Sourced from: Infinite Health Blog, by Dr. Davis,
originally posted on the Wheat Belly Blog: 2011-10-01
Why wheat makes you fat
How is it that a blueberry muffin or onion bagel
can trigger weight gain? Why do people who exercise, soccer Moms, and
other everyday people who cut their fat and eat more “healthy whole
grains” get fatter and fatter? And why weight gain specifically in
the abdomen, the deep visceral fat that I call a “wheat belly”?
There are several fairly straightforward ways that
wheat in all its varied forms–whole wheat bread, white bread,
multigrain bread, sprouted bread, sourdough bread, pasta, noodles, bagels,
ciabatta, pizza, etc. etc.–lead to substantial weight gain:
High glucose and high
insulin–This effect is not unique to wheat, but shared with
other high-glycemic index foods (yes: whole wheat has a very high-glycemic
index) like cornstarch and rice starch (yes, the stuff used to make
gluten-free foods). The high-glycemic index means high blood glucose
triggers high blood insulin. This occurs in 90- to 120-minute cycles.
The high insulin that inevitably accompanies high blood sugar, over time
and occurring repeatedly, induces insulin resistance in the
tissues of the body. Insulin resistance causes fat accumulation,
specifically in abdominal visceral fat, as well as diabetes and
pre-diabetes. The more visceral fat you accumulate, the worse insulin
resistance becomes; thus the vicious cycle ensues.
Cycles of satiety and
hunger–The 90- to 120-minute glucose/insulin cycle is
concluded with a precipitous drop in blood sugar. This is the foggy,
irritable, hungry hypoglycemia that occurs 2 hours after your
breakfast cereal or English muffin. The hypoglyemia is remedied with
another dose of carbohydrate, starting the cycle over again
. . . and again, and again, and again.
gliadin proteins unique to wheat, now increased in quantity and altered
in amino acid structure from their non-genetically-altered predecessors,
act as appetite stimulants. This is because gliadins are
degraded to exorphins, morphine-like polypeptides that enter the brain.
Exorphins can be blocked by opiate-blocking drugs like naltrexone.
A drug company has filed an application with the FDA for a weight
loss indication for naltrexone based on their clinical studies
demonstrating 22 pounds weight loss after 6 months treatment.
Overweight people given an opiate blocker reduce calorie intake
400 calories per day. But why? There’s only one food that
yields substantial quantities of opiate-like compounds in the
bloodstream and brain: wheat gliadin.
the data are preliminary, the lectin in wheat, wheat germ agglutinin,
has the potential to block the leptin receptor. Leptin resistance is
increasingly looking like a fundamental reason why people struggle to lose
weight. This might explain why eliminating, say, 500 calories of wheat
consumption per day yields 3500 calories of weight loss.
And, as in many things wheat, the whole is
greater than the sum of the parts. Despite all we know about this
re-engineered thing called wheat, eliminating it yields health
benefits, including weight loss, that seem to be larger than what
you’d predict with knowledge of all its nasty little individual pieces.