Self-directed health: At-home lab testing

I have a prediction.

I predict that more and more healthcare can and will be obtained directly by the individual--without doctors, without hospitals, without the corrupt profit-at-any-costs modus operandi of the pharmaceutical industry. I predict that, given the right tools, Joe or Jane Q. Public will have the choice to manage his or her own health using tools that are directly accessible, tools that include direct-to-consumer medical imaging (CT scans, ultrasound, MRI, etc.), nutritional supplements (a loosely-defined term, to our advantage), and direct-to-consumer laboratory testing.

Done responsibly, self-directed healthcare is superior to healthcare from your doctor. While no one expects you to remove your own gallbladder, you can manage cholesterol, blood sugar issues, vitamin D, low thyroid, and others--better than your doctor.

As everyone becomes more comfortable with the notion of self-directed health, you will see new services appear that help individuals manage their health. You will see prices for direct-to-consumer medical imaging and lab testing drop due to competition, something that doesn't happen in current insurance-based healthcare delivery. People are being exposed to larger deductibles and/or draw money from a medical savings account and will seek more cost advantages. Such direct-to-consumer competitive pricing will meet those needs. Overall, the presently unsustainable cost of healthcare will decline.

To help accelerate the shift of human healthcare away from conventional paths and divert it towards the individual, we have launched a panel of direct-to-consumer at-home laboratory tests that we are making available on the Track Your Plaque website.

On your own (except in California, which requires a doctor's order or prescription; and NY, the only state in the nation that prohibits entirely), you can now test, in the comfort of your own home with no laboratory blood draw required, parameters including:

--Thyroid tests--Free T3, free T4, TSH
--Lipids
--C-reactive protein
--Vitamin D
--Testosterone
--Progesterone

and others.

As the technology improves, more tests will become available for testing at home. (Lipoproteins are not yet available, but will probably be available within the next few years. That would be an enormous boon to those of us interested in supercharged heart disease prevention and reversal.)

Anyone interested in our at-home testing can just go to the Track Your Plaque lab test Marketplace.

When I first began the Track Your Plaque program around 8 years ago, I saw it as a way for people to learn how to control or reverse coronary atherosclerotic plaque, and I'd hoped that physicians would begin to see the light and become patient advocates in this process. But I have lost hope that most of my colleagues are interested in becoming your advocate in health. They are too locked into the "call me when you hurt" mentality. I now see Track Your Plaque as a way for people to seize control over coronary plaque with minimal assistance from their doctors. Indeed, some of our Members have achieved reduction of their plaque in spite of their doctors.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of what's to come. Brace yourself for a cataclysmic shift in returning health to you and away from those who would profit from your misfortune.

Comments (20) -

  • Jenny

    3/29/2009 4:14:00 PM |

    Dr. Davis,

    As someone who has used home A1c tests and home Cholesterol tests and found them to produce results so far off lab test results as to be worthless, I wondered if you could show us the data about the accuracy of these tests, some quite expensive, compared to tests run at a hospital lab.

    For example, the home A1c tests told you that the result was accurate to between plus or minus .5%, but you didn't learn this until you'd purchased the test, and that margin made the test useless to those of us who control our blood sugars. There is a huge difference between 6.0% and 7.0% but it was possible to have an actual, lab 6.5% and get either result with that home test.

    So what are the margins of error in the tests you provide?

  • JPB

    3/29/2009 4:23:00 PM |

    Excellent post!  I totally agree with your prediction but there are several things that will need to happen for it to occur:

    1.  People will need to take responsibility for their own health and decisions regarding maintaining that health.
    2.  The correct information needs to be available.  The amount of bad info and bias in nutritional recommendations is unbelievable plus the drug companies have been busy promoting and selling products that have questionable benefits at best.
    3.  The for-profit model of medical care must be abandoned. It is obscene for someone to profit from another person's medical problems. (I am not talking about paying decent salaries to doctors and medical care workers but rather, profits to shareholders and top executives.)  

    Our current medical care system is a disgrace but there will be many howls of protest from the vested interests when these changes are even suggested.  Unfortunately this system will fail unless reforms are made.  We cannot afford the relentless rise in costs anymore nor the overall deterioration of our citizens' health!

  • Anonymous

    3/29/2009 9:59:00 PM |

    I agree that this will catch on. Costs for self-directed testing are already coming down due to laboratory competition, and will fall even further with the rise of home testing.

    I think that taking control of your diet and overall health, a la Track Your Plaque, naturally leads to a desire for more information, without the added hassle and cost (and potentially, resistance or refusal) of a doctor's involvement up-front.

    How lucky am I then, to have moved from New York, where your home testing is not available, to California, where it's also not available.

    Fortunately, there are alternatives, at least in California, such as www.directlabs.com, www.mymedlab.com and www.medlabusa.com.  You have to go through an extra step of going in for a blood draw, but at least  you can get the testing.

  • rabagley

    3/29/2009 9:59:00 PM |

    When will LabCorp release the subfraction data to non-doctor requested NMR lipid panels?

    Supposedly it's the best lipid test out there, but I can't get to all of the results because of a policy that I'm completely and utterly unable to get to the bottom of.

  • Dr. William Davis

    3/29/2009 10:13:00 PM |

    Hi, Jenny--

    We've had the same problem with many of the at-home tests.

    For that reason, all the testing now offered is run at ZRT Labs with data and quality essentially identical to that obtained through conventional laboratories. In other words, while the samples are obtained at home as finger stick blots on paper, the tests are not run at home but at ZRT Labs.

    Their quality control policies are listed athttp://www.zrtlab.com/Page.aspx?nid=413.

  • Rich

    3/30/2009 1:27:00 AM |

    Jenny -

    While I've heard that a number of the home tests are not very accurate, there is a least one A1C test (which you mail into a lab) which is quite accurate.

    It is from Heritage Labs, and is sold as "ReliOn A1C" by Walmart for $9.00:
    www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=10575934#ShortReviewTitleBar

    or by the name "Appraise Diabetes A1C Test" in other drug stores, such as CVS, etc. (usually around $19.00 - so Walmart is much cheaper).

    It is the same fingerprick test under both names.

    David Mendosa blogged about this test and its accuracy here:
    www.mendosa.com/blog/?p=339

    Heritage Labs is certified by the National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program (NGSP), and they have only certified 78 labs worldwide.  Only 4 Quest labs in the US are certified (none that my blood goes to) and no Labcorp’s at all. The list of NGSP certified labs can be found here:
    www.ngsp.org/prog/labs.pdf

    I did the ReliOn bloodspot test and mailed it in to Heritage Lab in Kansas, and my 5.2 result was consistent with Labcorp and Quest A1c's from the past few years.

    During my appointments in the past with Dr. Bernstein, he tested my A1C using a device in his office also, but at the time I was still relatively diabetically-uninformed, so I did not take note of model he used.

    Rich

  • Anonymous

    3/30/2009 10:01:00 AM |

    I think this collection of tests are a wonderful addition to TYP.  Thanks for offering them.  I enjoy taking control of my health and when possible staying away from the doctor's office too.  It's frustrating going to the hospital.  Medical personal all to often try to make me feel like I'm the low man on the totem pole for my health care - even though I'm the customer!  I will be taking advantage of the home test.  

    I also enjoy spreading the word about TYP and had an idea about that.  Many companies offer company shirts.  It's basically free advertising for the firm.  Just a humble idea to pass along, thought it would be neat if TYP offered shirts that listed  different main concepts of the TYP program.

  • Dr. William Davis

    3/30/2009 11:32:00 AM |

    Thanks, anonymous. Great idea.

  • Anonymous

    3/30/2009 12:53:00 PM |

    Barkeater here.

    I would like to see more patient empowerment, and availability of good patient controlled testing is crucial.  Power to you, Doc.

    But, I am concerned that the future may not be bright.  California and New York have restrictions.  We are at this moment in a postion when more regulation seems like a great answer to all problems, rather than more freedom.  Certainly, that is coming in health care.

    The other 48 states probably have not made a careful decision to not regulate, but rather they are not as "advanced" in their thinking as Cal and NY.  

    Then, of course, there is the problem of insurance.  If only I could use my health care dollars as I see fit, but right now I spend $17k per year for insurance to participate in a system that often frustrates me.

    I can afford another few hundred to buy good health, but others aren't so lucky.

    Barkeater

  • Trinkwasser

    3/30/2009 3:25:00 PM |

    I once had the thought that if I won the lottery I'd start a business called The NHS PLC with a fleet of vans set up with lab test equipment which could come round door to door in the way that you can get your car serviced in your own drive.

    Yours is probably a better plan!

    They have just announced this

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7968734.stm

    almost certainly a cut off at the knees version, in many places the tests you supply are unavailable for cost reasons already, like officially I can only get TChol when I need the Full Lipid Panel, a friend can only get TSH when she needs T3 and T4.

    It seems these guys

    http://www.grassrootshealth.net/

    accept oversease customers, any chance of you doing the same?

  • mike V

    3/30/2009 3:56:00 PM |

    Dr Davis:
    My own doubts about the limits of curative medicine began to take root in 1962 when in hospital for six months (in the UK) with a fractured femur. There was a 13 year old boy in the ward who had in addition to polyomyelitis, a resistant Staph infection. (even then!)
    The treatment available was to cycle him through the available antibiotics of the time. He was given less than a year to live.
    My next need for a hospital came in 1993 when I needed to get rid of my gall bladder (some say this may have been one of the results of the "low fat" dietary era.)
    I realized around this time that I knew more about maintaining my high mileage cars than I did about personal nutrition and wellness, and resolved to make a change.
    I can report that since that time (1993) I have not had a single infection, and have reduced colds and flu essentially to zero. I have seen doctors only for "routine inspections".
    In my opinion, hospitals are one of society's  major health hazards, and here we all recognize that prescription drugs are a very slippery slope. (obviously one has to make exceptions for major trauma.)

    Many friends and contemporaries have been lost to or damaged by MRSA and other resistant infections in recent years.

    I very much appreciate the endorsement and weight you, your patients, and your members bring to healthy preventive measures, many learned independently over years by some of us.
    The close associations between heart disease, diabetes, auto-immune disease, Alzheimer's disease, hormonal disfunctions and lifestyle variables suggest that you are absolutely on the right track. Many of the responses to your blog posts reflect this.
    My close friend of 30 years now has simultaneous cardiomyopathy, diabetes, and AD with at times the mentality of a (terrible) 2 year old. What a difference TYP prevention might have made.

    Has it perhaps occurred to you that TYP may also be a surprisingly sensitive indicator of general health status?

    I would like you to know that your ethics and a genuine concern for your fellow man shine through, in all your writings.

    Thank You.
    Mike V

    Re: Home testing update. FYI:
    My first Grassroots Health 25(OH)D result was 50 after about 4+ months at 6000 iu Carlson's. Age 73. Location South Carolina. Winter UV exposure minimal.

  • Dawn

    3/30/2009 5:03:00 PM |

    Another option for ordering tests, where you go to a lab located near you is HealthCheckUSA. And for a few more dollars, you can also request a doc to do an interpretation of your results as well.

    http://www.healthcheckusa.com/

    BTW- LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog.

  • Dr. William Davis

    3/30/2009 6:18:00 PM |

    Thanks for the encouragement, Mike V and Dawn.

  • Anonymous

    3/30/2009 8:05:00 PM |

    Dr.
    This will never happen and will actually be illegal when this Universal Health care scheme becomes law.
    What you have described here Dr. Davis is about freedom and UH is the total opposite of freedom.

    Oh, and how long do you think it will be before nutritional supplements are illegal without government prescriptions? I predict within a year of UH as law.

  • Dr. William Davis

    3/30/2009 9:49:00 PM |

    Mike V--

    You make an important observation that we have also made in the TYP experience: Many of the strategies employed--vit D, omega-3 fatty acid supplementation, wheat elimination, etc.--lead to marvelously improved overall health, in addition to correction of cholesterol patterns and reduction of heart disease risk.

  • katherine

    4/1/2009 12:51:00 AM |

    Dr. Davis,

    I wanted to let you know about a positive experience with the Biotech brand D3 5000 IU capsules.  My latest test showed 80 ng/ml after supplementing for approximately 4 months with 10,000 IU daily (started with 5000, bumped it up to 10,000, will now go back to 5000 to maintain).  This is up from 34 ng/ml.  I know you generally recommend the gelcaps but these seem to get the job done as well.

  • Dr. William Davis

    4/1/2009 2:57:00 AM |

    Katherine--

    Thanks for the feedback. That's helpful.

  • darwinstable

    4/6/2009 4:36:00 AM |

    What a great post. I totally agree and in some respects have done that myself. I just turned against the mass media and did what I knew as an evolutionary biologist was the best thing to do. I can now see the results and this is something I could never have done with weight watchers, jenny craigs, current medical advice etc.

  • cuil

    4/23/2009 5:04:00 AM |

    Its very nice information on this blog, i will really appreciate your efforts for this post.Learn here about sympathy
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  • Nursing homes chennai

    1/6/2011 10:15:07 AM |

    Great informative post. Excellent information and very useful for me. And I also agree with you thoughts.

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An open letter to the Grain Foods Foundation

An open letter to the Grain Foods Foundation

Readers: Please feel free to reproduce and disseminate this letter any way you see fit.


To:

Ms. Ashley Reynolds
490 Bear Cub Drive
Ridgway, CO 81432
Phone: 617.226.9927
ashley.reynolds@mullen.com


Ms. Reynolds:

I am writing in response to the press release from the Grain Foods Foundation that describes your effort to "discredit" the assertions made in my book, Wheat Belly: Lose the wheat, lose the weight and find your path back to health. I'd like to address several of the criticisms of the book made in the release:

" . . . the author relies on anecdotal observations rather than scientific studies."
While I do indeed have a large anecdotal experience removing wheat in thousands of people, witnessing incredible and unprecedented weight loss and health benefits, I also draw from the experiences already documented in clinical studies. Several hundred of these studies are cited in the book (of the thousands available) and listed in the Reference section over 16 pages. These are studies that document the neurologic impairment unique to wheat, including cerebellar ataxia and dementia; heart disease via provocation of the small LDL pattern; visceral fat accumulation and all its attendant health consequences; the process of glycation via amylopectin A of wheat that leads to cataracts, diabetes, and arthritis; among others. There are, in fact, a wealth of studies documenting the adverse, often crippling, effects of wheat consumption in humans and I draw from these published studies.


"Wheat elimination 'means missing out on a wealth of essential nutrients.'"
This is true--if the calories of wheat are replaced with candy, soft drinks, and fast food. But if lost wheat calories are replaced by healthy foods like vegetables, nuts, healthy oils, meats, eggs, cheese, avocados, and olives, then there is no nutrient deficiency that develops with elimination of wheat. There is no deficiency of any vitamin, including thiamine, folate, B12, iron, and B6; no mineral, including selenium, magnesium, and zinc; no polyphenol, flavonoid, or antioxidant; no lack of fiber. With regards to fiber, please note that the original studies documenting the health benefits of high fiber intake were fibers from vegetables, fruits, and nuts, not wheat or grains.

People with celiac disease do indeed experience deficiencies of multiple vitamins and minerals after they eliminate all wheat and gluten from the diet. But this is not due to a diet lacking valuable nutrients, but from the incomplete healing of the gastrointestinal tract (such as the lining of the duodenum and proximal jejunum). In these people, the destructive effects of wheat are so overpowering that, unfortunately, some people never heal completely. These people do indeed require vitamin and mineral supplementation, as well as probiotics and pancreatic enzyme supplementation.


I pose several questions to you and your organization:

Why is the high-glycemic index of wheat products ignored?
Due to the unique properties of amylopectin A, two slices of whole wheat bread increase blood sugar higher than many candy bars. High blood glucose leads to the process of glycation that, in turn, causes arthritis (cartilage glycation), cataracts (lens protein glycation), diabetes (glycotoxicity of pancreatic beta cells), hepatic de novo lipogenesis that increases triglycerides and, thereby, increases expression of atherogenic (heart disease-causing) small LDL particles, leading to heart attacks. Repetitive high blood sugars that develop from a grain-rich diet are, in my view, very destructive and lead to weight gain (specifically visceral fat), insulin resistance, leptin resistance (leading to obesity), and many of the health struggles Americans now experience.

How do you account for the psychologic and neurologic effects of the wheat protein, gliadin?
Wheat gliadin has been associated with cerebellar ataxia, peripheral neuropathy, gluten encephalopathy (dementia), behavioral outbursts in children with ADHD and autism, and paranoid delusions and auditory hallucinations in people with schizophrenia, severe and incapacitating effects for people suffering from these conditions.

How do you explain the quadrupling of celiac disease over the last 50 years and its doubling over the last 20 years?
I submit to you that, while this is indeed my speculation, it is the changes in genetic code and, thereby, antigenic profile, of the high-yield semi-dwarf wheat cultivars now on the market that account for the marked increase in celiac potential nationwide. As you know, "hybridization" techniques, including chemical mutagenesis to induce selective mutations, leads to development of unique strains that are not subject to animal or human safety testing--they are just brought to market and sold.

Why does the wheat industry continue to call chemical mutagenesis, gamma irradiation, and x-ray irradiation "traditional breeding techniques" that you distinguish from genetic engineering? Chemical mutagenesis using the toxic mutagen, sodium azide, of course, is the method used to generate BASF's Clearfield herbicide-resistant wheat strain. These methods are being used on a wide scale to generate unique genetic strains that are, without question from the FDA or USDA, assumed to be safe for human consumption.

In short, my view on the situation is that the U.S. government, with its repeated advice to "eat more healthy whole grains," transmitted via vehicles like the USDA Food Pyramid and Food Plate, coupled with the extensive genetic transformations of the wheat plant introduced by agricultural geneticists, underlie an incredible deterioration in American health. I propose that you and your organization, as well as the wheat industry and its supporters, are at risk for legal liability on a scale not seen since the tobacco industry was brought to task to pay for the countless millions who died at their product's hands.

I would be happy and willing to talk to you personally. I would also welcome the opportunity to debate you or any of your experts in a public forum.

Wiliam Davis, MD
Author, Wheat Belly: Lose the wheat, lose the weight and find your path back to health (Rodale, 2011)

Comments (94) -

  • Kurt

    9/4/2011 4:43:03 PM |

    Though the sixservings blog invites readers to "Join the Discussion" and add a comment, they have yet to publish any comments, including mine made two days ago,

  • Steve Brecher

    9/4/2011 4:46:47 PM |

    Continuing my role as tepid devil's advocate...

    "Wheat gliadin has been associated with ..."  -- "associated with" or "linked with" is the prototypical claim made when hard scientific evidence is lacking.  "Correlation is not causation" applies to all, not just to the other side of a debate.

    "...died at their product’s hands."  "Product's hands" is an unfortunate metaphor.  Here I'm acting as English composition scold, not nutritional critic.

    In my view the threat of legal liability serves no constructive purpose.  To hold the work of Norman Borlag (*), who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on the development of high-yield wheat -- which arguably has saved millions from starvation -- as culpable is not credible, even if the health claims in Wheat Belly are true.

    (*) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_borlag

  • Jan Jones

    9/4/2011 5:13:24 PM |

    Dr. Davis,
    I need your clarification on a few things. I have been following your advice for a couple of years to better understand and control my cholesterol without medication: no wheat or grains,taking vit D, fish oil, correct blood tests, checking post-prandial glucose, etc. Things are going well.  

    Recently watched "Forks over Knives" and reading Dr. Esselstyn's book on heart disease management with surprise and confusion. He recommends the bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, whole grain wheat bread and pasta, absolutely no oil, meat, eggs, dairy and then back to Dr. Ornish and the low fat mantras of the past.

    What is your take on it? I'm trying to make sense of it all!

    Thanks.  Jan

  • anthony

    9/4/2011 5:36:36 PM |

    Nor have they published mine Smile It's still in "moderation" LOL

    Keep it up, Dr. Davis

  • Howard Lee Harkness

    9/4/2011 5:38:18 PM |

    I took your permission to publish your Open Letter to the Grain Foods Foundation on my guestdietblog. I thought it was well-written, although I agree with Mr. Brecher's assessment that the claim of legal liability (I agree that they really *are* culpable, but still...) is less than helpful.

    On a related topic, I do not believe that eliminating wheat is the Holy Grail of weight loss. While necessary, it is *not* sufficient. I eliminated wheat (and all other grains) from my diet in 1999. I fairly quickly lost 100 lbs and greatly improved my health. Unfortunately, I needed to lose 150 lbs, and that last 50 lbs has stubbornly clung to my frame despite several "tweaks" to my low-carb diet over the last dozen years.

  • Might-o'chondri-AL

    9/4/2011 5:39:22 PM |

    Modern wheat's  " juju" (a CathyN-ism) is it's  "antigenic profile".

  • Frank Hagan

    9/4/2011 6:21:22 PM |

    Great open letter! As the Grain Foods Foundation targeted Dr. Davis' well documented book, and published demonstrable falsehoods regarding the references and sources, I feel this open letter is accurate and, if anything, subdued in its tone.

    To be clear, Dr. Davis did not threaten legal action; he pointed out that the promotion of wheat as "healthy", combined with ignoring the scientific evidence against modern wheat positions the Foundation solidly in the same position as the tobacco companies. They do have legal liability, especially as they are engaging in the same type of public denials with incomplete information (read that: lies).  We may see, in our lifetimes, the same government assisting the wheat growers turn and sue them, just as the tobacco industry has experienced..

    A medical doctor can combine his scientific training to evaluate claims and evidence with practical, real world experience with thousands of patients that no researcher can match. "Wheat Belly" shows both Dr. Davis' clinical experience and the depth of his research on the topic.

  • Joe

    9/4/2011 6:48:12 PM |

    To Howard:
    Does Dr. Davis say that eliminating wheat is the Holy Grail of weight loss, or are those your words? For what it's worth, no I don't think it is, but it's a very important facet of weight loss. If you're otherwise not controlling your carb intake, eating enough healthy fats, not exercising, not getting enough sleep, etc., those "last 50 pounds" may never come off.

    Joe

  • Bob Smith

    9/4/2011 7:22:11 PM |

    Dr Davis:
    "Wheat gliadin has been associated with cerebellar ataxia, peripheral neuropathy, gluten encephalopathy (dementia), behavioral outbursts in children with ADHD and autism, and paranoid delusions and auditory hallucinations in people with schizophrenia, severe and incapacitating effects for people suffering from these conditions.
    .....
    I propose that you and your organization, as well as the wheat industry and its supporters, are at risk for legal liability on a scale not seen since the tobacco industry was brought to task to pay for the countless millions who died at their product's hands."


    I have multiple autoimmune diseases, a result of gluten intolerance. My mother became schizophrenic when she was 35, and I was 10. It wrecked our family for the rest of my parents' lives.

    And we are only starting on cancer.

    You can't even imagine how I feel about wheat.

    Jan Jones?

    Dr. Esselstyn's book relies heavily on his own non-controlled study. Esselstyn applied his brand of vegan diet to a number of his heart disease patient. Esselstyn claims that his diet arrested their deterioration, and attributes the results to veganism.

    The problem? Dr. Esselstyn also told participants to stop eating baked goods, flour and vegetable oils. Also, Dr Esselstyn treated these participants with pharmaceutical drugs.

    There's a significant difference between the protein in oats and the protein in wheat. I wouldn't eat either grain. If you must eat one, eat oats.

  • Princess Dieter

    9/4/2011 8:08:23 PM |

    Eliminated grains--> lost 100 pounds

    Seems pretty successful to me. There's a huge health risk difference  between carrying 50 extra and carrying 100 extra. I lost 118 and resolved my Metabolic Syndrome. Yes, I could lose another 40 to be NOT overweight anymore, but 118 made a huge difference.

    Many formerly obese people have affected BMR (lower than non-obese would be at same height/weight/etc). We've damaged our bodies. Perhaps to get to normal weights, we have to be even more vigilant, exercise harder/smarter, tweak macronutrients. Of course, it's more important to keep OFF the lost ones than fight even the last pile of fat hanging on. If ditching grains made that much of a difference, I see it as vindicating their elimination.
    But the fat fight goes on, regardless, as for some of us, it's just never gonna be easy....

  • marta

    9/5/2011 10:53:40 AM |

    Good morning doctor, I keep a daily page from Spain, gustría me know if your books are translated into Spanish. If not please do so, some people are interested in reading.

  • Dr. William Davis

    9/5/2011 1:13:50 PM |

    Hi, Marta--

    Not yet. However, I will announce here and elsewhere when international editions are released.

    Thanks for asking!

  • Dr. William Davis

    9/5/2011 1:15:30 PM |

    118 pounds?! Wow. That's fabulous, Princess!

    If you could post your full details here, I will post your story as a wheat-free Success Story . . . a BIG success story.

  • Dr. William Davis

    9/5/2011 1:18:58 PM |

    Yes, Bob, I agree 100%. This thing being sold to us called "wheat" is so bad in so many ways. And we're told to eat more of it.

    This will go down as the biggest dietary blunder ever made in the history of humans on earth. But therein lies the silver lining: Elimination of wheat is also the single most powerful health strategy I have ever witnessed.

    Imagine what life would be like if we didn't come to recognize this! Makes me shudder.

  • Dr. William Davis

    9/5/2011 1:22:10 PM |

    Thanks, Frank.

    Yes, indeed. I have not hired any attorneys. But I do believe we have an incredible wrong committed on an international scale with liability for deaths and illness in tens of millions.

    Obviously, the whistle blowing will NOT come from within the system. Nobody in the USDA, FDA, or Surgeon General's office is sounding this alarm. They all agree, in fact: Eat more healthy whole grains. Reminds me of the old cigarette commercial: "More doctors recommend Chesterfields than any other cigarette!"

  • Dr. William Davis

    9/5/2011 1:26:08 PM |

    Thanks, Howard.

    I wouldn't pooh-pooh 100 pounds of weight loss eliminating wheat. That's an incredible result! People pay a lot of money and suffer deprivation and hunger to achieve a lot less.

    Your experience highlights that the diet for weight loss should be 1) wheat-free, then 2) limited carbohydrate. But there are other issues that many people have to address. Thyroid dysfunction, for instance is rampant and can put a damper on weight loss. And don't accept the conventional "rules" for diagnosis of thyroid dysfunction; they are flat wrong and will impair both weight loss and increase risk for heart disease. (There are several thyroid discussions on this Heart Scan Blog, by the way.)

  • Dr. William Davis

    9/5/2011 1:27:11 PM |

    Thanks, Anthony. Between the blog comments, my open letter that I emailed to their representative, Ashley Reynolds, and all the comments I and others have posted on their Facebook page, I think we got their attention. We'll have to see what happens.

  • Dr. William Davis

    9/5/2011 1:30:32 PM |

    While I admire Dr. Esselstyn's motivations, having devoted his later career to the cause of preventing and reversing heart disease (changing course from his training as an ear-nose-and-throat surgeon), I believe he is wrong.

    I did the diet he advocated 20 years ago: eliminated all meat and oils, extremely-low fat, plenty of fruits and vegetables, and lots of "healthy whole grains." I promptly gained 30 lbs, my HDL dropped to 27 mg/dl, my triglycerides shot up to 350 mg/dl, and I became a diabetic. This was while I was jogging 5 miles a day. (Ironically, I was living in Cleveland and Esselstyn was a neighbor.)

    The vegetarian, low-fat approach Esselstyn advocates does indeed yield improvement, however, compared to a standard American diet, especially if the person is an apo E4 genetic type, which creates some fat sensitivity.

  • Dr. William Davis

    9/5/2011 1:35:46 PM |

    Points take, Steve. But I disagree.

    When you read the scientific literature on gliadin, there is no question that it is causative. But let me clarify: It does not cause schizophrenia or ADHD; it just makes it much worse in a vulnerable mind.

    And, just because the evil health effects of the high-yield semi-dwarf variant that led to Borlaug's Nobel Peace Prize were not recognized in 1970, that does not release anyone from culpability. It was wrong--pure and simple. DDT was hailed as a great breakthrough in pesticides, sprayed widely and indiscriminately in neighborhoods, forests, and directly on humans. It was then banned (due, in part, to Rachel Carson's Silent Spring) when its terrible health effects became widely recognized.

  • Dr. William Davis

    9/5/2011 1:36:41 PM |

    That makes about 9 of us at last count, Kurt. Their silence and censorship, however, speaks volumes!

  • Howard Lee Harkness

    9/5/2011 2:17:19 PM |

    Prior to the beginning of August, I was unemployed (for about 6 months), and the only healthcare I had access to was the VA Medical Center. Since my blood pressure goes up every time I have to sit through Dr. Ghory's lecture on how I should eat less fat and red meat, she insists that I should be taking blood pressure meds (last time I was there, it was 150/95, I have been keeping a log of bp for the last month, and it averages 130/75 without meds). She insists my thyroid is normal, and that I should just "eat a healthy low-fat diet." Nevermind that my fasting glucose is 95, and my tryglicerides are very low, she also wants me on statins for my "high" cholesterol (don't remember exactly what it was, but I think it was around 150, with 90 of that being HDL).

    I now have health insurance (and a good income). It appears that in order to get any real medical help, I'm going to have to go outside of the VA "medical" system (unfortunately, thanks to obamacare, all healthcare will resemble the VA system before long). How would I go about locating a local private practicing doctor who has a clue about nutrition?

  • Linda

    9/5/2011 2:27:00 PM |

    I put this on the six servings blog today:
    "Fat, sick, obese America deserves the truth....is the current whole wheat product....the same grain people have been eating for centuries OR...was it re-engineered in the 1980's. Please let us know....America deserves the truth."

  • Peggy Holloway

    9/5/2011 5:20:40 PM |

    This is a copy of a post I placed on Fathead and Jimmy Moore's blogs today. I am curious about the apo E4 mentioned above and wonder if this at place in this dilemma?

    After my long diatribe about my family and how we have all been
    rescued from fates worse than death by low-carb diets, I have to admit
    that there is one family member for whom low-carb does not seem to have
    worked. I have mentioned before that my sister is not able to control
    her blood sugar or lose weight in spite of careful low-carb dieting for
    nearly 12 years. She is so desperate that she went to see Dr. Mary
    Vernon, in spite of reading negative reviews about Dr. Vernon’s practice
    and both Tom Naughton and Jimmy Moore enthusiastically endorsed that
    plan. It has been about 6 weeks since she went to Lawrence, KS (not an
    inconsiderable investment of time and money). She commented on my
    Facebook posting of Gary Taubes latest blog with “Why doesn’t all of this
    work for me?” I replied “What does Dr. Vernon say?” I am pasting in
    Jane’s reply because I think it is important that everyone in the
    low-carb community know about this. I also am desperately seeking an
    answer to why my beautiful sister can’t find the relief of her health
    problems that everyone else in my family has found through the low-carb
    lifestyle. She is the only one of my generation to be officially
    diagnosed as “Type II” and she spent years on low-fat, low-calorie,
    high-carb diets (including the 3 months on Weight Watchers + walking 5
    miles a day when she gained 10 pounds and received her official
    diagnosis). Well, here is a direct quote:

    Jane wrote: “Well basically nothing. She (Mary Vernon) is very hard to get ahold of
    (never answers the phone or e-mails) and I’m not sure that she believes
    me that I am following the diet and it just isn’t working for me. I had
    all those expensive tests and I have heard nothing from her about the
    results. I have only heard once from her nurse and she said that maybe
    they would put me on Januvia which I already take and listed on the form
    they had me fill out when I went there. I am not happy with the
    situation at all.”
    I am interested in your take on this and any input/ideas I can receive from the blogosphere. We are really desperate.

  • anthony

    9/5/2011 6:55:53 PM |

    Dr. Davis,

    Is the grain used in French bread, i.e., of the sort gotten, e.g., in Paris, somehow "different" from the genetically re-engineered variants here in the US? I notice that when we go to France, especially in Paris, I'm struck with it that the only FAT people I seem to notice are foreigners, i.e., US, Germans, Scandinavians, and the now and again, Asian.  Parisiennes, however, virtually invariably look great, and not only the 20, 30, 40 somethings. Smile So is there something about the grain they consume that exempts them from "Wheat Belly?"

  • Might-o'chondri-AL

    9/5/2011 6:56:23 PM |

    Genome of wheat  was estimated in 2002 to be +/- 16.5 gigabase and thus +/- 5 times the human genome.

  • Ted Hutchinson

    9/5/2011 7:04:17 PM |

    These free full text papers may help doubters improve their understanding.
    Evidence for gliadin antibodies as causative agents in schizophrenia.
    http://precedings.nature.com/documents/5351/version/1/files/npre20105351-1.pdf

    Presence of celiac disease epitopes in modern and old hexaploid wheat varieties: wheat breeding may have contributed to increased prevalence of celiac disease
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2963738/?tool=pubmed

  • Ted Hutchinson

    9/5/2011 7:25:50 PM |

    Yes I looked into this a while ago.
    There are a lot more "HOBBY" farmers in France so there are more smaller holdings where people tend to farm more traditionally and stick with the traditional heirloom varieties that they know grow well on their land.
    http://notulaebotanicae.ro/nbha/article/viewFile/4731/4560
    Diversity of Seven Glutenin and Secalin Loci within Triticale Cultivars Grown in France
    I think they are more interested in breadmaking qualities than in pesticide resistance.

  • Might-o'chondri-AL

    9/5/2011 7:47:25 PM |

    Hi Anthony,
    Any idea why 10 years ago these European children aged 7 - 9  weight profiles are so different ?
    France (data 2000):
    boys overweight = 14% & obese = 3.9%
    girls overweight = 14.7% & obese = 3.6%
    Portugal data (2001- 2002):
    boys overweight = 19.1 % & obese = 10.3%
    girls overweight = 21.1% & obese = 12.3 %

  • Ari

    9/6/2011 11:54:11 AM |

    Hey, Doc,
    In your book, you recommend avoiding vegetable oils like canola completely.  Yet you recommend eating certain foods that have mayonnaise.  Do you know of any mayonnaise brands without those nasty oils in them?

  • Dr. William Davis

    9/6/2011 12:13:13 PM |

    I have to admit, Ari, that I purchase mayonnaise so infrequently that I don't have the names on the tip of my tongue. However, unless you are a mayonnaise aficionado, the small exposures to linoleic acid-rich oils or canola likely have little impact on health. Soybean oil is another frequent oil; not perfect, but not bad. Even if GMO, there are not going to be proteins that make it to the end-product.

  • Dr. William Davis

    9/6/2011 12:16:37 PM |

    Hi, Ted--

    You're discovering exactly what I did: There is already an incredibly diverse literature documenting the adverse effects of wheat consumption. The rest of the world has been falsely lulled by the "whole grains are better than white processed flour" logic.

  • Dr. William Davis

    9/6/2011 12:17:08 PM |

    Wow, Might!

    I can always count on you to tell me something I didn't know!

  • Dr. William Davis

    9/6/2011 12:19:08 PM |

    Hi, Anthony--

    See Ted's helpful comments below.

    I can only speculate that, in addition to some of the heirloom forms of wheat being consumed (e.g., einkorn from Provence and Languedoc), the higher fat intake of the French may blunt the wheat effect. There may be more to this "French paradox," such as more socially-friendly eating, as opposed to the eat-and-run style of American eating.

  • marilynb

    9/6/2011 12:19:49 PM |

    You know, I switched from regular mayonnaise, made with soybean oil, to one made with expeller  pressed canola oil after reading Michael Eades' recommendation in ' "Protein Power Life Plan".  I guess it's the lesser of two evils but I wonder if it's worth it?

  • Dr. William Davis

    9/6/2011 12:22:39 PM |

    Hi, Peggy--

    I really depends on what you mean by "not responding." On the surface, it sounds like she is not apo E4, but apo E2, which causes postprandial (after-eating) abnormalities and creates incredible carb intolerance, such that half an apple triggers excessive responses. Alternatively, she might have suffered pancreatic damage in some form, wheat or otherwise, that now limits her own capacity to generate the expected changes in diet.

    A lipoprotein panel that includes an apoprotein E and HbA1c would provide insight.

  • Dr. William Davis

    9/6/2011 12:23:08 PM |

    Hi, Linda--

    I feel them blushing and stammering already!

  • Dr. William Davis

    9/6/2011 12:24:10 PM |

    Hi, Howard--

    Sadly, I believe there are so few nutritionally-savvy physicians that it can be a real tough search. Word of mouth still, even in 2011, remains the best tool, though with obvious limitations.

  • Peggy Holloway

    9/6/2011 3:14:30 PM |

    Thanks, Dr. Davis. My sister was diagnosed as Type II in the fall of 1999 and has been following some form of a low-carb diet since 2000. Before that, she followed various versions of low-calorie, low-fat diets and I am sure that she did suffer metabolic damage, as so many of us have. I am simply passing on what she reports, but she says it is not so much post-prandial blood sugar readings that are high and of concern, but fasting blood sugars. She also has experienced readings over 200 whenever she has a cold or infection of any type, Her first morning readings can be quite high and are chronically around 150. She finds the readings drop through out the day and says it doesn't matter what she eats - nothing raises or lowers the numbers. Her HbA1C is usually around 6-7 because of her high morning readings. Since she still retains a good deal of abdominal fat (she is the proverbial apple type), I would assume she is still producing insulin. As I mentioned, the family history of insulin-resistance is pretty dramatic and she seems to have inherited an extreme degree of IR which was probably intensified by her years of low-fat eating.
    I have a sense of what she has been eating for the past 12 years, and it is a reasonably restricted diet in terms of carbohydrates. She saw Dr. Vernon with the hopes of tweaking her diet to see if she could get the fasting readings lower, and she was basically given an Atkins induction diet. She has followed it for 6 weeks with no weight loss and no change in fasting blood sugar.  I have asked that she send me copies of her food diary (she has sent them to Dr. Vernon) and perhaps that would shed some light on this dilemma. However, there seems to be more this than just diet. Hormones? Stress?
    I hope you will continue to correspond with us on this and see if there is an answer.

  • Judy B

    9/6/2011 3:25:00 PM |

    I make my own mayo with extra light olive oil (Eades recipe).

  • Peter Silverman

    9/6/2011 3:36:58 PM |

    When I stpped eating wheat my small LDL went down 15% but my total particle number went up by more than that.  I can't tell if this is a good trade-off or a bad one.

  • Srdjan Andrei Ostric

    9/6/2011 5:19:47 PM |

    Dr. Davis, I am a Plastic surgeon in Chicago, and I have read your book. As a doctor, I understand your line of reasoning and the science, and teh short of it is, Ithink you have written and excellent, informative, and important book. This one could be a game-changer, as I see it.

  • Srdjan Andrei Ostric

    9/6/2011 5:30:34 PM |

    But the more important point, I wanted to make is that I have 2 kids with juvenile diabetes, and we have no family history. I want to know why. and  Ihave always wanted to know why. And what's worse, is that I feel, working as a doctor, that there are many vicious cycles and toxic partnerships in medicine that sell you food on one hand that causes ill health and sells us cures on the other.
    I have come to the conclusion that the road to hell really is paved with good intentions, and frankly, I would prefer someone who I know is trying to take advantage of me than one who is trying to help me. Fighting world hunger is noble, but its also a rhetorical point as well. Who wants people to starve? Likewise, it is a moral sentiment, which in this case did not rationally consider its possible unintended consequences by asking the question: Is this high-yield wheat good for people?
    Unfortunately, you see this pattern play out a lot: A moral sentiment gets popular and eventually gets ruled and polluted by profit motive.
    And what irks me is when a person uses the argument that correlation doesn't prove causation for rhetorical purposes. Correlation is good observation, which is crucial to good science. You have to make good observations so you can create good hypothesis that can ultimately be tested. You can't also run a double-blind study on everything. And if you do, it doesn't mean that its results are accurate or that it was well designed. Cause is an important thing to determine--this is true--but to say you have not made good observations and reasonable arguments and hypotheses that warrant further investigation because you don't have a bunch of double blind studies, or the like is the definitition of--no pun intended--a straw man argument.

  • Linda

    9/6/2011 5:51:09 PM |

    OT
    Dr Davis...........................
    As a glaucoma patient, I am always searching for possible solutions. Am now taking 5000 UI a day of Vit D and I am starting to notice minor changes. Do you agree with this post on FB?

    http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=136737770479

    Thank you so much

  • Linda

    9/6/2011 7:26:05 PM |

    I posted this today (9-6-11) @ six servings blog:
    Attention six serving blog:
    A lot of people that are being helped by the "Wheat Belly" book's position wonder why you don't leave our posts on or reply to them . I posted this yesterday and it's gone, Also I never received a response?

    Posted 9/5/11 :
    “Fat, sick, obese America deserves the truth….is the current whole wheat product….the same grain people have been eating for centuries OR…was it re-engineered in the 1980′s. Please let us know….America deserves the truth.”
    Where are all the comments posted?

  • Alexandra

    9/6/2011 11:54:32 PM |

    If you haven't already, add the bloodsuger101 blog to your reading.
    http://diabetesupdate.blogspot.com/
    Best wishes for your family

  • Dr. William Davis

    9/7/2011 2:58:30 AM |

    Thanks, Linda!

    I don't envy them, getting barraged with all these comments!

  • Dr. William Davis

    9/7/2011 2:59:43 AM |

    Hi, Linda--

    Sorry, but you're way out of my areas of confidence. I sure HOPE it's true, however.

    I will say that, between vitamin D and elimination of wheat, these combined strategies tackle more abnormal conditions than I ever imagined.

  • Dr. William Davis

    9/7/2011 3:00:41 AM |

    Thank you, Dr. Ostric. I like changing the game!

  • Dr. William Davis

    9/7/2011 3:02:45 AM |

    Dr. Ostric--

    I would compare the release of high-yield, semi-dwarf wheat into the human food supply to releasing an untested drug into the pharmaceutical armamentarium for widespread prescription. It might work, but chances are it will not. It might, in fact, have plenty of unintended ill-effects.

    I believe this is what has happened. Among its potential effects: an increase in the incidence in type I diabetes in children.

  • Dr. William Davis

    9/7/2011 3:03:37 AM |

    Hi, Peter--

    Disappointing results. Have you assessed apo E status? This can modify an individual's response to diet,

  • Dr. William Davis

    9/7/2011 3:06:09 AM |

    Oh, boy, Peggy. A bit too complicated to handle in a blog response.

    It could indeed be that her pancreatic function has been exhausted and there is no return from diabetes at this point. Another alternative: hypothyroidism, as this is prevalent and powerful. I assume that she has already corrected vitamin D, which is crucial; we aim for a 25-hydroxy vitamin D level of 60-70 ng/ml.

  • DCMarch

    9/7/2011 4:25:51 AM |

    I have been reading here for a year, and my health has improved as I've tried to implement your suggestions. The topic of glycation is new to me. Have you read the research that shows that Benfotiamine, a form of thiamine,  may help prevent glycation? The fat-soluble thiamine is more effective. I ran across references to this supplement while looking up neuropathy online. It might have a role especially for diabetics.
    http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2011/07/18/vitamin-reverses-nerve-pain/  (see especially comments from Dr. Charles.) I would be very interested to hear what Dr. Davis, Mito and others of you think about this.
    for example:
    "The effect of magnesium on peripheral neuropathy pain could be related to the effect of benfotiamine (fat soluble derivative of thiamine). Both magnesium and thiamine (in the form of thiamine pyrophosphate) are cofactors of a very important enzyme, Transketolase.
    The Transketolase enzyme helps to regulate some key functions of small blood vessels. When the small blood vessels are dysfunctional there is less blood flow to nerves and tissues. This can be one basis for pain (decreased perfusion of blood) in peripheral neuropathies. It can also contribute to severe muscle cramps and to restless legs syndrome in my opinion.
    What happens in small blood vessels (capillaries and venules) can be literally and figuratively out of sight to most all physicians. Benfotiamine treatment of peripheral neuropathy has been in the medical literature since 1994+. There is very little recognition by the medical community, even in Germany where benfotiamine was synthesized of its efficacy in treating diabetic peripheral neuropathy and other conditions."

  • Bob Smith

    9/7/2011 5:30:33 AM |

    Hi Dr. Davis,

    I'm convinced that lectin proteins like wheat gluten are responsible for virtually all autoimmune diseases ......either via direct reaction, or via cytokine inflammation. I'm also convinced that these proteins are primary causes of cancer.

    I've been reading how one of cancer's main metabolic pathways has cells importing free glutamine from the extracellular matrix. In an insulin resistant environment glutamine subverts the citric acid cycle, making it create mutated tissue instead of energy. Normally glutamine is held in the extracellular matrix by tissue transglutaminase (tTg). Glutamine becomes free when the immune system removes  tTg. This happens in people with wheat-caused autoimmunity.

    Wheat is a prime cause of insulin resistance and of free glutamine. I'm convinced. Wheat causes cancer. There are important chemicals missing from this explanation, like mTOR, tyrosine, PKM2 and mRNA.

  • Howard

    9/7/2011 3:41:21 PM |

    Just to be clear, back in 1999, I did eliminate wheat from my diet. But I also eliminated every other grain, along with anything containing added sugar. It wasn't until sometime around 2005 that I figured out that I needed to eliminate anything containing soy, along with vegetable oils. The wheat elimination resulted in the most immediate and remarkable results, as I wrote in a post entitled "A Story About Gluten" on my blog (guestdietblog.com), but the journey to my optimum health is not complete.

    I am putting out "feelers" for a family practice physician with a clue, but so far, have come up empty. Your observation on the lack of whisteblowers in the industry, along with old cigarette commercials reminds me of an experience in my own childhood. Around the ripe old age of 6, I became dimly aware of the connection between my multiple allergies and my father's cigarette smoking. Our family doctor completely dismissed that connection, and told me I was allergic to "house dust," then took another drag on his cigarette (yes, in his office, in the presence of a young child). I endured another 10 years of completely useless allergy shots before getting up the gumption to tell the doctor where he could stick it next.

  • Pedro

    9/7/2011 4:09:08 PM |

    HI Might-o'chondri-AL. I'm very interested in getting my hands on the paper where you got that information. Do you think you could provide me the reference?
    Thank you
    Pedro

  • Pedro

    9/7/2011 4:26:56 PM |

    Dear Dr. Davis,

    I and very interested in reading your book, but I'm still waiting for it to arrive from Amazon. Since I haven't read it yeat, I don't know if you have included in your book data from the DART Trial published in Lancet a long time ago.

    We have recently pointed out that data in a review paper (and before our paper, Dr. Staffan Lindeberg had included it in his Food and Western Disease book and I believe Stephan Guyenet had also included it in his blog a few years ago), but unfortunately this data is forgotten by many nutrition researchers, who use epidemiology (which can't show cause and effect) and trials with soft end points to support whole grains.

    The DART study was one of the very few human controlled dietary intervention trials with hard end-points, and it found a tendency towards increased cardiovascular mortality in the group advised to eat more fiber, the majority of which was derived from cereal grains [1]. Of relevance, this non-significant effect became statistically significant, after adjustment for possible confounding factors (such as medication and health state) [2].
    There's also the Women's health Initiative trial.

    Whenever someone throws epidemiology or trials with soft end points regarding whole grains and CVD, I would simply show the data from the DART study and the Women's health Initiative trial, because RCTs with hard end points are the best we have to draw significant conclusions and these seem to go against the grain, although I would like to see more RCTs where wheat or gluten grains in general is the only variable manipulated.

    Pedro Bastos

  • Pedro

    9/7/2011 4:36:25 PM |

    I forgot the references regarding the DART study:

    1.  Fish and the heart. Lancet. 1989 Dec 16;2(8677):1450-2

    2.  Ness AR, Hughes J, Elwood PC, Whitley E, Smith GD, Burr ML. The long-term effect of dietary advice in men with coronary disease: follow-up of the Diet and Reinfarction trial (DART). Eur J Clin Nutr. 2002 Jun;56(6):512-8

    On a final note, I too believe that wheat (and perhaps also other gluten grains) are the main problem with grains and the reason why the DART study found that increasing fiber from whole grains had a negative cardiovascular outcome. In western countries, increasing whole grains normally means increasing whole gluten grains. IN many countries in Asia, the main grain is rice and not wheat and that could be another explanation for the better health profile of Asians compared to westerns.

    We are trying to conduct a pilot study with a gluten, alcohol, dairy, trans and isolated sugar free diet, high in fish, vegetables and low fructose fruits in RA patients here in Portugal and we will allow them to eat rice and tubers (to be able to do this properly we have to compromise).

  • Courtland

    9/7/2011 5:43:32 PM |

    Purely hearsay anecdotal story from my dad. Last year, at the age of 65, He cut all grains and sugars from his formerly bread/pasta dominated diet and dropped 25 lbs in just 3-4 months. His sinus problems cleared up, many of which were apparently due to grain sensitivity. I had mentioned anti-grain literature (Rob Wolff et al.) to him, so can't help but take a bit of credit. Of course my Pops must have struggled mightily to ditch some things that had dominated his diet.  I will follow up with him on his blood work and see if he even needs to keep taking the statins he was on.

  • Pedro

    9/7/2011 11:36:30 PM |

    Hi Bob. Interesting connections.
    Do you think you could provide me with some references, as they would be very useful for my work.
    Thank you!

  • Dr. William Davis

    9/8/2011 1:26:34 AM |

    Hi, Court--

    Anecdotal, yes, but very consistent with what I've witnessed over and over and over again.

  • Dr. William Davis

    9/8/2011 1:39:36 AM |

    Hi, Pedro--

    Wow! That particular interpretation of the bothersome DART outcome had never occurred to me!

    Please keep me informed on how/when/where of your study. I'd be very interested in your investigators and outcomes.

  • Dr. William Davis

    9/8/2011 1:40:49 AM |

    Hi, Howard--

    Incredible. And to think that was only around 40-50 years ago. I still remember ashtrays in the hallways of the hospital for the doctors to put their ashes!

  • Dr. William Davis

    9/8/2011 1:42:21 AM |

    I'm with you, Bob. I've had that same suspicion that wheat is an extravagant cause of cancer.

    Unfortunately, if you just compare white flour to whole wheat, whole wheat comes out shining. But NO wheat, I think we'd both predict, would come out as an important and miserably underappreciated risk for cancers of all sorts from mouth to anus.

  • Dr. William Davis

    9/8/2011 1:42:59 AM |

    Hi, DC--

    We will be planning to cover this issue extensively in future. Thanks for asking!

  • Bob Smith

    9/8/2011 2:42:44 PM |

    Most cases of LADA diabetes get mis-diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Some of these diagnoses get corrected. Most don't.

    LADA diabetes is the adult equivalent of type 1 juvenile diabetes. Typically it progresses over two to ten years. This slow progression helps mask the disease from diagnosis. Type 2 diabetes is characterized by insulin resistance, constant insulin release and elevated blood sugar. LADA diabetes is an autoimmune attack against the pancreas.

    Low carb dieting, especially curbing wheat and fructose consumption, can curb the progression of both diabetes types. In this limbo LADA sufferers can show symptoms of type 2. This is where I'm at.

  • Ali

    9/8/2011 7:20:14 PM |

    Dear Dr. Davis,
    I almost died of undiagnosed coeliac disease, after a lifetime's following medically-prescribed, high-carbohydrate, wholegrain, low-calorie diets. By the time I was diagnosed I was 100lb overweight (despite my long periods of disciplined near-starvation), unable to breathe, unable to walk unassisted, unable to keep my balance owing to ataxia, barely able to see through my double-vision, unable to feel any of my limbs owing to nerve damage, doubly-incontinent,  agoraphobic, claustrophobic, depressed, anxious, and paranoid. (I used to be a live broadcaster, sought after for my humour and quick-wittedness.)  I was fatigued to a degree I never thought possible. I once stared at my computer for an entire day, unable to remember how to open a document, having previously taught computing to university standards. I  couldn't even hold my baby. I missed his entire babyhood and toddlerhood, having desperately wanted him. I didn't even have the strength to lift a newborn. I began to  suffer regular episodes of shock, all requiring the attendance of doctors, none of whom recognised the shaking, cold-sweating and collapsing as being related to the wholewheat sandwich I was usually eating when it happened. My organs began to be affected, one by one. I underwent surgeries in an attempt to control abdominal pain. I developed gallstones; the agony's only being relieved when one grew so large it lodged in Hartmann's (sp?)  pouch. According to my surgeon, one ovary and one kidney had effectively rotted. Investigations had to stop when I was found to have suffered massive internal injuries from an unexplained, peritonitis-like acute illness.  I was sewn up, and told that nothing could be done. The internet saved my life. I Googled my symptoms, and soon suspected autoimmune problems. A biopsy confirmed my suspicions. In the wake of my diagnosis, my two sons were able to be diagnosed with wheat and gluten intolerances, too. (My elder son was twenty three and autistic. He was depressed, vomiting after his breakfasts (cereal), had a giant beer gut (despite never having tasted alcohol), and the swollen ankles of a seventy year old drunk. My younger son, then nine, was so unfocused that I was being called in to school to explain his daydreaming and falling asleep in class. His fatigue was nearly misinterpreted as child neglect on my part - this for a child who asked to go to bed so early that he sometimes could not keep awake for his evening meal at 5pm. He had so little strength that his arms could not support his own tiny bodyweight, so he was never able to do gym or games, which was stigmatising.) Both my boys have vastly improved health now. The day after removing grains and gluten from my own diet I was able to see properly, and could get out of bed by myself. It has been a slow recovery, and I now know it will not be complete. I have been left disabled. But compared to the nightmare I lived before, my low-carb life is fabulous. I am proof that you are right. Wheat and other cereals are deadly to many, and, I believe, damaging to all. Biology is biology, and science is science. Why do other doctors, the food industry, and governments pay no attention to it?  My own experience was dramatic. Others are probably dying slowly, and by degrees. Doctors don't do gluten testing when they sign death certificates. Perhaps if they were allowed to, we would see what role grains are really playing in the lives, and deaths, of long- suffering people. I view them as poison, not nutrition. My own reactions to wholegrain ranged from kidney damage to fertility problems, via a skin coated in open, running sores - not forgetting the arthritis. What is it doing to others? Please let me know if I can ever stand beside you as proof of your arguments. In denying that toast and tortilla wraps almost killed me, that is also to deny the evidence in my medical notes, my ultrasound scans, and my xrays. And, for anyone still unconvinced, perhaps I could demonstrate my persisting inability to walk a straight line when I am tired,  my failure to get through a whole day without soiling myself, and - for a finale - give a tour of the horrific, cruel scars carved into my body in the name of grains? Sending warm wishes.

  • Ali

    9/8/2011 7:34:31 PM |

    Sorry, I meant coeliac testing, not gluten testing.

  • Ali

    9/8/2011 7:37:38 PM |

    PS I've lost 30lb already this year, without dieting, or perhaps I should say without counting a single calorie.

  • Dr. William Davis

    9/9/2011 2:20:36 AM |

    Yes, indeed: Not dieting, but removing this perverse product of genetics research called modern "wheat"!

  • Dr. William Davis

    9/9/2011 2:24:50 AM |

    Thank you, Ali, for having the strength to relive and retell your long struggles.

    You are a reminder of the gravity of these issues. This is not about some diarrhea and cramps; this can be about incapacitating, life-ruining diseases that doctors often fail to recognize.

    I would like to post your story in my Success Stories area. I will indeed need articulate people with powerful stories to bring to the broader media. Please let me know if you are interested.

  • Michia

    9/9/2011 8:36:30 AM |

    I think you're barking up the wrong tree with this letter.  Or wheatstalk, rather Wink  Mullen is a huge advertising agency. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mullen_Advertising http://mullen]  As you can see from their client list, The Grain Foundation is like pretty small potatoes.  

    Ms. Reynolds is the Mullen account executive and a registered dietician.  I assume  you've seen this? http://www.bakingbusiness.com/News/News%20Home/Business/2011/9/Foundation%20sets%20strategy%20to%20deal%20with%20Wheat%20Belly.aspx

    Better to target The Grain Foundation's higher-ups.  http://www.gowiththegrain.org/about/  This is like so many industry PR-based groups purporting to bring "information based on sound science".  But private exchanges are of limited value, this will be public and it won't have anything to do with sound science or rational debate.  Just look at the member companies.  They still remember the distinct pain the industry suffered during the short-lived low-carb "fad".

    They are going to bring out the big guns, it's just a matter of time.  Their goal will be to turn you into, well, toast Wink  The upside is that they are worried enough that your book is on their radar.The downside is that they are worried enough that your book in on their radar.  But as they say, bad publicity is still publicity.  

    Your strongest argument to the book-buying public isn't even justifying the science or counting studies cited, you can simply say "Be your own one-rat science experiment and try it for yourself for a month, then make up your own mind."  Savings will pay for the book and then some.

    Good luck!

    P.S. On Mullen's client list: the ADA (American Diabetes Association).

  • Ali

    9/9/2011 8:56:06 AM |

    Hello Dr. Davis,
    I will email you my full name and address for your own records, and so that we can arrange this offline.  You probably guessed that I posted without my full name only so that I could retain a modicum of privacy - after all, I am talking about my bodily functions on the internet! Because of the length of the post, I omitted other symptoms and illnesses that you may feel important to include in any story.  For example, according to my gastroenterologist, the severe latex allergy I developed, twelve years before being diagnosed with wheat and gluten intolerances, was attributable to coeliac disease's beginning its final rampage. It was a clue my GP, and even my consultant immunologist, missed at the time. Even putting aside all the functional bowel problems I still have, and the fibromyalgia that dictates I live my life in the one, precious hour a day I have energy, the anaphylaxis is "the biggie". I had to change my career to avoid running into rubber in the environment. I've been hospitalised for anaphylactic shock. I've survived some terrifying near-misses (always in hospitals or doctors' surgeries), and live a very restricted life because of it. I carry an adrenaline shot, and must be accompanied  everywhere new that I go: All from coeliac disease... all from bread...  all from grains.

    Glad I might be of some help.

    Ali

  • Dr. William Davis

    9/9/2011 12:23:33 PM |

    HI, Michia--

    This reminds me of the movie, Michael Clayton: Layers of intrigue, bad people in high places plotting evil doings.

    I'm putting my ear to all packages to listen for any ticking!

  • DCMarch

    9/9/2011 1:45:12 PM |

    Thank you Dr. Davis. I read here every day, and I'm learning as much as I can.

  • Bob_Smith

    9/9/2011 6:03:29 PM |

    With Dr. Davis's indulgence.....
    Recently Dr. Davis blogged, saying that low dose naltrexone (LDN) causes wheat eaters to lose
    weight. This weight loss happens because LDN blocks nerve endorphin receptors.

    http://www.trackyourplaque.com/blog/2010/11/why-do-morphine-blocking-drugs-make-you-lose-weight.html

    Wheat protein is a cornucopia of exogenous opioids which mimic endorphins. These exorphins
    plug into cells and organ transduction nerves all over the body ......including pancreas islet cells.
    Using LDN to block interaction between wheat and nerves restores control of metabolism.

    A curious side effect of LDN is that it severely curtails the growth and spread of cancer.
    http://fourfoldhealing.com/2010/06/10/a-holistic-approach-to-cancer/

    Massive population study shows increased correlation between wheat and cancer
    http://rawfoodsos.com/2010/07/07/the-china-study-fact-or-fallac/

    Large scale study shows up to 5-fold increased cancer incidence among type 2 diabetics:
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100521102629.htm

    Beta endorphin in the human pancreas:
    http://jcem.endojournals.org/content/49/4/649.abstract

    Wheat causes insulin release:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7637543

    Wheat causes insulin resistance:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&Cmd=ShowDetailView&TermToSearch=4510292&ordinalpos=7&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

    Cachexia is the underlying disease of cancer:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6145877

    Cells become cancerous by fermenting sugar:
    http://www.thecancerblog.org/blogs/permalinks/11-2009/warburg-effect-against-cancer.html

    mTOR scouts for free glutamine:
    http://www.cell.com/abstract/S0092-8674(08)01519-5

    Afinitor chemotherapy works by inhibiting mTOR.
    http://alberghi-portofino.info/page/49/

    Glutaminolysis in tumor transformation:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glutaminolysis

    tTg protects against cancer
    http://www.molecular-cancer.com/content/4/1/33

    Wheat induces autoimmune attack against tTg.  It goes back so far that it's hard to nail down.
    Anti-tTg antibodies, both IgA and IgG, are part of every celiac test panel.

  • Bob_Smith

    9/9/2011 6:11:51 PM |

    Dr Davis,
    Recently you blogged, saying that low dose naltrexone (LDN) causes wheat eaters to lose weight. This weight loss happens because LDN blocks nerve endorphin receptors.

    http://www.trackyourplaque.com/blog/2010/11/why-do-morphine-blocking-drugs-make-you-lose-weight.html

    Wheat protein is a cornucopia of exogenous opioids which mimic endorphins. These exorphins plug into cells and organ transduction nerves all over the body ......including pancreas islet cells. Using LDN to block interaction between wheat opioids and nerves restores control of metabolism.

    A curious side effect of LDN is that it severely curtails the growth and spread of cancer.
    http://fourfoldhealing.com/2010/06/10/a-holistic-approach-to-cancer/

    A massive population study shows increased correlation between wheat and cancer
    http://rawfoodsos.com/2010/07/07/the-china-study-fact-or-fallac/

    A arge scale study shows up to 5-fold increased cancer incidence among type 2 diabetics:
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100521102629.htm

    Beta endorphin in the human pancreas:
    http://jcem.endojournals.org/content/49/4/649.abstract

    Wheat causes insulin release:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7637543

    Wheat causes insulin resistance:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&Cmd=ShowDetailView&TermToSearch=4510292&ordinalpos=7&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

    Cachexia is the underlying disease of cancer:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6145877

    Cells become cancerous by fermenting sugar:
    http://www.thecancerblog.org/blogs/permalinks/11-2009/warburg-effect-against-cancer.html

    mTOR scouts for free glutamine:
    http://www.cell.com/abstract/S0092-8674(08)01519-5

    Afinitor chemotherapy works by inhibiting mTOR.
    http://alberghi-portofino.info/page/49/

    Glutaminolysis in tumor transformation:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glutaminolysis

    tTg protects against cancer
    http://www.molecular-cancer.com/content/4/1/33

    Wheat inducement of autoimmune attack against tTg goes back so far that it's hard to nail down. Anti-tTg antibodies, both IgA and IgG, are part of every celiac test panel.

  • Sam Sinderson

    9/10/2011 12:37:13 AM |

    I am 78 year old who has been on the Ornish reversal diet for 21 years, thinking that if it could reverse heart disease that it must be good for the long-term.  Boy from what I have learned in the last 3 months since my son put me on to limiting carbs shows just how wrong I was.  In the meantime, in the last 10 years I have developed a partially blocked artery, the rhymbus intermedius (which I may have misspelled).  (I have had two catheterizations, in 2000 and 2009, after suspicious stress tests. In neither case did the catheterization confirm the doctor's suspicion.  No blockage at all in 2000.)  I may not have been following the latest version of the diet, since I understand that Ornish said stay away from at least some wheat.  I was eating rolls and bread in great quantity.  Now two points:  Despite my diet, I was not overweight.  I am 72.5 inches tall and weighed about 158.  Nor do I have yet developed Type II diabetes, though my fasting glucose is around 100.  (In the 1960's I was diagnosed as a borderline diabetic and underwent numerous glucose tolerance testing, but after starting distance running my fasting glucose has always been OK.  I have no idea yet how high the glucose spike goes now or went before I starting limiting carbs.  My more normal weight may be because I have always been a heavy exerciser, once running up to 40 miles a week.  Now I get aerobic exercise virtually every day and lift weights three days a week.  I walk over 4 miles 4 days a week over hilly streets and use an aerobic machine at the gym for 20 to 30 minutes at a pretty high level, despite being on atenolol to control supra ventricular tachycardia (spelling?) and blood pressure.  My HR gets into the mid 120's.  Before the SVT, I routinely achieved a HR of 150.  Now since I started controlling carbs and eating meat for the first time since 1990 I have lost almost 10 pounds in about 6 weeks and I haven't felt hungry.  Of course, I stopped eating a big bowl of popcorn or a bowl of shredded wheat and grape nuts covered with raisins as an evening "snack".  Before, I really needed four high-carb meals a day to keep my weight up to 158 or so.   I have pretty much eliminated wheat, but fresh sweet corn on the cob is still in season, though I have cut back on that also.  No more oatmeal covered with shredded wheat grape nuts and raisins for breakfast either.  Obviously I must have cut my calories significantly.  Now I guess I am going to have to start counting calories and maybe add a much more calorie rich snack in the evening.  Any comments?

  • Dr. William Davis

    9/10/2011 1:58:41 AM |

    Hi, Sam--

    It sounds like someone needs to help you conduct a metabolic analysis on your current status. It's really quite easy.

    It should include measures like HbA1c, glucose, and lipoproteins. Also, strongly consider apo E. You will then know what the ideal balance of carbs/protein/fat is.

  • Dr. William Davis

    9/10/2011 2:01:07 AM |

    Hi, Bob-

    Sherlock Holmes would have a field day with wheat, wouldn't he? Fingerprint, footprints, motive, opportunity . . . wheat sure looks guilty to me!

  • Dr. William Davis

    9/10/2011 2:18:06 AM |

    I thought you sounded awfully smart!

    Thanks, DC.

  • Sam Sinderson

    9/10/2011 11:35:17 PM |

    I see my PCP October 3.  I don't think I reported that in February my cardiologist put me on simvastatin. After noticing pains in both calves and an inability to lift as much in the gym as before, I stopped simvastatin about July 15.  I told my cardiologist on August and he wasn't happy.  He obviously believes in statins and referred me to the Heart Protection Study (Lancet, 2002?), which I found unconvincing.  Because of the statin I have had two recent blood tests, but they did not include HbA1c (see below) or apo E.  The statin brought my total cholesterol from 187 to 133 and my Trig. from 130 to 83.  My fasting glucose was 94 mg/dl.  It was 102 on 08/11/2010 and 115 on 01/19/2010 which seems borderline high. Other values from the test about 3 weeks before I stopped the statin:  HDL 40 mg/dl (about as high as I have ever measured since the Ornish diet); LDL 131 to 76.2 mg/dl:ALT 23 U/L: AST 28 U/L; CK 62 U/L; Hemoglobin A1C 5.6% IIs this the same as HbAic?)    The previous numbers are from 02/09/2011 except for glucose.  From what I've read, total Cholesterol below 160 is associated with increased canser risk and also that the elderly love longer with higher cholesterol.  In any case I won't risk a statin also damaging my heart, which being a muslce also must be vunerable.  I also want to know what my small dense LDL is and I would like also to be able to monitor my glucose to see what I can eat without huge spikes in blood glucose.  I suspect I may have been spiking well above 150 and that over the years could have lead to my partial blockage.  I sent my PCP a letter with documention to tell him that I stopped simvastatin and that I have changed my diet to low carbohydrate, though I'm not quite there yet.  I referenced Ravnskov's book, but since have erad Su's and have ordered Wheat Belly which I shall have read before I see him.  I'll have them all with me in case he is interested.  I suspect he is pretty conventional not into low carb.  I am counting on him to at least cooperate with my experiment and prescribe the necessary blood tests.  I consulted with a Highmark dietician and it became clear that I know more about modern diet science than she did.  We are dominated here in Pittsburgh by big medical UPMC and Highmark.  I have read Dr. Ufe Ravnskov's and Dr. Su's books and now think that medical-diet science is just as corrupt as climate-change science, which I have been studying for 5 years.  After being a high-carb Ornish-diet guy for 21 years, I have now changed to at least restricted carb.  I just need to get my wife to read the books and other references to make things easier.  As I said above, I have to eat more meat to keep my weight around 150.  Today I enjoyed my first Big Mac (without the bun) for lunch in a long time! Thanks for your response.

  • Dr. William Davis

    9/11/2011 1:55:34 AM |

    Yup, Sam: You will find that YOU know more about nutrition than your doctors and dietitians . . . combined!

    You are well on the right track. Your HbA1c of 5.6% tells all: You have been overexposed to carbohydrates that have led to high triglycerides, reduced HDL, and small LDL lurking beneath the surface.

    Don't forget your vitamin D!

  • Sam Sinderson

    9/11/2011 11:11:01 PM |

    At least he has that right.  My PCP when I first transferred to him from my previous PCP (who was drinking erratic, and may now be out of practice, but otherwise a very knowledbable guy) he tested for D and I and my wife now take 2,000 units a day of D3.  What should HbA1c be?  5.6% is right in the middle of the "acceptable" range on the test report.

    Thanks

  • Dave, RN

    9/12/2011 7:21:23 PM |

    I don't see how those people on the 6 servings website sleep at night in the face of such overwhelming evidence. And all they have is "appeal to authority" arguments.

    I guess they sleep as well as the tobacco industry.

  • Jack Kronk

    9/12/2011 7:31:10 PM |

    They want to ignore all the issues associated with wheat consumption by saying that there are nutrients in it? Wow. That's an intelligent rebuttal. lol.

    Good for you for standing your ground here against the Grain Food Foundation.

    Well played Doc.

    -JK

  • Dr. William Davis

    9/12/2011 11:44:11 PM |

    Thanks, JK.

    Yes, I found their arguments fairly silly. I've had better debates with 5-year olds.

  • Dr. William Davis

    9/12/2011 11:46:39 PM |

    Yes, indeed, Dave. They are scrambling to carry out damage control from attacks coming from several directions. Then, all of a sudden, this cinderblock hits them on the side of the head called "Wheat Belly."

    I almost--almost--feel sorry for them.

  • anita graham

    9/16/2011 2:41:18 PM |

    How much of the wheat now eaten is GMO?  The hybrid "dwarf" high yielder - hybrid or GMO, both???

  • Dr. William Davis

    9/17/2011 1:26:23 PM |

    Hi, Anita--

    Surprisingly, none. But let me qualify.

    Genetic modification refers to the insertion or deletion of a gene or genes. Wheat has not been genetically-modified. But here's where the geneticsts start to play games. Wheat has been the recipient of "traditional breeding methods" that includes extensive hybridization (with other wheat strains and non-wheat grasses), back crossing to bring out specific genetic traits, chemical mutagenesis (using toxic chemicals to induce mutations), gamma irradiation, and high-dose x-ray. Ironically, these "traditional breeding methods" are WORSE than genetic-modification, but have been going on for 50 years and are still being used--but not questioned or scrutinized.

  • Taylor

    10/25/2011 3:20:02 AM |

    Dr. Davis,

    Do you recommend eating other types of grains besides wheat? Like oats, quinoa, brown rice, etc? I am a vegan so I get a lot of my protein from things like quinoa in addition to beans and soy. I am also a medical student so I was very interested when I ran across your book. I have noticed that gluten-free foods have recently become very popular and I was wondering why all of these people suddenly realized that they had celiac disease. One other question, is it the gluten protein that is causing all of this trouble or other components of wheat? Thank you.

    Taylor

  • Dr. William Davis

    10/26/2011 3:21:06 AM |

    Hi, Taylor--

    A common point of confusion: It is NOT about celiac disease or gluten intolerance. It is about a variety of reactions to this corrupt and genetically-manipulated thing called wheat.

    I would refer you to my Wheat Belly Blog, as well as the book, Wheat Belly, for further discussion.

  • Lynn

    11/4/2011 2:13:27 PM |

    Sometimes I think having celiac disease is one of the best things in my life; I have no more joint pain and enough energy to do sprint triathlons (started at age 42) and now CrossFit (at age 46).  Sadly, I wonder how much of this grain focussed diet contributed to my mother's dementia.

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