Cracker Bowel: Why Grains are Toxic to the Human Gastrointestinal Tract

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We are told to eat “healthy whole grains” to boost fiber intake, maintain bowel regularity and intestinal health–but the exact OPPOSITE is true. Wheat and grains, especially modern wheat and grains, contain an entire collection of bowel toxins.

Banish wheat and grains from your diet and you are on the path to recovering gastrointestinal health and freedom from dozens of common gastrointestinal conditions.


Hi everybody, Doctor William Davis here. I call this video “cracker bowel”, because wheat and grains are a collection of very potent bowel toxins. You know, it’s ironic isn’t it, that we’re told that we need to eat wheat and grains; need to include them at every meal; because they’re so good for bowel health; because of bran or fiber content, for instance.

Well, that’s true. You can get more cellulose fiber, like sawdust, by eating grains, but this idea that grains are necessary for bowel health is complete nonsense. In fact, the opposite is true. Wheat and grains, particularly modern wheat and grains, are a collection of very toxic compounds to your gastrointestinal tract.

For instance, the gliadin protein within gluten, besides triggering celiac disease, also directly damages the intestinal lining. That’s because, recall that we cannot break down, we can’t digest, the proteins in grains, because we don’t have the enzymes to do that. If you eat an egg, or a piece of bacon, or a hamburger, you break the proteins down in those foods into single amino acids. That’s how you’re supposed to digest proteins.

When you eat the proteins of grains, you either can’t digest them at all, or they’re broken down to pieces — not amino acids, but peptides — several amino acids long. We don’t have the enzymes to break down each bond between each amino acid. That’s how we get gliadin-derived opioid peptides, for instance, that cause appetite stimulation and mind effects. In this case, these small peptides are also toxic, directly toxic to the gastrointestinal lining.

We also are exposed to wheat germ agglutinin. It sounds like “gluten”, but it’s unrelated to gluten. It’s wheat germ uh-GLOO-tih-nin. It’s called agglutinin because it when it contacts blood, it causes it to clot, or agglutinate.

Wheat germ agglutinin is one of those proteins that is completely impervious to human digestion. So if it goes in here [points to mouth] it comes out the other end, intact. But in its course from top to bottom, it is highly toxic. It damages the villi, the little hairs that line intestinal tract, and are responsible for absorption of nutrients. It’s very destructive to those villi, and that can lead to inflammatory changes like colitis.

Wheat germ agglutinin is also very effective in blocking the hormone cholecystokinin (or we say CCK for short).
CCK is a hormone released when you eat food, and food contacts the duodenum, the duodenum releases this hormone, CCK. CCK causes two things to happen. It causes your gallbladder to squirt out bile to help modify fats, and it causes your pancreas to release digestive enzymes. Wheat germ agglutinin is a very potent blocker of CCK.

It means that your digestion is impaired. That can lead to acid reflux, stomach upset, heartburn, and over time, disrupts bowel flora, because you’re not fully digesting food. It can also lead to gallstones, because there’s bile stasis. When you have bile stasis, there’s crystallization in the gall bladder. That’s what leads to gallstones over time.

There are also unhealthy changes provoked in bowel flora, especially fungal overgrowth; fungi like Canada albicans.
This is a big problem — a growing problem. It’s responsible for problems like recurrent skin rashes, fatigue, gastrointestinal problems, and can lead to other forms of dysbiosis like SIBO
once again, disrupt bowel flora, but especially fungal overgrowth.

Those gliadin-derived peptides, that act like opiates? Well, you know that opioids, or opiates, cause constipation. So the opioid peptides that come from gliadin are very constipating. What we’re told to consume (the brans in grains, for regularity) the opposite is often true — because the opioid peptides that derive from gliadin cause constipation.

Some of the worst constipation you’ll ever see is called obstipation. These poor people can move their bowels maybe every once or every 2 or 3 weeks. It’s a horrible, horrible situation, that responds only to enemas — repeated enemas. It doesn’t even respond to laxatives. Obstipation, severe constipation, goes away within days of stopping all grains. That’s because you’re getting rid of opioid peptides.

Lastly, there’s a collection of allergens in grains that can be responsible for a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms like stomach upset, acid reflux, etc.

This notion that you must eat grains for gastrointestinal health is a complete fairy tale. In fact, the opposite is true. That’s why if you follow along my Wheat Belly and Undoctored conversations, you see, every day, there’s a flood of comments from people who’ve been freed of acid reflux, esophagitis, reflux esophagitis, stomach problems, poor digestion, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. A wonderful start to a gastrointestinal health program is to eat no wheat and no grains.

The post Cracker Bowel: Why Grains are Toxic to the Human Gastrointestinal Tract appeared first on Dr. William Davis.

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