William Davis's Blog

November 24, 2015

Tara has had a fabulous response following the Wheat Belly lifestyle, providing another example of the age-reversing and health effects that can occur.

It has been a year since I started my Wheat Belly journey and I have come a long way. Here are my stats when I first began in November, 2014. I have lost 47.5 lbs, dropped 8 dress sizes, going from a 14 down to a size 6!

Weight: 180.7 lbs–133.2 lbs

Fat pounds: 59.2 lbs–29.6 lbs

Fat %: 32.8%–22.3%

BMI: 28.3–20.8

Total inches lost: 26.5

Blood pressure: 139/94–108/74

Glucose: 117–94

“I no longer need my allergy and asthma medicine. The only thing I’m still working to improve is my eczema.

“I get sooo many compliments on how YOUNG I look now. You have changed my life for the better, Dr Davis, and for that I thank you!”

Tara’s starting stats show a drop from an overweight body mass index (BMI) to an incredibly slender value; a drop in blood pressure from hypertension to confidently normal; a drop in fasting glucose from pre-diabetic range to normal. And just look at her waist: no sign of her former wheat belly here.

I think it is safe to say that Tara has also turned back the clock 10, if not 20, years, as also evidenced by the many compliments she receives. By following the Wheat Belly lifestyle, Tara achieved all these spectacular effects without cutting calories, without pushing the plate away, without extreme exercise.

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Published on November 24, 2015 09:32

November 22, 2015

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Patricia shared her photos and story of living the Wheat Belly lifestyle.

At the start, she was experiencing:

-Profound fatigue

-Total exhaustion after even minor physical or mental exertion known medically as post-exertional malaise

-Unrefreshing sleep

-Cognitive impairment (aka ‘brain fog’) or a worsening of symptoms upon standing.

“I had all of the symptoms listed above and ALL of them are greatly improved by going wheat/grain free.

“At my largest, I wore a size 24/26 and weighed at least 110 pounds more than I do today. At some point, I just stopped getting on the scale, so my exact highest weight is unknown. I kept one pair of my biggest jeans as a reminder and I can fit all of me into ONE leg of those jeans now.

“For the record, I had weight loss surgery in 2009, but eventually regained almost HALF of what I had initially lost. As of this week, I’m officially one pound lighter than my lowest post-op weight thanks to finding Dr. Davis’ book, Wheat Belly.

“This is a skirt [right photo] I’ve had for a while. Bought it in 1986 when I was 16 years old, and was visiting my sister in Albuquerque. Somewhere there is a picture of me wearing this very skirt to the senior cookout party my parents hosted in our backyard in May 1987. I was going through my closet earlier this week and came across the skirt and had to try it on… IT FITS!!!

Beyond Patricia’s spectacular weight loss and change in appearance that allowed her to fit into a skirt she wore as a teenager, she got rid of incapacitating fatigue and brain fog by living the Wheat Belly lifestyle. It’s got to strike you that so many symptoms and diseases caused by wheat and grain consumption are “medicalized,” i.e., turned into medical conditions with fancy names and prescription drugs to “treat” them.

“Post-exertional malaise”? How about fatigue and malaise caused by eating the dietary poisons called wheat and grains—not a medical condition with an official name, but just another of the hundreds of varied consequences of following awful advice to consume plenty of grains. The healthcare system tries to treat such conditions with hundreds to thousands of dollars of testing and prescription drugs, while you can treat them by removing the initial cause and being freed of such conditions at practically no cost.

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Published on November 22, 2015 11:01 • 2 views

November 19, 2015

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Remember Matthew? Here was his original Wheat Belly success story describing how he obtained relief from near-diabetic blood sugars, asthma, sinusitis, acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, skin rashes, and daily headaches.

Here is Matthew’s latest update. “Down a total of 77 pounds since May 1. Wheat Belly rocks!! Have incorporated more ketogenic principles and eat-stop-eat intermittent fasting into the mix.

Even better, Matthew shared some recent lab work:

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The drop in triglycerides, fasting blood sugar, and HbA1c (reflecting Matthew’s prior blood sugars over 90 days) show a dramatic reduction, while the HDL has gone up by 50%, something most doctors would say is impossible. The LDL cholesterol, of course, is meaningless, as it is the calculated–what I call “fictitious”–value, the silly and misleading value that drives $23 billion in statin drug sales. (Had Matthew had access to the superior advanced lipoprotein analysis, he would have witnessed dramatic reductions in small LDL particles along with a reduction in total LDL particle number/apoprotein B, far better than the near-useless calculated LDL cholesterol.) And look at the change in his blood pressure, waist size, Body Mass Index, and body fat percentage–spectacular improvements.

Matthew changed his weight, his facial and body appearance, and is well on his way to achieving ideal metabolic health–no diabetes, no hypertension, no inflammation, no fatigue, no IBS, no asthma or sinusitis, no skin rashes or daily headaches. This cannot be achieved by reducing calories nor exercise. You achieve spectacular results like Matthew’s when you remove the dietary poisons called “healthy whole grains.”

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Published on November 19, 2015 07:26 • 3 views

November 16, 2015

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By following the Wheat Belly lifestyle, you can observe such wonderful effects as loss of belly fat, reversal of facial skin rashes and edema, and relief from acid reflux and irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.

But, because we have all been told to “cut fat and eat more healthy whole grains” that triggers a domino effect of metabolic and health distortions, most people also typically start their Wheat Belly journey with high blood sugars, high triglycerides, high blood pressure, dysbiosis, inflammation, and other abnormal patterns, the abnormalities that drive billions of dollars of drug prescriptions every year.

What if you want to observe and track the metabolic transformation that occurs in your body beyond the effects you can feel and see? Well, you can obtain blood work that magnificently reveals what is going on. While there are differences among various individuals, a basic panel of blood tests to consider that allow you to watch the unfolding transformation includes:

Fasting blood sugar, hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c)
NMR lipoproteins–This is the test that should (and will, over time, replace crude and misleading cholesterol testing). Choices: Liposcience, HDLabs, Spectracell. (Your doctor has to specify and/or direct the blood-drawing lab to send to one of these laboratory services.)
Ferritin, complete blood count–If you have a history of iron deficiency anemia or unexplained fatigue, then these tests can establish whether iron deficiency is the cause. Recall that the phytates of wheat and grains impair iron absorption dramatically.
Magnesium–Because serum levels underestimate tissue levels of magnesium, an RBC magnesium level can help establish whether you have restored magnesium fully. I aim to achieve a level in the upper half of the “reference range,” or even slightly above it.
C-reactive protein (CRP)–CRP reflects the inflammatory state of your body. While most doctors view an abnormally high CRP (generally 3.0 mg/dl or higher) as a mandate for high doses of statin drugs, you will watch this inflammatory measure drop to zero or near zero with your Wheat Belly efforts (though more slowly if you have an autoimmune condition).

Because all of us here aim for total health, here are some additional tests to consider that, if not at ideal levels, can impair your return to full health and normal weight:

Thyroid testing–Thyroid disease is rampant, easily affecting 30% of people nowadays, many from prior grain consumption, but also due to iodine deficiency and exposure to industrial halogenated chemicals such as triclosan in hand sanitizers and perfluorooctanoic acid from non-stick cookware. A full thyroid panel includes TSH, free T3, free T4, reverse T3, and thyroid antibodies.
Vitamin D–A 25-hydroxy vitamin D level is crucial to know your vitamin D status. While the ideal level is debatable, I aim for 60-70 ng/ml, a level that is safe and associated with maximum benefit.

If you are among the highly motivated, a Ubiome test or other means of assessing the status of your bowel flora can be helpful. Although nobody yet knows what truly healthy bowel flora looks like in terms of species, relative proportions of species, etc., stool testing for bowel flora allows you to track the composition of your bowel flora to assess whether you are approaching the patterns observed in the healthiest people, e.g., increased species diversity.

There are additional tests that may apply to your unique individual situation. But the above tests cover a broad swath of the metabolic transformations that occur as your body re-adapts to this new and healthier lifestyle. Also, bear in mind that, if you are losing weight, your labs should not be obtained, as the process of weight loss will distort your values. It is best to wait 4 weeks after your weight has plateaued before any blood is drawn, else some wild numbers can be seen that will be uninterpretable.

If you have an uncooperative doctor, you  can have blood drawn on your own with a self-testing laboratory, such as Direct Labs and many others. (Google “direct to consumer labs.”) We are, after all, entering the age of the empowered individual in health, no longer held hostage by a profiteering and largely indifferent healthcare system.

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Published on November 16, 2015 04:47 • 1 view

November 15, 2015

Confused DPC

Some people following the Wheat Belly lifestyle have asked this question: “If I eat real, whole foods rich in nutrients, why do I need nutritional supplements?”

It’s a valid question. After all, after the phytates of grains are removed that previously prevented the absorption of magnesium, iron, zinc, and calcium, and healing of the gastrointestinal tract ensues with removal of the bowel toxins intrinsic to grains, nutritional status improves in most people. You can even track this by, for instance, measuring ferritin levels (that reflect iron stores in the body) and watching them climb over the months after rejecting all wheat and grains.

But there remain several important reasons why I believe that everyone needs to include the Wheat Belly collection of nutritional supplements. Among the reasons:

Iodine–Foods will contain iodine only if they were sourced from the ocean or if they were grown in coastal soil. Most of the time, there is no way to know how much iodine your food contains. Iodine is also volatile, evaporating within days to weeks, often containing little to none by the time it reaches your kitchen table. This is not improved by avoiding wheat or grains, nor by choosing higher-quality foods, such as organic sources. So iodine deficiency remains among the most common deficiencies that persist with wheat/grain elimination. You could solve it by  sharing (as primitive cultures did) the thyroid gland of animals you consume, but this is an impractical and unsavory solution to most modern people. Lastly, modern life means being exposed to halogenated chemicals containing fluorine, bromine, or chlorine. Iodine helps reduce the toxicity of such halogenated industrial chemicals (since iodine is likewise a halogen).
Omega-3 fatty acids–Most of us fail to eat sufficient fatty fish to obtain enough EPA and DHA to raise RBC omega-3 blood levels to the fully protective range of 10% or greater and to blunt the after-meal (postprandial) rise in triglycerides and other digestive by-products that cause heart disease and stroke. This can only be obtained by eating fatty fish, taking fish oil capsules (never krill or flax/chia which do not provide sufficient EPA and DHA), or consuming the brains of land animals. Like consuming the thyroid gland, most modern people don’t like the idea of consuming animal brains. So fish oil capsules are our easy solution.
Vitamin D–It is nearly impossible to obtain sufficient quantities of vitamin D from food, even if you eat plenty of mushrooms and liver. We are meant to obtain vitamin D via skin exposure to sun. Modern lives for many of us, however, mean wearing clothes outdoors, working indoors, and living in climates in which the intensity of the sun is insufficient for much of the year. Throw on top of this our diminishing ability to activate vitamin D as we age, particularly over age 40, and it means that your vitamin D sufficiency is much more assured through simple, inexpensive supplementation.
Magnesium–While magnesium absorption does indeed improve after wheat/grain phytates are removed, modern food remains deficient in magnesium due to modern farming methods. Also, because most of us filter our water (or rely on municipalities that filter it for us), our drinking water contains virtually zero magnesium compared to the magnesium-rich water of, say, a running stream or river. Most people therefore remain magnesium deficient because of poor intake despite removal of grain phytates.
Probiotics–Virtually everyone begins their Wheat Belly lifestyle with some degree of dysbiosis, or unhealthy distortions of bowel flora. If you have irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, for instance, you are guaranteed to have substantial dysbiosis. Modern people, even healthy slender people, compared to primitive people unexposed to grains, sugars, antibiotics, glyphosate and other herbicides, etc. have dramatically different bowel flora. We work to “seed” our intestinal tract with what we believe are desirable species shown to exert beneficial effects, such as Lactobacillus plantarum, with a high-potency probiotic containing many species. Doing so is anti-inflammatory and exerts beneficial metabolic and intestinal effects.
Prebiotic fibers–Sustaining the growth of desired bowel flora species and suppressing the dominance of undesirable species (such as many clostridia species) means feeding your microbes. But they “eat” differently than we do; they consume fibers that are largely indigestible to us, or so-called “prebiotic fibers.” I hate to admit it, but consuming wheat and grains, while massively disruptive over numerous aspects of health, did provide a few benefits. Among them: the 3-4 grams of prebiotic fibers per day from the arabinoxylan and amylose in grains. (They explain, for instance, why there is an apparent health benefit of whole grains containing prebiotic fibers over white flour products.) Eliminating wheat and grains can thereby reduce your intake of prebiotic fibers by this quantity. We compensate by including rich non-grain sources of prebiotic fibers, while also increasing our total intake to further improve bowel flora and health.
Iron, zinc–These are optional, as not everyone needs them as iron and zinc absorption improves over time. But some people begin with such serious levels of deficiency, e.g., iron deficiency anemia with fatigue or skin rashes and impaired immunity of low zinc levels, that supplementation for at least the first few months can be considered to accelerate recovery. (This is discussed further in the Wheat Belly Total Health book.)

What we are not doing is treating the deficiencies that develop with wheat/grain elimination, aside from the drop in prebiotic fiber intake. We do not have to increase our cellulose intake, nor our B vitamin intake. But, if total health is among your goals, we take these simple steps to treat the most common deficiencies, no matter how terrific your food choices.

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Published on November 15, 2015 06:36 • 2 views

November 14, 2015

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Living the Wheat Belly lifestyle means having no wild fluctuations in blood sugar.

Take a look at the curves above on the graph. The red curve shows the typical blood sugar rises in a young, slender, non-diabetic person who includes grains and sugars in their diet. While the after-meal peaks shown only reach 110-120 mg/dl, they can go much higher, e.g.,f 180-200 mg/dl, in otherwise healthy people. Recall that high blood sugars oblige high blood insulin that causes weight gain in visceral fat, distortions of hormones (e.g., rise in testosterone in females with polycystic ovarian syndrome), and resistance to insulin that, over time, leads to rises in fasting blood sugars. High after-meal blood sugars also cause glycation, the glucose modification of proteins that is irreversible. If you glycate the proteins in the lenses of your eyes, for instance, you get opacities–cataracts. If you glycate the cartilage proteins in your knees and hips, you get brittle cartilage that, over time, erodes and leads to joint damage and arthritis. If you glycate small LDL particles (that are very glycation-prone compared to large LDL particles), you lead to coronary heart disease. And so on, with no organ system spared from the long-term ravages of glycation.

The black curve is an example of someone with type 2 diabetes who begins with high fasting blood sugars, then follows the ridiculous American Diabetes Association diet that advocates a reduction in total/saturated fat and includes plenty of “healthy whole grains” and other carbohydrate/sugar sources. This awful approach exaggerates and accelerates the harmful effects of high glucose/high insulin explaining, for example, why diabetics develop all the consequences of diabetes, many of them from extreme and repetitive glycation, faster than non-diabetics. Also, note that blood sugars return to much lower levels about 2 hours after meals, especially if insulin or oral diabetes drugs are taken. This causes many doctors to say “Your blood sugars are well-controlled.” This is, of course, nonsense, as blood sugars are really way out of control due to poor food choices, but just brought back down to earth with drugs.

Finally, the yellow curve is the curve we aim for in the Wheat Belly lifestyle: normal (90 mg/dl or lower) before eating, then NO CHANGE or NEVER >100 mg/dl after meals. (If you begin with a higher fasting glucose, e.g., 120 mg/dl, as in pre-diabetes and diabetes, we still aim for NO CHANGE after meals.) By following the Wheat Belly lifestyle of eliminating all grains and managing carbohydrates, while addressing insulin/glucose-controlling factors such as vitamin D, magnesium, and bowel flora, the vast majority of people can achieve this ideal curve, even if you begin with diabetes. In addition to having magnificent control over blood sugar, this lifestyle also:

Accelerates weight loss from visceral fat
Slows the pace of glycation
Allows hormonal distortions to reverse
Achieves metabolic improvements, such as reduction in inflammation and triglycerides, rise in HDL

And, if blood sugars after meals no longer rise, guess what: the majority of people with type 2 diabetes no longer need medications to “control” after-meal blood sugars. Over time, by permitting no after-meal rise in blood sugars, even fasting blood sugars trend downward.

You don’t have to check blood sugars to know that your blood sugars are not rising after a meal, though that is the most confident way to assess this effect. If you are simply following the Wheat Belly lifestyle of eating no wheat or grains, not consuming junk foods, and keeping your net carb exposure to more than 15 grams per meal, and have addressed the other factors that need correction (vitamin D because of modern lifestyles, magnesium because its absorption was previously blocked by grain phytates, and bowel flora cultivation to correct the distortions introduced by prior grain consumption and other factors), then you are likely enjoying the healthiest blood sugar experience as show on the yellow curve.


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Published on November 14, 2015 06:04 • 3 views

November 13, 2015

A great recipe from the Wheat Belly 10-Day Grain Detox.

Here is an easy way to make a quick and portable single-serving-size pizza that can be handily transported to school or work. Of course, any number of variations are possible by adding different ingredients, such as green bell peppers, sausage, mushrooms, etc.

1 medium eggplant, sliced crosswise in 1/2″ thick slices
1 cup pizza sauce
2 ounces sliced pepperoni
4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

Eggplant Mini Pizzas - Wheat Belly 10-Day Grain Detox Arrange the eggplant slices on a baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until just lightly browned.

Remove from the oven and spread with the pizza sauce. Place 1 or 2 slices of pepperoni on each eggplant slice, then sprinkle generously with the cheese.

Drizzle about 1 teaspoon olive oil over the top of each. Bake for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Per serving: 176 calories, 7 g protein, 11 g carbohydrates, 12 g total fat, 4 g saturated fat, 4 g fiber, 275 mg sodium.

Eggplant Mini Pizzas - Wheat Belly 10-Day Grain Detox

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Published on November 13, 2015 00:40 • 2 views

November 12, 2015

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Beth shared photos of her breathtaking facial transformation following the Wheat Belly lifestyle.

“I wanted to thank you again for changing my life! I am still going strong and continue to see improvements in myself physically and emotionally.

“My current weight loss is at 73 pounds, my psoriasis continues to improve and, while hunting this past weekend, I found myself walking terrain I never thought I would be able to. Everyday I find myself accomplishing things I never would have thought possible.

“Although I still have about 65 pounds to lose for optimum health and weight, I will be having blood work done in December just to see the difference in my overall health and can’t wait to share my results.”

As so often happens on this lifestyle, Beth is thinner, quite dramatically so. But look at her face: the tense, edematous, swollen face of the wheat/grain-eater has been replaced by the larger eyes and deflated skin that develops when the inflammation and edema recedes. Doesn’t she look spectacular?

Thinner, healthier, younger–try achieving THAT by counting points!

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Published on November 12, 2015 14:02 • 2 views

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Patricia shared her impressive photos reflecting the changes she experienced with the Wheat Belly lifestyle.

“My ‘before’ shows my large arms I had become accustomed to. I was affectionately referred to as ‘flag arms’ and the kids often teased me when I had the audacity to wave in public.

“When I lost wheat/grain/sugar, my new arms emerged. I found myself highly surprised. Instead of being called ‘flag arms,’ I was complimented by my children and stopped many times in public, asked if I lifted weights. No, I never go to the gym. The removal off excess fat and inflammation in my arms revealed my hard-earned mother muscles. It was proof of my work holding babies, sweeping, and lifting heavy iron skillets.”

Not only did Patricia lose the flabby fat off her arms, look at the facial transformation that occurred, as well. Here is another photo she provided of her “after” face:

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Compare this recent photo with Patricia’s edematous, bloated face when she was eating wheat and grains: a dramatic transformation.

That is why the Wheat Belly lifestyle is so magnificently effective: yes, you can lose lots of weight from fat, but you also lose the inflammation and edema body-wide, arms, face, internal organs.

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Published on November 12, 2015 11:20 • 2 views

November 11, 2015

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Clay shared his 3-month Wheat Belly photos.

“This was from August 1st, 2015 to November 1st, 2015: 3 months. I also exercised by walking about 26 miles per week.

“I have more energy and stamina. I no longer have to use nasal strips to prevent snoring. I sleep better, my food tastes better, my acid reflux has improved, my LDL amd HDL are headed in the right direction, as is my blood glucose. Also my blood pressure is now easily managed.”

You can see the dramatic reduction in tummy fat, the visceral fat that drives inflammation, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and increased risk for heart disease, cancer, and dementia. And you can see that Clay was not that heavy at the start. He may even have had a body-mass index, BMI, at or near the ideal of 25 or less—he was what some call a “skinny fat person,” or “metabolically obese normal weight.” Such people are often told that they are healthy, but have all the metabolic distortions and health problems associated with obesity because of the presence of excessive visceral fat despite the lack of fat thighs, arms, buttocks, etc.

Clay combined a pretty serious walking program that likely made a contribution to his weight loss/loss of visceral abdominal fat. But walking will NOT reverse acid reflux or issues such as joint pain, skin rashes, and migraine headaches. Exercise is beneficial for overall health, but outsized and extraordinary health benefits develop by removing the offensive agents that caused these problems in the first place: wheat and grains. Compound the health benefits of wheat/grain removal with reduction/loss of inflammatory visceral fat, and the total effect is an astounding recovery of health.

Clay’s weight may not have been all that excessive at the start, but the loss of visceral fat and inflammation has changed the course of his life, not to mention his appearance.

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Published on November 11, 2015 06:52 • 1 view

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