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Stan M. Gardner MD, CNS
Tuesday, April 30 2013

If Wheat is for Man, Why is There So Much Gluten Sensitivity?

By Stan M. Gardner MD, CNS Notify me when this author publishesComment on Article
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“All grain is good for man, nevertheless, wheat for man.” Whole wheat furnishes some protein, a lot of carbohydrates, and is a source of the minerals calcium, iron and phosphorus, B vitamins and vitamin E. It has been called the “staff of life” for good reason.

But it seems over the past several years, we have noticed an increase in the incidence of wheat-related diseases and sensitivities. The incidence of celiac disease has increased from 1 in 500 fifty years ago to 1 in 133 today. This is certainly not a change in genetic susceptibility. So what could be causing this dramatic change in incidence? Although I don’t think the jury is in, there are some likely causes.

The Main Culprit

Of the diseases associated with wheat intake, the culprit is usually the gluten protein (or gliaden). Although there are 5 other proteins in wheat, gluten protein is the biggest reaction-causing offender.

Celiac disease is caused by exposure to gluten. The body becomes sensitized or allergic to it, setting up an inflammatory reaction that causes the lining of the small intestines to slough away. The enzymes that help break food down for proper absorption are found in the lining. Without those enzymes, the final stage of food breakdown does not take place, resulting in poor absorption of critical nutrients.

Symptoms of celiac disease include:

1. Gastrointestinal

  • gas
  • bloating
  • cramping
  • queasiness
  • constipation
  • diarrhea

2. Neurological

  • headache
  • migraines
  • dizziness
  • balance problems
  • nerve pain
  • weakness
  • tingling or numbness

3. Emotional

  • irritability
  • moodiness

4. Fibromyalgia

  • fatigue

So What's Causing These Symptoms?

Here are some possibilities:

Through hybridization, the gluten (protein) content in wheat has increased significantly. It is the protein content of any product that causes allergies, and the more frequent the exposure, the greater the risk of allergies.

  • Wheat is put in most processed foods (cans, boxes), often as the main ingredient.
  • Wheat is subsidized by the government, thus making it a cheap product to put in many ‘foods.’
  • Centuries ago grains were eaten with nuts and legumes, thus having a reduced exposure.
  • Intestinal health is already compromised in our society.

Intestinal Health

I'd like to address the issue of intestinal health breakdown in greater detail. Some of the causes of our compromised intestinal health include:

  • antibiotics or other medications (NSAIDs, antacids),
  • stress,
  • chemical or toxic exposures,
  • regular ingestion of fast food or junk food,
  • viruses, bacteria or fungal infections

These may destroy the intestinal lining and predispose to leaky gut syndrome. These ‘leaks’ in the intestinal wall permit larger proteins that are not yet broken down adequately to cross the lining of the intestines and be exposed to the immune system. This triggers the sensitivity or allergic response.

Recently a milder form of celiac disease has appeared, called gluten sensitivity. This does not trigger breakdown of the lining of the intestines, but causes clear, reproducible symptoms similar to celiac disease with gluten exposure.

Wheat allergy may not be associated with gluten, but it may have more traditional allergic symptoms, such as hives, nasal congestion, and even anaphylaxis (severe, potentially fatal allergic reaction).

Treatment Options

Treatment of gluten sensitivity or celiac disease is simple: avoid gluten. That does not mean it is easy. In addition to wheat, gluten is found in rye, barley, spelt, kamut, triticale, and there is a little bit in oats. The grains that are free of gluten include rice, quinoa, buckwheat and sorghum.

With care, it may be possible to reintroduce wheat back into the diet over time, but one must always be careful to watch for symptoms. This needs to be done with medical supervision and careful scrutiny of other potential issues with food intake.

Gluten-free products are easier to find now, and a huge industry has developed, providing gluten-free food.

Wheat is for man. The nutrient value is high. Man has interfered with the production and manufacturing of wheat and the overall intestinal health of mankind to the point that many people have become unable to tolerate the God-given gift of wheat.


The office of Stan Gardner, M.D., CNS, is at the Keys to Healing Medical Center in Riverton, UT. For appointments, call 801-302-5397.

Dr. Gardner sends out a Daily Health Secret from his website,  Subscriptions to his newsletter are free.  



  1. Genetically engineered wheat is thought to be the culprit by many.
  2. How does one determine if they are gluten intolerant? Or even more important how to determine if one has Celiac disease?
  3. Thanks for addressing this subject, one I have wondered about for some years. I think we have done so many things to our digestive systems through the SAD way of eating, and also the way our food is raised and processes (chemicals and GMO, etc.) we are experiencing problems that we didn't have a few generations ago. I have a first cousin who is severely impacted by celiac disease, as well as others in his family, but I seem to be okay - thankfully. I am eating strictly plant-based foods, but still have to watch out for GMOs and other growing practices, grow my own, etc. As for which grains have gluten, it is my understanding that oats, and maybe barley? don't have gluten per se, but can pick up some from being processed in the same factilities. As far as oats are concerned, anyway, there's no need to avoid them, just be sure they are certified organic or otherwise labeled non-gluten.
  4. I have wondered about these things and if the wheat we have today is not the wheat that is for man. In my research I have discovered Emmer wheat, grown organically in the northwest US. Emmer is supposed to be the original wheat grown in the Middle East anciently, and it's a low gluten wheat that lacks the elements that cause the Celiac response. I haven't tried using it yet, but I intend to, and it would be great if Doctor Gardner could look into it, too. Thanks for this informative article. Right on!
  5. Dear Dr Gardner, name one of those toxins, and what blood test will reveal that I have a high level of it.
  6. Especially when people with celiac can't take the usual Sacrament bread. We have several people in our Ward with this issue. We have one kind soul who makes gluten free bread that is on one tray. First it goes to the Bishop. That way they ( the people with celiac) know which deacon has the bread they can have. Then the deacons know which people need this particular tray and see that it will get to them. Sometimes that involves trading trays at the back of the Chapel.
  7. I agree that part of the problem is probably the wheat which is modified to increase protein. I guess we don't think God knew what He was doing when He gave us a low protein diet. My husband and I, and most of our children, eat a plant food diet too. We make our own bread or buy the very healthy kinds that don't have chemical additives or milk or honey. It's been close to 18 years since we started eating only plants, and we'd never go back. It saves us lots of money and we are healthier now. President Benson used to say we were an over-fed and under-nourished people, digging and early grave with our teeth. My favorite scripture on diet is the last page of Abraham where the Gods lay out their plan for us. It seems they are concerned that we are physically able to do the job they are sending us to do -- have a family; but it makes me laugh when they say, "and behold, they shall be very obedient." Even without the scriptures, though, the science is in favor of plants -- the bacteria and dangerous fats are all in the animal foods. We recommend plants!
  8. I have also heard that changes in the genetic changes in yeast used to make bread have also contributed.
  9. I've also heard that the quick-rising yeasts that have been developed over the past 50 years, have also changed the way wheat nutrients are created in breads. Any truth to that? Also maltitol and other wheat-derived sweeteners are now being used universally, creating even more intolerance.
  10. Thanks for your commentary on celiac disease. As a part of your work, has the presence of GMO been considered? As a life-long celiac - born 1949 - before wheat alterations as we know them now - in my efforts to re-introduce wheat - such as the sacrament bread - I find symptoms higher than ever. Naturally GMO's seems obvious. Wheat is a primary GMO product - or victim. Interested. Thanks.
  11. A huge increase in wheat allergies and gluten intolerance has occurred since the onset of the use of quick-rise yeast. Natural yeast, such as sourdough start, like our ancestors used, pre-digested the gluten, neutralized the phytic acid, added valuable anti-oxidants, lowered the glycemic index, added valuable pre and probiotics to our daily bread, but now all that is sacrificed for the speed of quick-rise yeast bread, to all of our detriment. See for more information.
  12. I think its odd too and I asked that question many times to my husband and myself..its the same with Milk...we use to drink milk and have no problems..many people say..ahh well adults dont need milk..well adults drank milk and ate ice cream and cheese and other items from milk with no both my husband and I get the lactose free milk...I spoke to one gal who was raised on a farm and her whole life drank milk straight from the cow and now she has milk allergies only if she drinks the paturized milk so she buys the organic milk and she is fine...what is up with all of this..I have always had weird food allergies and was that way as a child...I just have a very poor immune mother was a sickly child growing up I think because she was exposed to tuberculosis ..her father died of it and her sister and her niece and her two brothers got it but by then penicillian had been invented and they lived...things that are good for us can sometimes be when the Lord comes I know all this will be made right..we just have to endure now or find ways through prayer of fixing it...
  13. The answer can be found in the following scientific papers: Samsell, A. and Seneff, S. 2013. Glyphosate's suppression of cytochrome P450 enzymes and amino acid biosynthesis by the gut micro biome: athways to modern diseases. Entropy 15:1416-1463. Shehata, A., Schrodl, W., A;dom. A.A., Hafez, H.M., Krueger, M. 2012. The effect of glyphosate on potential pathogens and beneficial members of poultry microbiota in vitro. Curremt Microbiology DOI 10.1007/s00284-012-0277-2. US Patent 7,771,736B2 (glyphosate as an antibiotic for beneficial intestinal microbes) Various others also. Glyphosate is a very potent antibiotic, immobilizes mineral nutrients (chelates) and is the 'active ingredient' in Roundup(R) herbicide.
  14. Wow. So many comments begin with "I have heard." I encourage all to google with "double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled" as search terms. Without these, we're simply tossing about anecdotes. [A big pile of anecdotes does NOT equal Data.] I am waiting for a reply to a direct question to Dr Gardner, asking him to ID the NAME of the toxins, and the blood TEST that would demonstrate that I have them.
  15. Just a few comments. You can discount the idea that GMO wheat is a factor. Its possible, but recall that people have been suffering from Celiac Disease, such as myself, since before the invention of GMO wheat. Second, Don't try the experiment using "ancient grains'. Studies have already demonstrated they have the same Gliadin protein sequence and will cause an inflammatory reaction. Third. consumption of any gluten contain product after being on a gluten free diet will cause an increase in Gliadin antibodies. Consuming gluten containing products with high antibody titer will cause an inflammatory reaction, abdominal pain and cramps, and the small intestines will begin to slough, reducing the absorptive surface area of the intestines, resulting in weight loss and failure to thrive.
  16. There is not GMO (genetically modified food) on market.
  17. Take note of 89:15, which immediately follows the verse about "All grain is ordained for the use of man..." It specifically says "these hath God made for the use of man only in times of famine and excess of hunger". It appears clear that we are to eat wheat ONLY when other foods are not available, such as beans, nuts, milk, cheese, eggs, meat, fish, vegetables and fruit. Research is showing that wheat is harmful to many, if not most, people.
  18. Brother Bill Yates, I respectfully disagree with your comment on 'eating wheat only if other foods are not available'. Verse 89:15 at the end is referring to animals/meat, NOT the grains. See 89:15 footnote a / for reference to meat. Wheat IS indeed for man. The sensitivity to wheat, in my opinion, is more because of the breakdown in our bodies caused by eating too many refined foods for too long, and too many foods grown, then processed with too many chemicals. Many people following the word of wisdom / 'eating close to the whole foods as possible' have been able to avoid the problems apparent to those that eat a great amount of refined foods.
  19. Robert Hale, go to and read about Gluten testing. Dr. O'Bryan specifically addresses a certain test that determines Gluten sensitivity and Celiac Disease, and it's expensive. For those pushing a plant only diet, then you need to read the footnotes associated with D&C 15. The word"These", concerns meat, and D&C 49:18 says we shouldn't "forbid to abstain from meats". Sparingly is the key and eating Real natural foods over processed ones, is what keeps us healthy. The Lord created a beautiful world with the nutrients there for us to survive. The main blessing of obeying this commandment is the opportunity to attend the Temple and be 'Spiritually' fed.

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