William Davis (cardiologist)
William R. Davis
|Alma mater||Saint Louis University|
William R. Davis is a Milwaukee-based American cardiologist and author of health books known for his stance against "modern wheat", which he labels a "perfect, chronic poison." This view had previously been rejected by the medical and agricultural industry based on conjecture, minimal controlled studies, and challenges inherent to clinical research, however anecdotal evidence such as Dr. Davis's and among many patients in the western populace suggest more research is necessary to understand and measure physiological and psychological influences that gluten and today's contemporary cultivars of wheat may have on human health apart from non-therapeutic dietary trends. In a review of May 2015 published in Gastroenterology, Fasano et al. conclude that, although there is an evident "fad component" to the recent rise in popularity of the gluten-free diet, there is also growing and unquestionable evidence of the existence of non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS).
Wheat Belly in the public forum
Wheat Belly became a New York Times bestseller within a month of publication in 2011. Davis says that all modern wheat, which he refers to as "Frankenwheat", is as toxic and as addictive as many drugs and makes people want to eat more food, especially junk foods. In an appearance on The Dr. Oz Show he said, "The wheat of today is nothing like the wheat of 1960, 1950—that is, the wheat that our moms or grandmothers had—so it has been changed. This new crop has implications for human health that have never been anticipated. So this is appropriate for nobody, no human, nobody in this audience, should be eating this modern creation of genetics research."
The book inspired analyses which compare Davis' conclusions with the current evidence-base published in the established scientific literature. One analysis found that Davis used some data that was associated, but did not prove causality (false analogy), compared food data that is not naturally comparable (that is, incommensurable), made false assertions, ignored studies that disproved some of his claims, made assertions that were not backed up by any case studies, made self-contradictory statements and, while he made some statements that were true, they were not catastrophic as he claimed.
One reviewer cited a recent review of studies on refined grains, which concluded: "The great majority [of studies] found no associations between the intake of refined-grain foods and cardiovascular disease, diabetes, weight gain, or overall mortality."
While Davis does not advocate vegan diets, he says that it is possible to stay wheat and grain free on a healthy plant-based diet. He says vegans should eat non-genetically modified fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes and other seeds.
- Undoctored: Why Health Care Has Failed You and How You Can Become Smarter Than Your Doctor (May 9, 2017) ISBN 1623368669
- Rich Food Poor Food: Your Grocery Purchasing System (with Mira Calton, Jayson Calton, and Mark Sisson) Primal Nutrition, Inc. (February 26, 2013) ISBN 0984755179
- Wheat Belly: 10-Day Grain Detox: Reprogram Your Body for Rapid Weight Loss and Amazing Health Rodale Books (2015) ISBN 1623366364
- Wheat Belly Cookbook: 150 Recipes to Help You Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health Rodale Books (December 24, 2012) ISBN 1609619366
- Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health Rodale Books (Aug 30, 2011) ISBN 1609611543
- What Does My Heart Scan Show?: Everything You Need To Know About Your Heart Scan! American Security Network Incorporated (July 14, 2006) ISBN 0976742489
- Track Your Plaque: The only heart disease prevention program that shows how to use the new heart scans to detect, track and control coronary plaque iUniverse, Inc. (July 27, 2004) ISBN 0595316646
- CBS News. "CBS This Morning: Against the Grain - Doctor on how to fight "Wheat Belly"". Retrieved December 16, 2012.
- The Dr. Oz Show. "Are You Addicted to Wheat?". Retrieved December 16, 2012.
- Fasano A, Sapone A, Zevallos V, Schuppan D (May 2015). "Nonceliac gluten sensitivity". Gastroenterology. 148 (6): 1195–204. doi:10.1053/j.gastro.2014.12.049. PMID 25583468.
Although there is clearly a fad component to the popularity of the GFD, there is also undisputable and increasing evidence for NCGS.
- David Quick (September 11, 2012). "'Wheat Belly' continues its run on NYT Best Seller list, but is demonizing wheat and gluten justified?". The Post and Courier. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
- Doctor Oz Episode May 24, 2013
- Julie Jones (July–August 2012). "Wheat Belly—An analysis of selected statements and basic theses from the book" (PDF). Cereal Foods World. 57 (4): 177–189. doi:10.1094/CFW-57-4-0177.
- Fred JPH Brouns; Vincent J van Buul; Peter R Shewry (September 2013). "Does wheat make us fat and sick?". Journal of Cereal Science. 58 (2): 209–215. doi:10.1016/j.jcs.2013.06.002.
- Dr. William Davis: Wheat Is Cause of Obesity and "Most Perverted Food on Store Shelves.", By Camille Lamb Thu., Dec. 13 2012 at 12:47 PM, "Miami New Times". Original quote: "Davis is not an advocate of vegan diets, but he says that it is possible to stay wheat- and grain-free on a healthy plant-based diet. For vegans, he recommends replacing grains with non-GMO vegetables, fruits, soy and other legumes, seeds (like chia and hemp), and nuts".