One hour blood sugar: Key to carbohydrate control and reversing diabetes

Diabetics are instructed to monitor blood glucose first thing in the morning and two hours after eating. This helps determine whether blood sugar is controlled with medications like metformin, Januvia, Byetta injections, or insulin.

But that's not how you use blood sugar to use to prevent or reverse diabetes. Two-hour blood sugars are also of no help in deciding whether you have halted glycation, or glucose modification of proteins the process that leads to cataracts, brittle cartilage and arthritis, oxidation of small LDL particles, atherosclerosis, kidney disease, etc.

So the key is to check one-hour after-eating (postprandial) blood sugars, a time when blood glucose peaks after consumption of carbohydrates. (It may peak somewhat sooner or later, depending on factors such as how much fluid was in the meal; protein, fat, and fiber content; presence of foods like vinegar that slow gastric emptying; the form of carbohydrate such as amylopectin A vs. amylopectin B, amylose, fructose, along with other factors. Once in a while, you might consider constructing your own postprandial glucose curve by doing fingersticks every 15 minutes to determine when your peak occurs.)

I reject the insane notion that after-eating blood sugars of less than 200 mg/dl are acceptable, the value accepted widely as the cutoff for health. Blood sugars this high occurring with any regularity ensure cataracts, arthritis, and all the other consequences of cumulative glycation. I therefore aim to keep one-hour after-eating glucoses 100 mg/dl or less. If you start in a pre-diabetic or diabetic range of, say, 120 mg/dl, then I advise people to not allow blood glucose to go any higher. A pre-meal blood glucose of 120 mg/dl would therefore be followed by an after-eating blood glucose of no higher than 120 mg/dl.

No doubt: This is strict. But people who do this:

--Lose weight from visceral fat
--Heighten insulin sensitivity
--Drop blood pressure
--Drop HbA1c and fasting glucose over time
--Reduce small LDL and other carbohydrate-sensitive measures

By the way, if you inadvertently trigger a high blood sugar like I did when I took my kids to the all-you-can-eat Indian buffet, go for a walk, bike, or burn the sugar off with a 30-minute or longer physical effort. Check your blood sugar again and it should be back in desirable range. But then learn from your lesson: Eliminate or reduce portion size of the culprit carbohydrate food.

Comments (27) -

  • Might-o'chonri-AL

    8/2/2011 6:11:40 AM |

    Glyco-sylation occurs inside a cell's endoplasmic reticulum lumen when certain  carbohydrates  (in the form of N-linked oligo-saccharides) meld with a newly folded protein that gets translated into  a glyco-protein.  There are different rates of activation and de-activation  between glyco-sylated and un-glycosylated proteins; this affects how that protein migrates as it tries to perform it's job and how  glycation can induce degenerative states.  Tissue cells with endoplasmic reticulum stress can exasperate certain disease progression because such "stress" there promotes more glycosylation.

  • Annabel

    8/2/2011 12:40:42 PM |

    I couldn't agree more with the advice to test every 15 minutes as a means of discovering your own "sugar curve." When I tried this, I found that my own peak falls pretty consistently at 75 minutes after beginning a meal. Testing at 2 hours completely overlooks my highest blood glucose levels.

    It's a particularly good technique for those folks whose A1c levels are higher than their fingersticks would predict...it's almost surely because they're doing their sticks way past their glucose peak.

    When test strips cost up to a buck apiece, it may feel hard to justify using six or eight of them on a single meal--but what you learn may save tens of thousands in medical bills!

  • Curt

    8/2/2011 1:31:12 PM |

    Another great article - thank you! I'm curious about your thoughts on controlled 1 hour blood sugars (mine are rarely over 110) but baseline levels that aren't much lower. Typically in the 95-105 range. I will get something in the 80s occasionally, but 100 is more common. I never really spike - even a high carb meal will only get me to 130s or so and that never really happens as I don't eat much sugar/starch at all.

    Another quick question: You've mentioned a couple times recently about this way of eating being particularly good for VISCERAL fat. That is exactly what I've found. Tremendous benefits and I feel great. I have leveled out for a while (months) in fat loss, however, with a good amount of subcutaneous fat still present. Is there another protocol for getting after this type of fat? I'm already no wheat, low carb, paleo.

    Thanks again for your excellent articles! Always learning something new.......

  • ShottleBop

    8/2/2011 1:38:20 PM |

    Do you have citations to support your statement that glycation occurs at BGs of 100 or more?  This is one of the more-commonly discussed issues on diabetes discussion boards--but folks are wont to ask for backup.

  • Jeff C

    8/2/2011 1:47:11 PM |

    Regarding glycation specifically...

    1. Do you agree that fructose ("frucation") causes more AGE than glucose?
    2. What to you make of Ray Peat's assertion that poly-fats are much more glycalating than glucose?

    "The so-called "advanced glycation end products," that have been blamed on glucose excess, are mostly derived from the peroxidation of the "essential fatty acids." The name, “glycation,” indicates the addition of sugar groups to proteins, such as occurs in diabetes and old age, but when tested in a controlled experiment, lipid peroxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids produces the protein damage about 23 times faster than the simple sugars do." (Fu, et al., 1996)." - Ray Peat

  • Richard

    8/2/2011 3:21:55 PM |

    Thanks for the great article!
    I've just begun tracking blood sugars closely, changed my diet to one very low in carbs and no grains, and am determined to find ways to keep at it. I've started a blog just track my progress and keep me honest: http://transformation-transformative.blogspot.com/
    I'll also try the 15 minute testing to see where my personal peak in blood sugar occurs.
    Again, many thanks!

  • steve

    8/2/2011 3:31:08 PM |

    Hi Dr. Davis:  What is the relationship between fasting BG taken at the Dr's office and A!C?  My fasting BG level is 73.5 but my A1C is 5.4.  I would have expected the A1C to more correspond to the fasting measurement; in the case of my wife it does.  Is it related more to the red blood cells lingering around longer or lipoprotein particles which increases the chance of glycation?  Recently had a larger than normal amount of carbs in a meal- rice and blueberries and BG spiked to 119, not to bad, but will experiment with carb portion to keep under 100 as BG may be a contributing factor to my CAD.  I am also a hyperabsorber of fat despite being an ApoE 3/3.

    As an aside, i have sent around a link of one of your interviews regarding Wheat Belly and many eyes have been opened as well as many looking to buy the book.  Might not be a bad idea to have a link to any of your interviews on Wheat Belly posted to this site.
    Thanks for the enlightening good work!

  • Dr. William Davis

    8/3/2011 12:23:09 AM |

    Hi, Shottle--
    This will be the topic of an upcoming discussion. The documentation of this effect is quite extensive. It is no longer a matter of "if" but "how much."

  • Dr. William Davis

    8/3/2011 12:25:11 AM |

    Hi, Jeff--
    This is one of oranges and apples comparisons.
    Fructose does indeed induce flagrant glycation. Glucose induces glycation, though less vigorously.

    However, there is a separate but very poorly named process called exogenous glycation which has less to do with glycation than with oxidation of fats.

    This will be the topic of future discussions.

  • Dr. William Davis

    8/3/2011 12:26:22 AM |

    My first thought is that, if weight loss is ongoing, there is a temporary situation of insulin resistance that generally dissipates with weight stabilization.

    It's also possible that your pancreas has inadequate baseline production of insulin. I'm hoping it's the first possibility.

  • Dr. William Davis

    8/3/2011 12:28:05 AM |

    Hi, Steve-

    You will find that, if you did frequent fingersticks around the clock, the highish A1c reflects the higher blood glucose values that occur after meals.

    Thanks for the feedback on the Wheat Belly project. I will indeed crosslink some of the more relevant discussions.

  • Might-o'chondri-AL

    8/3/2011 2:39:31 AM |

    Advanced glycation end products (AGE) involve some of haemoglobin's hydro-carbon Beta side chain valine residue linking up to non-polar "glucose" aldehyde compounds and certain non-"glucose" aldehydes. Various pathological kinds of AGEs can occur from distinct events; in one situation it is macrophage activity producing enzymatic myelo-peroxidase, which can activate hypochlorite favoring a serine amino acid wing to form up to make the AGE called glyco-aldehyde.

    Probably the AGE called methyl-glyoxal is the one most relevant to diabetes prevention; since Type 1 diabetics blood serum levels of methyl-glyoxal is +/- 6 times higher than normal. This AGE can be formed when the byproduct triose-phosphate (triose = subset of carbs) is generated from the glycolytic pathway called  Embden-Meyerhof; this  byproduct risks being made into methyl-glyoxal.

    Maybe the most well known AGEs are the non-enzymatic Amadori products formed via hydrolysis; one is called glyoxal coming from glucose oxidation. And the other Amadori type AGE is 3-deoxy-glucosone (3DG), which requires fructo-selysine and the fructos-amine 3 kinase cascade to shuffle together 3DG.

  • Might-o'chondri-AL

    8/3/2011 2:40:38 AM |

    Diabetes reveals the problem with AGEs; this is because diabetics risk incurring kidney nephro-pathy, One of the pathological results is oxidative kidney stress, which limits sodium (Na) excretion thereby fostering  hyper-tension . When AGEs like 3DG, glyoxal & methyl-glyoxal  (among others, like pentosidine ) circulate into the kidneys their carbonyl compounds  are hard to clear by the kidneys; the side effect is to engender  uric uremia problems and meanwhile levels of carbonyls build up in what is called "carbonyl stress".
    Japan research of the plant compound chamaemeloside found that in humans it lowered levels of the AGEs 3DG & pentosidne better than any other natural remedy; optimal response was reduction of down to 1/5 th of subject's starting levels.  Chamaemeloside is the active compound in chamomile (Anthemis noblis); the extraction formula was 1 Kg of chamomile flowers steeped covered in 20 Lt. water for 3 hours at 80* celcius ( a lab temperature probably not critical for home remedy preparation).

  • Peter Silverman

    8/3/2011 12:56:13 PM |

    Volek and Phinney in their new book about carbohydrate restriction think that as you increase  fat from 30% to 60% of your diet, insulin resistance increases, then it drops when you go above 60%.  It seems that among the most experienced researchers of carbohydrate restriction, there's little consensus about the optimal amount of fat or carbs.  Ron Krausse, for instance, thinks 35% to 45% is optimal.

  • steve

    8/3/2011 5:23:50 PM |

    Peter:
    When these researchers talk about carb levels are they considering vegetables to be carbs, or just fruits, grains, potatoes?

  • frank weir

    8/3/2011 6:41:32 PM |

    You must mean, "can exacerbate certain disease progression...." meaning: to increase the severity, violence, or bitterness of; aggravate

  • frank weir

    8/3/2011 6:59:22 PM |

    This is wonderful information BUT I wonder if it might be unfortunate if folks who routinely have post-prandials of 120 to 140 take your 100 level as a sign of "failure"...things are seldom so cut and dried, black and white. I don't know if I'm hitting 100 or less  after every meal, but my A1C has dropped from 7.5 to 5.8 since last November restricting carbs. And I've lost 30 pounds. I will begin to be more dogmatic about one-hour glucose checks but my rough sense is that I'm not at 100 or less a majority of the time. But I might be wrong about that. Do you see what I'm getting at? Glucose control is an ongoing process that includes lots of self education since most GP's are not keen AT ALL on restricting carbs, including mine. When I read your post, my initial feeling was, "Cripes, 100 after EVERY meal? Don't think I can do that...."

  • Might-o'chondri-AL

    8/4/2011 1:05:26 AM |

    From another commentator here, in an  earlier thread of Dr. Davis' here is how to use HbA1c to determine your average blood glucose level (note: this is not a morning "fasting" level) .
    1st: multiply your HbA1c by 28.7
    2nd: subtract 46.7 from 1st amount
    3rd: take last number as your average waking hours mg/dL blood glucose over last  few months  
    ex:  HbA1c of 5.4 x 28.7 = 159.98 minus 46.7 = 108.28 mg/dL of average blood glucose level

  • Peter Silverman

    8/4/2011 2:24:31 AM |

    They don't count non-starchy vegetable as carbs.

  • ShottleBop

    8/4/2011 3:15:11 AM |

    Thanks for the heads up!

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  • Stephanie

    8/4/2011 2:13:27 PM |

    Dr. Davis,
    I have found that if I take my carb level too low (below 50g per day) that my fasting blood glucose levels actually go up rather than down.  If my carb intake is closer to 70-80, my fasting glucose is lower.

    Have you had this experience with some of your patients?  Can you shed any light onto what might be happening?

    Thanks!
    Stephanie

  • Anne

    8/4/2011 2:34:11 PM |

    Non-starchy vegetables do have carbs and I do have to count them. A half cup of broccoli can have about 6 carbs and since I limit my carbs to no more than 15g/meal, that broccoli on my plate is significant.

    I found getting a scale that reads carbs too was an important tool for me. I found I was ofter overestimating how much of a low carb veggie I could eat. If my blood sugar starts to rise, I go back to measuring and that seems to get me back on track.

    Anne

  • majkinetor

    8/14/2011 1:25:56 PM |

    I think thats normal, its commonly encountered on paleo forums/blogs. It has something to do with physiological insulin resistance, Petro @ Hyperlipid talked about. Look here:

    http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/2007/10/physiological-insulin-resistance.html

  • majkinetor

    8/14/2011 1:38:24 PM |

    I wouldn't suggest that everybody blindly follow CHO < 50g / day. As always, its about the context. People usually forget that. We mostly extrapolate from results of people who already have metabolic problems.

    Anyway, I am currently perfectly healthy apart from some minor dermatology problems (eczema).
    When I have prolonged periods of reduced CHO input (around 50g / day), I eventually start having some mucus problems. Dry eyes particularly, but also joint pain. I am not 100% sure if its about low carb diet, but it looks like it. Now I target 75g < CHO < 100g per day by adding small potato and a bit more chocolate to my diet.

    I think overemphasizing carb reduction is not good thing for most people. Carbs should go down by pretty big amount for most people, but not to extreme. In anyway, its better to measure then to guess. My sugar is never above 110 after meal and fasting is always around 95.

  • John F

    8/13/2012 9:48:10 AM |

    I decided to take this advice and have been tracking my 60 mins postprandial blood glucose for the past two days to see if all the years I've been low carbing have been making any difference. Especially working my way through different foods to see how they affect me and I've ranged from 64 mg/dl to 97 mg/dl so I'm pretty hapy.

    However this evening 60 minutes after my dinner of panfried steak with a creamy cajun sauce I got a reading of just 55 mg/dl. A lot of websites say this is too low. I'm 32, healthy male, 5,9", weigh 160 lbs, not diabetic and I don't feel sick so I'm not sure what to make of this low reading. The only thing I did was finish a hard CrossFit workout about 30 mins before I had dinner... so a total of 90 minutes before the blood glucose test.

    Any advice on what this "low" reading means? I'm hoping it's normal and means I'm burning fat!

Loading
Man walks after removing wheat

Man walks after removing wheat

No, this isn't some National Enquirer headline like "Woman delivers alien baby."

Tom is a 26-year old man with a complex medical condition, a malformation he was born with and has had reconstructed. Aside from this, he leads a normal life: works, is married, and is, in fact, quite intelligent.

He came to me for an opinion regarding his overall health. Tom was worried that his congenital condition would impair his long-term health and longevity prospects, so he wanted to optimize all other aspects of his health.

But, when I examined Tom, he could barely get himself up on the exam table without wincing in pain. When I asked him to walk, he hobbled a few steps, again clearly in pain. When I asked him what hurt, he said "everything." He said that all his joints hurt just to move.

He told me that his several doctors over the years didn't know why he was in such pain: It wasn't rheumatoid arthritis, gout, pseudogout, or any of the other inflammatory joint diseases that might account for virtually incapacitating this 26-year old man. Even the rheumatologists were stumped. It was also unrelated to his repaired congenital condition. So Tom went on with his life, barely able to even go for a walk with his wife without pain, slowing him down to the pace of an 80-year old.

So I suggested that he eliminate all wheat products. "I don't know for a fact whether it will work, Tom. But the only way to find out is to give it a try. Why not try a 4-week period of meticulously avoiding wheat? Nothing bad will come of it."

He and his wife look perplexed, but were so desperate for a solution that they agreed to give it a try.

Tom returned 6 weeks later. He walked into the room briskly, then bounded up on the exam table. He told me that, within days, all his joint pains had completely disappeared. He could walk, stretch, do all the normal physical things with none of the pain he had suffered previously.

Tom told me, "I didn't think it could be true. I thought it was just a coincidence. So I had a sandwich about 2 weeks into it. In about 5 minutes, I got about half my pains back."

Tom now remains wheat-free and pain-free, thankfully with no discernible joint impairment.

So, yes, Tom walked freely and without pain simply by eliminating wheat from his life.

Is it an immune phenomenon? Does wheat gluten trigger some inflammatory reaction in some people? There is surely something like this underlying experiences like Tom.

Wheat contains far more than gluten. Modern wheat is a collection of hundreds of different proteins, though gluten is the most plentiful, the one that confers the "viscoelasticity" of dough. But there's plenty more to wheat than gluten or celiac disease.

Comments (27) -

  • loco

    5/9/2010 2:04:43 PM |

    Maybe Monsato knows what causes it.

  • Nancy

    5/9/2010 2:04:43 PM |

    This is similar to what happened to me, although it took a lot longer.  I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis and had pain in almost every joint.  Removing gluten from my diet and in about a year my AS went into remission and I am feeling so much better.

  • loco

    5/9/2010 2:06:50 PM |

    Scratch that.  Amazingly wheat is one of the few product "monsanto" doesn't touch.

  • Lori Miller

    5/9/2010 2:40:44 PM |

    After cutting way, way back on the carbs (and eliminating wheat), my little aches and pains, sinus headaches and fatigue disappeared. My skin is better, too. Oh, and I'm back to what I weighed in high school. I'm so happy with my new diet that it's hard not to proselytize.

  • Darrin

    5/9/2010 4:43:35 PM |

    It's interesting how little attention is paid to gluten intolerance, and more generally grain intolerances, in humans.

    In contrast, it is quite easy to find statistics on the amount of the world's population that is lactose intolerant and which populations are most susceptible.

    Quite the eye-opening post.

  • Mike Turco

    5/9/2010 8:27:19 PM |

    I have a story that is somewhat similar. I've had chronic neck and back pain for years. Nothing debilitating but it was "there" every day, sometimes for many hours. I was taking way too much ibuprofen to manage the discomfort.

    Anyways, I read an article in the news somewhere about how "we" all sit in chairs too much, that the human body wasn't meant to do that kind of thing, and that doing so could lead to chronic neck and back pain! The suggestion was to use a standing desk.

    Being a bit of a cheapskate, I setup a shelving unit about two weeks ago, put my computer and so forth up on the shelf, and gave it a shot.

    Literally, the next day my back and neck pain was gone. Just gone. Hasn't come back. In addition, my weight loss efforts seem to be doing a little better. Hey, its not much exercise, but its certainly a better "workout" than sitting on my duff all day.

    Granted, I've only been at this for two weeks and its too early to tell whether any of the affects are real or just coincidental. Still, though, I'd recommend to just about anybody that they give a shot at standing up throughout their workday instead of sitting down. It can't hurt anything, I think, and its worth a try.

    Mike

  • Anonymous

    5/10/2010 11:57:24 AM |

    Apparently, nobody cares about wheat. It's been this way for 15 years. It's like trying to convince people that earth is round rather than flat. We have a long way to go. Frustrating when we have Federal Government promoting low fat, high carbs diet.

  • scall0way

    5/10/2010 1:56:05 PM |

    I believe it. Most of my aches and pains went away when I eliminated wheat also. I used to almost have to crawl out of bed in the morning, which I attributed to "getting old". Yet not one single doctor ever once suggested my diet could have anything to do with the problem.

  • Fred Hahn

    5/11/2010 12:05:31 AM |

    Bill -

    You should send this story to Oprah!

  • WheatFreeNow

    5/11/2010 5:28:19 AM |

    Not surprising at all! :0  It's going to become more and more common to see results like this - and yes - I agree with your point about the problem being SO MUCH more to do with the gluten issue - it's more about the over commercialized, genetically modified wheat that has entered our diet which is probably causing the problem.

  • Dr. William Davis

    5/11/2010 11:45:28 AM |

    Hi, Fred!

    I was so impressed when I heard you talk that you mentioned the grain-rheumatoid arthritis connection. That's a pretty obscure relationship, but one I, too, am convinced is real.

  • Ned Kock

    5/11/2010 2:47:31 PM |

    This type of case must be very rewarding for a doctor.

    Not only did you save this person's life with your advice, his quality of life improved dramatically.

  • monte

    5/11/2010 5:13:34 PM |

    I also was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis when I was 20 years old. I'm now 42 and have had both of my hips replaced. I read another article about the dangers of gluten:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/gluten-what-you-dont-know_b_379089.html

    I've been off wheat now for about 4 months and the inflammation is almost completely gone. When I started I could only walk about 3 blocks but I'm up to a mile now and without the extreme pain in my joints. I still have a lot of therapy to do but I'm actually hopeful about my health for the first time in years.

    Thanks for getting this info out to people!

  • Anne

    5/11/2010 7:12:09 PM |

    My knee pain was the first thing that disappeared when I stopped eating gluten. That was 7 yrs ago and still doing well. I wake up in the morning with no joint pain. Not bad for 67 yrs.

  • Anonymous

    5/11/2010 8:06:08 PM |

    Yup, my mother-in-law was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis back in the '70s.  I convinced her to give up wheat a year ago and all her pains went away.  

    I'm convinced many "diseases" are actually symptoms of various food intolerances, with wheat being the most likely suspect.

  • Professor Tom

    5/12/2010 2:14:50 PM |

    Are you claiming that everyone should eliminate wheat from their diet?

    What about the recent attacks on sodium from the UN in the form of Codex Alimentarius? Personally, I think it's more about control as I documented here

  • DrStrange

    5/12/2010 2:56:39 PM |

    "I'm convinced many "diseases" are actually symptoms of various food intolerances, with wheat being the most likely suspect."

    More specifically gluten, so we need to include rye, barley, tritcale, spelt, kamut, in that.  Also dairy #2.  If it does not bother your individual body, it does not.  But for so many one or both of there are disasters.

    The hardest part, second after the addiction/cultural promotion of them as good, healthy foods, is that it can take many days of zero intake before improvement is really noticeable.  People are so emotionally attached to what they eat they fight tooth and nail against giving something up for that long "just to see." That is of course, unless/until they are truly desperate!

  • TedHutchinson

    5/13/2010 10:44:10 AM |

    Dr Dr Davis
    I think I may have mistakenly posted a link to an review on Resolution of Adipose Tissue Inflammation that I intended as a reply to a different blog.
    Although it's an interesting paper confirming the importance of the role of omega 3, it is off topic for this particular thread. I'd be pleased if you could delete it.Many thanks Ted

  • Anonymous

    5/13/2010 5:05:29 PM |

    I used to have severe menstrual cramps from the time I hit menarche. And miraculously they went away last year after I gave up wheat.

    MB

  • Neonomide

    5/15/2010 12:55:01 AM |

    Loren Cordain has written a paper on the role of dietary lectins in rheumatoid arthritis:

    http://www.thepaleodiet.com/articles/Arthritis%20PDF.pdf

  • Neonomide

    5/15/2010 2:23:45 AM |

    How convenient - this brand new Cordain's Paleo newsletter has some information on the subject as well:



    Q: Could you suggest recent scientific articles on the topic of dietary lectins and rheumatoid arthritis?

    Many thanks,
    Allena

    A: Dear Allena,

    To my knowledge, there are no recent studies addressing the role of a paleolithic diet and its implications in rheumatoid arthritis, except from that of Dr. Cordain. On his DVD How to Treat Multiple Sclerosis with Diet, Dr. Cordain thoroughly explains the dietary mechanisms of autoimmunity in MS which are almost the same for all autoimmune diseases, including RA. These include: increased intestinal permeability, increased passage of luminal antigens into peripheral circulation, molecular mimicry and genetic susceptibility (genes encoding for the HLA system), among other factors.

    In recent years, new substances have been discovered which might be responsible for increased intestinal permeability - namely saponins - found in legumes, potatoes, soya, quinoa, amaranth, alfalfa sprouts or tomatoes. If you've seen Dr. Cordain's scientific paper entitled "Modulation of immune function by dietary lectins in rheumatoid arthritis", I am sure you are aware of the role lectins play in autoimmunity.

    Adjuvants are used by immunologists in order to boost the immune system and induce immune response. It turns out that certain foods possess bioactive compounds that have adjuvant-like activity. This is the case for tomatoes or quillaja (a foaming agent used in beers and soft drinks).

    Gliadin is a prolamine found in wheat which has been shown to increase intestinal permeability, and hence the risk of suffering from an autoimmune disease. While several clinical trials conducted have shown promising results, unfortunately they have used a gluten-free diet or vegan diet instead of a whole paleolithic diet, which we think is superior.

    In the vegan diets, authors often claim that the benefits cited might be due to the lack of meat, but we think the positive effect relies on the lack of diary proteins and gluten. Meat has historically been seen as the "bad guy" of inflammation, but the data to support that notion is not sufficiently compelling.

    Listed below are some references that may be helpful.

    Cordially,
    Maelán Fontes

    References:

    1: Modulation of immune function by dietary lectins in rheumatoid arthritis. Cordain L, Toohey L, Smith MJ, Hickey MS. Brit J Nutr 2000, 83:207-217.

    2: Gluten-free vegan diet induces decreased LDL and oxidized LDL levels and raised atheroprotective natural antibodies against phosphorylcholine in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a randomized study. Elkan AC, Sjöberg B, Kolsrud B, Ringertz B, Hafström I, Frostegård J. Arthritis Res Ther. 2008;10(2):R34. Epub 2008 Mar 18.

    3:A vegan diet free of gluten improves the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis: the effects on arthritis correlate with a reduction in antibodies to food antigens. Hafström I, Ringertz B, Spångberg A, von Zweigbergk L, Brannemark S, Nylander I, Rönnelid J, Laasonen L, Klareskog L. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2001 Oct;40(10):1175-9.


    So gliadin in wheat seems to be an important bad guy, eh ?


    PS: Thank you so much Dr Davis for bringing information on wheat havoc  to the masses. It's very much appreciated!

  • Felix Olschewski

    5/21/2010 7:13:12 AM |

    Dr. Davis,
    I hope you don't mind that I have (kind of) translated this post into German and published it on my Blog. You can find it on http://www.urgeschmack.de/schmerzfrei-getreideverzicht/

  • Carrie

    6/23/2010 12:03:56 PM |

    With a few exceptions, I have found those who comment on this blog to be very well informed, adding wonderful references, insights and experiences to the conversation.

    @Professor Tom; even a rudimentary glance of Dr. Davis' blog would reveal that he does not think EVERYONE should stop eating wheat, but for his heart patients, patients with pain and inflammation, patients with neurological disorders, and patients with weight, blood sugar and hormonal imbalances, or other serious and chronic health conditions he advises them to TRY 4 weeks of completely avoiding all wheat/gluten and see if it makes a difference, and in 70% of people it does.  

    It is not some kind of mind control conspiracy theory to make us into docile sheep.  It is the opposite in fact.  He is helping people regain their health by bucking convention; opting out of the wheat based culture and freeing ourselves from dependence on pharmaceuticals.  

    I have seen miraculous health results of going totally grain free for 3 members of my family.  Personally, I only experienced weight loss and increased immunity but that is still worth it.

  • Neonomide

    6/23/2010 1:57:19 PM |

    Carrie,

    I've had a different impression. I understand that Dr Davis does not consider wheat to be human food at all and as a paleo scholar, I completely agree.

    I also acknowledge that all wheat is not equal - here in Finland I think wheat elimination alone will not show as dramatic effects as in US. Different genome, in both humans and wheat itself.

    In energy versus nutrient equations wheat loses anyway and added salt further unbalances the essential sodium/potassium ratio that is very important in BP control and kidney health. Antinutrient in wheat are a great way to weaken your micronutrient status. The greens and berries own wheat every time.

    IMHO, playing risk game with not-yet-sick people with catastrophe food like wheat is simply stupid. When wheat derived autoimmune disease starts to take it's toll, it may not be reversed anymore. As for sdLDL, it may not cause symptoms at all before the first MI. Then you're dead or in the risk risk of sudden death for the rest of your life. Not fun.

  • hernia surgery Los Angeles

    12/22/2010 10:27:24 AM |

    That is amazing if you could detect something so smoothly and it worked...it's like a miracle or a magic.Why is gluten bad and for all joint pains?

  • Geoffrey Levens

    12/22/2010 3:52:33 PM |

    I would not say that gluten is bad!  What is bad or damaging is many individuals (NOT all) physiological reaction to it.  If you are reactive to gluten, then it is systemically inflammatory.  If you have poor blood sugar regulation, then wheat (maybe its the gluten?) can dramatically raise blood sugar and elevated blood sugar is also inflammatory.

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