What is Cureality all about?

“Looking over your medical record, Nancy, I’m a bit concerned about your risk for osteoporosis and hip fracture. It looks like your mom had a hip fracture at age 67. Is that right? ”

“Yes, she did,” Nancy responded. “And her life was never quite the same for the 15 years she lived after that.

“You’re 53 year old. Bone thinning develops over many years. Let’s get you scheduled for a bone scan.”

Two weeks later:

“Your z-score is 1.5, Nancy. This means you’ve got a mild form of osteoporosis called ‘osteopenia.’ Here: This is a prescription for alendronate, what used to be called Fosamax.”

“Aren’t there side-effects with that drug? A friend of mine said that her mom had a leg fracture from it.”

“Well, yes. All prescription drugs have potential side-effects. They’re rare, but they can happen and we can’t predict it. Besides leg fracture, there’s something called jaw osteonecrosis in which the jawbone dies and has to be surgically replaced. But would you rather run the risk of a hip fracture?”

“Before we jump to drugs, aren’t there natural things I could do first?”

(Big sigh.) “You can take calcium, but that only helps a bit. You’ve got to make a choice: Take the drug or risk a hip fracture.”

“I’m going to explore some natural remedies on my own first.”

Nancy’s dialogue with her doctor is fictional but based on similar encounters that occur thousands of times every day nationwide. Identify a problem, prescribe a drug. Natural remedies? “They don’t work.” “I don’t know anything about that.” “None of that is proven.” “I only practice evidence-based medicine.” You’ve probably heard a few of these explanations yourself if you ever question the wisdom of conventional medical care.

Each of Nancy’s fictitious interactions were no more 10 minutes long. If she is like most people, she will have one or two such interactions over the course of a year, unless she develops some acute illness. So she’s got something like 20-30 minutes per year to compress all of her “health” advice into the time allotted. 20-30 minutes per year to discuss bone health, nutrition, blood sugar issues, cholesterol issues, blood pressure, female issues, and all the other facets of health. Perhaps she has developed some chronic gastrointestinal complaints, too, and an odd rash on her elbows, maybe headaches a few times per week that she didn’t have before. Regardless, she’s going to have to make do with those few minutes, likely receiving one or more prescriptions or imaging procedures for each.

Such is the nature of modern healthcare: Provide the minimum interaction, address only a few, perhaps no more than one, problem, then prescribe a drug. This is, more often than not, wrong. Plain wrong. Tragically, awfully, unethically, unnecessarily wrong.

Let’s pick up again with Nancy. Upon learning of her osteopenia and long-term risk for hip fractures of the sort that changed her mom’s life and health irretrievably, Nancy started searching for solutions. Not only did she discover that, yes, there are indeed a number of safe and effective ways to deal with osteopenia. She also learned that such strategies have even been examined in clinical trials, some of the strategies pitted head-to-head with drugs and performed on a par, sometimes better, than prescription drugs. She also found that there are online communities that she could join and discuss her health situation with people all sharing the same health interests. During one such interaction at the start of her effort, when she was still a bit unsure and tentative, a woman she didn’t know but who shared a similar interest in restoring bone health, commented to Nancy, “Don’t sweat it, Nancy. I was in your shoes a little over a year ago. I followed a program for bone health: vitamin D, vitamin K2, magnesium, I made sure that I included leafy green vegetables at least once or twice per day, and I added strength training for a few minutes twice per week. I started with osteoporosis. My most recent bone density test showed that I reversed it completely—it’s entirely normal! So hang in there and be sure to share your questions and concerns with us here.”

THAT is what Cureality is all about. Cureality fills the gap of knowledge in health that is not being provided in a few minute-long medical interaction. Cureality reveals the astounding amount of credible, safe, scientific information that allows you to participate, sometimes take over completely, various aspects of health. You don’t have to fire your doctor; these efforts supplement the information and advice you obtain (or don’t obtain) in the doctor’s office. While critics may sometimes say that this can be dangerous or that misdiagnoses and dangerous treatments might be risked, our experience is the exact opposite: People do better by taking the reins of health themselves, choosing to use the health care system for acute or catastrophic illness—but not necessarily for health.

Our fictional woman, Nancy, returns to her doctor one year later after undergoing a repeat bone scan. The doctor opened her chart, clearly expecting to scold her for her foolhardy and careless attitude. Instead, he was speechless. After a pause, he said, “I don’t know how you did it, but your bone density is now normal, the density of a healthy 30-year old woman. Just continue doing what you’re doing.” He closed the chart and walked out.

Yes: “Just continue what you are doing”—not “Please tell me what you did so that I might learn something new,” or “Where did you learn about such strategies? I knew nothing about this!” Just “do what you’re doing.” Too often, that is the response you get that defines what modern health care has become.

You don’t want that kind of health care. Sure, it’s reassuring to know that the doctor and hospital are there in case you injure yourself or develop pneumonia. But obtain day-to-day health advice of the sort that keeps you slender, keeps blood pressure normal, maintains normal insulin and blood pressure responses, helps keep bowel health ideal, can even be used to reverse conditions such as autoimmune joint pain, diabetes, osteoporosis, or skin rashes, while costing next to nothing and yielding health care benefits for you and your family in multiple areas of health? That is the kind of health care you want.

That’s why we developed Cureality.

William Davis, MD
Author of 
#1 New York Times Bestseller Wheat Belly: Lose the wheat, lose the weight and find your path back to health, The Wheat Belly Cookbook, and Wheat Belly 30-Minute (or Less!) Cookbook published by Rodale, Inc.  
Author, Track Your Plaque: The only heart disease prevention program that shows how the new CT heart scans can be used to detect, track, and control coronary plaque
Dreamfields pasta is wheat

Dreamfields pasta is wheat

An active question on the blogosphere and elsewhere is whether Dreamfields pasta is truly low-carb. Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt of Diet Doctor detailed his high blood glucose experience with it. Jimmy Moore of Livin' La Vida Low Carb had a similar experience, observing virtually no difference when compared to conventional pasta.

The Dreamfields people make the claim that "Dreamfields' patent-pending recipe and manufacturing process protects all but 5 grams of the carbohydrates per serving from being digested and therefore lessens post-meal blood glucose rise as compared to traditional pasta." They call the modified carbohydrates "protected" carbs.

In other words, they are making the claim that they've somehow modified the amylopectin A and amylose molecules in durum wheat flour to inhibit conversion to glucose.

I'd like to add something to the conversation: Dreamfields pasta is wheat. It is a graphic demonstration that, no matter how you cut it, press it, sauce it up, "protect" it, it's all the same thing: wheat. (It reminds me of a bad girlfriend I had in my 20s: She'd put on makeup, a pretty dress, I'd take her out someplace nice . . . She was still an annoying person who whined about everything.)

Wheat is more than a carbohydrate. It is also a collection of over 1000 proteins, including gliadins, glutens, and glutenins. Gliadins, for instance, are degraded to polypeptide exorphins that underlie the addictive potential of wheat, as well as its withdrawal phenomenon on halting consumption. Gliadin-derived exorphins are also the triggers of auditory hallucinations and paranoid delusions in schizophrenia, as well as behavioral outbursts in children with ADHD and autism.

Wheat is a source of lectins that have the curious effect of "unlocking" the proteins of the intestinal lining, the oddly-named "zonulin" proteins, that protect you from ingested foreign molecules. Ingest wheat lectins and all manner of foreign molecules gain entry into your bloodstream. Cholera works by a similar mechanism. (How about a love story: Bread in the time of cholera?)

Glutens, of course, are responsible for triggering celiac disease, the devastating small intestinal disease that now afflicts 3 million Americans, although 2.7 million don't even know it. Glutens are also responsible for neurologic conditions like cerebellar ataxia, peripheral neuropathy, and dementia ("gluten encephalopathy") and the skin condition, dermatitis herpetiformis.

Then there are the conditions for which the active wheat components have not been identified, including acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, asthma (excepting "bakers' asthma), rheumatoid arthritis, edema and fluid retention, and a long list of skin conditions from alopecia to gangrene.

My point: Yeah, Dreamfields pastas, from these instructive experiences, acts a lot like conventional durum wheat pasta. But, even if Dreamfields or somebody else perfects the low-carb aspect of it, it's still wheat. Modern wheat is the genetically tarted-up version of Triticum aestivum, the product of genetic shenanigans from the 1960s and 1970s.

Comments (11) -

  • Andrés

    5/28/2011 4:21:50 PM |

    Thanks for your work!

    I am not enrolled yet on track-your-plaque but I have read thoroughly your blog.

    I know you felt a different reaction to einkorn (diploid) to triticum (hexaploid), hence I wonder: have you (or any one around here, by the way) done some check yourself on durum (tetraploid)?

    I confess I am trying to cut back carbohydrates and pumping up fat, focusing specially on reducing triticum to a minimum (I favor a 60%-rye-40%-durum bread, since I "need" something to support my Gorgonsola and hard cheeses)  and am curious about the hardness about other branches of wheat (at least I found a paper about gluten seeming less aggressive on durum).


  • ceara sullivan

    5/29/2011 9:25:24 PM |

    Getting off wheat is very difficult for some of us. When we started a low-carb diet, we also eliminated wheat, rye, barley, and oats. And, of course, sugars in their various forms.

    My husband had no problems just quitting. I had to "step down" slowly or I became quite ill. From food.  Or rather, "food".

    We stil eat (very limitedly) legumes, rice (in the form of poha), and corn (as grits or as tacos). We don't have any of these in combination, however. IOW, on a day we have rice, we don't have the other two.

    If we cut those out entirely we'd lose weight more quickly I'm sure. However, this is working so far. Slow going but doable.

    A striking experience: after 25 years' smoking, being overweight, and a huge family history of vascular blockage in all my parents' sibs, I had the scan done a few years ago. The cardiologist who read my scan gave me a clean bill of health. My chances of a cardiac "incident" in the next five years was two percent. That was at age 65. I'm still amazed.

    So-called 'pre'-diabetes has reared its ugly head. I insisted on an (hb)A1c test last year and it came back at 5.8, much to my doc's surprise (but not mine). The next test, six months later, was 5.6 . I'll be interested to see if my weight loss has made a difference when it's time for the third one.

    It's great to be rid of wheat, but what a crime they have perpetrated on all of us. My grandson died at age 28, "heart problems". He was obese and addicted to wheat.

  • Alec

    5/31/2011 2:37:40 PM |

    This reminds me of the "Molecularly Baked" products they used to sell on the Zone Diet website. Absolute crap- lots of wheat combined with wheat protein (gluten?) and processed soy crap. Blah!

  • Dr. William Davis

    5/31/2011 4:07:29 PM |

    Hi, Andres--

    For all practical purposes, pasta made with durum wheat is still wheat. Semolina, durum, spelt, whole grain, multigrain, etc., it still remains essentially wheat. Pasta from durum, for instance, triggers sustained high blood sugars after consumption with all of the undesirable consequences that brings.

  • Abhi

    5/31/2011 5:45:57 PM |

    Dear Dr Davis,
    I love your blog!
    How do you compare this with the "Einkorn" (Jovial) pasta that you had tried and even blogged about.

  • Alan D

    5/31/2011 8:42:43 PM |

    My experience with Einkorn pasta was a very small rise in blood sugar tested an hour and two hours after eating. I cooked the spaghetti and also the penne with tomato and garlic and olive oil. With regular wheat pasta my bg is 130-180. With Einkorn Jovial brand  it was barely over 100. I suspect everyone is a bit different though and some may have different results.

  • Dr. William Davis

    5/31/2011 11:17:49 PM |

    Abhi and Alan raise an important point: Einkorn is wheat, but it, I believe, far less destructive than modern Triticum aestivum, especially the dwarf variant product of genetics research.

    Einkorn is not entirely benign. After all, celiac disease was described even in the 1st century A.D. However, given a choice between modern low-carb Triticum aestivum or durum equivalents and einkorn, I would choose the einkorn, hands down.

  • Andrés

    6/2/2011 10:58:01 AM |

    Thanks for your answer!

    Well, I will try to reduce my durum intake also, then. I am now experimenting with breakfast without bread: I do an omelet with two eggs (three was a little too much a company to my white coffee), Gorgonzola and butter (I am still not convinced about the AGE issue).


  • Ingrown Toenail Remedies

    6/2/2011 11:08:07 AM |

    I’m a new reader and have been very impressed with your recent posts and thought to drop a friendly note. It is really a great information indeed. Waiting for more posts, is there a way to subscribe to your blog via email?

  • JT

    6/12/2011 5:12:58 PM |

    just tried a plate full of Dreamfield pasta with chicken cachitori sauce and it raised my BG to only 104 after an hour.

    I wonder it Dreamfield affects people differnetly

  • Nancy

    12/21/2011 9:27:07 PM |

    How the pasta is prepared is important to its effect on BG.  It can't be sitting around very long in a sauce, especially tomato, before the "protective coating" disintegrates.  Boil in water, drain, then put on sauce and eat.  Do not cook the pasta with sauce.  Do not store leftover pasta mixed with sauce.  Or just don't eat it at all.