Does Wheat Cause Coronary Heart Disease?

This post is contributed to Free the Animal by French IT Engineer, Alexandre Cesaro


Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of deaths worldwide – killing 7 millions people every year. In the following text, we will see that wheat consumption is probably a risk factor for CHD.

Conventional Wisdom on Wheat

Most health organizations currently view wheat as a safe food except for people having celiac disease—affecting up to 1% of the population—and people having non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Also whole wheat—as part of whole grains—is considered to be one of the healthiest foods. In fact a diet rich in whole grains is considered to be protective against CHD.

Why? Because observational studies consistently find that whole grain consumption is associated with a decreased risk of CHD. Do these results contradict wheat consumption causing CHD?

Are Whole Grains Protective Against CHD?

According to this study:

Whole grain intake consistently has been associated with improved cardiovascular disease outcomes, but also with healthy lifestyles, in large observational studies. Intervention studies that assess the effects of whole grains on biomarkers for CHD have mixed results.

Indeed many studies show that whole grain consumption is associated with a decreased risk of CHD. But these studies are observational and can only show correlation but not causation.

In fact there is an health-conscious population bias in these studies: for example people consuming the most whole grains also exercise more and smoke less:

Data from Majken K Jensen et al., Intakes of whole grains, bran, and germ and the risk of coronary heart disease in men, 2004.

Of course researchers adjust the data for these risk factors. But it is very difficult, maybe impossible, to adjust for all risk factors. For example the two previously cited studies did not adjust for important risk factors like socioeconomic status or social support.

A classic example of an occurrence of this bias can be found in hormone replacement therapy (HRT): observational studies had found that HRT was decreasing the risk of heart disease risk while a controlled study finally found that HRT was indeed slightly increasing the risk of heart disease.

A proof that this health-conscious bias could explain the seemingly protective effect of whole grains can be found in randomized controlled studies: many of them fail to find any beneficial effect of whole grains compared to refined grains.

So according to these randomized controlled studies whole grains are neutral toward CHD risks. How then can we say that wheat causes CHD?

Are All Grains Created Equal?

Many randomized controlled studies compared wheat with other grains. These trials are usually quite short. So instead of looking at the number of heart attacks, short-term studies focus on risk predictors of CHD like weight gain or markers of inflammation. Apolipoprotein B (ApoB) level is another risk factor. It represents the number of LDL particles – often called “bad cholesterol”. It is now considered to be a better predictor than LDL-C – the amount of cholesterol contained in LDL particles. The lower the level of ApoB the lower is the risk of CHD.

Here are some results of these studies:

  • a study concluded that a bread diet may promote fat synthesis/accumulation compared with a rice diet
  • wheat increased BMI compared to flaxseed in a 12 months study
  • wheat increased ApoB level by 5.4% compared to flaxseed in a 3 weeks study
  • wheat increased ApoB level by 7.5% compared to flaxseed in a 3 months study
  • wheat increased ApoB level by 0.05 g/L compared to flaxseed in a 12 months study
  • oat decreased ApoB level by 13.7% while wheat had no significant effect in a 21 days study
  • wheat increased the number of LDL particles by 14% while oat decreased them by 5% in a 12 weeks study
  • ApoA to ApoB ratio (a risk predictor similar in efficiency to ApoB alone
  • here the higher the better) was increased by 4.7% for oat bran and 3.9% for rice bran compared to wheat bran in a 4 weeks study

These studies show that some grains like oat improve the risk factors of CHD compared to wheat. In addition, these studies often show an absolute improvement of the CHD risk profile in groups eating oat and an absolute deterioration in groups eating wheat. Although we cannot say for sure, it would suggest that oat is protective against CHD – which is confirmed by other studies – while wheat increase the risk of CHD.

That could help explain why people eating more whole grains are healthier in observational studies since it looks like that they eat more grains like rice and oat and less typically wheat-made food like white bread, pasta and doughnuts:

Data from Andersson A. et al., Intakes of whole grains, bran, and germ and the risk of coronary heart disease in men, 2007

Now let’s have a look at studies linking wheat and CHD.

Observational Studies on Wheat

Some observational studies linked wheat and waist circumference gains—waist circumference being a strong predictor of CHD:

  • a study showed a correlation between consumption of white bread and waist circumference gains
  • a study concluded that: “reducing white bread, but not whole-grain bread consumption, within a Mediterranean-style food pattern setting is associated with lower gains in weight and abdominal fat
  • a Chinese study found that “vegetable-rich food pattern was associated with higher risk of obesity” but as noted by obesity researcher Stephan Guyenet the association between obesity is in fact stronger with wheat flour than with vegetables

A more pertinent result is found in the data of a large observational study in China. Researchers analysed these data and found a 0.67 correlation between wheat flour intake and CHD. They also found a 0.58 correlation between wheat intake and BMI.

From Denise Minger

But this is just a single unadjusted correlation and does not prove much. However author Denise Minger thoroughly analysed the data of this study and found that the association held strongly after multivariate analysis with any other variable available like latitude, BMI, smoking habits, fish consumption, etc.

Since it is an observational study it cannot prove anything but it is yet more evidence suggesting that wheat consumption causes CHD. Let’s now have a look at randomized controlled trials.

Randomized Controlled Trials on Wheat

In addition to the previous randomized controlled trials comparing wheat with other grains there are two additional studies suggesting that wheat consumption causes CHD.

The first one is a study involving rabbits. While studies involving animals are not always relevant to humans – especially studies with herbivore animals like rabbit – the results of this study are quite interesting.

The researchers fed rabbits an atherogenesis diet (i.e. promoting formation of fatty masses in arterial walls) with a supplement of cottonseed oil, hydrogenated cottonseed oil, wheat germ or sucrose. And as they concluded:

Severity of atherosclerosis after 5 months was greatest on the wheat germ-supplemented diet, whereas there were no differences among the other three groups.

The second study is the Diet And Reinfarction Trial (DART). In this 2-year randomized controlled trial, people who already had recovered from a heart attack were split into groups receiving various advice. The main result of this study was that the group advised to eat fatty fish had a reduction in mortality from CHD.

One other piece of advice – the fibre advice – was:

to eat at least six slices of wholemeal bread per day, or an equivalent amount of cereal fibre from a mixture of wholemeal bread, high-fibre breakfast cereals and wheat bran

Seeing this advice we can guess that most of cereal fibres intake by this group was from wheat although we cannot be sure.

This advice resulted on a 22% death increase:

From Stephan Guyenet

However this result bordered on statistical significance: the 95% confidence interval being 0.99–1.65.

For people not familiar with statistics, a result is usually defined as statistically significant when there is less than 5% chance that the result is due to luck alone. Here there is a 95% probability that the relative risk is between 0.99 (1% decreased chance of dying) and 1.67 (67% increased chance of dying).

Since the probability that the fibre advice resulted in a protective or neutral effect was a little too high, this result has been quite overlooked. Had the study lasted a little longer, it would have raised way more suspicion toward whole grains.

A decade later, in a follow-up study researchers sent self-completion questionnaires to the survivors. This study is less interesting since it had many limitations:

There are a number of limitations to the dietary data collected in this survey. The dietary advice stopped after 2 y and all the surviving men received a letter encouraging them to eat more fatty fish and it is possible that this resulted in immediate dietary changes. The dietary data presented here were collected from at least 85% of survivors some years after the end of the 2 y of dietary advice when around half of the original participants had died. Diet was assessed with a limited number of questions that focused on fish and fibre intake. Questionnaire data were not collected on other aspects of current diet and objective biological measures of fish intake were not obtained. It is thus possible that we were unable to detect important differences in diet.

However, in this study the researchers reanalyzed the original data from the DART study and adjusted for pre-existing conditions and medication use. This time they found the fibre advice to be statistically significant: as we can see in the table 4 they found a hazard ratio of 1.35 (95% CI 1.02, 1.80) for the 2-year period of the randomized controlled trial.

These results are quite telling: according to these researchers, a 2 year randomized controlled trial showed that advising people recovering from a heart attack to eat at least six slices of wholemeal bread per day resulted in a statistically significant 35% percent chance increase of CHD compared to people not receiving this advice.

Wheat, Vitamin D Deficiency And Heart Disease

Many studies found that vitamin D deficiency is associated with CHD.

However vitamin D deficiency does not seem to cause heart disease. For example several studies found that vitamin D supplementation did not prevent heart disease.

As this study concludes:

A lower vitamin D status was possibly associated with higher risk of cardiovascular disease. As a whole, trials showed no statistically significant effect of vitamin D supplementation on cardiometabolic outcomes.

Wheat consumption causing CHD could help explaining these results. A study found that wheat consumption depletes vitamin D reserves. That could explain why vitamin D deficiency is associated with heart disease and why it does not seem to cause it: both vitamin D deficiency and heart disease could be consequences of wheat consumption.

Of course this is not the only explanation. For example the DART study shows that fish consumption prevents CHD and fish is a food rich in vitamin D.

Not the Perfect Culprit

To be clear, if it seems likely that wheat consumption is a risk factor of CHD it is not the only one nor the primary one. There are many other factors like smoking, hypertension, lack of exercise or stress. Even among dietary factors wheat is probably not the main one. For example the DART study shows that the protective effect of fish intake is stronger than the adverse effect of wheat.

In addition, deleterious wheat effects might not affect everybody. One study showed that the ApoB level variation following wheat and oat bran intake was different depending on the genotype of the individuals. In another study whole-wheat intake worsened the lipid profile only in people having a specific genotype compared to refined wheat.

How the wheat is cooked may have a role too. Studies show that sourdough bread improves mineral bioavailability (such as magnesium, iron, and zinc) compared to yeast bread or uncooked whole-wheat. Also content in proteins with potential adverse consequences like gluten or wheat germ agglutinin differs depending of the food type.


There is strong evidences that wheat consumption is a risk factor for CHD. People at risk of CHD should avoid wheat as should those trying to lose weight. In all cases, stopping wheat consumption for a month for example to see how one feels without wheat is always a good idea since there is currently no available method to diagnose non-celiac wheat sensitivities and that even for celiac disease the average delay in diagnostic is 11 years in the US.

More studies looking at the links between wheat and CHD are urgently needed since CHD is the leading cause of deaths while wheat is the second most widely consumed food and whole-wheat is often advised to lower risk of CHD. Studies considering grains as a whole are bound to give inconsistent results since different grains seem to have opposite effects in the case of CHD. So as much as possible future studies should treat grains separately and consider things like type of wheat products and genetic variability.


Hello, I’m Alexandre Cesaro, a French IT engineer. So even though I have a great interest in nutrition, I have not done any medical studies nor do I own any health degree. So I could be wrong on many points of this article. I could also have cherry-picked studies, missed contradictory studies, etc.

That is why I created this. I would be glad to receive contributions and comments from anyone to improve this article by adding other relevant studies, removing poor studies I may have included, fixing grammatical errors (English is not my mother tongue) or even by proving everything here is wrong.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Does Wheat Cause Coronary Heart Disease? | Hear... on March 4, 2014 at 02:28

    […] Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of deaths worldwide – killing 7 millions people every year. In the following text, we will see that wheat consumption is probably a risk factor.  […]

  2. Ellen on March 4, 2014 at 03:32

    Oh, I hope that is true about oats being a positive. I have just started eating meusili : rolled oats soaked for 24 hours with water and a bit of whey and eaten with grated apple, chopped defrosted frozen green banana, dukkah, coconut kefir and some coconut flakes.

  3. Louise on March 4, 2014 at 10:42

    Is it possible that the presence of glyphosate in wheat/grains is a confounding factor in diet experimentation that demonstrates improvement by omission of these grains. That what appears to be gluten intolerance is actually destruction of beneficial microflora and resultant systemic inflammation caused by RoundUp?

    Celiac and IBS are relatively new conditions – destruction of microflora by glyphosate could be the real problem.

    Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases II: Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance

    Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases

    “So we believe glyphosate causes the gluten to assume the form that is more allergenic.”

    “…these risk factors that co-occur with Celiac disease could be explained through other ways that glyphosate disrupts physiology.”

    • PhilT on March 4, 2014 at 13:00

      Coeliac pre-dates glyphosate by a country mile

    • Frisha on March 4, 2014 at 14:23

      Roundup Ready (glyphosate resistant) wheat has never been approved by the USDA for production in the US.

    • Louise on March 5, 2014 at 10:18

      No, but glyphosate and diquat are commonly used in Canada, the US and the EU as a grain/legume crop dessicant. GMO doesn’t matter here. Round up is still used on the crop before harvest.

      If it doesn’t say organic, it isn’t, and will likely effect probiotic gut commensals.

    • Alexandre on March 5, 2014 at 15:20

      And isn’t glyphosate also used on oat crops?

    • Louise on March 6, 2014 at 17:31

      Hopefully not if it says “organic”.

    • Alexandre on March 7, 2014 at 08:30

      Sorry I wasn’t clear. I meant: studies find that oat is healthier than wheat. If glyphosate is also used on oat crops, it means that it is unlikely that glyphosate is a confounding factor.

  4. AJ on March 3, 2014 at 20:50

    “I’m Alexandre Cesaro, I have not done any medical studies nor do I own any health degree.” – Love it and consider this an asset Alexandre.

    Nice job on this very thoughtful, informative article.


    • Alexandre on March 5, 2014 at 08:51

      It is probably be useful in order to take a fresh look at the subject but I am not sure this is an asset 🙂

      Thank you!

  5. Adam on March 3, 2014 at 21:19

    “for celiac disease the average delay in diagnostic is 11 years in the US” the linked to study seems to be from Spain, not the US. It is a good point though. There are major health issues that arise from late diagnosis and late diagnosis could also be common in the US.

    Thanks for all of your hard work putting this together. Hopefully others can offer more constructive criticisms.

  6. Rs711 on March 3, 2014 at 23:06

    Intéréssant Alexandre – est ce que tu peut me suggérer des bon blogs Français sur le sujets de la nutrition?

    • Alexandre on March 5, 2014 at 09:13

      Désolé je n’en connais pas en français.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 5, 2014 at 10:11


      See? The French just eat well. They don’t waste time reading blogs about how to eat. 🙂

      Well, it’s been some years. Hope they’re still eating well. Vive le Gascony et comme meme tous les bon vivants.

    • Alexandre on March 5, 2014 at 17:06

      Our eating habits are still way healthier than American ones. But like any industrialized country we are plagued by the diseases of the civilization.

      However some American bloggers are helping us being healthier 🙂

  7. Greeb on March 4, 2014 at 00:45

    Andre, can you separate out data for women vs men? If you do so you may find women are concealing the true higher risk for men since women have less CVD until menopause. Wheat is a man-killer. 😉

    • Alexandre on March 5, 2014 at 09:16

      Interesting, but I cannot do it since I do not have the data from the DART study for example.

  8. La Frite on March 4, 2014 at 01:22

    Salut Alexandre!

    J’ai rapidement lu / I read quickly.

    2 points:
    – oat helping the decrease of CVD: isn’t it more elimination of wheat ? so that oat is neutral in that respect ?
    – vit D correlation and fish: fatty fish has omega-3 oil. So fish could decrease incidence of CVD thanks to omg-3, not vit D.

    But yeah, une fois sevré, les baguettes et les croissants sont bien optionnels … pas mangé ces trucs depuis belle lurette …

    • Richard Nikoley on March 4, 2014 at 06:11

      Ha, …..”belle lurette.” Now there’s one I haven’t heard in a belle lurette.

    • Alexandre on March 5, 2014 at 09:42

      In the study comparing wheat, oat and rice. Rice and oat had about the same effect on lipid profiles. So yes oat may very well be neutral toward CHD risks.

  9. Stu on March 4, 2014 at 02:15

    In Australia most wheat products such as breads, biscuits, cakes, etc have added vegetable oils, typically canola oil and you have to look around to find commercially made breads that don’t have added oils, and biscuits and cakes that are made with real dairy.
    When I eat wheat products without all the added oils, like sourdough, I seem to feel pretty good, but when I eat the ones with added vegetable oils I don’t feel so good.
    I wonder if any of those studies account for that? Typically most people who are eating lots of wheat products don’t worry about the added canola oils – they may not even be aware they exist. It’s likely that they are consuming much more vegetable oils than non wheat eaters and perhaps that’s where the health problems are coming from which show up in the studies. I’m not pro wheat or anything I just think that this should be considered. It would be interesting to see if there was a study which compared two wheat eating groups, one which ate wheat products without all the added stuff and another which ate wheat products with all the added oils and other stuff

    • Alexandre on March 5, 2014 at 09:51

      I agree wheat cooked traditionally with sourdough is certainly better than industrialized wheat products.

  10. Cathy on March 4, 2014 at 06:15

    Alexandre, welcome, I enjoyed your article. I hope we hear more from you.

    Ellen, that meusili sounds great. Are you using steel cut oats or just regular Quaker type?

    • Ellen on March 4, 2014 at 06:32

      Bob’s Red Mill Organic, extra thick rolled oats. this morning I didn’t have any apples on hand so used some of this femented cranberriy relish, which also has some chopped apple, oranges with the skin, onion and walnuts.

      And instead of dukkah I added peanuts

      oh my dog,,,can’t believe I am eating peanuts and oatmeal. it has been at least a decade!

    • cathy on March 4, 2014 at 07:53

      @Ellen, thanks for the oatmeal tip. Peanuts w/oatmeal sounds intriguing!

  11. Bill on March 4, 2014 at 07:02

    You don’t say what conclusions you personally draw from this study, Alexandre.
    Does that mean you are gluten free yourself? Anecdotal experience would be interesting. Bearing in mind that full recovery can take more than 5 years.

    I’ve been gluten/grain free for 8 years now. I do miss bread but I genuinely believe that we are all gluten intolerant to varying degrees.
    This 25 minute video with Dr. Tom O’Bryan and Sean Croxten is a good basic synopsis. It’s about total avoidance. Something that I will continue to practice.

    • La Frite on March 4, 2014 at 07:15

      Hi Bill,

      As a French myself, I have been 2 years without wheat and I must say, I don’t miss it at all. I don’t have any objective data but the improvements I have been experiencing since ditching wheat are too great to fall back to eating it. I am not preaching anything though, I just mention that I am wheat intolerant without further details when I am offered something based on it. I used to drool in front of bakeries (first days wheat free) but that was about it. Note that my consumption of wheat was mostly in the form of bread, pastries, pasta and couscous. What I miss the most is couscous actually but once in a while, i can use millet couscous instead. From wikipedia:

      “Couscous was originally made from millet.[12] Historians have different opinions as to when wheat began to replace the use of millet. The conversion seems to have occurred sometime in the 20th century, although many regions continue to use the traditional millet. Couscous seems to have a North African origin.”

    • Alexandre on March 5, 2014 at 10:01

      Personally I hardly ever buy wheat-made products and never eat food such as pasta and bread when I eat at home. However when I eat out I occasionally eat hamburgers, pizzas, etc with no problem. I also often drink beer.

      So I avoid wheat as much as I can but I do not make it an obsession.

    • GTR on March 6, 2014 at 00:37

      @La Fritte – high consumption of millet was traditional in neolithic Slavic Cultures.

      Then rye, potatoes, buckwheat became popular. Wheat (ancient ones) was there as one of many crops . So current trends for high wheat consumption, with wheat breads replacing more traditional crops, together with modern wheat replacing ancient ones are clearly not much in sync what people are “adapted” to, in both eras – paleolithic as well as pre-modern neolithic.

  12. Jew Lee Us C Czar on March 4, 2014 at 09:35

    “I do miss bread but I genuinely believe that we are all gluten intolerant to varying degrees.”

    That’s some deep Paleo dogma there buddy. Any evidence to back it up?

    • Bill on March 4, 2014 at 23:41

      My evidence is anecdotal and looking back through my life gluten intolerance or perhaps gliadin seems to have adverse effects. Other deficiencies such as vitamin D played a role too.
      As a five year old I had chest problems in the winter and suffered from glue ear and have been plagued with deafness from being a toddler. I’ve not had a chest/sinus infection for 6 or 7 years.

      I had osteoarthritis in my elbow from 21 to 54. The “click” is still there and I can’t straighten the arm fully, but all pain and inflammation has been clear for 5+ years.

      I suffered from alopecia areata from my forties through to 54. Now my hair is thicker and less grey than 10 years ago.

      I am not true paleo and more of an archevore as laid out by Kurt Harris. I was pretty much on his guidelines when I first came across his website. What I did do was increase my intake of saturated fats due to him. I eat a lot of grass fed pastured butter.
      Many other positives, such as better eyesight and skin.

      I see diseases of civilisation in my blood relatives which I believe are mainly down to grains and probably sugar consumption too.
      I’ve come to my conclusions and I envisage living this way for the future.

      Richard, Dr. Art Ayers and a few others continuously provoke small tweaks to what I do and live.
      If my experience and advice helps somebody, then fair enough. I wish I could get more of my friends and relatives to try what I do but in most cases I have failed. I don’t let it screw me up though.
      I’m comfortable with what I do. The gut microbiome is interesting me. Resistant starch and exposure to bacteria is something I’m working on.

  13. kxmoore on March 4, 2014 at 12:35

    Does the form in which wheat is dominantly used (powdered) constitute the greatest CHD risk factor?

    “The most striking finding was that all mice fed the different powder diets developed obesity with similar weight gain, whereas among the mice fed the pellet diets, only those given the HF and W diets became obese.”

    • Chupo on March 4, 2014 at 16:33

      I take it that their food itself was in powdered form or at least a “dough.” I think I could eat more cookie dough than the finished product!

    • kxmoore on March 4, 2014 at 17:10

      calorie intake was the same

  14. michael goroncy on March 4, 2014 at 18:46

    o Greeb said “since women have less CVD until menopause.”
    My Theory (plucked out my arse) is that the risk for CHD in women accelerates after blood letting stops (fact). People like Eades advocate donating blood…ferretin/iron hormone. Have tried to donate 3 times,but got rejected (medication issues).

    My own journey with CHD in random order:
    (1) Had a MI (Heart attack) age 38….now 65.
    (2) Running on one artery (LAD) collateral circulation compensating for the other 2 arteries.
    (3) Drug cheat…8 heart medications and 14 micro-nutrients (cut down from over 20) and trying to tweak the most effective (messy for obvious reasons) but have a stable of essentials.
    (4) Looked into bread/gluten 8 years ago. From late teens up til then was always steady at 100kg. (What is it in the USA that you don’t/can’t convert to metrics from imperial..this confuses the shit out of people). Being a bread/pasta lover and only adding tiny amounts of protein for taste. I eliminated bread/gluten and within a short time (5 months), 2 remarkable things happened. My lipid markers went from sub-standard to excellent and my weight dropped to 79-82kg and has remained in that range up to the present, even though my (good) fat consumption has quadrupled.
    (5) People that have helped in my journey with advice have been Eades, Taubes, Davis. And now Tim Steel and Nikoley (R/S). I am a fly on the wall with this doing N=1 (will let you know my feedback in time. Kudos to you both.
    (6) I drink and smoke like a witch, that I counteract with milk thistle (liver) and sodium thiosulphate (smoking). This is my own ignorant theory, so please don’t go there unless you do your own research and discuss with your MD.
    (7) Being the laziest fitness/exercise person I know (although apparently there is someone in North Borneo that is even worse..or is it liverworst). For me I have found something that works. Earthing/grounding. Fortunately I live on the coast and walk knee deep in sea water for 20 Min most days and find it invigorating and feel energised. If you don’t have access to the sea..walk barefoot or lay on grass.
    (8) We have abundance in thing we don’t need, bad food, gadgets and other (add to your your list, and poverty in good relationships, peace of mind, nutrient dense food (add the rest of your own).
    (9) It’s obvious that I am drunk already 1.30pm.

    I will post my lipid and inflammation markers next post on CHD.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 4, 2014 at 20:42


      For the boozing, you might want to check out Himalaya Liver Care. Has quite impressive research behind it.

    • pzo on March 5, 2014 at 08:19

      Being a professional drinker myself, I’ve done the research on what causes fatty liver disease with drinkers. It’s PUFA’s, plain and simple. There have been many, many papers published about how saturated fats no only prevent FLD, but reverse it.

      In my own life, my liver enzyme test always comes back at the very lowest part of the range of normal. My diet has ratios of 4:2:1, sfa’s to mononunsaturated to PUFA’s.

      Sodium thiosulphate for smoking. Interesting, for sure. You know that’s old photographer’s “hypo,” for “fixing” the image, don’t you?

    • Richard Nikoley on March 5, 2014 at 09:11


      I was curious so looked up Sodium thiosulphate on Wikepedia and turns out there’s some therepeutic uses for the stuff, typically having to do with poisoning and detoxifying, arsenic, for one. Interesting. Under medical supervision only, I would say (I think it has to be sub cutaneous injection or something), unless you’ve been cleared by such supervisors to self administer.

    • gabriella kadar on March 5, 2014 at 09:12

      Richard, soon you’ll need to start a new improved version of AA: drink without damage. 🙂

    • gabriella kadar on March 5, 2014 at 09:18

      Michael, women get CVD after menopause due to hormonal changes. Testosterone unopposed with the large amounts of estrogen results in fat deposit changes. Neck fat increases. Also a rather large percentage of women become hypothyroid after menopause and oftentimes this is not tested for or treated. Both of these situations increase risk of CVD.

      Some people maintain that iron levels get too high. But I’ve never seen any concrete data on that. Stored iron must be very high for this to have an adverse effect on cardiac function.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 5, 2014 at 09:40

      Jack Trimpey is really the go-to guy for wrapping your mind around all sorts of unhealthy urges without the AA “you’re a loser and only Dog can help you” bullshit.

    • gabriella kadar on March 6, 2014 at 19:29

      Apparently Dr. Oz had something on his programme today about rebasing alcohol. I didn’t see it.

  15. Jane Karlsson on March 5, 2014 at 07:34

    Does wheat cause coronary heart disease? Yes. White wheat flour has had much of its copper removed, and copper deficiency causes heart disease. Here’s what copper researcher Leslie Klevay says.

    ‘…the Western diet is frequently low in copper. Copper deficiency is the only nutritional insult that elevates cholesterol (7), blood pressure (8), and uric acid; has adverse effects on electrocardiograms (7, 9); impairs glucose tolerance (10) … and which promotes thrombosis and oxidative damage. More than 75 anatomic, chemical, and physiologic similarities between animals deficient in copper and people with ischemic heart disease have been identified. Copper deficiency is offered as the simplest and most general explanation for ischemic heart disease.’

    Also implicated in heart disease is saturated fat. Saturated fat inhibits copper absorption.

    Klevay found that a high fat diet causing heart disease in mice did not do so if they were given extra copper. Stephan Guyenet has discussed this on his blog.

    • gabriella kadar on March 5, 2014 at 08:07

      Jane, doesn’t beef liver contain copper? If someone consumes 1 serving per week, then do they not get their copper that way?

    • DuckDodgers on March 5, 2014 at 18:35

      Jaminet says no additional copper needed if one consumes ¼ lb beef or lamb liver weekly.

  16. Does Wheat Cause Coronary Heart Disease? | iMar... on March 6, 2014 at 06:49

    […] Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of deaths worldwide – killing 7 millions people every year. In the following text, we will see that wheat consumption is probably a risk factor.  […]

  17. Alexandre on March 5, 2014 at 16:50

    That is interesting Jane. But I would not say that it is the removal of copper in white wheat flour that is harmful. Because whole wheat contains a fair amount of copper and both whole wheat and refined wheat seem harmful.

    However as the study I cited in my article about sourdough bread found:
    “Copper absorption increased significantly when rats were fed the sourdough bread, whereas unprocessed whole flour depressed copper absorption (-41% versus control diet).”

    So it looks like certain form of wheat can block copper absorption.

    Gabriella, Stephan Guyenet has a nice chart of copper content in food here:

  18. Jane Karlsson on March 6, 2014 at 05:51

    Yes it may be that you can get enough copper if you eat liver. There is however a problem: liver has a lot of highly available iron, and the more iron you have the more copper you need.

    Do the studies you quoted really show whole wheat is harmful? Most of them involve isolated components of wheat, not whole wheat.

    They are also short term. We need to know the health status of people who have eaten whole wheat and no refined wheat all their lives. McCarrison studied such people in India 100 years ago, and found them to be astonishingly healthy. In China, wheat is linked to heart disease as you say, but it isn’t whole wheat.

    Yes it does look as if sourdough is better than yeast for degrading phytic acid and increasing copper availability. But the people studied by McCarrison did not use either sourdough or yeast. Recent studies have shown that humans can break down phytic acid very well.

    And in some studies phytic acid actually improves copper absorption.

  19. Alexandre on March 6, 2014 at 06:41

    Studies do not find any beneficial effect on biomarkers for CHD for whole wheat compared to refined wheat. Also the DART study is a long term one and show a harmful effect for whole grains.

  20. Jane Karlsson on March 7, 2014 at 03:26

    The authors of the DART study do not think it shows a harmful effect for whole grains. ‘..mortality was somewhat higher in the fibre advice group, but this was presumably fortuitous since the difference was not statistically significant.’

    If you want to say it makes no difference if wheat’s micronutrients and fibre are removed, you have to explain how the starch and gluten can be processed without them. They are there for a reason.

  21. Alexandre on March 7, 2014 at 08:24

    As I say in the article, the result bordered on statistical significance but then other researchers who further adjusted the data found it to be statistically significant.

    Also I did not say that it makes no difference to eat refined wheat or whole wheat. I’m just saying the studies usually do not find differences on lipid profiles and inflammation markers:

  22. Jane Karlsson on March 8, 2014 at 04:17

    Sorry, yes I missed that. So it was statistically significant. I don’t know what to make of this, to be honest. The only thing I can think of is that the subjects were eating a lot of bran. The advice was ‘to eat at least six slices of wholemeal bread per day, or an equivalent amount of cereal fibre from a mixture of wholemeal bread, high-fibre breakfast cereals and wheat bran’.

    Your first link says ‘a period of 4 months may be insufficient to change the lifelong disease trajectory associated with CVD.’

    This is the point really. These diseases start very early, possibly before birth, and involve structural changes which are difficult to reverse. If the structural changes are due to mild lifelong micronutrient deficiencies, which is arguably the case, supplying the micronutrients may be the answer but is probably not going to do much in the short term.

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