Is it gluten that’s the problem? Is it much higher? Are levels of gluten in the dwarf wheat, that’s the problem or are there other considerations as well?
DAVIS: Yeah, I don’t know where that fiction comes from. People say that the gluten content of wheat is higher. That’s actually not true. It varies widely depending on the strain of wheat.
The problem with modern wheat has to do with the gliadin protein. Gliadin is a subcomponent of gluten. But a few amino acids different in modern gliadin have turned into an opium. That is, when you ingest gliadin protein from wheat, it’s ingested, these small polypeptides, small proteins. Five or six have been identified now. And these are each four or five amino acids long. And these are small enough to cross into the brain and bind to the opiate receptor of the human brain, just like morphine or heroin, except the opiate polypeptides of wheat — these are called exorphins, or exogenously derived morphine-like derivatives. These compounds don’t make us high and they don’t give us pain relief. They only stimulate appetite. So when this stuff was introduced into the U.S. food supply in the mid ’80s, we watched calorie intake go up 400 calories per person per day 365 days. So the gliadin proteins are the fundamental problem in modern wheat.
That same gliadin protein, Lew, also has the curious capacity to unlock the normal intestinal barriers to foreign substances. So when you and I eat something, the stuff that goes in our mouths and intestinal tract does not necessarily belong in our blood stream. And so the intestinal tract is very effective at making that kind of discriminatory decision, unless the gliadin protein of wheat is in the vicinity, in which case that normal discriminatory capacity is disabled and foreign antigens, foreign substances are allowed into your blood stream. This is the first step in generating autoimmunity. These are the 75 conditions that humans are prone to, like rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, polymyositis, polymyalgia rheumatica, Lupus. That long list of diseases of inflammation where the body attacks itself is started by the gliadin protein.
And he says it includes whole wheat if made from modern 'dwarf wheat'.