Mr. and Mrs. Wheat Belly

Men and women follow the Wheat Belly lifestyle and can undergo important and sometime startling hormonal changes. Though results vary with stage of life—young adults, middle-aged, older—there are a variety of hormonal changes that women and men typically experience, some in concert, others independently. Such hormonal shifts can be powerful and part of the health-restoring menu of changes that develop with this lifestyle. They can even improve a relationship in a number of ways, both physically and emotionally, especially if we weave in some of the newer Wheat Belly/Undoctored concepts and practices such as oxytocin enhancement. (Note that I am talking about the Wheat Belly dietary lifestyle combined with additional strategies we add to compensate for nutritional deficiencies of modern life, such as vitamin D supplementation to correct for living indoors without daily sun exposure, magnesium supplementation to compensate for magnesium removal from water filtration, efforts to re-cultivate healthy bowel flora distorted by multiple modern habits and others. These additional strategies are the basis for the conversations provided in the Wheat Belly Total Health and Undoctored books.)

What sorts of hormonal/health/life changes can you expect living the Wheat Belly lifestyle? Let’s start with the ladies.

Ladies:
With the Wheat Belly lifestyle, ladies can expect to:

  • Lose visceral fat–Lose the fat that encircles abdominal organs (and heart), reflected on the surface by a reduction in waist size and “love handles,” and massive changes in health unfold: reduced inflammation, reduced triglycerides, reduced insulin resistance, reduced testosterone (especially in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome, PCOS).
  • Reduce insulin–As insulin drops, salt and water retention reverses, weight loss proceeds as it is no longer blocked by high insulin levels, inflammatory phenomena recede, blood sugar drops, acne recedes. Insulin resistance is further reduced by removal of wheat germ agglutinin and the increased butyrate of cultivating healthy bowel flora species.
  • Reduce estrogen–Women with visceral tummy fat will experience a drop in abnormally high estrogen levels, an effect that can bring on the “hot flashes” of receding estrogen.
  • Reduce testosterone–In ladies with PCOS, the reduction in testosterone means that excessive body and facial hair recede, acne is reduced, high blood pressure recedes, and infertility can reverse and allow pregnancy to proceed.
  • Reduce cortisol–As cortisol surges become less marked, sleep improves, circadian rhythms drift back towards normal, and risk for diseases such as type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s dementia are reduced.
  • Reduce prolactin–Because the A5 pentapeptide that comes from partial digestion of the gliadin protein of wheat that abnormally stimulates breast tissue is removed, abnormal stimulation of breast tissue reverses. This, coupled with a drop in abnormally high estrogen levels in overweight women, explains why breast size is reduced by about one cup size with this lifestyle (high estrogen is a risk factor for breast cancer).

Men:
With the Wheat Belly lifestyle, men can expect to:

  • Lose visceral fat–As with women, loss of visceral fat allows hormones to shift back towards normal. Low testosterone and high estrogen present in overweight men normalize with a rise in testosterone and reduction in estrogen. Likewise, leptin, insulin, and cortisol also shift towards normal. This all adds up to improved mood, greater energy, less facial flushing, reduced appetite, reduced inflammatory hormones.
  • Reduce estrogen–The loss of visceral fat reduces the abnormal expression of the aromatase enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogens, allowing testosterone to rise to normal, estrogen to fall back to normal.
  • Reduce prolactin–Because the A5 pentapeptide that comes from partial digestion of the gliadin protein of wheat that abnormally stimulates breast tissue is removed, abnormal stimulation of breast tissue reverses. This, along with the reduction in estrogen, reverses “man breasts.”
  • Increase testosterone–Combine the above with addition of vitamin D and testosterone levels often increase dramatically. As testosterone increases, so does libido and mood, as well as muscle mass.
  • Reduce insulin–As insulin drops, salt and water retention reverses, weight loss proceeds as it is no longer blocked by high insulin levels, inflammatory phenomena recede, blood sugar drops. Insulin resistance is further reduced by removal of wheat germ agglutinin and the butyrate of cultivating healthy bowel flora species.
  • Reduce cortisol–As cortisol surges become less marked, sleep improves, circadian rhythms drift back towards normal, and risk for diseases such as type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s dementia are reduced.
  • Reduce prolactin–Men with large breasts will experience reduction in breast size with reduced prolactin from removal of the A5 pentapeptide of wheat.

In other words, many of the benefits of living this lifestyle develop because of the loss of visceral inflammatory fat, while other effects develop specific to wheat/grain elimination and the supplement program we follow. In our more advanced programs, we have now added strategies to increase oxytocin that results in even more benefits including increased skin thickness and accelerated healing, reduced appetite, increased bone density, and probably increased testosterone in males.

I hope that you can appreciate that there is so much more to the Wheat Belly lifestyle than just cutting calories or eating smaller portions, certainly a more than the awful and misguided world of “gluten-free.” The hormonal benefits that emerge with living the Wheat Belly lifestyle are profound, literally often life-changing, certainly health- and appearance-changing.

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