Dr. Mark Hyman Indicts Gluten

Bread Loaf

The best way to avoid foods that are bad for you is to stay away from foods with health claims on the label. They are usually hiding something bad.

What a powerful quotation! These are the words of Dr. Mark Hyman, who, like Dr. Pretlow, has written and talked about food addiction. In Dr. Hyman’s case, that subject is tied in with his suspicions about gluten as a major player in the obesity epidemic. “Gluten Free” is one of the health claims that needs to be closely examined if a person is serious about eliminating gluten from the diet.

Why would anyone do that? A relatively rare condition called celiac disease (CD), whose sufferers cannot tolerate any gluten at all, has been recognized for some time. But only in the last couple of years has there been any acknowledgment that a lot of people who don’t technically have CD are nevertheless intolerant of gluten.

The damage is inflicted on the lining of the small intestine, which is only supposed to let certain things get through to the rest of the body. But gluten empowers zonulin, which makes holes in the mortar between the cells of the intestine wall. The “leaky gut” allows chunks of undesirable material to float around in the bloodstream and wreak havoc. It’s like getting the fresh water line in the kitchen sink crossed with the sewer pipe — not recommended.

The debris that is now circulating comes to the attention of the immune system, which attacks it, and pretty soon there’s a general whole-body inflammation going on. Trouble could spring up anywhere, including further damage to the gut lining.

General confusion

In such a widespread attack of the body upon itself, the weakest points will succumb first. Patients turn up with a bewildering variety of seemingly unrelated symptoms, and doctors don’t know what’s going on. Like celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity is tricky to diagnose. But evidence is piling up that convinces many health professionals that wheat is to blame for not only obesity, but heart disease, diabetes, dementia and cancer.

A person might think skeptically, “Hold on there, my grandpa ate a loaf of bread every day for 94 years and was never sick a day in his life.” This is what Dr. Hyman addresses as one of the “hidden reasons” that actually prove how much obesity and other illnesses stem from consumption of the fabled Staff of Life, wheat.

This is not the wheat your great-grandmother used to bake her bread. It is FrankenWheat — a scientifically engineered food product developed in the last 50 years…. [I]t is different in three important ways that all drive obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia and more.

It contains a Super Starch — amylopectin A that is super fattening.
It contains a form of Super Gluten that is super-inflammatory.
It contains forms of a Super Drug that is super-addictive and makes you crave and eat more.

Now, that is what you might call a real triple threat. The third item must pique the interest of anyone interested in the area of food addiction. The exorphins created by digesting wheat are molecules that latch onto the brain’s opioid receptors, making a person “crazy, hungry and addicted.” These “super drugs” even have their own name — they are gluteomorphins. More impressive still, they can be counteracted by the same emergency-room drug used to treat a morphine or heroin overdose. As Dr. Hyman eloquently puts it, “Bottom line: wheat is an addictive appetite stimulant.”

Your responses and feedback are welcome!
Source: “Three Hidden Ways Wheat Makes You Fat,” DrHyman.com, 01/25/13
Image by Jeff Keacher


2 Responses

  1. I have been trying to write to dr. hyman to let him know I have a problem I would like to discuss with him concerning diverticulosis.. I can’t eat a lot of the foods he suggests due to inflammation of the diverticula. I would like to discuss this with him to give me a diet that doesn’t have nuts and seeds and raw vegetables. one thing that you need to know is that not everyone is on facebook and therefore can’t receive all his info that he puts out. I get his emails, but nothing else. please will someone respond to how I can write to him????
    I am 77 yrs old and need help!

  2. Barb, thanks for reaching out about your attempts to contact Mark Hyman, MD. Dr. Hyman lists the following address for written contact on his website:

    Mark Hyman, MD
    Vitamin Portfolio, LLC
    4346 Belgium Blvd.
    Riverside, MO 64150

    We hope this information helps you to get in touch.

    With Thanks,
    Content Director
    Childhood Obesity News

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About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
You can contact Dr. Pretlow at:


Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

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