Originally posted by Dr. Davis on 2013-05-18
on the Wheat Belly Blog,
sourced from and currently found at: Infinite Health Blog.
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of WB Blog articles.
Let your stomach do the talking
Janzo posted this interesting perspective on
diabetes and blood sugar:
I have pre-diabetes, and have tried EVERY
popular “change your diet” book published in the last
10 years, with little results: I still fought my lifelong
sweet-tooth and cravings for carbs. Last September I got an official
diagnosis of diabetes (A1C was 8.2% or something), and reluctantly put
myself back on a low-carb program–AGAIN. No grains except
“healthy whole wheat bread” and some crackers, no fruit.
I quickly became depressed, my body was tense and ached. Life was
miserable. And my fasting glucose readings were still
160 [mg/dl] or so; far from the 110 I was looking for.
After MUCH nagging, I followed my
chiropractor’s advice and looked into gluten-free as a way to get
my numbers down, and found this blog. I read all the comments:
“I don’t even MISS the old foods!” “I feel
better than I EVER have in my LIFE!!” “I’ll NEVER go
back to eating.” And my eyes rolled. I’d heard this with
EVERY diet I’d tried, and failed to maintain. This was just one more.
But then something weird happened. My gut spoke up.
I felt a strange sensation in my mid-region,
and “checked in” with my gut feelings. They were saying
“YES YES YES PLEASE PLEASE CAN WE DO THIS
**PLEASE PLEASE???!!!!**” To which my mind said “What the
HELL??!” My gut feelings were jumping up and down with excitement,
like a puppy when you pick up its leash to go for a walk.
They say if your head and your gut disagree,
your gut is telling you the truth and your head is wrong. So I went with
it, and ate my last “healthy whole wheat” crackers on Saturday.
By Tuesday: my depression was gone, my tension was gone, my sweet tooth
was gone, and my fasting glucose was suddenly down to 120. Holeeee crud!
I don’t even MISS the old foods.
I feel better than I EVER have in my LIFE. And I’ll NEVER
go back to eating wheat. Thanks, Dr. D!
Consumption of modern wheat causes
diabetes: pure and simple. Getting rid of modern wheat gets
rid of diabetes in the majority of cases (provided you don’t
fill the calorie gap with candy and ice cream!).
Why would this be? Why would “healthy whole
grains” cause, or at least contribute, to development of type 2
diabetes? There are several reasons:
1) No other food–sucrose, high-fructose corn
syrup, sugary soft drinks, French fries, etc.–has its very own
opiate that stimulates appetite. The gliadin protein,
digested down to 5 tetra- and pentapeptide “exorphin”
(exogenous morphine-like compounds) units, binds to the opiate receptors
of the human brain and stimulates appetite. (Those nice people in the
Wheat Lobby argue that other foods, such as dairy products and spinach,
also have opiates; this is technically true, but the binding affinity of
these compounds is so low–10% or less of the binding affinity of
wheat exorphins–that they are not of any practical concern.
Don’t fall for this obvious smokescreen.)
The increased appetite of wheat exorphins cause
you to consume 400 or more calories per day, every day. Those calories
are not from pork chops or salmon; they come carbohydrates almost
exclusively–chips, cookies, crackers, pretzels, candy and other
goodies, the foods that raise blood sugar.
2) Wheat contains the complex carbohydrate,
amylopectin A–Recall that the unique branching
structure of wheat’s amylopectin A makes it highly susceptible
to digestion by the enzyme, amylase, in saliva and stomach juices,
releasing glucose into the bloodstream literally within seconds of
ingestion. This explains why two slices of whole wheat bread raise
blood sugar higher and faster than 6 teaspoons of table sugar.
High blood sugar obliges high blood insulin, over and over and over
again in the world of the “healthy whole grain” eater.
Over time, this leads to diminished responsiveness to
insulin–“insulin resistance”–the foundation
of pre-diabetes and diabetes. It also leads to creation of visceral
belly fat which, in turn, worsens insulin resistance and inflammation.
3) Repetitive high blood sugars, over and over
again, lead to pancreatic glucotoxicity–damage
to pancreatic beta cells that produce insulin. (Here
is a representative discussion of this effect.) Death of pancreatic
beta cells is, for all practical purposes, irreversible: When
they’re dead, they’re dead and do not regenerate. Foods
that raise blood sugar the most cause the most glucotoxicity. What
food dominates the modern diet and has among the highest of glycemic
indexes? Yup: wheat.
4) A vigorous and unending flow of carbohydrates
fuels the process of liver de novo lipogenesis, the
conversion of sugar and carbohydrates into fatty acids in the liver.
Among the results: plenty of fatty acids and triglycerides in the
bloodstream. This causes lipotoxicity, death to
pancreatic beta cells that produce insulin. So those typical
triglyceride levels of 150 mg/dl, 200 mg/dl, 500 mg/dl
or higher that persist for extended periods kill off pancreatic beta cells.
5) Leptin resistance–Gain weight, lose
the satiating/appetite-limiting effect of the leptin hormone. It means
that appetite is not turned off. High leptin levels are also toxic to
the pancreas: leptin toxicity.
resistance, visceral fat accumulation: It all adds up to extravagant
triggering of complex inflammatory pathways signaled by increased
c-reactive protein in the bloodstream, increased interleukins, increased
tumor necrosis factor, and many others, as well as increased inflammatory
white blood cell content of the fat itself (like pus). The process is
made worse by the entry of foreign compounds into the bloodstream and
lymph permitted by the gliadin protein. The same gliadin that is broken
down into exorphin polypeptides can also remain intact and exert bowel
permeability increasing effects via the zonulin
pathway described by Dr. Alessio Fasano; this occurs in
people with celiac disease and it occurs in people without celiac disease.
7) The lectin of wheat, wheat germ agglutinin,
mimics insulin. It stimulates many of the same
processes triggered by insulin in fat cells, including reduced
oxidation of fatty acids.
8) How about a more speculative, non-quantifiable
effect: resorting to wheat products, such as chocolate chip cookies, Oreos,
angel food cake, and chocolate eclairs, as “comfort” foods to
quell the various emotional and physical aches and pains characteristic
of wheat consumption?
That’s a partial list. Yes, a partial list
of how wheat causes diabetes.
Increased appetite for sugar and carbohydrates, high
blood sugar, high blood insulin, leptin effects, gluco- and lipotoxic
pancreatic effects, inflammation, etc. It all adds up to a perfect storm
to create type 2 diabetes. So what does our USDA, nice dietitians,
and many of my colleagues tell you to do about his? Eat MORE “healthy
whole grains.” Not only do they tell us to eat more of it, they tell
us that they should dominate the diet. (Thus the largest segments
of the USDA Food Pyramid and Plate.)
Is the explosion in diabetes any surprise?
This is what the CDC says:
So Janzo is getting a little taste of the
incredible power of eating NO “healthy whole grains” to
minimize or reverse diabetes. Do you find it a little odd that the
most vigorous and long-term financial supporters of the “healthy
whole grain” message and the Wheat Lobby and trade groups are
. . . diabetes drug manufacturers?