Wheat Germ Agglutinin: How a “Monster Molecule” Could Affect Every Cell in Your Body

Loren Cordain, PhD

  • Why ALL grains are toxic to humans and other mammals
  • How wheat germ agglutinin affects the body
  • Why gluten isn't the only problematic component of wheat
  • How wheat interferes with the absorption of vitamin D
  • How grains contribute to nutrient deficiencies
  • The startling truth about vegetarian diets

You spoke and we listened. We've added a spot for comments for those of you that aren't on Facebook.





    You would reach a lot more people if you used Reddit.com . This site is like the newspaper to the world. People need to vote up the summit and it could make it to front page!


    I am extremely disappointed that the time frame you have provided. Due to time zones and other difficulties it is impossible to listen to each session in it’s totality within the period you have established.Of course what it does do is encourage sales for the DVD package which in itself is too much for the average person.Great material in spite of it. Thanks again.

      Dr Tom

      Hello Lorraine, thanks for your feedback. At the end of the week we will have an ENCORE DAY. We’ll repeat (4) presenters, and you will be able to vote on Monday, so if there is a presenter you missed the first time around you can vote. We have worked to make the Digital All-Access Package very affordable at $67 and added multi-pay options. It comes out to about $2.31 per speaker. Enjoy the rest of the Gluten Summit. Warm regards.

    Dee Somerset

    Thirty five years ago I was diagnosed with severe hypoglycemia and had one end of my pancreas removed as I was “throwing out” too much insulin. Since I have learned about gluten I am feeling so well and my arthritis is not causing me pain along with my sugar being more regulated.

    Sandra Leclerc

    I am so pleased to see this topic being discussed. I am a mother of a 9 year old son, who has suffered his entire life with little to no help from the medical community.

    Stephanie hamarman

    Fabulous lecture by dr cordain. i have already given up grains but now I will give up legumes like lentils and chickpeas as these interfere with vit d metabolism and cause leaky gut. If I give up wheat,gluten, all grains , all legumes and seeds how can I get b vitamins I need from other foods. If I do not want to take b vitamins. I never knew legumes have lectins that rob you of nutrients!


    What about Einkorn wheat? Does it damage the same as the wheat you studied?

      Dr. Loren Cordain

      The most recent, best controlled study of Einkorn wheat (1) shows that it is toxic to celiac patients and should be avoided 1. Suligoj T, Gregorini A, Colomba M, Ellis HJ, Ciclitira PJ. Evaluation of the safety of ancient strains of wheat in coeliac disease reveals heterogeneous small intestinal T cell responses suggestive of coeliac toxicity. Clin Nutr. 2013 Feb 14. pii: S0261-5614(13)00049-6. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2013.02.003. [Epub ahead of print]


    Thank you Dr. Cordain this talk was very informative and something to really consider with our diet.


    I was unable to access yesterdays sessions this morning @7 AM PST. What is the problem?


    fhere is WGA in the water. I’m very problem whit wate!!!!!

    Nancy Henderson

    Thank you for another truly wonderful interview! I am thrilled to hear Vitamin D discussed by so many speakers in the forum–fascinating the ability of wheat to impair Vitamin D metabolism as Dr Cordain discusses. This has such far reaching implications– I suspect a chicken and the egg scenario going back generations– with mildly Gluten intolerant and Vitamin D deficient mothers giving birth to even more sensitive children, who are then exposed to more chemicals, and then our newly hybridized wheat being introduced, etc. Add wheat and other grains being presented as extruded breakfast cereals, laden with other processed foods in our diet, GMO’s, our modern conveniences such as EMF and RF’s and even the electric bulb– add a few generations — and recipe for the the coup de gras becomes complete enough to bring us moderns down. Our ancestors had to get it right or perish. Thank you… thank you for helping us turn the tide with your vital information. Can you clarify if the presence of wheat (or cross reactive substances like the only grain I am on– cornstarch from Armour thyroid– might be enough to block Vitamin D absorption?) Do we have any evidence that other lectins might block absorption of Vitamin D? Could blocking of Vitamin D occur from damage to the gut via other pathways creating a fat malabsorption issue? I did everything right for years– sunned daily here in So Cal, took cod liver oil and Vitamin K, ate salmon 4-5 x per week– and thought my D levels were OK. Something was blocking– I had a level of 34ng/ml. I had to take huge doses of D to bring it up to 97 now. The take home message is to get testing for food sensitivities AND Vitamin D– I think they both work together for faster healing…


      Am similarly concerned w/vit D on east coast. Read recently that substantial magnesium needs to be present (completely topped up) to effectively switch on vit D’s immune boosting function. Took me forever to locate this tidbit, but consider checking your magnesium levels. No longer left in the soils (empty harvest), and Mg. is also being bound, along with zinc and molybdenum (and more) by glyphosate so key minerals are not bioavailable to plants, Round-up (glyphosate) is used even in standard farming practices. Ditched weekly epsom salts soaks in place of magnesium chloride flake soaks (Ancient Minerals) and omg, like floating for days…can actually feel this Mg to Vit D to K-2 (MK-7) is a key balance. Maybe this little tidbit will help and will not hurt anything to test it out yourself…

      Dr. Loren Cordain

      In primates, a high corn diet is known to cause rickets (1) and hence interferes with normal vitamin D metabolism. The effect seems to be dose dependent, accordingly small amounts of corn likely would have minimal effect. Humans have no nutritional requirement for corn, and all known nutrients for a healthful diet can be obtained from fresh vegetables, fruits, meats, poultry, eggs, seafood, fish and nuts – the staples of contemporary Paleo diets. There are at least two in-vitro studies (tissue studies) showing that WGA blocks the nuclear pore (3,4), a structure by which vitamin enters the nucleus of cells to initiate all of its physiologic effects. I know of no other studies showing that other lectins cause this same effect. This evidence doesn’t mean that other lectins can’t have this same effect, it just means it hasn’t been tested yet. At least one human study (2) has shown that consumption of wheat bran impairs re-absorption and re-circulation of vitamin D. At the time, it was unknown by these authors that WGA also had the potential to impair vitamin D metabolism by blocking the nuclear pore (3,4). Note that no in-vivo (living) human study has yet to show that WGA can block the nuclear pore and interfere with vitamin D metabolism. 1. Sly MR, van der Walt WH, du Bruyn DB, Pettifor JM, Marie PJ. Exacerbation of rickets and osteomalacia by maize: a study of bone histomorphometry and composition in young baboons. Calcif Tissue Int. 1984 Jul;36(4):370-9 2. Batchelor AJ, Compston JE: Reduced plasma half-life of radio-labelled 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 in subjects receiving a high fiber diet. Brit J Nutr 1983;49:213-16. 3. Guinez C, Morelle W, Michalski JC, Lefebvre T. O-GlcNAc glycosylation: a signal for the nuclear transport of cytosolic proteins?Int J Biochem Cell Biol 2005;37:765-74. 4. Finlay DR, Newmeyer DD, Price TM, Forbes DJ. Inhibition of in vitro nuclear transport by a lectin that binds to nuclear pores. J Cell Biol. 1987 Feb;104(2):189-200.

    Joan hanrahan

    Like many others – it has been hard to access many presentations and work at the same time. I wish to pass the information on and appreciate Dr Cordain’s comment that this should be freely shared. What a generous man. I am a nutritional therapist in Dublin and see every day the results of a diet high in grains or a vegan diet high in lectins.

      Gluten Summit Team

      Hello Joan, thank you very much for your feedback. At the end of the week we will have an encore day. We’ll repeat four presenters, and you will be able to vote on Monday. The other way to ensure that you have access is to buy the package. We’ve made it very affordable at $67 and added multi-pay options. It comes out to about $2.31 per speaker. You can access that at this site: http://theglutensummit.com/order/ With warm regards.


    For the past 2 days I have signed on to listen and nothing is there.

      Gluten Summit Team

      Dear Susan, sorry for the inconvenience. Please be absolutely certain to clear the cache on your bowser before copying and pasting the event link from the daily email. This should resolve the issue. Using a different browser is also likely to resolve the issue. Thank you.


    Wonderful presentation & information. Question regarding Rejuvelac, a fermented drink made by soaking, sprouting & fermenting soft & hard wheat & rye grains. Does it have the same effects on the body as eating gluten? Does Rejuvelac also need to be eliminated for a pure gluten free diet?


      Hi Louise ~ Soaking does lessen the gluten, lectins and other things but it’s still wheat. It’s like Dr Davis says, you’re replacing a bad thing with a not so bad thing but that doesn’t mean it’s good – just less bad. There’s an article here: http://www.fathead-movie.com/index.php/2011/09/21/interview-with-wheat-belly-author-dr-william-davis-part-two/ – just search for ‘soak’.

      Dr. Loren Cordain

      Sprouting and fermenting wheat does not remove gluten nor WGA. It does lower the phytate content. Nevertheless, this product would be expected to produce the same harmful effects that other wheat products produce.

    Dr.Edna Bryan

    Thank you so such powerful information


    Great lecture in a superb series, but don’t think I’ve heard these questions addressed directly: what about quinoa – many nutritionists recommend this on non gluten diet and also as a good protein source. also I don’t think I’ve heard anyone talk about the idea of soaked/sprouted legumes and “non-gluten” grains being less toxic or non-toxic.


    I would like it if the presenters would call in on a hard line. Cell phone pick up or make extraneous sounds that are very annoying. It makes it hard to listen to this fabulous content. Thank you for The Gluten Summit.

    Valerie Palmer Canada

    Once again, wonderful info…NOT ENOUGH TIME to be able to listen to them, I wonder what I have missed, and who to choose on Monday!!!!!! THANK YOU!! VAlerie

    Valerie Palmer Canada

    I agree wholeheartedly your comments about the woman who son committed suicide, we must remain vigilant, always outside the box and of course our childhood conditioning THANK YOU ONCE AGAIN. We live in wonderful times for knowledge, especially the Internet!


    Great informative online presentations, I am trying to listen to all of them. It would be really helpful if we can get these online presentations, available for more than 24 hours.


    I was eagerly awaiting this interview, and I was not disappointed. What wonderful information and an explanation of the Paleo Diet that I could understand. THANK YOU!!


    1) Does sprouting grains and lentils have any effect on gluten and toxicity? 2) Ancient Paleo humans had lots of physical movement. Modern man dosen’nt. How does physical activity affect gluten digestion/absorption and ability of digestive system, enzymes, etc. 3) If “Epigenetics” concepts hold true – there has to be some human beings who have evolved immunity against gluten. In other words, gluten would be considered a friend and not a foe and the human body would not produce antibodies. 4) Has any research been done on toxicity of gluten in Organic Vs. Non Organic Vs. GMO Vs. Non GMO – I think we are seeing increase in these kind of digestive diseases because of increased consumption of GMO and Non Organic products.

      Dr. Loren Cordain

      Not all grains contain gluten (only wheat, rye and barley). Lentils and legumes also don’t contain gluten. Sprouting lowers the phytate content in grains and legumes but has little effect upon other toxic elements including gluten in grains. Exercise tends to increase gut motility, but would not prevent the gut from absorbing gluten, WGA and thaumatin like proteins found in wheat that adversely affect the gastrointestinal tract. Most of the world’s people do not have celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity. Nevertheless, the number of people worldwide that do represents a huge segment of the population. Humans have no nutritional requirement for wheat, rye, barley or any other cereal grain, and all known nutrients for a healthful diet can be obtained from fresh vegetables, fruits, meats, poultry, eggs, seafood, fish and nuts – the staples of contemporary Paleo diets. There is evidence that the gluten content of modern varieties of wheat has increase.


    Is there any scale/graph which shows Levels of Gluten Vs. Grains, Legumes.


    How about people who consume lots of rice (for example, in South East Asia) ? Do they have same levels of gluten related disorders Vs. populations in North America, Europe ? Are there any population related studies for gluten related disorders ?


    Are there any probiotics which can bind and/or regulate WGA ?


    I have been listening the last 6 days and learned so much. Thank you to the doctors. I started my Paleo diet in February and I feel better than I ever have. It was not to hard to make the transition. I have all of Dr Cordain’s books but I enjoyed listening to him and learned more.


    What happens if wheat is sprouted ? Does it loose toxicity because now it has no evolutionary reason to “protect” itself ? Why is nuts and seeds are recommended in Paleo diet? Do they do not also posses “self-defensive” properties as grains do ? So from evolutionary point of view why have nuts and seeds developed toxicity ?


    In the words of Loren Cordain Phd.- All health and wellness information should be FREE to the public…Love it! May I please make a suggestion – OraWellness does a fabulous Dental summit which was my first summit ever and they had an encore day which consisted of the ENTIRE 7 day line up! That way people could pick and choose what they missed. Then I listened to Sean Croxton’s summit and saw his encore day only consisted of 4 speakers based on popular vote – that stunk! And now you’re doing the same stinky thing! I now more than ever respect OraWellness and their true mission to educate and inform people all over the world!!! Please follow their encore practice and make all presenters available so you can TRULY reach and educate and MOVE THE NEEDLE with people from all over the world. Afterall, isn’t that what an encore is? one last from everyone? Thanks for your time.


      I agree, it would really be amazing if you could do a whole day of encore for ALL the speakers so that everyone can choose what they missed. It would really help everyone to catch up and feel better!. Thanks!


    Thank-you for a great summit and wealth of information Dr. Tom! We need to spread this around, so many people are suffering and don’t even know why. Thank-you!


    Just wondering.. If during the study, the formed elements were thrown out and negligible WGA was found in the plasma, how do they (the people conducting the study) know for a evidence-based, measured fact that WGA bound with the formed elements, got into the lymph and was transported into every cell of the body within hours of ingesting. I am trying to clarify for my own knowledge as I know most people looking into the validity of any study would look at the measured data, not just theoretical ideas. Also, the presentations have been so good that I do not want to misunderstand this point.


    I am so grateful for the treasure trove of information being provided for free. If you’d like to thank the sponsors of The Gluten Summit, I just obtained the list (use “Contact Us” tab on websites below): Alcat Worldwide https://www.alcat.com/ Cyrex Laboratories http://www.cyrexlabs.com/PatientHome/tabid/129/Default.aspx Celiac.com http://www.celiac.com/pages/Contact-Us.html Deerland Enzymes http://www.deerland-enzymes.com/contacts/new Bio-Botanical Research info@biobotanicalresearch.com (email sent) Pure Encapsulations http://www.pureencapsulations.com/customer-service/contact-us Ortho Molecular Products http://www.orthomolecularproducts.com/ContactUs.aspx (fax sent) NuMedica http://www.numedica.com/aboutus.cfm#Contactusform

    Robyn Hunter

    I listened to Dr Minich & Dr Codain this evening & was totally impressed& amazed @ both their findings it is very scary ……168 chemicals per day wow!!!! I hope there are more summits like this to keep us informed, it has been so interesting. Thank you Dr.Tom O’Bryan.

    Peggy Cyprowski

    Many thanks for all that you contribute and understanding dietary implication re: absorption of vitamins/ minerals. Dr. Tom O’Bryan you are the light at the end of the tunnel. My tunnel began fifty years past. I will continue to teach dietary conditions are in the power of the tongue. Sincerely Peggy


    Nothing wrong with eating meat to those who have gone vegan. We’re not rabbits. We do have canines – used for tearing meat. I am very gluten sensitive and need my meat protein more than my grains -or else my blood sugar levels go wonky. I grew up on mostly wild, organic meat and poultry. Now with the commercialization of farming and GMO crops, we are all sick. Some of those vegetables you’re consuming may be GMO too and of no benefit to you at all.


    In diabetes 2: what comes first, alternation of cell function by WGA or by insulin resistance? Maybe diabetes is a result of gluten intolerance in the first place?


    Hi there, I thought this podcast was amazing and I’m trying to use it in my college paper. Do you have a reference paper stating how Glycocalyx is actually dissolved by WGA that I can use. My college here in Ireland are very plant based and I’m struggling promoting a paleo diet for autoimmunity and even weightloss! I would love any references you used in your talk. Thank you so much for all your work. You have changed my life!


    Ridiculous story there. What occurred after? Take care! Also visit my web-site … edit google plus age

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