My letter to the Wall Street Journal: It’s NOT just about gluten

The Wall Street Journal carried this report of a new proposed classification of the various forms of gluten sensitivity: New Guide to Who Really Shouldn’t Eat Gluten

This represents progress. Progress in understanding of wheat-related illnesses, as well as progress in spreading the word that there is a lot more to wheat-intolerance than celiac disease. But, as I mention in the letter, it falls desperately short on several crucial issues.

Ms. Beck–

Thank you for writing the wonderful article on gluten sensitivity.

I’d like to bring several issues to your attention, as they are often neglected
in discussions of “gluten sensitivity”:

1) The gliadin protein of wheat has been modified by geneticists through their
work to increase yield. This work, performed mostly in the 1970s, yielded a form
of gliadin that is several amino acids different, but increased the
appetite-stimulating properties of wheat. Modern wheat, a high-yield, semi-dwarf
strain (not the 4 1/2-foot tall “amber waves of grain” everyone thinks of) is
now, in effect, an appetite-stimulant that increases calorie intake 400 calories
per day. This form of gliadin is also the likely explanation for the surge in
behavioral struggles in children with autism and ADHD.
2) The amylopectin A of wheat is the underlying explanation for why two slices
of whole wheat bread raise blood sugar higher than 6 teaspoons of table sugar or
many candy bars. It is unique and highly digestible by the enzyme amylase.
Incredibly, the high glycemic index of whole wheat is simply ignored, despite
being listed at the top of all tables of glycemic index.
3) The lectins of wheat may underlie the increase in multiple autoimmune and
inflammatory diseases in Americans, especially rheumatoid arthritis and
inflammatory bowel diseases (ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s).

In other words, if someone is not gluten-sensitive, they may still remain
sensitive to the many non-gluten aspects of modern high-yield semi-dwarf wheat,
such as appetite-stimulation and mental “fog,” joint pains in the hands, leg
edema, or the many rashes and skin disorders. This represents one of the most
important examples of the widespread unintended effects of modern agricultural
genetics and agribusiness.

William Davis, MD
Author: Wheat Belly: Lose the wheat, lose the weight and find your path back to health



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This entry was posted in Amylopectin, Gliadin, Gluten-free, Wheat. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to My letter to the Wall Street Journal: It’s NOT just about gluten

  1. HS4 says:

    Fantastic, Dr Davis! I read the article earlier today and was thinking of sending in my own response but yours is ever so much better and comes with greater credibility which is important. I hope they publish your letter.

  2. Scott Hamilton says:

    There were some comments in past postings regarding ancient vartieties of wheat, such as Emmer and Einkorn. Although these types still pose problems from a total health perspective I was thinking perhaps an original form of barley might also provide better health benefits with less metabolic damage than the newer varieties.

    There are recipes where the addition of grains in relatively small amounts can improve texture and flavor and I have used barley for this purpose extensively in the past.

    Are ther sources of information or supply of older or alternative forms of barley?

  3. farida says:

    I would like to know if Dr Davis would be interested in doing a 30 min tele lunch and learn workshop, we own a wellness company with 000′s of users on our health portal. It would be a great way to promote his books/blogs.

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