Thursday, July 24, 2008

Modern Wheat: Staff of Life or... Staff of Cancer? Death?

Admittedly, stopping wheat was the last part of TYP regimen that I embraced. It's also perhaps the H-A-R-D-E-S-T. Wheat is ubiquitious as a convenient and delicious food component (which makes up the largest tier of the USDA food pyramid and a half-tier of the Harvard healthy eating pyramid). Don't we need wheat for life? Well, after nearly one month now of (near) complete wheat cessation (cheated with 1-2 chocolate croissants aaannnnddd... a few beers, irresistible bread pudding and slices of Ezekiel), I have to say, there is life after wheat. No one died. No one had seizures or delirium tremens. No one even puked.

Now my kids are a different story -- they still occasionally whine when they don't get their pizza, PB&J or penne pasta from Pasta Pomodoro, our (former) favorite restaurant. It turns out that potential replacements do exist (on earth)! Whole Foods Market (aka $$$ 'Whole WALLET') does have a gluten-free pizza shell in the frozen gluten-free area that is purportedly tasty. Rice noodles or mung bean noodles just are the same as penne pasta . . . How about a suitable vehicle for peanut butter & jelly. . . ? we're still figuring that out... any thoughts are welcome!

Why are Wheat-grains so filthy and abominable in the Track Your Plaque plan for atherosclerosis stabilization and regression? Sounds so blasphemous doesn't it? Like cursing food of the gods? Wheat helped potentially grow the Roman empire (by supplying their soldier-class with a convenient portable energy source) and build world wonders like the Egyptian pyramids 3rd century BC. In modern times, why does it represent so many chronic diseases and ailments? Wheat is currently linked to all the below conditions. Acute sudden death does not generally occur (nor does anaphylaxis or other fatal reactions like scurvy or beri beri) however the death is chronic, very very slow, mildly painful, taking decades.
--celiac sprue
--'silent' celiac sprue
--autoimmune diseases -- most arthritis syndromes (?even OA/DJD), Type 1 diabetes, Hashimoto's hypothyroidism, Grave's hyperthyroidism, lupus, multiple sclerosis, ?asthma
--gallbladder disease
--primary biliary
--colon cancer
--pancreatic cancer, other cancers
--eczema, acne, psoriasis
--systemic inflammation
--et cetera

Can our daily bread be causing cancer? People are in disbelief that the staff of life can be the strongest factor in (!!) infertility and crippling arthritis... 'Don't we need fiber?' as if I've suggested something sacreligious. 'Aren't we supposed have whole grains at every meal?'

I used to feel the same way too until I was witness to testimonials.

I'm more of a true believer now for complete wheat cessation after hearing not only amazing stories that Dr. Davis has frequently blogged about at HEARTSCANBLOG but witnessing some personal amazing stories from people who have stopped wheat completely in their lives for only 2 to 4 weeks.
  • decrease or elimination of 30-50 units insulin daily
  • reduction in pain from arthritis
  • decrease or cessation of pain and arthritis medications
  • improvement in vitality, energy and youthfulness
  • acne improvement or resolution
  • skin showing glowing clarity and smoothness, eczema-free
  • easy weight loss 10-15 lbs (women) or 20-30 lbs (men who typically start with more lean tissue mass than women)
  • chronic pain syndromes
  • improvement in neuropathic pain syndromes
  • hypertension decrease or normalization

Many parts of the TYP plan promote heart protection as well as cancer prevention. Wheat cessation is just one part of this ultimate optimum health guarantee. Other critical components which clinical studies have shown to promote prevention and regression of cancer include:
--fish oil omega-3 PUFAs EPA + DHA (high dose and ultra high dose)
--elimination of pro-inflammatory omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (cheap industrial veggie oils like safflower, sunflower, cottonseed, canola, etc)
--excessive fructose (the carb in fruit and starches like corn)
--elimination of trans fats and fructose/high-fructose-corn-syrup
--normalization and optimization of steroid hormones: vitamins A/D/E/K2, B-complex, C, micronutrients (Zn, MAGNESIUM, Se, Cu, etc), Estrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone, DHEA, Thyroid, et cetera
--daily exercise/movement/play + occasional intensive bursts ('sex' counts!)

Wheat, the staff of slow painful death... and cancer. Stop wheat products now for elite health and fitness.

Consider trying wheat cessation for 1-2 wks -- you may be surprised by the results just as I was!


Gyan said...

I am not getting the answer as tothe problem with wheat due to rancidity since I doubt many Americans eat fresh wheat flour.
Or is it just wheat per se that would create these problems?

Also followers of Ray Peat believe that it is PUFA that creates these problems.
(Hardly anybody would consume wheat without some fat).

Also canola/rapeseed provides omega-3 in ratio 1:2 with omega-6. And so why canola should be though so bad?.

Dr. B G said...

Unfortunately wheat has proteins called opioid peptides which cause chemical havoc in the human body for many people. Even for individuals who consume acceptable levels of omega-3 to omega-6 ratios (1:2). My belief is that biochemically we just are not able to digest and metabolize wheat components without biochemical consequences. We just weren't evolved well to handle (and probably never). Certainly glycemic control and insulin control dramatically improve in clinical trials when individuals stop wheat and other gluten-containing grains (barley, rye, oats). Immunologically, many things then turn around.

I think high carbs and wheat (and high fructose) leads frequently to metabolic derangement, impaired immunity and problematic cancer surveillance.


Any fatty acid if rancid can be problem too (like olive oil -- you want fresh pressed of course). I totally agree -- if people consume wheat, esp rancid wheat there is probably amplication of the pro-inflammatory outcomes. This is why spoilage is a common problem for the food industry -- thus the introduction of partially hydrogenated fats (and HFCS) in the American (and now world-wide) food supply. Have you noticed in India, China and UK/Europe -- everyone buys groceries daily? Everything spoils in 1-2 days! Transfats and HFCS taste great and have stability in packages. I ate Twinkies as a kid -- we used to joke that we were preserving ourselves like the Twinkies b/c they had a 'shelf life' of eternity... but it's not funny you're right to consume excessive polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs)... including excessive omega-6's or transfats.

Small portions of canola oil are not that 'bad' (which I use at our house). Canola certainly is not as bad as other PUFAs -- sesame is quite ok as well (but has a low smoking point so can't be used for stir-frying/cooking).

Here's a refinement in my thoughts lately:

Bad (and progressively BAD):

Sedentary (very very bad worse than smoking 2 ppd)

Sedentary + exssv PUFAs

Sedentary + exssv PUFAs + DHA/EPA deficiency

Sedentary + exssv PUFAs + DHA/EPA deficiency + VitD defic

Sedentary + exssv PUFAs + DHA/EPA deficiency + VitD defic + HFCS

Sedentary + exssv PUFAs + DHA/EPA deficiency + VitD defic + HFCS + WHEAT

The last (a terrible oversimplication) is our current American situation which is slowly intoxifying other nations as well, sadly. PPARs are completely degraded in the last case. PPARs are vital for cancer prevention and anti-inflammatory/CAD regulation.


Gyan said...

I agree that man is not fully adapted to wheat.
My doubt stems from the observation that many people do very well on wheat/lentil diet.
Here in India, many rural people esp in North thrive on wheat/lentil along with generous amounts of milk and butter.
(They consume very little PUFA)
The wheat flour is fresh, always less than a week old.
So where will you put in your table

WHEAT only
ie wheat without excess PUFA/ vitD deficiency, sedentaryness etc

Dr. B G said...

Well... wheat only + daily exercise + caloric restriction (as what occurs in poor rural areas like India and China and Ethiopia) + vast amounts of vit D (outdoor work) + pasture-fed butter/lard (DHA, vit A, vit D, etc) + lentil/soy

The above 'tier' over compensates for the havoc created by 'wheat only' imo...

What are your thoughts? I am not familiar with the rates of chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease or cancer in rural India. In China, chronic conditions are still common I suspect secondary to a high intake of rice -- the carb load and high GI (glycemic index) does not fail to affect many susceptible individuals esp Northern China (more vit D deficiency, more frying PUFAs, high carbs) (and incl myself -- in urban Northern California!).

GI cancer is frequent in some areas of China -- I suspect lotsa rice (which triggers high insulin and high gastric acidity) coupled with nitrosamines which are carcinogenic byproducts of grilled/preserved meats and/or vegetables.


Anonymous said...

I have been reading some troubling things about the food supply and habits in India over the last year or two.

I think it was a item in Marion Nestle's last year blog that said a major European grocery store chain was making a concerted effort to expand their chain into India to serve the rapidly growing middle class, but in order to do so, it first had to effect major changes with the Indian farmers and food producers in order to meet the requirements of such a chain of stores. In other words, the old ways of production had to go and new ways would be the only option in order to meet the requirements of a large corporate distribution model.

I also have run across several references to a movement away from ghee (clarified butter) toward more use of industrial plant oils (margerines, shortenings, etc.). Also, while the CVD incidence rate % is lower than in more developed countries like the US, I think the total number of CVD patients in India is actually quite high due to the larger population overall.

Sorry, can't remember where I saw that, but I think the trend fits in with the overall tendencies worldwide as traditional, local diets and food production are abandoned for modern, industrial diets and lifestyles.

Dr. B G said...

Hi Anna!

Thank you for the information!

I will check it out...It is unfortunate that the trend is going that way toward unsuspecting citizens who have no idea the implications of the food component changes.


Dr. B G said...

Hi Anna...

Ha ha I'm glad you blog -- now I have another treasure trove of genius thoughts and commentary to power my days!!! Girl, you R-O-C-K!! You're so humble that I nearly missed it...

My daughter's 9yo bday celebration/pool party/tea party is this Fri. We've gone totally wheat-free (b/c have the guests are wheat-free too) and I'm totally new to this territory.

I'm going to try your coconut- flour butter cookies! I'll post later our wonderful menu of gluten free (semi-low carb not really) delights...

(hope the link works)
Anna's Coconut Butter Cookie picture and recipe !! :)


Gyan said...

The educated middle class is moving away from ghee (principally due to misinformation) but the demand is increasing among poor so India's per capita consumption of butter and ghee is actually increasing (perhaps the only countrty to have this trend?)

Gyan said...

A request--are you aware of any discussion group/blog/site for women with breast cancer who are taking 5000-10000 iu of D3?
I would like to know the experience esp with prevention of metastates.

Dr. B G said...

This appears to be a great informative site for prevention

Breast-Cancer Prevention