so, having read this book (at least 3/4ths of it, the crap at the end sent me to sleep) here's the basic premise:
1. This cardiologist, Dr. William Davis, somehow stumbled across the idea that cutting wheat out of one's diet can help with some things
2. He's recommended it to many of his clients and they've done amazingly well (I follow his twitter feed, he continually posts anecdotes)
3. He looked into this a little further and discovered that wheat, as we eat it nowadays, processed OR NOT, has been cross-bred and mucked with to the point that it's more of a mutant wheat. The gluten composition is different (from higher chromosome count/different composition) from what our grandparents likely grew up eating, and the modern day "dwarf wheat" is so different from the tall wheat we've eaten most of humanity's agricultural lifetime that it can't survive on its own in the wild. Dwarf wheat was developed for high yield per acre, which is why it's grown and used for most conventional bread/misc. baking flours; Durum wheat used for pasta isn't like this, from what I understand. He seems to argue that the complex genetic composition of modern "dwarf wheat" may have revealed some unintended consequences of triggering gluten sensitivity in people who wouldn't otherwise normally be sensitive to the older types of wheat.
Anyway, like most pop health books, the author started with a kernel of truth (IMO) and tried to make it grow tentacles to explain the whole universe.
Some quick hits I recall from the book (I read it a month ago)-
1. Amylopectin-A, the predominant starch in wheat, breaks down to glucose and spikes your blood sugar at a breakneck pace--faster than table sugar.
2. On the glycemic index, according to Dr. Davis, whole wheat bread is no better (or not much better, anyhow) than enriched wheat flour-based bread. Might have more fiber and nutrients, but they're not hiding that amylopectin-A from your amylase enzymes...
3. Some wheat-based goods have an enzyme deliberately added (transgluttaminase?) that modifies the gluten in such a way as to make it mimic proteins commonly attacked by your immune system. There's a functional reason for it, I can't remember what it was though.
4. Some of the proteins in the gluten complex cross the blood-brain barrier and act like endorphins, making you slightly high. he calls them "exorphins".
5. Gluten-related antibodies are higher on average with healthy humans nowadays than they were ~50 years ago, there's an interesting study he details where a select group of healthy young military men had blood drawn & preserved back in the 1950's and they decided to pull it out of storage, test it for whatever antibodies they were looking for, but do a parallel test with similarly-aged men in the early 2000's along with men in their 70's who would've been in their 20's back in the 1950's when the first blood was drawn. The concentration of these antibodies was several-fold higher in the early-2000's samples than in the old 1950's samples, moreso with the young folks if I recall correctly.
6. Something like 30%, or 40%? of the population is likely to have some form of gluten sensitivity, not full blown Celiac disease necessarily but something subtle.