William Davis (cardiologist)

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William R. Davis
Alma materSaint Louis University
Scientific career
FieldsMedicine, Cardiology

William R. Davis (born 1957) is a Milwaukee-based American cardiologist, low-carbohydrate diet advocate and author of health books known for his stance against "modern wheat", which he labels a "perfect, chronic poison."[1][2]

Medical experts have criticized Davis for making false assertions about wheat, unsupported by evidence-based medicine.[3][4][5][6]

Wheat Belly in the public forum[edit]

Wheat Belly became a New York Times bestseller within a month of publication in 2011.[7] 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."[8]

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.[3][4]

A 2013 review in the Journal of Cereal Science, concluded "we consider that statements made in the book of Davis, as well as in related interviews, cannot be substantiated based on published scientific studies".[3] A review by the American Association of Cereal Chemists which cited a recent review of studies on refined grains, noted that "the great majority [of studies] found no associations between the intake of refined-grain foods and cardiovascular disease, diabetes, weight gain, or overall mortality."[4]

Harriet Hall has described Davis' wheat belly diet as "another low-carb diet that ignores the bulk of the scientific evidence, makes false associations, and exaggerates grains (pun intended) of truth into delusional mountains."[9]

On veganism[edit]

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.[10]

Selected publications[edit]

  • 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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "CBS This Morning: Against the Grain - Doctor on how to fight "Wheat Belly"". Retrieved December 16, 2012.
  2. ^ "Are You Addicted to Wheat?". Retrieved December 16, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c Brouns, Fred; 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.
  4. ^ a b c Jones, Julie (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.
  5. ^ "Wheat Belly arguments are based on shaky science, critics say". Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  6. ^ "AACC International Publishes Science-Based Response to Wheat Belly". Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  7. ^ Quick, David (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.
  8. ^ Doctor Oz Episode May 24, 2013
  9. ^ Hall, Harriet. (2014). Food myths: what science knows (and does not know) about diet and nutrition. Skeptic 19 (4): 10-20.
  10. ^ 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".