Many people wonder if wheat is bad for you. What they don’t know is that wheat nowadays might not exactly be… well, wheat.
You may be surprised to learn that it was back in the 1950s when wheat as our ancestors knew it changed forever.
According to an investigative report from Discovery, around that time scientists began cross-breeding wheat in order to eliminate some of its undesirable characteristics and make the plant hardier, shorter, and easier to grow.
At the time, experts were congratulated for their efforts, and some plant scientists were granted prestigious awards—like the Nobel Prize—for this “Green Revolution.”
But the changing face of wheat in the American food supply brought with it some then-unknown hazards, such as the poisonous compound sodium azide and remnants from gamma irradiation, which happens to wheat in the manufacturing process.
In addition to the potentially dangerous additives found in genetically modified (GM) wheat, some experts feel the plant contains a number of novel proteins not originally present in the species. These proteins can be difficult for the body to digest, and may be the cause of rising incidences of conditions like gluten intolerance and Celiac disease.
Cardiologist William Davis, MD, author of the bestselling book Wheat Belly, told the Dr. Oz Show, modern wheat is both addictive and toxic, and the GM plants we consume on an almost daily basis were never tested for safety in humans.
Modern GM wheat, found in most wheat products in the market, greatly elevates blood sugar levels, Davis explained, leading to insulin spikes which can cause chronic inflammation and belly fat.
Eating wheat products daily not only contributes to weight gain, but also makes an individual more susceptible to a variety of medical issues as a result of inflammation, including: heart disease, fatigue, acne, diabetes, arthritis, dementia, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Risks of GM products – wheat is no exception
By now, the fact that GM wheat may be dangerous to mankind shouldn’t be all that surprising; this is not the first time GM products and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have garnered the spotlight for negative health impacts.
Within the last 12 months, a number of GM products have come under scrutiny, most prominently Monsanto corn when research linked the product to cancerous tumor growth in laboratory rats. The data resulted in a global evaluation of GM products, and since that time, Europe has strengthened
GM regulations, and Peru became the first country in the Americas to ban GM production altogether.
Like many of its companion crops, wheat has recently popped onto the radar in terms of safety. While earlier research suggested insulin spikes and chronic inflammation were risks associated with wheat consumption, new research released in 2013 suggested GM wheat may also be responsible for liver failure and even death.
“Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) has developed a type of genetically modified (GM) wheat that may silence human genes, leading to disastrous health consequences,” stated Dr. Mercola on his blog. “Last year, University of Canterbury Professor Jack Heinemann released results from genetic research he conducted on the wheat, which showed with ‘no doubt’ that molecules created in the wheat, which are intended to silence wheat genes to change its carbohydrate content, may match human genes and potentially silence them.”
This gene silencing was accomplished through modified RNA strands designed to modify wheat’s carbohydrate content, but unfortunately, the RNA was also able to silence certain human genes responsible for glycogen production.
Wheat as it was 100 years ago was a healthy whole-grain, and wheat grown to those standards still maintains all the benefits people associate with whole-grains.
Unfortunately, much of the commercial wheat used in today’s foods is GM wheat, which, according to a number of experts, offers more health problems than benefits.