Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis
Q&A – Part 2
Last month, we put up a Blog about the book Wheat Belly, by Dr. William Davis – Questions & Answers with this informative Doctor. We hope you found it educational and interesting. Below is Part 2 of a series of Q & As with this same Doctor as he presents us information on wheat that we possibly never questioned. It is seeming that wheat isn’t as healthy as we were always told it was. In addition, wheat is a very different plant today than it was when our ancestors ingested it. Wheat is addictive, can cause withdrawal symptoms when cut out from the diet, but yet is a huge industry that is marketed as a healthy food to consumers.
Q (to Dr. Davis) : You write that wheat is “addictive,” but does it really meet the criteria for addiction we would use when talking about, say, drugs?
A (Dr. Davis): National Institutes of Health researchers showed that gluten-derived polypeptides can cross into the brain and bind to the brain’s opiate receptors. So, you get this mild euphoria after eating a product made with whole wheat. You can block that effect [in lab animals] by administering the drug naloxone. This is the same drug that you’re given if you’re a heroin addict; it’s an opiate blocker. About three months ago, a drug company applied to the FDA to commercialize naltrexone, which is an oral equivalent to naloxone. And it works. Apparently, it blocks the pleasurable feelings you get from eating wheat so people stop eating so much. In clinical trials, people lost about 22.4 lb. in the first six months. Why, if you’re not a drug addict, do you need something like that? And, of course, there’s another option, which is to cut wheat out of your diet. However, and this is another argument for classifying wheat as addictive, people can experience some pretty unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.
Q: For how long (do you experience withdrawal symptoms)?
A: Generally, about five days. And once you’re through withdrawal, your cravings subside, your caloric intake decreases and your alertness and overall health improves.
Q: So, do you believe food manufacturers are putting wheat into more and more food products, not just bread and crackers, because it’s addictive and stimulates appetite?
A: These are not stupid people. The research showing that wheat stimulates appetite didn’t come from some little alternative health practitioner. It comes from the NIH (The National Institute of Health). It stretches credibility to believe they have no awareness of the evidence.
Q: If there’s all this evidence, why does the government encourage us to “eat healthy” by upping our consumption of whole grains?
A: That’s the million-dollar question. Wheat is so linked to human habit, it’s 20 per cent of all calories consumed by humans worldwide, that I think there was the presumption, “Gee, humans have consumed this for thousands of years, so what’s the problem?” I don’t think the misguided advice to eat more whole grains came from evil intentions.
Q: Wheat is a huge industry. What do you say to all the farmers who grow it?
A: To me, it’s reminiscent of tobacco farmers, who would say, “Look, I’m just trying to make a living and feed my family.” Nevertheless, tobacco is incredibly harmful and kills people. It could turn out that if we wind back the clock 100 or 1,000 years, and resurrect einkorn (oldest wheat known) or some of the heritage forms of wheat, maybe that would be a solution. Of course, wheat products would then be much more expensive. Instead of a $4 loaf of bread, maybe it would cost $7 when grown with a heritage wheat. To me, it’s similar to free range eggs or organic beef 20 years ago. Everyone said, “No one will pay a premium for those.” But people do. And when it comes to wheat, my main goal is to inform people, including farmers, that the prevailing notion that cutting fat and eating whole grains will make you healthy is not only wrong, it’s destructive.
Are you now intrigued what it would be like to try cutting out wheat from your diet? Could eliminating it make you feel more energetic, have a more robust immune system, improve your metabolism, and make you feel happier and healthier? If you are looking for further information on how to tackle cutting it out from your diet, or have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Garibaldi Health Clinic and we would be glad to be of help!