Gluten, found in all grains, can cause cancer, asthma, depression, thyroid disease, arthritis, migraines, skin inflammation, and 190 other diseases.

Gluten, found in all grains, can cause cancer, asthma, depression, thyroid disease, arthritis, migraines, skin inflammation, and approximately 190 other diseases. Symptoms often disappear quickly if gluten is stopped completely. Source: Dr Peter Osborne

The prolamine (gluten) fraction of proteins in grains

All grains have gluten, not just the specific grains that have traditionally been blamed for celiac disease. Grains are the seeds of grass, and that seed contains a starchy endosperm, which contains gluten. Here is a partial list of grains, along with the specific type of prolamine that it contains. The percentage given is the ratio of the specific prolamine to the total protein content of that grain.

Grain Prolamine % total protein
Wheat Gliadin 69
Rye Secalinin 30-50
Oats Avenin 16
Barley Hordein 46-52
Millet Panicin 40
Corn Zien 55
Rice Orzenin 5
Sorgum Kafirin 52

“Gluten-free” Packaged Foods

Many packages that are labeled “gluten free” actually do contain gluten. In most of these cases, the manufacturer of the product has replaced one grain, such as wheat, for another grain, perhaps rice, so the net effect was to substitute one gluten for another while perhaps reducing the percentage of gluten without eliminating it altogether. This may provide a solution for some people, if they were sensitive to wheat gluten (gliadin) but not rice gluten (orzenin). But others are sensitive to all gluten, and therefore will not get relief until they eliminate all grains from their diet.

Gluten Allergy vs. Gluten Intolerance vs. Gluten Sensitivity

With gluten allergy, the immune system responds to the presence of gluten, and produces an unwanted effect, like pain or inflammation. The term gluten intolerance is used to describe individuals that are not able to digest gluten where there is no apparent reaction from the immune system. The term “gluten sensitivity” is ambiguous. It can be used to describe individuals that do not do well with gluten but are unsure of whether they are allergic to gluten or are simply unable to digest it.

Conditions that may be Directly Caused by Gluten Sensitivity (Allergy or Intolerance)

An allergic reaction to gluten, or an ability to digest it, could be the primary direct cause of any of the following diseases. But these diseases may be caused by other factors as well, so it is crucial that you consult your doctor so as to rule in or out gluten sensitivity before you can know the exact cause of the disease. If you have any of the following conditions, it would be wise to suspect that gluten may be a causal factor until your doctor has helped you rule it out: Angina pectoris (chest pain/pressure), anorexia, immunoglobulinopathies, antiphospholipid syndrome, anxiety, apathy, apthous ulcers and canker sores, aortic vasculitis, arthritis (enteropathis, psoriatic, rheumatoid, juvenile rheumatoid), abdominal pain and distention, spontaneous abortion, addison’s disease, ADD/ADHD, alopecia (hair loss), anemis (iron deficiency, folate deficiency, B-12 deficiency, B-6 deficiency, Vitamin C deficiency, Vitamin e deficiency, Copper deficiency*), ataxia, atherosclerosis, autism and other learning disorders, cholangitis (gall bladder), dermatitis herpetiformis, autoimmune hepatitis, polyglandular syndrome, thyroiditis (hypothyroidism), bitot’s spots, blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelid), abnormal blurry vision, bone pain, bone fractures, cachexia, bronchiectasis, bronchoalveolitis, adenocarcinoma of the intestine, small cell esophageal cancer, melanoma, asthma, cardiomegaly, cardiomyopathy, cataracts, cerebral perfusion abnormalities, cheilosis, chorea, coagulation abnormalities, chron’s disease, ulcerative colitis, chronic constipation, coronary artery disease, diarrhea, lymphoma, cutaneous vasculitis, cystic fibrosis, delayed puberty, failure to thrive, dementia, depression, dermatomyositis, diabetes mellitus type I, Down syndrome, dysmenorrhea, dysgeusia, duodenal erosions, edema, eczema, dysphasia, epilepsy, spontaneous nose bleeds, erythema nodosum, CFS, growth retardation, mental retardation, secondary food allergy response, blood in the stool, gastric bloating, grave’s disease, bleeding gums, hair loss, heartburn, H pylori infection, hives, NAFL, malnutrition and nutritional deficiencies, infertility, hypogonadism, hypoglycemia, hypospenism, thrombocytopenia, impotence, osteoporosis, insomnia, IBS, keratomalacia, lactose intolerance, loss of smell, non-hodgkin lymphoma, early menopause, migraine headache, multiple sclerosis, muscle wasting, myopathy, obesity, osteomalacia, osteopenia, parathyroid carcinoma, pancreatic insufficiency, polymytosis, PMS, biliary cirrhosis, psoriasis, dermatitis, sjogren’s syndrome, short stature, scleroderma, steatorrhea, spina bifida, SLE, tremors, parkinson’s disease, glossitis, vitiligo, vomiting, vaginitis, UTI (urinary tract infections), PCOS.

* any of these nutrient deficiencies can lead to many other conditions that are not listed above.

This article was originally posted on December 10, 2012 on

Dr Greger on Curing Heart Disease, Diabetes and other Diseases with Plant Based diet

In this video Dr Michael Greger of speaks about curing heart disease, diabetes and other diseases with a plant-based diet.

Dr. Greger’s mission is to help you make the best decision for your health based on science. He reviews every medical publication to bring you an accurate summary of findings from the worldwide scientific community. All of the information on Dr. Greger’s Web site is free of charge and there are no ads. We like his style.

The Benefits of a Raw Vegan Diet

Raw food at Vida Lotus Retreat and Spa: carrot bites

Raw Vegan is a modern term to refer to the original human diet: pure organic fruits, with some vegetables, seeds and nuts. We that eat this way are known as raw vegans.

Raw plants contain all the nutrients that we need-and in the right concentrations. The thousands of varieties of edible plants in the different seasons of the year produce a unique and optimal synergy for human health.


Truth and Lies About Protein

Fruit infusions, cinnamon rolls, tabouli and mango ice cream

The Protein Myth

One of the greatest modern myths is that, since your muscles are made of protein, then eating protein must be good for you. Another way of saying this is that if you want to have strong muscles, then you should eat muscles. Some cultures also believe that eating animal feet is good for your feet, eating heart is good for your heart, eating brain is good for your brain, and so on.

The Protein Lie

Eating dead animals and drinking the secretions of live animals is a good way to nourish your body with the building blocks that it needs. Those that tell this lie are not liars, but well-intentioned people that have learned an untruth, and are so convinced of it that they repeat the lie.

The Truth about Protein

Your body produces its own protein from the 20 amino acids found in fruit. And, your immune system is designed to protect your self-produced protein while attacking all other proteins, including those that are nicely-packaged with “heart-smart” labels and other misleading marketing tactics. Eating animal protein will result in lost energy, a weakened immune system, frequent problems in the digestive tract, and an increased incidence of heart disease, cancer and other chronic degenerative diseases. Choosing fruit and herbs instead of animal products will result in increased energy, a strong immune system, a healthy digestive tract, and a reduced incidence of cancer and heart disease.

The Details about Amino Acids, Peptides and Proteins.

Amino acids are the basic building blocks of peptides and proteins. Peptides are made of two or more amino acids. Ten or more amino acids strung together are called polypeptides. Peptides consisting of more than fifty amino acids are called proteins.

There are twenty different amino acids. Nine of these are called “essential” because our body is not able to make them internally, therefore we must get these from our food. (*1)

When several amino acids are strung together with peptide bonds, the string is called “polypeptide”. Several of these “semi-finished” parts are then assembled in a finished product that has a unique 3D shape and a specific function. These finished products are called proteins.

Complete proteins and incomplete proteins.

You may have heard that “animal products contain complete proteins” and “plant products contain incomplete proteins”. These statements are misleading. Here, the operative word “complete” relates only to whether or not the substance contains the nine essential amino acids. Animal products do contain the nine essential amino acids, but soon you will see why this is not a good thing for humans. Some plant products, such as flax and hemp, do also contain all nine essential amino acids. Most fruits and vegetables, however, contain some but not all of the nine essentials. But this should not be a concern to anyone, since plant-based diets are not meant to rely on any one fruit or vegetable to provide every nutrient that you will ever need. Dr. John McDougall succinctly explains this in his short article, Plant Foods Have a Complete Amino Acid Composition, published in the American Heart Association Journals. In an upcoming article on this site, I will discuss many of the foods that provide essential nutrients including amino acids.

The human body is designed to turn the amino acids in fruit into thousands of different specialized proteins.

Your body is a sophisticated organism that is made up of 78 organs. Each organ is made of a group of tissues that work together. A tissue is a group of similar cells. It is inside the nucleus of each cell that proteins are formed from a group of amino acids. Human cells produce around fifty thousand different types of proteins. Some examples are hemoglobin, collagen, enzymes and hormones. Our immune system is capable of recognizing the body’s own cells because of a specific type of protein called HLA (Human Leukocyte Antigen).

The human body is designed to attack “foreign” proteins including viruses and animal protein.

When our immune system finds a protein that does not contain our own unique identifier, it considers this “foreign source protein” a threat. White blood cells called leucocytes are sent to attack the invader. When the body sends many leucocytes to a specific point of infection, the term leucocytosis is used to describe the inflammatory immune response that will hopefully save you from the threat. Ideally, the immune system should be available to attack only the most serious threats, such as cancer, as well as viruses. But for those humans with the unfortunate habit of consuming animal products, the immune system is forced to send leucocytes to the entire digestive tract, day and night, without rest. This is called digestive leucocytosis. If this person should come into contact with a cold or a flu virus, the body will not be able to respond immediately to the virus, as it is perpetually backlogged with possible threats in the digestive tract.

Those that eat animal products will take longer to recover from cold and flu viruses.

According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, most uncomplicated colds last between eight and nine days, but about 25 percent last two weeks, and five to ten percent last three weeks. But Dr. Mercola recommends that his patients eat animal products including eggs, raw milk and grass fed cows. I do not consume any of these, and in the last fifteen years, I have been infected with the cold and flu viruses several times. Each time, my immune system eliminated the virus within mere minutes. This may sound shocking, but it is true. A box of tissues can last me a few years since I typically only need one tissue per infection. (Of course, there are other uses for tissues, but back when I ate animal products, I would typically go through an entire box of tissues with each cold or flu infection.)

Eating meat and ingesting animal products causes cancer.

There is a large and growing body of research that clearly demonstrates the relationship between eating animal products and increased cancer rates. Recently, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) published the result of its extensive meta-analysis. The IARC found that processed meat is definitely a carcinogen, while red meat is “probably a carcinogen”. Their study did not consider the carcinogenic effects of eating poultry, fish or dairy. In the most comprehensive nutrition study ever conducted, The China Study, Dr. T. Colin Campbell shows how tumor growth is turned on and off simply by changing the protein intake of an animal. In his experiment, animals were exposed to aflatoxin, a potent carcinogen, until a tumor began growing aggressively. While the animals continued eating their “normal” diet of 20% protein, the tumors continued growing rapidly. But when these animals were switched to a diet with only 5% protein, the tumors stopped growing. According to Dr. Campbell, who grew up on a dairy farm believing that cow milk was nature’s perfect food, the casein that accounts for 87% of cow milk protein promotes every stage of cancer growth. Campbell and his huge team of scientists in both the United States and China, showed an undeniable correlation between diets that include animal protein and the formation of several types of cancer, especially liver cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer.

Eating meat is associated with an increased incidence of heart disease.

I have written a separate article on this topic, so you can follow the link to read that article if you have not already done so.

Vegetarians will have more energy because digesting fruit is fast and easy.

Fruit contains amino acids that are ready to be used immediately by the body in constructing any of thousands of forms of proteins that the body creates. Fruit also contains abundant pure water, vitamins, minerals and digestive enzymes. This combination is optimal for human health, and results in a fast, efficient digestion with a minimal expenditure of energy.

Attempting to digest animal products will result in energy loss.

Animal products do not contain the raw materials that we need. Instead, they contain a variety of proteins that were useful to the animal being consumed, but are of no use to a human being. The protein in chicken eggs, for example, is appropriate for the formation of feathers, a beak, and other chicken parts. (Remember, chicken eggs are fetuses destined to become cute little chicks.)

Attempting to build a human body from chicken protein is like trying to build a house from car parts.

Your car door probably looks fine right where it is, but it will neither be stylish nor functional on your home. Sure, in theory you could disassemble it, then melt down its metal and then create a new door for your home. But you can easily see how that process would be lengthy, complicated and costly. If you have ever eaten a large steak dinner… how did you feel afterwards? Ready to run a marathon? Or ready to pass out?

Cooking denaturalizes food.

It requires a stretch of the imagination to believe that our body will magically melt down then disassemble the animal proteins into usable amino acids. Try to imagine first melting down that car door, then attempting to disassemble it. Melted screws cannot be unscrewed and reused. It is an ugly reality: cooking denaturalizes protein. This means that the “natural” protein becomes something un-natural, unrecognizable and useless to our bodies. If you light a strand of your hair on fire, you will not be left with its component amino acids, but rather, toxic smoke and a disgusting melted blob that can never be re-assembled into a hair.

The human immune system rejects all foreign protein.

It is wishful thinking that the human body can use animal protein. The body is programmed to attack and eliminate it, since it appears as a foreign invader to our immune system. To illustrate this point, consider the case of a person receiving a kidney transplant from his identical twin. This is an extreme example, since the twins’ DNA are more similar than the DNA of unrelated people, and certainly much more similar than the DNA of a person and a pig. The transplant must be done in an isolated part of the hospital since the recipient’s immune system must be suppressed. Following the surgery, the patient will continue taking immunosuppressant pills for the rest of her life, otherwise her body would reject the transplanted organ. (There are even cases of the transplanted organ rejecting the body!) If our immune system is designed to attack even a much-needed kidney from one’s identical twin, how could it possibly allow the protein of another animal to remain?

Eating animal products is linked with gastro-intestinal cancer, constipation, gallstones and more.

A study from the Gastrointestinal Research Unit of the Leicester General Hospital in the United Kingdom found that “Vegetarians were found to have a lower incidence of gastro-intestinal cancer, gallstones, diverticular disease (a disease of the large intestine) and constipation.”


You now know that eating animal protein will rob you of your energy, weaken your immune system, plug up your digestive tract, and maybe even give you cancer or heart disease. You also know that fruit provides all of the nutrients that you need to be healthy. Consuming animal products will make your life mediocre. You’ll spend more time, money and energy on an animal-based diet, that will ultimately leave you battling illness at the mercy of the pharmaceutical industry. Alas, it was they that wrote the chapter on nutrition in the medical textbooks! Don’t settle for mediocrity. Choose instead what’s best for you and your family. Choose to thrive on fresh fruit and herbs, and avoid the needless suffering. Here are some delicious raw vegan recipes to get you started. Or visit Vida Lotus to learn more about healthy living.


1. The 20 amino acids are, in alphabetical order: alanine, arginine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, hystidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, proline, serine, therionine, tryptophan, tyrosine and valine.

The nine essential amino acids are hystidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, therionine, tryptophan, and valine.


Headache and Migraines up 193% due to Economic Recession

According to a study published in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine(1), headache symptoms, including migraines, were up 193 percent between 2009 and 2011. The study, conducted by Benjamin M. Althouse and others, compared the number of Google searches done pre- and post-recession and found an increase of 1.52 million queries for headache-related terms at the end of the recession, compared with the beginning. The number of queries had declined steadily in the three years prior to the recession (2006-2009).

Using Google searches to estimate the total number of headache and migraine sufferers is not an ideal method, as there is no guarantee that every headache and migraine sufferer will check with Google. But headaches and migraines are conditions that are both under-diagnosed by doctors, as many patients self-medicate with over-the-counter medications or simply wait for the symptoms to pass. Patients may neglect to mention these symptoms during a later visit to the doctor when the patient is feeling better. Considering this, the Google trend does seem to give a valuable insight into the overall trend. Plus, Google search results are much more readily available and less expensive to analyse than the old methods of conducting surveys and counting visits to hospitals and clinics.

As you can see from the graphs below, the trend for both headache symptoms including migraine (bottom graph) and ulcer symptoms (top graph) shows a clear and dramatic increase during the years hardest hit by the recession.

Headache Migraine and Ulcer Trend 2006-2011
Headache/Migraine and Ulcer Trend 2006-2011

Althouse and his colleagues looked at the searches related to 383 medical conditions. The report, which was blocked from publication until just this month, gives greater details on the 100 conditions that increased most substantially during the recession. Ulcers and headaches were the two conditions with the greatest increase, 228% and 193% respectively.

How is (Economic) Stress Related to Headaches and Migraines

Money certainly doesn’t buy happiness or health. Some folks live in abject poverty and manage to sidestep ulcers and headaches, while many of the world’s wealthiest indeed suffer both of these conditions regularly.

But for some people, economic stress seems to put them on a downward spiral that starts with negative emotions, followed by declining lifestyle habits (especially diet and exercise). Dr. John W. Ayers, a research professor at San Diego State University, said “by the end of the great recession in 2011, queries were still substantially higher than before the recession… People were not getting better with the economy. People were potentially much sicker.” (2) If lack of money could directly cause ulcers, headaches and migraines, then these conditions should have improved notably at the end of the great recession. This study clearly shows that economic stress is but one contributor to these and many other conditions.

Health problems most often result from an accumulation of stress and toxins. If you have lived in a toxic environment, or have eaten a toxic diet for a number of years, then you can expect that you have accumulated toxins in your body. Moving to a less toxic area and choosing less toxic food will certainly help you avoid worsening the accumulation, but this will not necessarily mean that the prior accumulation will disappear.

Similarly, stressful situations such as an economic recession may elicit an unhealthy physical/mental response in some people, leading to accumulated physical/mental tension. When the stressful situation passes, this does not automatically mean that the accumulated tension will dissipate. Unless one takes a specific action to eliminate the accumulated toxins and physical/mental tension, then the symptoms are likely to persist beyond the removal of the external causal factor.

How to Stay Healthy and Avoid Headaches and Migraines, Even During Stressful Times

My wellness-generating Lotus Lifestyle contains all of the essential lifestyle elements for getting and staying healthy. The 9-point system includes a proper diet, the right kind of exercise, and seven other key points. Following my system costs nothing, and will give you the best chance at eliminating and avoiding stress-and-lifestyle-related symptoms.

It is certainly wise to avoid whichever toxins and stressful situations that we reasonably can. But we must recognise that some toxins and some stressful situations are impossible to avoid, therefore we must adopt a healthy attitude and select a healthful response to such situations.

Whenever there is an uncomfortable situation, such as getting robbed, yelled at, accused, attacked, or when dealing with economic problems such as filing taxes, paying bills or getting fired, it is easy to become so absorbed in emotion that one fails to observe the physical consequence: often a tightening of certain muscles and of the myofascial tissues. Over time, our bodies adjust (unhealthily) to the repetitive stress. This results in a cumulative loss of “wiggliness”, which upsets the normal energy flow that is required to keep all of our systems functioning healthfully.

The healthy response to stressful situations is to continue observing one’s inner (physical/mental) state while also taking care of the external situation. If one is forced to react to the external situation immediately, as in the life-threatening situation of being attacked, then look inside as soon as the danger passes. When we look “inside” we can often notice that our heart rate has increased, our breath has become more shallow and some muscles have become tighter. We should remind ourselves to breathe deeply and slowly, and this will directly cause a normalisation of the heart rate and will leave us feeling much better overall. The tightening of the muscles must also be released, since tight muscles leads to a lack of wiggliness. And when we lose our wiggliness, conditions like headaches and anxiety “suddenly” appear.

If the anxious person fails to take the appropriate steps of breathing deeply and getting wiggly, he may instead seek instant gratification with a mad dash to the fridge or an urgent stop at a fast food restaurant for some . The anxious person is not thinking about long term health, which would involve selecting proper foods and lovingly preparing them without adding harmful chemicals. The anxious person is looking to stuff his face and his belly right this moment to divert his attention from the anxiety itself or from the stressful situation he is facing.

Sadly, it seems the world fully caters to the anxious customer… 24-hour drive-throughs and supermarkets provide so many choices, almost none of which are free of toxins, and almost all of which cause acidity. Stomach acidity directly causes ulcers and indirectly leads to a host of other physical and mental symptoms including anxiety and headaches.

Eating healthy food is the best way to avoid ingesting harmful chemicals. But even if you select the very healthiest option, an organic raw vegan diet (recipes here), that doesn’t mean that you will never take in any toxin. There are plenty of toxins that will find their way into your body without your having eaten them, such as from the air that we breathe. So we still need to consider a regular detox regimen such as the daily use of a sauna, or perhaps a yearly (supervised) water fast.


  1. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Benjamin M. Althouse et al. 2014. View report.
  2. New York Times. January 8, 2014. Hard Times and Headaches. Nicholas Bakalar.

Vegetarians Suffer 32% Fewer Heart Attacks

A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition confirms that a vegetarian diet is among the best ways to prevent a heart attack.

This study, produced by the scientists at the University of Oxford and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, analysed data from 15,100 vegetarians and 29,400 non-vegetarians.

Over the 11-year study, 169 people died from heart disease and 1,066 were hospitalized – and these were 32 percent more likely to be non-vegetarians.

According to Dr Francesca Crowe, “The main message is that diet is an important determinant of heart health… Vegetarians probably have a lower intake of saturated fat so it makes senses there is a lower risk of heart disease.”

The study also showed that the vegetarians had lower blood pressure, lower levels of “bad” cholesterol and had a healthier weight.

My comment:

Choosing a vegetarian diet is not enough in and of itself to ensure overall health, nor to eliminate the risk of heart disease. Some vegetarians in this study also suffered heart attacks, and some died. A diet that excludes meat but includes refined sugars and grains is still unhealthy, and leads to multiple types of diseases. Some vegetarians also smoke and avoid excercise. Stress also affects vegetarians and non-vegetarians. In general, vegetarians tend to be calmer than non-vegetarians (perhaps due to the hormones often found in animal products) but even an outwardly calm person may accumulate stress and anxiety inside, with detrimental health consequences.

Judging by Dr. Crowe’s comment, it appears that she may be under the impression that all saturated fats are unhealthy. This is not the case. While it is true that saturated fats from animal sources are usually quite harmful, there are some saturated fats from vegetable sources that are extremely beneficial to your health, such as those found in coconul oil.