Dr. Christine Zioudriou, along with the University of Maryland, found the gliadin protein in wheat to be an opiate that causes appetite stimulation. Gliadin is the elasticity that makes wheat stretchy. The study goes back to 1970, the same time wheat changed from a 4-foot-tall plant to a 2-foot- tall semi-dwarf plant that was altered, hybridized, modified to create a ten times higher yield.  The study was done with a group of psychiatric patients who were taken off wheat and their psychiatric issues subsequently dissipated. They added the wheat back into their diet and the problems returned. This was done several times.

At the time this information hit light the National Institute of Health reported a study to on the causes of behavior changes. Gliadin was the source. They found it binds to the opiate centers of the brain and directly causes appetite stimulation as an opiate.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) took immediate action and promptly didn’t block wheat sales. Instead, they tested a couple of drugs, specifically opiate blocking drugs. According to the NIH the drugs tested were neloxone and neltrexone. Neloxone is an opiate blocking drug commonly used in cases of morphine overdose. Neltrexone is the oral equivalent of meloxone, a blocker of the opiate which originates from gliadin.

While taking these drugs test subjects on average ate 400 calories less daily, the equivalent calories of one full meal. Ironically while eating the 400 more calories the extra intake was consistently from white flour foods. The conclusive results pointed directly to subjects craving more opiate responding foods, like a junkie getting their fix on flour.

Greenmedinfo.com posted an article saying, “These ‘food opiates’ are heavily concentrated in wheat and dairy products, especially cows milk.” They then list a tally of gluten exorphins, A5, B4, B5, C and gliadorphin. They say food addictions are not the result of psychological problems or the standard blamed causes of poor self control and laziness. Instead they say food addictions are a direct result of foods containing, “Narcotic properties associates with the presence of psychoactive chemicals that bind to opioid receptors in the nervous system.”

Interestingly, this information is still not common knowledge. As a result we unknowingly eat a full meal only to find ourselves wanting more food a short time later, long before our bodies should need food.

In addition to the opiate affect there is a sugar boomerang. On the glycemic index sucrose, table sugar, raises blood sugar levels to 59 while two slices of whole wheat bread raise blood sugar levels to 72. In fact the glycemic index for two slices of wheat bread is higher than almost all the other food tested.

Dr. William Davis, author of Wheat Belly, calls wheat, “Lethal, a deadly poison for many people.” In addition he says, “It became clear that ‘wheat’ consumption was responsible for an incredible amount of human illness, obesity, and suffering we are all witnessing on an unprecedented scale.” Davis says this is the reason he wrote Wheat Belly (affiliate link). 


This article is written from a presentation I was asked to give at the Weston A. Price, Debunking Nutritional Myths Conference, in the spring of 2013.  This is part 2 of 4 on Wheat.

*If you learned something from this post share it so others can do the same. To support the efforts of this blog shop the affiliate links above like this one. You pay the same shopping through Amazon while the author receives a small referral fee from Amazon. This offsets the costs of this site.

*Nourishing Plot is written by Becky Plotner, ND, traditional naturopath, GAPS who sees clients in Rossville, Georgia. Since her son was delivered from the effects of autism (Asperger’s syndrome), ADHD, bipolar disorder/manic depression, hypoglycemia and dyslexia through food she continued her education specializing in Leaky Gut and parasitology through Duke University, finishing with distinction. This is not a news article published by a paper trying to make money. This blog is put out by a mom who sees first hand the effects of nourishing food vs food-ish items. No company pays her for writing these blogs, she considers this a form of missionary work. It is her desire to scream it from the rooftops so that others don’t suffer from the damaging effect of today’s “food”.

Other sources:

Founder, Sayer Ji., “Do Hidden Opiates In Our Food Explain Food Addictions?” Greenmedinfo.com, May 3, 2012.















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6 Responses to Wheat – A Nutritional Myth (part 2)

  1. Kristin says:

    But this binding to receptors in the brain thing clearly does not happen to everyone. So is it the wheat or some other “trigger” or genetic defect (let’s not get into mutants here!) that allows this to happen….as with autism….or even alcoholism? Why can I have a glass or two of wine and stop while a close relative cannot?

    Isn’t it nice to have a regular commenter? Or, perhaps, not. 😉

    • Becky Plotner says:

      yes kristin that’s exactly what Dr Davis (Wheat Belly) says – that it affects a great number but not all. if i’m not mistaken it says that in part 1. didn’t want to bore folks by repeating. thanks, you are correct!

    • Becky Plotner says:

      Kristin that’s a very good point and I’ve wondered the same thing. For me I’ve wondered it with food. “How can that person not be hungry?” ” How can they not want to eat more?” I realize now, after switching to good fats and sun-soaking, grass fed that I was in a state of constant want because I wasn’t being nourished. When I was really over hungry I would crave sugar. I wonder if a drinker suffers from the same issue?

  2. karinconway says:

    Becky, thanks so much for sharing this information. I used to run marathons and followed the “typical” runner diet which called for junking up on all sorts of carbs including pasta, sugar, gluten, etc. It almost killed me because of the massive asthma attacks I suffered…not to mention feeling lethargic and constantly craving more sugar. When I finally gave up all wheat and dairy, I can breathe just fine, lost weight (even though I rarely run) and I don’t feel addicted to sugar and wheat any longer. It is amazing how it feels to get that crap out of your system. I no longer allow manufacturing companies to control my life.
    Now, I teach people how to grow their own natural food in whatever space they have. Yeah for real food!
    🙂 KMC

  3. Mike says:

    “The study goes back to 1970, the same time wheat changed from a 4 foot tall plant to a 2 foot semi-dwarf plant that was altered, hybridized, modified to create a ten times higher yield. The study was done with a group of psychiatric patients who were taken off wheat and their psychiatric issues subsequently dissipated. They added the wheat back into their diet and the problems returned. This was done several times.”

    You didnt even cite the study. Where is this study specifically.

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