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Natural Awakenings Milwaukee

Letter from Publisher

Feb 28, 2017 11:41PM

In my January 2014 publisher’s letter, I shared the life-changing experience I had as the result of committing to JJ Virgin’s food elimination diet, which is mentioned in Kathleen Barnes’ article, “Fearless Eating: How to Move Past Food Sensitivities." By removing the most reactive and inflammatory foods—including gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, sugar, corn and peanuts—I dramatically lost weight, my skin cleared up, lifelong debilitating seasonal allergies disappeared almost immediately, my sleep improved, and my overall energy levels and mental acuity increased. Many people report similar, remarkable improvements in their health after eliminating these and other trigger foods.

For the most part, I have kept these foods out of my diet. However, over time, I started to develop sensitivities and allergic reactions to other foods, such as tree nuts, eggplant and, most recently, olives. Slowly, the list of foods I can tolerate is shrinking, and other people report similar experiences.

Perhaps we were not meant to live on such a restricted diet. The big question is, “What is going on?” Dr. John Douillard attempts to answer that question in his new book, Eat Wheat: A Scientifically and Clinically-Proven Approach to Safely Bringing Wheat and Dairy Back into your Diet. Douillard’s book and theories have stirred up exciting discussions among well-known nutrition experts and grain-free diet advocates, including Dr. David Perlmutter, author of Grain Brain and Dr. Joseph Mercola, author of The No Grain Diet, who is featured in an interview on page 22 of this issue.

Douillard describes new evidence that suggests humans have eaten gluten-rich grains longer and with more frequency than they have hunted animals and cooked meats. He includes research about the health benefits of whole, organic and unrefined wheat and ancient grains; they have been shown to provide antioxidants, support heart health and healthy cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation and the risk of cancer.

With the support of numerous research studies, Douillard proposes that the source of widespread gluten sensitivity and leaky gut syndrome in recent decades may be that our digestive systems have been damaged by exposure to environmental toxins, antibiotics, and glyphosate (extensively used in herbicides like Roundup), and by the consumption of processed and GMO foods instead of whole foods from the Earth. These harmful factors and others have led to leaky gut syndrome, the overgrowth of harmful bacteria and a decline in the enzymes and stomach acids necessary to properly digest food, especially difficult-to-digest foods like wheat and dairy. Eliminating such foods may improve symptoms but will not heal the underlying problem.

Autoimmune diseases affect tens of millions of Americans, and some theorize that it all begins in the gut. Douillard, Mercola and Perlmutter agree that it makes sense to heal leaky gut and restore the digestive system to its optimum state. Whether wheat and dairy should be introduced after the healing has taken place—and in the absence of a genuine Celiac disease diagnosis—is still up for debate. This is not the final piece to the puzzle, but it is interesting new information, and I, for one, am excited to follow the conversation.

To your health,

Gabriella Buchnik, Publisher

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