William Davis, M.D. during his keynote presentation at the Longevity Now Conference brought up an interesting point about the gluten free diet. He said that it is not just about becoming gluten free. That is only half of the battle. Two of his contributions to the conversation about any anti-inflammatory diet are simple and profound:
1. It is not enough to eliminate just the grains containing gluten. That is for most of us a huge step in the right direction. For those of you who have done this, Bravo! You know how big this is and also how difficult. However, Dr. Davis’ point is that eventually the goal is to eliminate most all grains from our diets. This came as a big shock to me as I have been living on alternative grains, especially rice, for my energy and calories. This leads us to the second point.
2. The other problem with grains is that they ultimately break down into sugar whether you are talking about grains containing gluten or not. In his book Dr. Davis talks about glycation as causing an increased rate of biological aging. Glycation causes breakdown of the proteins in hemoglobin. This is one of the advanced glycation end products that ultimately causes atherosclerosis, cataracts and dimentia, to name a few.
The rate of this breakdown process through glycation can be measured as the amount of HbA1c in the blood. HBA1c can be determined with a normal blood test or with a finger prick test. Traditionally HbA1c has been used as another marker for diabetes, but as you can see it is so much more than that.
If the amount of HbA1c in your blood is at 5% or lower, you are aging at a normal rate. However, if your HbA1c is over 5% then you are aging at a faster rate than you should. Yikes! Talk about a red alert. In my opinion everyone should know their HbA1c levels.
Thanks Dr. Davis for explaining the dangers of grains and blood sugar so clearly. Basically, if our blood sugar goes up glycation goes up which leads to protein breakdown. Now I understand the importance for controlling sugars of all kinds in my diet. Reminds me of the saying, ‘All things in moderation.’ For those of you that are interested in health and longevity, I would recommend putting Dr Davis’ book on your bucket list for 2014. I think you will be glad you did.
If you have any feedback about this article or health reach out and share your stories and questions. I will be continuing this conversation in the posts to come so check back in if you are interested. My next post will be on the glycemic indes of the different foods we eat. Thanks for reading,
Carey O’Rielly DDS has been a practicing dentist for 35 years. He went to USC Dental School and Duke University for his undergraduate degree. He grew up in Laguna Beach and now lives in La Costa with his wife Victoria, who runs his office.
He began his career by owning and operating a network of six offices in the San Francisco Bay Area. Presently he owns a private holistic practice in North County San Diego’s Encinitas.
Dr. O started looking for solutions to his health challenges that resulted from the stress and environmental toxicity that built up over a ten year period running his dental network. He has dedicated himself to learning about oral systemic problems and how dentistry can affect your health. He has applied what he has learned over the last twenty years to ensure he, his staff and his patients are protected from the chemicals and toxic materials found in most dental offices. He has produced an environmentally friendly office that is also peaceful and calm.
He is an expert on dental materials having looked at hundreds of biocompatibility lab tests over the years. He has identified the most bio-friendly materials to use in his practice and which dental materials can be used to replace metal fillings and crowns, including BPA free and fluoride free ‘white’ fillings. He also uses metal-free Zirconia or ceramic implants and PRF (platelet-rich fibrin) grafting materials which come from the patient’s own blood.
Dr. O’Rielly teaches C.E. courses on the systemic effects of gum disease. He is an expert in using phase contrast microscopy for analyzing dental infections, where he shows patients what kind of microbes, i.e. bacteria, amoeba, and yeasts like candida are populating the mouth and affecting the body as a whole.
He has an educational blog and is writing a book on dental health called ‘Hidden Dental Infections: Healing Root Canals and Infected Teeth with the Erbium Laser’ where he discusses dental nutrition, toxic dental materials and the effects of old root canals on inflammation and overall health.