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Is this the Most Dangerous Ingredient in the American Diet?

immune system, grains, wheat

The average American consumes 55 pounds of wheat flour every year. That makes refined flour the number-one source of calories in our diet. And the rest of the world is not far behind, with wheat covering more acres of the Earth than any other crop!

Bread is even called the “Staff of Life” – and there’s no doubt it feeds the world.

But it is also making us sick.

In fact, many experts believe that bread, pasta, cereals and dessert – and particularly the wheat found within these foods – is the leading cause of autoimmune disease. It is an epidemic that affects 50 million Americans and hundreds of millions more around the world.

And it all begins in the gut!

Unfortunately, however, there is…

A Big Misconception about Wheat and Your Gut

You’re probably familiar with Celiac Disease. It is the most serious – and often life-threatening – sensitivity to grains that contain gluten. Many who suffer this condition cannot consume even a speck of wheat without severe digestive pain, gas, bloating… and other embarrassing symptoms.

This leads many people to believe that as long as you can eat bread without belly problems – then you must be in the clear… no harm done.

Do not be fooled by this dangerous myth!

The truth is that nearly 50% of newly-diagnosed celiac patients have no digestive symptoms! In other words, half of the people who are extremely sensitive to wheat can still consume it without the typical “stomach problems.” [1]

Dr. Alessio Fasano is a professor of medicine and distinguished researcher, with more than 240 peer-reviewed papers to his credit. His research – in addition to dozens of other scientists around the world – shows that wheat causes chronic gut inflammation.

And you don’t need certain genetics to incur damage. It happens to everyone who consumes it!

So even if you can eat a three-foot submarine sandwich without the slightest “tummy trouble” does not mean it is not hurting you. Every bite is causing silent damage to your gut – and quietly setting you up for serious disease.

immune system, grains, wheat

Why Gluten is only a Fraction of the Problem

Of course, the inflammatory protein we call “gluten” is partly to blame. In fact, the New England Journal of Medicine lists 55 conditions, which can be caused by gluten – ranging from those as “benign” as canker sores to diseases as serious as cancer![2]

But gluten is literally only a fraction of the story. A study published in Plant Physiology, shows that modern wheat is capable of producing at least 23,788 unique proteins – and any ONE of these can trigger an inflammatory response.[3]

This is why some people react severely to wheat – but have NO reaction to gluten itself.

The most dangerous proteins in wheat are known as lectins. These are the primary compounds plants use to protect themselves from predation![4] Lectins are actually designed to poison you.

And while most lectins won’t kill you overnight (except for the lectin ricin)… they can make you VERY sick over time!

Among the most dangerous is wheat germ agglutinin (WGA). Studies show that WGA is:

  • Cardiotoxic – Toxic to the heart and blood vessels[5][6]
  • Immunotoxic – Toxic to the immune system[7][8][9]
  • Cytotoxic – Induces programmed cell death[10]
  • Neurotoxic – Toxic to nerves and brain tissue[11][12][13]

It can exert these effects in minute concentrations – and just one kernel of wheat contains 16.7 trillion molecules of this toxic compound.[14] So imagine the dose you get, when you eat bread at nearly every meal.

It is no wonder Dr. Steven Gundry – renowned heart surgeon and authority on the effects of lectins – called these compounds…

The Number One Greatest Danger in the American Diet

Lectins are often described as “sticky” molecules. And they use this property to bind to cell membranes, especially the cells that line your intestines. This can cause chronic gut inflammation (even if you don’t notice any discomfort).

But lectins don’t just adhere to the lining of your gut. These sticky compounds wedge into your gut wall and pry apart the “tight junctions” between cells. When this happens, harmful substances from your digestive system can “leak” into your blood and wreak havoc on your health.

This dangerous condition is known as “leaky gut.” And the most confusing part for doctors and for those who suffer is that many symptoms of this serious digestive condition have nothing to do with abdominal discomfort.

But the worst damage might be to your immune system…

As pathogens, proteins and undigested food particles seep into your blood, your immune system mounts an attack against these “foreign” invaders. This increases the number and severity of food allergies, intolerances and seasonal allergies you may experience.

But those might be the least of your problems, because it can also cause…

Autoimmune Disease: What Happens When Your Body Turns Against You?

Your immune system has incredible power to destroy tissue and cells. This is how it protects you. But you want this defensive weapon pointed at the enemy. You do NOT want the gun pointed back at YOU!

And that’s exactly what happens when your immune system is “triggered” by every bite of food you take. Constantly over-stimulated, it loses ability to recognize “self” from “non-self”.

Instead of destroying foreign invaders, it wages war on healthy tissues and organs. Your own body begins to attack your colon… your thyroid… your joints… your nervous system… and even your brain!

There are more than 100 different autoimmune conditions. And according to the American Autoimmune Association, 50 million Americans suffer at least one these conditions. Autoimmune disease is also among the top 10 causes of death in women under 65.

And it can be incredibly debilitating, with telltale symptoms including:

  • Crushing fatigue and weakness
  • Chronic joint, muscle and bone pain
  • Headaches, brain fog and poor concentration
  • Insomnia, mood swings, anxiety and depression
  • Digestive problems… skin problems… sinus infections

This is truly an epidemic, but it’s not all bad news today.

In many cases, leaky gut, autoimmune illness and a host of diet-related conditions can be reversed. And they can always be prevented, because the cause (and the cure) begins with the food on your plate!

saturated fat, wheat, pasture raised

The Ancestral Answer to Modern Ails


Following a grain-free, ancestral diet, rich in healthy fats, clean proteins, and organic above-ground veggies has helped thousands of people heal their guts, reverse autoimmune disease and reclaim their vibrant state of native health.

To get started on your ancestral healing journey:

  • Enjoy gut-healing, immune-boosting bone broth – rich in glutamineto help seal and heal a leaky gut
  • Include organ meats (especially liver and bone marrow) from pasture-raised animals at least once a week to provide a rich source of vital micronutrients that promote healing
  • Rely on ancestral fats for cooking like pastured duck fat, tallow, lard, ghee and butter that provide anti-inflammatory benefits and are heat-stable
  • Include lacto-fermented veggies like sauerkraut and kimchi to support your microbiome and improve the integrity of your immune system
  • Enjoy pasture-raised meats, especially on-the-bone, for a powerful source of healing protein
  • Include wild seafood – like wild salmon, mackerel, sardines, scallops and shrimp – for essential, anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats and key micronutrients
  • When bread and comfort food cravings strike, opt for grain-free, lower carbohydrate versions, like those made from almond flour and coconut flour.

kelley herringED NOTE: 

Kelley Herring is the co-founder of Wellness Bakeries, makers of grain-free, gluten-free, low-glycemic baking mixes for cakes, cookies, breads, pizza and much more. Kelley’s academic background is in biology and chemistry and for the last 15+ years, she has focused on the study of nutritional biochemistry…and the proven powers of compounds in foods to heal the body.

Do you love bread – but not the blood-sugar spiking carbs, harmful gluten and grains? Check out Kelley’s newest book, Keto Breads, including more than two dozen keto-friendly, grain-free Paleo breads, biscuits, rolls, pizza and more! Click here to learn more about Keto Breads…


[1] Barker JM, Liu E. Celiac disease: pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, and associated autoimmune conditions. Adv Pediatr. 2008;55:349-365.

[2] Richard J. Farrell, M.D., and Ciarán P. Kelly, M.D.Celiac Sprue. N Engl J Med 2002; 346:180-188 January 17, 2002DOI: 10.1056/NEJMra010852

[3] Vandepoele K, Van de Peer Y. Exploring the plant transcriptome through phylogenetic profiling. Plant Physiology. 2005 Jan;137(1):31-42.

[4] Pusztai A, Ewen SW, Grant G. Antinutritive effects of wheat-germ agglutinin and other N-acetylglucosamine-specific lectins. Published online: 01 March 2007

[5] Further characterization of wheat germ agglutinin interaction with human platelets: exposure of fibrinogen receptors. Thromb Haemost. 1986 Dec 15;56(3):323-7. PMID: 3105108

[6] Wheat germ agglutinin-induced platelet activation via platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1: involvement of rapid phospholipase C gamma 2 activation by Src family kinases. Biochemistry. 2001 Oct 30;40(43):12992-3001. PMID: 11669637

[7] Antinutritive effects of wheat-germ agglutinin and other N-acetylglucosamine-specific lectins.The British Journal of Nutrition 1993 Jul;70(1):313-21. PMID: 8399111

[8] Lectinlike properties of pertussis toxin. . Infection and Immunity 1989 Jun;57(6):1854-7. PMID: 2722243

[9] Natural human antibodies to dietary lectins. FEBS Lett. 1996 Nov 18;397(2-3):139-42. PMID: 8955334

[10] Wheat germ lectin induces G2/M arrest in mouse L929 fibroblasts. J Cell Biochem. 2004 Apr 15;91(6):1159-73. PMID: 15048871

[11] Transsynaptic transport of wheat germ agglutinin expressed in a subset of type II taste cells of transgenic mice. BMC Neuroscience. 2008 Oct 2;9:96. PMID: 18831764

[12] Distribution of concanavalin A and wheat germ agglutinin binding sites in the rat peripheral nerve fibres Revealed by lectin/glycoprotein-gold histochemistry. The Histochem Journal. 1996 Jan;28(1):7-12. PMID: 8866643

[13] Wheat germ agglutinin, concanavalin A, and lens culinalis agglutinin block the inhibitory effect of nerve growth factor on cell-free phosphorylation of Nsp100 in PC12h cells. Cell Struct and Function 1989 Feb;14(1):87-93. PMID:2720800

[14] Mishkind M, Keegstra K, Palevitz B. Distribution of Wheat Germ Agglutinin in Young Wheat Plants. Plant Physiol. 1980 Nov;66(5):950-955.