Originally posted by Dr. Davis on 2013-03-16
on the Wheat Belly Blog,
sourced from and currently found at: Infinite Health Blog.
PCM forum Index
of WB Blog articles.
Note that this blog post was 9 years
old when mirrored on the Inner Circle, so the exhortation is now
superannuated. Further, Harvard updated the linked letter in 2022,
and the quoted 2013 letter is no longer available. The new page does
“For people who
do have nonceliac gluten sensitivity, it may be effective to eat a
reduced-gluten diet. The majority of people with nonceliac gluten
sensitivity don’t need to follow a strict diet, nor worry about
Well, give them another 9 years, or
wait until they recruit new sponsors, whichever comes first.
Give Harvard Health
a piece of your mind!
Harvard Health Publications of the Harvard Medical
School just published this bit of conventional tripe, written by Holly
Strawbridge, Executive Editor of the Harvard Heart Letter:
Going gluten-free just
because? Here’s what you need to know
Some choice quotes:
” . . . lately it’s become hip to go
gluten-free. Based on little or no evidence other than testimonials in
the media, people have been switching to gluten-free diets to lose weight,
boost energy, treat autism, or generally feel healthier.”
“If you’re determined to go
gluten-free, it’s important to know that it can set you up for
some nutritional deficiencies.”
And the closing comments:
“There’s one more thing you might
consider doing: keep your dietary choice to yourself. The more than
300,000-plus people in this country with celiac disease have to follow
a gluten-free diet, because the tiniest taste of gluten will trigger
debilitating gastrointestinal discomfort. It’s time consuming,
expensive, and restrictive. ‘It’s a gigantic burden for
those who have to follow it,’ says Dr. Leffler.”
Clearly, the amount of research Ms. Strawbridge
conducted to write this article likely went no further than a nutrition
textbook. “Keep your dietary choice to yourself?” What the
heck does that mean? Perhaps Ms. Strawbridge is working to protect
those nice grants her institution receives from the likes of Nabisco,
Kraft, and General Mills. (By the way, there are 3 million
people in the U.S. with celiac, not 300,000–she’s off by only 90%!)
Here is the comment I posted in response:
This article misses many of the essential
points that are driving the tidal wave of wheat-rejection. Let me make
a few of the most important points:
1) Gluten is just one protein in wheat. There
are over 10,000 others.
2) The gliadin protein of wheat exerts opioid
effects on the human brain that, via the tetra- and pentapeptide digestates
of gliadin, stimulate calorie consumption: 400 more calories per day, every
day. The effect is blocked by naloxone/naltrexone, opiate-blocking drugs.
(An FDA application is currently pending for such an application of naltrexone.)
3) The gliadin protein has been demonstrated
(Fasano et al) to induce increased small intestinal permeability,
permitting entry of polypeptide antigens into the bloodstream/lymph,
suspected to be the first step in generating autoimmunity. (A serum
test for the zonulin protein will be commercially available near-future.
Dr. Fasano tells me.)
4) Wheat germ agglutinin, a direct intestinal
toxin in animal models, exerts disruptive effects on gastric, small
intestinal, and colonic mucosa.
5) Unique forms of alpha amylase inhibitors
are suspected to be among the factors responsible for the explosive
increase in childhood allergies and asthma.
This all comes to a head in our time because
agribusiness and agricultural geneticists have been busy changing the
genetics of wheat, e.g., chemical mutagenesis (the purposeful induction
of mutations using sodium azide) to create imazamox-resistant wheat
(“Clearfield,” patents held by BASF, the world’s
largest chemical manufacturer), now grown on nearly 1 million acres
in the U.S. The quadrupling of celiac disease, for instance, is
largely explained by the enrichment of the Glia-alpha 9 gene in
modern wheat, virtually absent from the wheat of 1960. This is just
ONE of the thousands of changes introduced into the genome of modern
wheat in the cause of increased yield-per acre.
To argue that wheat products are necessary
for B vitamins and fiber and to ignore all the other issues that
now surround modern wheat is, well, ignorant.
Unfortunately, the readership of this Harvard
publication and the patients of physicians like Dr. Leffler will be
deprived of real insights into this phenomenon of agribusiness-altered
wheat. To call this a ‘fad” is like calling avoidance of
glyphosate-resistant and Bt toxin-inoculated corn (both products
of genetic modification) a fad—it is obviously not; it is a
rejection of the worrisome genetic changes introduced into crops to suit
the agenda of agribusiness, while ignoring the health effects on the
consumers who eat these products.
People like Ms. Strawbridge help perpetuate the
ignorance that prevails among healthcare providers. We should not let
her get away with such nonsense—Don’t hold back: Go to
their site and post
a comment. Let them know what you really think!