Did Lou Gehrig Have a Wheat Allergy?

Recently I went on a lecture cruise around the San Francisco Bay with Dr. David Perlmutter, MD.  Dr. Perlmutter is a board certified neurologist and the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, Grain Brain, that exposes the truth about the devastating effects of wheat, sugar, and carbs on the brain. I had a chance to speak with Dr. Perlmutter personally during one of the breaks. I asked him if he would like to hear a case history, and he agreed.

A few years ago at a nutrition seminar I attended, the presenter showed us slides with scarring on brain scans, taken from a man who was paralyzed. At first the doctors thought the man had Lou Gehrig’s disease. As it turned out, it was discovered that the paralyzed man was allergic to wheat. After the doctors took him off wheat, the brain scarring eventually disappeared, and he was able to walk again.

The presenter then showed us a slide of the first athlete on the Wheaties cereal box in 1934.  It was Lou Gehrig!  Some of you may know that ALS, or what is commonly known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is an inflammatory condition. Perhaps Lou Gehrig had a wheat allergy and didn’t know it!  Dr. Perlmutter thanked me for the story, and asked where he could find a picture of the Wheaties box with Lou Gehrig on it:


The point of the brain scans we were shown was to demonstrate that when we eat a food that we are allergic to, we might get bloated, feel tired or put on some weight, but we have no idea what it’s doing to our brains. The brain has no pain fibers, so we won’t notice any damage until it’s too late.

In Grain Brain, Dr. Perlmutter states that by age 85 we have a 50% chance of getting Alzheimer’s disease. If we eat wheat, we are increasing our chances of getting the disease. One way to prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s and other inflammatory diseases is to be tested for wheat and other food allergies. We provide this food allergy testing at my clinic, Advanced Weight Loss and Wellness in Lafayette.



Here’s what else I learned at the lecture with Dr. Perlmutter:

  • Our metabolism is regulated by our gut bacteria, or microbiome (which includes healthy and pathogenic microorganisms). What is happening in the gut affects everywhere else in the body.
  • We can change our DNA expression by changing our microbiome.
  • Antibiotics are a weapon of mass microbial destruction. Antibiotics cause a decrease in microflora and immune function. Antibiotic use increases the chances of breast cancer.  The increase in antibiotic consumption has caused an increase in obesity and diabetes. Having diabetes quadruples the chance for getting Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Sugar and artificial sweeteners all increase systemic inflammation. Artificial sweeteners double the chances of diabetes & weight gain. The more diet drinks are consumed, the greater the BMI or body mass index (body fat).
  • According to Dr. Perlmutter, agave is the highest fructose, most dangerous sweetener on the planet.
  • It’s best to avoid GMO foods (genetically modified) because they contain residues of the fertilizer Round Up, which changes our microbiome. (Common GMO foods are anything made from corn, soy or artificial sweeteners). Round Up is a probable human carcinogen. Round Up is also an antibiotic and increases the risk for Alzheimer’s. Organic food is preferable, as it doesn’t have Round Up in it.
  • Consuming more prebiotic foods will increase the production of healthy bacteria in the gut, and decrease the risk for Alzheimer’s. The best natural sources of prebiotics include jicama, Jerusalem artichokes, chicory root, dandelion greens, raw garlic, and raw or cooked onions.


At Advanced Weight Loss & Wellness, we are dedicated to helping you live your healthiest and happiest life. If you would like to improve your digestive function, immunity and brain health, we would love a chance to help you. We can also arrange for food allergy testing or help you choose the right prebiotic and probiotic supplements. Call 925-962-9160 now to arrange a complimentary 15 minute consultation with Dr. Raphael Rettner.

To learn more:

To read Dr. Raphael’s review of GRAIN BRAIN: http://advancedweightlossandwellness.com/review-book-grain-brain-surprising-truth-wheat-carbs-sugar-brains-silent-killers/

Researchers propose link between gluten and ALS


List of Common GMO Foods: