Doctor's Note

If you missed the first two videos of my 3 part series on the latest in gluten, check out Is Gluten Sensitivity Real? and Gluten-Free Diets: Separating the Wheat from the Chat. I’m curious how this has all been received. I hope it helped clear things up.

Please let me know what you thought of my coverage of the best available science I found. If there are any pieces you think I missed or got wrong, please let me know so I can correct them!

Some food strategies that may help with irritable bowel symptoms are covered in a few of my previous videos, such as Kiwifruit for Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Cayenne Pepper for Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Chronic Indigestion.

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  • Leslie

    The role of “FODMAPS” in creating gluten intolerance?

    • Darryl

      FODMAPs don’t appear to create gluten intolerance; however some “wheat sensitivity” irritable bowel symptoms appear due to the FODMAPs found in wheat products.

      Biesiekierski, Jessica R., et al. “No effects of gluten in patients with self-reported non-celiac gluten sensitivity after dietary reduction of fermentable, poorly absorbed, short-chain carbohydrates.Gastroenterology 145.2 (2013): 320-328.

      We found no evidence of specific or dose-dependent effects of gluten in patients with NCGS placed diets low in FODMAPs

      It appears many self-reported gluten sensitivities are due not to gluten, but inulin and oligofructose, FODMAPs for which wheat provides ~70% of intake in American diets (other major sources are onions, bananas and garlic). Ironically, inulin and oligofructose are also the most prominent prebiotics, compounds which selectively stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria (Bifidobacterium
      and Lactobacillus) in the gut, and may account for many of the benefits of whole wheat in diets for the general population.

      • Leslie

        Yes, restricting/eliminating high FODMAPs foods makes a big difference (for the better) for people I know. And it leads me to believe that wheat is in no way innocuous for some people (for reasons outside of gluten, as you have shown). Thanks, Darryl. So many people get caught up, it seems, saying that gluten is not an issue, and therefore think that wheat is safe for everyone, while its ingestion obviously causes great distress (due to wheat’s oligofructose content) for some folks.

      • I as wondering of there is a FODMAPS sensitivity test? Or are we just talking elimination?

        • Darryl

          I’m not aware of one. It would probably involve an elimination diet, followed by reintroducing foods to determine if they were the culprits. A useful guide is:

          Gibson, P. R., & Shepherd, S. J. (2010). Evidence‐based dietary management of functional gastrointestinal symptoms: The FODMAP approach. Journal of gastroenterology and hepatology, 25(2), 252-258.

          From table 1 it appears a low-FODMAP plant based diet would be much more restrictive than gluten-free, and I’d miss beans dearly.

          • Christine Anderson

            I am a breast cancer survivor and a cardiac patient. I also eat a WFPB diet. My new cardiologist is a functional medicine practitioner so we are headed down that road. How would a non-meat-eater survive on a no-beans allowed diet?!

            : ) Thanks for the link.

          • VeganScience

            Hi Christine, congratulations on rebuilding your health. We are very lucky to have access to massive information to make decisions on our own. Thank you so much for “liking” my request for our mentor to share his blood test results the way Harley does. The more data we have, the better choices we can make. I fully support the WFPB diet. It may seem blasphemous to make such request on a person you highly admire and respect and appreciate, but it’s because I have those feelings for him that I am making this request. We’re directed to make requests to Dr. Greger through comments on videos here. The comment below requesting a public share of his results has 10 likes already. I really hope he gets to read it and really consider the benefit that sharing would do for the community and promotion of WFPB diets. Again, thank you Christine, and keep up the good work staying vigilant in maintaining your health.

          • Darryl

            Dr. Greger is quite keen on beans, and I’m apt to agree.

            If on a FODMAP elimination diet, all beans have the fermentable galactooligosaccharides raffinose and stachyose, however, amounts vary. Among legumes, fava beans and mung beans have the lowest GOS content, less than half of others. Cowpeas (black-eyes), lupine, and soy are relatively high. Extended soaking and discarding the soak water will reduce the amounts, and there’s always Beano, which digests the GOS early in the gastrointestinal tract.

            The main essential nutrient for which beans are a uniquely concentrated source (for plant based eaters) is the amino acid lysine. Lysine is ubitquitous in other foods, and one could certainly obtain enough with huge amounts of greens, but practically achieving adequate amounts without beans may entail eating more of other good sources like oat bran, pumpkin/squash seeds, buckwheat soba, etc. I’m not familiar with how these fare, FODMAP wise. Perhaps you could search for higher-lysine foods (that fit your dietary restrictions) using the nutrient search tool at NutritionData, followed by trying out some sample menus to get a feel for amounts required using the nutrition tracker CRON-O-Meter.

          • EarthFreedude

            Exactly. What the heck is left to eat for us?

        • Linda Illingworth,RD

          A FODMAPS (fermentable oligo-di-monosaccharides and polyols) sensitivity test is not available but does involve an elimination diet. You can find one list of foods to avoid on a FODMAPS diet here and others you might find may vary a bit. The point is to eliminate FODMAPS to reduce or improve symptoms. Then reintroduce them one at a time to determine which are culprits for you. There are food sensitivity tests such as those provided by Cyrex Labs that are looking for specific antibody production that may be a helpful place for some people to start. Here’s another great video describing the challenges of determining what might be causing gastric distress: Is Gluten Sensitivity Real

  • Veganrunner

    Ok. So to be the devils advocate I can see why people go gluten free before getting a diagnosis of intolerance etc. Often times a patient is so frustrated because regardless of what they tell their doctor there is no help and they must take their health into their own hands and try and solve a problem alone. Hopefully this will change but currently many patients are on our own and finding a progressive MD isn’t all that easy.

    As someone who is glutenfree I wish I had been tested before eliminating it from my diet. I tested positive on a skin allergy test given to me by an allergist but I guess that isn’t that unusual. All the other tests, including biopsy has come back negative but that isn’t surprising after 6 years! Oh well.

  • Bret Iron

    Could you please, specifically, talk about candida, the overgrowth symptoms, detection, testing, etc. I read and hear so many mixed messages about controlling it. Even avoiding fruit? That just doesn’t seem like a healthy direction to go. BTW – Thanks for all you and your team do, Dr. Greger. I truly enjoy my morning dose of science and nutrition!

    • Rosemary Guy

      I’m interestested in whether I need to cut fodmaps to cut candida. It’s pretty obvious i have issues with this and really need to add the probiotics and when i make fermented foods this goes down as well but still not eliminating the issue. about 30 years ago I had glandular fever and with that I couldn’t eat wheat…..not even tiny amounts. I got over this as I got healthier. However, i haven’t been well recently and changed from vegetarian to whole food plant based. My health has improved but still having issues so did an allergy test (energetically) and I had allergies to dust and pollen (no surprise) and tomatoes (surprise) Since going whole food plant based i have turned into a super pooper but still haven’t got past the candida. maybe i just try and experiment with myself and see what works?

      • Veganrunner

        Just out of curiosity how do you know you have candida?

  • Veg-E

    I just bought a bread machine at goodwill! Cost a whopping $4.99. I make great 4 ingredient bread ~~> flour of choice, hemp seed oil, date sugar and sea salt. that’s it! The bread tastes and smells amazing. If you want healthy bread? Make it yourself.

    • JohnG

      Most bread machines I looked at a while back contain teflon coated parts-something to consider if that is an issue for someone.

      • Veg-E

        Good point John but bread machine teflon is a bit different. have look at this.

        Non-Stick Coating Issues
        The baking areas inside bread makers are coated with non-stick Teflon.Non-stick cookware is normally to be avoided, but there should be no safety issues for bread makers. The heating elements in bread makers are
        almost in direct contact with the dough, unlike ovens which have large open spaces separating the heating elements from the food. This means that bread makers cook breads at much lower temperatures than is possible with ovens (350F). It is believed that non-stick coatings must reach about 500° F before the food is tainted by Teflon break-down. Thus, it is very unlikely to get contamination from the non-stick coatings inside
        bread makers.

        • Kay Lehman

          I bake my own bread (oil-free) using whole wheat flour, water, agave nectar or molasses, vital wheat gluten, ground flaxseed, yeast and salt. I can vary the flavor by using a variety of grains to replace some of the wheat flour. I mix it up in my Kitchen Aid and bake it in coffee cans lined with parchment paper. The bread slices without crumbling and makes great toast but isn’t that great for absorbing–sopping up–any sauces. I bake a few loaves and freeze them.

          • K80

            I’d avoid baking the aluminum into the bread and just bake it in a glass, ceramic loaf pan.

    • Want to share your recipe, Veg-E? I’d like to try it.

      • Veg-E

        Hi Jane, absolutely!
        I make 1lb loafs but you can double this for a full size 2lb loaf. It’s
        ok to put all of the ingredients right in the baking bucket. Start with
        liquids first, yeast last. First- 1/2 cup +4 TBS water. Next-
        2 TBS hemp seed oil, next- 1 1/2 TBS granulated date sugar, next- 1tsp
        sea salt, next-2 1/4 cups Bob’s Red Mill unbleached-unbromated(non GMO)
        flour, last-1 tsp active dry yeast. I set the machine on light or
        medium and let it do it’s magic. Presto! Easy healthy bread. I’ve been making a loaf every
        day since I got the machine. Have a great day!

  • Ro Atkins

    I’d like to know about the role of dermatitis herpetiformis in diagnosing gluten sensitivity? I have always suffered with various symptoms but never got a positive coeliac test, but I do have bad dermatitis herpetiformis which seems to strongly be linked to coeliac disease?

    Thanks so much for these videos, they’ve been great.


    • Guest

      My dermatitis resolved 95 percent by going on a vegan-version of
      the SCD diet “(specific carbohydrate diet”)

    • cfaery

      I would love to know this as well!

      I also used to suffer from DH, but haven’t had it since becoming gluten free (almost 10 years ago now). My blood test and biopsies for coeliac disease came back negative too, even though my gastroenterologist was convinced they would come back positive, as he said my stomach looked incredibly ‘scalloped’. I still don’t understand why it appeared this way, but being gluten free has certainly changed my life for the better! Before I made the switch I was unable to eat without being in agony and I’d lost a dangerous amount of weight!

      I’m loving these videos about gluten sensitivity, and I really appreciate all you do! xx

  • VeganScience

    Dear Dr., Please share with us your latest blood test results. I fully support all your work, but we would all greatly benefit from seeing “the facts” about how our mentor’s info is working in his own life. Harley Johnstone always shares his results (general blood test for item levels) and it really helps promote the vegan cause. You promote transparency with the studies you critique, please grant this information request. Thank you for all you do. Please share or vote up this comment to help Dr. Greger see this request.

    • Thea

      VeganScience: I have a different perspective on the issue. This site is primarily about the science of nutrition. It is not about a vegan cause. And while Dr. Greger occasionally will share with us a published case study when relevant, knowing any one person’s personal medical information is not science. For Dr. Greger to post his stats in the context of this site would be a side distraction from the valid and powerful information presented here. That’s my opinion of course.

      I understand that personal stories are very powerful in helping people to understand/absorb the science. I *love* it when people share their personal stories in the comments sections below videos. I think those stories help others to make positive changes themselves. It helps others to understand the potentially life changing effects of healthy eating. But that doesn’t mean it is appropriate for Dr. Greger to post his private medical information regardless of what it is. I would like to keep Dr. Greger on the professional side of the line for this site.

      Of course, we are free to disagree on this topic. And who knows, maybe Dr. Greger will agree with you! I just wanted to give you another perspective on the suggestion.

      • VeganScience

        Hi, I appreciate your opinion. I see your position.

        I’m about to get detailed and I encourage you not to take disagreement personally. I agree with some of your perspective and I illustrate it in an account of inner thought over the value and fairness of requesting Dr. Greger’s blood test data. LoL it would sound so much more sinister and captivating if I said requesting Dr. Greger’s Blood…! Oooooo!~ lol Anyway, what I am saying Thea is, thank you for giving me your perspective. Trust that it’s in pursuit of truth and fairness. It’s quite long and abstract at points but it really boils the question of philosophy. I’m making it sound like a special dissertation and it’s not that at all. Just an examination of data and philosophy on the matter of Dr. Greger’s blood. There! Haha! That sounds sinister now.. lol You don’t have to read through the quotes section where I illustrate my decision process on the matter of his blood. The last few paragraphs of this comment are most important.

        What happens when we do the best we can with the best information out there?

        Ok, it starts with me responding kinda sharply to what I felt was an inaccurate assumption about me:

        You say, “The site is not about a vegan cause.” But peel back the next layer. The science is saying to be vegan. The site wants users to follow the science, therefore, the site is in fact promoting THE vegan cause. To say the site is not about a vegan cause is really to ignore every single scientific study published here. Or maybe you’re trying to suggest that the evidence is still not in as to what IS the healthiest way for humans to eat. The science is in. You can’t say the site is not about a vegan cause when everything it publishes is about the vegan cause.

        Now please don’t be run off by my critique. I believe you are well intentioned and I will not be unfair. I believe my first paragraph is fair because you took it upon yourself to claim that I think this is a “vegan cause” site and that my comment was unwanted here. So, I just let you know fairly that, not only does this site promote the vegan cause with its science, but I also have positions that have place here.

        I agree that if Dr. Greger just posted his nutrient data without explanation that would be misleading. I’ve been thinking about this topic for a long time now and really have been going back and forth about it.

        [Decision process written-out – scroll past it to save time]

        …”He’s a public figure promoting a certain diet, unless he has something to hide, why not show us in the least what the ratio of omega3 to omega6 is and are his hormones in order.”…”But he’s doing enough just promoting science and science will explain, without his blood test, whether eating 1:1 om3:om6 is best and if flax seeds are the best way to get that ratio and if drinking soymilk messes with your hormones or what effect vegan meat&cheese substitutes have on item levels. If this data is sought after, then work to start studies building data on those questions.”… “But… Dr. Greger is the perfect specimen to study because he eats a lot of soy products, ingests a lot of flax seeds, and represents an enlightened person with more scientific data on what the best foods are to eat. Certainly knowing what he is actually doing to apply his vast knowledge, how he makes up his day, are his nutrient levels healthy, are things that are very important to the data stream. His data would make science. A study should be performed on such a person – if not him, then someone else with his nutrition knowledge and food choices.”… “How do you know for sure he eats lots of soy products and eats flax seeds to bring his om3 levels up?”…”He’s said it in many videos…”… “But would that be science?”… “I think it would, because we would get his testament and it would be like most case studies.”… “Dr. Greger shouldn’t have to go through with this – he does enough as it is already.”…”Yes, he does do enough already – he doesn’t have to – this is just a request and the benefit to the public cannot be refuted.”…”Ok, his results would be fair game for the scientific method to draw conclusions about what specific foods can do to your nutrient levels, but he is just one person and one person is not enough to make conclusions for everyone.”…”True, but… it would be helpful nonetheless. It would be data nonetheless. It would be so easy nonetheless. I don’t mind if he wants to keep it private, but I am entitled to making a request and I am correct that his data would be helpful. The more data the more accurate the conclusion.”… “But what if his results reveal poor nutrient levels. Think about how people would take that data and run with it. We would observe bad blood test results and not know why they were low. Most people would not analyze the data scientifically and would rush to judgement that whatever he believes is false and that would be very harmful.”… “This is very true… that would be a very bad outcome of him sharing results that were negative. So I would say, only respond to this request if you have positive blood test results.”… “But that would not be fair to the people who follow Dr. Greger’s promotions. If his nutrient levels are bad, then we need to know why. Maybe it is indicative of poor food combinations or that not all humans benefit from om3:6 being 1:1. Maybe mixing soy with cocoa causes low absorption. OMG this is waaaaaaaay too complicated.”… “Ok, let’s just make the request and see what Dr. Greger thinks about it. If he has negative nutrient levels in his blood for a reason he does not know, I trust that he would pursue it and make his findings known. Maybe there is a condition he wants kept private and that is totally respectable.”… “Ok… all good points. I’ll just wait and see. I would love to see a group study of people with Dr. Greger’s knowledge and food choices but that would be very difficult and time consuming. I still hope it happens though and I will make strong efforts to start a study like this.”
        ***********************end decision account********

        In support of publishing very basic blood test results I have to point out that, while you may not realize it, you support them being published as well. I explain…

        You say his results would be a distraction And that they are not science. You then go on to say how beneficial some anonymous strangers sharing their unverified experiences help others make positive changes in their lives. You actually support unverified anonymous data being the source that “changes” peoples’ lives. The truth is we know nothing about these incredible sources. Those are the only things that are not science.

        On the matter of a man who’s life mission, as verified by his uncompensated volunteer work, is to make people healthy with nutrition facts, he, he is just not significant and would only be a distraction. How do you balance those two contradictory positions? Unverified, unqualified, unsubstantiated, anonymous, data you, “*love*”. But verified, qualified, substantiated, known data you, *hate*? You really can’t hold both sides of the argument.

        I think I’ve made the case that your position against Greger’s blood being relevant comes solely from the idea that you are not comfortable with sharing simple personal data publicly. But then again, I know nothing about your lifestyle and what facts you know, and I don’t see any benefit to knowing what your vitamin C levels are. Dr. Greger on the other hand, would be priceless information to find out what exactly he eats for a few years and what exactly his blood serum levels of nutrients are.

        Also, knowing that he had low vitamin k levels and high glucose levels would not be the same as knowing he had something like an STD. A person who tests low for vitamin C in their blood can have that changed within hours. So there would be no damning conclusions or harmful exposure that would come from something like that coming to the public. So should we really be calling this “personal medical information” the same for nutrient levels as for STD’s? I really don’t think so and to do so is really inaccurate, unfair and misleading.

        See the more I write, the more I realize this is just a matter of philosophy for the one subject – the doctor. Sharing his blood test results would result in no harm unless his nutrient levels were poor. Share them, or don’t share them. I can see reasons for both. But the question of whether the data would be useful is not up for opinion. It is, in fact, science, that says data is valuable, and Dr. Greger is a unique specimen – very-valuable-data.

        I appreciate whoever took the time to read my comments. The more free interaction humanity can have with each other, the more science can direct our decisions.

      • VeganScience

        Thea, I just have to say, I like to write – I always look for opportunities to have a nice writing exercise. I really hope you don’t take my long comment personally. Just sharing my feelings with you in hope to find best answer. But, it’s important for me to validate for you that I know you said “I just wanted to give you another perspective on the suggestion.” And that you did. And it I really appreciate. I really value exchanges of ideas. I am really going to work on my delivery though of critiquing. My comment style was wild and jagged lol. I’m telling you this so you know it was just a free-write of my feelings there. Nothing personal. And… I recognize that you didn’t say my comment was unwanted. I just felt like you implied it. Ugh… Here’s to hoping you like free-writing too. I do believe there is a lot of truth in what I said though. Notwithstanding, thank you for sharing your opinion. <3<3<3 It was just an honest free-write.

        • Veganrunner

          Vegan science and Thea,
          Yes indeed you like to write! You should catch Dr Greger in person. He is amazing and very personal. That is what makes this website work so well. He is approachable and funny. He tells a wonderful story about his grandmother and how her experience with health influenced his career as an MD and WGPB. But the most amazing thing about seeing Dr Greger in person is that he has so much energy! And everyone in the audience wanted that for themselves. (The healthy lifestyle) I am sure his bloodwork is amazing! I remember when I posted my bloodwork after being vegan for 6 months he chimed in. Who knows, he might surprise you. But the man is sooooo busy. I think he travels more than anyone I know.

        • Thea

          VeganScience: I’m sorry I gave the impression that your comment was unwanted or in any way inappropriate. I think it is a perfectly valid opinion. Just not one I agree with. :-)

          It’s not something I want to debate. I just felt it was important that the other side of the issue be presented. And I think the logic of my original reply stands up pretty good. But of course, you are free to see things differently. As VeganRunner says, you may get your wish. I certainly have no sway in that department. Take care and good luck.

  • I have really enjoyed your series about gluten intolerance, but one topic that has not been covered is changes to the wheat plant itself.

    I do not have any symptoms of intolerance, however I have cut back on wheat because as I understand by the process of hybridization and other farming methods wheat has completely changed in it’s molecular makeup.

    This has led me to believe that perhaps the increasing cases of gluten intolerance my be related more to the changing nature of wheat rather than wheat itself (the original plant).

    Here is one study that I found that showed this by comparing diets with modern versus ancient wheat.

    I would love to hear you cover this, and maybe changes in other foods due to hybridization and also genetic modification.


  • Sara

    For the first and only time, I have to disagree with the Doctor.
    In theory, the suggestions of this video are very valid. But it all depends on what kind of healthcare system you have. I started having GI bad symptoms about 13 years ago and went to several specialists. They all prescribed some allergy tests and celiac tests and told me to try to go lactose free OR gluten free for a month (in two differents periods). I tried all, and in about three years I discovered nothing wrong. I changed my diet by myself after I saw that no doctor was really interested in helping me. I became a quite healthy vegetarian (lots of whole foods, but unfortunately some diary and eggs) and my symptoms improved a lot. I then began following the whole food plant based diet, but my GI distress actually got worse and after 6 months it still was bad. My family doctor didn’t help: She told me instead that 80% of her patient suffer from digestive discomfort and refused to prescibe any other test, and also discouraged me to eliminate high gluten foods, since “having IBS is a NORMAL thing”.
    After a few months, I finally decided to try the high-gluten-cereals free way (of course keeping the whole food plant based diet) and solved all my problems in literally 4 days. If I only had tried a healthy vegan ND gluten free diet 13 years ago I would have passed very happier years.
    After two weeks I tried again having some wheat, and had a relapse of my symptoms. I now have my diagnosis, which I made by myself.

    The point is: I agree: before trying a gluten free diet, change to a whole food plant based diet. But if you don’t solve and doctors don’t offer you any solution (which is very frequent for a lot of health issues here in Italy), try to eliminate high gluten grains for a few weeks and then re-challenge them: It costs nothing and you save money and a LOT of time for diagnosis. Just because doctors ca’t tell you if you’re sensitive or not, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t, and discovering that by yourself may be very simple.
    But I agree: please don’t go gluten free if you can avoid that! How can you deliberately avoid wheat, such a healthy and delicious cereal, without a good reason?? Thanks for reading. Sara

    • Thea

      Sara: I totally understand what you mean when you say we have to diagnose and fix ourselves. It sucks you suffered through those 13 years, but I’m really happy for you that you eventually found the answer. Thanks for sharing your story.

  • Doh!

    What of irreversible ataxia – and allegedly (according to my MD) other serious AI impacts – that come from gluten sensitivity from which you may experience no GI discomfort? (The modifications to the modern wheat plant and addition of extra gluten to foods is suspected as part of this)

  • Aurora

    Hi Dr Greger, could you talk more about SIBO (since it was the highest cause of symptoms in the study) and how to go about diagnosing and treating it? Thanks.

  • Maui

    Doc you sheepishly mention, then advocate, small intestine biopsy as a diagnostic test for symptoms that may be Celiac disease / Gluten intolerance. You have got to be kidding. That before simply avoiding it for a few weeks?

    • Veganrunner

      Maui it is actually the Gold Standard. You can have a negative blood work test and still have Celiacs disease. And unfortunately if you have been off gluten for many years the biopsy can be negative because the intestinal lining has healed. This is important because someone with Celiacs can be affected with a crumb of bread.

  • Annita

    Dear Dr. Greger,

    Should for any reason somebody with rheumatoid athritis avoid gluten and sugar.

  • Karen

    Do we need gluten for any nutritional reason?

    • guest

      Mankind has been on Earth as a non-wheat/non-gluten consumer for far longer than as a consumer of wheat and gluten.

    • What a smart question, which I have not yet heard before! Gluten is simply a source of protein, which is fine for anyone not allergic, intolerant, or a sufferer of Celiac disease. If you need or prefer to avoid gluten for those reasons or any other, you can easily find other sources of protein in legumes, other gluten-free whole grains (especially quinoa, buckwheat, and amaranth), nuts, seeds, and leafy greens. See Plant Protein Preferred for more on protein sources and for more on why you may need to avoid gluten see other videos on gluten.

  • Annie

    A family member thought she was celiac because she had debilitating diarrhea when eating wheat. She found out is was BROMATED flour. Now she makes her own bread with unbromated flour and is symptom free. Bromate is used widely in products using flour.

  • Annie

    I heard that wheat became genetically modified about the time of when Nixon was Pres. and that the protein molecule in the wheat was increased eightfold. Can we find out?

    • Thea

      Annie: To my knowledge, there is currently no GMO wheat on the market. Check out:

      That doesn’t mean that farmers haven’t been modifying our food the old fashion way, through more normal and natural processes. But I understand that *almost all* of our modern food, including food like broccoli, has been modified in this way from its ancestor plants. So, this historical process in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing. After all, how many studies show that broccoli is good for you?

  • Cathy

    Thank you for the excellent videos. I would point out that there is another autoimmune disease besides celiac that gluten can be an issue with. I have Eosinophilic Esophagitis. The first thing my GI did was put me on a top six elimination diet – which includes gluten. As it turns out she was right. I can easily distinguish between certified gluten-free oats and regular oats, for example .

  • Brian Murphy

    I disagree with Dr. Greger’s approach to diagnosing potential gluten sensitivity. The diagnostic course he lays out is expensive,invasive, and can take years to reach a diagnosis. And, if that diagnosis is anything but Celiac, the doctor making the diagnosis is going to push potentially harmful medications as the solution, not blueberries. Also troubling was that Rheumatoid Arthritis was not even in the differential. Wheat is a common trigger for RA flare-ups and the disease often goes undiagnosed for years! Simply eating brown rice instead of wheat solves the problem without any negative side-effects, no real added cost, and provides immediate relief regardless of why the wheat was causing the problem. If the symptoms do not resolve on brown rice, then gluten wasn’t the problem. I’m not opposed to a simple blood test to rule out Celiac, but in case of suspected gluten sensitivity, I prefer the combat approach – fire,aim, fire- rather than the more academic approach proposed in the video. The academic approach might ultimately give one a more satisfying answer, but only after the patient has suffered unnecessarily for years.

  • rumicat

    Is it possible that gluten is just harder to digest than other forms of protein? It might be interesting to think about the structural biology of it compared to say the structural proteins in beans, rice, nuts, and muscle fibers. Maybe more of it makes it into our large intestine, leading to a protein feast for bacteria that don’t normally get to go out for surf and turf. Us there anything in the literature about that? I don’t have any problem with bread or oatmeal, but I have noticed more GI complaining with seitan.

  • TheVegan

    About 11 years ago I was experiencing extreme symptoms of ulcerative colitis. I did not know it was UC but I spoke to someone who said I could get a colonoscopy to confirm but that it was UC and that it was caused by my being gluten intolerant. I later confirmed that what was happening to my health was UC and a couple years later did a test that used saliva to also confirm I was gluten and soy intolerant. During this time, other than the initial trauma of UC I never had any symptoms of gluten or soy intolerance. At the point I got the diagnosis I quit gluten and soy. 6 months later I went back to them and through the entire time I felt the same. No issues while on gluten or off. In 2007 I did another test. This one from a stool sample at Entero Lab which again showed I was gluten and soy intolerant. I did a couple more after that and even with quitting gluten and soy the results showed I still have activity that shows I am intolerant and am being exposed to gluten and soy.
    BTW I have been consistently GF and SF for at least 5 years(although maybe I am getting contamination from packaged food or restaurant food) and I have tested for celiac while still eating gluten and do not have it.
    Plus I have been vegan for 26 years.

    So my question is, is what I was told is true that I can have no symptoms of gluten intolerance but still have bad things going on that could have bigger consequences such as my UC?

    Also has anyone heard of EnteroLab and do you know if their gluten and soy sensitivity tests of value?

    Thanks for any help out there.

    • Veganrunner

      Could you have microscopic colitis?

      • TheVegan

        I don’t know. I just know I was diagnosed 11 years ago with severe ulcerative colitis.
        Why do you ask?

        • Veganrunner

          Of I didn’t realize you had a scope done. It sounded like you were unsure of your diagnosis.

          So your question is can you not be gluten intolerant and still have bowel stuff going on?

        • Veganrunner

          And the only definitive test for Celiacs is bowel tissue sample. If you test negative with blood test you can still test positive. But if your bloodwork is positive no need for intestinal biopsy.

  • Guest

    Hello, what is the opinion on this site of whole bread? This thing seems very hard to digest and very irritating on GI tract and is also very salty most of the time~

  • Susan

    we cut back on gluten, because we are older and were told by a nutritionist that is causes inflammation in your body. So I don’t use pasta anymore,I use zucchini as our pasta. We wondered if you think gluten does cause inflammation in your body too.

  • Steve Saso

    My wife and I love your website and we have been eating a mainly vegan diet for
    about two years now. We have donated to your site in the past. I have recently
    been trying to go gluten free, as I may be gluten intolerant. I have been eating
    Rudi’s brand gluten-free bread. I noticed the other day that one of the
    ingredients is egg whites. We know that eggs are not healthy and we have removed
    them from our diets. So what about the egg whites in the gluten free bread? I
    eat a few slices of the bread each week. Can you tell me if it is better to stay
    away from this bread due to the inclusion of egg whites in the ingredients.

    Thanks, Steve

    • Thea

      Steve Saso: Congratulations on the changes you have made so far. That’s a great accomplishment.

      I can’t say whether or not some egg whites in some bread is enough to cause a problem. You will have to decide that for yourself. But maybe I can help you make that decision with some information about egg whites. Below is my standard post about egg whites when the question comes up:
      There are two problems with eggs, the yolk and the white. (To paraphrase Dr. Barnard.)

      Egg whites are just as bad for you as the yolks. Dr. Barnard talks about the problems that animal protein presents for kidney health. Other experts talk about the (strong in my opinion) link between animal protein and cancer. The question scientists then want to answer is: Is there a causal link? If so, what is the mechanism by which animal protein might cause cancer?

      If memory serves, Dr Campbell in The China Study mentions several ways in which we think that animal protein causes and promotes cancer. Here on NutritionFacts, you can get a great education on how animal protein is linked to the body’s over-production of a growth hormone called IGF-1. IGF-1 helps cancer to grow. To watch the series about IGF-1, click on the link below and then keep clicking the “next video” link on the button to the right until you get through the bodybuilding video. Then you will have seen the entire series.

      And Darryl recently reminded me about the methionine issue. Egg whites have *the* highest concentration of methionine of any food:,18,9,0,13,14,5,4,42,16,17,15,6,3,2,11,7,19,21,12,10,8,22
      Dr. Greger did a nice video showing the link between methionine and cancer. So, there are two clear pathways linking animal proteins, especially egg whites, to cancer.

      Darryl also pointed out that, “…high methionine diets increase coronary risk in humans. In its associations with cardiovascular disease and other disorders, homocysteine may be functioning partly as a marker for the major culprit, excess methionine.”

      And while I can’t find it right now, I believe that Toxins has pointed out two other health issues with egg whites.

      Dr. Greger recently posted some videos on how animal protein can raise insulin levels. I’m not sure if that applies to egg whites or not. But here is one of the videos. I can’t find the other one.

      With all of the information we have about the harmful effects of animal protein in general and egg white in particular, I think it’s best to stay away from egg whites. But you of course will have to decide that for yourself when it comes to your bread. Good luck.

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      I agree with Thea “You will have to decide that for yourself” . My question is why is gluten a concern? You can certainly avoid it if you think it’s a problem, but to my knowledge only those diagnoses with celiac disease need to avoid gluten. Is there other breads with no eggs? Thanks for your post and contributions to our site! Can’t thank you enough for your support.

  • Number 6

    Dear Dr. Greger and staff of,

    I’m a newly registered member of the website but actually following you and your recommendations for one and a half year. Having suffered from a heart attack a couple of years ago I find this site very informative and useful.

    There’s a matter I haven’t found addressed here that I’m concerned for: Wheat Agglutinin Germ (WGA). I can see from several sources that WGA is highly detrimental for our health:

    In addition I noticed that wheat germ is also considered a high-oxalate food:

    I wonder whether I should just avoid wheat germ or quit eating whole wheat grains altogether. Or there are maybe scientific indications that wheat germ is harmless in relation to WGA and overall healthful considering all the nutrients packed in there.

    Thank you very much for your answer and for all information and support you provide people with on a daily basis.

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Thanks for reposting this! I don’t think whole grains should be avoided. Eating whole grains may be as effective as drugs. The totality of the evidence on whole grains is very positive, fights cancer, adds fiber, contains phytonutrients and antioxidants, etc. Only folks with severe allergies or intolerances need to avoid. Hope this helps.

  • Jan

    Hi, I had a blood test done many years ago to identify my food sensitivities. Gluten and gluten related grains were at the top of my list. I am also sensitive to many vegetables and some fruits. Over time I learned that the fruits and veggies that cause my problems are high on the FODMAP scale. I have a great FODMAP app I downloaded from Monash University. It’s a very simple to use guide that basically gives you a green, red or yellow light regarding the specific food. I was surprised how it seemed to match by food sensitivity blood test. I eat gluten free now and avoid those red light FODMAPS. Doing so much better!!!!

  • heather

    What are your thoughts on Dr. Tom O’Bryan? Some of the research he uses portray gluten to be bad for all people with or without sensitivities. The claim as I understand it is that Celiac is a disease that you get over time by feeding your body gluten until it basically can’t handle it anymore… There are even claims that the gluten is what causes tears in your intestines that allow other foods into the blood stream which cause your body to create antibodies against them which is what seems to be causing other food sensitivities… He went so far as to say gluten can impact autoimmune diseases and possible make it more likely that someone could be diagnosed with schizophrenia later in life.

    He uses plenty of research to back up what he is saying but its so contradictory to these gluten videos… I usually trust what I see from Dr. Greger but this one has me questioning.

    any thoughts on Dr. Tom O’Bryan’s work?

  • Jennifer

    The love that you talked about small intestine bacteria. I suffered from that but my MD refused to treat me. So I took herbs recommended my Dr Furham’s website for yeast and bacteria overgrowth and after 2 months I had no GI issues!!! I couldn’t eat any food without having horrible gas, bloating and constipation.

  • Thomas H. Imhoof

    I went on a gluten-free diet 3 years ago after reading the book “Wheat Belly” by Dr. William Davis. I just wanted to try it, to see if it would make any difference in how I felt. I never got tested for wheat or gluten allergies. I had some pretty intense cravings for about a week, then they went away. The first thing I noticed, though, was that I was thinking more clearly. (Now I have learned that gluten reduces circulation to the brain.) This alone was enough to make me want to continue being gluten-free, so I continued avoiding gluten. After several months, I realized that my joints no longer hurt. I’m 60 years old, so I just took it for granted that the joint pain I was feeling, particularly in my knees, was just part of the aging process. Now I’m out there riding my bike and playing basketball again like I’m 20 years younger. I have no desire to ever go back to a diet that includes gluten. I find it ironic that Dr. Greger advocates a whole-food, plant-based diet (which I do), but fails to make the distinction that grains and especially wheat are NOT whole foods– they must be processed before we can eat them.

    • Thea

      Thomas: The only “processing” that wheat and other whole grains need is boiling in water. The grains are still, “whole” when they come out of the water. (In fact, one of my favorite dishes at a local restaurant includes boiled wheat berries as one of the ingredients.) That type of “processing” (boiling) is no different than cooking any veggies or legumes. As studies on this site have shown time and again, cooked veggies and whole grains and legumes are really, really good for you. Do you only eat a raw diet? Do you never cook anything?

      It sounds like your body doesn’t do so well on gluten. There is a small percentage of the human population which shares your problem. I’m glad you are feeling better now being gluten-free.

      Here’s what people need to know about the book Wheat Belly and it’s sister book, Grain Brain.
      The first link above is from a site that is essentially anti-gluten.

  • Annetha

    Re expense of gluten-free foods, some inexpensive substitutes can be found in Indian groceries. Pappadums, for example, can substitute for crackers. (Check ingredients as there are quite few kinds.) Also, my Indian grocery has an entire aisle of various flours, etc. I use chickpea flour to make dairy & egg-free, rosemary-onion flatbread (“socca”), or a rosemary-onion pancake or waffle, albeit using dairy and egg in latter. (Mybad ;-) Leftover pancakes can be used as base for mini-pizzas.

  • Noe Marcial

    gluten free products are basically pure corn starch and sugar… no wonder way those who eat gluten free go worst.. but.. if you cook at home, whith a wfpb diet. but in place of all the grains you eat buckwheat brown rice, quinoa, does not seems to be any deficiency.. i just have been with two cases of non celiac gluten sensitivity.. one my ount she was vegetarian but she was suffering from constant headache with brain damage (and she did all the studies that you can imagine..) aparantly it was inflamation the couse (she have low cholesterol) the thing she went gluten free (but eating wfpb ) and she didt have any other headache and the last study did not show any inflammation… (and she was eating anti inflammatory food before, berries etc.. but the changes was amazing after leaving gluten..)
    the other case was my girfriend with hashimoto’s diseases.. and knee pain during the whole last year.. she stop gluten completely and also casein.
    the knee pain have disappeared completely after the gluten free diet and she also was eating for a year wfpb diet..
    i have share a lot of research of the connection of hypothyroidism and gluten. and it is one interesting study that people that react to gliadin also react to casein, and other grains like corn.

  • Amel

    Hi, I just found out 3 months ago that I’m allergic to gluten. I had a thyroid problem before pregnancy. when I went to see a specialist she didn’t even run a blood test!??. She just put me on medication and I gave birth to make daughter who was born with a thyroid problem. Her thyroid did not fully formed. I don’t know the cause! May be it wasDue to the consumption of the med,or it was just a coincidence?
    One day I woke up and decided to stop the med and live a normal life, I was leaving depression, fear, no intimaCy with my husband. I was fine till the day I met this person studying to become a nurse, she told me about these thyroid vitamins or pills that her and her mom uses. I bought one but I had a really bad headache. I finally decided to stop after 2 tries. I decided to go see this icon place and see where I developed a really painful headaches. They finally run a blood test and the doctor discovered that my gluten in my diet is the problem not thyroid.

  • Heather3

    i was .1 away from having celiac disease. my doctor just laughed and said ha your border line celiac and border line lyme.. anyways would an almost celiac disease or borderline benefit from cutting it out? I didn’t eat it for a week and then I ate a bunch and got a rash all over my lower stomach the next morning. Any advice feeling lost?

  • Ricky Gladney

    This reminds me of what happened to me a few years back. I had been suffering from chronic pain from a knee injury and after a year of pain medication and cortizon shots was told by my doctor that my miniscus was torn and that I needed surgery. We’ll I was terrified of that so I went on the great quest to find an alternative. Gluten free was just peaking a couple of years ago and so that’s the first thing I tried. I dropped all processed foods and went gluten free and after 3 weeks I had ZERO pain. I naturally assumed I was gluten intolerant. However, over the last couple years I haven eaten plenty of gluten and had no adverse reactions at all. I never did buy any of that gluten free junk in stores though. That would just be crazy. Thanks again Doc. Your a genius!

  • tiffany lategan

    hi Doc ,
    so I eat mainly a whole vegan food diet, with the occasional diet coke , black coffee and sometimes a sugar free energy drink .
    however I have a problem , I always feel tired and ‘low’ even after I eat , I also get bloated and gassy pretty easily .
    I used to abuse laxatives ( about 1.5 years ago ) .
    Do you think I could have leaky gut , if so how should I go about healing this?

  • jenny

    Hello, this isn’t just related to gluten but I would really be grateful to find out Dr Greger’s view is on using muscle testing (Kinesiology) to test for food sensitivities/nutritional deficiencies/candida/parasites and so on- based on a muscle weakness from having a vial of each food placed in your hand? Many thanks

  • Feares

    Are there ways possible for celiacs digesting small amount of gluten or maybe reverse the disease? Thank a lot for your work.