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Dr.

William Davis
Cardiologist and #1 New York Times
Bestselling Author
Consumption of modern wheat distorts health at so many levels.
Removing wheat is like pulling out a splinter making your finger hot, sore, and
open to infection, youve still got some healing to do after its removed.

Remove the destructive effects of wheat, and the body needs to readjust. It needs to transition to this
new wheat-free lifestyle, to heal the wounds caused by years of consuming something so disruptive
to gastrointestinal, metabolic, and hormonal health It may not occur immediately and may require
some additional efforts to get underway.

There are a number of strategies to consider that can help you accelerate the adjustment.

Here are 5 of the most crucial issues and strategies to consider after youve removed this
disrupter of health called modern wheat:

1. Cultivate the Garden of Bowel Flora


The bacteria dwelling in our intestinal tract are not just important, but critical, for overall health.
Grains, especially wheat, trigger extensive changes in the numbers and species of microorganisms
living in our intestines that need to be undone to set you on the path to full recovery.

Early in their wheat-free experience, many people experience constipation and bloating, more rarely
diarrhea. Constipation is often misinterpreted as a lack of ber, but that is not the case it reects
failed transition to healthy bowel ora. The transition to better bowel ora can be accelerated by

Copyright 2014 Dr. William Davis. All Rights Reserved. | www.wheatbellyblog.com


taking a probiotic supplement that provides 50 billion CFUs (colony forming units) of Lactobacillus
and Bidobacteria species. Ive had success with VSL3, Renew Life, and Garden of Life brands.

Because intestinal bacteria should repopulate fairly quickly, 4-8 weeks of probiotic replacement
usually sufces. (Continuing need can signal that something else continues to disrupt resumption of
healthy bowel ora that may require further investigation.) If this dose of probiotic is rough on your
gastrointestinal tract, a lower potency preparation may be better tolerated, e.g., 10-25 billion, for the
rst few weeks.

Long-term, you can nourish healthy bowel ora by including a special variety of ber, often called
resistant starches, that yield a prebiotic, or bacteria-nourishing, effect that helps intestinal healing
(especially if an inammatory bowel condition is present), reduces risk for colon cancer, and
translates into metabolic benets such as lower blood sugar and triglycerides.

Adding a green, unripe banana, a peeled raw white potato, or a few teaspoons of inulin powder
purchased as a supplement and added to smoothies or other foods (but never heated, as this breaks
the bers down into sugars) provides this effect and encourages growth of Lactobacillus and
Bidobacteria species. Also consider small servings (1/4-1/2 cup, cooked) of legumes, lentils,
chickpeas, and hummus.

I view bowel ora as a garden with the probiotic serving as the seeds that you plant and prebiotics
serving as the water and fertilizer to nourish the seeds both are necessary for full bowel health.
While the probiotic seeding is usually helpful for just the rst few weeks.

2. Regain Your Sunny Disposition and Health with Vitamin D


I count vitamin D as second only to wheat elimination as the most powerful strategies we have
for regaining health. Restoration of vitamin D to healthy levels yields benets across a wide
spectrum that can often be nothing short of spectacular.

While a wheat-free diet is richer in vitamin D from eggs, mushrooms, sh, and organ meats, the
majority of people nonetheless remain decient. This is because most people live indoors and/or wear
clothes that covers much of the bodys skin surface area and because we lose the ability to activate
vitamin D as we age.

Supplementation is therefore necessary for the majority of people to achieve desirable blood levels of
25-hydroxy vitamin D. Having restored vitamin D in thousands of people over the past 8 years, I have
found that most people require 4000-8000 units per day as vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) in gelcap
form to achieve a desirable 25-hydroxy vitamin D level, which I believe to be 60-70 ng/ml

Copyright 2014 Dr. William Davis. All Rights Reserved. | www.wheatbellyblog.com


(150-180 nmol/L). (Avoid tablets, as they are poorly or erratically absorbed and often contain the
non-human, less effective D2 form.) Just as removing wheat mimics the natural diet of humans, so
vitamin D supplementation restores the vitamin D we should have obtained from consumption of
organ meats, mushrooms, sh, bird eggs, as well as skin exposure to sun.

The list of potential benets of restoring vitamin D include:

u Relief from winter blues


u Improved mental clarity
u Elevation of mood and relief from depression
u Improvement of memory
u Increased bone density and protection from osteoporosis and fracture
u Increased HDL cholesterol
u Reduced blood sugar/enhanced insulin sensitivity
u Reduced blood pressure
u Enhanced athletic performance
u Protection from colon, breast, prostate and other cancers
u Among many, many others positive effects.

NOW, Carlson, as well as Sams Club and Costco, sell excellent vitamin D3 preparations at low cost.

3. Get the Healthiest Fat of All: Omega-3 Fatty Acids


A lifetime of grain consumption and avoiding fats increases cardiovascular risk. One crucial fat
deciency in grain-eating people is omega-3 fatty acid deciency that compounds the increased risk.

If you were a wild-living human living one million years ago, hunting the African savanna, or an Ice Age
Cro Magnon scratching out a living in the cold Northern European plain, youd consume the snout,
brain, heart, kidneys, liver, and hindquarters of auroch, ibex, reindeer and other creatures. Several
pounds of animal esh and organs per day was not uncommon.

If you had access to coastal waters, you might also spear sh or scavenge shellsh, or feast on seal,
whale, or walrus. You would thereby obtain rich quantities of omega-3 fatty acids that play varied
roles in the human body, including participating in brain health and modulating the after-eating
(postprandial) processing of meal byproducts.

Copyright 2014 Dr. William Davis. All Rights Reserved. | www.wheatbellyblog.com


Modern diets in which we are advised to cut fat and cholesterol and eat more healthy whole grains
are woefully decient in omega-3 fatty acids. A typical RBC omega-3 index (one method to gauge
your omega-3 fatty acid content, obtainable as a blood test via ngerstick) of an average American is
3%, i.e., 3% of all fatty acids in red blood cells are omega-3s. The omega-3 RBC index of a wild living
human who consumes sh and animal esh and organs would be 8%, 10%, even higher.

Risk for sudden cardiac death and cardiovascular events has been shown to drop off sharply with an
omega-3 RBC index of 10% or greater.

We therefore aim for this value in our eating and supplement habits. Nearly everyone achieves an
RBC omega-3 index of 10% or greater with intakes of omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA of 3000 to
3600 mg per day, readily obtained by supplementing sh oil. (NOT the quantity of sh oil, but the
quantity of EPA + DHA contained within sh oil.)

The best sh oils are in the highly-puried triglyceride form, a form that requires purication steps
beyond that usually taken to create common sh oils on the supermarket, drugstore, or health food
store shelves (as the less well-absorbed ethyl ester form). The additional purication means triglyceride
forms contain less contaminants such as mercury, PCBs, and dioxin, and are better absorbed.

The best sources of the triglyceride come in the form of omega-3 fatty acids include NutraSea from
Ascenta, Nordic Naturals, and Pharmax. Supplementing omega-3 fatty acids reduces postprandial
lipoproteins (thereby reducing cardiovascular risk), reduces triglycerides, raises HDL cholesterol,
reduces small LDL particles, reduces blood pressure, and has anti-inammatory effects.

Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation has special relevance in the early wheat withdrawal process, as
the removal of all things wheat typically results in rapid weight loss. Weight loss involves a ood of
fatty acids into the bloodstream. Omega-3 fatty acids accelerate clearance of fatty acids during active
weight loss.

Dont Be Left Behind Without Iodine and/or a Disrupted Thyroid


If thyroid function is low, even if just by a bit, it will:

1) Impair your ability to lose weight, even allowing weight gain


2) Reduce your energy and mood
3) Increase LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and thereby increasing cardiovascular risk.

It can also be responsible for inappropriately cold hands and feet, constipation, and thinning hair.

Copyright 2014 Dr. William Davis. All Rights Reserved. | www.wheatbellyblog.com


Grains, especially wheat, triggers the autoimmune processes that damage thyroid tissue and can
result in low thyroid status, or hypothyroidism. As many as 50% of people with Hashimotos
thyroiditis, for example, have abnormal antibodies against wheat that react with the thyroid. Remove
wheat, remove the inciting cause but you may still be left with a damaged thyroid.

Another issue important to thyroid health is the trace mineral iodine. Iodine is critical for thyroid
health, as it is required for the thyroid gland to manufacture thyroid hormones, T3 and T4. (The 3
and 4 refer to the number of iodines per thyroid hormone molecule.) Without iodine, thyroid
hormone levels decline, you develop colds hands and feet, become tired, constipated, retain water,
gain weight, develop heart failure all the phenomena of hypothyroidism. If this continues over a
long period, the thyroid gland enlarges, creating a goiter. Iodine is also important for breast health
(reducing brocystic breast disease, a potential precursor to breast cancer) and oral health (as
salivary glands concentrate iodine for antibacterial effects).

Problem: Unless you live in a coastal environment, the food you consume likely lacks iodine if it is
sourced inland. (Iodine comes from the ocean.) It means that people in the midwest or other inland
areas can experience iodine deciency, as they did up until the rst half of the 20th century when
goiters (enlarged thyroid glands due to iodine deciency) were everywhere, affecting 25% of the
population. This is why the FDA passed a regulation in the 1920s that encouraged iodine to be
added to table salt.

Excessive salt use (along with the salt-retaining properties of modern wheat) led to problems with
sodium in some populations. The FDA responded by urging Americans to cut their salt consumption.
People listened . . . and iodine deciency, hypothyroidism, and goiters are reappearing.

Iodine deciency is readily reversed by supplementing an inexpensive iodine supplement in capsule,


tablet, or liquid form. I advocate 500 mcg per day, a level higher than the 150 mcg per day
Recommended Daily Allowance that I believe is closer to the ideal intake, but a level that does not
generate toxicity. Rare side-effects are generally conned to people who have been severely
iodine-decient for an extended period and develop an overactive thyroid response with iodine
supplementation signaled by jitteriness, anxiety, and lab values suggesting an overactive thyroid, or
hyperthyroidism. This is uncommon.)

Along with grains and iodine deciency that impair thyroid function, we have all been exposed to a
wide range of industrial chemicals from synthetic fertilizers, non-stick cookware, hand sanitizers,
food colorings, plastics, and others. This very commonly results in hypothyroidism and is increasing in
frequency as the number of such chemicals in our environment increases by several hundred or
several thousand per year.

Copyright 2014 Dr. William Davis. All Rights Reserved. | www.wheatbellyblog.com


While some people experience partial or total restoration of thyroid function with iodine
supplementation, most others with hypothyroidism from autoimmune damage and/or industrial
chemical exposure will require prescription thyroid hormone replacement. The great majority of
people do best with restoration of both T4 and T3 thyroid hormones, not just T4 (Synthroid or
levothyroxine). It means taking levothyroxine (T4) with liothyronine (T3) or a combination tablet
containing both hormones, such as Armour thyroid or Naturethroid.

The hurdle is in trying to nd a practitioner to:

1) Perform a full thyroid assessment


2) Address all aspects of thyroid health, including T3

Magnesium: Crucial Mineral for the Grain-Free Life


Wheat consumption impairs intestinal magnesium absorption by about half. To make matters
worse, modern water treatment (either municipal or home water ltration) removes nearly all
magnesium from drinking water, while modern vegetables and fruits generally contain less
magnesium than in past (60-70% less is typical).

The result: widespread magnesium deciency that can express itself as muscle cramps in the hands
and calves; constipation; osteoporosis and fractures; heart rhythm disorders; and higher blood sugars
and elevated blood pressure. If severe, magnesium deciency can be life threatening, as often
happens in people prescribed diuretics.

To remedy, start by consuming foods rich in magnesium. While green vegetables and nuts contain
some magnesium, seeds sunower, pumpkin, sesame, in particular are unusually rich in
magnesium. Most people, however, do best by supplementing magnesium. Magnesium malate is my
preferred form, such as Source Naturals, 1200 mg (total tablet/capsule weight) two or three times
per day. The malate form (the malic acid is an acid found in apples and fruit) is well-absorbed and least
likely to cause diarrhea.

Most other forms of magnesium cause loose stools, especially the oxide form. If constipation is a real
bother for you, magnesium citrate can be a better stool softener, though the magnesium is a bit less
well absorbed; 400 mg two or three times per day. I

f you have been prescribed a diuretic such as hydrochlorothiazide, chlorthalidone, or furosemide, talk
to your doctor about whether it is truly necessary or whether your new lifestyle and nutritional
supplements make a diuretic less necessary or unnecessary.

Copyright 2014 Dr. William Davis. All Rights Reserved. | www.wheatbellyblog.com


Now, Youre On Your Way to Total Health!
Eliminate all modern wheat, eat real single-ingredient foods, and follow the suggestions detailed
above, and I predict that 80-90% of all modern chronic conditions, including hypertension, high
cholesterol, diabetes and pre-diabetes, joint pains, gastrointestinal struggles, depression and other
psychiatric difculties, as well as literally dozens, if not hundreds, of other conditions, will recede, if
not outright disappear.

The sooner you get started, the more powerful the results, the greater the likelihood of enjoying a
complete and long-lasting success.

Copyright 2014 Dr. William Davis. All Rights Reserved. | www.wheatbellyblog.com