The War on Wheat – the fifth estate

(♪♪)>>Mark: Tonight on the Fifth Estate. (♪♪)>>Mark: Get your knives and forks ready. This is the battle for your belly.>>It’s garbage, right. You don’t want to put garbage in your body.>>Mark: It will challenge what you believe about food.>>People want simple solutions to highly complex problems.>>Mark: And who you can trust.>>Dark corners. Dark shadows. Lies.>>Mark: Are we being fed the truth about what we eat? Is there anything inherently wrong with eating wheat?>>The short answer is no.>>Mark: And should we be more careful about what we put into our bodies and our minds?>>This is one of these arguments that has one smidgen of scientific fact to it, which is then exploded into a whole blob of nonsense.>>Mark: I’m Mark Kelley and this is “The Fifth Estate.” Tonight, the war on wheat. (wind blowing) (♪♪)>>Mark: Take a long look. What do you see growing in this field? A symbol of Canadian prosperity? The foundation of the world’s diet for the past 10,000 years? Or do you see something darker? A toxin in a sheep’s clothing. The foundation of many of the diseases that plague us. From diabetes, to multiple sclerosis, to breast cancer. What you see reveals which side of the war you’re on. (♪♪)>>Mark: It’s a cold January night in Halifax.>>The scene… Seasons restaurant at the Atlantica Hotel. A private dinner is being prepared for a very select group. It’s the perfect setting to talk about food. Especially the grain that’s on everyone’s lips, but nobody’s plate. Over candlelight and red wine the well-heeled discuss the future without wheat.>>Welcome to our restaurant. We’re going to showcase food tonight that doesn’t need any wheat whatsoever.>>Cheers. (background chatter)>>Mark: Here sits Dr. William Davis, the world’s most influential anti-wheat Evangelist. He’s changing not only what we eat, but how we see food.>>You know what bugs me? People are not given the full benefit of all the information that there really is available, that empowers you in your own health and your family’s health.>>This is a salad. We have a lemon dressing. We have an avocado foam.>>Avocado foam?>>Mark: No that’s avocado foam. For the uninitiated, like me, the evening is like a boot camp to galvanize the anti-wheat warriors. No beer. Yes to wine. No pizza. No bagels. No bread. The dinner party conversation reveals how the trenches are being dug. Are you wheat free?>>Yeah.>>Mark: What difference has it made for you?>>Weight loss and energy.>>You wake up in the morning and you don’t feel tired. I haven drank beer in four and a half years.>>Mark: That’s a serious commitment.>>Yeah, it was.>>Mark: And it was because of the book?>>Yeah.>>Mark: Wow, you’re a believer! (♪♪)>>Mark: The book they’re reading is Wheat Belly, written by Dr. William Davis. It’s the bible of the wheat-free movement. Nearly 3 million copies of his book sold in 33 countries. More than 100 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list. Not a diet book, but a manifesto. The gospel according to Dr. Davis: Wheat is killing us. We must fight back. Word spreads quickly he’s in town.>>He’s the author of the number 1, New York Times best-selling book, Wheat Belly Total Health. Please welcome, Dr. William Davis. (applause)>>Mark: Like in city after city all across North America, hundreds of people show up for Dr. Wheat Belly’s sermon about the sins of wheat and those who eat it.>>Could I get a little poll? Who’s read Wheat Belly, or at least seen some of our TV spots, etc, have some understanding?>>Mark: At first, Dr. Davis comes across like a friendly old uncle, sharing some homespun wisdom about wheat.>>I didn’t set out on this path to make myself the enemy of wheat. I didn’t say, I hate these darn grains. I’m gonna pick on them. And kick ’em. I really set out to help people empower themselves in health.>>Mark: But then things suddenly get serious. Wheat, he says, causes 70 to 80% of all known diseases.>>Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes in children, type 2 diabetes, seborrhea, psoriasis, dandruff, acne, joint pain, arthritis, arthralgias, hair loss.>>Mark: The list goes on and on and so does he, for full effect.>>Autoimmune alopecia, depression, eating disorders, on and on and on. If all of these, at least some, if not most of them are caused by grains, what happens if we eat no grains? I’m going to propose to you that many, if not most of these diseases disappear. They go away.>>Mark: Wheat, he argues, is not what it used to be. It’s a genetically modified monster he calls Frankenwheat. And who’s to blame? Well, big food companies and big government for unleashing the beast on unsuspecting consumers.>>Dark corners. Dark shadows. Lies. I think that’s what we have in the world of wheat and grains.>>Mark: His message is alarming: don’t trust government food guidelines or food scientists. Instead, trust him.>>This is our chance to pull back that curtain, expose the whole thing to the light of day. All right, thank you very much for listening. (applause)>>Thank you very much.>>Mark: This is the drumbeat of the war on wheat.>>Dr. William Davis is a cardiologist and the author of the best-selling book “Wheat Belly.”>>Please welcome, Dr. William Davis.>>Welcome to the show.>>Welcome Dr. Davis.>>Mark: He uses the platform of the TV talk show circuit, touting his shocking message.>>Wheat is making us sicker than ever. I don’t think anybody should be eating this.>>Mark: And claiming he has science is on his side.>>They’ve created this thing that is extremely destructive for health. (♪♪)>>Mark: But when you hear his back story, Dr. Davis is an unlikely warrior. He was a cardiologist in Milwaukee, trying to lose a few pounds to help fight his type 2 Diabetes.>>Mark: Tell me what your life was like before the Wheat Belly phenomenon exploded?>>Mark, I wish I could tell you that I came at this in a huge flash of insight and understood the entire terrain of all thi — I did not. I stumbled and bumbled my way here.>>Mark: He admits he never conducted any of his own scientific studies. He just cut wheat from his diet. He says his blood sugars tumbled. His extra weight melted away. He urged his patients to follow him. And the anecdotes began to pile up.>>Patient after patient came back and said, well I did that, yes, my blood sugar’s much better but I also lost 43 pounds and I didn’t do anything else.>>Mark: Would you consider that you’re waging a war on wheat now?>>I’m waging a war against misinformation in health in which one of the major and most destructive messages is to create a diet rich in healthy whole grains. You know Mark, I think this movement is so large. It’s such a huge, earth-shattering, world-changing, life-changing perspective. I don’t think any one person can take all the credit.>>Mark: But you would consider that there is a movement afoot right now?>>No question.>>Mark: The movement he spawned has shaken an industry to it’s very core. 56% of Canadians now report they’re cutting down on whole grains like wheat. (crackling)>>Mark: That means cutting out one third of all food: like bread, breakfast cereals, pastas, pastries, pretzels and beer. That’s a big slice of the pie. Kelloggs and General Mills report a huge drop in cereal sales. Weston bakeries shut down factories and Maple Leaf foods sold its bread division.>>Have you tried gluten-free Chex Oatmeal and new Chex Granola mix? It’s gluten free. Chex. Full of…>>Mark: And now, gluten and wheat free products are filling store shelves with more than $6 billion in sales last year. All of that a win for the anti-wheat movement.>>I had told myself there was no way this could be true. How could a world of nutritionists, dieticians and my colleagues get it so utterly wrong for so long? Uh, well, once you start to peel back this onion, you start to realize it is quite rotten. It’s quite rotten to the core. (♪♪)>>Mark: Could he be right that everyone else has got it wrong? Well his book cites some 295 studies as proof that wheat is indeed killing us. Coming up, we take a look at whether the claims in his book are solid science, or paper thin.>>When you find something in a book that is absolutely wrong, then it makes you question everything else that is in there. (♪♪) (♪♪)>>Mark: Saskatchewan, the breadbasket of Canada, the land of the wheat kings. (♪♪)>>Mark: They’ve been growing the grain here commercially since the 1880s.>>Here there was rich hard kernels of health. The wheat falls beneath the knives.>>Mark: Over generations, wheat has migrated from prairie farms to processed foods.>>There no other cereal like Nabisco Wheat Honeys.>>Mark: To kitchen cupboards.>>Wheat Thins taste really good and they’re full of natural whole wheat.>>Mark: Generations of TV viewers were fed the same message over and over again.>>Cream of Wheat gives you five times more iron than any leading hot oat cereal.>>Have some Wheat Chex, Tim, they’re good for you. (♪♪)>>Mark: And when the summer sun shines in Saskatchewan, the wheat fields glow. To farmers here, that’s the glow of money. Saskatchewan now provides 10% of the exported wheat in the world. A war on wheat is an all out assault on a 2 billion dollar cash crop. Now it’s true millions of people do get sick eating wheat. People with celiac disease. But that’s about 1% of the population. Others have allergies and sensitivities to wheat. But Dr. William Davis insists Wheat is bad for all of us because, it’s not your grandparents wheat. He says it’s something much worse. Modern wheat’s dirty little secret? Wheat proteins – gluten and gliadins – that he claims, have been modified by scientists and now act like a chemical on our brains. A chemical we get hooked to, like junkies. Modern wheat, he says, is an opiate, like heroin. Creating food addictions.>>Modern wheat is a perfect chronic poison. It’s literally an opiate or an opioid. Gliadin partially breaks down and becomes opiates that bind to the human brain.>>When you find something in a book that is absolutely wrong, then it makes you question everything else that is in there.>>Mark: We asked Joe Schwarcz to examine the science behind Wheat Belly. He’s a chemist at McGill dedicated to demystifying science and debunking big claims.>>Is there any evidence that wheat is addictive?>>No, certainly none that I’ve seen, and if it is addictive it is not because it contains any of these peptides. Those peptides are also found in spinach, they’re found in dairy and a whole range of other foods.>>Mark: He says opioid peptides are produced when some foods are digested. But just because they can bind to opiate receptors in the brain doesn’t mean they produce a morphine-like effect.>>If we’re going to say that — that is addictive, it would be along the line that people like foods that have wheat in them.>>Mark: But that’s not a physical addiction?>>It’s not a physical addiction. And I know of no evidence of physical addiction. (♪♪)>>Mark: Turns out Dr. Davis bases this claim mainly on one study of rat brains, done on dead rats in 1979. To date, there has been no study on humans that conclusively proves wheat is addictive. It gets a lot more dangerous than that. Dr. Davis says wheat also causes cancer.>>The wheat of today is by far, hands down, the worst possible thing you could eat. High blood pressure, heart sisease, dementia, cancer.>>Mark: Colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, esophageal cancer. He says women with wheat bellies have a 400% greater likelihood of getting breast cancer. So let’s follow his logic here. Research has indeed linked obesity to cancer. But lots of things can make you fat. Davis concludes that because wheat is one of them, it causes cancer. But the direct connection has yet to be made.>>Mark: he makes the link that wheat causes breast cancer. Have you seen any evidence of that?>>I’ve never seen any evidence of that. I mean, there’s four new scientific papers that come out every single minute of every day, 365 days a year. You know? How is it that they missed the connection between gluten and breast cancer, you know, having worked for decades in this area?>>Mark: But it’s not just physical illness. Dr. Davis also links wheat to mental illness – from depression to dementia to schizophrenia. He devotes an entire chapter to this astounding claim.>>PMS, depression, bipolar illness, paranoia,anxiety, acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, depression, on and on and on. Why do we observe the phenomenon of paranoia and hearing voices — auditory hallucinations — recede dramatically when we take the wheat out of the diet of our schizophrenic patients?>>Mark: The study Dr. Davis was just talking about was conducted in 1966. And once again, after almost 50 years of research, no one can point to any definitive study that specifically links wheat to schizophrenia.>>It’s relatively easy when you know some science to cherry pick the data and to make it sound much more compelling than It is, and — especially if you can kind of portray yourself as kind of the knight in shining armour who’s going to save the population from the clutches of this unholy alliance between big pharma, big food, the agriculture industry, academic scientists, who, for some reason, want to undermine our health. This is one of these arguments that has one smidgen of scientific fact to it, which is then exploded into a whole blob of nonsense. (♪♪)>>Mark: But the big question: Are we being terrorized by genetically modified Frankenwheat? It’s the foundation of the Wheat Belly argument.>>The wheat of today is nothing like the wheat of 40 years ago. It’s not wheat. I call it Frankenwheat. Nobody, no human should be eating this modern creation of genetics research.>>Mark: Modern wheat, he argues, is a crude result of experimentation, a frightening brainchild of agricultural scientists. (♪♪)>>Mark: Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan wanted to see if that’s true. Has wheat’s basic protein structure been altered? (♪♪)>>Mark: This is the only lab in The world doing this kind of research and one of the few labs that smells like fresh baked bread. Here at the University of Saskatchewan they’ve been studying wheat for more than a hundred years. Everything from how it grows, to how it bakes, to how it tastes. This is bread grown with wheat developed in 1935. This one from wheat developed in 1991. (♪♪)>>Mark: Hmm. You’d never know the difference. (♪♪)>>Mark: Okay so, it tastes the same. But deep down is it really still the same? So show me some of the differences here, if you can, between these grains.>>So first thing, this is red fife.>>Mark: The research is being led by Dr. Ravi Chabbar. He’s a wheat geneticist. He’s paid to advise the grain industry. But he says this project is being funding by a federal government program which invests in: “the world’s most accomplished and promising minds.”>>Mark: And this is the…>>The oldest.>>Mark: The oldest.>>1860, yeah.>>Mark: 1860. (♪♪)>Mark: Over time, yes, wheat has been modified to produce high yield crops. But what about its proteins – gluten and gliadins? Well, researchers studied the genetic profiles of 37 different Varieties of wheat grown in Canada since the 1800s. It may look different over time, but research shows it’s not Frankenwheat. Chabbar’s discovery? For all intents and purposes, it is your grandparents wheat.>>What we want to say is that between the ancient wheats and the modern wheats, they are very similar. They’re very similar. They’re nutritionally good because proteins, you need proteins, right?>>Mark: How can someone just stand up and say wheat is bad, wheat is toxic?>>That is that person’s opinion. (♪♪)>>Mark: But it’s not just any person’s opinion. Dr. Davis has won the unqualified trust of millions of people. Coming up, we find out why.>>The truth is not easy to sell. The trust is not sexy. The inconvenient truth of healthful living is that it does require effort. (♪♪) (♪♪)>>Mark: Wheat feeds more people than any other single source of food in the world but that’s Changing. Fast. As the war on wheat convinces more people to eat wheat free. (♪♪)>>Mark: More than half of Canadians say they are cutting back on grains like wheat from their diet. (chopping)>>Mark: The movement is winning over more and more intelligent, Influential, and nutrition conscious converts.>>Mark: And food is their life. (♪♪)>>A little flavour, a little colour.>>Mark: Meet Rachael Hunt and Rachel Bies, two women with a shared enemy, wheat.>>Mmmm.>>Mark: Now they’re educating others about the health benefits of going wheat free. Bit by bit. Bite by bite.>>And then we did quinoa brown rice pasta with organic ground chicken. And a bunch of seasonal vegetables.>>Bon appetit.>>Mark: The Rachels started Gluten freedom week in Toronto.>>You know when you’ve been hit with gluten. It’s like within 45 minutes, it’s like, boom.>>Mark: A public awareness campaign to convince restaurants and food retailers to join the movement.>>And are you fully gluten free now?>>Yeah. It was so difficult but it changed my whole way of eating.>>Mark: And it’s not just people who are going wheat free, so are entire businesses. Like this one. It’s called “Feast.” That’s an acronym for “fabulous eats for allergic and sensitive types.” Like Rachel and Rachael. Show me some of the gluten-free products here that I could try and taste because this is all new to me. What do you really love here?>>Coconut bacon.>>So good.>>Mark: Coconut bacon?>>It’s honestly addictive and I go through about one of these a week.>>Mark: Let me see this. Here goes. Mmm. That’s good. So why did the Rachels go wheat-free? Well their reasoning is ripped right from the pages of the best seller “Wheat Belly”, written by Dr. William Davis.>>It’s not all wheat, it’s our wheat in North America. It’s been genetically modified. It’s not our parents wheat from the ’50s. It’s now this, you know, some people call it Frankenwheat. It’s addictive. It’s garbage, right? You don’t want to put garbage in your body, so…>>Mark: Neither of them has been tested to see if they have Celiac or a wheat sensitivity. Neither had a doctor prescribe a wheat-free diet. They trusted their gut on this one, and for them it works.>>My energy levels, my mental capacity, my — even my skin my digestive system. Everything started to just work as it should work. I’m more productive in a day than gluten Rachel. (laughter)>>New and improved Rachael is Gluten-free. (laughter)>>Mark: Truth is, for most people, Wheat Belly isn’t about a new lifestyle, it’s about losing weight. And you will, at least in the short term. By losing the wheat, you dramatically reduce your carbs and calories. So why then is this book making such an impact. Well, it’s one part celebrity author, a side order of celebrity endorsements, and a heaping helping of hype. (sizzling)>>Mark: Fantastic. What do we have here?>>We have our pumpkin ravioli. And we have the gnocchi here.>>Terrific.>>Mark: Yoni Freedhoff is a family doctor in Ottawa and a diet expert, who runs a nutrition clinic. He doesn’t believe in fad diets, or miracle foods. Or Dr. Davis.>>Mark: So I guess this is wrong on every level in terms of a wheat-free diet?>>I don’t think Dr. Davis would join us for this meal.>>Mark: Dr. Freedhoff says Wheat Belly is similar to other carb-free diets that cut out bread, pasta and potatoes. The big difference? Dr. Davis.>>Mark: Good.>>This just took it to another level with a very charismatic doctor, who has a presentation that to me is reminiscent of an Evangelical preacher. You know with — you can be healed and away you go, and I think that is, again, it’s what people want to hear. We want to believe in magic.>>Mark: If none of this has been proven, why do so many People believe it to be true?>>You know, the truth is not easy to sell. Um, the truth is not sexy. The inconvenient truth of healthful living is that it does require effort.>>Mark: Dr. Freedhoff says he would never recommend this diet to his patients because he believes wheat is good for us.>>Unlike what Dr. Davis has been saying, there’s no question that diets rich in whole grains have been shown to be protective against a myriad of diseases including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and just mortality as a whole. There was a study published just a couple of weeks ago that reconfirmed that fact.>>Mark: And it’s not just Dr. Freedhoff. Many medical associations won’t endorse the wheat belly diet. If you don’t have celiac disease, even the Canadian Celiac Association won’t endorse a gluten-free diet. Neither does the American Heart Association, the Obesity Society or the American College of Cardiology. And Dr. Davis is a cardiologist. (applause)>>I think what’s driving this Is a tidal wave of change. We have sparked a movement.>>Mark: But there is one Influential community that does support the wheat-free movement. Celebrities. Take a look. Their food choices are the staple of morning TV talk shows.>>People including Hollywood A-listers like Anne Hathaway and Gwyneth Paltrow are eliminating the protein found in wheat, rye and barley from their diet.>>Cutting out gluten does seem to be gaining in popularity. Even Chelsea Clinton opted for a gluten-free wedding cake.>>Mark: Dr. Davis’ wheat free philosophy has attracted high profile disciples…>>Miley!>>Mark: Such as the pop star, Miley Cyrus. Canadian basketballer Steve Nash. And the chief glutenista of all, actress Gwyneth Paltrow, seen here on the Dr. Oz show. She has 2 million followers on Twitter where she promotes her Gluten-free lifestyle.>>I felt great. I had lost weight and I though there really is something to this. So what I do here is…>>Mark: She has let the world know she won’t consider feeding her young children bread, pasta or rice.>>Mark: Bon appetit.>>Mark: Lots of people look up to Gwyneth. Tim Caulfield, a health policy professor, isn’t one of them.>>This is great.>>Mark: This is great. He questions the impact of celebrity on science in his new book: ‘Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong about Everything?’ He even did her 30-day cleanse to see if it would make him a believer. It didn’t. From your experience who do people trust more? Is it the food evangelists like Dr. Davis or a celebrity like Gwyneth Paltrow, or is it a food scientist who’s out there?>>This is an excellent point. I think that there is a trust issue that’s going on. But in addition to that it helps reinforce that eating gluten as a form of self-expression or part of a community that eats gluten-free. You know, I drive my Prius, you know, I recycle, I’m gluten free and I think that’s part of why this has become so popular.>>Mark: Caulfield says people may not trust food scientists, but they do trust their friends and neighbours who swear Wheat Belly works for them. Don’t these anecdotal examples; don’t they become sort of a body of scientific evidence?>>First of all, a bunch of anecdotes added together does not make good data, right? They’re just — it’s just anecdote plus anecdote and having a whole bunch of it doesn’t make it stronger.>>Mark: You know what makes the claims stronger?>>Just because you’re going wheat free doesn’t mean you need to go taste free.>>Mark: Powerful platforms like the Dr. Oz show. Two doctors united in the war on wheat.>>In fact, there are so many adverse components of wheat, I wonder why we even try to eat this stuff.>>Mark: Sure, Dr. Oz got into trouble recently, scolded by a US senate committee for making fantastical claims about another diet.>>I don’t get why you need to say this stuff when you know it’s not true.>>My job, I feel, on the show, is to be a cheerleader for the audience. So my show is about hope. The Wheat Belly diet’s never been easier or faster –>>Mark: And hope was what he was selling with Dr. Davis.>>Complete relief within 5 days.>>Within five days.>>Mark: Unchallenged claims broadcast to Dr. Oz audience in 118 countries. (♪♪)>>Mark: Here at Stanford University in California, one of the world’s leading scientists says enough is enough.>>How can we guarantee quality when we have not just a few scientists but a huge –>>Mark: Dr. John Iaonnidis made his name researching scientific research. And take it from him, he says Dr. Davis cannot claim to have science on his side.>>This is one example where a big claim is made practically on thin air. I mean, we’re not even talking about science here. It’s not scientific studies that lead to that claim. It’s mostly a belief system.>>Mark: But he agrees scientists are being drowned out by celebrities and pseudoscience in the war on wheat.>>I think that scientists have lost the rock star battle. (laughing)>>The public have not been used to listening to science. They have been used to listening to movie stars, and no numbers, just big claims, big quotes.>>Mark: Without science, what are we left with?>>I don’t think we’re left with anything. I don’t think we can really have a meaningful, rational life and expect to make any progress.>>Mark: Coming up, we go against the grain with Dr. Davis. Have you ever sat down and wondered, looked up and thought, what if I’m wrong? (♪♪) (♪♪)>>Mark: The debate about Whether wheat is good for us, or killing us, plays into a much bigger food fight. Although we’ve been consuming food since the dawn of humanity, we still can’t seem to agree about what is good for us.>>A new study raises the possibility — think about this — that high milk consumption may be linked with more bone fractures and a higher death rate. What?>>Mark: Just turn on the TV: Food science can be confusing.>>For decades we’ve looked at cholesterol as the number one public health enemy. But now, new research, they’re always bringing out new research.>>More research, including one study out today finds saturated fat isn’t so bad after all.>>Mark: It’s easy to see why people don’t know what or who to believe about food. So, are more people questioning science? Absolutely! A recent survey polled 3000 scientists and 2000 everyday people about current controversies from vaccines to climate change. But the biggest difference in opinion between the two groups, it was around food. Despite widespread support from scientists, only 37% of the population believes food that’s been genetically modified is safe to eat. And into that chasm of doubt walks Wheat Belly author Dr. William Davis. He says he is leading a war on misinformation, while claiming wheat has caused ‘more human disease and suffering than all wars combined.’ He blames experts who support eating wheat for creating a ‘collective madness’ larger than the Salem witch trials or the ‘fear-mongering of the red Scare’. Their nutritional advice makes ‘bleeding with leeches’ or ‘frontal lobotomies’ seem quaint.>>When I’ve actually engaged…>>Mark: Despite selling millions of books, and winning over millions of converts, the anti-wheat evangelist insists the battle is just beginning. Do you think you are now in the process of winning the war?>>You know, it’s more like the war on terror. It’s not something that has a discrete start and end. It’s going to be an ongoing process. I think I’m part of the conversation driving that. You know, I feel bad for those people. They’re just trying to do their job. I don’t think they’re bad people, just as the tobacco executives of the 1960’s and 70’s, you know, who under Congressional testimony said, you know, well, I did it because I needed to pay my mortgage and my son’s tuition. They’re just nice people trying to do their job. I don’t think…>>Mark: But do you equate somebody growing wheat or selling wheat products with people who sell cigarettes?>>I would if it becomes increasingly clear that this is stuff that humans never should have eaten in the first place.>>Mark: One of your biggest claims is that wheat has killed more people than all wars combined. Do you stand by that?>>Yes. You know, we can’t be real precise in the numbers, but think of it, how much diabetes, obesity, autoimmune disease, ulcerative colitis, crohn’s — I could go on. We’re talking about hundreds of millions of people, or more, over the years.>>Mark: Okay, so let’s talk about a real person: me. So I’m a wheat consumer. I don’t over-consume. I have a healthy diet. I have none of these health issues. Why not? Why am I healthy if I eat wheat?>>There’s going to be great individual variation. There are people — there’s an occasional person, Mark, who escapes all the effects for a lifetime, but they’re very uncommon. Much more common is this, someone thinks they’re escaping the process, the problems but are either unaware of the problems or they’re developing slowly beneath the surface of perception so it’s a very tough cause/effect to connect.>>Mark: But hold on. His whole war is about cause and effect. Is he feeding us a message that hurts us or helps us? Your critics will say, at best, you’re peddling hope, at worst, you’re spreading misinformation, and profiting from it. How do you respond to that?>>Oh, the same way I’d respond to their arguments. They’re — they misinterpreted the data to begin with. I believe they’re the ones who’ve not looked at all the evidence.>>Mark: Have you ever wondered, look up and thought, what if I’m wrong?>>I did up until about three years ago, because I have the wonderful benefit of seeing it play out. If I did this in ten people and it worked in all ten, that’d be Interesting. One hundred times, that’s getting real interesting. A thousand times, wow, maybe we’re on to something. Ten thousand, a hundred-thousand times, over and over and over and over, you see success play out. Experience would suggest that we’ve stumbled on to something that is incredibly effective, yet flies in the face of all traditional notions of nutrition.>>Mark: Wheat Belly is packed With anecdotes, stories of miraculous weight loss and transformational health changes. So we asked Dr. Davis if any scientists or medical associations have endorsed his ‘grain-free lifestyle’? He said no. Researchers will tell you that on the pyramid of evidence, anecdotes, they’re not only on the bottom, they’re in the basement. It’s like hearsay. Does an accumulation of anecdotes actually really equate to science?>>No, absolutely not. So I try to make that as clean as I can. That is, anecdotes are provided for human interest because it makes fun reading. People want to hear about people like themselves, but if I wrote a book only about the science, Which by the way, I’d love to do, but sad to say, most of the public would not read it. (♪♪)>>Mark: So, is Wheat Belly just an entertaining story carefully crafted to sell books? And if so, what about the millions of people who believe in the gospel according to Dr. Davis. So are we digging in?>>Yeah. We’ve got three different types of patties here.>>Mark: people like Rachael and Rachel. People who are so inspired by what they read they make dramatic changes to what they eat.>>Mark: That’s good. There’s a lot of science out there that challenges the science that William Davis is referring to.>>Right.>>Mark: Are you skeptical about those studies?>>Absolutely. Who’s funding the studies that are saying that wheat that’s processed, heavily processed wheat is good for you, right? I’m skeptical of people that are putting things out there that are making a dime off of it. I’m skeptical of anyone that’s…>>Mark: But isn’t William Davis doing that?>>Absolutely, but people aren’t — if people are going to start following or taking out gluten, I don’t think people are going to be worse off for it.>>Mark: I think the big issues at the end of the day for a lot of us, all of us, no matter where you stand on this, is trust.>>Yeah.>>Mark: Who do you trust at the end of the day?>>Your body.>>Yeah. I think at the end of the day, it’s just trusting your instinct and what makes you feel better. (♪♪)>>Mark: despite the fact the vast majority of scientists and health organizations don’t support much of what Dr. Davis says, more and more people are giving up wheat. They say they’re doing it because it makes them feel better. And maybe that will be the deciding factor in the war on wheat. (♪♪)>>Mark: you may not agree with everyone or everything you heard on the show tonight. So we encourage you to go to our website and add your voice to the debate. You will also find lots more information and scientific studies you may want to read. It may also help you decide which side of the war you’re on. Stay with us, The Fifth Estate will return. (♪♪)


  1. See Dr. Gundry on lectins. He did 10,000 heart surgeries then stopped because lectins or glutins were the culprits. See the future of cities.

  2. If I chew bread so ptyalin enzyme has a chance to begin digesting the wheat starch will I avoid the problems of eating wheat? Or if I sprout the wheat and begin to breakdown the starch even before I eat will I be safe?


  4. Well, stop spraying stuff all over the foods. And enough with the modified foods. The difference in the taste of corn in the US and in Peru is enormous. US corn tastes like cardboard in comparison. Anyhow, it's not the wheat, it is what is bing done to it.

  5. "Wheat" is not the issue creating problems, it's refined white flour. Removing white flour out of the diet will help improve any health issues – it's just that bad.

  6. Humans never evolved to have grains be the foundation of their diet. There is nothing good about them other than that they are cheap.

  7. Why do people get obese

    It is the product of the Industrial food complex and how they have altered the ready to eat meals, to make them as appetizing (bliss point) and shelf stable as possible! Sugars without fiber, especially High Fructose corn syrup in soft drinks and candy are converted to fats by the liver . The body can not handle it. Grains ( wheat, corn and rice) humans have neither the small intestines shape nor the flora and fauna to fully break
    proteins into amino acids.

    Sugar the bitter truth!

    "Pure, white and deadly" by John Yudkin and Robert H Lustig

    Daily Bread- Can any human body handle Gluten – Dr Rodney Ford

    6 reasons NOT to eat gluten or products made from grasses!

  8. Joe Schwarcz is not an unbiased spokesperson. Besides his flippant matter which is unscientific, his dismal of the problems with wheat and other grains are too dismissed without a scintilla of doubt!

    My N=1 data supports my conclusion ALL GRAINS ARE EVIL AND TOXIC !

  9. The debate on wheat is like Evolutionists Vs Creationists. In the end Science is made up by the big corporations to prove what they want to sell. No wonder Science is getting such a bad name. Its Science to support the multibillionaires. Feeling better is the real evidence that wheat is a killer.

  10. YOUR BODY, not what "experts" say, is the ultimate arbiter of what is good for you. Let your body tell you what is good for it.

  11. I tried eating vegetarian for my RA, and it totally blew up. Everything is high carb, grain and beans based, too much inflammation from too much carbs. Also my mother had horrible hayfever, and she became allergic to wheat.

  12. I never read this « belly » book nor do I have any interest in doing so. However, i do agree with that many foods grown in 🇨🇦 and 🇺🇸for example, are not as healthy as those grown in Europe. The main reason is their lack of GMO produce. I am wheat and sugar free, as much as possible.

  13. Modern wheat is dwarf wheat, a cultivar developed in the ’60s to massively increase yield per acre. But this dwarf wheat wasn’t the lovable, bearded, wisecracking, clownish, comic relief-providing, overly self-conscious Gimli of the Lord of the Rings films, nor was it the fearsome, highly respected, resolute dwarven warrior Gimli in the books. It was a high-yielding cultivar with larger seed heads and thick, short stocks that could bear the extra weight. Being shorter, it received less sunlight than traditional wheat cultivars, but it produced a lot of grains on less acreage. Agronomist Norman Borlaug pioneered the development of these high yield dwarf varieties, refining and perfecting already existing wheat strains, and received much acclaim (including the Nobel Peace Prize) for introducing the dwarf wheat and modern agriculture to developing countries. He certainly helped many millions of people find sustenance and livelihood through wheat agriculture, but what were the unintended consequences of his forays into genetic manipulation of wheat? How is modern wheat different? What are the problems – if any – of modern wheat?
    It’s less nutritious.

    In 1843, agronomists at Rothamstead Research Station in Hertfordshire, England began what would become one of the longest-running continuous agronomic experiments in the world: the Broadbalk Winter Wheat Experiment. For the last two centuries, generations of scientists involved in the experiment have grown multiple wheat cultivars on adjacent plots of land and applied different farming techniques and fertilizers to study the effect on yield, nutritional content, and viability of the crop. They’ve rotated crops in and out, switched up fertilizers, and tracked the change in mineral content of both soil and wheat grain. It’s a stunning example of a well-designed, seemingly never ending (it continues to this day, as far as I can tell) experiment.

    Between 1843 and the mid 1960s, the mineral content, including zinc, magnesium, iron, and copper, of harvested wheat grain in the experiment stayed constant. But after that point, zinc, magnesium, iron, and copper concentrations began to decrease – a shift that “coincided with the introduction of semi-dwarf, high-yielding cultivars” into the Broadbalk experiment. Another study found that the “ancient” wheats – emmer, spelt, and einkorn – had higher concentrations of selenium, an extremely important mineral, than modern wheats. Further compounding the mineral issue is the fact that phytic acid content remains unaffected in dwarf wheat. Thus, the phytate:mineral ratio is higher, which will make the already reduced levels of minerals in dwarf wheat even more unavailable to its consumers.

    Increased yield leading to dilution of mineral density is one possible explanation for the reduction in wheat mineral content, but modern wheat has shorter root systems than ancient wheat, and longer roots allow greater extraction of minerals from the soil. Some people have proposed soil mineral depletion as the cause of reduced nutrient content of food, but – at least in the Broadbalk experiment – soil mineral content actually increased over time.
    It’s more damaging to celiacs and gluten-sensitives.

    One of the primary proteins in wheat, gluten provides the “viscoelastic properties” that allow wheat to be turned into bread, dough, pasta, and all sorts of processed foods. Gluten provides the chewiness of good bread, the bite of al dente pasta. Bakers, cooks, and foodies prize it – but some people fear it, and rightfully so. The basic gist is that for many people, consuming gluten inflames the body, perforates the gut, and opens them up to a whole host of health maladies.

    So what’s the deal with modern wheat?

    Well, celiac disease is on the rise, and some researchers have suggested that this is caused by the prevalence of certain gluten proteins that predominate in the new varieties of wheat. Namely, a gluten peptide known as glia-?9, which is nearly absent in older wheats but prevalent in modern wheats, is the most reactive “CD (celiac disease) epitope.”
    In other words, a majority of people with celiac disease react negatively to glia-?9. It’s a common trigger, and older wheat doesn’t have as much of it.

    Meanwhile, einkorn, an ancient variety of wheat, has been shown to cause less intestinal toxicity in patients with celiac. Einkorn and other related ancient strains of wheat still contain gluten, of course, but they do not appear to be as damaging to people sensitive to or completely intolerant of gluten and its related protein subfractions.
    It’s prepared differently.

    Consider how bread is made today:

    With refined, old (often rancid) white flour instead of freshly ground wheat.

    Using quick rise commercial yeast instead of slowly fermenting with proven sourdough cultures.

    On an industrial scale instead of in the home.

    Meanwhile, for the vast majority of our wheat-eating history, humans have been grinding whole wheat berries up fresh and fermenting them before baking and eating the stuff. Dr. Weston Price famously found several traditional cultures who thrived on wheat, but they weren’t eating refined white flour treated with quick-rising yeast. They were stone-grinding fresh wheat. They were fermenting it. They were doing all the things a person has got to do if they want to make wheat a staple of their diet and maximize the nutrition in the process. Later, Price conducted experiments in which he reversed dental decay and remineralized cavity-ridden teeth in refined white flour-eating people using wholesome, varied diets that included some freshly ground wheat. Fermentation effectively “pre-digests” the proteins in wheat, as I mentioned previously. If you have the right organisms, you can even break down wheat gluten to the point that celiacs can eat it without suffering symptoms.

    That’s not to suggest you should go eat wheat. It’s simply to suggest that if you do, fresh, whole, ancient wheat prepared the old way is definitely healthier.

    So, there you go: a few good lines of solid evidence showing why modern wheat – which is the only kind of wheat most people are ever going to encounter in the real world – should be avoided.

  14. The proof is in the pudding. Stop wheat 100% for a month or two and see how you feel. If you feel better, continue wheat free. If not, go back to it. Duh. Bear in mind that one variety may work for you and another may not, so you may need to experiment more.

    I was raised nearly wheat free. Our family doctor, a nutritionally oriented chiropractor, taught my mother in 1949 that intact wheat molecules were small enough to pass through human intestines and could lodge in the interstitial spaces, altering pH and causing health problems. He got his info from a biochemist he had studied with, Pierre Boncquet, who did research in the early 20th century that established this. I wish I knew how to locate this research. Consequently, brown rice was our staple grain and we also consumed sweet potatoes and yams to round out our carbohydrate staples.
    As an adult, I have found that I am symptom free on certain brands of wheat products and feel lousy on other brands. Fortunately I have also discovered ways to determine how any product will affect me before trying it using muscle testing (which the skeptics and ignorant "experts" can go ahead and disparage) and I now can select foods which work for me. 🙂

    That these researchers studied gluten and gliadin and decided there were no historical differences fails to take into consideration that these are not the only components of wheat. Why should one assume that these two proteins could be the only aspect of wheat that could cause negative reactions? Duh again?
    This an extremely poor example of investigative journalism.

  15. Lol I am allergic to the wheat plant. Can not have whole wheat or all grain bread . I cook , can and make my own bread

  16. you should see what happens to me with me and epileptic seizures they start within hours I tell my well educated doctors they don't want to believe it. our economy would collapse our starches. wheat. potatoes rice . they all do the same thing. then we have to eat more animals. that will run out, so that means we have to eat each other. without our starches.

  17. What about Einkorn flour or spelt flour? Those are suppose to be back to how the wheat was before it was hybridized. Gluten free is not healthy, either

  18. Personally my body doesn’t know what to do with it so it stores it. I only eat malt-o-meal hot cereal once or twice a month. Other than that I don’t eat bread, tortillas, baked goods or anything with breading.

  19. I trust Camels . . . the cigarette that Doctor's prefer:
    "Try smoking only Camels for 30 days . . . and see how well Camels agree with your throat."

  20. The fact of the matter is our wheat and corn have been genetically modified AND WE ARE POISONED WITH PESTICIDES WHEN WE EAT IT!

  21. I guess you just have to try it and to see if it works on you. Our bodies are design to heal itself, so eating the right food take cares of our healing process.

    Money is secretly behind the scene ! Some or most of these scientists or doctors are being paid by the big food industries and big pharmaceutical companies!

    So you just have to try it yourself and see if it’s for you or not. Test it yourself don’t believe any one and see if it’s works !!!

  22. So we should be concerned with what we put into our bodies agreed. However we humans consume large quantities of alcohol, we smoke tobacco products, we also consume huge amounts of drugs/medications among other very questionable products, but very little is being said of those products I wonder why.
    I know I know this war is exclusively on wheat.

  23. Joe Swartz says he hasn’t seen any research to show this at that. My question would be have you looked for any? There are 290 sighted in the book!!! But you look at one and say it’s wrong so no point in looking at the rest. Well that’s a good scientific approach!!! 🤪

  24. Main steam media once again lying to the public. Humans are not supposed to eat grass seeds. Lots of real science on this not mentioned here.

  25. Dr Freedoff must be getting paid by companies that make wheat products ….otherwise he would have no reason to support wheat. I lived in India for 28 years and I never had digestion problems and since I came to Canada “ Halifax “I got all kinds of digestion issues. By only minimizing wheat or reducing sugar made a huge difference my my health. The wheat I ate was cultivated differently than the wheat I was consuming here.

    There's a REASON it's BANNED in the rest of the world!

  27. I have to counteract him in saying that wheat is a food grain and Harmless in itself. It's the kind of fertilizer AND the amount of fertilizer that is used to grow and increase the produce that is the killer. The simple proof of the matter is to procure some wheat that's had no fertilizer during its growth then get some that has been grown on a regular basis then send both species for testing. You will see it's the amount of chemicals in the product that really is harmful. People be properly informed and use your plain simple common sense.

  28. David is wrong!!!Wheat saved people from hunger.Wheat is holy food. We need wheat to survive. Wheat is in the Bible.

  29. Went Celiac about 5 years ago, so no choice in the matter. More curious how the genetic predisposition gets triggered into the full blown disease. Hybridization of wheat doesn't seem to be an issue, but maybe the herbicides used might need to be looked at. I think history shows we are more susceptible to chemical exposure than anything else.

  30. Sadly wheat is not what it used to be… it used to be left in the fields to ripen/ferment but now that farmers of wheat & other crops has discovered that glyphosate does that and does that much faster, diseases are guaranteed in the American diet: Celiac disease is associated with imbalances in gut bacteria that can be fully explained by the known effects of glyphosate on gut bacteria. … Glyphosate residues in wheat and other crops are likely increasing recently due to the growing practice of crop desiccation just prior to the harvest.

  31. 1.10 min on video we can see toxic sky full of Geoengineering made white lines – and toxic crops -GMO contain toxic round up -this is not Canada we dreamed about , we dreamed about blue skies and Organic food , what has happened ? Thanks CBC for this video , you bring awareness to those who watch TV too much .

  32. CBC = Complete Bull Caca. Find out how and why glyphosate and roundup sprayed on the wheat has altered everything. Doctor Shwartz has been a Lacky for the masters for 40 years. He used to be a nice guy. Now he waits impatiently for the cheques in the mail. In Russia we all know that the press and the Media is controlled. In America the media is also controlled, but we think it is the truth they speak and we have free speech. We are the country of free speech!!!!!!!!!!!!! Remember this, these so called university experts, professors, scientists, these so called "Professionals" built the Titanic. "Amateurs" with a soul and faith built the Moses Ark. Follow the money honey and the truth will be found.

  33. We been lied to so much about food and other things . Just list to your body it won't lie to you. Any food modified it's not recognized by the body because it's not natural.

  34. Hmmm… I don't have ANY of those health conditions and I eat wheat products. I believe GMO wheat is a HUGE problem, but not for the reasons cited here. The glyphosate uptake in GMO wheat farming processes is a very big problem. Glyphosate can and does mimic and replace the glycine molecule our bodies require for proper function. Glyphosate is a different molecule that does not have the same function as glycine. For this reason, I try to only buy organic wheat or wheat products. Sorry, but I LOVE my wholewheat bread and have no interest in stopping consumption although I have cut down some on all starches to lower calorie intake a bit. A balanced diet is important. (All things in moderation.)

  35. Type 2 diabetic of over ten yrs. I tried every nonstandard approach to solve my type II diabetes. Cutting out grains was the key to getting off the two insulins. My doctor was flabbergasted. I think medical professionals and scientists are too afraid of being blacklisted to support any of this. Like Karine below says, it can't hurt to try it. See for yourself how it affects you. You have to admit this one doctor is not the sole cause of this colossal gluten free movement, he's a result of it.

  36. If you buy whole grain, preferably organic, and grind the wheat then make it into a sourdough bread, which requires about a 12 hour rise, then the vast number of people should be fine. The problem with videos like this is that they never differentiate between commercial store bought bread and organic whole wheat sourdough bread. They are two different animals in my opinion. All past civilizations lived on sourdough bread. And yes, to all the skeptics out there, we can still get einkorn berries, which are one of the original strains of wheat and goes back thousands of years. The Ortiz man had einkorn in his body when he lived 5000 years ago. Eat wheat. Just not commercial bread, but organic sourdough.

  37. Believe the fact no what people are saying;scientists, doctors media whatever : desires for yourself. Those so call Societies have no interest in people’s health.

  38. Not only wheat is harmful to your body, water is to. Water is responsible for killing millions of people world wide. Milk is another toxic chemical that should be removed from your diet. Just to play it safe, I recommend you stop eating all together if your a leftwing paranoid suffering from cibophobia.

  39. Short answer is you can't eat wheat unless it is processed . It is the original processed food. Civilization was built on processed garbage. I stopped eating it, stopped having heartburn, lost weight, feel better, built muscle, no more explosive diarrhea, etc. etc. etc. Associations that support wheat are just as rotten as the NRA. It all about money and supplying filler to the masses. .


  41. Isn’t gluten a plant lectin? What effects do plant lectins have on animal cells of the brain, nerves, and gut that require animal lectins? Individuals can go grain free for 30 days to decide for themselves. There’s also the lower processed carb aspect having interesting effects on those with metabolic diseases.

  42. I have cut wheat and I feel fantastic. Wheat is a huge industry so its no wonder so called Dr's advise against it. The thing is Dr's do not get significant training in nutrition , They do learn a lot about pharmaceuticals though. My elderly mother contracted a candida infection after an operation and she was fed a nestle meal replacement through a feeding tube. To my surprise the first ingredient was corn syrup. Pathetic and disturbing.

  43. Real science and science with an agenda. The bible names it as" science falsely called". This evil is pandemic to all levels of human society, regrettably.

  44. I have been tested negative for Celiac Disease, however I did have an IG test saying i was sensitive to Wheat. I suffered from bloating and gas for years. I cut out wheat and it all went away. Now if i eat anything made of wheat i have an instant response. I never heard of Wheat Belly, but Gluten free is not a choice its a requirement.

  45. The one factor that is left out of the equation, in this presentation, is that of glyphosate, which could be the whole reason why Dr Davis's patients are getting great results in abstaining from the consumption of wheat.

  46. But not a word about what these grains do to our glycemic response. With half the population pre or totally diabetic something is wrong. Remove these grains and replace with lower glycemic vegetables and your health skyrockets. Grain board damage police.

  47. I wonder how this story would've gone if it was secretly sponsored by the wheat farmers of Canada? Perhaps try everything in moderation?

  48. Cutting out wheat helped greatly in eliminating my light sensitivity and reducing the frequency and intensity of migraines.

  49. Scientists have lost their rockstar status when any researcher can prove that they sold their souls to corporate America & fudge studies all the time….like in vaccine papers!

  50. all these people are missing a important fact… to preserve wheat and keep it bug free manufacturers use chemicals, Thus cause the Celiac Disease…. !!!

  51. No grains, no potatoes, no starches, no sugar (rare occasional cheat treat) 2 years now. 53 yo never NEVER felt better. My anecdote. A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with "knowlegde"

  52. I stopped eating bread or any source of wheat for a month now. And I loosed weight. And if there no science to the book, it still works for me.

  53. Where are the experiments done to prove this guy where is the science. This guy seems like a shmuck. Why would anyone listen to this guy without him providing studies and research.

  54. I eat what tastes good. If it kills me, ok. I'm 70s+ and really rather not spend much more time in a culture of morons represented by dietangelicals.

  55. To see if it's good eat wheat or other grains in their natural estate raw like it is in nature and see how it works… if you can't eat any food in their natural estate don't eat them…

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