Sourced from: Infinite Health Blog, by Dr. Davis,
originally posted on the Wheat Belly Blog: 2012-01-14
The Gliadin Effect
Gliadin is a protein found within wheat gluten. It is, from a
cold scientific viewpoint, a fascinating issue, a protean protein capable of incredibly
varied biologic effects in humans. Among the things we know about gliadin:
–Gliadin is the most abundant protein in wheat,
contained within gluten polymers.
–Gliadin of 2012 is different from the gliadin of, say, 1960, by
several amino acids, part of the genetic transformation of wheat introduced
to increase yield-per-acre.
–Gliadin is degraded to a collection of polypeptides called
exorphins in the gastrointestinal tract. Exorphins cross the
blood-brain barrier and bind to opiate-receptors to induce appetite, as
well as behavioral changes, such as behavioral outbursts and inattention
in children with ADHD and autism, hearing voices and social detachment in
schizophrenics, and the mania of bipolar illness.
–People who consume gliadin consume 400 calories more per day;
people who remove gliadin reduce calorie intake by 400 calories per day.
Incidentally, antibodies to gliadin are capable of binding
to nervous system tissue and may contribute to immune-mediate neurological
impairment, such as cerebellar ataxia and gluten encephalopathy. Gliadin,
particular the omega fraction, is also responsible for allergic responses,
including Bakers’ asthma and the odd wheat-dependent, exercise-induced
The high-yield, semi-dwarf strains of wheat, invented
in the 1960s and 1970s, was introduced to North American farmers in the late
1970s, who adopted it over the next decade. By 1985, virtually all wheat farmers
were growing this high-yield strain. (Can you blame them? Per-acre yield
increased about 10-fold, provided sufficient nitrate fertilizer was applied.)
What was the effect of the new wheat with its new gliadin
protein? Take a look at the CDC’s chart of calorie intake in U.S. women:
Replacement image from:
It would be an oversimplification to attribute the rise
in calories strictly to the new gliadin, as high-fructose corn syrup from soft
drinks also contributed, especially in young males.
But the pattern is quite intriguing. Introduce the new
gliadin with potential for stimulate appetite 400 calories per day,
followed by gradual weight gain, followed later, after a lag of a few years
to allow 30, 40, 50 or more pounds of weight gain, by diabetes.
Replacement image from:
Of course, the “official” response is that
the increased calorie consumption, overweight/obesity, and diabetes are
your fault because you are a glutton and you’re lazy, eating
chips, cookies, and other junk snacks along with sweetened soft drinks while
you watch The Biggest Loser.
But, you know, I look around at the people I come
across and I know hardly anybody over age 20 who fits this bill.