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The Dangers of Wheat

Dr. William Davis found that when wheat is eliminated from the diet, some profound changes happen. People lose weight, have reduced appetite, reduced blood sugar, reduced joint pain, reduced inflammation, reduced blood pressure, reduced triglycerides, increased energy, less acid reflux and less Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Well-known is the explosion of weight and its related diabetes since the 1980's. Davis attribute this to the new variety of grain that came onto the market at that time. Wheat gluten by itself can cause different problems that already existed before that time.

Historically wheat has changed a couple of times. The original wild wheat is called Einkorn, which had 14 chromosomes. Around 4000 to 6000 years ago it got 42 chromosomes by cross breeding with other grasses. This became the Triticum species. In the 1960's scientists did thousand of experiments with crossbreeding different varieties of wheat to produce a dwarf wheat with higher yields. Despite the big advantage of short stalks (does not fall down with high winds, and thus easier to harvest) and very high yields, the crossbreeding and mutation might have resulted in the creation of new proteins that might be responsible for the explosion of weight gain and diabetes. No animal or human safety testing was conducted on the new genetic strains that were created.

Aside from this problem, gluten by itself can cause a lot of problems. Well-known is celiac-disease. When people with celiac disease eat gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley), their body mounts an immune response that attacks the small intestine. These attacks lead to damage on the villi, small fingerlike projections that line the small intestine, that promote nutrient absorption. When the villi get damaged, nutrients cannot be absorbed properly into the body.

But gluten can cause other problems. Gluten is a protein that consists of gliadin and glutenin. Glutenin consists of long amino acid chains that can form strong bonds with other glutenin molecules.  This enables chains of hundreds of glutenin molecules to form the extensive interconnected gluten network.  Gluten is elastic because the glutenin molecules have a coiled and kinked structure that allows them to act like tiny springs.  When bread dough is stretched, these glutenin molecules straighten out, but when this pressure is released, the dough pulls back to its original state. 

Gliadin does not stretch, but resides among the glutenins, and allows glutenins to slide past each other without bonding. Scientific research has shown that gliadin causes or enhances hallucinations in schizophrenics as it binds to opiate receptors. Gliadin can be regarded as an opiate. In bipolar people it induces the heights in their moods. In normal people gliadin stimulates appetite. Eating wheat makes you feel to eat more than necessary.

Gliadin can also unlock the intestinal tract barrier, resulting in the indiscriminate uptake of all food substances, including those that cause inflammation in the rest of the body, and in all organs.


Dr. William Davis has published a book called Wheat Belly, in which he talks at length about the problems that wheat causes. You can buy the book, or look at a PDF version.

An interview can be found on YouTube: Wheat: The UNhealthy Whole Grain; and at Red Ice Radio: The Dangers of Wheat.

His website is Infinite Health.