The perfect Frankengrain

Pretend I'm a mad food scientist. I'd like to create a food that:

1) Wreaks gastrointestinal havoc and cause intractable diarrhea, cramps, and anemia.
2) Kills some people who consume it after a long, painful course of illness.
3) Damages the brain and nervous system such that some people wet their pants, lose balance, and lose the ability to feel their feet and legs.
4) Brings out the mania of bipolar illness.
5) Amplifies auditory hallucinations in people with paranoid schizophrenia.
6) Makes people diabetic by increasing blood sugars.
7) Worsens arthritis, such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
8) Triggers addictive eating behavior.
9) Punishes you with a withdrawal process if you try to remove it from your diet.

I will develop a strain that is exceptionally hardy and tolerates diverse conditions so that it can grow in just about any climate. It should also be an exceptionally high yield crop, so that I can sell it cheaply to the masses.

Now, if my evil scheme goes as planned, I will then persuade the USDA that not only is my food harmless, but it is good for health. If they really take the bait, they might even endorse it, create a diet program around it.

Dag nabit! Such a plan has already been implemented. Another evil food scientist already beat me to the punch. The food is called wheat.

Comments (25) -

  • Anonymous

    2/3/2011 9:03:26 PM |

    Interesting story from the UK:

    How can a fit, clean-living 32-year-old have a heart attack? For Martin the answer was in his genes. Like thousands he suffers from INHERITED high cholesterol

    "He was diagnosed with familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH), an inherited condition where the body cannot clear ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol from the blood."

    His arteries were so clogged that he needed a triple heart bypass — where blood vessels are taken from elsewhere in the body, usually the chest and legs, and used to create a new route for the blood to flow around the blockages.

    An estimated 100,000 people in Britain are living with FH but don’t know it, according to a report published last week by the Royal College of Physicians.

    The condition could kill them at any moment.

    So how could an apparently healthy man have such dangerous levels of cholesterol? Cholesterol is a waxy ­substance produced by the liver from the saturated fat we eat.

    It plays a vital role in the function of cells and production of hormones and vitamin D.

    Once it has done its job in the body, it’s also the liver’s job to remove it. In healthy people, this happens automatically.

    ‘The liver has “finger receptors” that reach out and grab hold of “bad” LDL cholesterol particles as they pass,’ says Professor Steve Humphries, the new report’s author and director of the Centre for Cardiovascular Genetics at University College London.

    ‘Good’ HDL cholesterol travels to the ­arteries to help unblock them before it also goes back to the liver to be removed by another set of receptors.

    ‘Once inside the liver, the cholesterol gets broken down, sent to the intestines and is then passed out of the body,’ says ­Professor Humphries.

    ‘But in people with FH, these receptors don’t work properly, so the cholesterol builds up in the blood.’

    (With the more common form of high cholesterol, the problem is that the patient has too much LDL for the receptors to cope with.)

    Over time, cholesterol deposits build up in the arteries, restricting blood flow to the heart and increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

    By the age of 55, if left untreated, half of men with FH will have developed heart disease, while a third of women with it will develop heart disease by 60.

    While most FH sufferers have heart attacks in their 50s and 60s, some, such as Martin, can be affected in their 30s and 40s — with no warning signs."

  • chaim

    2/3/2011 9:35:02 PM |

    what is better to use regular glutten bread or whole wheat?

  • Anonymous

    2/3/2011 9:55:31 PM |

    Doc Davis,

    I am a fan of your blog, follow it religiously and have commented many times. You provide great advice and we are all thankful for it.

    That being said it, the content has become repetitive. Wheat is unhealthy. It has many negative side effects. It hates puppies and kittens. And babies. We get it.

    I'd love to read more content about other health subjects.

    Please take this in the spirit it was intended.

  • chaim

    2/3/2011 10:09:57 PM |


    there are new ppl in this blog like me ,that did not reed all the posts

    For me ,it is a new thing as for many newcomers

    I never liked wheat, but I thought that was healthy

    We eat challah every Friday, my wife wanted to change it for whole wheat challah

    I dunno if to keep the same challah or to change for whole wheat

  • Dr. William Davis

    2/3/2011 11:47:58 PM |

    Hi, Chaim--

    Makes no difference. All the same.

    Hi, Anonymous--

    I hear you. However, as Chaim points out, there are usually several hundred new people here per day who still ask questions like "why no wheat?" So I re-explore some of the most common concerns.

  • terrence

    2/3/2011 11:56:37 PM |

    Dr Davis - I read your blog regularly, and have for a year or two now.

    I do NOT find your posts about the ills of wheat to be at all repetitive. What you have to say is always informative and often very funny.

    Please do NOT stop posting about wheat.

  • Might-o'chondri-AL

    2/4/2011 12:18:28 AM |

    Bedside manners may not be Doc's strong point. Once he almost   insulted Frankengrain's Aunt Butter (newbies can scroll blog's Labels, click "butter" & view comments).

  • DK

    2/4/2011 1:08:28 AM |

    Any evidence for any of this? And I mean real and solid evidence, not a bunch of anecdotes.

  • revelo

    2/4/2011 1:13:15 AM |

    You still haven't explained why the traditional people of Sardinia and Crete were so long-lived and healthy in old age (shepherds carrying heavy loads up steep mountain trails at the age of 90, etc), despite eating huge amounts of wheat (we're talking upwards of 750 grams of wheat bread per day for an active worker). For poor folk, the diet was mostly wheat, olive oil and wine, plus fruits, nuts and vegetables in season. Those with some money supplemented with dairy products, fish and meat. The Cretans and Sardinians were notoriously healthy, but the other traditional people of the Mediterranean basin plus the mountains of central Asia were also quite healthy on this wheat-based diet.

    Note that I use the past tense, because now that most of these peoples have moved to the cities, they are all becoming obese and diabetic and plagued with heart disease and other ailments.

  • Dr. William Davis

    2/4/2011 1:57:14 AM |

    Hi, Revelo--

    I don't know for certain, but I suspect that they are consuming a different genetic strain, e.g., emmer or a different, non-dwarf, variant.

    Wheat is literally 25,000+ different strains. While the majority are quite destructive, there are likely a few less destructive forms. This is one of the reasons I discuss the appeal of einkorn.

    DK and others--

    The evidence for much of this is actually overwhelming. It will be fully articulated in my forthcoming book from Rodale, Wheat Belly,

  • Jim White

    2/4/2011 2:09:07 AM |

    Thanks for the tip on Einkorn wheat. I have now added pasta back into my diet. I had eliminated it due to the huge blood sugar spikes. After eating pasta made from Einkorn wheat my blood sugar tests 100-108 just one hour after eating.  Traditional durem wheat pasta was producing 140+ even 2 hours later. Plus it is good.

  • Amy Dungan

    2/4/2011 4:31:53 AM |

    This is great! I'll be sure to share with the doubters. Smile

  • Anonymous

    2/4/2011 5:55:10 AM |

    Here's what would be more helpful: what to eat once you swear off wheat?
    What are we supposed to do for carbs? Potatoes and rice are glycemic bombs, we're told. Corn doesn't belong in a human diet either. High fructose corn syrup is in absolutely everything. Too much fruit is no good.  Short of somehow becoming a traditional Inuit or living in the induction phase of Atkins the rest of my life, I'm at a loss for ideas. I allow myself some pizza each week and a nice bowl of breakfast cereal, but I'm not extravagant with wheat, yet I have a trigylceride level of 292, HDL of 35, even with fish oil and niacin, and three days a week in the gym.

  • Anonymous

    2/4/2011 8:12:46 AM |

    Anonymous, my own Triglyceride levels came down from 214 just a year ago (at some point they were in the 300s) to 89 just before Christmas. This was by seriously cutting down on all sorts of carbs, I.e, only minimal amounts of bread, pasta, rice, etc. Hilariously, the doctor commented: “but remember, you don't need to cut fat from your diet completely!”. I just grinned. Having said that, I know exactly what you mean. If you go out for food, it is virtually impossible to avoid refined carbs in huge amounts in just about any dish. If you prepare your own food, you will have to discard the bulk of your favorite recipes from the past, and focus on stews etc. It's not easy. Regards, neuroscan.

  • majkinetor

    2/4/2011 2:30:33 PM |

    There is lot of CH in vegetables.

    For instance, 100g of brussels sprout has around 4g of CH.
    Its so delicious when cooked for few minutes in olive oil and/or butter that you can easily eat around 300g per day which gives you 16g.

    Potato is good alternative. Its hi GI (and GL) but, high GI foods in small amounts don't rise sugar. Amount is important. One boiled potato for instance.

    Other stuff: carrot, black chocolate (75%++ cocoa), oat brans, cashews, cranberries.

    Those are extremely healthy foods with good amount of slow carbs.

  • Might-o'chondri-AL

    2/4/2011 4:32:03 PM |

    Hi Revelo,
    Twice here I've seen mention of Crete & Sicily intake. Those islands' heat and humidity foster unique symbionts.

    Temperature will influence the varieties of soil bacteria. Based on the prophylactic gastro-intestinal affect of Japan's Natto I'd look to a local strain of Bacillus subtilis found on the drying wheat stalks.

    Humidity will influence the varieties of mycotic (fungi) strains post-harvest grain is exposed to. Rural storage isn't hermeticly controlled conditions.
    Based on human prophylactic gastro-intestinal affect of Japan's Koji (Amazake)I'd look for fungal mycellium of a local Aspergillus strain.

    Swine, whether kept as pigs or feral boars, expose country folk to non-symptomatic helminths (worms). Human immune system modulates away from auto-immune response in reaction to them. I'd look at the swine Whipworm species interaction.

    Robust rural 90 year olds are gaunt and conditioned. Carbohydrate based diets facilitate this by producing triglycerides to send out from the liver. In between the muscle cell's, and not fat, these are stored as di-acyl-glycerides.

    A genetic/epigentic determined copy number variation of an enzyme influences our ability to convert "di-" back into tri-acyl-glyceride (triglycerides). The muscle then "burns" this on site for a lot of energy. My 2000 decade co-villagers relied on tubers (carbohydrate); one reputedly closing in on 100 years regularly walked many kilometers.

  • thehurricane

    2/4/2011 6:59:00 PM |

    That pretty much sums it up...  I love this blog.

  • thehurricane

    2/4/2011 7:01:03 PM |

    It might be repetitive but he does update his blog EVERY day... this in addition to being a doctor, husband, parent.  The fact is that wheat really is so destructive and addictive for some people that it's worth repeating every day.  
    Keep at it Doc and I am looking forward to your book!

  • Patricia D.

    2/4/2011 7:50:30 PM |

    Regarding the connection between Urinary incontinence and wheat ...

    A connection has also been noted between Vitamin D3 deficiency and urinary incontinence.  There was a study from SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, N.Y from March 2010:

    I began to optimize my VD3 levels late in 2009 and this was one of the first benefits I realized - within a few months this situation had improved dramatically for me.  

    Then we started to cut way back on our wheat consumption in the fall of last year.

    It would be hard at this point for me to determine that having cut back on wheat is also having an impact - but there has been no obvious improvement.  Perhaps complete wheat elimination would have a more telling effect - but I do feel my situation now is near normal, whereas before it was an inconvenient problem of considerable concern.

  • Patricia D.

    2/4/2011 8:02:49 PM |

    I know Dr. Davis did some baking (experiments) with Einkorn wheat.  I've found a few other sites for "heirloom wheat" flours ....
    Anson Mills:
    and ...
    Kamut: Ancient Grain in Modern Times:

    ... and I'm sure there are more.

    These grains also predate the dwarf wheat mutant, and I wonder if anyone here has any experience with these flours?

    I now consider that cutting back on wheat consumption is a lifestyle choice for us and we won't be going back.  But I do occasionally bake a cake, or use a bit of flour to thicken a sauce, and sometimes bake bread.  

    I would like to have an alternate flour in the house that I feel comfortable cooking with.

  • paleoish

    2/5/2011 1:10:12 AM |

    Dr Davis, you have the patience of a saint to humour anonymous coward(s). I DO like reading the reminders of how bad wheat is, because people like me with ambiguous symptoms may or may not ever get a diagnosis of gluten intolerance or celiac disease. My last wheat cheat involved blood, so it's very possible that I have CD, but I dread the diagnostic process. Either way, it is emotionally draining to swim against the tide! Your posts help keep me on the straight and narrow.

    Doc, are there any references or further info on the issue of wheat triggering bipolar manic episodes? I'm having a major "a-ha" moment over this one. I'd love to read more about it. I've been reading your blog and that of Dr Emily for a while, and I don't recall seeing any info on that. Pardon me if I missed it.

  • Kevin

    2/5/2011 8:18:07 PM |

    I can't give up wheat products.  Because if this website I've drastically reduced my intake but haven't been able to make a total break.  Dr D's continual wheat-is-bad theme is pushing me toward my goal.  I do not want him to change this web's focus.  Without it I'd probably revert.  


  • skcubrats

    2/9/2011 2:26:15 AM |

    Aren't corn and soybeans just as bad?  I thought he was going to end up with corn.  Remember, 95% aren't eating enough whole grains!  Zero is enough for me!

  • Josh

    2/9/2011 2:51:15 PM |

    Chaim -

    Shalom!  If you make your own hallah try to find some emmer or einkorn and see if that helps.

    If not try making sourdough, since at least the phytic acid is removed by the fermenation.

    It is possible that many Jews are not as sensitive to wheat since we have been eating it for a long time (of cource that was einkorn and emmer).

    Keep in mind you only need to eat a cbeya to wash with a bracha and czayit to bench on.  That's 2oz of bread - really not such a big deal if you're not eating wheat the rest of the week.

    I will also point out that Abraham served cream, butter, and organ meats to his guests.

Do your part to save on healthcare costs

Do your part to save on healthcare costs

While many of the factors that drive the relentless increase in health care costs are beyond individual control, you are still able to exert personal influence over costs. Just as in political elections, your one vote alone may not count; it's the collective effort of many people who share similar opinions that results in real change.

I just got the new monthly premium for my high-deductible health insurance: Up $300 per month, putting my family's total premium over $2000 per month---for four healthy people. (My son fractured his wrist playing high school hockey earlier this year; that may explain at least some of the increase.)

I'm going to shop around for a better deal. However, shopping is likely to only stall the process. It will not address the systemic problems with healthcare that continue to drive premiums up and up and up.

So what can you do to help keep costs down? Here are a few thoughts:

Never accept a prescription for fish oil, i.e., Lovaza. Just buy far less costly over-the-counter fish oil. I treat complex hyperlipidemias, including familial hypertriglyceridemia, ever day. I NEVER use prescription fish oil. A typical 4 capsule per day Lovaza prescription adds around $280 to $520 per month to overall health costs (though your direct out-of-pocket costs may be less, since you shove the costs onto others in your plan).

Never accept a prescription for vitamin D. Prescription vitamin D is the mushroom or invertebrate form anyway. Just buy the human (cholecalciferol, D3) form from your health food store or "big box" store. They yield consistent increases in 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels, superior to the prescription form. And they're wonderfully inexpensive.

Eliminate wheat from your diet. If there is a dietary strategy that yields unexpected and outsized benefits across a wide spectrum of health, it's elimination of this thing we're sold called "wheat," you know, the genetically-transformed, high-yield dwarf mutant that now represents 99% of all wheat sold. Blood sugar drops, pre-diabetics become non-prediabetics, diabetics reduce need for medication or become non-diabetic, cholesterol values plummet, arthritis improves, acid reflux and irritable bowel symptoms improve or disappear, just to mention a few. Wheat elimination alone, I believe, would result in incalculable savings in both healthcare costs and lives saved.

Be sure to obtain iodine. In the fuss to cut salt use, everyone forgot about iodine. Lack of iodine leads to thyroid disease, usually hypothyroidism, that, in turn, causes cholesterol values to increase, weight to increase, and heart disease risk to double, triple, or quadruple. Iodine supplementation is easy and wonderfully inexpensive.

Over time, I hope that all of us can help develop the effort to self-direct more and more of our own health. Our Track Your Plaque program has shown me that, not only can people take the initiative to direct aspects of their own health, they can do it better than 99% of doctors.  

I'm sure there are many, many other ways to help reduce costs. Any suggestions?

Comments (37) -

  • Chuck

    12/13/2010 4:07:49 AM |

    don't rush to the doctor for every sniffle, sneeze, bump or bruise.  too many see their doctors way too often.  also, don't rush to the ER everytime your kid cries for more than 60 seconds.

    get a plan that has a health savings account.  these typically have a very high deductible ($250 per individual) and cover one check up per year.  a lot of health care costs end up being out of pocket.  makes you think twice about frivolous health care expenditures.  also causes you to want to be a healthier person.

  • Patty

    12/13/2010 4:14:31 AM |

    Our premium for our the highest deductible option we could get health insurance, for 2 adults, went up $500. And neither of us have had any medical procedures, we take no prescriptions, and never even entered a doctor's office last year.  At some point, it's no longer's highway robbery.  

    And we eliminated all grains from our diet earlier this year, so hopefully we will go another year without needing a doctor.  Really makes it hard to keeping paying that premium...

  • Ailu

    12/13/2010 4:57:49 AM |

    You are so right... it's crazy.  Our insurance premiums got so high we couldn't pay our other bills.. our deductible was $9800.  Add to that our regular Dr. bills and it was insane.  

    The clincher was when the naturalist lady down the street was dying of malignant melanoma. It had reached her lymph nodes.  Her family told me the drs insisted on operating to take them out, plus chemo.  But what does this crazy lady do?  She says "no way, I'm gonna go the natural route".  I mean, this lady is DYING.  She even smells like death.  Three weeks later I see her at the grocery store, and she looks like she just came from the gym.  "My goodness, you look so much better! What have you been doing?" She says "Oh, eating a lot of greens, I am so sick of greens! But it's keeping my PH between 7.2 & 7.4.  My naturopath said hardly no one dies of cancer, they just die of acidosis." It's now 3 months later, and the woman is running around like a teenager.  

    Well this was always my great fear. Cancer - w/o insurance. So now, I ask myself, why the heck am I going broke trying to pay for this insurance?  Stick a fork in me, I'm done. Feed me some greens.

  • terrence

    12/13/2010 5:01:06 AM |

    Come you guys, Saint Obama FIXED the American Health Care System. Didn't he... He really did, didn't he - he SAID he would...

  • Anonymous

    12/13/2010 6:37:50 AM |

    Dr. Davis, you forgot to mention that another big saver is never to buy prescription Niaspan, but instead buy over the counter Slo-Niacin or Endur-acin.

    One other big money saver is to invest in a pill cutter as most drugs cost the same for all dosage options. Have your Doc double your dosage and then just cut the pills in half and save 50% right off the bat.

  • Hans Keer

    12/13/2010 7:20:55 AM |

    I would say, start living a low-carb paleo lifestyle and you won't need supplementation and medical care (except from healing that wrist Smile ) at all. How do you do this?

  • Anne

    12/13/2010 8:41:56 AM |

    I really enjoy this blog and have got a lot of useful information from it over the years. But goodness, I know for sure that America is a dreadful place to live for health care ! I feel much safer in the United Kingdom where I know I get an excellent service from the National Health Service.

    Also, vitamin D3, oil based cholecalciferol, has recently become available here on prescription. It's a German manufacture called Dekristol and is good value - 50 capsules of 20,000 IU each costs about £20 to the NHS (l£7.20 directly to the patient). That's cheaper than any health food shop over here !

  • Dr. William Davis

    12/13/2010 1:01:20 PM |

    Yes, no Niaspan! That one completely slipped my mind.

    I used to be the largest prescriber of Niaspan in Wisconsin. Now I use Sloniacin or Enduracin exclusively. Compared to about $150-$170 per month for two tablets of Niaspan, the equivalent quantity of Sloniacin or Enduracin costs around $8.

    Thanks for reminding me, Anon.

  • Dr. William Davis

    12/13/2010 1:03:16 PM |

    Hi, Chuck-- Yes, indeed. In fact, that is probably what I am going to do personally.

    Hi, Patty--I've had that same impulse. Unfortunately, one hospitalization is enough to bankrupt most people, or at least strip you of all your savings and retirement money. That's yet another part of the story.

  • Roger

    12/13/2010 1:21:26 PM |

    I won't go to doctors that overcharge the insurance company. I changed plans and needed a refill of Flonase, which my previous doctor prescribed for hay fever. My new doctor wouldn't write the prescription unless I came in for an office visit, for which he billed the insursance company $500. He used the time to pitch his surgery services, saying if I was ever in the hospital and needed surgery, I could request him. I signed up for a different doctor.

  • Chuck

    12/13/2010 1:24:29 PM |

    i apologize if i mislead anyone.  our deductible is $2500 per indvidual not $250.  our family of 4 max is $3500.  once we reach that for the year for everyone, we have no more out of pocket.  the most we have spent out of pocket in a year (3 years on the plan) is about $500.  we have been fortunate.

  • Chris

    12/13/2010 2:41:23 PM |

    Unfortunately, I train a client whose doc insists he take niaspan and not an over the counter prep, even regular niacin, which I personally take. Even with insurance it still costs him $60.00 a month.

  • Judy B

    12/13/2010 3:18:44 PM |

    My husband and I try to avoid doctors except when it's absolutely necessary! We have found that eating low-carb and supplementing with D3, kelp, etc. that we are rarely ill.

  • Ken

    12/13/2010 3:33:38 PM |

    Dr. Davis
    Great advice! I am a midwestern hospital CEO, we employ about 2000 people. I had meetings recently to discuss next year's health plan changes and told everyone this stunning fact: 1% of our staff account for 35% of our plan expenses!
    I see little evidence of motivation to change behaviors. Like most Americans they are going to come to a doctor like you and want a pill to fix it.
    Keep up the good work

  • Anonymous

    12/13/2010 4:01:12 PM |

    In our company's employee benefits meeting last week, after they announced premium increases one of my buddies blurted out, "Hey, I'm on Obama-care.  Aren't you supposed to be paying me now?"  Pretty funny.

  • Anonymous

    12/13/2010 6:28:42 PM |

    exercise - even walking a few miles a day makes you healthier (1000 steps equals one mile) - eliminate the gym membership and do your own housework, gardening to stretch and strain a little for free

  • donna

    12/13/2010 6:29:00 PM |

    Don't know if this is helpful, but just ran across it:

  • Anonymous

    12/13/2010 8:06:12 PM |

    What is the best way to supplement iodine and how much?  Since cutting Mortons for sea salt I am sure I am not getting Iodine (except in occasional shell fish)  Any suggestions?  BTW my T4 Thyroxine was way below the reference range last visit to the DR.

  • Anonymous

    12/13/2010 9:37:43 PM |

    Agree with most of your recommendations, but not sure iodine supplementation is the best idea:

  • Lori Miller

    12/14/2010 1:26:54 AM |

    Two words: Google Scholar. A lot of my former health problems were due to lack of vitamins and poor absorption. The medical papers and abstracts there helped me figure out why I wasn't absorbing them and what to do about it. Eliminating grain helps with this--grain is full of anti-nutrients. There have been a lot of other little things I've done to help absorb them.

    As for walking, I suppose 1000 steps equals a mile if you take 5'-3" steps.

  • Anonymous

    12/14/2010 2:01:41 AM |

    Ken says:
    "1% of our staff account for 35% of our plan expenses"
    Is it possible that they are sicker? I mean of no fault of their own making?
    "I see little evidence of motivation to change behaviors. Like most Americans they are going to come to a doctor like you and want a pill to fix it"
    Don't get me started on this one.
    BTW, Ken, what is your salary as a CEO? Isn't it driving the cost of health care?
    Well, Americans who think that universal health care equals "socialism," that history is dead, that "the rich are rich because they deserve to be rich," that an illiterate apparatchik (sorry, manager) can one day be  president of an university and another - CEO of some steel plant and yes, that life is simple and "it's up to you - to be healthy or not among other things" are getting what they  probably deserve. Yes, of course, there countless innocent victims, sadly the most sophisticated and decent.

  • Daniel A. Clinton, RN, BSN

    12/14/2010 5:02:00 AM |

    These suggestions all make sense, and will do absolutely nothing. The bottom line is that the United States spend 17.6% of our gross domestic product on healthcare (the highest % of GDP of any country in the world) to the tune of 2.5 trillion dollars. Until we remove profit from the equation and recognize that access to healthcare is a fundamental, universal right of every citizen in the year 2010, and establish a universal government-run healthcare plan, these suggestions will do nothing. They won't actually generate healthcare savings; they'll add profit to those who allow 44,789 Americans to needlessly die every year to preserve the perverse private insurer system that torments our country.

  • Anonymous

    12/14/2010 5:03:35 AM |

    I'd like to know where you keep getting the idea that wheat is genetically modified. None of the commercially available wheat is genetically modified. The varieties we have on the market are the result of selecting breeding practices. Selective breeding is not the same as genetic modification in scientific terms. Furthermore, hybridisation of varieties is not genetic modification, it occurs naturally. Here is an exert from one of my recent publications:

    The BBAADD genome was derived by hybridisation of a female tetraploid (2n = 4x = 28; genome BBAA) and a male diploid [Triticum tauschii L. (2n = 2x = 14; genome DD)] (Kihar 1944; McFadden and Sears 1944, 1946a, b; Kimber and Feldman 1987; Kimber and Sears 1987; Dvorak et al. 1998). The A genome originated from Triticum urartu L., while Aegilops speltoides L. is reportedly the donor of the B genome for both tetraploid and hexaploid wheats (Dvorak et al. 1988; Wang et al. 1997).

  • Paul

    12/14/2010 6:04:53 AM |

    "What is the best way to supplement iodine and how much?" - anonymous

    Judy B. gave you a hint... kelp.  It has the highest amount of iodine of any natural dietary source, AFAIK. I buy the dry powder form sold by Now Foods.  An 8oz. bottle only costs me $4 and lasts six months... not bad.

    A quarter teaspoon has 300 mcg (200% DV) of iodine, so that's what I put in my little BCAA/whey protein shake every morning to ward off any thyroid problems, and so far so good at 50 y.o.  However, you may need a much different dosage protcol if you already have thyroid problems.  Dr. Davis has some blog posts on the subject.

  • Dr. William Davis

    12/14/2010 12:44:38 PM |

    Anonymous about wheat's genetic profile:

    1) You're off topic here.

    2) Nonetheless, I've never said that genetic modification yielded modern wheat. It has been the extensive hybridizations that have yielded this modern monstrosity called "wheat," the hexaploid dwarf that makes millions sick.

    However, I suspect that this argument only matters to people who work in the wheat-generating industry. Who gives a damn how it was created if you have a debilitating illness from it?

  • kris

    12/14/2010 3:25:39 PM |

    I too have gone to the high deductible health care plan. It is a 10,000 deductible for each member but gives you a free annual exam with some standard bloodwork. Also gives a free gynecological exam, mamogram and pap test for women. An interesting difference with these policies is that they give you unlimited prescription coverage once you meet deductible where as prescription coverage on most taps out at $2000, a lot of which you paid for with prescription coverage. There are lower deductibles. With the $10,000 deductible, I pay around $370 per month for my husband and myself and opted to put my son on full coverage since it is so inexpensive for a young person.

  • Peter

    12/14/2010 4:10:47 PM |

    Since I've been following your advice my LDL has shot up, and a bunch of other markers are all improved: CRP, HgA1c, triglycerides, HDL, fasting glucose.  How can I tell if this is a good trade or a bad one?

  • Might-o'chondri-AL

    12/15/2010 2:17:42 AM |

    Iodine from the seaweed Kombu, Laminaria japonica gets stewed into anything you cook with it.
    Take a small piece, say an inch square and simmer it for extraction. Dr. Davis probably ate it as Dashi when a boy.

    Don't bother swallowing the cooked seaweed; you'll need unique genetics to digest it's poly-saccharide. Kombu has, among other good things, arsenate.

    Kelp digestability raw is dubious; maybe the surface iodine could dissolve for you. And kelp, which can incorporate arsenic, does not contain arsenate; which is what binds to arsenic to keep it from bio-availability.

  • Anonymous

    12/15/2010 5:05:35 AM |

    Rachael Ray on CBS today once again was pushing whole grains (especially wheat) as an important dietary component which “has been shown to reduce cholesterol 25%”. She doesn’t explain what type of cholesterol, nor provide her sources. This woman has done this often enough that I suspect she’s getting paid off by the industry.

  • Anonymous

    12/15/2010 6:45:11 AM |

    I quit Lovaza after I learned of the absurd mark-up. Life Extension seems to work fine.  I recently added niacin (rotten triglycerides and low HDL). I had tried the flush free junk for over a year. Now I use plain old immediate release Rugby, which runs about $20 a year at 1 gram a day. That would buy maybe four days worth of Niaspan. My next project is switching from Androgel to compounded testosterone. I have good insurance but it's insane that someone is paying $13,000 a year for a few hundred dollars worth of raw material and no real research innovation.

  • Anonymous

    12/16/2010 3:23:59 AM |

    I haven't seen a doctor in years. They won't give me herbs or real medicine - all they offer is toxic drugs. Conventional doctors are the enemy. They test for things behind your back and are essentially agents of the government. All medical information is used against you. Doctors hate me, because I won't go along with their way of doing things. They won't test vitamin D, hormones, or anything else I'm interested in. Doctors are very interested in my vaccinations and alcohol and illegal drug use, however. Marijuana is legal in my state for medical use, but I'd probably have to be on my deathbed to get a prescription from a regular doctor in this state. But they are more than happy to write a script for a toxic anti-depressant.

  • Anonymous

    12/16/2010 3:41:05 AM |

    Anonymous - For iodine, I use kelp capsules from Nature's Way and also Life Extension Sea-iodine capsules. My thyroid seems fine, so I guess they work for me. I average about 800 mcg iodine daily.

  • Anonymous

    12/18/2010 6:19:26 PM |

    Sorry, doc, but your advice really isn't entirely accurate.  Lovaza may only cost some patients a 30 buck copay per month which may be less than the cost of the appropriate dose of OTC fish oil if one takes it in the proper dose (which may be 8-10 caps per day as opposed to 2 BID of Lovaza).  Speaking of which compliance is therefore better with Lovaza too.  Personally, Walmart fish oil gives me terrible reflux and heartburn while I can't even tell I'm taking Lovaza.  Also, D2 in the form of prescription ergocalciferol is generic and the dose is 50000 Units per month at a cost of 15-20 bucks per year which is cheaper than D3 OTC.  There is also some reason to believe that D2 is more effective than OTC D3.  Cost efficient care needs to be individualized.  I am a physician and try to provide my patients with good medical advice that is cost effective as well.  And, BTW, I have no connections to the drug industry.

  • Dr. William Davis

    12/18/2010 9:40:34 PM |

    Anonymous Doc--

    Wow. Your comments are so far from the truth that I don't know where to start.

    If you read many of the previous posts on this blog, I hope you will see how far out of touch your comments are. D2 better than D3? Since when is the mushroom or invertebrate form of anything better than the real HUMAN form?

    Note that the discussion is how to save money for the overall system, not just keep more money in your pocket.

    Next time leave a name.

  • Chuck

    12/19/2010 2:54:13 PM |

    call me ignorant because i am not certain of this answer.  if the patient has a copay of say $30 on a prescription does the insurance also pay a certain amount for that prescription?

  • Dr. William Davis

    12/19/2010 3:10:01 PM |

    Yes, indeed, Chuck.

    Insurance will then cover another $100 or so. This is the cost we all bear through our health insurance premiums. This money goes straight into the pocket of GlaxoSmithKline, who are presently salivating over the great print-more-money franchise they have, thanks to the ignorance of the American public.

    I find it incredible that here and in related posts people have made comments like "So what? My insurance covers Lovaza." That is precisely the point: We all share the costs eventually, copay or no, with crippling health insurance premiums, while the drug industry makes out like bandits.

    How about a fly-the-entire-sales-force-to-the-Bahamas sales meeting this year?

  • Anonymous

    12/19/2010 5:53:32 PM |

    What's up with the coconut picture at the head of this blog?

    I searched and didn't find any posting about coconuts...

    Personally I have a severe coconut addiction and the picture flares it further.