geneticsI have become a big fan of these online summits. The format is a week or so of expert speakers on a particular aspect of health. You can listen for free during each summit’s run, and you can purchase the talks in several formats before and after. I have more time than money, so I always take advantage of the free education.

Some of the presentations were more oriented towards professional medical people – researchers and clinicians. I have listened to enough of these that I am catching on to the process and the technical terms, at least to some extent. In general, what I took away from the summit is contained in the bullet points below, from most to least important for us who are health-conscious patients.

First, take a breath and relax. Your genes are not your destiny. In fact, as much as 85% of our health or illness depends on exogenous, non-genetic factors. That’s according to Chris Kresser [].

Next, we need to clarify genetics (the study of an individual gene) vs. genomics (the study of all genes and how they interact with one another). That’s also according to Chris Kresser as above.

We should realize that each individual gene acts or doesn’t act within a system that is impacted by many other internal and external factors. That’s the new science of epigenetics (literally, above genetics).

Third, the genetic and genomic testing that’s available now is not very conclusive. Wikipedia tells us that the definition of a SNP is “a variation in a single nucleotide that occurs at a specific position in the genome.” Several of the speakers, including Chris Kresser and Andrea Nakayama [] among others, pointed out that evaluation one SNP at a time can yield contradictory advice.

Finally, several speakers including Dr. Tom O’Bryan [] stated that one of the best current uses for this type of testing is to encourage and motivate people who have not yet come to the view that health is strongly related to the choices we make about our diets, exercise habits, relationships, and stress management. The summit host, James Maskell, agreed with that assessment.

So what I think we can all learn is that the “Back To Basics” approach that I use in my coaching work is the right one for most of the people most of the time. To find out more about what I believe, keep reading around this site. And please leave a comment or any questions you have – that helps me help you. Thanks.



And it might be worth a try for you too. There are many good reasons why. I’ll list four of the main ones here first and give you sources for the information later on. Also before we begin, notice that the subject here is “grains,” not just “wheat” or only “gluten.”

There are proteins in wheat, rye, corn, and barley that are as addictive as heroin. The damage is different for different people, ranging from increased appetite to depression and more.
Those same proteins cause intestinal permeability (more commonly known as “leaky gut”). In some people the leaks cause a misdirected and inappropriate response by the immune system that leads to inflammation in some organs or tissues (autoimmune disease). The inflammation turns up in whatever part of you is your weakest link. It may be your pancreas (diabetes), your joints (rheumatoid arthritis), your nervous system (MS), your skin (psoriasis or eczema), or your brain (Alzheimer’s). Sooner or later, you will see and feel the effects.
The component WGA (wheat germ agglutinin) is found not only in wheat but also in rye, barley, and rice. It is indigestible and interferes with digestion, causing inflammation in the digestive tract along with other bowel problems and gallstones.
Grains contain phytates, which block absorption of nutrients like iron, zinc, and magnesium. That’s why bread is sometimes “fortified” with these nutrients. It might be better to simply take supplements or eat something else.
On the other hand, grains contain the carbohydrate Amylopectin A, which is highly digestible and therefore raises insulin more than even table sugar. That in turn leads to diabetes and overweight, which are increasing and affecting younger and younger people.

This information comes from Dr. William Davis [], whose desire to help his heart patients led him to synthesize this research and these conclusions. His newest book, Undoctored, includes these ideas from his earlier works, and recommends removing grains from the diet completely, immediately, and forever.

Doctors who agree include Dr. Tom O’Bryan [], Dr. David Perlmutter [], and Dr. Peter Osborne [], among others.
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Why am I sure they are right? Because I have proved it with my own body. When you have an autoimmune condition, you can measure the “antibodies” in your system that are attacking your own joints and tissues. My weakest link is my thyroid gland. I have had thyroid antibodies destroying my own tissue measured as high as 2000 in 2007 that are down to 110 – still high but very much improved. The photos tell the inflammation story – notice the difference in my face from 2007 to 2017. I have lost about 50 pounds with 25 more to go. I have no aches and pains anywhere in my 67-year-old body. I have also put Lyme Disease into remission over the same time frame…but that’s a story for another day.

Your experience with giving up grains may be different than mine. Many people improve much more quickly than I did. Most people see and feel some improvement in the first days, although some have an opioid withdrawal first. I hope you’ll give it a try and let me know your results below.