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Sayer Ji, the author of "The Dark Side of Wheat," discusses the emerging viewpoint that wheat represents a human species-specific intolerance that should be universally avoided.
Some issues raised in the video
- 150+ adverse health effects associated with wheat consumption, as determined by biomedical research housed on the National Library of Medicine
- Wheat intolerance/toxicity does not need to be immune mediated, i.e. it has direct, adverse effects on our cells which antibody, gene or intestinal biopsy tests may not accurately diagnose.
- Genotype plays a part in the disease process, but is not itself sufficient to induced wheat-associated illness
- The grain-based diet while thousands of years old in cultural time, has only been consumed en masse for a nanosecond in biological time (e.g. 10,000 years)
- Wheat is exceptionally addictive, due in part to the high levels of glutamic acid it contains. Glutamic acid is a natural "flavor-enhancer," activating the umami receptors, driving us to consume more and more of the same.
- Grains, and particularly wheat have pharmacological active properties, e.g. gluten exorphins and gliadorphin
- The Roman Empire was known as the "Wheat Empire" due to the fact that its entire cultural hegemony over those it conquered was predicated on the biological imperialism that wheat consumption made possible.
- Has humankind mastered the cereal grasses, or have the cereal grasses mastered us? We take care of their reproduction, their nutrition, their natural predators, in exchange for nourishment. But are we being nourished? Are grains the staff of life, or a crutch upon which we prop up our nutrient-starved bodies?
- The celiac disease sufferer is allowed to be sick from wheat, whereas most of the world deals with asymptomatic, or "out of intestine" varieties of wheat intolerance.
- The emerging view is that the body responds appropriately to wheat's inherent toxicity through classical symptoms of gastrointestinal distress, including diarrhea. As this is the body's way of expelling an offending substance as quickly as possible, perhaps saving the body as a whole from wheat's profound systemic adverse effects.