Anatomy of a poison

Wheat Belly
by Dr. Davis

There is a substantial amount of science devoted to characterizing the gliadin protein in wheat. There are thousands of versions of this molecule, varying in amino acid sequence. But there are sequences shared by most forms of gliadin proteins. (These sequences can also be found in the gluten and glutenin proteins of wheat, as well.) Gliadin has been the recipient of many of the changes in modern high-yield, semi-dwarf wheat.

What is fascinating is that many of the adverse effects of gliadin consumption in humans have been drilled down to their structural basis:

Note the following on the gliadin “map”:

Red = direct cytotoxic segment (intestinal cell-destroying)
Light green = immune-stimulating segment (responsible for celiac disease)
Blue = bowel permeability segment (via zonulin activation)
Dark green = inflammatory interleukin release

Also scattered about (not shown in diagram) are the 4- and 5-amino acid sequences that, when released, bind to the opiate receptors of the brain, exerting their myriad effects that differ depending on individual susceptibility (appetite-stimulation, food obsessions, anxiety, mental “fog,” paranoia, auditory hallucinations, social disengagement, behavioral outbursts, reduced concentration, sleep disruption, depression, mania).

Intestinal cell destruction, immune stimulation, intestinal permeability, inflammation, opiates . . . and that’s just one protein in modern wheat!

The full text of Dr. Fasano’s summary can be viewed here.

New study is wake-up call for diet soda drinkers

CBSNEWS, June 29, 2011

Sorry, soda lovers – even diet drinks can make you fat. That’s the word from authors of two new studies, presented Sunday at a meeting of the American Diabetes Association in San Diego.

“Data from this and other prospective studies suggest that the promotion of diet sodas as healthy alternatives may be ill-advised” Dr. Helen Hazuda, professor of medicine at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, said in a written statement. “They may be free of calories, but not of consequences.”

Consequences like weight gain.

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MSG linked to weight gain

Reuters, May 27, 2011

Researchers found that people who eat more MSG are more likely to be overweight or obese. And the increased risk wasn’t simply because people were stuffing themselves with MSG-rich foods. The link between high MSG intake and being overweight held even after accounting for the total number of calories people ate.

Ka He, a nutrition expert at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, who led the study, said that although the risk of weight gain attributable to MSG was modest, the implications for public health are substantial. “Everybody eats it,” He told Reuters Health.

MSG is one of the world’s most widely used food additives. Although it tends to be more popular in Asian countries, Americans manage to get their share in processed foods, from chips to canned soups, even when it’s not labeled as such.

Full story
Related: What Foods To Avoid?