Researchers in Rome, Italy, report that the prevalence of celiac disease is increased in patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy. A previous study found that the prevalence of celiac disease in the general population is roughly 2 per 1,000.
Lancet July 17,1999;354:222-223.
COMMENT: Celiac disease is a severe intestinal intolerance to wheat. Individuals afflicted with this disease require an absolute wheat restriction for their entire lives. I am convinced all blood type O individuals should not eat wheat. I suspect that most of us would benefit from a similar restriction. Some of you may know that my nickname in medial school, 20 years ago, was Dr. Fiber. I aggressively promoted high whole grain diets, as I was unaware of the complications they can cause in most people. Time and experience have taught me that most of what I initially learned 25-30 years ago about nutrition (and is still being widely promoted today) was not correct. I found this particular study fascinating as it showed that wheat, in susceptible individuals, can actually cause heart damage. I suspect the mechanism is the formation of antibodies that bind to the wheat and certain tissue in the heart. This then triggers the patient’s immune system to destroy the heart tissue.