A Brief History of “the Big 4”
I have been gluten-free for over ten years now. But, it did not take long for me to realize that there were other foods that needed to be eliminated from our diets…and those of my veterinary patients. Within a few months of starting down this road, I had discovered that dairy was not “nature’s perfect food”, soy was not a “health food” and that corn was the fourth food that induced villous atrophy of the small intestine, just as gluten does. Turns out, my four-legged patients needed this info as badly as I did.
Yes, I began placing all of my dog and cat patients on the same diet that I had adopted for myself, starting with the elimination of wheat and later adding restrictions from soy, corn and all dairy products. Miracles started happening in my veterinary patients! And why wouldn’t they? Dogs and cats are carnivores and not only would they never elect to eat gluten grains, dairy, soy and corn, they would never even be exposed to them, as they are all man-cultivated items.
So, when did we mess things up so badly? Look back…way back.
A Brief History of the “Big 4”
by Dogtor J
People ask me all of the time how wheat and dairy could be so bad for us when we’ve been consuming these things for thousands of years. I understand their confusion. After all, doctors have supported the FDA food pyramid for generations, making specific recommendations of multiple servings of each in order to meet our minimum dairy requirements of nutrients. Our parent’s parents forced milk down the throats of their children so they did the same for their offspring. “Builds strong bones and teeth” was their mantra, adopted from the (very successful) rhetoric of the dairy industry. Who can argue with the FDA, doctors, parents and the rest of society?
Those of faith point out that our Old Testament ancestors ate wheat and drank milk, so “How bad can it be?” At first, I thought maybe that these age-old food choices might just be the things meant to limit man’s life here on earth but I soon learned that we are dying prematurely at our own hand.
“There are tares in the wheat!”
We made some very serious mistakes in our nutritional history, starting with the blending of wheat by our Germanic ancestors. In the 4th century AD, they took original wheat (Einkorn wheat – Triticum monococcum) and blended with it two other grasses in the Triticum family, thus creating “common wheat”, from which our present day wheat is derived. We know now that this act not only dramatically increased the gluten content but also introduced the harmful ingredient into gluten to which so many are now reacting. Preliminary studies now being done on Einkorn wheat are showing that known celiacs are likely to be able to handle the gluten in Einkorn wheat. How cool is that? So, the fact that some of today’s wheat is 55% gluten versus the 5-7% of Einkorn is not the only factor. It is what’s in that gluten that makes the biggest difference in whether we become intolerant of that grain. Our ancestors put tares (weeds) in our wheat!
Dairy is not “Nature’s Perfect Food”
The next big mistake occurred when our English ancestors jumped ship from goat’s milk (the universal foster milk) to cow’s milk as their source of dairy products. The difference in the casein fraction is subtle but immunologically immense. Plus, we know now that these Anglo-Saxons chose the wrong cows back in the 1500’s when they picked what are now termed “A1 cattle” (the western European varieties – the Jersey, Guernsey, and Holstein) vs the “A2” variety (the Zebu or Brahma). A Google search tells you all that you need to know about the ramifications of their choice – BCM7 (beta casomorphin 7), the origin of type 1 diabetes and “the milk devil”.
Recently, researchers have isolated the protein that triggers type-1 diabetes. They have known for years that our children who get cow’s milk in the first five days of life have a 40-50 times higher rate of type-1 diabetes than the general population. But they also noted that Africa’s Masai, who drink the milk of the Brahma, never experience type-1 diabetes. So these scientists took a group of diabetes-prone, non-diabetic rats and divided them into two groups – those to receive A1 milk from the western European cattle and those to get A2 from the Zebu/Brahma. Nearly half of those receiving A1 milk developed diabetes and none of those getting A2 developed the condition. The researchers went on to isolate the single protein that was causing the problem and, in that protein, they found one alteration in the amino acid sequence that made the difference. That’s the razor’s edge on which we live, just like the exact nature of the earth’s orbit required to sustain life.
The Asian Mistake
The “third plague”, as I like to call it, is soy….the Asian mistake. This health-robbing legume was buried underground in one remote area of world and used for years as a non-edible plant used in crop rotation to add nitrogen back to the soil. It took the Asians years to decide to eat it but first they had to develop the means to make it safe for consumption. They learned that fermentation made soy more tolerable just like our ancestors discovered with dairy products (e.g. yogurt, kefir). Interestingly, rice and rice-based wines turned out to be antidotes for some of the harmful properties of their newest culinary creation, in the same way that Italians learned to consume wine, high fat meats, olive oil and vinegar to protect themselves against their passion for pasta. But we should know that any food that requires as much processing as soy – just to make it safe to eat – will cause problems in individuals even when properly prepared.
And yet, the soy industry tried to tell us that soy was a health food and that Asians were healthier because of the soy they consumed. Thankfully, we quickly found out the truth. The only reason that Asians (in Asia) are healthier than Americans in some aspects is because their traditional diet has NO gluten, NO dairy, and NO corn. Soy was their mistake and its gut and tissue-damaging lectins, its overwhelming levels of isoflavones, and its wide array of anti-nutrients tell the tale. No one talks about the fact that Asians actually only live one year longer than the Swiss (and I don’t see them pounding down the soy) and lead the pack in the incidence of stomach cancer.
Like dairy, soy has altered the outward appearance and the internal mechanics of our children. The most notable fact is that the first menstrual cycle of our little girls is occurring much earlier than normal. It was generally accepted in the past that the first menses occurred at 15 years of age. We know from studying this event in the Japanese children before and after WW2, that increased dairy consumption (Americanization has its toll) brought this age down to 12. But soy has dropped this age down into the single digits. It is now reported that nearly 20% of our little girls have their first menstrual cycle by age 8. Wow! If that is not bad enough, I was giving this “lecture” to a woman on the local school board the other day in my office and she told me that there were three nine year-olds in our school system that were pregnant . Unbelievable. Isoflavones are a very real threat to our children’s development, including our males. I’ll leave that part to your imagination and Google.
Corn – The Toxic Grain
That leaves corn – the “gift of the American Indian”, as many of us view it. “Corn must be healthy if the Indians ate it”, a number of people have said to me. Ahhh…but the history of corn is one of the most interesting. It took thousands of years for the Hispanic ancestors to create the ear we see now. It started out as a useless grain in a single valley down in meso-America. And everywhere corn was introduced, pellagra (niacin deficiency) broke out. Wikipedia incorrectly blames this on the fact that niacin is deeply locked in the kernel of the corn. That would be the answer IF corn was their only source of niacin, which it was not. No…corn caused the niacin deficiency because it induced villous atrophy in those sensitized individuals who consumed it, just as it does in countless people and animals today (with rising corn allergies being the outward sign). That’s why pellagra broke out. They could not absorb the niacin from any dietary source once the lining of the gut was damaged. Yes…corn is nasty stuff, supported by the fact that corn gluten meal kills other plants (a “natural herbicide”) and corn meal can be used to kill insects. That’s why it puts fat on anything that consumes it: Fat is the body’s recycle bin and we form new fat cells in order to shuttle bad things out of the general circulation and into the “trash file”.
Our Body Knows What It is Doing
The only other things that damage our villi in the way that these foods do are viruses and fluoride, both of which give us important insight into why gluten, et al do this to our intestinal lining. Why does a toxic does of fluoride cause extreme damage to those finger-like projections called villi? To keep us from absorbing it. The same thing holds true for gluten, dairy, soy and corn. This drastic change is meant to be a temporary means of protecting us. But what part of the cell makes the decision to shrink our villi? Our residential microorganisms do this. Yes, viruses and pleomorphic bacteria are responsible for this amazing adaptive process. I guess we should stop dissing them so badly, eh? Much of what we call “disease” is simply an outward sign of this adaptive process. These resident microbes are on our side!
Making the Turn in Our Health
So…how many of you are on GFCFSFCF* diets? (*That’s gluten, casein, soy, and corn-free)? Have you removed one or the other of the trouble foods but plateaued in your recovery? Are you having a hard time believing that nearly 80% of the standard American diet (SAD) diet – made up of the “big 4” foods – is bad for you? Or are you starting to understand why I lovingly call this quartet “the four horsemen of the apocalypse”?
The bad news is that the damaged food chain does not end here. Have you heard that we can be “secondarily glutenized” by eating the flesh of animals that are fed these food items? This is a very real issue and I am now getting testimonials from people who have seen major advances in choosing grass fed beef and free range, range-fed chicken and their eggs over the grain-fed varieties. This can be especially important in the treatment of immune-mediated diseases as well as neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders.
Is this really “bad news”? Not if you are one of the many who are suffering under the care of the current medical administration that appears to be out of touch with these crucial food issues. If you are looking for real answers to your chronic medical problems, you will find more than you have ever imagined in the pages of this site and those authored by the wise souls who preceded me. Even Hippocrates knew the truth about food and medicine. When did we lose touch with our past?