speech or knowledgeable enough to retort the dietitian, but I do know that I am 100 percent better than I have been in years. I just finished vacuuming – something that would not have been an easy task for me to do 1 year ago. I started WB woe last July – lost pounds and inches, rashes, pain, brain fog, and other things too numerous to mention. I can walk a mile plus painless and effortlessly and am beginning to work out with weight machines. This dietitian has bee brainwashed by the system and will never know how good or healthy she can be. Sad. I have sat in on many dietitians telling my family what to eat and how to use their insulin. They are just so wrong. I was pre-diabetic and so close to the edge before WB. Thank you Dr. Davis — go get ’em — oh and the only beri beri I have is strawberry or blueberry….Thank you for all your hard work and how you have helped so many people!!! Terry

    • Jan

      Don’t underestimate the power of your words…..you eloquently spoke from your heart and told your truth. We are part of a health awakening which is taking place in our lifetime…..and if what my wise mother once said is true, it happens “one person at a time” She also said that if we’re not courageous enough to “reach” ( go outside our comfort zone), then we may never effect necessary changes. She might have said something about swearing too…….but fortunately it slipped my mind!

  10. Jeanine

    I’ve told my story here before, but it’s been a while so I want to put it out there again. I tried following the “Food Pyramid” when I was trying to lose weight. But instead of restricting myself to 1200 calories, I set my calorie limit to 1600, which by all calculations was the maintenance calorie intake for my ideal weight. This way I wouldn’t have to change my eating habits after I lost weight. So in order to speed up my weight loss, I started running for 30 minutes 3 times a week, plus strength training 2 days of the week. At the end of 9 weeks, I had gained 4 pounds. The 2 most common answers to the result was either I had gained 4 pounds of muscle, or that exercise makes me hungry, so I was probably eating more than I thought. I have issue with both answers. It’s one thing to say I gained muscle. But it wouldn’t just be 4 pounds of muscle. According to the calories in/calories out theory, I burned 9963 calories over 9 weeks by running, 1800 from weight training, and 25,200 from eliminating calories from my diet. That’s a total of 36,963 calories or 10.5 pounds. Add the EXTRA 4 pounds I gained, and that’s like saying I gained 14.5 pounds of muscle. Okay, people will probably argue that I’m not taking the NET loss of calories since I would still burn calories sitting around. If I were just sitting around watching TV instead of running or weights, then I would have only burned a total of 1415 calories during the time I would have exercised, so subtracting that from my total means I netted 35,548 or 10 pounds. Again, that’s saying I gained 14 pounds of muscle. Does that make sense to you? Me either. In fact, I read somewhere and I don’t know how true this is, but an average woman even with their best efforts will only gain up to 6 pounds of muscle unless they are a true body builder.

    So…I was back to the drawing board and that’s how I found Wheat Belly. I stopped running (because it was winter in Chicago) and lost 20 pounds just on the Wheat Belly diet and no additional exercise. Then I started running again in the spring and continued to lose another 20 pounds for a total of 40 pounds on Wheat Belly and *some* exercise. I believe all the things Dr. Davis claims because I’ve lived it. And if anyone wants proof, I documented my food intake and exercise on a website, along with records from my doctor on weight and cholesterol.

    That was last April when I reached 40 pounds and I have kept off the weight and joined the National Weight Control Registry (I joined in February after I had kept 30 pounds off for a year). Since then I have had a strong interest in nutrition. I’m taking a nutrition class for school and I’m finding it very difficult to take because in order to get an A in the class (which I have), I have to disagree with many of the things I’ve learned on my own – like calories in/calories out, the concept of Whole Grains, etc. I’ve even considered getting a Masters Degree to become a Registered Dietitian, but my biggest fear is that by teaching the things I know versus the standard school of thought would lead to me probably getting my license revoked. That’s hypothetical I know, but I’m starting to believe it could be true.

    Thanks to being an Amazon Prime member, I have access to a ton of free documentaries on instant video. I have been watching one after the other – there are too many to name, but for starters Food Inc, Forks Over Knives, David vs Monsanto, Ingredients, and more. I have come to the conclusion that what Dr Davis has found is a small part of the big picture.

    *****There is no money in truth*****. What really happens if everyone stops eating wheat? A lot of people stop making money. I’m not just talking about farmers. For the sake of not sounding crazy, I’m going to leave it up to individuals to do some digging. Who has an interest in wheat? Corn? Soybean? What are those crops really feeding? Humans? Animals? If everyone knew that chronic disease could simply be cured or lessened solely by eating a whole foods natural diet, who would benefit? Who would lose money? If you could cure cancer, heart disease, diabetes without medicine but with nutrition, who would be out of a job?

    • Boundless

      > … small part of the big picture.

      I’d frame it as a LARGE part of a bigger picture. Keep in mind that although the WB approach prominently features the word “wheat”, it is also (to the surprise of many readers), very low carb (tending towards entirely grain free), very low fructose, eschews many vegetable oils, soyless (except fermented), non-dairy (except fermented), non-GMO and organic.

      Most of the human race is splashing around (and drowning) in the greater Glycemic Ocean. A number of groups are circling Ketogenic Island, and a few spend some time ashore. These groups include paleo, diabetics, body builders, keto athletes, cancer fighters, low-carbers generally, a few named diet plans. Most of them have critical flaws. WB looks to me to be the single most effective place to anchor a sane diet.

      > If everyone knew that chronic disease could simply be cured or lessened …

      It is likely to turn out that a great many ailments are diet-caused and diet-fueled, are entirely optional, and arguably not really diseases at all. This is clearly the case with diabetes, acne and probably celiac. Despite the high price, I’m curious to read, for example:
      Cancer as a Metabolic Disease: On the Origin, Management, and Prevention of Cancer by Thomas Seyfried
      The list of optional ailments is going to be very long indeed.

      You are extremely unlikely to hear any of this from the Junior Chamber of your National Medical Guild (the dieticians) as these health care parrots dare not wander from the dogma handed down to them from the physicians, who had 4 semester hours on nutrition in med school, teaching them that food doesn’t matter.

    • erin

      this is to you and anyone else out there who has time to help someone in desperate need…
      i found this site and started trying to follow the program (haven’t gotten the book yet, short on cash), but am having trouble with my cravings and keeping to the program. i have PCOS and am also on meds for chronic severe depression. the depression meds have caused me to gain weight, and may be keeping me from losing more weight. however, i know i MUST lose weight and get healthy or i will eat myself to death. if you have found the way out of this and have time to coach me or offer support while i try to do this, i would really appreciate it. i do not have much support at home, and find it hard to make changes without a partner in health, lol.
      thanks, erin

      • Pamela Rhea

        Hey Erin, You are on to something that can change your life in ways you haven’t imagined possible. In the beginning, as you stop eating wheat/grains & sugar, you will likely experience ‘withdrawal’ symptoms. Drink plenty of fluids, up your fats (avocado, meats, oils, etc) and don’t give up. Should only last days or maybe a week or so. Until you can get the book, read all you can on this site. On the left is an index. Start with, Wheat Belly Quick & Dirty. It will give a summary of foods to enjoy and those to avoid. Also start up info. Then read freely. Read the depression site. Success stories, any and all. I read for several weeks when I first started to eat this way. Welcome aboard. Also, if you can, visit the Wheat Belly Facebook page, lots of discussions and encouragement. You will be posting your success soon and I’ll watch for that. Best wishes, Pamela

      • Maureen

        Try your local library. I have read many health books this way. Then, when I really like a book, I go ahead and buy it.
        Good Luck!

  11. Michael Duran, MD

    Too bad that bread doesn’t have a bunch of vitamin D, it might offset the Pickwickian torpor of your typical carbaholic. Vitamins do little good for you when your health is moreover affected by obesity and inflammatory cycles.

  12. mtnmama

    It’s like the lady who drank 100 bags of tea concentrated every day… is anyone surprised there were ill effects of such a drastic measure? Maybe if we legislate common sense it will be, well, common. Phht.

  13. JMcelroy

    There seems to be a rash of these articles lately that have the premise of eliminate wheat and face potential nutrient deficit situations. It is almost like they are getting their talking points, and probably their money, from folks with a great interest in squashing the anti-wheat movement.

    It is a testament to their futility that the rebukes they are going with are so shallow and easily rebutted. They need to come up with something more scary like “if you stop eating wheat kittens will die”.

  14. Heather Ann

    Here’s another article from the British press about how eliminating gluten won’t work (by someone with celiac):


    There are many comments referencing Wheat Belly and countering the article’s premise by pointing out that eating GF products is not advisable. Actually, there were more comments countering the author’s claims than supporting them. I think the WB message is gaining traction!

    I’ve been wheat free for 6 months and my chronic GI issues have all cleared up and I’ve lost weight too. I have no desire to eat anything with wheat. Thanks Dr. Davis! I am so much healthier now because of you and your books! You have changed my life for the better!! You provided me with a solution that my primary care doctor and three GI doctors didn’t even consider — giving up wheat!!! (None of them ever mentioned trying a GF elimination trial.) So simple, and so beneficial. I’ll never go back to eating wheat. I feel too good to ever go back to my sickly former self.

  15. Trudy

    I am reading the Wheat Belly book right now and started going “au naturel”, wheatless, on Monday. By Friday, my year-long battle with constipation was finally alleviated. Anyone who thinks that eliminating wheat will put you at risk of not getting enough fiber is way off-base. I haven’t experienced any gigantic weight loss, but I am confident that as I progress with this, the weight will come off. I still had a few cravings this week. My husband also decided to take wheat out of his diet and he says his acid reflux is abating and one day at work when he gave in and had a cookie, he had a sore stomach afterwards. So, this is going to be our “diet” from now on and I’m really looking forward to the health benefits. Yay! Thank you Dr. Davis, for your research and for putting it out there.

  16. Deanna

    Thanks for the info Dr. Davis. I cut out calcium and magnesium supplements a couple of months ago. Then I decided earlier this week to get off B complex supplements. Just this morning I was googling sources of B, calcium, iron, etc. to see if there are other things I need to be eating. Then I found today’s blog. Looks like I’m on the right track. I’ve also simplified life by trying a few other things, i.e. using baking soda for toothpaste instead of the expensive toothpaste I’ve used for a number of years, using coconut oil in other ways, thus eliminating some other expensive products. I have a question I’m wondering if anyone can answer. Since losing 30 pounds, my skin seems flabby in some areas. Someone else mentioned this in a blog a few days ago, stating that others had told him what to do about it, but he didn’t say what the answer is. Any ideas?

  17. Pip Power

    It is now clear that the LAND that GROWS the CROPS is POISONED by Fertilizers & Pesticides.

    Those who invented chemical gases for World War 1 & 2, went on to invent the artificial NITRATE type fertilizers, that have created ALL the modern diseases.

    Diabetes and the Environment

    New Articles on Diabetes and Chemicals

    As used here, pesticides include a number of substances, including herbicides and insecticides. For more information on organochlorine pesticides in particular, also see the persistent organic pollutant page.

    A study found that women who mixed or applied pesticides to crops or repaired pesticide application equipment during the first trimester of pregnancy had a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes. In the women who reported agricultural exposure during pregnancy, the risk of gestational diabetes was associated with the use of four herbicides (2,4,5-T; 2,4,5-TP; atrazine; butylate) and three insecticides (diazinon; phorate; carbofuran) (Saldana et al. 2007).

    A study of pesticide applicators in the U.S. found that diabetes incidence increased with the use (both cumulative lifetime days of use and ever use) of seven pesticides: aldrin, chlordane, heptachlor, dichlorvos, trichlorfon, alachlor, and cyanazine. Those who had been diagnosed more than one year prior to the study were excluded, and the participants were followed over time, ensuring that exposures were reported prior to diagnosis. Most participants probably had type 2 diabetes, although the study did not distinguish between type 1 and type 2. While these people were exposed occupationally, many of these pesticides are available to the general public (Montgomery et al. 2008).

    A study of the staff of an Australian insecticide application program found higher mortality rates for diabetes (probably type 2), as compared with the general Australian population (Beard et al. 2003).

    During the 1980s and 1990s in the northern U.S. Midwest, death rates from type 2 diabetes were higher in counties that had a higher level of spring wheat farming than in counties with lower levels of this crop. The herbicide 2,4-D is commonly used on this crop. A study compared people who have had a previous exposure to 2,4-D to those who had non-detectable levels of exposure, and found that exposure to 2,4-D was associated with adverse changes in glucose metabolism, a possible predisposing factor for diabetes. The effects were only seen in people with low levels of HDL, the “good” cholesterol (Schreinemachers 2010).

    For information on the relationships among type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes, see the types of diabetes page.
    Organophosphate pesticides

    The widely-used organophosphate pesticides (including malathion, diazinon, parathion, and chlorpyrifos) have been found to be toxic to the immune system in animals and sometimes humans (Galloway and Handy 2003). Early life exposure to these pesticides also cause metabolic dysfunction resembling pre-diabetes in animals, especially when adults eat a high-fat diet (Slotkin 2011).

    Animals exposed to malathion develop high blood sugar levels, and their carbohydrate metabolism is affected in ways that could promote insulin resistance (Rezg et al. 2010).

    Male rats exposed to chlorpyrifos just after birth showed high insulin levels when not fasting as adults that resembles the metabolic pattern seen in type 2 diabetes in humans (Slotkin et al. 2005). Humans chronically exposed to chlorpyrifos have also been found to have increased levels of autoantibodies (Thrasher et al. 2002).

    Diazinon has been found to cause the liver to release glucose into the blood in rats, supporting the idea that diazinon exposure may predispose people to diabetes (Teimouri et al. 2006).

    Male rats exposed to low doses of parathion just after birth showed high blood glucose levels and increased weight gain later in life (Lassiter et al. 2008). These authors point out that animals exposed to organophosphates as adults show increased weight gain and other diabetes-like changes. Exposures in early development may be even more significant. A further study by the same authors found that unlike chlorpyrifos and malathion, the effects of early life parathion exposure in rats lessened by adolescence, although other changes occur later that affect glucose utilization. The effects of parathion were not worsened by a high fat diet, but the effects of this diet and parathion were similar to each other (Adigun et al. 2010).

    A number of organophosphate pesticides have been found to disrupt beta cell function, including malthion (Hectors et al. 2011).
    Insulin resistance and weight gain

    Long term, low dose exposure to the herbicide atrazine resulted in increased body weight and increased insulin resistance in rats. Those rats that also ate a high-fat diet showed exacerbated weight gain and insulin resistance. Atrazine, widely used in the U.S. but banned in Europe, may enter the body through air or water, or through eating corn-derived foods such as corn syrup (Lim et al. 2009).

    Another pesticide, a dichlorophenol pesticide, 2,5-DCP, has been associated with obesity in US children (Twum and Wei 2011).

    A fungicide, tolylfluanid, used in paint and on fruit crops, has been shown to promote the formation of fat cells as well as induce insulin resistance in these cells. These findings raise a concern that this chemical, an endocrine disruptor, could disrupt metabolism and contribute to the development of diabetes (Sargis et al. 2012).

    See the height and weight and the insulin resistance pages for information on their potential role in type 1 diabetes.
    Potential mechanisms

    Some pesticides are toxic to the immune system, and some are endocrine (hormone) disruptors. Some pesticides are contaminated with dioxin, which may play a role in their toxicity (Saldana et al. 2007). Some pesticides can interfere with beta cell function in ways that may promote diabetes development (Hectors et al. 2011). Atrazine was found to induce obesity and insulin resistance in rats by impairing the function of mitochondria (Lim et al. 2009). Mitochondria dysfunction may be involved in the development of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes (Szabadkai and Duchen 2009).

    Pesticides are a food contaminant, as a result of their use in agriculture. Daily ingestion of low doses of diquat, an extensively used herbicide, induces intestinal inflammation in rats. The authors of this study suggest that repeated ingestion of small amounts of pesticides, as could be found in food, may have consequences for human health and may be involved in the development of gastrointestinal disorders (Anton et al. 2000). See the diet and the gut page for more information on intestinal inflammation and its potential role in the development of type 1 diabetes.
    The bottom line

    There is evidence that various pesticides may contribute to the development of type 2 and gestational diabetes. Exposures to pesticides have not been directly studied in relation to type 1 diabetes. Based on the above findings, it may be worth conducting appropriate studies on this possibility.

    Interestingly, there is seasonal variation in type 1 diabetes incidence, and some environmental factors that vary during the year are therefore suspected to contribute to disease development (see the type 1 diabetes incidence page for details). Pesticide use does vary during the year, peaking during the growing season.

  18. Elizabeth

    Excellant post!!! I’ve commented on here before but wanted to further comment my insights so far with WB. I’ve just completer week #7 of being on it. Again, my clothes are fitting better in fact I went shopping recently and could fit into the next smallest size from what I’ve been wearing. I weigh once a month so can’t say exactly how much I’ve lost. BUT the biggest thing I’m seeing and experiencing is that my GI issues have disappeared. I don’t have celiac but for sure had other food sensitivities (who knows whether they also encompassed wheat???) which would transpose into IBS issues. I’d try to stay away from the foods that had the components in them that were my triggers BUT sometimes I’d have the IBS anyway. I continue to have my glucose levels in the ‘normal’ range which excites me (I’m a type 2 diabetic). I’ve read on this site that it took some folks at least 2 months to see other things disappear, such as their pain from RA and fibromyalgia (which I have as well). I haven’t had any RA flares but have had pain with the weather-fronts passing through—-we live in Florida. I’m waiting to see if these lessen.

    I’ve had folks tell me this “diet” (I call it a food plan) is a fad OR that it isn’t sustainable, long term. I say it is. I’m not as dogmatic as some may be—for instance when I eat out I will use salad dressings that probably have gluten in them even though they’re of the balsemic/vinegar variety. I don’t eat fried foods anymore nor have I had any breads in weeks. I’ve refused desserts and sweets so think I’m doing pretty well. Perhaps one day I’ll become more dogmatic as I progress into time with this plan. Thank you Doctor for writing this book!!

    • Boundless

      > I’ve had folks tell me this “diet” (I call it a food plan) is a fad OR that it isn’t sustainable, long term.

      Sustainable for whom?
      Grain growers, pharmaceutical companies and the medical system that manages the chaos resulting from a high gly diet and/or wheat contaminated diet? Yep, they face a problem.

      For we food eaters, I see no problems. We started trending to low carb 2 years ago, and went WB 18 months ago. I see no concerns arising, no temptation to consume toxins, and a decreasing need to even prepare mimic foods.

      • Amanda

        Boundless I feel the same about preparing “mimic foods”, who has the time after preparing a spectacular stir fry, a wonderful salad and a heavenly soup? All natural no artificial ingredients, pure food for your cells…

  19. Melissa

    I changed my diet to wheat free in January, but before doing so I visited my doctor for a full physical (I was eating more than my share of wheat then). My test results showed that I was deficient in vitamin D, so in my case Kristi King couldn’t be more wrong. I don’t need a registered dietitian to tell me how to eat. The WB way of eating is common sense. My family is the healthiest we’ve been in years!

  20. JillOz

    Isn’t it amazing Dr Davis –
    you did this initially to get your patients to good heart health and now dietitians, who usually recommend Heart Foundation eating guidelines are saying that what a cardiologist -you – recommends is not suitable for good dietary health.

    Perhaps we should have a game called :Spot the Real Expert!!

    • janet

      This list says it all. Thanks for posting the link. I am sure they would be shocked to know I eat or drink NOTHING from these purveyors of ILLNESS AND DEATH. Of course, I would drink raw milk if I could even find it, but the Milk council surely does not recommend that.
      This academy shill for the corporations is wearing blinders.

    • Boundless

      Universal Healthcare becomes Universal Healthcare Rationing quite rapidly. We already know someone who has been turned down for cancer treatment. Anyone surprised by such an outcome (and the outrages referenced in the linked article) needs to turn in their voter registration card and step away from the voting booth, because they probably voted for the fools who have legislated this train wreck.

      Fortunately, you can take very effective steps to dramatically reduce your need for treatments that are apt to be denied to you, for which you can’t even find a provider, or or which you won’t be able to afford. Optimize your diet.

      Dr. Davis lately reported that he is closing down his conventional practice. I suspect that in his case, it’s because he is saving more lives with dietary intervention prevention than he could ever patch up with surgery and meds. Other physicians are also going to be departing the profession, because they can’t earn enough, chafe at the regulations and paperwork, or simply decline to be government slaves.

      • janet

        Just because we know the truth, we should not denigrate the opportunity to allow people to get some health coverage for themselves and their families coming up. The Affordable Health Care program will allow my sister to finally come back to the USA from Ireland and live back here. She has a health condition and before the opportunity to get affordable health insurance, she is stuck there with her business destroyed by that countries’ own brand of banksters. My 7 year old granddaughter cannot be denied insurance now since she has asthma. My nephew, who returned from serving his country in Iraq, can be on his parent’s insurance to protect him and his future as he goes to school to become a productive citizen. This is just in my family. These are good people, who are and could suffer through no fault of their own. This just the beginning of the program, it does not go fully into effect until 2014. My co-worker will be signing up for our state insurance pool and exchange in October–she is so relieved to have this opportunity and will gladly pay the reasonable premium in order to have coverage for her family.

        The full program is not even implemented and of course, will take time to get up to speed, fix problems that show us, etc. This is not free care. People BUY INSURANCE, according to their income. I welcome this fully. The GOP and lobbyists and some blue dog Dems prevented single payer from happening, so we landed in the arms of the health insurance companies. But there will be good here and people will like it. At the least, the insurance companies had to have some controls put on them to stop their egregious, unfair out of control actions against their customers. You deny that was happening? Just a simple visit to an emergency room may doom some families to all kinds of financial disaster. Medical bills are the biggest cause of bankruptcy (limits to help regular people were raised to level of unavailability to climb out of financial hell brought to us by the banksters, but every millionaire and billionaire can thumb their nose and get a bailout or claim bankruptcy, stiff their creditors and skip blithely onto their yachts ).

        My brother in law dropped dead by his truck because he couldn’t afford the simple care to help his heart condition. My sister has Rheumatoid Arthritis and 2, count em TWO kinds of leukemia at once–she is terrified she will lose her job and her insurance. But there is some hope for her if she does. Hell, I want health care coverage and I am healthy. What about you get hit by a truck? Or get the bad flu from a neighbor? Just because of politics, some libertarian nonsense of freedom that doesn’t translate to real life, evil lobbying by the money bags, yes, a government that is frankly broken in every way, we, as a country shouldn’t kick people to the curb. This program will prevent some of this.

        We should not be smug because many of us here, knowing what we do, cannot predict the future of our own health, can we? How about we change something then, when we are able, that we get this country on Universal Health Care, or Medicare for All, and as we see the direction moving slowly to the truth of what has happened and what to do to stop the damage, maybe people will be healthier and we can start bringing the COST down of all this, especially those who have no coverage that does cost all of us in the long run, things will get better. I start this by NOT buying or eating anything processed. I vote with my dollars and tell the grocery stores what I am doing. I would rather my tax money goes to a healthier population, sustainable farming, subsidies to local farmers and producers, not corporate farms, oil companies, tax loopholes for corporations, craven, frankly evil unnecessary wars and an economic system that rewards the rich and Wall Street the most and, well the only trickle down that has worked is the manure plop of on the rest of us. I would rather the manure be dropped on a nice field of grass with grazing cows in it.

        Boundless, the fact this linked article comes from an ultra right wing website says much. Of course, these factions want Obamacare to FAIL. Of course, they want you to believe in rationing. That is their agenda. There are entire books and websites that list the tragic lies they and FOX News tell you. Did not the insurance companies “ration” care in a tragic way? You cost them too much, you were gone. A functionary in a private office could say “No” to a needed procedure. This won’t happen now—the companies can’t do that. Doesn’t sound like rationing to me—sounds like increasing opportunities for care. I listened to this right wing flim flam once and voted GOP, but found out they were lying to me—all of them. What is their agenda? Easy to hear if you really listen and when I did, I realized I was doing it to just get my own views confirmed. But something finally didn’t sound correct and I got some truth. We need to check our sources. (Sorry, Boundless, but I had to let people know about this disreputable source.) Politics is a huge part of the problem. Take care.

        • Uncle Roscoe

          You speak of health insurance as if it is a right. You are incorrect. Health insurance is a commodity. It provides a service for a price. Someone has to pay that price. Nobody in the United States has been denied the ability to purchase health insurance ……NOBODY. However, the price of coverage has been predicated as all commodities are predicated, on the provider’s predictions of cost …….in the case of health insurance, on individual customer healthcare expenses. Healthcare expenses have come to rely on three things which are totally unrelated to healthcare, addictive behavior, socialist laws, and a broken court system.

          As a people, we could fix these things by returning to the concept of individual responsibility. Instead we’ve imposed a system which raises healthcare prices to people who do not abuse the system and lowers the quality of healthcare to everyone ……a final dismemberment of America’s healthcare system.

          Congratulations. You won. Sieg heil.

          • Barb in NC

            You are wrong about the fact that nobody has been denied the right to purchase health insurance. I was widowed with a young child and first Kaiser, whom I was insured with privately, left NC, then the next insurance company, for which I paid high premium, after a year of paying in, decided to just no longer offer individual policies. Then went with BCBS Blue, and after my daughter developed asthma and allergies, and had to take medication and get allergy shots, the premiums went sky high and I was scared of switching, because of pre-existing condition exclusions etc.

            It’s easy to sit in your ivory towers, with your corporate insurance policies protecting your wealth, but try being an individual making a meager earning, not enough to feed and clothes, let alone insure your family … you will lose everything, and at least those laws have taken effect and saved Millions of people that hardship.

            Amazing, how things get twisted, and while I agree that politics don’t belong here, health insurance is quite fitting among the subjects we discuss here, and I for one, am appalled at the misrepresentation.

            would love to hear Dr. Davis’ take on it …


        • Boundless

          The politics of healthcare are pretty much beyond the scope of this blog, and if we wander off into that wallow, I’d not be surprised to see the management disappear some threads.

          > … these factions want Obamacare to FAIL.

          What anyone wants is pretty much irrelevant at this point. If it ends up before SCOTUS again, one might file an amicus brief.

          But I can make a prediction that Dr. Davis stands a good chance of making national healthcare plans everywhere at least appear to work. For every 3% of the population that switches to low-carb grain-free, healthcare costs are going to fall by 2% (maybe more, because that assumes that only 67% of ailments are diet-related – I think it’s higher).

          And regardless of what anyone thinks about covering those suffering through no fault of their own, we are headed into a disturbing wider scenario …

          Once it becomes clear that simple changes in diet result in radical improvements in health, some (as with smokers) will still choose to inflict tasty toxins on themselves – yet the healthy (that would be you) will still be taxed or otherwise obligated to fund the general coverage. You’ll be paying for the consequences other people’s choices, and even if it’s compulsory private insurance, the company may not have much flexibility in tailoring the premiums to the risk.

          The worst case scenario is that the state will step in and mandate imagined healthy eating. I say “imagined”, because if they did such a thing today, they’d be mandating MyPlate in the US, a diet of acute and delayed ailments. Possibly the “Davis Windfall” will forestall this sort of meddling.

        • Barb in NC


          excellent post and points well taken, agree 100%. Thanks for posting this.


      • janet

        Boundless, I need to apologize: My long comment by me was meant for Jilloz and not you. Not sure how I missed this,but offer my apology. But do hope others will read and think.


    • janet


      Please read my comment that was posted erroneously on Boundless comment. I need more light around my computer or better reading skills. I have opinions and facts too–some of them in my comment. Sorry Boundless.

  21. Joann

    Hi, Judith…I’m a vegan and have been following the Wheat Belly diet for a little over 6 weeks. At first it seemed daunting, but once you get into the swing of things it’s easy! I’ve noticed that whenever someone mentions they’re vegan or vegetarian, a bunch of people feel the need (it almost seems like a compulsion for some people) to argue with your decision to not eat animals/animal products. It seems like they are actually offended when you mention you’re vegetarian, and I don’t get it. I don’t take issue with what others put on their plates, and I want the same courtesy extended to me. Maybe one day. In the meantime, I’ve learned that for the most part, I need to keep my dietary choices to myself in order to avoid opening up a can of worms. Anyway, you can follow this diet whether you eat meat or not. You do what feels right for YOU. Best of luck!

    • Boundless

      > I don’t take issue with what others put on their plates …

      The whole point of WB is to take issue with what’s on the plate.

      Vegan is not an ancestral human diet. It’s a human contrivance. There are two main groups of people following it, and one of those groups may be willing to reconsider:

      1. Philosophicals: those following vegan as a secular religion aren’t likely to reconsider, but they do need to understand the challenges they’ve made for themselves and how to supplement for them. Vegan is not outcome-focused for these people, but the outcomes happen anyway.

      2. Hypotheticals: those following vegan solely because they think it is healthy need to know that they have been misled. They are sometimes willing to reconsider their diet.

    • Judith said she felt guilty about eating meat, but physically felt better when she did. We commenters gave her reasons that she didn’t need to feel guilty for doing so.

      Judith also mentioned she was “vegetarian paleo.” I don’t mean to be argumentative, but this is a contradiction in terms. There’s no evidence that any Paleolithic people were vegetarians. All evidence (the human digestive system, ancient middens, carbon analysis of paleolithic bones, diets of modern hunter-gatherers, the evolution of our big brains) points to meat eating.

      • Dr. Davis

        Yes, I believe that’s right: The anthropological record is quite clear.

        After Australopithecine evidence of herbivory, the human experience is one of enthusiastic carnivore using tools/weapons, the evoutionary innovation that differentiates us from the “true” predator/carnivores with claws and large canine teeth.

    • Uncle Roscoe

      I love it. You started a thread to attack people by complaining that people in some other unnamed venues have attacked you. Really? Neither this blog nor this blog entry have anything to do with veganism. Yet here you are. Who are the victims here, and who is the perpetrator?

      I’m thrilled that adding wheat to the list of things you don’t eat has benefitted you. Why can’t you just leave it at that?

  22. Suzanne

    My young son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 4 months ago. The “specialist diabetes” dietician told us that there is no such thing as a diabetic diet any more, and you can eat what ever you like, even food from a very famous American hamburger fast food restaurant (I won’t name names) ! Yes, that’s exactly what she said. Did she actually go to university to learn this amazing piece of advice??? The day he was discharged from hospital, my whole family started the grain free/paleo diet. When his diabetes educator found out about this diet, I got a prompt smack over the knuckles, yet in her very next sentence she praised my son for having such good blood glucose levels and told him he could be her poster boy for diabetes control! How does she think he has such good BGs?? His paediatrician looked totally puzzled when he looked at my son’s BGs and couldn’t believe that after only 3 months since diagnosis his levels were so perfect. He then told him to keep eating healthy wheat cereal for breakfast. I absolutely refuse to follow any of their advice. I fully intend for my son to live a full and healthy life despite his diabetes and the proof is in his blood test results. If he ever eats even one slice of bread, his BG’s are high for the entire day, regardless of how much insulin is injected – that’s how destructive it is. I wish I had never fed my family wheat. But, I can’t turn back time and I can only live with this new information I now know to be the truth. Some other health benefits gained by my family: weight loss, off blood pressure meds, no more asthma or gut aches, clear skin. And by the way, his diabetes educator could cut back on grains too, if you know what I mean – not a great example for the patients.

    • Dr. Davis

      It is wonderful, Suzanne, that you stuck to the strength of your convictions. You can appreciate the depths of misinformation these “diabetes educators” and endocrinologists are stuck in.

      I’d like to post your son’s story. The type 1 diabetes issue ALONE is an enormous issue that so many parents need to hear about. Thank you for posting!

      • Uncle Roscoe

        Amen, Dr. Davis.

        You see this same story repeated periodically, followed by discussion over whether or not dropping grassy grains, sugar, etc can actually “cure” type 1 diabetes.

        Forget the pathways. These cases speak for themselves. You drop the grassy grains and sugars, then blood sugars normalize. If that’s not a cure, then what is?

        The pathways can be derived from these cases.

      • Suzanne

        Hi Dr Davis, would you like any more information about my son’s diabetes? You can email me on my private email
        We live in Australia by the way, and our healthy eating pyramid is the same as the American one. I have met a few other children with type 1, but they eat according to this pyramid, sadly.

    • Boundless

      > And by the way, his diabetes educator could cut back on grains too,
      > if you know what I mean – not a great example for the patients.

      … and not an unusual instance. Consider the present U.S. Surgeon General, whose site advocates the USDA’s tower of toxins (MyPlate, formerly known as the Pyramid Scheme).

      Chubby spokespeople for glycemic diets are delivering a message that has several leading interpretations, all a bit too revealing:
      1. The recommendations don’t work at all.
      2. The recommendations cannot be complied with long term.
      3. The recommendations are only for you, the listener, and not for the speaker.

      Frankly, unless the diet advocate in question leads with a credible explanation for why they are not physiological model for their own advocacies, they need to be challenged on it. And “I’m too busy to exercise” doesn’t cut it as an excuse, because WB students know that exercise is nearly irrelevant in effective weight loss, and is totally irrelevant in ideal weight maintenance.

  23. Tyrannocaster

    The review says “It would take a lot of will power and determination (and not to mention food creativity) to completely eliminate wheat products without replacing them with some other type of appropriate source.”

    I am obviously possessed of more will power and determination (not to mention food creativity) than the author of the review. This is one of the most preposterous arguments you could possibly come up with to avoid a wheat free experiment. She also criticizes the book for being 12 chapters of explanation for why wheat should be eliminated and only “one chapter and a few appendices” explaining what is actually allowed. I’m sure the book would have been much better if, following her advice, there were twelve chapters telling you what to eat and only one or two telling you about what wheat does to you.

    Some of these people make me wonder if their lips move when they read!

    • Dr. Davis

      Yes, pretty lame stuff!

      These are the people we will likely never persuade, but will accept our arguments when most of the world has done so, too! They are consensus followers, not innovators. That’s how they got into the position they are in.

  24. Linda Walker

    My experience with dietitians is that they have limited knowledge and a rigid resistance to any information that challenges their narrow beliefs. They are also the last to champion healthy eating. Case in point: How could any dietitian stand behind hospital food: both the menus and the quality of the food? Yet it is dietitian chosen and approved. A good dietitian would stand up to the dismal output and demand positive change, but of course that never happens. The last person I would ever go to for advice on nutrition and health would be a dietitian.

    I take full responsibility for my health and research what is best for me. This process led me to Wheat Belly and my health and life is wonderfully improved by a wheat free and low carb way of life.

    Thanks Dr. Davis and dietitians be damned!

  25. Sheila

    Will we survive??? I think the answer is not just survive but THRIVE!
    I have had to shoot insulin during three pregnancies due to gestational diabetes in my 20’s and 30’s. They say it is a preview to the rest of my life. That is definitely not fun!!! So this tough fad diet is a piece of cake (WB cake of course) compared to a life of diabetes. I wish I had known about this back then. All that healthy whole grain stuff that had to be combatted with more and more insulin and worse with each pregnancy. But now in my 50’s I am so grateful for Dr. Davis and Wheat Belly. Better late than never. I don’t plan on ever going back to wheat world!! I wish there was a way to reach the Obstetrics community. I guess it will have to be the Wheat Belly way….one gestational diabetic at a time.
    Thanks again Dr. Davis and all the WB people who post helpful info.

  26. Nobelly

    Dieticians are always the last to know anything about dietary needs. One needs to be open minded twards new ideas in order to learn anything new, but this doesnt often happen with dieticans. And 8 in 10 are fat. So i really dont care what dietians think .

  27. I just got back my blood work from my doctor….. its been 4 months,,,45 pounds lighter,,,type 2 diabetes back to below 7 which is the Canadian measurement ….. I was at a constant 12 and I was on 2 types of meds for it… Started taking januvia and glumetza about 5 years ago….. and nothing happened,,,actually my blood sugar kept on going up… it was stuck at 12 points for the last 2 years and 4 months ago my doctor said he was going to put me on INSULIN… That freaked me out,,, I told him to give me a month… I went home and started looking for answers and came across the Wheat Belly book…. Did some Research and decided to buy the book,,read it,,,and made a decision…. Well its been 4 months and my Doctor cant believe my blood work… He told me on Friday March 22nd that Its the best blood work he has seen in 3 years for me… EVERYTHING is NORMAL….they checked my alkaline,,,all the vitamin stuff,,everything that has to do with blood sugar,,cholesterol,,blood pressure,,triglycerides…EVERYTHING!!!!! ALL NORMAL… Just by avoiding WHEAT!!!!!!!!! INCREDIBLE !!!!!!
    Cant wait till I actually start exercising with my mountain bike as soon as the weather gets warmer…. Thats right,,NO EXERCISE…. All weight was lost because I didint eat the FRANKENWHEAT,, that EVIL,,POISONOUS WHEAT that nutritionists and health experts think I need to be Healthy…lolololololol …. Too Funny…. Anyways… If you have not tried avoiding WHEAT,, I suggest you do it NOW!!! Cheers my Fellow Wheat Haters :)

  28. darMA

    Mankind died off thousands of years ago because they had no bread and no dietitians to tell them how to eat and nobody told me??? How rude.1

  29. Killian

    Dr. Davis,
    I strongly believe that the message you are spreading is a positive and sound one. I myself have experienced complete remission from a seven year old seborrheic dermatitis problem when I removed wheat from my diet. This was down to some of your articles which hinted that seborrhea was one of a number of conditions directly caused by wheat.
    My father, who is a doctor, has commented positively on my skin improvement. When I told him that this was due to my removal of wheat from my diet, he responded that this was possible but not necessarily proof that removal of wheat had caused the improvement. I have told him of your work but he remains skeptical. In his opinion, he would have to see studies in a reputable journal that proved that a statistically significant body of individuals experienced remission from seborrheic dermatitis ( or one of the other conditions you discuss like joint pain, asthma, IBS, etc. ) before he bought in to your message.
    Are such studies available offering scientific proof that removal of wheat leads to measurable improvement in the various conditions alluded to above? You must surely come up against these type of arguments regularly.
    Thank you,

    • Boundless

      > … he responded that this was possible but not necessarily proof
      > that removal of wheat had caused the improvement.

      You could re-introduce wheat to prove it to him, but I wouldn’t take that risk myself.

      > Are such studies available offering scientific proof that removal of wheat
      > leads to measurable improvement in the various conditions alluded to above?

      Just what is your dad’s problem with any sufferer trying it to find out?

      This is not some exotic new new drug that requires a review board, liability waivers and a control group. It’s merely a diet that was common for ancestral humanity and is still prevalent today in isolated cultures beyond the reach of Twinkies (cultures that don’t suffer a wide variety of ailments for some reason).

      • GaryM

        I think many medical professionals are threatened by treatments that work that 1) they are not aware of, or 2) are incredibly simple, such as wheat elimination.

        Imagine how some well-tenured RD with 30 years of experience would feel is he/she was told that everything he/she had been doing was wrong, and not only wrong, but harmful. Some would embrace this phenomenon and immediately adapt. Sadly, most would try to defend the status quo, because they could not handle this admission.

        • Grace in IL

          THIS!!!!! YES YES YES. This. So many REFUSE to admit that they were wrong. And honestly, it does make me begin to question whether most doctors REALLY want to help people or not. I always assumed that no matter how wrong a doctor might be, most really did have their patients’ best interests at heart. Now I’m starting to think that may be a very naive belief…..

          If the real answer is there and so easy, WHY don’t most doctors WANT to advise this? It’s not like it can harm anyone (like most of those crazy drugs they prescribe!). Since there is no logical answer to that question, one has to surmise they really don’t care about their patients health as much as I thought….

    • Dr. Davis

      One review: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22693492

      You and your dad will see that there are already data on this question. My colleagues such as your dad, who I am sure is well meaning, is that they simply do not read the literature that relate to nutrition, instead occupying their thinking with “standard” medical issues involving drugs and procedures. This is a fundamental problem in the medical system, since so many conditions are caused by components of diet.

  30. Lauren Romeo

    I don’t think it’s so much a threat it is that this new way of eating is viewed as a fad, just like the Paleo movement is viewed that way. But, as time goes on more people will see the light. I’ve been gluten free 33 years and I have no vitamin deficiencies or bone loss. My trigs are always low and I am not anemic…even though I have been told that all of these problems would be the result of my Celiac Disease and the GF diet I must adhere to. Funny that now my two sisters and their spouses are doing the GF thing (as I have not aged like they have). Oh yes, one is 2 years older and one is 3 years younger than me. Both suffered from degenerative diseases and have improved substantially on the GF/Paleo diet.
    I thank Dr. Davis for his courage in taking on the medical community.
    Lauren Romeo, MD

  31. susan

    Doctors may be busy people, with little time to read and research, but too many rely almost solely on their local Phama rep for their education, believing what they are told — that any and every human condition is solvable with the latest and greatest new drug.
    “Change your diet to treat your aches/pains/rashes??? Pshaw! That would be dangerous. Just take this new drug and you’ll be fine. And if that doesn’t cure your ills — or if it gives you new problems (insert drug disclosure info here) — there’s this other new drug I can prescribe for you. Just remember to keep eating your healthywholegrains. You wouldn’t want to miss out on all those wonderful nutrients, would you?”
    Talk about your Junkfood Science…

  32. anonymous

    Totally lame that there’s no ability to leave comments on that article’s website. I wouldn’t mind giving my 2 cents to that dietitian on how the diet has helped my family.

  33. Jeanine

    My husband and I started wheat free on February 4 and are pretty amazed by results–from weight loss, less acid Reflux, less achy body, good energy, etc. We plan to stay wheat and other grain free.I have a few questions. 1. He still has to have a TIF procedure (despite less gerd) and needs to be on liquid and soft food diet for several weeks after procedure. I’m concerned because the recommended “shakes” (even protein based) and puddings have things we need to avoid. Any suggestions? I will purée veggies, but wondering what to do in the a.m. 2. I am considering adding a mangosteen-based supplement (vemma) to our daily regimen but it contains “natural fructose”–8 grams carb in 2 ounce portion. Any suggestions for nutritional shakes as he recovers from procedure? Any comments about any of my concerns?
    BTW, many people have asked us what we’ve done to look so good and healthy.The only thing I changed was diet.

    • Boundless

      > … but it contains “natural fructose”–8 grams carb in 2 ounce portion.


      Fructose seems to represent everything that’s unhealthy about both glucose and alcohol, and it doesn’t even curb appetite. It’s problem enough when formulators add fructose-heavy sucrose in the form of evaporated fruit juices. Adding fructose explicitly is appalling, and certifies the formulators as professionally incompetent (or corrupt)..

  34. June

    I posted a couple of months ago that I was feeling so much better on Wheat Belly, and that my blood sugar was no longer swinging wildly from low to very high. I had been diligently following the recommended ADA diet for five years, and had watched my HbA1c rise over that period from 6.2 to 9.7.

    Well, I just got the results of the first blood work since I started Wheat Belly. My A1c is now 7.0. My total cholesterol has dropped from 225 to 176. I can’t wait to see what my numbers are in three more months.

    Another thing-I don’t know if my diet has anything to do with it, but most years around this time my allergies keep me feeling miserable every day. This year, though the Live Oak trees are pollinating like crazy, all I am feeling is a little redness in my eyes.

    Dr. Davis, I cannot thank you enough for your work. Some of my friends who are diabetic are getting tired of me telling them all the time about your book, but I’m not going to shut up about it any time soon!

    • Dr. Davis

      Terrific progress, June!

      Keep up your great momentum. And let your friends come to you when you are the slenderest, healthiest non-diabetic in the bunch!

      • June

        I forgot to add that my doctor actually said that I should stop trying to lose weight! (at five feet seven, I weigh 126 pounds.) I had to laugh, because I am most certainly NOT dieting!
        Oh, and my blood pressure is down to 100/60, so we’re dropping that med.

  35. Kim

    Dear Dr. Davis,
    I want to start out by saying how amazing you are, and how much this blog alone has changed my life. I think it is so fantastic the way you openly share the wealth of information you have discovered, and even respond to peoples questions and comments so regularly. I have found so many chronic problems I’ve had are eliminated within 3 days of not eating wheat. I have suffered from CONSTANT fatigue since the age of 15 (I am 30) and have been told by doctors that it was everything under the sun, from depression ( I was handed a 6 week stack of pills by a doctor I’d met once at the age of 15- boy were my parents happy), iron deficiency, hypoglycemia, thyroid problem, and even told “Some people are just like that.” I accidentally discovered after going on phase 1 of the South Beach diet after overeating at Xmas that I felt the best I’d ever felt in my life. After playing around a little with sugar, dairy, etc, I did realize that wheat was the main culprit. I remember when it hit me, and I started crying histerically in the car on my way to work. All these years of not feeling normal and not one doctor suggested an elimination diet… Anyway, around the same time, I had missed about a third of the school year (I am a teacher) because of a voice problem I was having that was in the middle of my esophagus that burned like crazy, stopping me from talking. I was given nasal spray and told it was because of a post nasal drip. It continued, I went for that test where they stick that metal rod down your throat, and the doctor said it was acid reflux burning my esophagus, and gave me a pill she said I’d have to take for the rest of my life…. I resisted. Thankfully I figured out that if I didn’t eat wheat, the problem also was eliminated within three days. On top of these problems, I have also been cured from a life long struggle with constipation, brian fog and some mild depression that has come and go over the years. All this because of wheat, and your advice has been the lead role in keeping me informed. I must admit, I have been far from perfect in eliminating wheat, but know that it all of these symptoms come back, EVERY time, within a day or so, and goes away within 3 of stopping the wheat again.

    My question to you, though, concerns pregnancy. This post does help out, and I also read what you read about folic acid. I am trying to get pregnant, I’m wondering, in your opinion, if any adjustments need to be made while pregnant. Is there anything specific I should try to get more of in my diet that might be lost while not eating wheat? I don’t seem to be able to find a straight answer on this. I do know that other grains don’t seem to bother me, although I know you don’t recommend them in general. Would you encourage incorporating them into the diet throughout pregnancy? I am taking pre-natal vitamins. I am asking you this because, as you know, most main stream doctors are… less than informed, shall we say, when it comes to this subject.

    Thank you for all your work, hope to hear back from you!

    • Dr. Davis

      Thank you, Kim!

      Given your extravagant response to wheat elimination, I think the WORST thing you could do is to add it back during pregnancy. In fact, I’ll bet that you compromise the health of your baby by doing so.

      The one potential deficiency on ANY diet, particularly given the reduced nutrient content of modern food, are folates. You can easily obtain the folates you need for pregnancy by taking a multivitamin designed for pregnancy.

      Note that humans survived and thrived on earth for 2.4 million years BEFORE grains were incorporated into the human diet, something added only 0.4% of the time ago. In other words, we are evolved to be non-grain consumers. The notion that we MUST eat grains for health is patently absurd, but suits the designs of agribusiness quite well.

      • Kim

        Thank you so much Dr. Davis! I really appreciate the reply. That’s kind of where I thought you’d go with that, but you can never be too careful with pregancy, so I just wanted to get your expert advice!


  36. Boundless

    > As I often expect from dietitians, NONE of these sorts of
    > deeper insights are discussed or entertained, just a bland
    > recitation from the perspective of traditional dietary dogma.

    I wouldn’t want to be a dietician just now (or any medical professional with lesser status than MD). They dare not deviate from the dogma, lest they incur the wrath of their guilds, and their associated MDs and clinics.

    The smart ones, upon grasping the full (and professionally horrific) implications of Wheat Belly, may quietly counsel their clients to read the book and decide for themselves. They probably elect to shut up publicly for the time being, until the prevailing wind shifts.

    But those continuing to dole out the deadly dogma in full public view need to be challenged.

    • I have been on the diet for 9 months my Homocysteine has went up with each blood work.
      Homocysteine Started out at 11 intermediate risk
      3 months later 12
      4 months later 13
      Would this be normal? I eat nuts,eggs,green beans, beans and broccoli and take fish oil
      I started a multi-vitamin a month ago.

      • Dr. Davis

        Normal, no. Odd, yes.

        I don’t have an explanation without further data. Have you had MTHFR testing? Thyroid testing?

  37. I had several test but I do not believe it was called MTHFR testing.
    (Cardiopathology and Cardiometabolic, Lipids, Lipoprotein Particles and Apolipoproteins, Inflammation/Oxidation, Myocardial stress, Lipoprotein Genetics, Metabolic, Sterol absorption and Synthesis Markers, Thyroid, liver, Electrolytes, CBC, Omega-3/6 and other fatty acids ) and several others

    My Lipoprotein Genetics came back high for heart disease and diabetes risk 3/4

    Thyroid 8/2012 1.71 3/2013 1.76

    Total Cholesterol 8/2012 164 3-2013 115
    LDL-C 8/2012 79 3-2013 48
    HDL-C 8/2012 54 3-2013 51
    Triglycerides 8/2012 174 3-2013 63

    Lipoprotein Particles and Apo lipoproteins
    My LDL-P (nmol/L) 8/2012 1215 3-2013 569
    Apo B (mg/dL) 8/2012 76 3-2013 51
    Apo-A-1, HDL-P, HDL2 all came in optimal range on 8/2012 but Apo-A-1 and HDL2-C came in the intermediate risk level on the second/third test.

    Lp-PLA 2 8-2012 204 3-2013 192
    Hs-CRP 8-2012 1.9 3-2013 0.9
    Fibrinogen 8-2012 468 3-2013 384

    Insulin 8/2012 13 3-2013 6
    Free Fatty Acid 8/2012 1.04 3-2013 .53
    Glucose 8/2012 91 3-2013 78
    HbA1c(%) 8/2012 6.0 3-2013 5.6
    Est. Average Glucose 8/2012 125.5 3-2013 114.0
    Homocysteine 8/2012 11 3-2013 13

    Homocysteine also concerns me as my uncle on my Dad’s side had Alzheimer’s . Could going wheat /gluten free cause this up tick? It was a little high to start with? Started B vitamins in April 2013.
    See By Jerome Burne 21 May 2013

    • Neicee

      tsh, I believe the B vitamins are some of the best things you can do for a great state of mind and memory. There are many studies for Alzheimer’s being dependent on sugar as well. What eventually converts to sugar – carbohydrates. Dr. Davis is on track with no massive studies needed. Once I started taking a slew of B’s, got off the wheat/carbs, and doubled the amount of D3 it was like a light bulb came on. The funding for needed studies is never going to happen unless someone can patent a drug and cash in on the $$$$. I speak from experience, my mother-in-law has been in a facility for the past four years, and the only thing she’s wanted to eat has been wheat products and sugar and simply sits there without eating if she doesn’t get it.

        • Neicee

          TSH, I take a large variety of the B vitamins, but rarely exceed the RDA. I have taken more B6/B12/folate than normal and have not had a problem.
          I enjoy eggs/homemade sausage in the morning then a handful of nuts in the afternoon as a snack, then chicken/fish/shellfish/and good beef for dinner – along with a salad with 6-8 different raw veggies and one or two cooked veggies. I’ve been liberal with the coconut oil or evoo and butter in cooking. I never get hungry in between meals. I love how my energy levels maintain all day.

        • Orlenda

          B vitamins are water soluable-so you excrete what you body doesnt use in your urine….it isnt really stored like fat soluable vitamins are (A, D, E, and K vitamins are fat soluable). At most..you might just end up wasting your money if you take more than your body needs…

  38. My apologies for the numbers and dates — I had them separated better but for some reason it posted different.

  39. Trisha Lynn

    I watched the hour+ Wheat Belly seminar over a month ago, and immediately cut wheat out of my diet, mostly due to my concerns about it’s ‘dangers’, and also because I’ve had undiagnosed (IBS?) stomach/intestinal issues for years. Since eliminating wheat, all stomach issues have gone away, which I am very happy for. I’ve also lost the last few stubborn pounds I was carrying, but that’s not surprising I’m eating less carbs. Other than that, I continue on a healthy, organic diet with all foods in moderation, including healthy carbs, and I feel GREAT. I’m also often told I look 20 years younger than my age, which I believe is a benefit to healthy eating, and lifestyle.

    As for the Wheat Belly diet, I have continued to research anything that I am concerned with or have questions about – because I do not believe one should accept something as ‘gospel truth’ just because it is coming from a medical professional, scientist, etc. It is up to each of us to read, research, and decide for ourselves what is right, and then take responsibility for our own choices.

    ~ Trish