What is The Gluten Summit?

Dr Tom O’Bryan from theDr.com has generously gathered a group of medical professionals at the forefront of research into gluten related health issues, nutrition and healthy living to bring us a series of interviews on the topic of 'gluten'. The goal of the summit is to bring recognition of gluten-related disorders forward by five years. The summit is taking place online from 11-17 November 2013.

The wrap up from day 7 of The Gluten Summit

We were really looking forward to hearing what William Davis, author of Wheat Belly had to say at The Gluten Summit. We weren't really shocked by his interview (we have read the book) but it was interesting none the less.

What did throw us a little was Jaqui Karr's comments about coeliacs allowing their disease to define them. She (a coeliac herself) said no one else uses a term such as 'I am a ...' to describe themselves. A lot of people were put out by this comment and there are plenty of other diseases that are used to define people, for example someone with diabetes would say, I am a diabetic. We think people were so offended by Jaqui's comments because they really have no other way to define the health problem that means they have to eat differently to everyone else and far from letting a disease define them it is one of the very few diseases that have a natural treatment for which the sufferer must take full responsibility. No one else can change an adult coeliacs health but themselves and for that reason coeliacs associate very closely with their disease, not to mention that it affects every single meal they will eat for the rest of their lives.

Suzy Cohen spoke informatively about gluten in medications, definitely worth a listen if you are new to gluten free. The shocker of the day though, was the advocacy of a diet which recommend drinking a coffee made with 6 tablespoons of butter for breakfast. We liked Dave Asprey's theory of biohacking your body but we don't think his recommended breakfast is a healthy start to the day! Below are the highlights from the day...

The interviewees and their topics

  • Dr. William Davis: Modern wheat: It’s more than wheat.
  • Suzy Cohen, Pharmacist: Hidden sources of gluten in your vitamins and medication.
  • Jaqui Karr, Certified Nutritionist: 5 secrets for a happy, healthy lifestyle without gluten.
  • Dave Asprey: Biohack your own brain to optimise health and performance.

The most interesting points to take away

  1. Once you have plaque build up in the arteries it grows by about 30% each year.
  2. Controlling blood sugar is the best way to stay in control of cardiovascular risk.
  3. 50% of all human calories come from grains.
  4. Peptides from gliadin stimulate appetite, leaving a person craving carbohydrates.
  5. Type II diabetes was once known as adult-onset type II diabetes but it is now happening earlier and earlier.
  6. When humans started eating grains tooth decay exploded, iron deficiency grew among other things.
  7. Coronary disease is most commonly caused by an excess of small Low-Density Lipoprotein particles. When glycoxidized (glycated and oxidised) LDL particles can cause heart disease. High blood sugar causes glycation.
  8. The active ingredients in medications are generally gluten free but there are some additives to question these are
    • Maltodextrin can be extracted from wheat, if it is in your medication make sure you can confirm it is from corn.
    • Dextri-maltose can be made from barley.
    • Pregelatanized starch.
    • If the word ‘starch’ is used at all and you can’t easily see what the source is, call the manufacturer to ensure it is a gluten free medication.
  9. Don’t expect a pharmacist to know the answer to whether something is gluten free, they are a time poor and may not be able to help you. Always be ready to take the situation into your own hands and do the research.
  10. The worst drugs for worsening gluten related disorders are acid-suppressing drugs. The interference with the digestive system, through inhibiting the digestive enzyme, may worsen malabsorbtion.
  11. Sprouts naturally carry oxygen into the body.
  12. There are vitamins being discovered all the time.
  13. If your body is telling you to eat something faster than you can tell your brain you don’t need it, you will lose.
  14. Intermittent fasting (not eating for 12-16 hours after dinner) is thought to assist with anti-aging and making the body more efficient.
  15. When your brain is less inflamed you can think quicker.
  16. High fat diets help curb food cravings.

Some interesting quotes from the interviews

  1. "Obesity and type II diabetes is the number one threat to the US economy…By 2044 the cost of caring for diabetics will exceed all the taxes the federal government collects” - Dr. William Davis.
  2. “If you wanted to inflict diabetes on a world on an unprecedented scale, you would have them eat plenty of healthy whole grains. That is exactly how you would create diabetes.” - Dr. William Davis.
  3. “We’re often told heathy whole grains are good for us, But what they really mean is healthy whole grains are less bad for us when compared to white flour.” - Dr. William Davis.
  4. “For some people, the only symptom of a gluten-related disorder is depression” - Jaqui Karr
  5. “Willpower is a finite resource.” - Dave Asprey
  6. “There is no one diet that is right for everyone. There's no one eating style that is right for everyone. There's some basic foundational concepts that will work well for almost everyone.“ - Dr. Tom O’Bryan.

Check out our re-caps from the other days of The Gluten Summit