Wheat: opiate of the masses?

Last week I was aboard a cruise liner in the Caribbean. I had a lot of fun but was primarily there to participate in a kinda conference organised by low-carb advocate Jimmy Moore. I was privileged to share the stage with some very lovely and inspiration speakers, among them the US cardiologist Dr William (Bill) Davis. I was looking forward to meeting Bill because I’d had a skype conversation with him some months ago, and was impressed by his warmth, humour and humanity. In person, Bill did not disappoint, and he also gave what I thought was a fascinating presentation about the perils of one of the modern-day diet’s most ubiquitous components – wheat.

Bill is the author of the highly acclaimed and readable book Wheat Belly, which systemically makes a strong case for the elimination of this grain from our diets. His lecture on the low-carb cruise’ focused on this aspect of his work, and focused on what I took to be three key areas:

1. wheat’s content of the readily-digested starch amylopectin A, which is highly disruptive to blood sugar levels.

2. The lectin (toxin) in wheat known as ‘wheat germ agglutinin’ which can cause inflammation in the gut and elsewhere.

3. Gliadin – a component of gluten in wheat which has, among other things, drug-like effects.

It’s this last issue I’m going to focus on in this blog post.

In his lecture, Bill drew our attention to the fact that gliadin may not be fully digested in the gut, and give rise to small protein molecules known as ‘polypeptides’. These can sometimes penetrate the gut to gain access to the bloodstream, after which they also have capacity to make their way across the ‘blood-brain-barrier’. Once there, gliadin polypeptides can bind to opiate receptors in the brain. Opiates include chemicals like morphine, heroin and opium.

The body can generate chemicals which bind to opiate receptors which are termed ‘endorphins’. However, when a substance comes from outside the body, it is termed an ‘exorphin’. Gluten-derived exorphins can induce a feeling of mild euphoria. This might explain why tucking into bread, or a bowl of pasta, or some biscuits can seemingly be so intensely pleasurable for some. It might also explain why some struggle with leaving wheat alone.

One of the main reasons Bill highlighted the opiate effects of gluten is because it appears, to all intents and purposes, to be an appetite stimulate. Of course you’d expect anything that is somewhat addictive to drive us to consume more of it. And as Bill pointed out, there does seem to be some scientific evidence for this.

To understand the nature of this research, we need to understand the effects of the drug naloxone. This drug binds to opiate receptors, knocking off anything else that may be bound there. As a result, naloxone reverses the effects of opiate drugs like heroin and morphine, and quickly too.

So, what happens when normal wheat-consuming people are treated with naloxone? In one study, individuals were given access to a free food and their intakes measured over two meals approximately 5 hours apart [1]. On another occasion the experiment was repeated after naloxone had been administered to the study subjects. On this occasion, they consumed about 400 calories less.

In another study, ‘binge-eaters’ were given access to a free buffet with and without nalaoxone [2]. With naloxone on board, individuals ate 28 per cent less in the way of wheat-based foods such as crackers, pretzels and bread sticks.

My experience in practice tells me that the ability of wheat (and other gluten-containing foods such as barley and rye) to have addictive qualities varies quite a lot between individuals. It does seem to be a real phenomenon, though, and there’s no doubt in my mind that eliminating or dramatically reducing wheat consumption usually leads to a significant improvement in wellbeing, energy levels, mental function (and usually weight loss) in the majority of people.

Starchy foods, especially ‘healthy wholegrains’ are often vigorously promoted to those looking to eat a nutritious diet. Wheat has a reputation as the staff of life. In reality, though, it’s often the stuff of nightmares.

References:

1. Cohen MR, et al. Naloxone reduces food intake in humans. Psychosom Med. 1985;47(2):132-8.

2. Drewnowski A, et al. Naloxone, an opiate blocker, reduces the consumption of sweet high-fat foods in obese and lean female binge eaters. Am J Clin Nutr. 1995;61(6):1206-12.

42 Responses to Wheat: opiate of the masses?

  1. Angela 18 May 2012 at 5:40 pm #

    I suspect that might be overstating things just a tad, although the research is undoubtedly fascinating. I notice that the Drewnowski et al research was carried out on ‘sweet high-fat foods’, which does, I think, make a material difference compared to the supposedly healthy whole wheat; however, I have yet to read either paper. As you say, individual responses vary, but I am sure that will also be related to aspects of the rest of the diet.

  2. Antje 18 May 2012 at 6:26 pm #

    Dr. Briffa,
    Does this apply to spelt as well?
    In Holland spelt is said to be so much “safer” than wheat because it has not been manipulated, is still in its original form.
    Give me a bread and cheese and do’nt bother about any other food. Can eat it all day any day. Need it every two hours. And become bloated, moody and generally low and slow.
    I just love it, love it.
    That is why i stopped eating it a long time ago.
    Every now and then i try spelt but don’t trust it either.

  3. Margaret Wilde 18 May 2012 at 6:36 pm #

    I’m sure the message of the article will help many people, but wouldn’t it be better if the Slice of Bread picture said “CHEAPER THAN HEROIN” rather than “CHEAPER THAN HEROINE”?

  4. Anne 18 May 2012 at 7:06 pm #

    When I gave up gluten, I felt much worse for 3 days – withdrawal from wheat? Probably. Gluten free for 9 years now and so much healthier. I have a long list of symptoms that either totally resolved or greatly improved off of gluten. One was a lifelong depression. I never knew I was depressed until I gave up gluten. When I stopped eating gluten the depression and fog lifted and the world brightened. Small amounts of gluten from cross contamination will put me back into a depressed state.

    Dr. Rodney Ford from New Zealand has written an ebook called “Gluten Brains” You can find him on Gluten Free Planet on Facebook.

  5. Dan Sinclair 18 May 2012 at 7:09 pm #

    My own experience has been quite dramatic.
    After years of suffering debilitating IBS that saw me at John Radcliffes undergoing all sorts of glorious and fun invasive procedures to determine the cause, it was only after qualifying as a PT and then subsequently spending months reading round nutrition aspects that i adopted a pseudo-Paleo diet.
    Essentially i went from 3 slices of toast at breakfast, monster munch sandwiches for lunch and pasta for tea to a much more sensible diet, where i have pasta maybe once a week and toast during Top Gear.
    So what happened? My disabling IBS vanished, all my allergies gone (i was on a antihistamine a day).
    Now when i knowingly have Hovis Seeded Sensations drowning in kerrygold, it will either go straight through me or i will wake up at night with cramps. I am weak-willed unfortunately and the call of toast is a strong one, so i can identify with the opiate idea!
    Interestingly the sourdough breads are much better tolerated, possibly because the yeast has had time to actually work!
    With IF, change of job, change of diet the results have been a 4 stone drop in weight, much much healthier and the ability to not worry too much about that packet of maltesers i’m going to scoff tonight :)

  6. Matty Maccaro 18 May 2012 at 7:55 pm #

    Here in the USA almost all wheat is genetically engineered, making it a mystery food, as we don’t yet know what the effects will be. But take a look at the mid-section of the average American and you can see it’s not good. Aside from GMO, wheat, it also has far more added gluten than 50 yrs. ago, making it less digestible. Finally, I don’t see much in all the “gluten-free” news about bromide. The addition of bromide to wheat products is harmful as bromide is an antagonist to our thyroid glands. I was brought up on bread, pasta, pastries etc. and thought by switching to the supposed whole grain, whole wheat foods, I was doing the right thing. Wrong! After a 30 day trial of gluten-free eating, I lost weight, found myself with much more stamina throughout the day and also noticed exercise was much easier to perform. The addictive issue is real, after proving to myself that I was healthier and happier without gluten containing foods, I still indulge in baked goods containing them, but am working on improving my diet. Finding pleasant substitutes seems to be the trick, I will make a sandwich between two brown rice cakes, or fill an organic corn taco with anything from scrambled eggs to rice and beans. Thanks, Dr. Briffa for bringing these issues to our attention.

  7. J Ross 18 May 2012 at 8:31 pm #

    *HEROIN*

  8. Parminter 18 May 2012 at 9:21 pm #

    I used always to wonder why I felt so tired when I arrived at work in the morning. Then I traced it back to ‘healthy’ home-made muesli, with nuts and yoghurt, without any sugar or honey, for breakfast.
    Between one and one-and-a-half hours after consumption of grains I dive into a profound sleepy slump. Because of the time-lapse it took some time to make the connection, and I pity the thousands of people who have never made such a connection, and who start the day as I did.

  9. Pete Grist 18 May 2012 at 9:40 pm #

    We have been eating bread for a few thousand years. Amazing we are still here.

  10. Nigel Kinbrum 18 May 2012 at 9:48 pm #

    “…gliadin may not be fully digested in the gut, and give rise to small protein molecules known as ‘polypeptides’. These can sometimes penetrate the gut to gain access to the bloodstream…”
    Proteins other than gliadin are also not fully digested. So fix the gut, so that it doesn’t have loose junctions.
    See Keep ‘em tight.

  11. Julie 18 May 2012 at 10:28 pm #

    Heroine = female superhero
    Heroin = illegal street drug of the morphine family derived from poppies

    ;)

  12. Sally 18 May 2012 at 10:53 pm #

    Modern wheat and the way it is processed into so called ‘bread’ is to be avoided at all costs. The overuse of yeast in bread also contributes to health problems. If wheat in the form of bread is to be consumed at all, the only healthy way to eat it is in the traditional way i.e. slow fermentation. The long fermentation process using natural yeasts, breaks down the grain into a more digestible form and increases vitamin levels. Find an artisan baker who makes real sourdough bread – the only bread to eat – oh yes and eat it with lots of organic butter to further aid the digestion!

  13. Kathy 18 May 2012 at 11:49 pm #

    This is fascinating about wheat. I eat little and if anything binge on protein, and am pear shaped. My husband will eat bread whilst deciding what to eat – then have a sandwich, and is a large apple. He finds the idea of living without bread quite apalling.
    On a less scientific note, as a regular cruiser, I would be interested in your view of cruise food related to wheat. My experience is that there is always lots available, particularly in the cafeterias where you can browse all day – then have afternoon tea which is a wheatfest. The concept of a plate of food without potatoes, and a pudding without pastry, isn’t understood. It’s really hard to follow your eating guidelines on board. It would, however, be a fascinating controlled environment in which to do dietary research!

  14. linda eckhardt 19 May 2012 at 12:05 am #

    Degradation of the food supply during the last 50 years coincides with ramping up the agricultural industrial complex and its focus on growing gmo corn, sugar beets, cotton, soy and other products that go into processed foods and into livestock feed. Although we don’t know the full ramifications of this sea change in the diet, what we do know is we have a pandemic of obesity and all its attendant ills. Every individual must make a serious choice to reject gmo products. This means buy organic dairy and produce, wild caught fish and grass fed meats. don’t buy processed foods if you can help it. Check out EENews for new great recipes, and CARBSyndrome.com for the hard science to explain it. You can live, and live well without gmo. After all, most Europeans have rejected all gmo and industrial ag. It tends to creep into the third world where people are more desperate. The rejection of this starts in the market place and it can start with you and me.
    Linda West Eckhardt
    James Beard award winning cookbook author
    Editor: http://everybodyeatsnews.com
    project manager: http://carbsyndrome.com

  15. Paul Whiteley 19 May 2012 at 2:13 am #

    You’ve just described the opioid-excess hypothesis of autism: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12223079
    Speculative but interesting.
    A link to our most recent paper just for a bit of self-publication!
    http://www.la-press.com/how-could-a-gluten–and-casein-free-diet-ameliorate-symptoms-associate-article-a2399
    BTW – naltrexone seems to be a more interesting drug over naloxone (no medical advice intended)

  16. JustMEinT 19 May 2012 at 8:46 am #

    naltrexone or LDN (low dose – up tp 4.5mg) is currently being trialed by quite a few doctors in pain managemet for LUPUS, Chrons, RA and MS…. It is an interesting trial (I take it) and seems to help tremendously. I find it extremely interesting that it was also trialed in a dietary instance. I am gluten and dairy free, have difficulties with legumes and soy too….. negative biopsy for chron’s, but have positive action/reaction to salicylates, and many of the usual LUPUS type symptoms, but am considered sero negative! One really does wonder at times if many of our auto-immune diseases are food related.

  17. Joe Shmoe 19 May 2012 at 10:04 am #

    If I will do some opiate, it should be fun one like heroin.

    I dropped the wheat yesterday, first day, and it did not feel so good for me, but today should be easier. The third day, easier yet, and finally I will be free.

    Dr. Briffa for president.

  18. Simon Whyatt 19 May 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    The flip side of that picture of the toast should say “…and less slimming”

    Joking over though, I think there are several issues with Dr Davis’s claims. Now I’m certainly not claiming wheat is a superfood, nor that anyone should eat it for health – I ate strict paleo for several years and my health and digestion did improve dramatically – But in reterospect, I don’t think it is quite the supervillain many “paleo fundamentalists” make it out to be.

    Chris Masterjohn did a great critique of wheat belly here: http://blog.cholesterol-and-health.com/2011/10/wheat-belly-toll-of-hubris-on-human.html

    I think Nigel makes a great point about tight junctions above – I don’t think anyone would disagree that undigested proteins in your blood stream is a bad thing, but is bread really to blame. If you’ve got a hole in your shoe and you stand in a puddle, you’ll get wet feet. Is the solution to avoid puddles the rest of your life, or get the shoe fixed?

    On the LDN issue – As I understand it, the drug essentially blunts the experience of pleasure, therefore it would be hard to say the reduced food consumption was due to reduced stimulation from opiate like substances in wheat, or just reduced food reward in general.

    All that said, I think that the trend in the UK for people to live on wheat – Cereal for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch and pasta for tea, with wheat based snacks in between, is certainly not a good choice for health – As always the answer is not black and white!

  19. hilda glickman 19 May 2012 at 5:15 pm #

    Hi, Again the proof is in the pudding. It is quite simple to see if wheat affects you. Just give it up for a few weeks, see how you feel. Then go back on it and see again. ‘WE have been eating it for years and are still here ‘ What a daft comment. Death or being alive and here is not the only marker of health. Many feel terrible when they eat wheat. It might not be wheat itself that is the culprit but the new way that it is grown.

  20. Liz Smith 19 May 2012 at 10:41 pm #

    Yes wheat is a drug. I was addicted for years, in 1976 a child in my class asked if the rash on my face was infectious, (rosacea). Migraines, chest infections, rosacea totally on my face and neck. Could not wear cosmetics (wheat germ oil), constantly sleepy, scratched like a dog with fleas along my large intestine meridian. Patches of skin problems over my body. Until a shiatsu practitioner suggested I just stop eating wheat for a couple of weeks to see if that made any difference, up until then my doctor just gave me some awful cream -Betnovate? to stop the itching. Within two weeks the rosacea had gone, so had the migraines and my body calmed down. I had withdrawal symptoms for quite a few months, the smell of toast anywhere drove me to distraction. It still does when I go past a bakery or to France for the day. But I know now I can eat Kamut and organic Spelt on occasions and some sour dough. but the best thing for me is to keep off wheat totally otherwise my digestion goes haywire. I find that people who have this problem do not seem to realise that actually using wheat will be absorbed into the skin. My hands just ache if I make bread for the family or have a baking day when visitors come. I worked my problems out alone, as I got sick of being told it was – all just in my head! I incorporate muscle testing and a pendulum to check things I am unsure about.

  21. Paul Anderson 20 May 2012 at 6:23 pm #

    Modern medicine approach: fruit juice is good. But if the acid can rot the enamel in your teeth, and give you stomache problems and its full of sugar and fructose so you might gain weight, damage your liver and metabolism, etc. In fact it probably will. But that’s OK – we can treat these things. Clean your teeth, visit dentist, GP can prescibe something for you stomach issues, hey, we can even cut out part of your digestive system. Common sense suggests if its giving you problems stop drinking it, because how can it be good for you if its making you ill.

    But what do I know.

    Paul.

  22. David Manovitch 20 May 2012 at 7:42 pm #

    It is said that cereal grains have protective mechanisms to prevent them being eaten such as the hard husk that coats them and the Lectin proteins within that are said to be toxic to our guts. Thus they are not a natural food, and in a hunter/gatherer community would be too labour and time intensive to gather, and they require processing.

    Lectins are said to increase gut permeability, allowing poly peptides through that would not normally pass this barrier. This is mooted to cause auto-immune disorders, which are said not to exist in hunter/gatherer societies who do not eat cereal grains.
    It seems anomalous that given these defences against ingestion by animals that they should also contain an addictive substance that can surely only promote their ingestion!
    My personal experience suggests that bread is addictive and eliminating wheat certainly induces weight loss. Gluten hypersensitivity is also linked to Schizophrenia as well as depression and of course Dermatitis Herpetiformis.

    Giving up wheat is not easy in either a practical or psychological sense but it does seem to be of benefit.

  23. Greg 21 May 2012 at 7:53 pm #

    Too bad you did not get to hear Jack Kruse.

  24. Hugh Tauerner 21 May 2012 at 10:08 pm #

    Fascinating article.

    One very, tiny quibble: “Heroine” is the feminine form of the noun “hero”. The drug is “heroin” without a termina “e”. I know a few heroines who’d be more than a little annoyed at being confused with an addictive opiate.

  25. Simon Whyatt 22 May 2012 at 1:57 pm #

    David, while it may seem anomalous that grains should contain features that both attract and dissuade predators, one should remember that evolution is not a planned/conscious strategy, but a random process driven by selection pressures.

    I’ve written about this very topic before here: http://www.primalliving.co.uk/2011/08/know-your-enemy-selfish-genes-is-your-dna-out-to-get-you/

  26. David Manovitch 22 May 2012 at 6:24 pm #

    Sprouting apparently destroys lectins, so wheat grass should be OK.

  27. Kathy 22 May 2012 at 6:44 pm #

    Does drinking powdered organic wheat grass have all the same negative effects of consuming foods made from wheat?

  28. Pete Grist 22 May 2012 at 8:28 pm #

    I think it is generally agreed that it was farming and learning how to process and store grain that enabled the change from hunter-gatherer to living in settled communities. It also gave people more time and the ability to survive harsh winters (and so move north). Clearly there are people intolerant to wheat just as there are to milk, but does that mean we all are?

  29. Nigel Kinbrum 23 May 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    Simon Whyatt said…
    “I think Nigel makes a great point about tight junctions above – I don’t think anyone would disagree that undigested proteins in your blood stream is a bad thing, but is bread really to blame. If you’ve got a hole in your shoe and you stand in a puddle, you’ll get wet feet. Is the solution to avoid puddles the rest of your life, or get the shoe fixed?”
    Thank you. It would appear that there are more undigested proteins sloshing around in our intestines that I previously thought. See Physiology and Immunology of Digestion.

  30. Pete Grist 23 May 2012 at 10:05 pm #

    I’ve just read it and am not convinced. One example is the Irish potato famine. Throughout the famine the landowners were still exporting food to England, and more food could easily have been obtained from England had there been a will to do so. It was the callous disregard of the wealthy which was the cause of the high death toll (as in famines today).

    Also farming crops is not continuous work throughout the year, it is a seasonal activity. He also use peasants farming marginal land as an example, which wouldn’t have been necessary when there was plenty of space per person. At some point there would have been a clear choice of a way of living. Surely to continue as hunter-gatherers would have mean’t wars over land and restrictions on populations?

    It could well be true that the change in diet wasn’t all beneficial, but people survive on sub-optimum diets. After all many of the foodstuffs discussed in this blog were (are?) just not available to most people, but they are all produced by farming.

  31. Simon Whyatt 24 May 2012 at 1:20 am #

    Pete – The idea that agriculture gave people “more time” is highly debatable.
    Most research estimates the typical time spent by hunter-gatherers actually hunting and gathering at about 8-12 hours per week, whereas farming tied people to the fields from dawn to dusk, 7 days per week.
    Land owners were the beneficiaries of agriculture, but the majority definitely got the rough end of the deal!
    Jared Diamond’s essay – The Worst Mistake in History is definitely worth a read (you’ll find a free pdf link if you google it).

  32. Jonathan 28 July 2012 at 4:03 pm #

    You are Almost my saviour… the trouble with these articles is it prohibitive without supplying any ideas about what we can do to replace wheat products. Take England for example…. our typical lunch break is a sandwich. We have sandwich bars everywhere and it usually both the cheapest and quickest option. Most people don’t want to sit down to a full meal at lunch during a working week as digesting the food detracts from performance. Breakfast cereals are almost all wheat based and even for lunch, pies and pastries are made with wheat flour, and breadcrumb coatings for fish and chicken products also contain wheat. If I look at my supermarket shelves there are sandwiches, pies, pasta snacks and noodle snacks and all of them are made with wheat! I guessing that wheat flour features highly because is a cheap bulking ingredient? But it is Hard To Avoid!

    I feel sure my fatigue and mental focus problems are at least partly associated with wheat but it is hard to avoid without increasing either dietary cost or workload. So I close my eyes, buy the stuff and try to bolster the damage to my energy levels with those other evils caffeine and sugar! No wonder coffee and cola drinks do so well. I say so because I believe I am speaking for the overworked majority? We want to give up these things… but how, without taking too much of a withdrawal hit? Please, I want a more constructive approach… I can’t just stop eating to avoid wheat! : ) Please help! We need a manual.

  33. David manovitch 28 July 2012 at 11:01 pm #

    Jonathan,
    I have managed to virtually eliminate wheat, and it was not too painful but that of course is a personal matter. It does mean saying good bye to a lot of fast food/snack food. there are paleo/stone age diet books around. When out and about it is possible to get salads without pasta. I buy fish and pick the batter off. i get dips and eat them with oat cakes or rice cakes, not exactly low carb but it feels better than wheat and has a lower lectin content I believe. I use glucoasamine to counter the lectins. My BP has come right down to around 120/70 with Ramipril 5mg per day and I am definitely leaner than I have been for years. I also do not get the severe post prandial somolence that used to afflict me. Go for it.

  34. Jonathan 29 July 2012 at 2:07 am #

    Thanks David! You’ve introduced me to a new medical expression, Post-prandial somnolence! Thanks for the hints I did actually divert from the quick snack and bought eggs and tuna today to make a light egg/tuna high protein mayonnaise…. I just eat the stuff like a yoghurt! : ) I cycled 60Km today too to fight the fatigue. More inspiration for anybody reading I hope. The palo/stone age diet!? Never heard of it, but it sound perfect! I’ll check out the bookshelves on Monday. Thanks.

  35. JustMEinT 29 July 2012 at 1:11 pm #

    Do a heap of reading on gluten free and learn the life style – that is what it is a LIFE STYLE not a diet….. ice wraps with fresh meat and salad are really yummy for a quick lunch or pack something yourself to munch on at noon time. I wnet GF and DF five years ago and yes it has made a huge difference for me.

    https://www.google.com.au/#hl=en&gs_nf=1&tok=905kEnANqLzgdpdiNzfyPw&cp=17&gs_id=1g&xhr=t&q=gluten+free+for+dummies&pf=p&output=search&sclient=psy-ab&oq=gluten+free+for+d&gs_l=&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&fp=af6117ebc66c1527&biw=986&bih=506

  36. Dr. Bill Wilson 29 July 2012 at 8:22 pm #

    Wheat also takes on an addictive pattern because it plays a role in inducing a type of food-induced brain dysfunction. Our hunger drives primarily drive us to eat when our brain determines that we need nutrition. If we haven’t eaten for a period of time and thus have depleted our glycogen stores and some of our fat stores, eventually our glucose levels start to drop. The brain mainly relies on glucose for energy production so dropping glucose levels signal the brain to add subtle carbohydrate preference signals (CPS) to normal hunger signals. These CPS push you to consume a low glycemic carbohydrate rather than a steak as the fastest way to restore normal glucose levels.

    This system worked fine during most of our evolutionary history where we weren’t exposed to sugar, HFCS and grain-based high glycemic carbohydrates. These foods create magnified glucose spikes followed by a crash below normal. Although your brain doesn’t know how to read glucose spikes, it does know what to do with low glucose levels–send out more carbohydrate preference signals. When you end up responding by eating a Twinkie or similar fare, you end up with another glucose spike followed by a crash. Over time these fluctuating glucose levels transition normal carbohydrate preference signals into pathological cravings for sweet or starchy food. These cravings are clearly not normal and are always a sign of some degree of brain dysfunction. People with the condition sugar-brain and the more serious disease CARB syndrome always have such cravings, pushing them to consume more of the very food that is frying their brain.

    Wheat plays a critical role in this pathological process although it would likely not be so much of a problem if there was no insulin resistance from consuming too much fructose. The bottom line is if you want to be healthy, avoid sugar, HFCS and grain-based high glycemic carbohydrates.

    By the way Dr. Briffa and I agree that using L-glutamine as a supplement is a great way to reduce these pathological carbohydrate cravings.

  37. david manovitch 29 July 2012 at 10:13 pm #

    Re:Nigel Kinbrums comment. Avoiding wheat is exactly analogous to fixing the hole in the shoe. Lectins are proven to increase intestinal permeability and lectins are found in wheat amongst many other things. Avoiding wheat etc allows the leaky gut to seal itself to these larger protein molecules whilst remaining open to amino acids, fatty acids , sugars etc. Thus this is like fixing the leaky shoe but yes it is also like avoiding the puddles too. The grains only became food sources by virtue of man’s ingenuity in collecting the seeds,planting and then harvesting the new seeds en masse. Then they had to be rendered palatable, by grinding, moistening and cooking. This came via our intellect, which does not always serve us well. Prior to that for 2 million years we existed as hunter gatherers, and grains were too difficult to harvest in the wild and unpalatable to boot. Agriculture has artificially boosted the population the planet can accommodate, but is associated with the diseases that plague westerners today: cardio-vascular, cancer, and auto -immune, plus diabetes type 2 and hypertension. Hunter gathers do not appear to suffer these conditions. So avoiding grains should be healthy. It has certainly dropped my BP and weight.

  38. joe falco, austin texas 8 October 2012 at 4:30 am #

    Reember: this is about modern, bio-engineered wheat that has a higher level of this stuff. Also, not everyone is “allergic” and produces anti-bodies. Its like a ragweed or other pollen allergy: some people react, some don’t

  39. Greg 8 October 2012 at 6:43 pm #

    Joe, you are missing the point if you think this has anything to do with antigens or antibodies. In my case I say I have a glutin allergy because most of society accepts and understands the concept. Many think I am weird when I reject fake foods labled “glutin free” but I can usually just drop it or I can blow their mind with my “there are no such thing as healthy grains” rant.

  40. Greg 8 October 2012 at 7:07 pm #

    Jonathan, I suggest a huge breakfast of bacon and eggs, than take a walk for lunch. If you get cravings in late afternoon, munch on some raw tree nuts. If hunger is a problem, look into Dr Jack Kruse and his leptin reset, all available online for free. marksdailyapple.com is another great resource. Remember, fewer carbs equals less cravings.

  41. joe falco 10 October 2012 at 6:14 pm #

    thank you, i will look into that

  42. Dan. Kirwan 9 January 2014 at 2:51 am #

    It worked for me. I had the ugliest, longest lasting withdrawal symptoms you could name. Then a week ago it was like I woke up refreshed and was my actual self for the first time in many, many years. In the who knows and who cares department I was a psychiatric patient and I was locked up and committed for the first time at age 18. I’m no longer on meds (eg Olazapine).
    Thank you Dr. Williams and others.

Leave a Reply