Bio

If you want the usual “eat this to be heart-healthy” line, then don’t call me.

You won’t get any endorsements of new drugs for weight loss or cholesterol lowering, or gushing commentary on the newest defibrillator or heart transplant device from me. What you will get is plain talk about the largest dietary blunder ever made on an international scale: Cut your fat and eat more healthy whole grains. NO!

There is a germ of truth in this whole grain disaster: Whole grains are indeed healthier than white flour products–just as filtered cigarettes are healthier than unfiltered cigarettes. So should you smoke more Salems in place of your Marlboros? I don’t think so!

Since 2004, I have served as Medical Director of the heart disease prevention and reversal program, Track Your Plaque, an international meeting-of-the-minds to generate a collective effort to find better solutions to the scourge of heart attack and heart disease. In an effort to assist people, as well as my patients, reduce blood sugar–high in over 80% of people nowadays–I asked them to eliminate wheat, including whole grain products based on the simple fact that wheat products increase blood sugar more than nearly all other foods. The unexpected result: Incredible weight loss; relief from acid reflux and the gas, cramping, and diarrhea of irritable bowel syndrome; increased energy, more stable moods, and deeper sleep; relief from arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis; dramatically improved cholesterol values; reduced blood pressure and inflammatory measures, and on and on. It became clear that this was no coincidence. This was real. And it was all due to eliminating this thing being sold to us called wheat.

‘Cause it ain’t wheat. It’s this stocky little high-yield plant, a distant relative of the wheat our mothers used to bake muffins, but genetically and biochemically lightyears removed from the wheat of just 40 years ago. We have geneticists and agribusiness to thank for this transformation from 4 1/2-foot tall “amber waves of grain” to the 2-foot tall semi-dwarf genetic variant now sold to us in the guise of “healthy whole grains.”

The unexpected results I witnessed in my heart disease prevention program led me to believe that these observations applied to more than my patients and online following. This was a widespread societal problem. It became clear that “wheat” consumption was responsible for an incredible amount of the human illness, obesity, and suffering we are all witnessing on an unprecedented scale. So I wrote Wheat Belly.

So Wheat Belly represents the distilled experience and lessons I’ve learned over these last several years, lessons learned by accident in my quest to help solve the dilemma of heart disease. And, by the way, I hardly ever see any heart attacks any more.

I am a 1985 graduate of the St. Louis University School of Medicine and the Ohio State University Hospitals for training in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Diseases. I even trained in advanced cardiac catheterization techniques and coronary angioplasty in the Case-Western Reserve University system in Cleveland, Ohio. But I’ve essentially left that training in the dust of new-lessons-learned, including this incredible wheat-free world I’ve stumbled into.

I practice preventive cardiology–hardly a stent in sight!–in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where I base my practice, writing career, blogging and other activities. I live with my beautiful and triathlon-crazed wife, Dawn; my University of Wisconsin-Madison attending son, Bill; my professional tennis player daughter, Lauren; my still-figuring-out-what-to-do-with-his-life 13-year old, Jacob; and my two unruly and barely tame Boston terriers. And, no, there are no bran muffins or pretzels in the cupboard.

23 Responses to Bio

  1. You know, it was a total accident that I found your site but it was interesting to read through anyways…

  2. Credits aside, and boisterous marketing notwithstanding (because frankly, no REALLY confident doctor needs to bathe their site with such hyper-pitched photos and excliamation signs).. I would have attributed a lot more value to this book had William stopped going ON and ON about his greatness and focussed on the genetic mutations of modern wheat. I have two award-winning neurosurgeons in the family and although both of them have invented new techniques etc.. NONE of them would present them in such a fashion.. no doctor speaks like a this if his true goal is to spread a worthwhile message.. this FEELS like a money grab for insecure people who are overweight.. How can I take him seriously when one moment he’s talking about a diet and yet he claims to spend his free time doing one of the most obesity-inducing activities that have made for such an increase in FAT kids ie.. “playing x box”. Come on dude! who are you kidding? The planet’s dietary profile is a combination of several factors a) we are an animal designed to be moving around.. our bodies are built for motion, walking, standing up and climbing… and the modern sedentary schedule (you on your laptop, me on mine) create a PATHETICALLY inert state that means we do not get a healthy amount of activity.. and sitting still for 8 hours then running for one is not really good enough.. B) as our population globally has increased, our food suppliers have become resourceful in order to save money adn produce MORE FASTER.. Ie. hormones, additives, fillers etc.. our food is WORSE and our physicaly state is WORSE… if one of those things were BETTER, at least we’d have a fighting chance… I have but ONE clear cut example of why wheat alone is not the target … look at London (I have just returned from a visit). I ate fresh french croissants for breakfast, follwed by a 15 minute walk to the tube, running up and down stairs, walking to and from places and then grabbing a sandwich or pizza and then finally running up and down more stairs to make my way back to friends apartment (I live in LA normally where going out for food means getting in the car or scooter)… after 5 days like this, I come home and I’ve eaten MORE FATTIER and WHEATIER than I do in LA.. and yet I am fitter, leaner and my skin and hair look AMAZING. I lived in Vancouver before living in LA and NEVER went to the gym… but ate what I wanted.. I believe genetically modified foods (with excessive and undigestible components) are a BIG part .. but our sedentary lifestyles are the BIGGEST.

    • Judy says:

      Dominika, Unfortunately evidence is not on your side. Studies show that while leading an active life is important to one’s health, exercise on it’s own does not result in weight loss. Diet appears to be the most important factor in weight issues. I am a physician who works with many middle aged men in the military who are overweight – most with large middles – but who exercise regularly. They can’t understand why they can’t lose weight. It’s only when they change their diets that they lose weight. And not with the diet recommended by the dietitian. It’s only when they go low carb/paleo. (I discovered this site tonight and am happy that other doctors are promoting what is proving to be the only healthy way to go.)

    • Boundless says:

      dw: > Credits aside, …

      Some issues you raise deserve responses, so I’m going to assume that your purpose here was not to spam your website (unlike 3 other responses on this page that are clearly just smap, hint hint to admins).

      > … and boisterous marketing notwithstanding (because frankly,
      > no REALLY confident doctor needs to bathe their site with
      > such hyper-pitched photos and excliamation signs)..

      This is an unprecedented situation. Most people have no mental model for it, outside of Stephen King and Michael Crichton cultural calamity novels. The “authorities” are doing nothing. Individuals need to make their own informed choices. The most effective thing to do is – whatever is the most effective in getting the word out.

      > I would have attributed a lot more value to this book had William
      > stopped going ON and ON about his greatness …

      You made that up.

      > … and focussed on the genetic mutations of modern wheat.
      > I have two award-winning neurosurgeons in the family and
      > although both of them have invented new techniques etc..
      > NONE of them would present them in such a fashion..

      Just how radical were their innovations?
      How disruptive were those innovations to conventional medicine?
      Sometimes (e.g. helicobacter pylori), dramatic steps are required.

      > … no doctor speaks like a this if his true goal is to spread a worthwhile message..

      The dangers of grains generally, and modern wheat in particular is not new news. But you are just now hearing of it, aren’t you? Other MDs have written books. Name one. The supporting data is in the literature, but the dots were not connected. The traditional methods of communication did not work.

      > … this FEELS like a money grab for insecure people who are overweight..

      You made that up too. There is nothing for sale on this site other than the book, and most forum users have already read it when they come here. As much as we might like to be able to buy NWB Bars or NWB Supplements, none such exist.

      > How can I take him seriously when one moment he’s talking
      > about a diet and yet he claims to spend his free time doing
      > one of the most obesity-inducing activities that have made for
      > such an increase in FAT kids ie.. “playing x box”.

      The fat kids are 95% due to wheat (and high carbs) and only 5% due to lethargy. And the lethargy tends to diminish when the carbs are diminished. The X-Box, alas, is probably not going away soon.

      > The planet’s dietary profile is a combination of several factors
      > a) we are an animal designed to be moving around.. our bodies
      > are built for motion, walking, standing up and climbing… and
      > the modern sedentary schedule (you on your laptop, me on mine)
      > create a PATHETICALLY inert state that means we do not get
      > a healthy amount of activity.. and sitting still for 8 hours then
      > running for one is not really good enough..

      The people profiting from your point B below want you to think that.

      > B) as our population globally has increased, our food suppliers
      > have become resourceful in order to save money adn produce
      > MORE FASTER.. Ie. hormones, additives, fillers etc.. our food
      > is WORSE and our physicaly state is WORSE…

      This point has some merit, but is dwarfed by the unexamined genetic monster that is modern hybrid dwarf wheat.

      > … if one of those things were BETTER, at least we’d have a fighting chance…

      Try going off wheat (and go low carb) for a month. See what happens.
      That is your fighting chance.

      > I have but ONE clear cut example of why wheat alone is not the
      > target … look at London (I have just returned from a visit).
      > I ate fresh french croissants for breakfast, …

      If those were from made-in-France dough, see:
      http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2011/07/who-is-dr-william-davis/#comment-6027
      French dough is aged, may be from older wheat strains and apparently is somewhat less destructive.

      > … follwed by a 15 minute walk to the tube, running up and down
      > stairs, walking to and from places and then grabbing a sandwich
      > or pizza and then finally running up and down more stairs to make
      > my way back to friends apartment (I live in LA normally where going
      > out for food means getting in the car or scooter)… after 5 days like
      > this, I come home and I’ve eaten MORE FATTIER and WHEATIER
      > than I do in LA.. and yet I am fitter, leaner …

      We need to present our personal anecdotal histories with caution. Some individuals have no apparent immediate reaction to wheat. I’m one (but then I probably wasn’t consuming much). Changes were more obvious for another family member.

      > I believe genetically modified foods (with excessive and
      > undigestible components) are a BIG part .. but our sedentary
      > lifestyles are the BIGGEST.

      True or (more likely, inadequately true), we’ve been hearing that message for decades, and nothing is changing. The message bounces off.
      But going off wheat changes everything.
      Rapidly.

    • Emma says:

      I for one agree with the Doc,

      I have had my Knee replaced and can get up and go as others do. I also work a job where I stand 8 hours a day, but do walk instead of sit at every break to keep my knees and legs from stiffening up. But it was not until I gave up the wheat that I started to lose weight. I do agree it is how they grow the wheat that has prevented many from losing weight.. do not Think I have not tried.. my bad heart proves how much I gave up to be thin.. but it all came back to the same thing the GMO wheat the hormones infused to make it grow faster is killing all of us… My advise is instead of being negative I would wake up and read the ingredients.. of what they put on the seeds before the make the food.
      Thank you Doc for helping me realize what is preventing losing weight.

      P.S. this is not to defend the people who choose not to help themselves… I do agree we all need to move a bit more. This is for those like myself who have almost died trying every new diet and failed.

    • DL says:

      You vicariously take credit for what your 2 award winning relatives have done, and then you criticize the Dr for presenting himself. The animated (in print) manner in which Dr. Davis presents himself does not invalidate neither his anecdotal nor his epirical evidence. I appreciate his enthusiasm. IMO, it will take a high energy, enthusiastic effort to overcome the oppressive totalitarian weight of the agricultural/governmental-industrial complex. Either his theory is wrong, or it’s not. Attacking his personality is the last gasp effort to support a weak/defensless argument/position.

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  4. Brook says:

    Hello Dr,

    I just ordered your book, I do hope it will also work for me.
    My quick question is, is it only wheat that is dangerous, or any other plant cereal products too, such as Barley, Oats, …?

    Thanks

    • Dr. Davis says:

      It”s different with different grains.

      Barley is a potential gluten issue, while oats is a blood sugar issue. Neither are very good ideas.

      • Eric says:

        Not that here is a world of difference between instant oatmeal with sugar and other additives and plain steel cut oats. The latter has a much lower glycemic index.

  5. Eric says:

    Correction: “Note

    Correction: “note” not “not:.

  6. Pingback: When a Diet isn’t a Diet (Or how my husband and I have lost 44 lbs in 12 weeks) « All the Love– Without the Wheat

  7. Hugo says:

    Two questions.
    a) You say we should eat plenty of vegetables. Tomatoes and cucumbers, although often considered vegetables, are actually fruit. So, do you mean vegetables in the strictest scientific sense of the term? Or do you mean vegetables in the more general layman’s sense?

    b) Avoiding wheat and meat that is processed is hard enough at home. My job requires that I travel a lot, and this makes it almost impossible. Continental breakfasts do offer boiled eggs sometimes, but the meat is often sausage or bacon. At other times, you practically have to order a sub sandwich with all the veggies possible, then throw away the bread and eat only what’s inside. Any advice for those who must travel?

  8. DON says:

    How do I make a sandwich with out using bread?
    Orowheat Company answered my email and told me that yes in fact they do use GMO’s in their bread.
    But, “that its within Federal Governments guidelines”. hahahaha
    I wrote back and reminded them about Aspartame and Florine and X-rays used in shoe stores in the 50′s, so much for the FDA and their guidelines. I stopped buying Orowheat breads.
    But I love to make sandwiches, what can I use instead of bread?

  9. Andrea says:

    Dr. Davis,
    I’m working with a team of folks in San Francisco on a way to provide ‘real food’ to the public fast and affordably. We’ve created some great Green Smoothie recipes and the response has been really great. Your work has been a big inspiration to our team and we’d like to invite you in on the conversation.

    If you’re interested feel free to
    * shoot me an email andreajtalley@gmail.com
    * or give me a call (540) 560-7277

    Hearing from you would be an incredible benefit!
    All the best,
    Andrea

  10. lorhen says:

    Manna bread is made from wheat and/or other grains, although it is sprouted and cooked at low temperatures. Is this acceptable? Also, how bout other grains such as organic non GMO kamut, amaranth, quinoa?

  11. Pingback: The Gluten Free Diet | Lose Weight & Feel Great

  12. Pingback: The Gluten Debate | This Sydney Life

  13. Larry says:

    Dr. Davis
    I recently was told by a doctor that I have a wheat allergy. I seen your book and read it. I have since purchased the cookbook. I want to go wheat free but seem to be having a rough time starting. One thing holding me back is my wife’s health. She has many health issues- High BP, diabetic, heart disease, neuropathy, and she is an end-stage dialysis patient. Her renal diet is full of things that are wheat. Her renal diet also says no nuts, and seeds. I am afraid if I feed her my things that I am going to hurt her. It would be hard to try and cook to separate meals. What would you suggest?
    My health has been a bit of an issue lately, so I am excited to see if wheat-free helps some things.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Unfortunately, your wife must adhere to the restrictions, given issues such as potassium.

      But you have no such restrictions, of course, and can revert to the way humans are supposed to eat. You are likely being held back by the withdrawal process from the gliadin derived opiates in wheat.

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