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Can Eating Wheat Affect Mental Health?

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Can Eating Wheat Affect Mental Health?

Most people believe that grains are a wholesome part of a healthy diet, particularly whole grains, such as whole wheat. Whole grains are also one of the relatively few foods that are allowed to make health claims on their labels, relating whole grains with a reduced risk of heart disease and certain cancers.

Unfortunately, there’s a large body of evidence indicating that whole grains, and whole wheat in particular (yes even organic), can contribute to significant health problems—both physical and mental. This evidence, however, has not registered with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)—the first two of which developed the dietary guideline to consume three or more ounces of whole grain products per day.

When you begin to review the evidence stacked up against whole grains, it becomes rather self-evident that our reliance on wheat and other grains may be one of the primary culprits for the poor health of so many.

Here, my primary focus will be on the mental health impacts of wheat, but for even more information about why wheat isn’t the health food you’ve been lead to believe, please review these two articles, and the long list of related studies.

The Side Effects of Wheat Consumption—It’s Not Just about Celiac Disease

Many of you may be familiar with celiac disease (CD), a gastrointestinal disorder characterized by intolerance to wheat gluten. According to statistics from the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, an average of one out of every 133 otherwise healthy people in the United States suffers from CD. However, an estimated 20-30 percent of the world’s population may carry the genetic susceptibility to celiac disease—and the way to avoid turning these genes ‘on’ is by avoiding gluten.

When you consider that undiagnosed CD is associated with a nearly four-fold increased risk of premature death, the seriousness of this food sensitivity becomes quite evident. The primary disease mechanism at play is chronic inflammation, and chronic inflammatory and degenerative conditions are endemic to grain-consuming populations.

However, other rampant health afflictions include depression, ADD/ADHD, and Alzheimer’s disease, just to name a few. As it turns out, excessive wheat consumption may play a significant role here as well. In fact, there’s evidence suggesting that gluten sensitivity may be at the root of many neurological and psychiatric conditions.

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Dr. Mercola

Dr. Mercola has been passionate about health and technology for most of his life. As a doctor of osteopathic medicine, he treated many thousands of patients for over 20 years. In the mid 90’s he integrated his passion for natural health with modern technology via the internet and developed a website, Mercola.com to spread the word about natural ways to achieve optimal health.

60 comments

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8:48AM PDT on Mar 20, 2014

Thank you

9:16AM PDT on Sep 5, 2012

I think it is the GMO wheat that is causing all the trouble. (genetically modified wheat). The wheat we eat is 80-90% GMO. The article didn't specify wheat versus GMO wheat. Check out this cbs news report by Dr Davis, Author of Wheat Belly or google his name and book.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505269_162-57505149/modern-wheat-a-perfect-chronic-poison-doctor-says/

8:21AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

People all over the world have been eating whole grains for eons and are often more healthy than those of us on the western diet eating so many processed foods!

It seems that everything and anything has a problem when it comes to ingesting it--some say eating fruit can only be done by eating fruit by itself and that eating it with any other food will cause a multitude of horrific problems for the body. Too bad, so sad!

Now it is whole grains that may well be toxic. Not meant for humans. Whatever. Well, will snack on whole grains, quinoa and my chicken, beef, fish and whatever. We only live once.
Someone mentioned the fatties will love this-what a pencil then person complaining that people who eat meat are fat, get a grip many people eat meat the world over and are not fat or obese and who are you to sit in judgement of those eating meat.
As with everything, do your research, check alternative sources because there are so many different theories out there.
Will go and snack on seedless grapes and I guess these are also bad for me as well.

8:21AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Sorry, I meant to say pencil thin vegetarians and vegans when this person discussed "Fatties."
It is bad enough the commercial world airbrushes photos of impossible to attain female bodies using underweight models as their yardstick of perfection. Putting down people because of their weight only pushes some to become anorexic, some teens and others pushed into eating disorders because society looks down on even healthy weight (not even talking overweight or obese) but the average looking female cannot attain weight "perfection" in some of these magazine ads.
In many parts of the world meat is part of the diet but is kept to a small portion of the meal. Everything in moderation.

9:35PM PDT on Apr 17, 2012

Depends on your Nutritional Type.

3:33AM PDT on Sep 8, 2011

but wheat protien is much better than animals. is the possiblity of mental health effect no issue when your heart crys over the deaths of critters? who knows. someone here said strawberries have ample protien for human health anyway.

1:35PM PDT on Aug 31, 2011

Thanks. More reasons to keep my diet wheat free.

11:30PM PDT on Aug 30, 2011

Thanks for sharing!

8:02PM PDT on Aug 30, 2011

I gave up gluten over 2 years ago. My aching joints went away, no more bursitus, complexion cleared up, inflammation disappeared, thyroid function has increased, intestinal upset disappeared, cholesterol improved. This is what I have noticed that has improved..........hopefully my chances for getting ataxia, alzheimers, and heart disease like my parents and relatives has significantly decreased. It makes sense to me.

4:32PM PDT on Aug 30, 2011

thanks for this great article, I have been gluten free for almost six month and I feel so much better! have lost weight without trying, have more energy especially after meals, and for the women asking about bread, UDI"S is very good, I really like the pizza crusts, they are awesome easy and you can top anyway you like, not bad left over either, I cook them right on the oven shelf and they crisp up great, best to start with the crust frozen..

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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This is just one of many videos about them two...Thanks for sharing.

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Thank you for this very interesting article.

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