Ask Dr. D’Adamo: What’s Up With Wheat?
Question: How can it be that wheat isn’t good for anyone? Hasn’t it been a staple in man’s diet for thousands of years?
Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo: Wheat as we know it in the millennia of this era is not the same as it was at the very beginning. The genetics of wheat show that its development is very complex. Today’s grain has developed from three naturally occurring groups of wheat. Through natural crossings, mutations, and natural selection these have evolved into all the many varieties of wheat grown worldwide.
In essence, the ‘hard wheat’ that we eat nowadays has a protein content as high as 13%, versus the more ancient wheats which had a protein content of, at most, about 2%. Increasing the protein content has had the effect of making wheat a viable source of protein for many people around the world, but has also increased the allergenic (gliandin, gluten and lectin containing), pro-inflammatory and metabolic-blocking portions of the plant almost seven-fold.
Aside from the under-investigated metabolic effects of wheat lectin, classic hypersensitivity to wheat is found in many infants and adults. Reactions are often localised in the GI tract. In a study of asthmatic patients, 46% (children) and 34% (adults) were found to have IgE to wheat as tested by Pharmacia & Upjohn, Diagnostics CAP System. In another study, specificity for wheat allergen using the same system was 98%. Wheat allergy was found to cause a persistent food hypersensitivity in atopic dermatitis patients (75% remained intolerant). In 102 grass-pollen allergic children, 12% were found to be allergic to wheat.