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WBB: Fifth Estate defends wheat

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Posted: 2/28/2015 12:00:00 PM

Originally posted by Dr. Davis on 2015-02-28
on the Wheat Belly Blog, sourced from and currently found at: Infinite Health Blog.
PCM forum Index of WB Blog articles.

Fifth Estate defends wheat

title screen: CBC Fifth Estate 2015 show

“No, Congressman, there is no evidence that cigarette smoking is associated with cardiovascular disease and cancer.”

Such was the testimony offered by Big Tobacco executives during Congressional hearings on the subject throughout the 1980s and 1990s, denying even to this day that nicotine is addictive, that they increased nicotine content to encourage addictiveness, and that they crafted marketing strategies, such as the Joe Camel cartoon, to target children.

So it should come as no surprise that the Fifth Estate uses similar tactics in what amounts to a defense of the wheat and grain industry.

To say that there is no evidence implicating wheat and grains in human diseases is to ignore evidence that continues to grow, evidence associating wheat/grain with a long list of health problems. For example:

Gliadin–The gliadin protein of wheat (and related proteins of rye, barley, and corn), if it remains intact, launches the first step in a complex process that leads to autoimmune diseases, an effect not confined to people with celiac disease but occurs to varying degrees in 90% of people who consume wheat and grains. Intact gliadin underlies, for example, neurological diseases such as cerebellar ataxia and some forms of dementia. Gliadin and other wheat components such as trypsin are likely culprits in (the poorly named) non-celiac gluten sensitivity associated with bloating, diarrhea, joint pain, and mind “fog.”

If gliadin is partially digested (an example of the incomplete digestibility of grain proteins by humans) to peptides, such as the A5 pentapeptide, it can also act as an opiate with adverse effects in people with schizophrenia, autism , bipolar disorder , stimulation of prolactin and thereby breast tissue growth, and others (though it is not entirely clear in these conditions how much of the effects are due to intact gliadin with autoimmune effects and how much are due to the opiates that derive from partial digestion).

Tellingly, because of the extensive health problems associated with gliadin, a number of research groups are working to genetically engineer gliadin, telling us that the problems with gliadin are widely understood by the agricultural science community, despite the overt denials of any knowledge of problems with wheat and grains.

Wheat germ agglutinin–Wheat germ agglutinin, WGA, is a perfect example of the indigestibility of grain proteins. In its passage from mouth to anus, WGA is entirely impervious to human digestion. But, en route, WGA exerts a number of unhealthy effects, including direct bowel toxicity, blocking the digestive hormone cholecystokinin, and is suspected to block leptin, the hormone of satiety (telling when to stop eating).

Phytates–Block absorption of any positively-charged ion, particularly iron, zinc, and magnesium, a well-characterized feature of grains. Iron absorption is as much as 90% blocked with the phytate content of a bagel.

Amylopectin A–The carbohydrate of grains, amylopectin A, uniquely susceptible to digestion by the salivary and stomach enzyme, amylase, explains why wheat and other grains have among the highest glycemic indexes of all foods, higher than table sugar, higher than a Snickers bar, and on a par with jelly beans. A diet centered around high-glycemic index foods thereby causes growth of visceral inflammatory fat, insulin resistance, higher blood sugars, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, cancer, and dementia.

We also know that wheat and grains change bowel flora and oral flora, effects that have far-reaching implications for health, including bowel regularity, irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel diseases, as well as autoimmunity.

This is a partial list of the evidence damning wheat and grains as the most destructive addition to the human dietary experience, with problems now amplified by changes introduced by agribusiness, herbicide/pesticide residues, and the repeated urgings to make them the cornerstone of diet. (Additional discussion and references can be found in Wheat Belly Total Health, including 40 pages of scientific references.)

Throw on top of the evidence what we are witnessing in social media and the broad societal experience: people getting off long lists of medications, getting rid of many health conditions, even undergoing some pretty significant changes in appearance beyond that permitted by weight loss. This movement is most definitely not growing because of my powers of persuasion nor charisma; it continues to grow because it works.

So to argue that there is no evidence to back the arguments that wheat and grains are huge mistakes in the human diet is simply untrue. But it is how industry (and their manipulated or unwitting media outlets) typically wages damage control: claim that no evidence exists in the face of what I would regard as overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

I don’t know if the hidden agenda was to defend the huge Canadian wheat export industry (Canada is the world’s #1 wheat exporter), to maintain the wheat franchise of Big Agribusiness companies such as Cargill, to save face for grain-promoting Health Canada, or to just create provocative headlines, but what was clearly absent from their broadcast was a serious consideration of the science documenting the adverse health implications of consuming what I could characterize as the most awful thing ever passed off as “food.”

D.D. Infinite Health icon

Tags: Canada,CBC