The Paleo Solution – Episode 95

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Featuring guest Dr. William Davis

Check out his new book Wheat Belly!

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Categories: Podcasts


Robb Wolf’s 30 Day Paleo Transformation

Have you heard about the Paleo diet and were curious about how to get started? Or maybe you’ve been trying Paleo for a while but have questions or aren’t sure what the right exercise program is for you? Or maybe you just want a 30-day meal plan and shopping list to make things easier? Then Robb Wolf’s 30 Day Paleo Transformation is for you.


  1. Renae says

    This was such a fantastic episode! I LOVED that Dr. Davis called wheat the nicotine of the food industry, seriously brilliant and true! I already completely buy into this stuff, but I’m still going to buy his book because I just love what he had to say!

  2. Treefit says

    Awesome podcast! I’m definitely going to check out this book. Hopefully I can get my hubby to listen to this. He’s supportive of the changes to gluten free but I’d really like him to realize just how it effects everyone, even if he doesn’t think it does. :) Thanks so much!

    • Danielle says

      In the same boat here. Its hard to see others do the wrong thing even though we KNOW we are right :) So I have lost weight, but my next goal is to get super fit/strong. I don’t think my husband’s ego could take it if I could do more push-ups than him. Some friendly competetion never hurt anything. Problem is, he is pretty fit (but eats like sh*t). I have my work cut out for me.

  3. JMH says

    I think the reason why you’re getting better buy-in from the surgeons, is because those are the people who have people die under their hands.
    If you’re an internal medicine doc, and your patient dies, you can blame the patient. When it’s just you, and someone’s poorly beating heart under your fingers, something you can say to yourself can absolve you of a certain sickness of soul when they die on the table.
    I think they’d rather figure out how to apply their skills elsewhere than having people stupidly dying on their table.

    • Stabby says

      Agreed. And even if nobody dies, it is still a horrible experience to have surgery. Surgeons see seriously messed up people every day and are acutely aware of how bad it is. Those who just give drugs are more distant from the reality.

    • Chris Kurn says

      Very interesting perspective. Nutritionist/personal trainers/etc. will always have the fall-back “You should probably see a doctor” response if they see someone really messed up, even if they are the ones that messed them up! It’s kind of unfair really, they have the option to wash their hands of a bad situation, and I feel it’s acceptable within the industry to do that. I’m not sure the same can be said for doctors, who see every other “expert’s” garbage.

  4. Amada says

    What a great interview – I’ve been living with MS for a few years, only to discover that I carry the genes for both gluten and celiac disease and according to my IGa or IGg (which ever) they are indeed turned on – After that huge discovery, I discovered PALEO – PALEO has changed my life in soo many ways and so has removing all mercury fills, but that’s another story all together – I’ve listened to many talks on gluten – However, this one is by far one of the best – Oh one other thing, I did the blood work for gluten and celiac, it failed – That test is a JOKE and a waste of money, but they again, that’s what the insurance pays for – However, the gene test, the insurance company does not pay for – Do they really want you to discover ROOT CAUSES of your medical conditions … I honestly don’t think so – Thanks Again Rob for another great / mind blowing podcast (dam I’m staring to sound like a nerd … but I can get really nerdy about this stuff)

  5. says

    Amazing podcast! Just bought the book, can’t wait to dive in. Hopefully, this will be the motivation I need to give up the wheat once and for all (damn stuff keeps creeping into my otherwise Paleo diet).

  6. Trevor Frayne says

    Not to sound too geeky. Okay I am going to sound geeky. Wolverine has a female clone, X-23. Had to say it. I’m at a slightly better novice knowledge of comics.

  7. Eric L. says

    I went through my 20’s as a relatively healthy dude except for chronic hypertension, anxiety and arteriosclerosis that multiple cardiologists couldn’t figure out. I wasn’t overweight, I was eating the SAD healthy diet.

    It wasn’t until I was laying on a cath table at 29 years old listening to a cardiologist tell me I have the heart of a 70 year old with all the calcium build up.

    I was desperate to find a fix and found Dr. D and his work. He is awesome and the first cardiologist that knew what the hell may be the cause.

    1 year later down to my lowest weight since high school, normal blood pressure, calcium build up has ceased and I’m off all my blood pressure and anxiety meds. Simply by eating paleo, avoid wheat and take D3/Omega 3.

    Kudos Robb for having the doc on!

  8. says

    Money quote from Dr. Davis: “[Wheat] is the darling of the food industry because it is their nicotine. It is the stuff that makes you come back. It is the stuff that makes you hungry in a 90- to 120-minute cycle, and so if you eat more, you consume more, you buy more, they make more money. So this is the reason, I believe, why, if you look at the products on the supermarket shelf, it’s tough, it’s really tough, to find foods that don’t contain wheat because it stimulates appetite.” [approx. 18 minutes in to episode]

    Greg and Robb, thanks for bringing on such a great guest. Definitely going to get my hands on Dr. Davis’ book ASAP.

  9. Chris Kurn says

    On the going out of business points early on regarding surgeons vs. pharmaceuticals, I kind of get the sneaking suspicion that one of them wants to be out of business while the other wants more business. I would wager most doctors wish all they had to do were repair us after stupid accidents, not prescribe a handful of meds for an overweight 25 year old.

  10. Satori says

    Great podcast. I will buy this book even though I’m not eating wheat.

    I hope you guys keep doing the podcasts. They are fantastic and LITERALLY changed my life. THANK YOU.

  11. Tim says

    The one thing that did resonate with me was that whole lack of paleo label on this book. When you mentioned it it suddenly made me realise that I can perhaps convince my otherwise close minded friends/family with this new book. I suspect they are sick of the word paleo coming out of my mouth 😀

  12. Rob Is says

    One of my fav podcasts ever. Dr. Davis kicks it!

    I’ve been very strict gluten free for 11 months now even though I don’t react to it too much, but the ‘build up’ definitely messes me up (gut probs) and it’s a big reason why I am a huge proponent of the paleo schtick.

    Every Wednesday my dept at work gets bagels and I keep going on and on about how gluten is death. Most think I’m crazy, but I’m glad to be able to share such a well constructed conversation with the paleo-curious. And the book title is a winner.

    PS poor Greg! First he misses the podcast specially designed for him and then he has to play mute host. Redo last week– it will be fun to compare John and Greg’s answers!

    PSS John was great. Have him back constantly.

  13. Kathy says

    Well. . .to repeat. . .great podcast! I keep thinking I’ve heard/read just about everything, but wheat causing a greater blood sugar spike than candy? Wow! I’ll have to get this book for me and others. Thanks for the great work all y’all!!!

  14. Michele says

    Great podcast! Dr. Davis is always interesting to read or listen to.

    I think that Dr. Thomas O’Bryan worked with Cyrex Labs on their gluten screening tests. Sean Croxton – Underground Wellness – has interviewed him several times and he is really interesting. His website is

    Thanks for all of the free information that ends up costing money at Amazon!

  15. Kevin Cann says

    The increase in celiac disease is very interesting. Anyone familiar with Pottenger’s cats? It is a study that I think may explain what is happening to our genes from generations of ingesting gluten. What do you guys think?

  16. says

    Robb – Absolutely wonderful program! Of course, I’m bias because I just want to hear you talk about diet and not shoes for lifting, that said I think the most important information Dr Davis shares was about the unreported changes in wheat itself that he feels he recognizing by tracking the changing effects people are getting from eating wheat.

    Of course, with the GE food being literally pushed down our throats, we are well aware of how careless the USDA is with our food plants but until now we really haven’t been paying attention to things that have been being done to food plants for the last many years. (I’m probably trying to say EIGHT THOUSAND YEARS)

    I have another example of this covert manipulation of nutrition.

    I think it’s pretty well accepted by the Natural Food Community that George Osawah and macrobiotics were curing cancer with his Brown Rice fast/diet back in the 50’s and early 60s. I think everyone is also aware that macrobiotic’s effectiveness with cancer prevention and curing for the past 20 years has been laughable.

    Dr Alan Kapuler, who was featured in one of Dr Weil’s early books, prolonged his own life with the macrobiotic dies for about 20 years (I believe) Dr Kapuler ate little but brown rise, miso and fresh garlic, 3 meals a day. His diet was successful in that he remained alive for twnety years while the 20-odd classmates who had the same exposure Alan had to a cancer agent in a university lab and chose the chemo path had all dies within a few months of starting treatment.

    Dr Kapuler is a molecular biologist who is also is one of the greatest seedsmen in the United States (found of Seeds of Change)

    One day he sort of woke up “Macro is maintaining my life, but macro is unable to cure my cancer. What’s the deal?” After substantial research he found the explanation: The US-Sponsored GREEN REVOLUTION had replaced the genetics of rice (as I remember it) back in the 60’s, which resulted in the falling off of the macro cancer cures.

    Dr Kapuler said ‘Brown Rice no longer has the energies it once had that led to deep healing. Rice is not what it used to be.’

    The bad news: I said to Kapuler “Well ,get some of the old rice out of a seedbank and start growing it for us!”

    To this he said “Allan, it’s gone, it’s all gone. There is none in seedbanks and the Green Revolution successfully replaced traditional rice growing in every remote valley in the world. The real stuff is simply gone now.”

    That’s pretty scary.

    Apparently, they did the same thing to wheat.

    And what other crops.

    Dr Davis pointed to the obvious thing that none of us really want to think of: if a portion of society benefits profoundly from reducing the quality of our food supply, how can we imagine they didn’t do it intentionally?

    Thanks Robb and Greg

    PS Alan Kapuler finally gave up on curing himself with diet (He is deeply vegan) and was able to be cured with a modern chemo technique that is drawn from genetic engineering technology (How’s that for irony?)

    • Mrs. F says

      On a related point, this article on a farmer developing heirloom, historical wheat crops was in the Washington Post today: It doesn’t hit the science too hard, but does mention much lower protein content in historic varietals of wheat. There is absolutely something to the profitability, “nicotine” notion Dr. Davis discusses. It takes a lot of work to get out from under modern seed technology. So, is wheat a lost food forever?

      • says

        Well…Lik eDR. davis said, wheat has always been a problematic food for humanity (as have all grains to varying degrees) but the modifications in the past 50 years has turned this into a much larger problem.

  17. J says

    Robb –
    Yesterday on your twitter account someone mentioned something about the China Study and how it was flawed; you agreed. Can you elaborate on the study and why it was flawed/ the conclusions are incorrect?


  18. Mary says

    Amazing podcast. I agree with Robb that it’s a good thing this book doesn’t have Paleo attached to it. Unfortunately when people hear you talking about the diet you follow, they tend to just mentally insert you into the loony bin category. This doctor definitely does not belong in the loony bin! It’s also good that it focuses on just one thing–wheat being the worst offender.

    Is that documentary filmaker Michael Moore still around? Maybe someone can convert him to gluten-free and get him to help make a movie about this!

  19. Dean says

    Great episode, I have been following his blog for a while. Used to be the heartscan blog, recently renamed “”
    His post about Oats was the one that snapped
    me out of the delusion that they were the ‘poster child’ grain, when I was first getting into the whole paleo life.
    Don’t think I heard his blog mentioned during the whole episode. Could be worth a mention to for the listeners who weren’t aware of it.

  20. Thomas Hardy says

    Awesome podcast as always! Read your book robb so I understand the whole grain story and what not. I totally agree that eliminating grains makes me feel/look/perform better. My question- Why does most docs, nutritionists,USDA,AHA, & the genearl populace think that whole grain is better? My take is its all about money$$$. What is yours?

  21. Harlan says

    Please comment on the truth of this statement- Dr. Peter Green, director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University Medical Center, told CBS News, “A gluten-free diet is not necessarily a healthy diet. People who are on a gluten free diet for an extended period can become iron-deficient and B Vitamin deficient.”

    Can a gluten free diet lead to iron and VitB deficiency?

  22. says

    How long until the transcript of this podcast is out? We want to use this and the audio for internal staff education as well as a part of the lessons in our Sustainability School.
    Thanks for this amazing resource!

  23. Lloyd says

    I think the reason you get more buy-in on paleo from cardiac surgeons than cardiologists is intermittent reward. It’s a very powerful motivator, like a slot machine that lets you win every so often. There is a small percentage of the population that actually does pretty well on carbs and cardio. They would do better eating meat and veggies, but they do OK and provide the occasional success that encourages the cardiologist. The surgeon doesn’t see these people and doesn’t get the reward. Surgeons only see the failures.

    Just a hunch, I have no ideas on how to prove it. We need to find a way to convince the MD community before the slot machine takes all of our money.

  24. Natalie says

    Whole wheat bread raises blood sugar more than white bread? Gotta tell that to the Weston Price people, they’re still too hung up on the “healthy whole grains”.

    Great interview, I’ll definitely checking out the book. However, I think excluding wheat is only one step, albeit major, of course. There’re also other grains to consider, PUFAs, sugar, HFCS, etc.

  25. Alex says

    One of my co-worker’s father recently had a stroke and has now diagnosed with Neglect Syndrome, in which the left side of his brain is essentially ignore queues to react or provide right-body functionality.

    She didn’t fill me in on too much additional information, but I know they’re love food lovers and while not BIG people, eat a SAD. Dr. Davis mentioned that many neurological diseases are caused if not negatively affected by gluten-containing/grain-based foods.

    I just wanted to know if there’s been any research to implicate gluten in this particular disorder. I couldn’t find anything connecting the two in my search, nor do I have any medical/science background.

    Regardless, love your blog/podcast and the movement in general.

  26. Barbara says

    Thank you for the interview.
    1. Is gluten intolerance/sensitivity/allergy and celiac all the same thing? Is there maybe just a difference in a degree to which gluten effects a body?
    2. Before I came across this podcast I have been looking like crazy for test(s) that would tell me if gluten is bad for me but from what I have found and from this interview I see that all the tests are a waste of money? Is it correct? There is nothing really there?
    3. I considered elimination diet but I read that some people might not feel any different on that diet but nevertheless gluten does have a negative impact on them just no side effects. Sort of a stealth “bad boy”. Is it possible or are there always some side effects?

  27. says

    Thanks so much for this podcast… what an eye opener to hear this from a heart surgeon! I don’t need to be converted… but know lots of folks who do, sharing!

  28. Arron says

    Great show. I’m new to the podcast so I’ve only listened to a couple of them. Very entertaining and informative. Is it me or does Dr. Davis sound just like Stan Lee?

  29. Bill Evans says

    All I have to say is wow. I’m starting a 30 day wheat free period right now to see how I react. Here is a little family history; I have two aunts that have lupus, I have one uncle that was just diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, 2 cousins that are schizophrenic, and the vast majority of us (including myself) are all 50 pounds or more overweight.

    Here’s hoping for dramatic results.

  30. Jessie (Alexandria, VA) says

    Best podcast ever! I love how passionate Dr. Davis was. And so detailed in his explanation of why wheat is evil. My father has a wheat allergy and high cholestrol (and high blood pressure) but he refuses to stop eating wheat. My brother has vitiligo and bad environmental allergies… he’s already planning to give up wheat for lent next Spring (I can’t convince him to start NOW). But I’m sending them both to this podcast in hopes that it will tip the scales for them.

    I’ve been wheat-free since Nov 2010. I definitely notice less hunger on a wheat-free, dairy-free, legume-free paleo/primal diet! (Plus I’ve lost 20 pounds… which certainly isn’t a bad thing!)

  31. Dr Paula says

    Oh man, this was a fantastic podcast. I loved the biochemical/physiological explanation of amylopectin B in whole wheat. It made so much sense, and I ran home (I listen to Paleo podcasts while running, and have cut down my intensity because of what I have learned about the cortisol effect) to tell my husband, who has been resistent to giving up carbs. But he has been complaining that he’s been working out at the gym for 6 months and has built up his endurance and muscles but still can’t lose his belly. He is now willing to give up his 6 days/week of pasta and give wheat-free a try, based on my promise of him losing weight. Baby steps are better than nothing.
    My 18 yo son and I (58) have been grain-free/dairy-free for 20 months and we believe in it. I’m still working on reading your book, which is on my bedside table, and now I need to read it more so I can read Wheat Belly next.
    I find it encouraging that more of the mainstream medical profession is starting to move away from the low-fat, whole-grain theory of health, but we have a long way to go. The NY Times Magazine this Sunday had a 9 page advertisement about Multiple Sclerosis, and not a single word about how changing diet could help. It was all about the drugs. My colleagues think I am nuts to not order low-fat diets on my obese, hi-cholesterol patients. I hope you will have a relevant seminar in NY soon.

  32. Momagn5 says

    I was referred (today) to T.P.S. site/author after a casual conversation with a therapist about diet and how it affects our body. She happened to be following the lifestyle, and my comments that 1) gluten free isn’t exactly the healthiest (too many of today’s gf foods are processed and loaded with sugar/fats for “flavor and texture” to closely represent wheat based products–4 of my children have cd so I know a lot about it); 2) our Food Pyramid is upside down (because of the push by those in Agriculture who grow mainly wheat and corn in America). Since the summer of ’11, I’ve watched several documentaries on food/diet/the American life choices (disturbing ‘secrets’). One episode supported TPS, and recently changed my thinking. I was thrilled to learn about this website, as it 1) gave me another resource to study and 2)proves I’m not the only one thinking this way! Can’t wait to make more changes and learn more about the TPS!

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