Here’s the short review:

Undoctored, the terrific new book by Dr. William “Wheat Belly” Davis, covers pretty much everything I’ve been saying on this blog about how the Wisdom of Crowds is crowding out conventional (but lousy) health advice, then adds a heckuva lot of good step-by-step advice on how to monitor and improve your own health — partly by leveraging the Wisdom of Crowds.

Now for the longer review:

A couple of years ago, when I was kicking around the idea for the Fat Head Kids book and film, I drove to Wisconsin to interview Dr. Davis on camera.  We ended up conducting the interview in a downstairs reading room because the desk in his upstairs office was piled high with stacks of research.

Over dinner later, he told me the research was for a new book.  But before he described the contents of the book, he told me why he felt compelled to write it:

Dr. Davis grew up as a dirt-poor kid in New Jersey.  After rising from such humble beginnings, working his way through medical school and becoming a cardiologist with a busy practice, he felt a sense of pride in what he’d accomplished.  For most of his adult life, he enjoyed his status as doctor.

But that was then.  Nowadays, Dr. Davis views the health-care system as little more than an industry designed to shuttle people through a series of expensive drugs and procedures.  Actual health isn’t the priority.  The movers and shakers have no interest in, say, preventing or treating type II diabetes with diet, because they view diabetes as the gift that keeps on giving.  Diabetics are paying customers for life.

As a result, he explained, he hesitates to tell people who don’t already know him that he’s a doctor.  He doesn’t like being associated with the modern medical industry.

So the new book (which was untitled at the time) would include two major sections:  The first section would explain to readers why the “health-care” system is more interested in their dollars than their health.  The second section would arm readers with the knowledge and tools to monitor and improve their own health, and thus avoid ending up in the belly of the health-care beast.  With all the bad advice coming from the medical establishment, people need to do their own research and direct their own health instead of relying on doctors to do it for them.

That, of course, led to a long discussion about the Wisdom of Crowds effect.

You can gauge a doctor’s opinion of the general public by his or her attitude towards the explosion of health information available online.  In a post last December, I pointed out that Dr. David Katz – a big-time promoter of arterycloggingsaturatedfat! hysteria whose idiotic NuVal system ranks sugar-laden soy milk as far healthier option than a turkey breast – sees social media as a danger.  An essay Katz wrote for the Huffington Post basically boils down to this:  Dangit!  All those bloggers and podcasters and health discussion groups online are causing the stupid, gullible public to question true experts like me!  This is very, very bad!

Let’s just say Dr. Katz doesn’t believe in the Wisdom of Crowds effect.  He believes we should all bow before the superior expertise of The Anointed – himself included, of course.

Compare his attitude to the attitude expressed by Dr. Davis in the introduction of Undoctored:

I propose that people can manage their own health safely and responsibly and attain results superior to those achieved through conventional healthcare – not less than, not on a par with, but superior.

And later:

Self-directed health is a phenomenon that will stretch far and wide into human health.  It will encompass preventive practices, diagnostic testing, smartphone apps, and therapeutic strategies.  It puts the astounding and unexpected wisdom of crowds to work, providing you with a depth and breadth of collective information and experience that far exceeds that of any one person, no matter how much of an expert.

Just a wee bit different, eh?  Dr. Davis thinks it’s perfectly okay for you to do research online and question your doctor.  In fact, he WANTS you to do research online and question your doctor.  He says so over and over in the book.  That’s because unlike Katz, Dr. Davis believes people have brains and are capable of using them to find the advice that works and ditch the advice that doesn’t.

Undoctored offers plenty of specific advice on how to gather information about your own health and leverage the wisdom of crowds:  sites for exchanging ideas and data with other people, places you can go to order your own lab tests, sites that help you interpret the lab tests, and so on.

But that’s a bit later.  First, Dr. Davis gives the modern medical industry the blistering it deserves.  Here are some choice quotes:

There’s no ham in hamburger, Grape-Nuts don’t have grapes or nuts, and health does not come from healthcare.

There is a continual push to medicalize human life.  Shyness is now “social anxiety disorder” to justify “treatment” with antidepressant medication; binging in the middle of the night is now “sleep-related eating disorder” to justify treatment with seizure medication and antidepressants; obesity, declared a disease by the FDA, justifies insurance payments for gastric bypass and lap-band.   Don’t be surprised if sometime soon, bad dreams, between-meal hunger and excessive love of your cat are labeled diseases warranting treatment.

I was reminded of what Dr. Malcolm Kendrick wrote in Doctoring Data:  normal human conditions are now classified as diseases just in time to be diagnosed and treated with a new wonder drug.

Dr. Davis goes on to describe how Big Food and Big Pharma have corrupted the healthcare system from top to bottom, from the research, to the health advice, to the treatments when the advice doesn’t work.  Your doctor may mean well, but her (ahem) knowledge of what to diagnose and treat often comes from seminars sponsored by Big Pharma.  Prevention, of course, isn’t on the agenda.

Despite the book’s title, Dr. Davis isn’t suggesting people never visit a doctor again.  He lists a number of conditions that absolutely, positively require medical attention.  He wants doctors to treat what they treat well.

But he wants you to take control of your own health by leveraging the wisdom of crowds and the experiences of others.  If you do that, there’s a good chance you’ll become what Dr. Davis calls undoctored … meaning you only need to see a doctor for actual emergencies and perhaps a bit of monitoring, not for conditions you shouldn’t develop in the first place.

Reading that, I was reminded of when I went in recently for a dermatology checkup.  (I had a skin cancer removed from my back 15 years or so ago, so I get called in for occasional checkups.)  Part of the conversation with the nurse went something like this:

“Who’s your primary-care physician?”

“Uh … sorry, I don’t remember his name.”

“You don’t know your doctor’s name?”

“I’ve lived in Tennessee for seven years and I’ve seen the guy once.  That was because I decided to have a checkup when I turned 55.”

A big part of becoming undoctored is, of course, adopting a diet that enhances health instead of breaking it down.  You won’t be surprised that the Wheat Belly doctor prescribes a diet devoid of grains.  And sugar.  And industrial oils.  And almost all processed foods.  To make it easier to adopt the diet, the book lists several weeks’ worth of recipes.

But there’s more to it than diet alone.  Dr. Davis refers to the whole program as Wild, Naked and Unwashed.  No, that’s not the description of a fraternity party.  It’s a reference to the lifestyle of our paleo ancestors.  We don’t have to actually forgo bathing and run naked in the woods to be healthy, but we do need to recognize that our genes were coded for an environment very unlike the modern industrial world.

With that in mind, Dr. Davis spends the next few chapters describing the nutrients that civilized humans rarely ingest in sufficient quantities, including magnesium and vitamin D.  He also gives specific instructions on how to monitor blood levels of essential nutrients (vitamin D included) using direct-to-consumer tests.  He offers similar advice for checking thyroid health.

The book also includes an entire chapter on the importance of bowel flora (a subject he talked about at length when I interviewed him).  He explains how to obtain at-home test kits, and which specific supplements to take if necessary.  He also provides dozens of recipes for prebiotic shakes using ingredients such as green bananas, inulin and bits of raw potato.

I don’t find the “Appendix whatever” sections of most books particularly useful.  Undoctored is an exception.  In fact, I suspect these final pages will become dog-eared.

Appendix A lists several common ailments – from constipation to fatty liver – with a protocol for identifying and correcting the source of the problem.  Appendix B lists hidden sources of wheat and gluten.  Appendix C describes how to ferment your own vegetables.  Appendix D offers a list of sites where you can exchange ideas, do research, order at-home lab tests, etc.  It also lists the brands of supplements Dr. Davis considers high-quality.

Like I said, this is a terrific book.  With all the junk advice being handed down by doctors, government agencies, and organizations like The American Heart Association, it’s also a very necessary book.  Readers of this blog don’t need to be convinced that a huge chunk of what passes for health advice these days is garbage, but plenty of other people do.  And fairly or not, a lot of them will need to hear it from a doctor before they’ll believe it.

Dr. Davis took on the grain industry in Wheat Belly.  He takes on pretty much the entire medical establishment in Undoctored.  I’ve asked him to please stay out of dark alleys and to consider using a stunt double for public appearances.

Kidding, of course.  Well, half-kidding.  We need Dr. Davis to stick around for many more years and continue writing books like this.

Share
81 Responses to “Review: Undoctored”
  1. Stephen Blackbourn says:

    Thanks for the review Tom. I’ll be adding this one to my collection.

  2. JillOz says:

    The sooner we apply this Undoctored approach to dentistry the better.

  3. Mitzi says:

    It’s on my wish list, now it’s going into my cart. Might be just the book for reading on this year’s Low Carb Cruise…I’ve already read Fat Head Kids 😉

    • Tom Naughton says:

      I had planned to read it on the cruise myself, thinking the release date was in June. Then I found out it was coming out in May, so I squeezed in the time and I’m glad I did. I loved this book. Chareva may have gotten tired of me walking into her office to read sections aloud while she was trying to draw characters for the film.

  4. Orvan Taurus says:

    I believe I’ve heard of this book before, also positively. Looks like I have another book to acquire.

  5. I’ll be spreading the link to this review around. Much appreciated.

  6. Teri says:

    Thanks for the review Tom. I bought the book yesterday and started reading it last night. It’s awesome so far. I am a healthcare professional and see, firsthand, the horrifying results of people who blindly follow whatever their physician says. It’s sickening and sad. I have recommended Wheat Belly, your Fathead movie, as well as other excellent sources to some of my very fat and very sick patients. I have to be careful because nutrition is outside my scope of practice but I always have an eye out for patients who seem open to non conventional help. Thank you for all you do and and all the information and help you provide!

    • Tom Naughton says:

      I hope the book encourages many, many more people to be open to non-conventional ideas. I’m so glad a doctor wrote this book. He’ll convince more people because of the “Dr.” title, even if the title doesn’t mean as much to him as it once did.

    • Stephen Blackbourn says:

      I’m in the same position as you Teri. It’s so frustrating and sad.

    • JillOz says:

      Hey there Teri, I don’t know what kind of practice you run or participate in, but why don’t you run a film night for your clients?

      It’s something I’ve thought of for ages but ironically, not that well at them moment.

      Feature Fathead, some of Dr Davis’ presentations and one or two short videos on Paleo.
      With Wheat Belly snacks of course. 😀

  7. Kathy in OK says:

    I pre-ordered and my copy arrived yesterday. So far, it’s an easy read just as you would expect from the very personable Dr. Davis. I’m 69 and expect to greatly improve my health by avoiding my doctor. The last Rx from him made me feel listless, somewhat depressed and I ached all over. If I told him that he’d probably diagnose fibromyalgia and prescribe Lyrica. I have other plans.

    • Tom Naughton says:

      Dr. Davis is a talented writer who knows how to explain this stuff to a lay audience. I’ve had some long conversations with him, and I know he cares deeply about people’s health. It all comes across in the book.

  8. Judy B says:

    Thanks, I went “undoctored” several years ago when I lost faith and trust in the medical industry. I will be buying this book!

  9. Firebird7478 says:

    I’m going through a lot of issues right now that the healthcare field is charging an arm and a leg for. I had bloodwork done this morning only to find that Medicare won’t cover tests for B-12 deficiency (They suspect digestive issues….others think my problems are stress related). Wednesday I go for a gastroscopy…if Medicare doesn’t cover it (and they won’t tell me until the give me an appt. time) I either have to fork over the $2500 or refuse the procedure.

    Sadly the naturopaths don’t make it any more affordable. The most prominent in our area are in Center City Philadelphia in a ritzy area where pro athletes, lawyers and CEOs live — in other words — people who can afford her services.

    • Tom Naughton says:

      Any chance of negotiating a cash price? Often the prices quoted are the claim amount they send to insurance companies, who then slash it down to what they’ll actually pay.

      • Firebird7478 says:

        It’s possible. I did that with my dentist. I am in physical therapy for my hip and lower back (a 40 year old injury) and they offered charity care. I didn’t ask if they had it…they approached me with it and because of that I am getting a steep discount on their service. However, the surgery center doesn’t offer that (places like that should be offering this).

        There is a wonderful video on that subject by Dr. David Belk on the true cost of healthcare. He explains the negotiating process beautifully.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeCk4MxUOIw

        Mostly likely I will be a smart ass about it and ask, at time of payment, if they can break the $50,000 bill in my wallet.

        • Tom Naughton says:

          I remember seeing that video before. It’s one of the reasons I think health insurance should cover the big stuff and we should pay cash for the rest. The current system is like expecting your car insurance to pay for wiper blades and oil changes. Guess what would happen to the price of auto maintenance and car insurance in that situation.

          • j says:

            I blame the wealthy top 1% for not paying their fair share… The 1.1% and below are a-ok though..

            • Tom Naughton says:

              I blame exactly 3.14159265359% of the population for everything because I don’t like pi.

            • BobM says:

              As part of the 1% or maybe 5% (not sure what the lines are), I’d be more than happy to pay more so that everyone has health care. The same can be said for medicare/social security.

              I think we need to actually figure out how to address the medical insurance situation, without all this “I’m a Republican (or Democrat) and hate Obamacare (or Trumpcare) simply because it’s the other side’s care.” There are issues with Obamacare, but those issues could be solved or ameliorated if there was actual discussion.

              • Tom Naughton says:

                I don’t hate ObamaCare because Democrats rammed it through. I hate ObamaCare because I don’t believe the federal government has any business ordering me to buy insurance I don’t want or need. Talk about stepping outside the limits on federal power described in the Constitution.

                When one-quarter of the senior population has type II diabetes, healthcare costs are going to become stupidly high no matter who pays. It’s only going to get worse, now that we have teens and even kids developing type II diabetes. We can’t afford those medical bills in the long term, no matter who we expect to pay them. I believe the debates over which system to use for payment will become far less rancorous if and when we convince people to stop eating food that’s making them sick and driving up the cost of healthcare.

              • Lori Miller says:

                Very nice of you, but as one of the 50%, I would not be happy to pay an extra $350 per month for other people’s medical insurance.

                Health insurance wasn’t always expensive. What first drove it up was requiring health insurance to cover a raft routine expenses at low cost to the customer (think $10 copays). Those Cadillac plans were already available for people who wanted to buy them, though.

                People like me, who couldn’t afford COBRA after being laid off, became uninsured when their state regulated catastrophic plans out of existence. Were we dying in the street? No–I for one saw a doctor and took prescription medicine only when I was willing to pay full freight out of my pocket. If needed, I could have charged it to my credit card or gotten help from my parents or brother.

              • JillOz says:

                How about the main facet of healthcare, nationalised or not, be that ACCURATE information gets passed on and anyone who lies gets charged and jailed?

          • Firebird7478 says:

            Exactly. Dr. set up blood panels. Medicare approved everything but a B-12 test. $105 out of pocket. $37 for the basic stuff + magnesium + thyroid.

          • Walter Bushell says:

            There was — decades ago a story about auto repair insurance that covered *everything*. It ended with everyone going outside the system and paying cash because the cost of the insurance was unaffordable. Per example above, replacing windshield wipers would cost over $100 just for the paper work and the shop having to wait months for the payment and fight the denials etcetera.

            Nowadays we have many people in “health” insurance business whose job is to deny or at least hold up payment of claims.

  10. j says:

    Easier to control the masses when they’re heavily sedated… Antidepressants

  11. Glenn says:

    I’ve told people for years to stay away from hospitals and doctors. People often die in hospitals, and they’re full of doctors…
    I also tell them, tongue in cheek, to stay away from loved ones. How often do you read an obit that says they “died surrounded by loved ones”? 🙂

  12. Nick Peterson says:

    Thanks Tom! Appreciate the great review. I will add this book to my reading list!

    Peggy and I will miss seeing you guys at LC Cruise. Have a great time!

  13. Pierre says:

    “You won’t be surprised that the Wheat Belly doctor prescribes a diet devoid of grains. And sugar. And industrial oils.”

    This a disease too, it is called Orthorexia (LOL).

    • Tom Naughton says:

      Heh-heh … yeah, deciding to ditch industrial food is a mental illness now, according to some people.

      • Walter Bushell says:

        But of course, abstaining from meat is perfectly health and even desirable. Vegans will lecture you that abstaining from wheat is pathological (Can’t cut out a whole food group.), but one should totally abstain from all animal products.

  14. Linda Riddle says:

    I downloaded my copy to my kindle today and got quite a ways into it. Now, I need to buy it in book form, because I can think of at least ten people who NEED to read it now! I don’t loan out the Kindle. Except for the eye doctor, I have been going undoctored since I was prescribed statins and rendered unable to walk without a walker. Now, with a major diet change, what exercise I can manage, I have a near below normal blood pressure, perfect labs, and feel better than I did fifteen years ago. Just wish I’d done all the research before I let a statin drug pass my lips!

    I’ve already forwarded your review to a few people also- it’s really worth reading, because it convinced me to get the book immediately! Thanks again for all you do!

  15. Lori Miller says:

    Back when Dr. Davis was a voice in the wilderness, his Track your Plaque blog was my introduction to wheat-free, low-carb living. I look forward to reading his new book.

  16. Deb says:

    Thanks for the review! I saw a blurb on this and was intrigued, but your review hit all the right notes for me to buy the book!

  17. Jeanne says:

    I work as an occupational therapist in a large hospital. One of my co workers is developing a preventative health program that she hopes to market as an out patient program, to counsel people with chronic health issues. I get tired just thinking about it. I’m sure her approach to nutrition is SAD, but, even if she did succeed in helping people avoid becoming acutely ill, the hospital won’t support her because she’ll be taking business away from them.

  18. Elenor says:

    Nope, sorry, Dr Davis is just 100% wrong about one (supremely important) thing!!

    There is NO SUCH THING AS “excessive love of your cat” — insufficient? Sure. Excessive? Not humanly possible!

    (Oh, and I bought his book off your Amazon link, Tom. {wink})

  19. Elenor says:

    Just want to add — I’ve been “undoctored” for … 20? 25? years. No insurance. Mostly that worked okay. (I’d tell the front-desk clerk: “I’m insured by MasterCard!”)

    The year after my husband died, a kidney stone (ER diagnosis only; no treatment except pain pills) darned near bankrupted me. (Dja know they TRIPLE the “price” on the uninsured? Well, not for illegals and most immigrants and the poor; just on uninsured middle class Americans the govt won’t help?)

    I managed to get myself into the VA system (which I had qualified for since I got out of the Navy back in 1983; I had just never bothered to get registered) because without being in the VA system, the obamination’s “penalty” would hit me; and the cheapest ACA plan I could qualify for would be some $7,500 annual premium, $6,500 “Congrats! You get to pay first!” — BEFORE they kicked in a single *red* dime for the $12,000+ they charged me for the kidney stone diagnosis! (Did you also know they OUTLAWED buying only a catastrophic plan? I would have bought one — that kidney stone made me too late wise! — but it was now illegal for me to do so without buying into ACA!)

    Anyway, what I started out to tell y’all is this: I “belong” to LEF — Life Extension Foundation (lef.org) — (not terribly expensive membership fee; and back when I bought my (seemingly high quality) vities from them, the amount they kicked back to me over a year covered my next year’s dues! But the thing I valued (and still value!) is the EXTREMELY low-cost blood tests they offer.

    When I was paying a (pretty good) doctor for help treating my thyroid and adrenals, I called him one Monday to get a refill written for my desiccated thyroid pills. (I was going to run out on Thursday that week. (EEK! Stupid me!) (Anyone on thyroid meds knows you do NOT want to stop suddenly!) So, I had to “balance” if I should order the tests through LEF.org (actual, mailed, paper lab orders for the local LabCorps office), which would have to be mailed up from FLA, then I’d go to LabCorp, then they’d test my blood and mail me the results. (I always had LabCorps send the results to me and I would bring a photocopy to my doc — just to remind him “who was driving this bus”!) OR, I could just let the doc write an order I could pick up on my way to the lab. Did that.

    Went to LabCorps, they drew blood, then told me I owed them FOUR HUNDRED AND THIRTY SOMETHING dollars!! (!!!) Paid them (thank you Master Card); went home and looked up the exact test (using exact same LabCorps test number): TOTAL cost for the same tests, same lab order through LEF? $84!!! (Eighty four — I did not leave out any hundreds, the exact same tests. Holy excessive love for cats!!

    (Now, rather than bearding the doc in his office about his insanely excessive lab charges; I figured the extra ~$450 was my penalty payment for NOT keeping track of when I would run out of the thyroid meds… But jiminy crickets!!)

    So — lef.org: every blood test there is, it seems. I’m not affiliated, no longer even get enough kickback to pay my membership. (I get my LEF vities through Amazon Prime, so about the same price with no shipping charge. I retain my membership so I can get VERY cheap blood tests. (Oh, and if I remember correctly, you don’t need to be a member to buy the tests; it’s just the tests are cheaper if you are one.)

    • Tom Naughton says:

      Prices are insane and all over the place. They’ll stay that way until most people have insurance for their large and unexpected medical bills (assuming those policies are ever legal again) and pay for tests and routine procedures themselves, just like they pay for gas, wiper blades, oil changes, etc. Hiding the cost from the actual consumer throws all the usual economic forces completely out of whack.

      • Lori Miller says:

        I bought a short-term catastrophic plan while between regular jobs last year. COBRA and Obamacare were around $400 per month. I don’t spend anywhere close to that on medical care–I just needed to be protected from bankruptcy in case of a disaster.

        While filling out my income tax return for 2016, the site I used (H&R Block) said catastrophic insurance counted as health insurance. And I read on Reason.com that the IRS wasn’t going after Obamacare scofflaws.

        • Tom Naughton says:

          I think perhaps the IRS has seen the writing on the wall.

          I spend $500 and change per month to cover the four of us. Family deductible is $10,000 per year, but only $2,000 per person for costs incurred as the result of an accident. So that’s what my knee surgery cost me.

          ObamaCare would have raised the premium to $1,400 per month with a family deductible of $20,000. In other words, I’d just be spending an extra ten grand per year for the sole purpose of subsidizing more people, which of course was the intent. (I’m pretty sure I don’t need the infertility or maternity insurance at my age.)

          Our insurance agent sent us a letter a few years back saying ObamaCare was going to kick us off our policy at the end of the year. Then they never actually pulled the trigger. Not sure why, but I was relieved.

  20. Trevor says:

    I did a bit of reading to see what many recommend to lose weight and actually keep it off. Here’s one of the articles I found interesting. http://www.livescience.com/53863-best-way-keep-weight-off.html

    Just one problem: almost nobody can live like that for the rest of their lives. It was mentioning a lot-fat diet as the way to go, but also living on starvation-level calories. Not only that, you can’t indulge yourself… well, ever. How many people can realistically live that way, force themselves to go through that? I’ve developed decent self-control, but I refuse to starve myself that way and every so often, I do eat something that isn’t good for me.

    I don’t have a a specific source for this, but a family member did some research into this as well and quoted someone who lost a lot of weight, and the method was essentially: “You get used to being hungry.”

    Here’s another example: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/01/what-do-we-really-know-about-losing-weight/250826/ The woman in question the article mentions spends two hours a day exercising, centers her life around restricting calories, is still overweight and if she lets up for even a moment, all of it will come back.

    It’s become the perfect racket. The weight loss industry is something close to 100 billion dollars a year, and if you fail (which almost everyone does), it’s obviously your fault; you weren’t determined enough. Of course, that means they go back and try again… and again.

    There’s been a bit of a pushback in the last ten years, but this is still overwhelmingly the conventional wisdom.

    • Tom Naughton says:

      I’m afraid it is the conventional wisdom for now, but I also believe that will change.

    • Walter Bushell says:

      I calls it conventional folly.

      Products that don’t work are the perfect products, because you can sell them over and over and the customer is never satisfied. That is one reason for the persistence of low fat diets; if people abandoned them it would kill several industries and devastate the economy, throwing many millions out of work and destroying the stock market.

      Does anyone know how many people are employed to slow down or totally deny health insurance claims, or for that matter file health insurance claims. Seems every doctor and dentist needs at least one clerk to file claims and deal otherwise with the &*^%! insurance companies.

      • Thomas E. says:

        That is actually a referred to the broken window fallacy. Now, I will say we will have specialize equipment and real estate that will go to waste. Medical prices will fall quickly as the doctor supply vs demand will be higher. Some doctors will retire. some will change careers though, so it won’t be terrible.

        As well, it is not like all the chronic diseases will just go away.

        Also think of all the new economic activity that would be created in providing people new healthier food. Yeah, the embedded interests will be pissed, but they will either change or perish, so they will change.

        It will also be great for the environment, get rid of all the natural grains and corns around the continent, go back to grass lands with ruminants running amok. And if we fully listen to Dr. Alan Savory we might do a better job fighting desertification along the way!

  21. Just bought both the kindle and audible versions. Thanks for the great review.

  22. BobM says:

    The bowel flora stuff to me is the least palatable part of this. I still eat fermented vegetables, but I tried resistant starch (white potato, heated/cooled potato, plantains, plantain flour, potato starch, etc.) for months and I could not tell a benefit. Everything seemed to be a detriment: markedly increased flatulence, had a harder time going to the bathroom, higher blood sugar levels, etc. There may have been an improvement in dreams, it’s hard to tell. I also stopped losing weight that entire time. Once I stopped using resistant starch, I immediately lost 5 pounds. I’ve given up on resistant starch because of this experience.

    • Tom Naughton says:

      I’ve read that the gas pains can be a sign that you don’t have the flora to do the job, which could mean it’s time for repopulating with good probiotics.

      Dr. Davis doesn’t call for a whole lot of resistant starch. Small portions to feed the good gut bacteria. Same goes for fibers from foods like lentils.

    • Bob Niland says:

      BobM wrote: «…but I tried resistant starch…»

      Not all of what you tried was RS (aka, prebiotic fiber).

      re: «…white potato…»

      Has to be raw (which it might have been, but you weren’t specific). Cooked potato might as well be sugar.

      re: «…heated/cooled potato…»

      Re-cooling cooked potato doesn’t repolymerize enough of the starch to be of much use.

      re: «…plantains…»

      Must be green, totally green (and ditto for bananas).

      re: «…plantain flour…»

      As with raw banana flour, the process used (which may vary over time) seems to result in some heating (perhaps due to actual heat in dehydration, or mechanical heat in milling, or both), resulting in a non-trivial starch conversion.

      re: «…potato starch…»

      RPS seems to have the same problem, and may be as much as 50% available carbs.

      re: «…higher blood sugar levels…»

      That’s dispositive.
      If an RS is doing that, it’s not particularly R.

      Here’s more than I know about prebiotic fiber.

  23. lemoutongris says:

    You are a libertarian, so you should know about the main source of the healthcare industry ills: perverted government incentives. An article (long ago) from the Mises Institute claims that, the year following the officialization of the US medical cartel (AMA), half the medicine faculties shut down. I’m sure we could find similar happenings in other branches of healthcare professions…

    And without competition, charlatan treatments and cures (like whole grain) can live very, very long.

    • Tom Naughton says:

      Absolutely. When I hear people say something like, “Well, it’s clear market forces don’t work in health care,” I want to scream. How do they know that? We haven’t had anything resembling a free market for many decades.

    • Tom Naughton says:

      Head. Bang. On. Desk.

      “Don’t mess with my signature program that failed completely to address the actual cause of childhood obesity and forced schools to serve lunches that are so awful, kids throw them away.”

      Same predictable pattern. The Anointed never believe the Grand Plan was wrong. If it fails, it means 1) people undermined the plan because they’re evil, or 2) the plan didn’t go far enough.

      And of course, “it’s to save the children!!” is the favorite excuse The Anointed employ to involve government in areas of our lives where it doesn’t belong.

  24. Dan D says:

    Tom,

    I’m a few months away from beginning a master of nursing program. I just finished your fine book and have started Dr. Davis’ recent tome. Great information that is badly needed.

    Cheers

  25. Kerstin says:

    After reading this review and listening to his latest podcast with Jimmy Moore, you persuaded me to purchase the book – looking forward to reading it. 🙂

    Happy Mother’s Day, and looking forward to your film.

  26. Trevor says:

    I’ve always wondered: how bad is diet soda? I’ve heard contradicting reports on this, along with horror stories… which I’ve learned to be skeptical of during my time on the internet. It’s something I’ve been trying to give up, but have thus far failed at.

    • Tom Naughton says:

      Haven’t seen the definitive word on diet sodas. I read recently that aspartame may encourage the growth of the wrong strains of gut bacteria (i.e., the ones that make us fatter). If that’s true, it’s certainly not good for weight loss.

      We’ve recently discovered Zevia sodas at our local Kroger. They’re sweetened with stevia.

      • Firebird7478 says:

        I’ve purchased stevia drops that are cola and root beer flavored and added them to seltzer and seems to be ok. I also make a homemade 7-Up using seltzer, stevia, lemon and lime juice. You could probably do the same thing with ginger pills — break one or two open and add them to seltzer for a ginger ale.

    • j says:

      Could always make your own soda. Squeeze your choice of citrus fruits into some carbonated water and add 1 tsp of sugar. A little bit of sugar aint gonna hurt you (assuming no health issues). Or use a sweetener you believe is safer..

  27. Bob Niland says:

    re: Could always make your own soda. Squeeze your choice of citrus fruits into some carbonated water and add 1 tsp of sugar. A little bit of sugar aint gonna hurt you…

    It’s not a little bit. There’s an astonishing amount of sugar in standard pops. Back in the 1970s, I tried to economize by making my own root beer with Hires extract. When I saw how much sugar the recipe called for, I gave up pop. Perhaps everyone needs to run that little home experiment.

    On diet pop, be aware that stevia pop (and any pop sweetened with alternative non-“artificial” sweeteners) have had only trivial market share over the last 8 years, and are generally completely ignored in studies and trials, many of which predate arguable safe non-nutritive sweeteners. The breathless headlines about diet pop may not apply to Zevia.

    What does apply is all the other concerns about what’s in canned beverages of any sort:
    http://www.fathead-movie.com/index.php/2015/08/13/big-soda-fights-back/#comment-4178479

    Meanwhile, the calendar sez the LCC has put to sea. I’m surprised Tom has time to blog.

  28. Katie in FL says:

    If excessive love of my cat is a disease, then I don’t want the cure!

  29. Chanah says:

    Count me in as another person who has had enough of useless doctors. Interestingly, our local paper had an article several months ago about how better patient/personal relations are the wave of the future for medical professionals.
    Like the idea that health insurance or coverage plans are the solution to the health crisis, this is a case of dealing with secondary or tertiary effects. What will solve the growing health crisis is prevention, not pseudo-cures. If corn products were not subsidized, high-fructose corn syrup and cornstarch-based snacks would not be a cheap “food” source for the poor. The same goes for wheat subsidies, etc.
    Type II diabetes will sink the system regardless of how much is shoveled into insurance. I also think that if the consumer pays directly, the doctor is more likely to see him of her as a customer, instead of the insurance provider of the government. on the other side, if you pay out of pocket, you will demand better services.
    On the bright side, retractions of poor and fraudulent studies are on the increase. Hoping that it trickles through to the general public that public health prescriptions are worthless. (http://retractionwatch.com/2017/07/04/correct-values-impossible-establish-embattled-nutrition-researcher-adds-long-fix-2005-paper/#more-50794)

    • Tom Naughton says:

      I agree completely. Arguing about who will pay a healthcare bill the country simply can’t afford is kind of pointless. Doesn’t matter if we try to dump that bill on insurance companies or government agencies; ultimately, the money comes from all of us, and there isn’t enough of it around to pay the bills for a nation of diabetics. We have to treat the source of the problem, not the downstream costs.

  30.  
Leave a Reply