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Sunday, December 14

Shoot Yourself in the Foot health care, Part 1: Gluten in wheat isn't the big problem, gliadin is

"Asked if the farming industry could change back to the [wheat] grain it formerly produced, Davis said it could, but it would not be economically feasible because it yields less per acre."

The genetic miracle plants created by modern agribusiness are beginning to remind me of the old saying, "Too clever by half."

Dr Davis's 'You Can't Fight City Hall' approach is simply to recommend eating habits that avoid miracle plants, including the genetically modified wheat, as much as possible.  His recommendations, at least from the CBS report below, sound close to the so-called Mediterranean Diet, which has been in the news again.  See this BBC report,  Mediterranean diets keeps cells genetically young.

The latest finding about the diet is a tentative conclusion only and needs much more research. But from Davis's discussion, it's struck me that the Med diet's most useful feature could be that it greatly avoids genetically modified wheat, which is the only kind of wheat that's available today.

One thing is already becoming clear, however:  it's counterproductive to invest billions in health care to treat chronic diseases that lead to early death on the one hand, and on other are rooted in produce designed in the lab to better feed the world's population.  These designer plants were introduced before studies were done to determine their long-term effects on health.

In a perfect world miracle plants should have been deployed only as a stop-gap measure, during an era when the population explosion in many parts of the world created the prospect of mass starvation on an unprecedented scale.  But now that the doomsday scenario is behind us, or at least on hold, it's time to take a very hard look at the perils and pitfalls of science getting cute with Mother Nature.         

See the CBS website for a video of the entire interview with Davis:
Modern wheat is a "perfect, chronic poison," doctor says
By Amanda Cochran
CBS News
June 21, 2013

(CBS News) Modern wheat is a "perfect, chronic poison," according to Dr. William Davis, a cardiologist who has published a book all about the world's most popular grain.

Davis said that the wheat we eat these days isn't the wheat your grandma had: "It's an 18-inch tall plant created by genetic research in the '60s and '70s," he said on "CBS This Morning."

"This thing has many new features nobody told you about, such as there's a new protein in this thing called gliadin. It's not gluten. I'm not addressing people with gluten sensitivities and celiac disease. I'm talking about everybody else because everybody else is susceptible to the gliadin protein that is an opiate. This thing binds into the opiate receptors in your brain and in most people stimulates appetite, such that we consume 440 more calories per day, 365 days per year."

Asked if the farming industry could change back to the grain it formerly produced, Davis said it could, but it would not be economically feasible because it yields less per acre. However, Davis said a movement has begun with people turning away from wheat - and dropping substantial weight.

"If three people lost eight pounds, big deal," he said. "But we're seeing hundreds of thousands of people losing 30, 80, 150 pounds. Diabetics become no longer diabetic; people with arthritis having dramatic relief. People losing leg swelling, acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, depression, and on and on every day."
To avoid these wheat-oriented products, Davis suggests eating "real food," such as avocados, olives, olive oil, meats, and vegetables.

"(It's) the stuff that is least likely to have been changed by agribusiness," he said. "Certainly not grains. When I say grains, of course, over 90 percent of all grains we eat will be wheat, it's not barley... or flax. It's going to be wheat.

"It's really a wheat issue."

Some health resources, such as the Mayo Clinic, advocate a more balanced diet that does include wheat. But Davis said on "CTM" they're just offering a poor alternative.

"All that literature says is to replace something bad, white enriched products with something less bad, whole grains, and there's an apparent health benefit - 'Let's eat a whole bunch of less bad things.' So I take ... unfiltered cigarettes and replace with Salem filtered cigarettes [and say] you should smoke the Salems.' That's the logic of nutrition, it's a deeply flawed logic. What if I take it to the next level, and we say, 'Let's eliminate all grains,' what happens then?

"That's when you see, not improvements in health, that's when you see transformations in health."

Watch Davis' full interview in the video above.
[END REPORT]

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