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Sourced from: Infinite Health Blog, by Dr. Davis,
originally posted on the Wheat Belly Blog: 2011-09-06
Readers: I am reposting this
letter in order to help disseminate the arguments. Please feel free
to reproduce this letter any way you see fit.
Ms. Ashley Reynolds
490 Bear Cub Drive
Ridgway, CO 81432
I am writing in response to the press release from
the Grain Foods Foundation that describes your effort to “discredit”
the assertions made in my book, Wheat Belly: Lose the wheat, lose the
weight and find your path back to health. I’d like to address
several of the criticisms of the book made in the release:
” . . . the author relies on anecdotal
observations rather than scientific studies.”
While I do indeed have a large anecdotal experience removing wheat in
thousands of people, witnessing incredible and unprecedented weight loss
and health benefits, I also draw from the experiences already documented in
clinical studies. Several hundred of these studies are cited in the book
(of the thousands available) and listed in the Reference section over
16 pages. These are studies that document the neurologic
impairment unique to wheat, including cerebellar ataxia and dementia;
heart disease via provocation of the small LDL pattern; visceral fat
accumulation and all its attendant health consequences; the process of
glycation via amylopectin A of wheat that leads to cataracts, diabetes,
and arthritis; among others. There are, in fact, a wealth of studies
documenting the adverse, often crippling, effects of wheat consumption in
humans and I draw from these published studies.
“Wheat elimination ‘means missing
out on a wealth of essential nutrients.’”
This is true–if the calories of wheat are replaced with candy,
soft drinks, and fast food. But if lost wheat calories are replaced by
healthy foods like vegetables, nuts, healthy oils, meats, eggs,
cheese, avocados, and olives, then there is no nutrient deficiency
that develops with elimination of wheat. There is no deficiency of
any vitamin, including thiamine, folate, B12, iron, and B6; no mineral,
including selenium, magnesium, and zinc; no polyphenol, flavonoid, or
antioxidant; no lack of fiber. With regards to fiber, please note that
the original studies documenting the health benefits of high fiber intake
were fibers from vegetables, fruits, and nuts, not wheat or grains.
People with celiac disease do indeed experience
deficiencies of multiple vitamins and minerals after they eliminate all
wheat and gluten from the diet. But this is not due to a diet
lacking valuable nutrients, but from the incomplete healing of the
gastrointestinal tract (such as the lining of the duodenum and proximal
jejunum). In these people, the destructive effects of wheat are so
overpowering that, unfortunately, some people never heal completely.
These people do indeed require vitamin and mineral supplementation, as
well as probiotics and pancreatic enzyme supplementation.
I pose several questions to you and your organization:
Why is the high-glycemic index of wheat
Due to the unique properties of amylopectin A, two slices of
whole wheat bread increase blood sugar higher than many candy bars. High
blood glucose leads to the process of glycation that, in turn,
causes arthritis (cartilage glycation), cataracts (lens protein glycation),
diabetes (glycotoxicity of pancreatic beta cells), hepatic de novo
lipogenesisthat increases triglycerides and, thereby, increases
expression of atherogenic (heart disease-causing) small LDL particles,
leading to heart attacks. Repetitive high blood sugars that develop from a
grain-rich diet are, in my view, very destructive and lead to weight gain
(specifically visceral fat), insulin resistance, leptin resistance
(leading to obesity), and many of the health struggles Americans now experience.
How do you account for the psychologic and
neurologic effects of the wheat protein, gliadin?
Wheat gliadin has been associated with cerebellar ataxia, peripheral
neuropathy, gluten encephalopathy (dementia), behavioral outbursts in
children with ADHD and autism, and paranoid delusions and auditory
hallucinations in people with schizophrenia, severe and incapacitating
effects for people suffering from these conditions.
How do you explain the quadrupling of
celiac disease over the last 50 years and its doubling over the
last 20 years?
I submit to you that, while this is indeed my speculation, it is the
changes in genetic code and, thereby, antigenic profile, of the high-yield
semi-dwarf wheat cultivars now on the market that account for the marked
increase in celiac potential nationwide. As you know,
“hybridization” techniques, including chemical mutagenesis to
induce selective mutations, leads to development of unique strains that
are not subject to animal or human safety testing–they are just
brought to market and sold.
Why does the wheat industry continue to call
chemical mutagenesis, gamma irradiation, and x-ray irradiation
“traditional breeding techniques” that you distinguish from
genetic engineering? Chemical mutagenesis using the toxic
mutagen, sodium azide, of course, is the method used to generate
BASF’s Clearfield herbicide-resistant wheat strain. These methods
are being used on a wide scale to generate unique genetic strains that
are, without question from the FDA or USDA, assumed to be safe
for human consumption.
In short, my view on the situation is that the U.S.
government, with its repeated advice to “eat more healthy whole
grains,” transmitted via vehicles like the USDA Food Pyramid and
Food Plate, coupled with the extensive genetic transformations of the
wheat plant introduced by agricultural geneticists, underlie an incredible
deterioration in American health. I propose that you and your organization,
as well as the wheat industry and its supporters, are at risk for legal
liability on a scale not seen since the tobacco industry was brought to
task to pay for the countless millions who died at their product’s hands.
I would be happy and willing to talk to you personally.
I would also welcome the opportunity to debate you or any of your
experts in a public forum.
William Davis, MD
Author, Wheat Belly: Lose the wheat, lose the weight and find your
path back to health(Rodale, 2011)