Monday, January 7, 2013

Wheat Gluten Newly Confirmed To Promote Weight Gain

Sayer Ji, Contributor
Activist Post

New research confirms some of the basic tenets of the Wheat Belly, a book by Dr. William Davis, which argues that wheat avoidance results in healthy weight loss.

Published in Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry this month, and titled "Gluten-free diet reduces adiposity, inflammation and insulin resistance associated with the induction of PPAR-alpha and PPAR-gamma expression," researchers compared the effects of a gluten-based diet to a gluten-free diet in mice.

Researchers Noted
Gluten exclusion (protein complex present in many cereals) has been proposed as an option for the prevention of diseases other than coeliac disease. However, the effects of gluten-free diets on obesity and its mechanisms of action have not been studied. Thus, our objective was to assess whether gluten exclusion can prevent adipose tissue expansion and its consequences.
Mice were fed either a high-fat diet containing 4.5% gluten (Control) or no gluten (GF). The researchers then assessed the following 16 parameters in both groups:

  • Body weight
  • Adiposity gains
  • Leukocyte rolling and adhesion
  • Macrophage infiltration
  • Cytokine production in adipose tissue
  • Blood lipid profiles
  • Glycaemia (blood sugar)
  • Insulin resistance
  • Adipokines
  • Expression of PPAR-α and γ
  • Lipoprotein lipase (LPL)
  • Hormone sensitive lipase (HSL)
  • Carnitine palmitoyl acyltransferase-1 (CPT-1)
  • Insulin receptor
  • GLUT-4
  • Adipokines in epidymdimal fat
Remarkably, they found that, relative to the gluten-fed mice, the gluten-free animals showed a reduction in body weight gain and adiposity, without changes in food intake or lipid excretion.

We interpret this to mean that the weight gain associated with wheat consumption has little to do with caloric content per se; rather, the gluten proteins (and likely wheat lectins) disrupt endocrine and exocrine processes within the body, as well as directly modulating nuclear gene expression, e.g. PPAR-α and γ, in such a way as to alter mammalian metabolism in the direction of weight gain.

Sometimes we forget that food is not simply a source of energy, or the material building blocks for the body, but a source of information as well. The way in which food directly interacts with the genes, gene expression, or gene product structure and function, is the object of study of the burgeoning new field of nutrigenomics. Wheat, like anything we attempt to use as food, contains both energy/matter and information that the body will use to maintain its genetic integrity or that may interfere with it.

Certain foods our bodies have had thousands, if not millions of years of adaptation to. Wheat, on the other hand, and particularly its modern permutation, is a biologically and evolutionarily novel new source of both energy/matter and information. In the same way that we have spent intense effort manipulating its genes through selective breeding and hybridization, it is in turn, intensely modifying our own gene expression and related biological pathways.

The researchers stated that the observed results were associated with "up-regulation of PPAR-α, LPL, HSL and CPT-1, which are related to lipolysis and fatty acid oxidation."

Also, there was an improvement in glucose homeostasis and pro-inflammatory profile-related overexpression of PPAR-γ among the gluten-free animals.

The researchers concluded:
Our data support the beneficial effects of gluten-free diets in reducing adiposity gain, inflammation and insulin resistance. The data suggests that diet gluten exclusion should be tested as a new dietary approach to prevent the development of obesity and metabolic disorders.

Considering our previous investigation of the weight-promoting effects of wheat in cattle, discussed in our essay The Dark Side of Wheat, we are not at all surprised by these most recent research findings. Wheat grain-fed cattle, while much sicker, are always heavier. Grass-fed, on the other hand, are healthier and yet weighs less. Certainly, therefore, the notion that feeding wheat to mammals may increase their weight is not novel.

The time has come for us to recognize that the consumption of grains, that is, the seed form of the cereal grasses, is a evolutionarily novel behavior. While we have been doing so for 10,000-20,000 years, this is only a nanosecond on the scale of biological time. Albeit, culturally, it may seems like forever.

Weight gain, of course, is only one of over 200 adverse health effects associated with wheat consumption. Whereas weight gain often speaks to our vanity, the reality is that cardiovascular health, psychiatric problems, autism, irritable bowel, and many other common health complaints can be tracked back directly to this "king of grains." The time has come, we believe, to give wheat and gluten elimination a good try. After all, only your first-hand experience can determine with any certainty whether these concepts are just theory or truth – for you.

This article first appeared at GreenMedInfo.  Please visit to access their vast database of articles and the latest information in natural health.


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Anonymous said...

Surprise Surprise! EXERCISE proven to promote WEIGHT LOSS. If anyone thinks eating bread is the reason behind American obesity, they're thinking from their recliners with their remotes in hand.

Anonymous said...

I don't agree with the previous poster. I admit to not doing as much exercise as I should but I only have to avoid gluten for a couple of days at the most to lose an extended belly and feel about 50 percent more powered up. It really is a truth for me much as I love bread and cake.

Anonymous said...

Agreed with Anon poster #1. Even the worst of the "poisoned" foods on the market today is relatively safe if consumed in moderation.

It's when you consume that crap for every meal of the day that it becomes a serious threat to your health, especially when combined with little or no exercise.

Neither wheat nor any other food product makes people obese, bad eating habits combined with poor activity/exercise habits is what causes obesity.

My grandparents were born and raised on about 90% wheat products and were never obese for a single day of their lives, because they ate in moderation and they actually physically worked it off everyday(my grandfather looks like a stick-man in some of his childhood photos he was so skinny).

Sadly many people just look for any reason they can to blame their problems on "the man" or corporations instead of taking responsibility for themselves.

I am slightly overweight myself and quite unhealthy in many ways(I'm a smoker for one thing) but all my health issues are the result of my own stupidity, not anyone else.

My only real "saving grace" is that I work everyday in a very physical job(construction) that helps to counteract that stupidity to some extent.

The state of the world over the past few years made me stressed out and not want to live a long life so in those ways I chose to be stupid knowing the consequences but simply not caring about them.

One week of relatively minor adjustments to my eating habits led me to lose 10 pounds and feel a lot better, despite still not eating that healthy of foods(just in better moderation).

Unfortunately extreme stress over a number of issues makes it difficult to stick to those healthier habits for very long periods right now, and makes it impossible to quit smoking.

I'm not going to blame corporations for my unhealthy habits, either in regards to food or cigarettes or anything else.

Though I could perhaps blame them for most of the stress that has led to those bad habits, that still won't help me to overcome those issues without taking responsibility for myself.


Jessica Heitman said...

Lost a stubborn 20 pounds in one month with no exercise on a gluten-free diet! :) Paleo diet is the best thing for my body! I feel 20 years younger when I eat low-carb, low-sugar foods. I try to exercise as much as possible, but that doesn't amount to more than several times per month, unfortunately. Honestly, giving up wheat is an excellent way to lose weight. I bet you'll lose 2 pounds in your first couple of days alone. Grass-fed beef is also far superior to candy bar fed beef. If you're fat, do try a gluten-free diet! You'll lose weight and not have to restrict calories! Restricting carbs has been a lot easier for me than calories.

Anonymous said...

Haha, this comment thread is back and forth so far, I guess it's important to note that every person is different and some will react slightly differently than others to things like gluten.

If you don't have the time to be active, or if you are simply too lazy to be active enough then a gluten free diet is a good option to be healthier.

Personally I feel that having some gluten in your diet is part of a "balanced diet", and during the week I lost 10 pounds probably 60% of the foods I did eat contained gluten but I still felt much better just from better moderation and activity.

Though I guess I did also cut back on my sugar intake quite a bit as well which certainly would have had an effect on how I felt.

My main issue are the people I frequently hear complaining that the corporations "crap food" makes them unhealthy, fat and/or feel like crap and act like it's all the corporations faults and not theirs at all.

I've got a long ways to go before I'm anywhere close to "healthy" but at least I'm trying, not just saying "it's their fault, there's nothing I can do about it, all the food is crap these days!".

Even with crap food it is possible to not be obese and be far healthier than the average person in western societies is today.

All it takes is some personal responsibility for your own health and a little bit of effort.


Anonymous said...

Wheat today is simply bad for you. I went gluten free and stopped getting heartburn and lost 30 pounds. Losing the weight made me get active again and now running 4 miles. Lose the gluten!

Anonymous said...

each body is different. most of my daily carbs come from wheat, whole wheat, real homemmade additive free stuff.But this is just more recently in my life- was raised as most of us were on white bread.... my weight has always been stable, although my level of physical activity has not been.

and just as all bodies are not the same, all wheat and wheat products are not the same.Most whole wheat braed in the grocery store- even health food stores is NOT real whole wheat.... even the author of the referenced book Wheat belly acknowledges that ancient(like farro) to heritage strains of wheat, are more usable and therefore less likely to cause weight gain and inflamation. (yes i have read most of this book)that has to do with the insane ammount of hybridization humans have subjected the orginal wild grass to, and the protiens- gluten, are unrecognizable to our digestive systems. The protien chains of older varieties are simpler, shorter. this complex protien chain created in newer hybrids has lead to celiac's disease, wheat sensitivities, inflammation, and "wheat belly."
seek out good grains- there are heritage strains that needs consumers to be aware the difference to keep them alive just as much as they need farmers to grow them.

every one's different, i have known many people who have successfully lost weight cutting out wheat, and many who had no luck. Realising that gluten is a cause of inflammation, i have been trying to eat less, and what i do eat is locally sourced heritage varieties, farro, spelt, and learning how to bake a better bread, making pasta, crackers etc from these wonderful grains which have been with mankind since the dawn of civilization for a reason.
wheat is not bad for you! if it was why would humans have been eating and growing it for 10's of thousands of years?

Anonymous said...

check out the book Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis or

Great info about how eliminating the genetically modified wheat most people consume can have a great impact on many aspects of your health.

Catherina Lucy said...

I remembered these lines:"An apple a day keeps the doctor away". This will keep you away from obesity.

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