And it will change how I feed my family. I haven’t actually read Wheat Belly, just talked to a lot of people who are super excited about it. I have read a white paper by a cereal chemist shredding it 6 ways from Sunday. Both Wheat Belly and the rebuttal paper by Julie Jones are works with an ax to grind. That is, they start with a conclusion and look for evidence to support it. The difference is, I believe Jones read the papers she cites whereas it is suspect whether Dr. Davis did the same. Many of his allegations about the harmfulness of wheat are not unique to wheat, except for one: Gliadins do stimulate zonulin, which regulates tight junctions in the gut and possibly the brain blood barrier. And this could cause a lot of the problems Davis ascribes to wheat, including inflammation and by extension autism.
I looked up gliadins on wikipedia, and while it didn’t mention zonulin, it did mention superoxide dismutase (SOD), the critter pictured above. Gliadins combine with SOD to make glisodin, an protein complex that allows SOD to pass through the violent digestive processes of the stomach and reach the small intestine, where I would conjecture zonulin makes the gut permeable to this supersized molecule. SOD is an important antioxidant that allows us to live in relative peace with bacteria, including the mitochondria inside our cells. It has been proposed as a regulator of insulin resistance, in a view that acknowledges that we (well, some of us) need to gain weight to survive winter. (Quick overview: if we give our mitochondria too much to do with sugar, fat and salt, SOD puts the cell into hibernation).
So how will this change how I feed my family? I will still stick with whole grains and whole wheat. But the wheat needs to be relatively unprocessed, so the gliadins come with SOD in appropriate amounts. (Note that zonulin is a regulator. I don’t want to shut it down completely.) And I don’t want any added gluten, which commercial breads (and really, any yeast bread worth eating) rely on for texture. So most of our wheat consumption will shift to quick breads, mostly concoctions with pulses. I may figure out how to make tortillas. Knowing that a function of wheat is to allow proteins inside the body, it will be good to consider what I eat it with.
I suppose I get bread for my older children if they are making a sandwich for school. We will likely have pizza once a week still. But bread will not be a daily occurrence around here anymore. I used to think I couldn’t have milk, but I only have a little in the morning and I seem to do okay. I’m not a fan of completely eliminating things.
Jones analysis of Wheat Belly from Cereal Foods World: https://dx.doi.org/10.1094%2FCFW-57-4-0177
Image: “Superoxide dismutase 2 PDB 1VAR” by Fvasconcellos https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Superoxide_dismutase_2_PDB_1VAR.png#/media/File:Superoxide_dismutase_2_PDB_1VAR.png