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Against the Grain with William Davis

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>> I know you're here to hear some unique ideas, different ways of looking at food, and I hope I deliver. So I've got a very counterintuitive message that's contrary to just about everything I think you've heard outside of these walls. So I hope I enlighten you in thinking about diet in a completely new way. If you see what I see every day, I think you'd say, "Oh, holy crap!" This is going to change the way people eat, the way people look at human disease, and how we look at healthcare. So I open with a tough question, any cows in this audience? [laughter] There's a cow out there. [cow mooing] [laughter] So would you agree that every species has a style of eating that's unique to that species, that they've evolved to, adapted to over millions of years. So here's a frog eating a grasshopper, or a fly, or other sorts of things. How about a hummingbird sucking nectar out of a flower? Or how about an obligate carnivore like a cat, right? So what if we fed the cat the diet of a frog or of a hummingbird? Well, it probably would die or get very ill, funny things would happen. So every species has a long history of adapting to a very specific style of eating. So how about a ruminant, a cow, our modern conception of an auroch. Aurochs were the ancient of cows that humans learnt, "We could domesticate this herbivorous creature that grazes on grass." What allows them to consume grass by the way? Well, they have teeth that grow continuously. You grow teeth how many times? Twice. So the teeth you probably wear now and you brushed this morning, you've had since age 10. But cows grow them continuously because there are sand-like particles in grass that erode the teeth, they have a dental pad on the upper palate in place of their incisors, they produce in excess of 100 quarts of saliva every day, you produce a measly quart. They've got four stomachs or four compartment stomachs that have unique microorganisms, and a grinding function, and they bring back up their food, right, the grass, to chew as cud. They have a spiral colon. We have a colon that has a couple of turns. So their colon is very long, it also houses unique microorganisms that we don't have in our bowel flora. This how this creature, this ruminant herbivorous creature manages to consume grass. So once again, specific adaptations allow this creature to follow the diet it's been following for the last, oh, many tens of millions of years. So what happens when humans eat grass? This is a real picture. There's a charismatic preacher in South Africa, and for odd reasons, he was seized by this notion that his congregation to prove their loyalty to their God should eat grass, and they did. Look what happens. These are real, these are not staged. So these nice people who thought this was a good thing ate grass. What happens? You get sick, you throw up, you have diarrhea, you have abdominal pain. So humans can't eat grass. That's why when you cut your lawn in the summer time, surely you save the clippings and toss them on top of a salad, right? Why not? It's green, it's leafy, right? Why don't you eat it? Maybe you have to keep the dog off of it and keep the neighbor kids from running all over it. Why can't you eat that stuff? Because you can't eat grass, right? You're not a ruminant. You don't have teeth that grow continuously, a four compartment stomach, a spiral colon, you don't have any of that stuff. So what is grass? Grass is a plant, they're beautiful plants, right? Twenty percent the earth's surface is covered by grasses. Well, grasses come from the family, the biological family Poaceae. Okay. So that includes rye grass, and Kentucky bluegrass, these are the grasses that fill your lawn. It also includes wheat, rye, barley, corn, rice, oats, millet, teff, amaranth. They're all grasses. So how did it come that humans have been persuaded that we should eat grasses? Well, when you eat grass, grains, you don't eat the stalk, right? You don't eat the roots, you don't eat the husk, you don't eat the leaves. You try to eat the seed, you dry it and pulverize it, you don't, but humans do, processing, people do. They dry it, pulverize it, reconstitute it with water, bake it, make it rise. It's all these manipulations of the seed, but even in the seed, there are multiple indigestible components because it comes from grass. So we'll talk about what's in there in a few minutes, what's in there that you cannot digest and thereby has peculiar effects on humans. So how is it, how did carnivorous humans turn to the seeds of grasses? So wild living people don't eat grass. If I caught you stranded in a field of wheat, would your mouth start to water? You thing, "I found a bounty of great food here." You would probably not even recognize it as food, right? So seeds of grasses. So why did carnivorous or at least omnivorous humans turn to the seeds of grasses after 2.5 million years of not consuming the seeds of grasses? What did we eat by the way over all that time? We ate the flesh and organs of animals. The organs of animals. We ate other plants, not grasses but other plants, nuts, seeds, berries, you know, all this. And if you were coastal, shellfish, fish, though even fish is a more recent addition because the technology, hooks was a recent discovery, relatively recent discovery. So what caused humans to say, "Can we eat that stuff, grass?" So we go back 10,000 years, we go back to the Fertile Crescent when there was a period of natural climate change, global warming, natural global warming, no, cars, of course, back then or agriculture to heat the atmosphere. And humans ran out of conventional sources of food. And at the same time they, were domesticating or ox to become cows and ibex to become modern goats. And we watched those grazing ruminants and we said, "Hey, can we eat that stuff too?" So we tried. What happens when humans eat grass? You get sick. So if you're hungry and desperate, you figure stuff out, right? You figured out the only part you could try to consume was the seed of the grass. This occurred in the Fertile Crescent 10,000 years ago. Interestingly, it also occurred nearly simultaneously, nearly simultaneously, speaking anthropological time, right? Not days or weeks but thousands of years, but nearly simultaneously in Sub-Saharan Africa with the consumption of millet and sorghum, in the swamps of Asia with rice, with maize and teosinte in Central America. So more or less simultaneously, humans turned to the seeds of grasses about 10,000 years ago. So what did they eat in the Fertile Crescent? What was that wheat? Well, that was einkorn wheat, that was the ancient predecessor of wheat, a 14 chromosome plant. Now let me diverge from that and talk about chromosomes. So you nice specimens of Homo sapiens each have how many chromosomes? Forty six, right? So you mate with the other sex, right? You contribute 46 chromosomes, your partner contributes 46 chromosomes, how many chromosomes in your offspring? Ninety two, right? No, 46. So all humans have 46 chromosomes. Plants don't play by those rules, plants can do something different, they have the capacity to do something called polyploidy. What that means is plants can combine chromosomes, can combine genetic codes. So it would be as if you had a child with 92 chromosomes, doesn't happen, but plants can do that at odd times. So einkorn mated naturally, not by humans, naturally, with a wild grass because wheat is a grass, right, it's a grass. So it mated with a grass and that grass contributed 14 chromosomes, that's emmer wheat, that's the wheat of the Bible. So mentions of wheat in the Bible, bread, salvation, that's all emmer wheat, a 28 chromosome form of wheat. It happened again and emmer wheat mated with another grass that contributed 14 chromosomes and that's created spelt and Triticum. The Triticum species, which are the forerunners of modern wheat, but these are the more closely related direct descendants of modern wheat, 42 chromosome. Why do I tell you all this? Well, one of the issues that people raise is, "Well, but wheat's in the Bible, it's in history, and..." It is, but it ain't what you got. Okay. Let's talk about that too, how wheat has been changed not by nature but by humans. So einkorn wheat is still growing wild, do you where that is? In Central America. That's teosinte, that's corn. Do you see a cob? You know, the cob is a modern mutation, a grotesque mutation, tasty perhaps, but a grotesque mutation introduced by humans. So that's the seed head, the cob is the seed head, the kernels are the seeds. So corn is really a modern mutation of the teosinte or the maize plant, that's millet and sorghum, these are grasses, okay, these are grass. That's what grains are, they are the seeds of grasses. So that's how we got here through nature's use and changes in seeds of grasses and grains. Now humans step in to change things, humans in the 1950s, 1960s, you know, we had lots of hungry people throughout the world, several billion people starving. And so there was a push to increase yield per acre, increase accessibility, noble purposes. This is not Monsanto doing evil work. These are good scientists trying to do good work, trying to increase the yield of crops. These are three agricultural scientists working in the 1960s, east of Mexico City. On the far right is Dr. Norman Borlaug. Now they're standing in a field of traditional wheat. See how it stands about shoulder high to a grown man, it's about 4.5 feet tall. That's what traditional wheat looked like in the 19th century, like Red Fife, Russian wheat, until they hybridized it, mated it thousands and thousands of times with all different kinds of strains. They mated wheat with other grasses because wheat's a grass, right, and did some other genetic manipulations that predate the age of genetic modification, so there's no gene splicing here. And this is what he got, kind of hard to tell from that picture, but he's got an 18 to 24 inch tall plant, it's a high-yield semi-dwarf strain of wheat. I live in Wisconsin, I can drive about five miles and I can see at the end of July just before the harvest I'll see fully grown wheat about that high. The seed had very long, seeds very large, yield per acre went up four-fold, six-fold, eight-fold introduced into Ethiopia, Bangladesh, famine was converted to surplus within a year. Dr. Borlaug was given Nobel Peace Prize, he was held as a hero, the father of the green revolution for inventing this strain of wheat. Didn't stop there. Other practices continued, there's a strain for instance of wheat called CLEARFIELD wheat. There's a patented strain of wheat that's resistant to an herbicide, the herbicide is called imazamox or Beyond. Well, how did they make the wheat resistant to an herbicide? That is the farmer can spray his field full of this herbicide, imazamox, and it kills the weeds but doesn't kill the wheat. How did they get the wheat to be so resistant to the herbicide if no genetic modification was used? And I highlight this because the wheat industry is always saying, "Davis is nuts. There's no such thing as genetically modified wheat." I never said there was. They change it using other methods. Okay? So here they changed wheat, they made it resistant to an herbicide by using a method called chemical mutagenesis. Mutagenesis, the purposeful induction of mutations, you can do it with chemicals, you can do it with gamma rays, you can do it with high-dose X-ray, and other toxic compounds. So in this case, Oregon State geneticists exposed wheat season embryos to a compound called sodium azide. Let me tell you about sodium azide. Very toxic industrial compound. There had been instances of accidental human ingestion. And if that happens, the poison control people say, "Do not give the victim CPR or mouth to mouth because if you do, you're going to die. So let that person die if necessary. And if the victim vomits, don't throw the vomit in the sink because it could explode." And that's actually happened. So they use sodium azide to induce mutations that when you induce mutations, you can't control where the mutation occurs, so you accept that you provoke hundreds of mutations, okay? So no scrutiny over this process, this is grown on over a million acres now in the Pacific Northwest, it's consumed by Americans, it's exported, so it is the product of extensive mutation induction. Okay. Now I'm using wheat as kind of the prototype for grains. So when I talk about wheat, I'm really kind of also referring to varying degrees to rye, barley, corn, oats, okay, because there's so much overlap in these seeds, and we'll talk about that a little bit. So are there changes in wheat? Yes, there are. We have thousands, thousands of reports from the agricultural genetics literature that wheat has been changed. For instance, this is not about celiac disease, by the way, this is about things other than celiac disease that is the intestine destruction from the gluten protein in wheat. But we know that people with... There's fourfold, a 400% increase in celiac disease since 1950. We know that celiac disease has doubled in the 20 years. This is not just better diagnosis, there's actually been an increase in the disease itself, why is that? Well, one of the changes introduced into wheat was a gene called glia-alpha 9, don't remember that, okay. So glia-alpha 9 codes for a specific kind of gliadin protein within gluten, it was uncommon in the wheat of 1960. It's present in most strains of 2014, okay. So that's one example that there are genetic changes introduced into modern wheat. We have a report from Cold Spring Harbor Lab in New York, one of the best genetics laboratories in the world. And they analyzed older strains of wheat, modern strains of wheat, they say this reveals that the bread wheat genome, the genetics has undergone rapid and significant changes. So wheat, a bit more so than other grains, has undergone extensive change by humans, not natural change by humans, we know this, I point this out because another criticism I often hear is, "There is no difference in modern wheat." Yeah, there is. Now we have other methods. Now we have genetic modification, right, we have corn, soy, and other crops actually being subjected to gene splicing where genes are actually inserted or deleted using a handful of genes at a time. So we have Bacillus Bt toxin corn, the corn that expresses its own insecticide, so Bt toxin corn is regulated by the FDA as an insecticide. Of course, that expresses in your intestinal tract and changes bowel flora, and that Bt toxin gene can even be incorporated into your bowel flora, nobody knows what that means. Can't be good. And we have glyphosate-resistant corn Roundup Ready, just like the imazamox-resistant wheat, it allows the farmers spray his field full of glyphosate and it kills the weeds but not the corn. Of course, now weeds are getting smarter and more resistant to the glyphosate, and so they have to spray even more and add other herbicides. And we have stacked varieties that have both of those genetic patterns. So these are the seeds of grasses that share or overlap in a lot of effects more or less. So what's in those seeds of grasses? What's in them that makes them so bad? Well, there's a long list of things. We'll go through some of the more important ones. Gliadin, wheat germ, gluten, phytates. Let's take this darn thing apart and see what's in these darn seeds of grasses that humans, I believe, mistakenly turn to and regarded as food. Let's talk about gliadin because that's among the most crucial components of the seeds of grasses. So people talk about gluten, don't talk about gluten. If you say gluten, you don't know what you're talking about, okay, don't talk about gluten. Gliadin is the problem, and you'll see why that is. Because if you talk about gluten, you're going to be misled, you're gonna fall into traps in thinking, you're going to fall into misleading ways of thinking about grains, so let's talk about gliadin. So gliadin is a subcomponent of gluten. The other component by the way is glutenin. It's the polymeric the chain, long chains that will gives wheat that very unique viscoelastic property, right, that stuff that makes dough, you can form it into Cinnabon and pizza, you know, pretzels, all those wacky shapes, that's because of the polymeric form of glutenin. But it's gliadin where most of the problems come from. So to understand gliadin, you and I have to go back once again in time, but this time let's go back to 1950s and 1960s. Let's go back to the Highlands of New Guinea, where Dr. F. Curtis Dohan was doing field work with a group of other investigators and they were studying this group of 6,000 New Guineans. You may know that at that time, less so now, but at that time these New Guineans lived a Stone Age life. They used stone tools, stone weapons, had no technology, okay. So they were studying these people. And Dohan, being a physician, said, "You know what, I've only seen one person here among this population of 6,000 who shows the signs and symptoms of schizophrenia." So you people know what schizophrenia is. If you see those homeless people talking out loud, that's usually a schizophrenic, so a very, very obvious, often, and frightening condition. So he sees one schizophrenic in this population of 6,000. They're studying these people and they're trading with them. I'll give you some cornbread if give me that arrowhead or whatever. They're trading food for their relics and skins and that sort of thing. He watches 60 people among these Highlander New Guineans developed schizophrenia, 1 to 60. Now he published this, it was kind of a casual observation. But he came back to the US scratching his head, "Why would trading with these people cause an extravagant 6,000% apparent increase, 6,000% apparent increase in schizophrenia a very serious disease?" So he came back, he took a job at the VA hospital in Philadelphia. This is 1960s now where we used to have, those of you old enough to remember, we had closed wards. Where you would walk into a closed ward and there would be 30, 40 patients all sharing a big room, sharing one bathroom, one TV, and curtains between. Well, this was a psychiatric ward full of schizophrenics. Okay. So he was in charge of these closed wards of 40 schizophrenics. Closed, medication was controlled, going was controlled, and their diet was controlled. Well, having seen what he saw in New Guinea, he persuaded his colleagues, "Hey, let's try this here. Let's try to take all the wheat out of the diet of these schizophrenic patients." They did it for four weeks, and he watched them improve, less paranoia, less hearing voices, better able to engage in conversation, normal engagement. He added it back, they got worse. He took it away four weeks at a time, they got better. They weren't cured, they were just better. They got better, added it back, got worse. He published these data. A UK group said, "This can't be. Let's try to corroborate this." And they did the same thing, four weeks on, four weeks off, four weeks on, same thing. On again, off again, and showed that a substantial number of schizophrenics had improvement by not eating bread. Okay, so this all gets reported to the National Institutes of Health, so this is not some flaky, you know, alternative thing. This is National Institutes of Health. And they said, "What in the world is in wheat that would allow deteriorating symptoms in schizophrenics?" So Dr. Christine Z Drew and her group of biochemists boiled it down to the gliadin protein, and what they observed was gliadin is not... So if you eat an egg, a protein-rich food, or a piece of chicken or beef, you take that protein, you break it down into single amino acids, right, that's how human digestion proceeds. But remember, wheat, corn, rice, millets are seeds of grasses and you have a hard time digesting them because you're not a cow. So when you consume the gliadin protein of wheat, you break it down into pieces, peptides, you don't break it down into single amino acids, you break it down to peptides. With the unique amino acid structure of the peptides that breakdown from gliadin but bind to the human brain and act as opiates. Okay, so wheat and related seeds of grasses yield opiates. What does it do? By the way, that's one of them, that's the A5 pentapeptide, that's one of the opiates that comes from wheat. A very interesting... You know, if this wasn't about health and just science, it's a fascinating story. The A5 pentapeptide has all kinds of weird effects, including, it activates prolactin release from the pituitary. Prolactin, prolactation, it makes your breasts get bigger, men and women. Okay, it's a very, very potent breast enlarging protein. No joke. So you eat wheat or related seeds of grasses and you get opiates. What does that do? What do opiates in your diet do to you? Well, here's where it gets a little tricky because the affect depends on your unique susceptibility. So if you're a child with attention deficit disorder or autism, you have behavioral outbursts, it erodes or abbreviates your attention span. If you are just an everyday person, you can get mental fog from it, difficulty concentrating. If you have a tendency towards bulimia or binge eating disorder, you can get 24 hour a day food obsessions that make you sit in front of your refrigerator at 3 o'clock in the morning and binging. If you have schizophrenia, you know it causes paranoia and hearing voices or hallucinations. If you have bipolar illness, it can trigger them many of the high. If you have a tendency towards depression, it triggers depression. How about you nice people who don't have schizophrenia, bipolar illness, or ADHD, what do the opiates and wheat do? They stimulate appetite. They stimulate appetite on average for 400 more calories per day. It's an appetite stimulant. So that's what happens if the gliadin protein and related proteins of other seeds of grass like the secale in rye, the hordeum in barley, and the zein in corn, okay, all were closely related. If I overlap those proteins, line them up one by one, you'd see they're almost identical, not entirely identical but darn close. So that's what happens if gliadin is partially digested. Well, sometimes you don't digest gliadin at all. And if gliadin is not digested at all, it binds to the intestinal lining. I'm sorry about this complex slide, but it binds to something called the CXRC3 receptor on the intestinal lining which activates a complex mechanism via the protein zonulin. What that does? It opens the barriers in the intestinal lining. So a lot of the naturally minded people for years have talked about intestinal leakiness, the scientific basis is now understood. This is Dr. Fasano's work University of Maryland, now at Harvard. So we know that the gliadin protein and related seeds of grass proteins pry apart those normal barriers or what happens when you pry apart normal barriers? Well, funny stuff gets into your bloodstream and your body. So some of those funny things can be components of grains, they can be components of bacteria, like the lipopolysaccharide that's highly inflammatory, it can be gliadin itself. So, you know, another aspect, fascinating aspect of the gliadin protein is a lot of its structure, its amino acid sequence, overlaps with human proteins. So gliadin, if I held up against several human proteins, looks a lot alike, it looks a lot like the transglutaminase protein. It looks a lot like this the synapsin protein of the human brain and some other proteins. What does that mean? So gliadin, if intact, opens intestinal barriers, it gets inside the bloodstream, it activates an immune response, antibody, etcetera, the body can't tell the difference between gliadin and the proteins you had that looked like gliadin. So if it's the synapsin protein in your neurological tissue, your brain, it attacks your brain. Okay, you get things like... People call it gluten dementia or gluten encephalopathy, much like gliadin encephalopathy. You can get cerebellar ataxia, where your cerebellum shrinks and doesn't regenerate, and you start to lose balance, start to wet yourself from neuropathy, okay? So the gliadin protein overlaps in sequence with multiple human proteins and initiates autoimmunity. So how many diseases can we blame on wheat and related grains? Here's a partial list, it's not a complete list. Cardiomyopathy, chronic fatigue, Crohn's disease, primary sclerosing cholangitis, polymyositis, polymyalgia rheumatica, polyarteritis nodosa, type I diabetes in children, ulcerative colitis disease, IgA nephropathy. This is a partial list, there are about 200 diseases, not to say every case of autoimmunity is caused by wheat and grains but a heck of a lot of them are, and how many other causes can you blame on what you put in your breakfast plate, right? Okay, that's gliadin. Let's talk about lectins. So remember, the proteins of grains are indigestible, right? You can't digest most of the proteins and grains. Lectins are another one. So this is wheat germ agglutinin. So wheat germ agglutinin, an indigestible protein, if it goes in here, it comes out the other end untouched, unfazed by all your digestive capacity, even your bowel flora can't digest it. So goes in this way, comes out, but in its passage through 30 feet of intestinal tract, it does all kinds of weird stuff. So wheat germ agglutinin is in wheat, rye, barley, and rice. Okay? So it's called wheat germ agglutinin because the structures are identical in all those four grains, but it's another conserved protein among all the grasses, seeds of grass. What happens if I purify a milligram, a speck of wheat germ agglutinin and give it to a rat, a laboratory rat? Its intestinal tract is destroyed. It looks just like celiac disease, but it's not celiac disease. The average American consumes about 10 to 20 milligrams of wheat germ agglutinin just by eating grains as the USDA would tell us. Another effect of wheat germ agglutinin is it blocks the enzyme... I'm sorry, the hormone cholecystokinin. So if I eat... Let's pretend I just had lunch. I chew, I swallow, stomach acid, that food gets into duodenum, okay, and the signal is given to your gallbladder to release bile that emulsifies fats. The signal is passed to your pancreas to release pancreatic enzymes, right? This is how digest stuff. Unless wheat germ agglutinin is in the vicinity, it blocks cholecystokinin very powerfully. What does that do? Well, several things. If your gallbladder can't release bile, bile stasis results, you get gallstones. If you can't release pancreatic enzymes, you can't digest foods, proteins, fats, etcetera. If you have imperfect digestion from that blocking effect of wheat germ agglutinin, what happens to bowel flora? Bowel flora changes, okay? So bowel flora is changed by this protein. Okay, let's talk about amylopectin A. So you've been told that complex carbohydrates are better for you than simple carbohydrates and simple sugars, true? No, nonsense. So two slices of whole wheat bread raise blood sugar higher than 60 spoons of table sugar. Did I make that up? No, it's in every table of glycemic index. So here's one. This is the first study of glycemic index performed by Dr. David Jenkins, University of Toronto in 1981. So glycemic index, that is how high blood sugar goes over 90 minutes after you eat a food. Well, for sucrose, table sugar, it's high, right? It's sugar, 59. How about white bread? Sixty-nine. How about whole wheat? Seventy-two. The glycemic index of whole wheat is higher than table sugar, so gram for gram, ounce for ounce, whole wheat and whole grains raise blood sugar. This is because there's something called amylopectin A. So, you know, complex carbohydrates are long chains, simple sugars are only one or two sugars, right? So this is the complex carbohydrate of grains amylopectin A, it's called amylopectin A because it has a unique branching structure, but that branching structure different say than the amylopectin C of beans makes it highly susceptible to digestion by the enzyme amylase in your saliva and in your stomach. And it's incredibly efficient at releasing sugar. So when I told you most of the components of the seeds of grasses are indigestible, this is an exception, this is highly and uniquely digestible. So this complex carbohydrate is far worse than simple sugars. So we've seen this. This is not my speculation, it's been corroborated thousands and thousands of times, we feed wheat products to people even slender of volunteers like this study, blood sugar goes sky high. If you are a 240-pound overweight sedentary man, it goes even higher, right? As blood sugar goes high, insulin has to go high too and wheat and other grains because of amylopectin A are highly insulinotropic, they provoke release of high levels of insulin. So what happens when you have repetitive high blood glucose, high blood insulin? You get resistance to insulin. So the repeated high levels of insulin because you ate breakfast cereal for breakfast, you had a snack of low fat pretzels and crackers at 10:00, you had a sandwich of low fat turkey breast on two slices of whole wheat bread for lunch, and you had a snack of some more at 3:00, you had dinner of whole wheat pasta, right, at 5:00, high blood sugar, high blood sugar, high blood sugar, high blood sugar, every time you do that, and after the pasta, high blood sugar sustained, high blood insulin, resistance to insulin. Okay, that's the process you set in motion that causes visceral fat to grow, visceral inflammatory fat. You can see it on the surface, that's not the visceral fat, but that's a reflection of it on the surface as love handles, right, muffin tops. You can even see it on CAT scans, MRIs, it's the black stuff, it's the fatty tissue that resides in the abdomen. How about unique allergens? Now it's important for you to know that most problems with wheat and grains are not allergy, but there are problems with allergy. Well, if you change the proteins in grains because you hybridized, you induced mutations with chemicals, and gamma rays, or you used genetic modification and it inadvertently changed some of them proteins, you're going to induce some allergy, right? Because these are unique proteins. So we know that a lot of asthma is now caused by the unique proteins in grains, lot of rashes are caused by the unique proteins in grains, and these proteins have wacky names. Like amylase inhibitors, trypsin inhibitors, serpins, thioreductases, gamma gliadins, there are dozens of proteins in grains now responsible for the surge in allergy. So we know that allergies are on the rise, particularly in kids. A lot of them are from the unique changed proteins in grains. Okay. Covered a lot of stuff. So you now know that there's a protein called gliadin in wheat that's counterpart secalin in rye, hordein in barley, zein in corn. We know that gliadin, if undigested, increases intestinal permeability. This has nothing to do with celiac disease, this is non-celiac. So that an increase in intestinal permeability applies to most people almost everybody here has had that if you've had anything made of wheat and related seeds of grasses. We had that amylopectin A that raises blood sugar higher ounce for ounce than table sugar. We've got wheat germ agglutinin that block digestive capacity and blocks cholecystokinin. We've got these unique allergens. We have even talked about the effects of Bt toxin and glyphosate and some of the unintended changes introduced by genetic modification, that's a whole conversation of its own, isn't it? So what does the USDA say armed with all this powerful information? Do they say, "You know, after a full examination of the science, we're not sure whether you should eat grains or not. So if you do, just be real careful and realize that wheat and grains, particularly with the ones that have all the new change introduced by a business, we're not so sure you should eat that stuff."? You ever hear that? They tell us eat as much as you can every day, every meal, every snack, right? Why does part of the food pyramid, biggest part of the food plate, grains should be the centerpiece of your diet, more than fats, more than meats, more than anything else, grains should be the center part. Seeds of grasses should be the centerpiece of your diet. Well, there's not a single organ system not affected by consumption of the seeds of grasses, every organ system head to toe, mouth to anus, every organ system in your body is affected by grains. There's nothing that escapes that effect. I'll go so far as to say that to a large degree, the healthcare system we've created. I mean, the healthcare system, I can tell you it's a really awful, awful system. The healthcare system we've created at least for chronic illness, not a motor vehicle accident, not tripping on the stairs and busting your hip, not acute, or catastrophic, I'm talking about chronic illness that the healthcare system we've created is largely a response to the diseases of the seeds of grasses. Let me get something very, very clear. This is not about being gluten-free. So if you follow the popular press said, "Is that Davis guy talking about gluten-free again?" No, I'm not. So because if you fall into the trap that the problem here is gluten, it's going to make you do stupid things like fall for that, right? So just because something doesn't have gluten doesn't mean it's there for good, okay? So thinking of gluten as being the only problem in wheat, or rye, barley is like thinking the only problem with cigarettes is tar, right? And we're gonna ignore the formaldehyde, the cadmium, and the mercury. So what does that do? You say, "Well, low tar cigarettes are therefore healthy." You all should be smokers provided they're low tar cigarettes. Well, that's stupid, right? But it's the same logic used to justify gluten-free foods, what four ingredients are used in gluten-free foods to mimic the taste and texture of wheat and gluten? Cornstarch, rice flour, tapioca starch, potato flour. So you now know very few foods raise blood sugar as high as wheat, right, so very high. What foods raise blood sugar even higher than wheat? To shortlist cornstarch, rice flour, tapioca starch, potato flour. So nobody here, nobody here should be eating gluten-free foods made with those for ingredients. Now there's going to be a time when smart food manufacturers smarten up and say, "You know what, we should make foods with good ingredients." By the way I had a meeting with a high-level executive in a food company. He wanted to talk to me, "How do we create healthy foods?" I told him, I said, "Well, don't use gluten-free." That's ridiculous. That's a flawed concept, it's a trick, it's a trick to trick you into eating foods and taking up that market. It's a booming market, by the way, about $15 billion. It's exceeding, all his sales had tripled. I can't tell you who it is, I had to sign an agreement that I wouldn't say. His sales have tripled in the past year. Anybody in business knows tripling sales in a year is stupendous, right? So they tripled their sales of gluten-free foods past year. And I said, "Well, I can tell you how to make foods really healthy." He said, "No, no, no, I don't really care about that. I'm worried that when the public smartens up and realizes gluten-free foods are crap, that's gonna be a backlash against us. So I want to make them a little bit better, not perfect, not good, not healthy, just a little less harmful because we all know gluten-free is crap." He told this to me, "We all know..." Us high-level executives in the big food companies, "We all know gluten-free is crap but how do we turn away this profit opportunity, a booming market." So don't buy gluten-free foods unless you're buying it from a provider or a manufacturer who's smart enough to understand we don't use those gluten-free ingredients. So how do you do this? How do you become wheat, rye, barley, millet, rice, corn free? How do you do that exactly? You don't need me to identify obvious sources, right? You know bread rolls, pancake mix, obvious sources of wheat, cornstarch, corn on the cob, obvious sources of corn, right? You need me to tell you that. The problem is it's hidden. So wheat's the second ingredient in Twizzlers, wheat, cornstarch often in canned soups, instant soup mixes, taco seasoning, salad dressings, all frozen foods, all breakfast cereals, so you'll find... If you haven't done this yet, you'll find, at first, you're gonna say, "Well, this is ridiculous. There's no way to be grain free in a world where everybody is using grains and things we should eat more of them." And you also find that it's listed often as kind of stealth or alias names. So hydrolyzed vegetable protein, panko, seitan, bran, these are all names for wheat, lots of hidden sources of corn, zea mays, cornmeal, cornstarch, some of the uncertainties come in the real refined derivatives of corn like maltodextrin, mannitol, these are derivatives of corn, they're probably not harmful though, probably not, because they don't have sufficient protein residues and probably not glyphosate or Bt toxin, probably. I say probably because, as you know, no one bothers to test these things, so we're still waiting for the analyses on these foods to say, "You know, you shouldn't be eating maltodextrin anyway." But if something has a little bit of maltodextrin in it, just realize it probably was grain sourced form, so lots and lots and lots of hidden sources, so we'll talk about how to avoid that. Now you got to know. If you're going to be advising your clients, your patients on how to do this, not eating grains, be prepared for a very unpleasant first week, okay? So if you are addicted to OxyContin because of low back pain, and it's a holiday, you forgot to fill your prescription, "Oh, no, pharmacy is closed, not going to be open for another three days," what happens to you? You start to sweat, you start to throw up, diarrhea, you start to act irrationally, what is that? That's opiate withdrawal. What happens when you stop eating grains abruptly? You get nauseated, headaches, fatigue, depression, you're going through an opiate withdrawal, okay? So there's about a week long opiate withdrawal syndrome. I won't kid you, it's very unpleasant. The key is to tell your clients, "Be prepared, you're going to have a very unpleasant..." Not everybody gets it, but most do. "You're going to have a very unpleasant first week, everybody survives, but it's very unpleasant. You can still have health benefits through the withdrawal process. There are things you can do to smooth it, you want to hydrate because when you stop the gliadin protein and the high insulin effect, you'll lose water, okay? So if you lose say five pounds in the first week by not eating grains, two of those pounds are probably water, okay? So you want to hydrate, so don't become dehydrated. We have to reject this notion of limit your salt, which is nonsense anyway, use some salt because if you get dehydrated, you lose salt also. Magnesium, we're all deficient, if you're not supplementing magnesium, it seems to be exaggerated through the period of withdrawal, so we supplement magnesium preferably in highly absorbable form like malate. We're going to talk about bowel flora but you start by reseeding your bowel flora with healthy species of lactobacillus, bifidobacteria such as with a high potency probiotic preparation. We all have read about iodine, if you've been limiting salt, because the FDA told you to, you've read about iodine. I'm seeing goiters coming back. So that's iodine deficiency, so we restore iodine because a lot of people start this journey because they want to lose weight. We have the worst obesity crisis ever in the history of man. So if you restore iodine, you allow your thyroid gland to do its job. Vitamin D, not really directly related to the grain conversation but so critical for so many things. It's a good time to talk to people about vitamin D, and then omega-3 fatty acids. As you lose weight, and the typical weight loss about 15 to 18 pounds in the first month, more over a longer period. Did you hear me say cut your calories? Did you hear me say push the plate away, smaller portion sizes, exercise more? No, eat all you want, eat more fat, don't count calories. If you did count calories, you'd see it go down, 400, 800, as many as 1,500 calories less per day because you lost the appetite stimulating properties of the gliadin-derived opiates. But when you lose weight, where did that fat go? Does it go in the trash? Does it go in your bedroom dresser? Where does it go? Into your bloodstream, okay? You can actually see it if you spin blood down, remove the red blood cells, you'll see a layer of milky fat. So omega-3 fatty acids help you clear those fats more effectively. And iron and zinc, we didn't even talk about this. If you get rid of grains, you lose the phytates that block iron and zinc absorption. You know, two billion people on this planet with iron deficiency, anemia, much of it due to grain consumption because the phytates contents, say, in a bagel or two slices of whole wheat bread binds the iron and reduces absorption by 90%, so iron deficiency. You'll see people with this iron deficiency, they can't be corrected, that's from the phytates of grains, likewise zinc. We go back to real single-ingredient foods. You know that an avocado is safe, right? Pork chops, putting aside the factory farm issue and hormones and antibiotics, put that aside for a moment, in general, safe, right? Vegetables, preferably organic, safe. Raw nuts or dry roasted nuts, safe. Meats and eggs, don't limit the fat. If you're going to buy meat, if an animal sacrifices life for you to survive, eat its liver, eat its heart, eat its tongue, eat the fat, boil the bones for soup or stock, don't skim off the gelatin with the fat. Now you have to a got little farther. If you've got clients, say, with rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, polymyalgia rheumatica, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, you remove grains, remember, because the gliadin and related proteins initiate the process of autoimmunity, problem. You screwed up bowel flora too, right? So if you remove the grains, bowel flora doesn't recover immediately, you have to encourage the cultivation of healthy bowel flora. You start with a probiotic because as you know probiotics, represent what we think are healthy species of lactobacillus, bifidobacteria and others, but it can't end there. You have to feed those. So just taking a probiotic is like having a garden in springtime, you plant the seeds but forgot to come back and water and fertilize it, you ain't going to have a garden, okay? So probiotics are insufficient. You have to reseed your garden, your bowel flora with probiotics, and then feed them. Now feeding is a little more complex conversation we don't have time to go into, but I have this in my Wheat Belly Total Health book if you're interested, it's also in my Wheat Belly blog. It's the whole notion of prebiotic fibers, resistant starches, this how you feed them. It's odd sources like green unripe bananas, raw white potatoes, inulin, these are fibers indigestible by humans but digestible by your bowel flora. And when you do that, intestinal permeability is corrected further, triglycerides go down, blood sugar goes down, blood pressure drops, insulin drops, sleep is deeper, anxiety can be reduced, it has an astounding, to my great surprise, an astounding multitude of health benefits, but it takes two to three months to work, okay, this is a lifelong strategy, cultivating the bowel flora that are your friends. And if you have an autoimmune disease or inflammatory disease, you've got to pay attention to vitamin D. That's a whole conversation of its own, but very, very powerful factor and think about other food intolerances as immunogens, as foods that can trigger autoimmune inflammatory responses. Does this mean you'll never have pizza again? You'll never have cheesecake or a nice big slice of coffee cake or a muffin again? No, you can have those things, but we're going to recreate these foods without wheat, without grains, certainly without that gluten-free nonsense, right, and without sugar, and you can recreate pizza, cheesecake. For the holidays, you can make all kinds of goodies, you can have gravy, you can have pumpkin pie. So that's what I talk a lot about in a lot of my online properties. We talk about how to recreate these kinds of foods so that you don't feel like you have to have lettuce, leaves, and dry turkey meat for Thanksgiving and the other holidays. So if you want those, just go on to my blog or the books, and there's lots of other authors too who are doing this too, in the Paleo world, low-carb world, etcetera. All right, thank you very much for listening. [applause]

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Duration: 51 minutes and 24 seconds
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Posted by: integrativenutrition on Jun 30, 2017

March17, Module 18

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