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Health & Longevity News, Issue #30 - Dr. Oz Time Magazine, wheat intolerance
December 04, 2012

In this Issue:

Dr. Oz Betrays the Organic Food Movement
New Time magazine articles disses local and organic
food movement in favor of factory-farm agriculture.

Should You Be Eating Wheat?
The growth of gluten-free food products raises questions.


It's been quite awhile between issues, I know… life got busy when I took on a full-time job in addition to the production of my website. If you've paid a visit there recently, you may have noticed the new and improved look, due in large part to the recent upgrade of the software I use to build my site. Thanks for continuing to follow my progress as I continue to update all my pages. Once that's complete, I'll continue to add more pages full of useful information on antioxidants and other health-related topics.

Dr. Oz Betrays the Organic Food Movement

Although I have to acknowledge Dr. Mehmet Oz for introducing millions of people to alternative methods of health care and ways to improve their health, his article in the upcoming issue of Time magazine illustrates that, for all his seemingly independent viewpoints, Dr. Oz is ultimately beholden to his corporate sponsors.

In his article, Dr. Oz endorses the chemically-based, toxic methods of modern factory-farm agriculture, and attempts to diminish the value of organic alternatives. (Accessing the full article requires a subscription to the magazine).

Dr. Oz promotes things like feedlot beef and canned foods while implying that organic foods are "elitist" foods meant only for the "1%." His article is an insult to anyone who simply wants honest foods produced without excessive processing, cruelty to animals, drugs or toxic chemicals. Betraying his own viewers, Dr. Oz has chosen to side with genetically-modified agriculture, chemical pesticide producers, processed food companies and feedlot cattle factories, and dismisses the locally-grown food movement, free-range meat and eggs, and organic produce as being only for the "snooty" and "elitists."

Dr. Oz Organic Food Sellout

It's for reasons like this that I warn people not to take anything that Dr. Oz too seriously. Although he does offer a lot of useful information, you don't know how much of what he says is valid; I'd say it's about 50/50, but you probably won't know which 50% to trust. Because he's on a major television network, Dr. Oz ultimately has to answer to the sponsors and couldn't take certain positions even if he wanted to. When I last watched his show, the majority of the commercials were direct-to-consumer ads for the pharmaceutical industry.

The Food Industry Doesn't Want You to Question the Integrity of Your Food Supply.

Major food growers in the United States want you to believe that our super markets have the highest quality food that can be produced. I'll have to admit — the cosmetic look of the food conveys this image very effectively.

But food quality really has little to do with how the food looks as much as what's in it and what's been done to it. This is where mass-produced factory-farmed food falls far short of ideal. Rather than do what it takes to raise the standards, they use clever marketing instead to convince you their foods are the best available.

Right now, Monsanto and their cohorts are in a desperate fight to prevent the public from learning about the dangers of genetically-modified foods. They spent $40 million to defeat a mandatory GM labeling law in California, and used corporate extortion to prevent the states of Connecticut and Vermont from doing the same, after ballot initiatives passed by a wide margin. If GM foods are so great, why don't they want consumers to know about them?

Continue to follow Dr. Oz if you want — you'll probably learn some useful things, but beware of the validity of any information you get. In the meantime, please support the Organic Consumers Association in their Millions vs Monsanto campaign to protect your right to know what's in your food — it might be the single most important thing you can do for the future of our planet.

Should You Be Eating Wheat?

Wheat, as everyone knows, has been so much a part of the human diet for so long that it's earned the nickname "the staff of life." It's a fundamental component of the Food Pyramid that no one has ever thought to question its place there. And yet, more and more people are experiencing severe health reactions to the consumption of wheat. Who doesn't know at least one person like this? You can't go into any supermarket without noticing the increasing number of products being promoted as being gluten-free.

Up until recently, it's been assumed that people who suffer consequences from consuming wheat must have some physical issue that causes these problems, similar to people who are lactose-intolerant and can't digest dairy products. However, accumulating evidence is suggesting that maybe it's not the person consuming wheat, but that it's the wheat itself that just may not be fit for human consumption.

Is Wheat Actually Poisonous?

The idea of wheat as a toxic substance that should not be consumed by humans is a concept that sounds utterly blasphemous, but it's worth stepping back and taking a longer look at this possibility. Clearly, something is going on that we haven't seen before.

Many plants have some type of built-in self-defense mechanism that's designed to protect the plant from being eaten by other living things and allow it to propagate from year to year. In wheat, it's a variety of anti-nutrients called gluten, lectins and phytates. Birds, rodents and insects seem to be able to digest and assimilate these anti-nutrients, but what about humans? Evidence is beginning to mount that maybe we don't do very well with them.

Gluten, found primarily in wheat, rye, and barley, is a combination of two different proteins, gliadin and glutenin. Around 1% of the population are completely intolerant of gluten in any amount. This is called Celiac disease. People with celiac disease have to religiously monitor every bite they take, to avoid consuming even a hint of gluten, hence the market for gluten-free products.

Phytates are anti-nutrients that make minerals bio-unavailable to your system, thus robbing you of the healthy nutrients in the grain. Leptins cause damage to your intestinal lining and contribute to the severity of metabolic syndrome, the underlying condition behind heart disease, diabetes and other degenerative diseases so common today.

Part of the problem with wheat is that it's been cross-bred intensively for the past 60 years to produce a flour that results in baked goods with improved taste and texture. The average gluten content in wheat has soared from just 5% to where it's now 50%! No wonder gluten-related problems have become so common.

How Do You Know if Wheat and Grains
Are Doing Damage to Your Body?

Symptoms of gluten intolerance include so many symptoms that it's difficult to make a direct connection. They include things like gastrointestinal and digestive problems of all kinds, headaches or migraines, weight gain, joint and muscle pain, irrational mood shifts, thyroid and other hormonal problems, neurological problems, fatigue and many more — almost any kind of health complaint is suspect.

Sometimes these symptoms appear right after meals and don't last long. In other cases, they can last for weeks or even become chronic, which then often leads to a diagnoses of an autoimmune disease instead of gluten intolerance. This can lead to a condition called Leaky Gut Syndrome, which results in pathogens and undigested food particles entering into your bloodstream and wreaking havoc in any part of your body.

Can You Get Tested for Gluten Sensitivity?

Although there are medical tests you can do to diagnose gluten sensitivity and celiac disease, experienced practitioners will tell you that the most reliable method to diagnose yourself is to simply cut out all grains from your diet for at least 30 days and notice what happens. Keep a log recording any and all health symptoms you experience and whether they improve or not. To eliminate any doubt, you can try going back on grains after the trial and see if your symptoms change again for the worse. Again, it could be any insignificant little thing.

A gluten-free diet would exclude wheat, rye, barley, spelt, kamut, oats, and triticale. Quinoa, rice and buckwheat are acceptable. If you find it really difficult to give up grains, it may be that you're actually addicted to gluten; people are often addicted to things that they have reactions to. In any event, it may be difficult to change your eating habits so drastically overnight. In that case, work at eliminating one source of gluten at a time and find a healthier food that you could substitute for the offending one, until you are primarily or totally gluten-free.

Here are some excellent sources for more information on the issue of grain intolerance. If you have any type of chronic health complaint, no matter how insignificant, it would smart to investigate the possibility that some of them may be attributable to your consumption of wheat and other grains.

Mark's Daily Apple: Lectins

Mark's Daily Apple: Why Grains are Unhealthy

Food Renegade: The Rise of Gluten Intolerance

Green Med Info: The Dark Side of Wheat

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That's all for this issue!
I hope you enjoyed reading my newsletter,
and found the information useful.
Have a great holiday season!

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