The Long Knives Are Out For ‘Wheat Belly’

      96 Comments on The Long Knives Are Out For ‘Wheat Belly’

Look as if the grain-industry people have been trolling the internet attempting to trash Wheat Belly, the outstanding new book by Dr. William Davis.  How else do you explain an Amazon review written under the title The David Koresh of Medicine.   Notice that the review doesn’t dispute any of the facts or science presented in Wheat Belly:

The author has no credentials, no credibility, just a small cult of terriby misinformed followers. Don’t be fooled by the high volume screech against wheat and grains.

I have to admit, it didn’t occur to me when I recommended Wheat Belly that Dr. Davis has no credentials.  I assumed being a doctor who’s seen the benefits of a wheat-free diet in thousands of his own patients counted for something.  I also figured that after poring over hundreds of studies on wheat’s health effects and thoroughly researching the history and genetic structure of wheat, Dr. Davis was qualified to write on the topic.

Allegations of “secret ingredients in wheat” to make you eat more, or comparisons to cigerettes. Seriously?!

Apparently the wheat lobby doesn’t require its job applicants to pass a spelling test.  Are cigerettes similar to cigarettes?

Dr. Davis never claimed there are secret ingredients in wheat.  He didn’t (as far as I know) don a Ninja costume or disguise himself as a plumber and break into the headquarters of Wheat , Inc. to pilfer documents.  He simply described, based on published documents, how wheat has been modified during the past 50 years.

For over 8000 years wheat has sustained and grown human kind …

Eight-thousand years ago, humans (some of them, anyway) consumed Einkorn wheat.  The main similarity between Einkorn wheat and today’s mutant wheat is they’re both called “wheat.”  We also call both Thomas Jefferson and Adolph Hitler “humans,” but they produced rather different effects on other humans.  What we ate 8,000 years ago has nothing to with the health consequences of eating a highly modified variety of wheat that’s only been around for the past 50 years.

And wheat didn’t “grow”  humankind.  Wheat shrunk humankind.

… oh and it tastes good when mixed with a little water and yeast.

That explains why nearly every brand of bread includes high fructose corn syrup high on the list of ingredients.

Every nutritionist and serious medical professional will tell you that bread is the most economical and safe source of essential nutrients.

Every one, seriously?  That’s odd … I seem to recall a lot of conversations and interviews with nutritionists and medical professionals who agree wholeheartedly with Dr. Davis — who, despite having a good sense of humor, is a serious medical professional.  So serious that he wrote a book about wheat.

In fact, bread is handed out in natural disasters because it sustains life without food safety issues or requiring refrigeration.

Tell ya what:  if I’m ever starving because a tornado wiped out all the refrigerators within a 50-mile radius, I’ll eat some of the bread FEMA hands out.  But the fact that bread doesn’t require refrigeration doesn’t in any way prove it’s good for us.  Coca-Cola and heroin don’t require refrigeration either.

And now, suddenly it will kill you. Comical!

No, today’s mutant wheat doesn’t kill you suddenly.  It’s more like slow torture.

This book is such a bone headed, misinformed way to just scare people into not eating.

Now wait a minute, Buster!  Dr. Davis is 100% in favor of people eating.  He just doesn’t want them eating a mutant grain product that will make them fat and sick.

As for secret ingredients, humm, apparently the author is ignorant of the food laws that regulate everything that goes into food and on food labels.  Unlike some enforcement agencies, the FDA has some serious teeth behind its enforcement.

Well, that certainly negates all the studies demonstrating the negative effects of wheat that Dr. Davis cited in Wheat Belly.  If the USDA and FDA are on the beat, mutant wheat (which is heavily subsidized by the same government that funds the USDA and FDA) simply has to be safe.  That’s why they conducted all those tests on the stuff to make sure it wouldn’t cause any … no, wait a minute.  Nobody ever conducted tests on mutant wheat to see if it’s fit for human consumption. Okay then, we’ll just have faith the USDA and FDA can tell if a food product is safe by looking at it.  That works for me.

As for frankenwheat, again seriously?! Wheat, due to its ubiquitous presence in the world is treated as sacrosant from any GMO research or development.

I see.  So when wheat went from being a wispy plant that couldn’t be harvested until it was five feet tall to a short, stubby little plant that’s harvested when it’s two feet tall — all in just the past 50 years —  that was a natural mutation, was it?  Boy, evolution works really, really quickly.  I wonder what all those plant geneticists on the Monsanto payroll are doing all day.  They’re probably just sitting around, playing poker and thinking, “Geez, I wish they’d let us develop some kind of hybridized new seeds that the company could patent and then force farmers to buy by threatening to sue them if some of those seeds blow onto their farms and start growing even if the farmers didn’t want the seeds in the first place.”

If you need real, science based information on healthy eating, check out […] and leave this book and its cult in the compound.

I’ll try to read […], but when I searched for […] on Amazon, all that came up was a kids’ book titled “Dot and Dash play Dot-Dot-Dot.”

I was hoping the grain lobby wouldn’t find out about our cult.  For those of you who haven’t been recruited yet, we have a secret handshake that requires a lot of flexibility in the fingers — that keeps out the grain-lobby infiltrators who are suffering from wheat-induced arthritis.  At our meetings, Dr. Davis sacrifices a goat and then we all spend hours enjoying ritual dancing around a bonfire on our pain-free legs.  Sometimes we even dance naked.  It’s not a sexual thing, you understand … we just like showing off our rash-free skins.

I’m sure this campaign by the grain industry will succeed.  Any day now, Dr. Davis will have a conversation with a patient something like this:

“So how do feel after being wheat-free for the past two months?”

“Well, Dr. Davis, I lost 25 pounds, my psoriasis cleared up, my arthritis went away, I’m sleeping better, I’m not depressed anymore, I think more clearly, and I stopped wheezing.”

“Excellent!  So you’ll continue avoiding wheat?”

“Of course not.”


“Wheat has been sustaining humans for 8,000 years, Dr. Davis, so it has to be good for us.  Besides, I don’t want to end up spending all day the airport banging on a tambourine and selling flowers to passengers.”

“But I never asked you to– why are you sticking your fingers in your ears?”



“My de-programmers told me not to listen to you.”


96 thoughts on “The Long Knives Are Out For ‘Wheat Belly’

  1. kem

    I think big wheat might know how easy it is to forgo their product.

    And I am pleased we have kept gmo’s out of our little islands (nz). Not sure I’d like to be beholden to Monsanto next time I drill a paddock.

    I’m sure they’re scheming on a ways to get to your island eventually.

  2. Andrés

    First of all, I have to apologize for stepping in without reading Dr. Davis’ book first (I am still unable to download it to my Android’s Kindle program from Spain).

    @David: Just in case your impolite comments are due to lack of previous useful information but you are still able to process information more or less objectively. I want to point out just a little piece of information: Presence of celiac disease epitopes in modern and old hexaploid wheat varieties: wheat breeding may have contributed to increased prevalence of celiac disease. Perhaps it is not the only factor, but surely one factor it is.

    Having respect for Stephan and Chris information processing capabilities and opinions is not incompatible with showing respect to others, and pure credentials here are utterly useless (you should check, through all the references given by Denise to his own work, how Dr Campbell is unable to try to falsify his hypothesis: doing that, trying to falsify it, is the watermark of a competent and able scientific mind). At the end, of course, you should use your own processing capabilities. For example, some positions of Chris are just hypothesis to be check opposed to another hypothesis of others, as for example vitamin A controversy (Chris vs. Dr. Cannell). At the moment both of them seem plausible, so you should decide by yourself. Doing that does not require you to despise the other position.

    Best regards.

  3. Amie

    It looks like the grain industries are fighting back on all fronts, all over the world. Look at this horrific development in Denmark, where they’ve introduced a new tax specifically on saturated fats, putting up the prices of butter and bacon, but not, surprise surprise, of sugary cereals!

    Apparently this is the result of some skilful lobbying by the wheat and PUFA lobbies. I hope to high heaven this doesn’t spread to the UK. I imagine you hope the same about the US (I imagine the USDA is licking its lips in anticipation).

    Third biggest lie: we’re from the government and we’re here to help.

  4. johnny

    Hey David, you do not have any credibility whatsoever.

    Want to know why? Unlike Tommy and Dr.Davis, you do not reveal your real name.

    I know why you don’t reveal it. You are a paid agent for big agriculture who are desperate because they have been exposed for shamelessly promoting their poison.

    Be a man and post with your real name, you coward!

  5. Elenor

    “Sorry I let the cat out of the bag about our cult rituals.”

    Hey! If y’all start sacrificing cats — in or out of bags! — I’m NOT coming to your dances!! Goats, sure. Lambs would be better…maybe a bull? But NO cats!!

    No worries. I’m not a fan of cats, but I think it’s bad luck to sacrifice them.

  6. Olga

    Hi Tom:

    Have you seen this new study?

    Interesting. I hope someone will fund a trial with humans — not attempting to induce diabetes in anyone, of course, but to see if a ketogenic diet reduces the incidence of diabetes. Unfortunately, I can’t imagine who would want to fund it. Certainly not our government.

  7. Firebird

    “I think big wheat might know how easy it is to forgo their product.

    And I am pleased we have kept gmo’s out of our little islands (nz). Not sure I’d like to be beholden to Monsanto next time I drill a paddock.

    I’m sure they’re scheming on a ways to get to your island eventually.”

    It’s closer than you think. On HDNet’s “Dan Rather Reports” this past week, they did a story about an American company, Agrisol, that plans to set up corn and soy fields in Tanzania, which has acres upon acres of fertile ground, but are uprooting a 40 year old, self-sustaining refugee camp. The owner of the company bought his way onto the board of trustees at Iowa State, and moved to have them work in partnership with his project in Africa.

    It was rather shameful, and it’s all being done disguised as “Stopping world hunger”.


  8. Gary McRiddle

    One thing I will never understand is how Stephen Guyenet garnered the most rabid fanboys on the internet with a vague, confusing, unhelpful theory that’s basically a repackaged version of calories-in, calories-out.

    The most common argument I hear from his cheerleaders is “You just don’t understand!”

    Uh, yeah. Perhaps it’s only a theory for great intellectuals, but how many people has it actually helped compared to the supposedly one-minded and over-simplified message of low carb?

    That’s my problem with the food-reward theory. It’s just the “gluttony and sloth” idea repackaged, and it doesn’t explain why mothers in some poor cultures become obese while their children are malnourished. I seriously doubt they’re starving their kids so they can eat more of that rewarding food.

  9. Ellen

    Just ran across a new paper out on the causes of type 1 diabetes (T1D). Check out this paragraph:


    In 1993 we discovered that hydrolyzed diet protects against T1D in NOD mice (107). It was new and not generally accepted that changes in the diet could influence the incidence of diabetes.

    Six years later, the study was extended more specifically to gluten-free diet, which lowered the T1D incidence from 64% in the chow-fed control NOD mice to 15% in the experimental mice (108).

    In a more recent study in which the gluten-free diet-treated animals had never experienced gliadin (a gluten protein), not even in fetal or neonatal life, the decline in incidence of T1D was from 61% to just 6% (109).

    Sure, it’s mice, but still, a compelling reason not to eat wheat.


  10. Christopher

    Hey David, guess what…you’re an idiot. You go to all the trouble of insulting those people who are going out of their way to actually help people, unlike other groups I could mention (PCRM, The US Government, etc…). But, If you wanna live in a fantasy world, be my guest. You probably think PETA is a good, wholesome organization. Here’s the deal. Meat is good, Wheat is bad. Not everyone is a sheep, like you, blindly following whatever someone says based solely on ‘credentials’ or position. After watching both Supersize Me AND Fat Head, I did my own research. Quite honestly, Fat Head is A LOT more scientifically sound and contains more facts and common sense than Spurlock’s movie. Guess what else, I’m 17 years old. Not only did I manage to look this stuff up on my own, but I’m also more than capable of understanding these facts. And I’m sure I’m not the only one. If a 17 year old is capable of doing these, I’m pretty sure adults with a shred of common sense (much like Tom, who has more than most) can too. In fact, the only one I’ve seen with a level of common sense at equal or greater amounts than Tom, is the Late George Carlin.

    Hey Tom, have you ever though about making a page on here where you post only the comments left by trolls? It would be a great laugh to read their pathetic attempts to insult you and what you stand for. Gotta learn me that secret handshake too xD

    Ha … perhaps a monthly “troll roundup” would be a fun feature.

  11. Katy

    Should we eat bread or paste? Hmmm, decisions, decisions… As quite a number of kindergarteners will tell you, the paste made with the wintergreen extract is exquisite! But for those without, here’s some basic recipes:

    Homemade Paste

    1/2 cup flour
    Cold water
    Food coloring (optional)
    Add cold water to flour until mixture is as thick as cream.
    Simmer and stir in saucepan for 5 minutes.
    Add a few drops of food coloring, if desired.
    This wet, messy paste takes a while to dry.

    Papier-Mache Paste

    1 cup water
    1/4 cup flour
    5 cups lightly boiling water
    Large saucepan
    Mix flour into 1 cup water until mixture is thin and runny.
    Stir this mixture into lightly boiling water.
    Gently boil and stir 2-3 minutes.
    Cool before using.

    No-Cook Paste

    1/2 cup flour
    In bowl, mix flour with enough water to make a mixture that’s gooey, but not runny.
    Add a pinch of salt; stir

    And for a sweeter, tangy variety…


    3/4 cup water
    2 tablespoons corn syrup
    1 teaspoon white vinegar
    Small saucepan
    Small bowl
    2 tablespoons cornstarch
    3/4 cup cold water
    Mix water, corn syrup, and vinegar in saucepan.
    Bring to a full, rolling boil.
    In bowl, mix cornstarch with cold water.
    Add this mixture slowly to the hot mixture, stirring constantly until the mixture returns to a boil.
    Boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat.
    When cooled, pour into another container and let stand overnight before using.

    So with a little food coloring, we could eat wheat flour and turn ourselves into paper mache people.

  12. kat Plumb

    hi, for fun, I went to read “other reviews” by the same guy, and found this gem –

    Sugarettes (a book against sugar) he says –

    “With this type of quackery on the market it is no wonder we have an obesity epidemic in this country. Low glycemic index diets are for severe diabetics. For real information on healthy and balanced lifestyles including moderate physical activity go to ”

    LMAO go to the government and the food pyramid to get your real info on health.. hahahahahahahaha.

    thanks, Tom, another brilliant review of a review.

  13. David

    “It’s actually kind of funny that he claims Dr. Davis is a miserable scientist, then makes these strange leaps in logic that would cause even a mediocre scientist to blush.”

    Actually, Tom, if you read over my comments you’ll find that I didn’t make a single ‘leap in logic’. I merely offered possibilities that might disprove your theory that hybridized, mutant grains are inherently toxic to the human body. Possibilities that should be considered. Not a single conclusion came out of my mouth – other than the fact that Dr. Davis is a bad scientist.

    [I wouldn’t expect you to grasp your own lack of logic. That would require a logical mind, which you obviously don’t possess. But for a couple of examples:

    Chris Masterjohn gives examples of how various factors can affect gut permeability, which then allows gluten to seep into the bloodstream and cause negative reactions in people prone to celiac disease. Your completely illogical conclusion was that Chris therefore proved gluten doesn’t cause celiac disease — a disease of gluten intolerance.

    I noticed (as have thousands others) that wheat provoked arthritic pains. I noticed this when I still believed wheat was good for me, as I clearly stated. Your completely illogical conclusion: it was a psychosomatic reaction caused by gluten hysteria … riiiiiight, people are constantly suffering from psychological aversions to foods they believe are good for them.]

    You’re making an enormous leap in logic with your mutant grain belief, whether you’ll admit it or not.

    [Hmmm …. the grain industry pays plant geneticists to increase the amount of gluten and the alter protein sequence of gluten in wheat. After that wheat becomes part of the food supply, the rate of celiac disease — a disease of gluten intolerance — quadruples. Yeah, that’s one enormous leap in logic. It’s far more logical to believe that a quadrupling of the number of people who have celiac antibodies in their blood is caused by psychosomatic fears of a food most of them believe is good for them. You’d only look a slightly less foolish if you blamed it on a Gypsy curse.]

    “According to certain wheat-promoting trolls, what you experienced after eating the pizza was merely a psychosomatic reaction prompted by an irrational fear of wheat planted in your brain by Dr. Davis. That’s one theory.”

    And it’s a very reasonable theory. The placebo effect, as much as Tom likes to dismiss it, is extremely powerful. If you really want to know if you’re sensitive to wheat, Sid, perform a blinded wheat challenge like the one I brought up earlier in this thread. You may be quite suprised by the results.

    [It may seem reasonable to you. To anyone with a sense of logic, it’s idiotic to believe that when thousand of people see their arthritis disappear after giving up wheat — usually to their great surprise — it was a placebo effect.]

    I’m surprised Dr. Davis hasn’t performed such challenges on his patients. It’s not dangerous, nor is it difficult to perform. If his patients proved sensitive to wheat after the challenges, it would lend an enormous amount of credibility to his theory. The fact that he hasn’t performed this simple, simple test, drains credibility from his theory.

    Any well trained scientist – I mean ANY – would immediately think to perform such a test. Why hasn’t Dr. Davis? Is he afraid he might not like the results?

    [You really need to work on those reading and comprehension skills. Dr. Davis didn’t believe wheat causes arthritis himself at first. Some of his patients tried eating wheat again and then saw their symptoms re-occur. When they eliminated wheat again, the symptoms went away again. As Dr. Davis said in our interview, if nearly everyone who drinks out of a particular well gets sick, then they recover, then they get sick again as soon as they drink from the well again, he’s not going to wait for a clinical study before telling his patients to stop drinking from that well and see if it prevents them from getting sick again.]

    “It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong”. – Richard Feynman

    [Good quote. But is has nothing to with this debate, since Dr. Davis has seen eliminating wheat lead to the disappearance of arthritis, asthma, psoriasis, irritable bowel, and a number of other diseases over and over again. The “experiment” isn’t proving him wrong. It’s proving him right. You — again, for reasons that baffle me — simply refuse to believe it.]


    “Hundreds? First you state (wrongly) that my livelihood depends entirely on this blog, and then you accuse me of only drawing hundreds of readers? With a financial mind like that, you should go work for the Congressional Budget Office.”

    “It’s the wheat fogging his thought processes.”

    Damn, I chose the wrong figure of speech. Must definitely be the mutant grains fogging my mind. I love how out of everything I wrote, that remark is the only one you have the intelligence to comment on.

  14. David


    “…you should check, through all the references given by Denise to his own work, how Dr Campbell is unable to try to falsify his hypothesis: doing that, trying to falsify it, is the watermark of a competent and able scientific mind.”

    I couldn’t agree more.

    I haven’t once, on Dr. Davis’ blog, seen him make any effort to falsify his theory. The first step would be a blinded, controlled wheat challenge, as I already mentioned. That would be the most important, most obvious step he should take to falsify his hypothesis.

    Honestly, if he presented his theory, and all his patient testimonies in a peer-reviewed journal without that blinded wheat challenge, the entire scientific community would laugh at him. I hope you appreciate what I am saying.

    He has been criticizing “mutant wheat” for years, and he hasn’t performed this experiment. It’s ridiculous. That alone suggests he is a bad scientist.

    Imagine I told you GMO corn caused cancer in rats. I base that theory on the fact that Big Agra altered its DNA, and when I stop feeding rats Cheetoes, corn syrup, pop-corn with hydrogenated margarine on it, and Doritoes their health improves (surprise, surprise). But not once have I performed a blinded, controlled experiment on rats to see if they truly react to GMO corn in isolation. I would hope you wouldn’t take me seriously.

    Now let’s see what chicanery Tom types out to dismiss this point.

    Once again, you have reading and comprehension problems. Dr. Davis has already had patients attempt to falsify his theory, a theory he only developed after noticing, time and time again, then when his patients followed his advice to give up exactly one food — wheat — they came back reporting that a long list of ailments had disappeared. Later some of his patients, not wanting to give up wheat, decided to have a roll or a piece of bread, only to see their symptoms come back. Given the consistency of that observation, are you actually suggesting he should withhold giving that advice until someone manages to scrape up the huge amount of money required to conduct a clinical study? Who’s going to pay for that study — General Mills? Pfizer? The grain-pushing USDA? And please describe the myriad of health problems his patients will suffer by following his advice to give up wheat.

    Your determination to defend wheat — without reading the book — frankly baffles me.

  15. Sid Mannluv

    I generally prefer insane; however, when it comes to my health I will have to side with logic and reason.

  16. Sid Mannluv

    On another note I can’t wait to read Wheat Belly now that I am currently reading Life Without Bread and see how they compare.

    Also, I have eaten pizza all my life and only recently (last few months) did I stop eating wheat ( and that was primarily because I wanted to keep my blood sugar level down). So when I ate some I was only thinking about how much I like the food and how as a once in a while treat it would be fine to have. So I wasn’t preconditioned to think that the wheat in the pizza was going to give me grief. I believe the body to be a very capable resilient organism that can handle a certain amount of change (for lack of a better word) without it being detrimental. I was wrong and completely caught off guard by how I felt. I am glad I ate the pizza though because it reinforced my conviction about wheat.

    Careful about that conviction … some goofball will claim you merely suffered a psychosomatic episode.

  17. David

    “Chris Masterjohn gives examples of how various factors can affect gut permeability, which then allows gluten to seep into the bloodstream and cause negative reactions in people prone to celiac disease. Your completely illogical conclusion was that Chris therefore proved gluten doesn’t cause celiac disease — a disease of gluten intolerance.”

    Okay Tom, for the final time, I HAVE MADE NO CONCLUSIONS. I merely pointed out possibilities that refute your theory that wheat hybridization led to widespread sensitivities. You are the one making conclusions. When you tell people Big Agra made then fat when they hybridized wheat, you are saying something that you have no proof of. You should be wording it as more of a possibility. And if you’re at all interested in good science (finding out what’s actually true) you’d be less dismissive of contradictory possibilities.

    [You’ve made no conclusions, seriously? You’ve clearly concluded that the mutation of wheat can’t be causing all the problems Dr. Davis believes they are.]

    Perhaps you’re the one with reading comprehension difficulties.

    From Chris’ post:

    “it may be that certain types of intestinal dysbiosis (improper balance of bacteria and yeasts in the intestines) prime genetically susceptible individuals to develop celiac in response to gluten”

    [I see … so if wheat has been mutated to have higher levels of gluten, you don’t see that as a problem?]

    Leaky gut doesn’t cause people to become gluten sensitive, gluten sensitivity causes a leaky gut.

    [Lots of factors may cause leaky gut, including the inability to digest gluten. Since gluten sensitivity can lead to so many other problems, increasing the amount of gluten in wheat would provoke more reactions — see the logic there? Altering the protein sequence of gluten so that it’s now something humans had never previously consumed could also affect our ability to digest the gluten. Once again, see the logic?]

    He suggests that dysbiosis may cause people to become celiac in response to gluten. That would suggest that gluten – mutant or otherwise – is not the origin of celiace disease, but proximal to another underlying cause. I’m not concluding that, I don’t have enough evidence. You also don’t have evidence to dismiss it, nor do you have the evidence to be telling people that Big Agra mutated wheat and made them sick (however much that agrees with your pre-established schtick).

    [There’s plenty of evidence that big agra mutated wheat, genius. They don’t deny it. They’re proud of it … all that extra yield per acre and all. Chris proposed a possible theory for what causes people to develop a nasty reaction to gluten. Whatever the cause, increased levels of gluten in bread are definitely to have adverse effects on anyone with a gluten sensitivity. And get this through your skull: mutant wheat has higher levels of gluten. No one is denying that.]

    But please, let in sink in, I’m not concluding anything. Just putting other possibilities on the table, call it an heuristic.

    “Hmmm …. the grain industry pays plant geneticists to increase the amount of gluten and the alter protein sequence of gluten in wheat. After that wheat becomes part of the food supply, the rate of celiac disease — a disease of gluten intolerance — quadruples. Yeah, that’s one enormous leap in logic.”

    Yes, that is a leap in logic. What you have provided is association, not causation. If I’m not mistaken you lecture on the difference between the two in “science for smart people”. Do you actually CONCLUDE that hybridized wheat is far more toxic than heritage wheat, which was always toxic to a subset of people? Do you actually CONCLUDE that mass numbers of people are severely sensitive to modern wheat? Or do you admit that is an unproven suspicion?

    [The association is not the only evidence here, genius. First off, we’re talking about a highly plausible mechanism — increasing the gluten in wheat and altering its protein sequence could (shock!) have negative consequence for people with gluten sensitivities. Second, there are thousands of case histories — and yes, those count as evidence — of people seeing ailments go away after making exactly one change — giving up wheat. Third, there’s evidence from scientific studies:

    “It may seem reasonable to you. To anyone with a sense of logic, it’s idiotic to believe that when thousand of people see their arthritis disappear after giving up wheat — usually to their great surprise — it was a placebo effect.”

    It may seem unreasonable that a sugar pill would alleviate clinical depression in nearly 50% of test subjects, yet that has been shown to be the case.

    [Umm … where did I deny there’s such a thing as the placebo effect? I don’t deny that at all. But a placebo effect doesn’t explain why people who believe wheat is good for them (did that part not sink into your brain?) would notice that eating wheat brings on arthritis and other ailments, and it sure as heck doesn’t explain why hundreds of people who gave up wheat to control their blood sugar — with no expectation whatsoever of obtaining relief from arthritis — would see their arthritis go away due to a placebo effect. Another example of your goofy logic.]

    Dermatitis – which Dr. Davis blames on mutant wheat – has been alleviated with hypnosis.

    A psychosomatic study of contagious dermatitis. Kyushu Journal of Medical Science(13).

    In that study people were allergic to a certain leaf. They hypnotized them and convinced them a harmless leaf was the allergenic one, and when they brushed them with the harmless leaf dermatitis appeared. They also convinced them the actual allergenic leaf was harmless, when they brushed them with it there was a greatly reduced response.

    [For the last time, genius, Dr. Davis didn’t hypnotize people and didn’t tell them their arthritis would go away if they stopped eating wheat. He at first wrote it off to coincidence himself, until he kept hearing about it from patients over and over. When I noticed wheat was provoking arthritis in me, I wasn’t expecting it. When a man who wrote a guest post for me some months back gave up wheat as part of his weight-loss campaign, he was stunned — STUNNED — when the arthritis that had been plaguing him for decades went away.

    A result found over and over in people who weren’t expecting that result can’t be due to a placebo effect — are you actually incapable of grasping that? Because trust me, that’s about as simple as logic gets.]

    In the novel “The Holographic Universe”, Michael Talbot cites case studies of diabetics with multiple personality disorder who were suffering from severe diabetic symptoms in emerge with one personality, only to have them disappear when another personality takes over. Another multiple had 39 personalities that were severely allergic to orange juice, and just one that could gulp it with no reaction whatsoever. (I am a tad skeptical of those)

    The placebo effect is very real.

    [See above. A placebo effect cannot explain a result that people weren’t expecting. The placebo effect is all about expectations. Even you should be capable of grasping that concept.]

    In either case, I’m not concluding that so don’t criticize me of making leaps of logic. I’m offering it as a possibility.

    [When you offer up the possibility of people experiencing a result they DIDN’T expect as a placebo effect, yes, I’ll criticize your lack of logic.]

  18. Christopher

    “We’re from the government and we’re here to help.”

    Reagan had a thing or two to say about this line…

  19. David

    “Some of his patients tried eating wheat again and then saw their symptoms re-occur. When they eliminated wheat again, the symptoms went away again.”

    “Some of his patients tried eating wheat again and then saw their symptoms re-occur. When they eliminated wheat again, the symptoms went away again.”

    [Why did you write that sentence twice?

    Why did you write that sentence twice?]

    None of those are blinded, controlled experiments. Placebo effect remains very possible. Meaningless to anyone with any scientific rigor.

    [Riiiiiight. Thousands of case histories with the same results — again, among people who often weren’t expecting eliminating wheat to cause those ailments to go away — but it’s not logical to conclude that wheat produced physiological reactions that were causing those problems. But a placebo effect affecting thousands of people in ways they didn’t even expect — now that’s a logical explanation. Yup, you’d make a helluva scientist.]

    “Good quote. But it has nothing to with this debate…”

    It has everything to with the debate. There is a very simple test he could instruct his patients to perform, or have them perform in his lab at the cost of a half-cup of flour dissolved in water (so please don’t give me this “who’s gonna fund the study” cop-out), to determine whether his beliefs are true. But, he’s not doing that very critical experiment that I hope would have occured to him years ago. So, once again, my question is why?

    [I’ll be sure to pass that onto him. Boy, that’ll really make him question the validity of seeing the same results over and over among thousands of his patients, many of whom tried to sneak bits of wheat back into their diets only to see their pains come back. He’ll say to himself, “I’m tired of helping people eliminate pains that have been nagging them for years. I should conduct a blind wheat challenge to see if this REALLY works.

    And no, genius, the Feynman quote doesn’t have anything to do with the debate. Feyman was talking about the need to dump a hypothesis when the results DON’T SUPPORT THE HYPOTHESIS. Dr. Davis is getting exactly the results his hypothesis would predict. Your complaint (for what it’s worth, which is virtually nothing) is that he didn’t confirm those results with your blind wheat challenge. The fact that you can’t tell the difference is yet another example of your inability to grasp simple logic.]

    “Dr. Davis has seen eliminating wheat lead to the disappearance of arthritis, asthma, psoriasis, irritable bowel, and a number of other diseases over and over again.”

    In the vast majority of his patients, he saw those improvements placing them on a wheat-free but also sugar-free, vegetable-oil-free, processed-food-free, low-carb diet that emphasizes excercise and important supplements such as omega-3 and vitamin-D. Uncontrolled variables is an understatement. And just wheat elimination, in the handful of people you claim he experimented this with, has far-reaching effects that still bring many uncontrolled variables to the table.

    [No, genius, as you’d know if you read the book (and I’ve stated this several times, so you either really and truly have reading and comprehension problems, or you’re just being an ass for the sake of being an ass), he has told many patients to do one thing and one thing only: stop eating wheat. ]



  20. Patricia

    Oh, well, that does it for me! Dr. Davis didn’t do a controlled double-blind study to prove to any troll that wheat may need to be eliminated from my diet. What was I thinking?!! Just joined the first cult to come along.

    This will be my conversation with Dr. Davis:

    “So how do feel after being wheat-free for the past two months?”

    “Well, Dr. Davis, I lost 25 pounds (actually 45 pounds), my psoriasis cleared up, my arthritis went away, I’m sleeping better, I’m not depressed anymore, I think more clearly, and I stopped wheezing.”

    “Excellent! So you’ll continue avoiding wheat?”

    “Of course not.”


    “Wheat has been sustaining humans for 8,000 years, Dr. Davis, so it has to be good for us. Besides, I don’t want to end up spending all day the airport banging on a tambourine and selling flowers to passengers.”

    “But I never asked you to– why are you sticking your fingers in your ears?”



    “Because you never did a controlled double-blind study and David says this makes you a bad scientist.”

    Tom, I think a “Trolls of the Month” would be a great post. David would definitely qualify.

    He’d be top of the list right now.

  21. konst

    I have had a very similar conversation with a student of mine recently (I teach IT at a technical college). He spent two weeks off of wheat and produced the most incredible transformation I have ever witnessed. Then his missus got involved and suggested that people die following Atkins and LCHF.

    I asked him the essential questions: do you feel worse, are you as tired, has your BP gone up, have your blood values gotten worse…. etc.

    The answer was no. But his better half still thinks he is killing himself, and I fear he might go back to his old ways 🙁

    His better half probably thinks it was all psychosomatic, since that seems to be the popular explanation among goofballs.

  22. DJ

    “Damn, I chose the wrong figure of speech. Must definitely be the mutant grains fogging my mind. I love how out of everything I wrote, that remark is the only one you have the intelligence to comment on.”

    Oh boo hoo. You’ve brought me to tears with your razor sharp wit. Make sure you don’t cut yourself on that.

    I also happened to comment on how (much like “Dr.” Keyes) you completely ignore or attempt to discredit data that doesn’t support your position. (Which you completely ignored because it doesn’t support your theory on the lack of my intelligence). If you throw out data because it’s inconvenient, then your science (or rather the science you quote) should be the one called into question, not Dr. Davis’s. Your continued assertion that this is simply a psychosomatic reaction is absurd.

    I find it amazing that most people on Stephen Guynet’s blog believe that because glucose is the body’s primary source of energy, it’s perfectly ok to continually spike your blood sugar because “the body will burn that first, rather than fat”. Did they ever stop to think that if you stop spiking your blood sugar, the result would be your body converting stored fat to glucose? A lot of them seem to believe that you can eat as much carbs as you like, so long as you don’t exceed whatever amount of calories they deem you should have in a day.

    I suggest that you not only read Dr. Davis’s book before attempting to write a review, I also suggest that you actually watch Fathead. There’s more to fat storage than “calories in calories out”. As Tom said, if you continually comment on something you haven’t read like you’ve actually read it… you’re the one that looks like the ass… and that is about the only “theory” you’ve managed to prove thus far.

  23. tess

    David’s arguments are definitely supportive of the fact that there are psychological problems which fade when you give up wheat, too….

  24. gallier2

    @DJ, I’m on your side but be careful when stating things as facts when they aren’t. You said the result would be your body converting stored fat to glucose, that is patently false. Fat can not be converted back to glucose, period. The glycerol skeleton used to fix the three fatty acid in a triglyceride can enter the gluco-neogenesis cycle and be recycled as glucose (glycerol is a glucose molecule split in 2), but the quantity generated that way is small, very small.

    You’re right though to point out that the prioritizing of glucose over other fuels hardly constitute an argument in favor of consuming it. If we followed that argument we should try to make alcohol our 1st choice fuel, as it is metabolized with even more priority than glucose.

  25. The Older Brother

    Maybe it’s those damned Martians. They sneaked in here about fifty years ago and screwed up our gene pool, causing us all to become obese, diabetic, and apparently waaay less intelligent. The whole wheat thing is just a coincidence those pesky green turds used as a cover so we’d all blame the well-meaning folks at Kellogs, Monsanto, etc.

    Keep in mind here, I’m not saying I really think it was Martians. I’m merely offering a possibility that might disprove your theory that hybridized, mutant grains are inherently toxic to the human body. I HAVE MADE NO CONCLUSIONS.

    Seriously, bro, how about a 3 turns per troll limit on these people? The first couple of times they’re amusing, but after the first couple of shots not so much. Leaving aside their missionary fervor (always in the name of The One and True Science) and condescending ignorance, they are BORING. They become redundant. They repeat themselves. They say the same thing over and over.


    Yeah, I’m debating what kind of troll policy to establish. I’ve blocked three so far because all they did was repeat themselves over and over and over. And they were redundant.

  26. Raina

    While Dr. Davis didn’t perfom unauthorized experiments on his patients, I did on my mom. After I read Wheat Belly, I told her that it might help her blood sugar by cutting out wheat — leaving out all the benefits of appearance and joint pain — as my own little experiment. We started this on Sunday, and Friday was the first day in many years that she woke up without having to take Tylenol to walk to the bathroom. Today, she is still completely pain free. This is someone who was scheduled to have vascular surgery on BOTH legs (didn’t do it because she heard about the year long rehab and decided at 78 it wasn’t worthwhile) and has to take a lot of pain pills because of sore hips and hands. She’s loving the new meal plan that I provided to her to ensure she stayed on course and doesn’t miss wheat at all. I think she’s more upset about no popcorn.

    So unless she somehow inherently “knew” wheat was bad for her, I can’t see how you can claim that this is all in her head. After all of the vacations and years of her life that being in pain has ruined, I find it hilarious that you’re claiming that mentally someone in pain can just overcome it because they believe they should be able to. If that were the case, she would have been able to have a lot more fun on vacations instead of sitting in agony in a hotel room, dreading the 5 hour flight and the 10 minute walk through the gate.

    Your mom’s story has been repeated over and over by people who had no expectation of their arthritis going away.

  27. LXV

    My husband and I went wheat-free for the month of september. Neither one of us are celiac. And while it was n=1 (because hubby wisely decided that what I was doing was stupid), I did a little experiment on myself. I ate a sandwich AND a piece of cake.

    I will admit to suffering no complications the day after, other than some water retention (which probably means some inflamation). However this may be due to the fact my body decided I had poisoned it and uhmmm, got rid of it very quickly. Faster than I had thought the GI tract was physically capable of.

    Sugar from chocolate bars did not have this effect. Roasted white potatoes did not have this effect. But there were no double-blinds. No sugar pills or statistical margins of error. But in the end my personal n=1 is all that really matters to me.

    And yes, I did let my huaband say “I told you so.”

  28. Firebird

    And here I thought it was the barometric pressure that was making my head pound. Here it was David’s posts all along.

    His comments are so long, so convoluted, and so full of tortured logic, reading them makes me want to shoot myself in the head.

  29. DJ

    Thanks, Gallier… I apologize for my error. What I meant was that when you keep glucose levels high, it becomes almost impossible for your body to used its stored body fat as fuel. After all, if high glucose levels are maintained the body won’t touch fat because it prefers the glucose. So most of the proponents of high-carb diets would prefer us to stay fat longer and struggle harder to lose the weight. They are obsessed with the calories in calories out formula… without considering that some calories are better than others.

  30. Chris

    Regarding your trolls, it strikes me that many suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), which is part of a larger grouping of conditions called Dramatic Personlity Disorders. The person running carbsanity definitely falls into this category, and many of Guyenet’s fanboys as well (all text below is a quote):

    “Lacking empathy is a profound disturbance to the narcissist’s thinking (cognition) and feeling (affectivity). Even when very intelligent, narcissists can’t reason well. One I’ve worked with closely does something I characterize as “analysis by eggbeater.” They don’t understand the meaning of what people say and they don’t grasp the meaning of the written word either — because so much of the meaning of anything we say depends on context and affect, narcissists (lacking empathy and thus lacking both context and affect) hear only the words. (Discussions with narcissists can be really weird and disconcerting; they seem to think that using some of the same words means that they are following a line of conversation or reasoning. Thus, they will go off on tangents and irrelevancies, apparently in the blithe delusion that they understand what others are talking about.) And, frankly, they don’t hear all the words, either. They can pay attention only to stuff that has them in it. This is not merely a bad habit — it’s a cognitive deficiency.
    Narcissists have little sense of humor. They don’t get jokes, not even the funny papers or simple riddles, and they don’t make jokes, except for sarcastic cracks and the lamest puns. This is because, lacking empathy, they don’t get the context and affect of words or actions, and jokes, humor, comedy depend entirely on context and affect. They specialize in sarcasm about others and mistake it for wit, but, in my experience, narcissists are entirely incapable of irony — thus, I’ve been chagrinned more than once to discover that something I’d taken as an intentional pose or humorous put-on was, in fact, something the narcissist was totally serious about. Which is to say that they come mighty close to parody in their pretensions and pretending, so that they can be very funny without knowing it, but you’d better not let on that you think so.”

    Certainly our troll has difficulty grasping what other people write. I stated clearly– more than once — that I don’t think a placebo effect can explain why people would notice wheat provoked arthritis pains, and he somehow managed to interpret that as me claiming there’s no such thing as a placebo effect.

    The Carb(in)Sanity lady does indeed exhibit an amazing capacity to misinterpret. She’s one of the few trolls I finally blocked from posting here. She would regularly take something I wrote, misinterpret it, put words in my mouth, then demand an explanations of the words she put in my mouth. When I’d ask a challenging question, she’d ignore it and go on another diatribe. I finally got tired of trying to respond to all her goofy misinterpretations. You can’t keep up with someone that obsessed.

  31. Brandon

    You know what’s a lot more alarming than “mutant wheat”? People who are deeply ignorant of genetics and basic biochemistry that attempt to spread fear of GMOs.

    Fear of mutant wheat is natural and justified. I’m considering dressing up as mutant wheat for Halloween. I’m not sure I can pull it off, since (like natural wheat) I’m fairly tall.

  32. C

    Hey! Great idea! My friend’s been looking for a Halloween costume idea, she should go as mutant wheat! Although…then again, if she rejected being a zombie or vampire because they were too scary can you imagine how terrified she’d be of this? Personally, this has scared me to the point where I’ve decided that if I take a day off on Halloween and Christmas and such, I’ll stay away from anything with wheat 🙂 better to have sugar and fat than sugar and wheat,

    Is your friend two feet tall? That will make the costume more authentic.

  33. Chris

    *If you read* ‘Wheat Belly’, you’ll see that Dr. Davis points out that today’s ‘mutant’ wheat is not the product of genetic modification techniques like inserting a single gene into a plant’s DNA, etc., which he notes is somewhat benign, but rather, is the product of various forms of hybridization and chemical mutagenesis (e.g., soaking wheat in sodium azide), which produces something very different.

    Regardless, as a consumer, I want to know exactly what’s been done to my food so that I can make a decision about whether or not I want to expose my family to it. If I want to avoid GMOs, even IF that is a decision based on ignorance, let *me* make that decision – I want full information up front. Don’t tell me GMOs are safe, pat me on the head and tell me that I don’t need to know whether or not my food supply includes GMOs (I know you didn’t say that, but I sense that is the implication of your comment).

  34. Gina

    You know what to keep in mind about trolls – “Don’t wrassle with a pig. You get dirty, and the pig likes it.” Any attention by way of response is enough to keep them coming back for more. Better to ignore or delete.

    When they become annoying enough, I start deleting.

  35. Melinda P

    Oh goody. Wheat trolls.

    Celiac disease used to be a rare diagnosis. Now they estimate as many as 1 out of every 133 people has it (and that was an estimate back in 2003!). Wouldn’t that be approaching epidemic status? Not as bad yet as diabetes, but given time, it might be, if it keeps doubling or more every 15 years. That’s really enough for me, but the book is really a fascinating read.

    Watch, next Big Pharma will develop some crazy drug that allows people with celiac disease to eat gluten with less damage to their system. Unfortunately the side effects will be cancer, hearing loss, and acid reflux. But dangit, they’ll get to eat their “healthy whole grains!”

    The researchers who analyzed blood samples from soldiers today and compared them to blood samples from soldiers 50 years ago where surprised to find a quadrupling of celiac antibodies. They figured doctors had simply gotten better at diagnosing the disease. Nope.

  36. Patricia

    Uh, oh! Brandon’s shown up on this site, too. If he stays, he will make the Troll of the Month List, too.

    Could be a fierce competition.

  37. Rachel

    First of all, I am inclined to believe that Dr Davis is correct. However, I do think that David and other commenters have been unfairly maligned.

    The placebo effect is extremely complicated, and the fact that people weren’t expecting their arthritis to go away may be largely irrelevant. Even visiting a doctor may be enough to trigger the placebo effect, even more so if that doctor is wearing a white coat. Visiting and being under the care of a doctor makes you feel better, period. If a patient cuts out wheat because their doctor says it will cure warts, and they find it DOES cure warts, they are much more likely to ascribe any other unrelated events- such as a reduction in the symptoms of arthritis- to cutting out wheat. In short, correlation does not prove causation.

    Furthermore, Dr Dean Ornish could probably provide you with thousands of examples of people who followed HIS advice and had good outcomes from it. Does that mean he’s right? Hell, a crystal-therapist could do the same. A homeopathist could write a book saying that thousands of his “patients” report reductions in arthritis symptoms after taking a homeopathic “remedy”. You wouldn’t believe him, and rightly so.

    As I say, my (leaky) gut feeling is that Dr Davis is right, and I’m happy to avoid wheat for a host of reasons. However, the commenters calling for clinical trials to prove the theory are correct, IMHO. In fact such trials will probably prove Dr Davis right. This is why they’ll never happen. Doesn’t mean people are wrong to point out the lack of them.

    I don’t think the placebo effect can explain the results here. Keep mind, we’re talking about people who were suffering from arthritis and other ailments for years and had visited other doctors, but weren’t cured by any doctor-worship placebo effects. Many came to Dr. Davis for treatment of diabetes with no expectation whatsoever of relief from arthritis.

    Ornish’s program does produce improvements in his patients’ health, and the results are genuine. His program requires them to give up sugar, white flour, white rice, processed vegetable oils and smoking if they smoke. He also requires them to take up exercise and attend stress-management classes. And oh yeah … they also give up meat. Then when his program works — which it should, since he’s removing the junk from the diets of people who ate a lot of junk — he cites it as proof that meat is bad for us.

  38. Elaine DiRico

    And if we hadn’t overindulged in ubiquitous bread for so many centuries, we could have kept indulging in the food that grains were originally cultivated for and that was their primary use for most of the 10,000 years we have been consuming them: beer!

  39. Low Carb Compatible

    I just love it when people try to pin a beneficial outcome on the ‘placebo effect’.

    Ok, let’s say, just for yuks, that all those beneficial results of doing X (or stopping consumption of X) are caused by the placebo effect. (I don’t accept that conjecture in the case of the Dr. Davis’ claims, but let’s just play along, shall we?)

    So, doing X (or in the case at hand, stopping consumption of wheat gluten) results in all those beneficial outcomes. Healthy weight loss, cessation of arthritic pain, skin problems clearing up, etc. And it’s all just because of the placebo effect. It’s all because of the awesome power of the mind.

    If that’s the case, shouldn’t we be encouraging people to continue doing whatever triggered the awesome placebo effect? In the case of cutting wheat/gluten from the diet, no harm is done (except, of course, to the processed food industry.)

    And if the observed benefits are indeed caused by the awesome power of the human mind (are you picking up on my sarcastic tone yet?) then we should do everything in our power to trigger that awesome power of the placebo effect.

    That’s right, we should be telling people to run, do not walk, away from bread, muffins, cake, cookies, pizza, etc. etc. if for no other reason than your awesome subconscious mind will cause your body to heal itself through the awesome power of the placebo effect.


    Well said.

  40. LaVonne Los

    Does anyone grow the kind of wheat that was grown over 50 years ago? If so, how can we get it?

  41. The other David

    So is my local bakery a part of Wheat, Inc.? (I think they are incorporated.)

    Yes. They’re the updated version of Murder, Inc. Someone puts out a contract on you, and they feed you bread and bagels to kill you.

  42. bgbdbill67

    You can’t spell either–pouring–not poring hello and this guy is not a nutritionist but a cardio doctor who over exaggerates everything from any study!!!

    Dear Idiot: “Pour” and “Pore” are two different words with two different meanings. Perhaps you should take a remedial spelling course, then come back and share your insights.

    Given that you typed a run-on sentence in your (incorrect) attempt to correct my spelling, you might also want to review when and how to use a comma.


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