Wheat and iron deficiency anemia

Found on: https://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2019/04/wheat-and-iron-deficiency-anemia/

Modern wheat has been bred for greater phytate content because phytates provide pest resistance to the wheat plant. But farmers and agricultural geneticists ignored the fact that phytates are also toxic to humans.

In particular, the phytates of wheat and related grains bind nearly all the iron that comes from diet, making it an exceptionally common cause of iron deficiency anemia. Combine this with the absurd and destructive national advice to consume plenty of “healthy whole grains” and you have a recipe for disaster.

The solution? Simple: Eat no wheat or grains and enjoy a health and weight transformation that goes well beyond restoration of normal blood counts.


Iron deficiency anemia is a fairly common condition, and it can lead to symptoms like being tired all the time, feeling cold, being breathless, because you don’t have enough hemoglobin in your bloodstream. Common causes include hemorrhage (obviously if you have a car accident, you injure yourself, you lose a lot of blood), menstrual cycles in females (especially ladies who have a lot of menstrual flow), and grain consumption.

Now why in the world would the consumption of wheat and grains cause iron deficiency anemia? Some of the worst iron deficiency anemias, by the way, I’ve ever seen, are in women, oddly mostly women, who consume grains. I’ve seen women, for instance, go through blood transfusions, bone marrow biopsies, taking oral prescription iron supplements, getting iron injections, and still can’t get their hemoglobin up. But they finally go wheat- and grain-free, and the hemoglobin comes up within two weeks.

Wheat and grain consumption is a very common and powerful cause of iron deficiency anemia. That’s because of phytates. Farmers and agricultural scientists have selected strains of wheat that have higher phytate content. That’s because phytates are also pest resistant — they fight off fungi, and rusts, and pests. So they selected strains with greater phytate content, meaning they selected strains of wheat and other grains that are more toxic to humans — including binding virtually all the iron in your intestinal tract.

If you have a sandwich, for instance, let’s say two slices of whole wheat bread with some turkey or whatever. The phytates in that sandwich are enough to block 90% of all the iron absorption that should have occurred in your gastrointestinal tract. It’s a very powerful cause of iron deficiency anemia.

So how do you reverse that kind of iron deficiency anemia? Don’t eat grains — very easy. And rarely do people have to actually supplement iron unless some other process is going on, like excessive menstrual flow. If you are facing a problem of iron deficiency anemia, always, always think: it could be the wheat or grains.

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