Sunday, November 7, 2010

Dr. Peter Green...a Gluten Flip Flopper?

Let me introduce you to Dr. Peter Green.  Here is some key sentences from his online bio:
Celiac disease has been Dr Green’s focus over the last 10 years with equal concentration on patient care and research. He is one of the few physicians in the United States with an intense clinical and academic interest and expertise in celiac disease. As a result of the need for a coordinated approach for the medical care of patients with celiac disease Dr Green established the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University.
His main clinical and research pursuits, over the last 12 years, has been in the clinical care and investigation of patients with celiac disease.  
As you can see, Dr. Green knows a lot about celiac disease.  If you aren't aware, celiac is a disease caused by an autoimmune response to gluten.  For more on gluten, see an older post I did a while back titled Gluten: Grain's Trojan Horse.  Because of his expertise and maybe because of his geographic location, he has been interviewed on ABC several times on the subject of gluten.  Here is one of him on The View I found on Youtube that was dated 3-17-2007 by the poster.

If you don't have time to watch it all, I will pull a few quotes from the video that are pertinent.  First at the 2:10 mark he says "None of us digest gluten very well.  We didn't evolve to eat wheat."  This is pretty common knowledge to followers of this site and followers of the ones we link on the right side of our blog.  You won't get an argument from us.  Now here is a second important quote at the 6:49 mark Dr. Green says in regard to gluten-free "It is actually a healthy diet."  Now us paleo followers would argue that just going gluten-free isn't as healthy as one could get but that is a topic for a whole other post.

Dr. Green was recently on ABC Nightline dated for yourself.    

At the 3:10 mark when asked this question, "Are there benefits for someone who doesn't have celiac in adopting a gluten free diet?", Dr. Green answered, "Not that I'm aware of."  Here is another quote "A gluten free diet is not entirely healthy.  Often it lacks fiber.  The manufacturers of wheat flours fortify the flours with vitamins and minerals."  Here is one last noteworthy quote, "It's been demonstrated if you are on a gluten free diet long term you can be vitamin B deficient."  I think Richard Nikoley has the vitamin B problem answered on his site.  Or if you don't like his solution just eat some red meat.

The reporters go on to say that going gluten-free can be dangerous unless you have celiac disease.  They say that there are "missing nutrients" that make a gluten-free diet unhealthy for most people.  At no time did they say that people with celiac disease are unhealthy because they are missing these same nutrients from their gluten-free diet.  Why can a celiac patient be healthy without those same missing nutrients???  

Is anyone confused?  I am.  3 years ago Dr. Green says "None of us digest gluten very well.  We didn't evolve to eat wheat."   Now the same person says eliminating glutent is bad for our health.  I searched on Pubmed for published clinical articles Dr. Green was involved in.  There were 10 and not one of them said gluten was a necessary part of our diet.  I will speculate that in the last 3 years there has been much more research published showing that gluten is unnecessary and unhealthy.

Why the change of opinion from Dr. Green?  Maybe keeping as many people as possible eating gluten will broaden the market for drug therapies.  Why stop eating gluten when you can take a pill to mask the problems it causes for celiacs and non celiacs? Dr. Green is the head of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University.  On their site there is a page for parties who are interested in donating to the organization.  Here are a few interesting sentences from that page:
 We regard the laboratory research that we are funding to be the mainstay of seeking an understanding of the immunology of celiac disease. It is through this research that there will be development of drug therapies that will be used as an adjunct to the gluten-free diet.
So the say they are interested in developing drugs to use in conjunction with a gluten-free diet?  Sounds like an invitation for drug companies to come fund research for the latest epidemic to cash in on.  But they say they will develop drugs to be used with a gluten-free diet.  You know how that will go for the majority of people.  When there is a pill, why make sacrifices?  Drug companies know that and it's what keeps them thriving.  People cannot stop putting crap in their mouth except for pills.

I am not sure if I connected the dots on this one but there really is nothing in the Nightline piece that supports Dr. Green's new statements.  Where does Dr. Green get his information to come to his new conclusion?  What are these people eating who have problems with a gluten- free diet?  Is it possible they continue to eat a bunch of crap but now without gluten in it?  

Gluten-free is not the panacea of of nutrition.  Eliminating grains is what needs to be done.  This elimination of calories needs to replaced with healthy fats, animal proteins, and plenty of produce.  Now try to tell me that diet is nutrient deficient.  I have been eating grain free for almost 4 years now and I can tell you I feel better than ever.   

EDIT:  Here is an amazingly related article I read after I published this post by a Family Medicine Practitioner and author Coralee Thompson, MD


1 comment:

Em and Lib said...