Is wheat bad for everyone, not just those with coeliac disease or NCGS?
Conventional dietary advice instructs the world to increase consumption of "complex carbohydrates", or "whole grains", and then champions wholegrain bread and other wheat products as a solution to many health problems.
However, in the original 1981 study from The University of Toronto, that which began the concept of Glycaemic Index, paints a much more negative picture. This original study showed that the GI of sucrose (table sugar) was 59, while the GIs of white bread and wholegrain bread respectively were 69 and 72. A Mars Bar has a GI of 68, and a Snickers bar has a GI of 41, also beating bread. A dramatic rise in blood sugar levels will also trigger a dramatic rise in insulin, which encourages energy storage: first to glycogen (stored sugar) in the liver, then to fat if glycogen stores are plentiful. Excessive fat can also lead to chronic inflammation, as fat tissue produces pro-inflammatory cytokines known as adipokines, as well as tumour necrosis factor-alpha, and interleukins1, 1-RA, 6, 8 and 10. One adipokine, called adiponectin, can be anti-inflammatory in the blood vessels, but is pro-inflammatory in the skeletal joints and is associated with rheumatoid arthritis and degradation.
This inflammation contributes to the pancreatic injury described in the main source of this post. Even if consistently high blood sugar levels do not cause insulin resistance and then diabetes, you do not want them. It is the consistently high blood sugar levels in diabetic people that is the cause of retinopathy (eye damage), neuropathy (nerve damage) and nephropathy (kidney damage); in fact it is said that diabetes is a model for accelerated aging, with the "age-related diseases" often appearing years earlier than "expected" in non-diabetics! Unabsorbed blood sugar has a tendency towards getting tangled in cells and tissues and forming advanced glycation end products, or AGEs. These are useless, disrupt normal functions and have no currently known method of removal. Their only "function" is to cause even more oxidation and inflammation, adding to the already existent tissue damage, with the most visible result being wrinkling and sagging of the skin! (then you age and die, and I am expected to have babies to replace you. Ain't the "circle of life" wonderful(!?))
Fortunately, there are now known substances that can impair AGE formation, and a way to clear them may be discovered. AGE levels in the red blood cells do have the ability to decrease because these are recycled every 120 days; this is what gets measured in the HbA1c blood tests that are recommended for diabetics. Also fortunately, gluten-free and blood sugar-friendly recipes (such as those from the Palaeo diets) taste great and can encourage you to be creative in cooking.