Thursday, October 6, 2011

Slam-dunked and Wheat Belly

All right.  Work has been really, well, working me lately, so I've barely had time to sleep, much less to review papers, keep up with the blogosphere, and write.

I do like this song, though (right click to open in new tab):  Days are Forgotten (and it is getting very difficult to find songs on youtube that will play without ads upfront - sorry if there is an ad on this one!  It had a glitch and skipped the ad but might not work for everyone :()

Despite the time crunch, I did manage to squeeze in Wheat Belly over the weekend (most of it), and read the rest last night.

No, I don't like it.

No, I don't eat wheat as a rule, and I am not a grain industry shill.

But I don't feel I have to put my name out in support of a shoddy, sloppy book just because the overall message "wheat sux" agrees with my thoughts that wheat gluten and other wheat proteins likely are inflammatory in many people and cause problems for more than just those with celiac disease.  I think most physicians and researchers with critical thinking skills will find this book useless and full of hyperbole.  For those not taken in by the confident tone, it may do more harm than good.

Why don't I like Wheat Belly?  In short, it is the carelessness and simplicity of the message.  Hyperbole and poorly supported, confident claims.  Obesity and chronic illness is a complicated subject.  It doesn't come down to wheat.  Wheat isn't responsible (entirely) for "moobs" or the other too-cute phrases Dr. Davis churns out ad nauseum throughout the book.

An example?  In chapter 4, Dr. Davis spends a bit of time discussing the evidence linking wheat to schizophrenia and addiction.  I've discussed this issue at some length and noted the obvious circumstantiality of the evidence and the need for more research.  (see Wheat and Schizophrenia and Wheat and Serious Mental Illness).  And while Dr. Dohan (who was the major researcher who championed the wheat causes schizophrenia meme) felt he had evidence that schizophrenia has increased incidence in wheat-eating populations, most modern schizophrenia researchers make note that schizophrenia is pretty consistent in incidence across many populations - around 1%-1.3% incidence, in the developing world and in the Western world, in rice eating Chinese areas and the wheat-eating American Midwest.

Dr. Davis says:  "while it seems unlikely that wheat exposure caused schizophrenia in the first place, the observations of Dr. Dohan and others suggest that wheat is associated with measurable worsening of symptoms."  I don't get that quote at all.  Is the incidence of schizophrenia higher in non-wheat eating countries or not?  Do exorphins cause psychotic symptoms or not?  Schizophrenia, after all, is defined by the symptoms.  Something that "worsens" schizophrenia will cause schizophrenia, a symptomatically defined illness, as I've discussed earlier in my posts on cannabis.

But where I find the book to be critically annoying is in the discussion of addiction and opiates.  Wheat, as we know, has break-down components that are exorphins, which activate the opiate receptors in the brain and nervous system (the same receptors that are activated by our natural endorphins, opium, morphine, heroin, percocet, and other opiate painkillers).  The opiate pathway is part of the reward pathway in the brain, and is actually activated by anything "rewarding" - such as sex, exercise, drugs, gambling, and rock and roll.

Where I agree with Dr. Davis is that I have seen clinical evidence that some people seem to be "addicted" to wheat.  Particularly night bread binge-eaters.  They talk about bread much like one of my opiate addict patients would talk about oxycontin.  They can't stop eating it even after they are full, and even when they desperately want to lose weight.  They will leave their cozy house and pick up crackers, pretzels, fast food with fluffy bread, or a fresh loaf to eat at night. Critically, in certain cases (where more evidence-based methods have been tried), I've managed to stop these cravings and binge behaviors with naltrexone, which blocks the opiate receptors and short-circuits reward.  The problem is, ALL reward is mediated through opiate and dopamine, so using naltrexone doesn't tell you that you've blocked specific wheat exorphins - maybe the person has a real jones for fresh steaming lovely bread for simple reward sake - like some people love chocolate, Pringles, or cocaine.

It's a good message, though, and something that should be researched.  But then Dr. Davis comes up with this sentence (and also states he has seen the withdrawal and "brain fog" from wheat in "thousands of people"then later "I've personally witnessed hundreds of people…"), which is incredibly jarring and ruins the credibility of the message: "Let's pretend you're an inner-city heroin addict.  You get knifed during a drug deal gone sour and get carted to the nearest trauma emergency room.  Because you're high on heroin, you kick and scream at the ER staff trying to help you.  So these nice people strap you down and inject you with a drug called naloxone, and you are instantly not high."

Naloxone (and it's orally administered cousin, naltrexone), is an opiate blocker, or "opiate antagonist."  It will immediately knock opiates off the opiate receptor and put someone high on opiates into instant withdrawal.  This is not only extremely unpleasant, it tends to make people very agitated, unhappy, and even violent.  If you have to do it to save someone's life, you do it.  If someone is overdosing on opiates and loses the chemical signal to breathe, it will be lifesaving. If someone is alert and active and still high on heroin, injecting someone with naloxone would be a galactically stupid thing to do, particularly if you were just injured in a knife fight and needed some painkilling.  Injecting someone with naloxone will mean that the strong painkillers will not work in someone who will have a high tolerance to hospital painkillers.

Any emergency room physician, nurse, or doctor with a shred of ER experiecne will read that sentence in "Wheat Belly" and go, "huh?  What is this guy talking about, and is he galactically stupid?"

Honestly, I think it is a throwaway line that was carelessly written and carelessly published.  And other "paleo" books like  "The Vegetarian Myth" are full of lines like that.  But you know what, I have a much higher standard for a cardiologist than I do for a non-scientist like Lierre Keith.  I want real science, real risks, real data.  Not hyperbole and nonsense.

So no, I don't recommend Wheat Belly. And I don't recommend eating wheat either.

(Nor am I saying that Dr. Davis is stupid - far from it - just careless in his phrasing.  If you are going to take on Conventional Wisdom of Healthy Whole Wheat, you really have to "bring it."  It was not brought.)



80 comments:

  1. Damn! Both you and Melissa are tough cookies. Gluten-free rice cookies, that is. Yep, I agree that we need to take a skeptical stance on everything, like Jaime said, we don't want a China Study on our hands.

    What I want to see is someone like Staffan Lindberg doing a paleo diet study where both groups receive a whole lot of vegetables, fruits, tubers, meats, eggs, nuts, and all of the paleo stuff, and then replace something like 300 calories worth of paleo carbs with wheat carbs in one of the groups and see what happens, then identify potential mechanisms.

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  2. If you think Wheat belly is inaccurate, but you don't eat wheat then please write a blog post on why you think wheat is a problem.

    I do think dr. Davis writing style is filled with hyperbole. I thought it was an attempt to be entertaining and to write a book for laypeople. I was not annoyed by it.

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  3. Jason - Did you not see the posts I had written and linked in this very blog post?

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  4. And, I'm sorry - but is the rallying cry for this book really, "I'm ignorant of basic clinical medicine and agricultural science, so I could really enjoy Wheat Belly."

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  5. "I'm ignorant of basic clinical medicine and agricultural science, so I could really enjoy Wheat Belly."

    So of course the guy going around explaining “Good Science” and “Bad Science” (Tom Naughton) really likes the book and has promoted it heavily…

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  6. Agreed, Dr. Deans. I was similarly appalled after hearing his Jimmy Moore interview. Thank you for keeping the standards high! : )

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  7. Sounds like he made up a fictitious medical situation to try to get across the point to the reader: opiates (like wheat exorphins) can do powerful things to how you think/act, which can be instantly reversed by stopping the opiates from acting on the receptors, which is proof that these behavior changes are the direct result of the substance.


    Problem is, he seems to be getting his drugs mixed up. Heroin will not cause this psychotic crazy behavior; heroin makes people mellow, sleepy, feel really good, they don't start kicking and screaming about the snakes and jesus christ/end of days. He's thinking more like crack or meth or LSD some hard stimulant/psychedelic which will cause CRAZY TIMES. And you wouldn't inject naloxone (opiate receptor blocker), you would inject VITAMIN H or something along those lines (dopamine receptor blocker), to get them to calm down. So, his hypothetical scenario makes no sense at all, I agree. I personally wasn't bothered by its nonsensical nature because I could see the "point" of his statement, then again I've never done ER work so maybe if I worked in an ER it would bother me more because years of treating high and crazy and knifed people would make me pay closer attention to such a remark.

    The only reason to administer naloxone to a person acutely high on the horse is as you pointed out, they are in overdose/not breathing, which would not be the case in a person who is agitated secondary to being in a knife fight, and also happens to be on heroin.

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  8. "I want real science, real risks, real data. Not hyperbole and nonsense."

    Unfortunately hyperbole and nonsense are what the average American wants, and if a number of people attempt to better their health by removing wheat from their diet because of Wheat Belly, then kudos to Dr. Davis.

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    1. No, I do not believe hyperbole is what Americans want. It is what we are fed, day in and day out. Whether it is the message presented to us over the news, or the conflicting messages we get concerning health. It becomes very tiresome to sit down with every piece of information that appears to be true or well researched, and analyze it. OK, who published it and what axe is he grinding?

      In other words, if Dr. Davis' book is misinformation, who profits from that misinformation being spread? Yes, many people have problems with wheat, and wheat may well be implicated in nearly all the health problems he describes. But I am compelled to wonder if he is acting as a magician, who directs our attention away from something that may be even more important than the anti-wheat message he is promoting.

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  9. Regarding the idea that wheat is UBER BAD, meh I'm not convinced.

    At least in my case, it is clear I am not at all wheat sensitive and it plays no role in mood, behavior, glucose or weight problems.
    I think perhaps some people may be wheat sensitive and it is an issue for them, much how some people are sugar sensitive. I have thus far not been able to identify any particular food item as playing a role in my mood/weight/sugar issues, other than all carbohydrate in general, and MSG. MSG definitely does exacerbate insulin excess beyond what would be predicted by carbohydrate.

    Trying to blame all modern diseases on wheat is reaching to put it mildly... especially when the primary disorder in diabetes/heart disease/obesity is glucose metabolism related/excess insulin mediated, it stands to reason that intervention #1 should be to reduce glucose in the body (note: this does not mean carbs cause these problems, only that the problem IS carbs, much in the way phenylalanine does not cause PKU, but the problem is still phenylalanine).

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  10. Whilst admittedly a fan of the late Kurt Dohan and his schizophrenia-gluten hypothesis, I think a lot of the problems arise when only one factor is attributed to a particular disease or state. I am not an expert on schizophrenia but my understanding is, like autism, there is a kind of schizophrenia spectrum of conditions, and within that spectrum, a percentage of people where wheat/gluten might be a factor either directly or peripherally related to symptoms. Such a spectrum probably did not exist in its current diagnostic form when Dohan was first describing his associations back in 1969 hence the blanket schizophrenia association.
    As for naltrexone, here we have a very interesting compound which alongside its antagonistic effects also seems to have some ability to affect the immune system as witnessed by the recent chatter about low-dose naltrexone and lots of immune-mediated conditions.
    One of the questions is whether gluten may have a 2-pronged attack: formation of those dasterdly gluten exorphin peptides with an affinity for opiate receptors and then also those immunogenic epitopes, slightly larger in molecular weight (and what an immune system of a certain predisposition does when it recognises them). Makes you wonder where the protease and peptidase activity is in all this?

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  11. I'm curious of your opinion on the parts of the book that were unrelated to psychiatry. Did u stop eating wheat because of a fear of mental illness? Was it for weight control,etc.?

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  12. @Paul
    The immune system suppression of naltrexone is an expected downstream effect of blocking the endorphin receptors in the body. It's not from the drug, its from less endorphins/exorphins hitting the receptor targets.

    This is as movement disorders are an expected effect of blocking dopamine receptors (dopamine regulates spontaneous facial movements/blinking/movement of the body, dopamine receptor loss or blockade powerfully reduces psychomotor activity). It's not that haldol or reglan specifically cause EPS, it's that blocking dopamine receptors cause these problems.

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  13. i couldn't agree more. nothing exists in a vacuum and it does anything with merit a great disservice to distribute one sided view points. what about food reward? what about being metabolically deranged? what about mitochondria related genetic disorders? one thing is not to be blamed for an entire nation of disorders. silly. most all books on diet and lifestyle make the same mistakes. robb wolf has made many statements to the effect that "it's not that simple." his viewpoint initially was biased by the fact that he spent most of his time around the most metabolically screwed up people on the planet and saw tremendous changes. still, the paleo diet(lifestyle), low carb, whatever, doesn't work for everyone.

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  14. Let it be known that my brain's reward pathway is only activated by gambling when I'm actually winning at the craps table. Otherwise, it activates my drinking alcohol pathway to forget my sorrows.

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  15. Hmmmmm! As someone who has probably spent more time in ERs taking care of heroin addicts after knife and gun fights i have seen naloxone used a ton to get accurate neurologic assessments in craniospinal injuries. Maybe Boston ERs are different than the ones in New Orleans?

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  16. John - sure, if someone is somnolent! That is not the description in Wheat Belly, where the description is "kick and scream" - can't think of a better way to make someone kick and scream more than to induce precipitated withdrawal.

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  17. John - you illustrate my point that all Davis has to do is to change a few words to make that an uncontroversial, very sensible clinical scenario. Why didn't he? I use it as an example of a throwaway, careless line. I don't like the carelessness and I don't have time for a fine-toothed comb with a book like this.

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  18. Hmm I've been waiting for this book to arrive, mainly because I wanted to use it as another starting point for reading whatever references he used to support his argument.

    I hope it's not all hyperbole.

    As for schizophrenia, when I was in medical school it was presented by our psychiatry lecturers as more as a developmental disorder. At the moment, the link between schizophrenia and prenatal vitamin D deficiency makes more sense to me.

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  19. I do see the irritating points. (I compare it to watching films with "medieval knights" in lightweight amour with cardboard swords on full blood horses …). It's entertaining and may also be an adequate illustration to some extent, but not "truth" as such.
    But what I really would like to know is what you think about his agricultural views – should we suspect that wheat is a modified monster? I don't tolerate it (no celiac, but get sinus congestion and edemas to the point of pinching nerves), but can I attribute this to the "new wheat", to "the level of wheat" in my previous food or to my own genetics?
    And if wheat are that dangerous, then a book that is more allegory than science may not be such a stupid idea anyway, as a starting point for further discussion.

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    1. should we suspect that wheat is a modified monster?

      Or, if you are observant, and not eating raw wheat kernels, any of the components that accompany the wheat that you suspect is causing your problems. Until someone does a reputable double-blind study with an appropriate sample population, there is just no answer available to these questions. Almost every "study" that is commonly cited suffers from bad experimental/subject population design, inherent bias in analysis, or idiotic extrapolation of results (often to sell products, books or speaker's fees). Take a good look at the things that you ingest with your dreaded wheat intake and ask yourself why no one has written a book or a blog about those items (perhaps a fruitful career here??). And be, first of all, a true skeptic.

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  20. Jason - I don't eat (much) wheat because I don't know of a healthy society (a la Weston Price) that ate gluten (except for those Swiss and their sourdough rye). I think it can contribute to gut dysbiosis and inflammation in general, and worsen the diseases of civilization. When I eat wheat, it is very typical for me to get a bit of acne, and if I am strictly off wheat my skin is clear. I don't sweat an occasional cookie or pizza (at this point we're talking once a month for me, personally).

    Sumati - Schizophrenia, autism, and dementia fall under the whole multifactorial umbrella. Genetic risk, vitamin D, other micronutrient deficiencies, inflammation and hyperglycemia (in the case of Alzheimer's), and certain infections (bringing on or worsening inflammation) are all likely to play roles. I certainly think it is very plausible that for some people, wheat is part of that inflammatory burden and will cause schizophrenia.

    Smgj: if you like his blog, you will like his book, which has the advantage of being far more heavily cited than the book. I just see a lot of flaws in the basic logic, so I don't feel like chasing down all the citations to double check. I think part of why the book irritates me so is that it is a missed opportunity.

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  21. The analogies don't bother me; analogies are not meant to be technically accurate but to convey a particular message. The majority of readers are not going to bothered by the idea of a heroin addict becoming combative, or know the effects of naloxone (I have had ER docs tell me it's an "antidote" that makes the patients "not high anymore").

    Is your overall point that Dr. Davis might be subject to a bit of "confirmation bias", especially in research outside of his field? That would not surprise me at all; he has seen conditions in clinical practice that are solved by low carb and wheat elimination diets. A study that confirms what he has seen, in real life, would be accepted more readily.

    "Wheat Belly" is not "Good Calories, Bad Calories". No one would ever compare it to "The China Study", as it doesn't purport to be research. The good thing about "Wheat Belly" is that it is being read by the people I recommend it to, whereas "Good Calories, Bad Calories" gets started ... and never finished.

    As a layperson, I do recommend it.

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  22. Interesting! I think that I probably will not enjoy the book then. I already know this stuff anyway, so I don't need to be convinced. I can see how it might appeal to the sensationalist average American though.

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  23. And what this whole debate proves is that a multi-disciplinary holistic approach is required. A plus B doesn't necessarily equal C, however much we would like it to.

    As mentioned on another post, I've just finished reading Candace Pert's Molecules of Emotion - I would suggest anyone who hasn't come across this book go find it because it elegantly shows how complex the whole opiate receptor systems are, and how extraordinarily interlinked they are with everything else. And she is a bona fide neuroscientist who discovered opiate receptors in the 70s, even if she is now something of a new paradigm superstar to boot!

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  24. Your blog post inspired me to spend an hour creating a little Paleo Cartoon Video for my site at My Athletic Life. Here is the link: http://myathleticlife.com/?p=766

    ...Tim

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  25. Emily,

    I'm pretty new to the Paleo blogosphere, having tuned-in just after the Taubes vs. Guyenet "handbag swinging" incident at AHS. For the most part, I have found you all to be unfailingly intelligent and honest...right up until the publication of "Wheat Belly".

    I think your post and comments are illustrative, so I'd like to offer what I hope are some unbiased observations:

    1. The Rallying Cry: "I'm ignorant of ... agricultural science". Here, you are perpetuating a false meme that first appeared, as far as I know, on Melissa McEwan's blog. She qoutes part of an interview with Dr. Davis that contains the following exchange:

    Q: What extreme techniques are you talking about?

    A: New strains have been generated using what the wheat industry proudly insists are “traditional breeding techniques,” though they involve processes like gamma irradiation and toxins such as sodium azide. The poison control people will tell you that if someone accidentally ingests sodium azide, you shouldn’t try to resuscitate the person because you could die, too, giving CPR. This is a highly toxic chemical.

    Nothing in Dr. Davis's statement is incorrect, and to an unbiased reader it seems clear that Dr. Davis is simply pointing-out that what are obviously modern hybridization techniques are described as "traditional".

    Melissa then goes on to say that sodium azide, irradiation (and nitrogen fertilizer) leave no "residue" on wheat, implying that this is what Dr. Davis incorrectly believes.

    The problem with this is that nowhere in his book or, as far as I know, any of his other writings does Dr. Davis say that these techniques have any residual effects or that they might have some bearing on the effects of dietary wheat.

    So, the claim that Dr. Davis is ignorant of agricultural science in any meaningful way is simply unsupported by the facts.

    2. Schizophrenia - Dr. Davis's statement that wheat is "unlikely" to be a cause of schizophrenia is perfectly in-line with your observation that "schizophrenia is pretty consistent in incidence across many populations". If wheat doesn't cause schizophrenia, then no one would expect there to be any such consistency.

    Also, even at my abysmal level of knowledge about schizophrenia, surely there are drugs or other things that can exacerbate the condition without actually causing it. Don't psychotropic drugs, stimulants, stress, lack of sleep and/ or food fall into this category?

    3. The ER - It's telling, I think, that what you seem to consider the most damning indictment of the book is that Dr. Davis, writing about wheat, is apparently ignorant of the use of naloxone in an emergency setting.

    Finally, what's most revealing about the criticisms of "Wheat Belly" is what's conspicuously absent: Dr. Davis is an unabashed supporter of the "carbohydrate-theory" of obesity, and he makes this clear in his book. My opinion is that no one who subscribes to Stephan Guyenet's as yet incoherent "food-reward" theory would recommend "Wheat Belly" even if it didn't have so much as a typographical error.

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  26. Emily,

    While I have the utmost respect for what you do, I couldn't disagree more about Wheat Belly. A book that is truly appalling in it's hyperbole and sloppiness is William Duffy's "Sugar Blues." Compared to Sugar Blues, Wheat Belly is careful and well-measured. Despite this, even Sugar Blues has convince many, many people to stop eating sugar.

    While I appreciate a skeptical eye toward books such as this, it's important to realize that YOU are not the intended audience for this book. My mom is the intended audience. She is not going to wade through a 500 page science-dense tome. She needs this information in a way that is simple to understand and sufficiently compelling, while still citing the studies that it references.

    As an example, I gave Robb Wolf's The Paleo Solution to a friend, and she could barely read it because she was so overwhelmed with the science. And yet that is a book that was written for a lay audience.

    I guess my point is that Dr. Davis is not trying to tell the medical establishment why people shouldn't eat wheat; he's trying to tell *people* why *they* shouldn't eat wheat, and I think he is doing so in the most effective way possible.

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  27. P.S. - Thanks for the link to the song. I can't get it out of my head now.

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  28. Sam - that is a fair critique. However, I did want to keep to the psych chapter in my post as that is my sphere, so to speak. But what it comes down to is the following:

    1) My main objection is to the creepy, paternalistic, wretchedly edited style that effectively obfuscates the actual interesting ideas.
    2) In the psych chapter, the main themes are ones of addiction, the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, and exorphins, none of which Dr. Davis appears to have more than an average grasp of, though it is hard to tell, given the style. There is the inconvenient fact that if wheat is an issue in schizophrenia, and the new wheat is the super bad wheat (Davis' pet theory), then why hasn't schizophrenia incidence increased in the past 60 years? (it hasn't, though the morphology appears to have changed, as I discussed in my AHS talk, though there could be many reasons for that.)
    3) The rest of the book is frankly confusing in its focus and the theory of new, ultrabad wheat. There's plenty of evidence that wheat has been bad for centuries, and plenty of evidence of wheat pathology in Lindeberg's Food and Western Disease, none of which made it into the book, as far as I can tell. And I can't figure out why Davis seemed to ignore that evidence in favor of his pet theory, which could be compelling, except there seems to be very little evidence besides his own blood fingerstick tests of modern vs. ancient wheat (which he does say is a mere anecdote, to be fair). His pet theory depends heavily on the strict carbohydrate hypothesis of obesity but with a wheaty twist, which is incorrect, except then he tells people to avoid gluten-free starchy products too. And then there are the inconvenient facts that wheat consumption doesn't necessarily reflect obesity rates in different nations. Like, I don't know… France?

    So see, every time Davis makes one of his positive statements, these logical fallacies kept playing in my head, making reading the book a nearly unbearable experience.

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  29. Emily, I'm glad to see you come out so strongly against the book. I don't eat wheat, but I'm embarrassed to recommend the book to people who want to understand diet/health connections. Dr Davis lost me long ago when I observed him making comments like 'in my experience', as if that made his observation fact. He also regularly makes comments like 'wheat causes arthritis' and then it becomes clear he is really saying that unsafely high blood sugars may cause AGEs, which cause arthritis.

    I'm very grateful to Dr Eades for writing 'Protein Power' many years ago, but his positive review of 'Wheat Belly' and 'The Vegetarian Myth', along with many of his observations stated as fact make me uncomfortable. There seems to be tons of confirmation bias in the paleoshere (I and II).

    The beautiful irony is that Dr Eades did a nice review of 'Mistakes Were Made, but not by Me' (I am also grateful to him for this, too). Btw, I am not intending to indict Dr Eades with my comments, but make the point that so much of what each of us sees is a result of what we are looking for. Or maybe we are conflicted in some way by circumstance or opportunity for reimbursement. Happens slowly, step by step.

    Meanwhile, I wonder if you have read Dr Tsafrir's claims about Ghee in her post entitled 'Liquid Gold'?

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  30. Nick, I really respect Dr. Eades and think he is one of the best writers in the blogosphere. On my blog, I'm not going to recommend Wheat Belly. Obviously anyone else is very welcome to have a different opinion, as confusing as it may be to me :-)

    re: "Liquid Gold" - Dr. Tsafrir comes from Weston Price/GAPS traditional food background so I am not surprised to see a wonders of ghee post there. I think her work is valuable for the clinical experiences, and open mind, and traditional foods psych approach - if you are looking for hard-hitting biochemistry, you aren't going to find it there.

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  31. Sam, why does Dr. Davis mention the sodium azide if not to scare people about it? It's a very clever literary device, to mention something scary about a bad food in that kind of juxtaposition, without providing any data connecting consumption of supposedly bad food with the scary thing. It reminds me of how in Skinny Bitch they devote long sections to mad cow disease.

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  32. A while back I wrote a post (http://praguestepchild.blogspot.com/2010/12/is-body-really-chaotic-system.html) criticizing an excerpt of Art DeVaney's book from Mark's Daily Apple, talking about the Butterfly Effect. It was just bad science and it pissed me off because DeVaney makes a big deal about how he's all sciencey and stuff. I got a lot flack from comments and email, but no one bothered to refute my point. Instead it was "just a metaphor" or something. Naw, it was bad science by someone who's routinely flouted their credentials.

    Anyway, I think you are right to take issue with a seemingly small point like this. I totally know the feeling ;) Dr Davis and Art DeVaney are doing good work in general but they certainly don't deserve a pass for shoddy work.

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  33. @Melissa

    I think someone could easily make that connection.

    Whether Dr. Davis intended his listeners to make that connection, only he knows.

    I do know that neither "sodium azide" nor "irradiation" appear in his book.

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  34. My exposure to Wheat Belly is limited to the YouTube videos. I frankly think a book was unnecessary, considering that the kernel of the idea is so simple and the results of employing the concept so easy to monitor. The videos were quite enough, but then I was already convinced. I somewhat accept the idea of the new demon wheat, for the purposes of the discussion, but I do not see the science behind that.

    It strikes me as legitimate for a writer to base a book on his experience and do his best to argue his case, and that includes using the science as appropriate and also using his personal opinions. If we consider the hyperbole in the book not as just a sign of lack of science, but as a sign of his passion about the topic, and his desire to have more people relate to the concepts, doesn't that change what we might see as worthy of criticism?

    The issue here is that if the author gets the science not exactly right, or even wrong, and if he gets his illustrations a little off base, it is wildly disrressing to "science-oriented" individuals who insist on a strict code of writing about such matters.

    I do not think there is such a "code" for writing of any sort.

    Now it is possible, but not necessarily true, that these science and logical "errors" may be a sign of deeper flaws in the logic and thinking, but that remains to be seen. What remains is that the concepts in Wheat Belly may be entirely correct and so far just poorly supported. Stranger things have happened.

    Meanwhile, Dr. Kurt Harris also disapproves of the book, for roughly the same reasons, I think, and as much as I respect his opinions, I think the same issues are there in regard to the book itself. Dr. Harris also proposed in the very first step of his original PaNu diet, the most important step, to STOP eating wheat and wheat flour particularly.

    As to the food reward concept, that strikes me as incherent, as noted above: Why not just stop eating wheat, sugar, and vegetable/seed oils and to avoid the neolithic and industrial age agents of disease? Doesn't that end the food reward issue?

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  35. @Sean

    DeVaney also recommends tossing the yolks and eating the white of your eggs, is saturophobic and believes there was no starch eaten in the paleolithic.

    But he is an economist and so has more of an excuse than Davis, who is a medical doctor. Davis has shown that he thinks animal protein cause cancer, all TSH values below 1.5 are pathologic, massive doses of fish oil should be used to "treat" high triglycerides, and PUFAs are safer to eat than saturated fat.

    "Wheat Belly" will only hurt people by frightening them away from healthy foods with sections like "Getting high on insulin".

    But his blog is a smorgasbord of risky and unproven medical interventions that in many cases may be worse than no treatment at all. This is shocking coming from a medical specialist, whom one would expect to be more cautious, if not smarter.

    So even if all his book does is get more people to take his blog seriously, that is something worth preventing.

    Posts like this one and Melissa's are a public health service.

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  36. I'm shocked Dr Eades wrote such a favorable review of wheat belly. I've always trusted him implicitly but won't anymore. It agreed with my dietary philosophy so I never questioned.

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  37. @Richard

    "Dr. Harris also proposed in the very first step of his original PaNu diet, the most important step, to STOP eating wheat and wheat flour particularly. "

    Yes, and do you not find it meaningful that I and Melissa and Emily all eschew wheat, but we "insist on a strict code of writing about such matters".

    The thing is this. How we argue about things matters. It really does. That the same "code" is shared by us all quite independently might tell you something.

    I am no supporter of Mr. Obama. Would I endorse a book or website attacking his racial heritage or making a "birther" argument because I would not like to see him re-elected. No, I would not.

    The things Dr. Davis is saying are not merely unsupported, they are speculative and in many cases (Getting high on insulin) quite demonstrably wrong.

    I don't like to endorse wrong arguments to achieve political ends, whether involving regular politics or dietary politics.

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  38. @Kurt

    I have a more charitable view of Dr Davis, but then I'm probably better at spotting bad physics than bad medicine (not that I'm an expert on either one ;)) I find his ideas on dwarf wheat to be interesting, for example, even though I don't see anything wrong with artificial vs 'natural' genetic modifications. Mutations are mutations. I wasn't aware he was anti-SFAs, that would be a big deal-breaker for me, of course.

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  39. @Kurt, I wrote the previous before reading your response to Richard. You make an awfully good--ends not justifying the means--case there.

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  40. Emily, sorry, just one more comment. Since you approve comments and you've been approving comments, mine and others, at what must be ungodly hours in your time zone, I really think you aren't adhering to a decent sleep schedule. I'd like to point something a wise person once wrote:

    "All psychiatric illness (shoot, all of chronic Western disease) has the same pathology (inflammation) and starts with the same treatment (an anti-inflammatory lifestyle, including diet, healthy coping and stress amelioration, and good sleep)."

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  41. Just as bad money drives out good, bad science results in worse science:

    http://www.cheeseslave.com/2011/10/04/is-it-wheat-belly-or-cortisol-belly/

    This kind of woo makes Davis' science look good by comparison. It's nothing more than an excuse to eat wheat because by gosh, she found the magic bullet!

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  42. @Kurt G. Harris MD

    "Yes, and do you not find it meaningful that I and Melissa and Emily all eschew wheat, but we "insist on a strict code of writing about such matters"

    Dr. Harris,

    I find it meaningful, but not in the way you intend.

    For reasons I've already mentioned, none of you would write a positive review of "Wheat Belly" under any circumstances. Invoking scientific rigor as a rationale for such behavior is disingenuous at best and, at worst, makes your criticisms even less compelling than they might otherwise be.

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  43. Kurt - thanks for stopping by!

    Frog - thanks for the link

    Sam - are you serious? I can list three books right now I recommend without reservation that promote the carbohydrate-insulin theory of obesity - Dr. Eades' Protein Power, Gary Taubes' GCBC, and Mark Sisson's The Primal Blueprint. The main difference is that Eades and Sisson are great writers, and the first half of GCBC may be one of the most important works of journalism in modern medicine. They are not half-baked compilations of blog posts without much of a feasible backdrop.

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  44. Sean - I have an iphone that can moderate comments anywhere, and I moderated your last comment at about 5am here, which is when I typically get up. I don't always sleep well, and I'm not always good about putting the technology away in the dead of night, however. Thanks for the concern, and you have a good point about sleep :-)

    Sometimes I wish I could have unmoderated comments, but too much spam, rudeness, and craziness comes through that people back off of when they realize I'm going to look at it first. I don't think I've deleted any comments other than spam, however, except when one very exuberant cucurmin-lover was sending pages and pages and pages of comments.

    And sometimes I want to abolish comments altogether, honey-badger style. My articles here are on-the-fly first drafts, and more often than not the comments help me suss out what I've written that is particularly ridiculous or unclear.

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  45. Thanks, Emily!

    I hadn't yet bought his book, but when I took Dr. Davis to task on his claims of 1 lb of weight loss /per day being typical after going wheat-free (on his latest blog post,) he shrugged me off.

    I have no patience for such behavior.

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  46. @Sondra

    That same claim is indeed in the book and is calorically impossible* unless you start at 500 lbs and fast or if you have an amputation!

    That is just the kind of thing we are finding intolerable in both the blog and the book.

    * One can lose that much per day for a day or so depleting glycogen, but absolutely not over 10 or 14 days....

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  47. Emily...

    did the author ever, at any time, mention glutamic acid comprising 30-35% of the wheat protein? mention glutamate in soy products? mention that excess glutamate that was left out of the synapse, unable to bind at neurotransmitter receptor sites with glycine (genetic error associated with both common migraine and schizophrenia) causes damage in the brain due to glutamate's excitotoxic potential?

    This is where the consideration should be tantamount regarding schizophrenia. Anecdotely, I heard voices from the age of 8 or 9 up until about age 22. What changed? At the age of 20 I began excluding all sources of gluten (primarily wheat) to see if it would resolve some digestive disturbances I was having. After 18-24 months of gradual exclusion I began to realize I hadn't heard voices in a few months, which was odd. I had kept a written record of when every episode happened... and they would tend to cluster together and happen at least 10 times during any given month if not more. The fact that none had occurred was bizarre. I waited out several more months, still no episodes of auditory hallucination. My digestive problems did not resolve, and it would be several years until, after 3 negative Celiac Disease tests, I realized I'd developed Fructose Malabsorption and that was why removing wheat (source of fructans) helped my digestive problems but didn't completely resolve them.

    So long as I don't eat soy prodcuts (including soy lecithin), vitamin E made from soy (dl-alpha-tocopherol), MonoSodiumGlutamate, wheat (glutamic acid), I don't experience painless migraines nor dull, brain foggy headaches. This is not merely anecdotal. Major depression runs in my family, schizophrenia has been diagnosed in a family member on both my mother's and father's side (excluding myself because I've yet to subject myself to the whims of psychiatric DSM with their casual disregard for whether a "mental illness" is organic or functional). Also, there is a family history of migraines so no doubt several in my family have the genetic error which produces glycine management malfunction in association with glutamate left out of the synapse.

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  48. @Sondra,

    And he similarly shrugged me off when I tried to point out that his chocolate almond muffins pose a problem for me because when presented with baked goods made of almond/coconut flour I without fail overeat them. - scroll to the Oct 2 post that is currently at the bottom.

    http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2011/09/almonds-are-the-new-wheat/

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  49. Sam, did you miss the most popular post on my site, my "start here" page, which recommends Gary Taubes' books? Based on my Amazon records, over 100 people have bought his book after reading my site. He is an amazing writer and gets more things right than wrong.

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  50. Good review, Emily. I don't necessarily agree with everything, but I do see your points. I worked in ERs for 12 years, but didn't have a problem with his morphine example (there's only so much real estate in writing a book to describe an entire situation).

    What chapter was the 1 lb/day claim made? I did a search of my Kindle version and could not find this. Actually, his claims are quite reasonable, IMO.

    For example, in chapter five he says: Just among the last thirty patients who eliminated wheat in my clinic, the average weight loss was 26.7 pounds over 5.6 months.

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  51. I was unimpressed with Dr. Davis long before Wheat Belly. He may be a fine cardiologist (which as far as I can tell revolves solely around prescribing statins), but he displays a serious lack of knowledge when it comes to physiology. And he is an adherent of the lipid hypothesis of CVD, he is hard to take seriously when discussing nutrition.

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  52. BTW, before I went to law school, I was a police officer. I can't recall all of the times I responded to a heroin overdose and watched paramedics administer Narcan (Naloxone). The subject would go from unconsciousness (and a beautiful blue tint to their complexion) to wide awake and really, really angry. The withdrawals were instantaneous and severe. Amazing stuff, really.

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  53. When USAF Colonel John Boyd and a handful of associates were fighting the Pentagon bureaucracy and the defense contractors in order to do the right thing, he told his associates something to the effect of "We can never be wrong on the facts, if we are they will use it to marginalize us."

    Since Paleo is not main stream I think that applies here. I think Paleo authors/bloggers have concerns about the validity of the science, they are right to address them, even if they may agree with the conclusions.

    Also my experience with following some authors who were right about what to do, but wrong about why to do it was that inevitably they led me astray (on a related subject) and I paid a price for it.

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  54. Stipetic - I have to do a few mental gymnastics to get that sentence about the naloxone to work and make sense as I'm sure he wanted it to make sense. All he had to do was change a couple of words, and no mental gymnastics necessary - very irritating.

    Allison - it is remarkable! Any anyone who does it to an alert heroin addict is a sadist.

    Walter - The ends don't justify the means, sometimes.

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  55. Walter - The ends don't justify the means, sometimes. Huh? Did I say they did?

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  56. Emily wrote: "And sometimes I want to abolish comments altogether, honey-badger style."

    Please, no. One honey badger is enough. It's always nice to be in that sweet spot, where there's a lot of (mostly) intelligent input from commenters on a smart blog but things haven't gone nuclear like with Stephan or Mike Eades (double nuclear). Peter D is a bit more on the outer edge of the sweet spot. Blogs like this, PHD and that Kiwi dude are right in the middle.

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  57. I read "Wheat Belly" a few weeks ago and, as a lay person, thought it was fairly intriguing, but that there were obvious holes in it that you could drive a truck through. It struck me as one stop short of being total BS.

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  58. I just finished reading wheat belly and frankly I could put it down. I'm over weight on the obese end, have high cholesterol. I'm an active person my whole problem relates to my diet. I have eliminated wheat from my diet and have noticed huge changes. All this talk of it not being compared to addiction well let you me say this, from someone who ate carbs probably 75% of their diet, you got through withdrawals. The first 5 days I found my self doing anything not to go running for bread or pasta. I agree dc Davis does have som BS but maybe if you all read it from a non-medical view. It changed my life so far...

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  59. While waiting to have my car inspected almost a year ago, I read a Reader's Digest article about Taubes & GCBC and instantly decided to cut out my carbs. (I was about 30 lbs overweight)I bought GCBC and read it through. I cut out wheat, potatoes and rice because I knew they were my major sources of carbs. Immediately, without expecting it to happen, my GERD disappeared and hasn't returned. The itch between the toes of my right foot disappeared. A strange patch on my right cheek disappeared, and in the last 10 months I have lost 30 pounds. I read Dr. Davis' book about half-way through that year, and, while I recognized the hyperbole and irreverence of his writing, the book confirmed what was clear to me, that wheat was the cause of at least my GERD, and greatly contributed to my weight, and that I had made the right decision to cut wheat out of my life. I will have a potato or some rice now and then, even a Haagen Daz ice cream, but I won't risk wheat. I guess I can primarily thank Reader's Digest and Gary Taubes for the very positive changes in my life, but I think Dr. Davis also has something to offer other people who can't manage GCBC. Maybe a scientist will find Dr. Davis' writing sloppy, but the message that wheat is probably a major source of excess carbs for most Americans comes across, and is important for many of them to read.

    Still, Dr. Deans, you are certainly under no obligation to recommend the book! I wouldn't recommend it even to my wife because I KNOW she would be severely annoyed by the hyperbole, even though I know she would benefit from the message! I would recommend it to others with a warning about the hyperbole and irreverent language.

    And... I have found that often it is easier to talk to people about religion and politics than it is to talk to them about carbs, wheat and sugar!

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    1. "And... I have found that often it is easier to talk to people about religion and politics than it is to talk to them about carbs, wheat and sugar!"

      Big LOL!! :)

      Delete
  60. try reading it while in a better mood

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  61. I can only speak for my own findings. I read the book last August. Eliminated all grains from my diet, along with sugar and most starchy vegetables. I have gone from taking 800 mg. of ibuprophen 3 times daily for arthritis in my hands to 0. 20 lbs have disappeared along with multiple inches. My energy level is very high (I am 65) and I feel much better. Everyone has their own opinion of course but the only way to find out if grain/wheat/gluten is having negative effects on your body is to just give them up for 30 days. If you don't see a difference or don't have the guts to stick it out, then keep on keeping on. What have you got to lose? Other than pain, lethargy, high triglicerides, and a host of other grain/carbohydrate related maladies.

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    1. Well, about 8 months after reading the book, I find myself a trim 172lbs, down from 230 when I first read the book. Holy cow, it was like a "brain chemistry" makeover for me. Who knew I wasn't a gluttonous slob after all, lol. It just took 20 years to find out. The biggest game changer is the normalization of appetite. Ditching gluten and wheat's lectins are another story - and an amazing one. Anyway, whether one likes the book itself or not, the truth always wins out. And if our government weren't pushing grains so hard this "wheat truth" would have fully-saturated the consumer by now, and wheat would be gone by the way of pink slime. Cheers!

      Delete
    2. Deans agrees with you that too much carbs and all but a tiny amount of wheat are harmful for many if not most people.

      She's just saying he reached his conclusions in an irrational matter (or at least explained it very badly), and that some of his other conclusions are wrong.

      She's reviewing his book --- not wheat itself.

      Congratulations on your weight loss and health improvements.

      Delete
    3. Thanks for that. I have just been on the wheat belly program a few days and have already experience such a reduction in hand pain and swelling, that I am staying with the program. That pain reduction is a a great motivator. Thank you Doctor Davis, even if you are a poor writer!

      Delete
  62. One thing that really hurts objectivity is the "scientist" who assumes that since an agricultural product is genetically modified in his/her Country, then it MUST be so all over the world... so he/she's off to save the world.
    Right ?
    WRONG !!!
    Just because bread and buns produced in the USA come from GM wheat and appear to be lifeless sponges, it does not mean bread worldwide is made from the same GM trash and is baked with the same junk ingredients.
    Anyone who's visited Europe and managed to stay away from McDonalds for a full two weeks (yes, I know it sounds difficult but you didn't fly to Rome or Paris to eat at McD's, did you?) will have noticed they could climb flights of stairs easier, jog to the bus stop without so much effort and quite possibly lose, not gain a pound...
    So why the hype on "no wheat" when it should be on "poor quality wheat"?

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    Replies
    1. Pretty much all wheat around the world is modified HEAVILY from it's original state. Maybe more so in the US, but still it's crap in all the main brands you will find in any country. What you want is spelt instead of this crap called wheat.

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  63. Dr. Deans, I read your review of Wheat Belly with interest. Yes, the book is currently the #1 or #2 ranked best seller in the diet and nutrition field. The title is, I believe, marketing genius. I liked the book, and read it through twice, but I do see where the pitfalls are.
    Dr. William Davis used to be 30 pounds heavier, a diabetic, with some bowel disease, I believe. Naturally, if that's your own paradigm, it informs how you write, and it gives you a mission and focus for your work that's not like the next writer.
    But if you're like me, a female with lucky genes and no issues with insulin resistance, who's never really struggled with weight, you see different things in Wheat Belly. I deleted wheat from my diet about seven months ago, and I've experienced many nice benefits, mostly in the musculoskeletal area. Neurologically speaking, my headaches ceased.
    I'm not real sold on going very low carb, unless you're trying to lose weight. Even if VLC is the ultimate goal, I tell people who are of normal weight not to make too many drastic changes in their carb consumption at first.
    As far as mental illness goes, I've a nephew, age 22, who has bipolar disorder and OCD. He lives at home while in graduate school, and his mom has finally decided they should both go gluten-free for a while (I'm crossing my fingers and praying). If you knew both of them, you'd understand that it's remarkable that they'd even try this. They're both remarkably slender, so I told them under no circumstances to go low-carb at first. Just eliminate wheat! They're giving it a fair chance. They haven't read Wheat Belly either.

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  64. Dr. Deans:

    I am a 55 yr old EE who is stunned by the possibility that whole wheat can actually be a nutritional negative. I have always marveled at the major disconnection between modern disease diagnosis and basic human nutritional requirements. I have visited numerous patients in numerous hospitals for my experiental analysis.

    The American public has long been informed about the detrimental value of margarine, sugar, red meat, pork, and bleached flour. For several decades now we have heard the virtues of whole grains. I am of the opinion that the long standing belief most Americans have is that whole grains are fundamentally healthy for humans. I am now just beginning to investigate the implications of the "Wheat Belly" subject and if the subject has merit I will be thankful to whomever has brought it to my finite sphere of attention.

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  65. Wow,
    Clearly dwarf wheat in all forms is an unhealthy thing to consume. I have the book by Gary Taubes in addition to the book by Dr. Davis. Taubes (2008), seems to not have identified the hazards unique to dwarf wheat, and fails to discuss the danger of gluten intolerance specifically. Dr. Davis in his book published in 2011 is rather explicit in his discussion of dwarf wheat and gluten intolerance. Davis unfortunately proceeds to muddy the water by including all manner of carbohydrates as a dietary demon- One paradigm at a time please! Where is the scientific data that suggests brown rice and potatoes are to be included in the same category as mutant dwarf wheat? Friends and family have no interest in avoiding wheat products, Even though some have a multitude of ailments that indicate a gluten intolerance. Why add another burden to the already politically incorrect subject?

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    1. Well, urant, if I might complicate things a bit, I am an individual for whom WHOLE wheat seems to be a more significant problem than white flour, a clear counterexample to the whole good/refined bad dogma.

      Why? Presumably one of the fibers, starches or proteins in wheat bran (oats set it off even worse, actually) favors activity in my intestinal biome that is highly inflammatory. Alongside confoundable things like fatigue, soreness, and headaches, my eyebrows erupt in a severe and unsightly eczema. This being just one visible consequence, I can only speculate as to what inflammatory reactions may be occurring internally.

      At the same time, I do appear to be "sensitive" to gluten in white flour as well, in that if I eat it in moderate amounts several days in a row my digestion becomes consistently upset, I feel joint inflammation and my heartrate races and breathing becomes wheezy immediately after eating wheat. Eating wheat minimally, or with "off" days in between, does not elicit such effects. Presumably, while gluten creates damage, my repair mechanisms outstrip that damage as long as intake is regulated. This is true of most foods, actually.

      Problems associated with dwarf wheat, wheat overall, grains overall, carbs overall, and food overall constitute such a complex picture when accounting for individual variation that any real "paradigm" of viewing them proves difficult to sustain. Too many variations for a model to account for.

      Some of your family and friends may suffer in relation to wheat. So why add another burden? Because if the complexities are not acknowledged, and ditching wheat does nothing to help them, they are likely to reject any further dietary interventions in favor of pharmaceutical dependencies or resignation to "just the way it is."

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  66. Not only is the book sloopy is not scientific. The author is not a scientist, hes a medical doctor and from what I can find, has no scientific publication. The book is filled with distortions and inaccuracies. You pointed out a good one about addiciton.
    The entire premace that one type of product (one type of starch) is the magic cure for weight problem is just irresponsible; but that typically is the norm in diet books. But nearly all diets work to some extent in the short term, but none work in the long term without a lifestyle chance. There is no magic cure for being over weight.
    Another good example is about his characterizing wheat as genetically modified. It was not, the current strains of wheat were breed using the traditional agricultural methods long before GMO was possible. This is clear case of trying to villify the plant.
    By the way my wife avoided most grains for about 6 months and gained weight.

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  67. So much for the 'scientificness' of this life saving book...

    One of the most powerful questions in life is, “How is that working for you?” When we ask America how healthcare is working for them, the answer is very bleak. We spend twice as much as any other nation on healthcare and our health statistics are plunging as fast as our diabetes and obesity rates are rising. So clearly the status quo, peer reviewed medical papers and double blind studies sponsored by mega corporations far more interested in treating symptoms than cure illnesses and killing the goose that lays the golden eggs, isn’t working for most of us. Isn't a bit irresponsible for ANYONE to review this book without looking at the astounding results that readers are achieving by simply dropping wheat and processed foods from their meals?

    I have been delighted with Dr. Davis book. I went wheat free hoping to lose that last 10 pounds and maybe the love handles. So I was utterly amazed when at 14 days my arthritic knee pain seemed to have completely disappeared and all my joints felt 20 years younger. I had hung up my running shoes more than 15 years ago when two different sports doctors advised me my running days were over and if I wanted to continue walking the rest of my life I could no longer run 20-30 mile weeks on asphalt. I’m delighted to be shopping for running shoes again! But I am also pretty upset that the arthritis association’s website is still describing arthritis as a permanent long term degenerative disease. What’s with that? AND WHOSE GOLDEN GOOSE ARE THEY PROTECTING?

    So apparently, instead of having old age knees, I really just had Monsanto Toxic Wheat knees and the cure is as simple as removing the poison that was continuously inflaming my joints.

    This is the third time Monsanto has poisoned me. How many times have they gotten you and what are we going to do to stop them?

    1. DDT - I grew up on an Indiana farm.
    2. Agent Orange – 1970 Vietnam Veteran, 13th Signal Corp, 1st Air Calvary
    3. Monsanto’s genetically altered toxic wheat

    Suggest you join www.MoveOn.org which is actively campaigning and running ads against the Monsanto Protection Act (already passed, hidden in HR 933) which protects the company against liability suits no matter how negligent they may have been, and prevents state legislation requiring truth in labeling for GMO foods.

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  68. I got halfway through the responses and re responses when I saw the cue...Someone - sorry don't know who - stated that the book is written with such hyperbole because the author is trying to get DOCTORS to tell their patients that wheat is evil. Well, he scored with mine. Last year my doctor was paleolithic. I read the book read the reviews and decided that this was not for me. Not all of it was bad, but...so this year he is all Wheat Belly. I went in for a sinus infection. He said if you would just give up wheat it would all be better. So he gave me a shot of cortisone(?). That did not help with the sinus infection. Horrible, evil antibiotics, however, did. I am looking to change my GP. He is a lovely man; slender, in good health, caring, concerned... but when he was telling me I was killing myself for not going paleolithic, and that it wasn;t hard , just raw foods , fresh foods, no prepackaged foods... I asked him if his wife worked. He said well, no. My response was I DO, a LOT, and so does my husband, and we can't afford a maid or a chef. This year I had no answer to the wheat belly sermon. But it came to me after I left. I had Lyme a year or two ago. Not diagnosed early. It had gotten really painful. I had a different doctor (she moved) and rather than telling me to give up wheat or milk or hunt down my own food (yes, I know I am exaggerating)she figured it out. My life is SOOOO much better now. If he had been my doctor then, he would have likely insisted that the problem was wheat, or wheat and milk. And I would STILL have Lyme. It wasn't wheat that was the problem... it was a tick, and I don't think they eat wheat at all. The fear I have is not that wheat or any food overeaten should be looked at with some concern, but that if I came in with my arm half ripped off , he would say "See, you were eating wheat again weren't you?" and yes that is hyperbole, but the point is valid to me. Thanks all for the information and opinions.

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  69. Thank you for your great review.
    i just finished reading the book and although not in any medical field whatsoever, I felt I had to tone down the sensationalism, Dr. Oz style delivery in my head... I read it with a strong american accent in my head, telling me to ignore the repeated, rugs-a-million advertising style selling of the message. I got the message, would have liked some juicer science to back it up. I already believed the evidenced, I would have liked it presented on an intellectual's plate though.. Possible worse than that stop smoking as soon as you finish this book type thing.. for brainless morons basically. Can't imagine how painful it would have been to read if I knew more than Anatomy and Physiology 101. peace xx

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  70. Wonderful post. Please continue this great work and I look forward to more of your great blog posts.

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