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The wheatgrass scam
Posted by: fresh ()
Date: January 21, 2018 07:15AM

The other day I was getting a pineapple smoothie for lunch, when I happened to notice a poster extolling the virtues of wheatgrass juice. I didn't know too much about it, except that I've heard a lot of people talk about it as if it's the second coming. So out of curiosity, I began reading the poster's assertions about this miraculous superfood.

My friends, the English language does not contain adequate hyperbole to do justice to the tons of manure printed on this poster. If the average person takes even half of this poster seriously, then we have a science literacy problem in this country far worse than even I would have imagined.

The poster was a list of claims, almost all of which centered around chlorophyll, of which it said wheatgrass juice is a rich source. Chlorophyll, as you know, is used by plants to synthesize proteins and sugars, using radiation from the sun to power a chemical reaction, converting carbon dioxide from the air and water from the ground into proteins and sugars, exhausting oxygen as a waste byproduct. Humans and other animals, not surprisingly, don't work this way. We get our proteins and sugars by eating food; our bodies have no special use for chlorophyll.

Now, I'm not saying that there's anything unhealthy or bad about wheatgrass juice. It's probably at least as healthy as just about any other plant that you could put in your juicer and blend into green syrup. I probably wouldn't rate wheatgrass as high on the nutrition scale as a proper cultivated vegetable, but I doubt very much that there's any harm in it. However, wheatgrass juice proponents don't merely claim that it's healthy or harmless. They've assembled the most outrageous list of vague medical conditions that it cures, and all sorts of types of wellness that it supposedly promotes. Since these claims are all entirely unsubstantiated, and sound far fetched to say the least, this is certainly a product you should approach skeptically. Let's take a look at some of these claims.

Wheat grass is high in oxygen like all green plants that contain chlorophyll, and the brain functions at an optimal level in a high-oxygen environment.

While it's true that if you cut off the oxygen supply to your brain, its function will be somewhat less than optimal, it's not true at all that chlorophyll is a good source of oxygen. I suggest you continue to rely on your lungs for that, which are probably better, since you don't have leaves. All types of chlorophyll have only trace amounts of oxygen. Chlorophyll is a carbohydrate, thus its makeup is overwhelmingly carbon and hydrogen. The molecule has as many as 127 hydrogen and carbon atoms, but only 5 or 6 atoms of oxygen, and they're chemically bound so they're not available as absorbable oxygen for your blood. Chlorophyll also has four nitrogen atoms and one lonely magnesium atom. This also refutes another claim from the poster: that the high magnesium content of chlorophyll builds enzymes that restore your sex hormones. Interesting, given that enzymes are proteins made of amino acids, which contain no magnesium at all. And again, that magnesium is already chemically bound; it's not bioavailable. Anyway, I have no idea whether a single atom of magnesium has the power to restore sex hormones, whatever that means; my sense is the people who made the poster don't know either. If you want magnesium, take a vitamin pill. If you want oxygen, take a breath. If you want sex hormones, go have sex.

Wheatgrass juice has been proven to cleanse the lymph system, building the blood, restoring balance in the body, removing toxic metals from the cells, nourishing the liver and kidneys and restoring vitality.

The grammatical errors are from the poster, not from me. Let's take these one at a time. First, the claim that it's been "proven" to do any of these things. Notice that these claims are very vaguely worded: "restores balance" and "builds the blood". This is deliberate. If they tried to be specific, they would get into trouble with the FTC and/or the FDA. If you make a claim that a product is intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent a specific disease, and your product has not been tested and is therefore unregulated, you're in violation of the law (21 U.S.C. §343(r)(6)). The wheatgrass people can't actually test their product against any particular diseases, because of course it would fail. So they are relegated to making only vague, untestable claims like it "builds the blood" and "restores balance".

As for whether the ingestion of wheatgrass will lower the levels of toxic metals in your cells, I wasn't able to find any research that supports this. Heavy metal poisoning is a real medical condition treatable by chelation, which carries plenty risk of its own, and does not involve wheatgrass juice. However I did find research where living wheatgrass was found to be one of the grasses most susceptible to the absorption of zinc and cadmium from the soil through its root system, so it's more likely to be contaminated with these metals. If lowering your toxic metal levels is important to you, wheatgrass is the last thing you should put on your shopping list. And, of course, this is all founded on the assumption that you have toxic metal problems that need to be addressed. Before you seek out quack remedies for this unusual illness, first find out from a medical professional that this is indeed a problem you have, and don't go only on the assurance of a health food store owner who wants to sell you something. Probably the best thing you can do is stop chewing the lead paint off your windowsills.

It contains most of the vitamins and minerals needed for human maintenance, including the elusive B-12.

Sounds compelling! But it sounded less compelling when I turned away from the poster, and looked at the store's own nutritional facts chart. The only vitamins present in a 2-ounce shot of wheatgrass juice are 15% of your daily allowance of Vitamin C, and 20% of iron. The rest of the vitamins and minerals, "elusive B-12" included? Zeros, all the way down the board. The bottom line is that a shot of wheatgrass juice offers far less nutrition than a single 5-cent Flintstones vitamin pill, and at about 100 times the price.

I would welcome a scientific test of wheatgrass juice. I challenge wheatgrass proponents to pick any supposed benefit of wheatgrass juice, and substantiate it in a real test. And by a test I don't mean a personal testimonial or anecdote from someone who sells it. I mean one of their claims that some sick people might actually believe and are avoiding important medical treatment as a result, such as the claim that wheatgrass juice will reduce high blood pressure. That's easy enough to test in a real, peer reviewed, double blind clinical trial. Take notice that the wheatgrass proponents have not done such a test, and there's probably a very good reason they've avoided it. Approach far fetched claims with skepticism, especially those that have not been, or cannot be, substantiated.

In the meantime, I'll continue to enjoy my pineapple and banana smoothies, no wheatgrass juice, bee pollen, or extract of ginseng needed.

brian dunning

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Re: The wheatgrass scam
Posted by: RawPracticalist ()
Date: January 23, 2018 12:36AM

It is true that in the beginning when Ann Wigmore wrote a book on wheatgrass and popularize the use of the juice, there were wild claims about it as there were similar claims about tofu and soy beans as a replacement for meat.

But since that time, scientific research as cleared the mud and we are now at times when have good research.

The other thing to consider when it comes to food is that we are the subject of the experiment so we can know if it worked or not without waiting for scientific research results.

From my personal experience for using wheatgrass for over 20 years, I can say with certainty that is it a very potent juice. The one other juice that come close to wheatgrass juice in my opinion is dandelion green juice. May be there is something in it science has not discover yet but it does not matter, the key point is how your feel from using the juice over a long period.

I do travel a lot and sometimes I will be away for weeks, and after about 4 weeks of not using wheatgrass I can feel the difference in my body, at the gym, on the treadmill, while jogging in the park.

We know that cows in the wild while eating the grass eat other bugs and insects inadvertently but their diet is mostly grass and they thrive on that.

The other point to consider is that the grass when you grow it indoor as I and many other do, is very fresh so the juice you are putting in your body is coming from a plant that was growing just few minutes earlier,
so you cannot compare that to your bananas that is decaying. It is true the banana and pineapple bring other nutrients and calories to your body immediately, but in term of strength and endurance in the long run, I will go with the grass juice.
And why not have both: the banana pineapple smoothies and some wheatgrass juice. You can have your cake and eat it too.

So instead of being so negative about the juice without ever having tried it, give it a try for a month and report to the forum what your true experience is about the juice.

Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 01/23/2018 01:28AM by RawPracticalist.

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Re: The wheatgrass scam
Posted by: fresh ()
Date: January 23, 2018 02:14AM

.my issue is that the unfounded claims are still being made

. specifically the oxygen issue

. seems dumb to drink something for 30 years every day as brian says he has while hating it.

. my position is that we can make general claims about health improvements and dietary changes, but making specific claims is not credible.

. I've had it and found it distasteful. there are likely negative effects that occur from the toxins in the juice. and there are toxins in the juice, that's what green plant parts contain in varying amounts.

. we falsely associate bad taste with healthy and convince ourselves that it helps us without evidence.

. i don't know what potent means. gives you energy? stimulation?

. it's like when someone says the earth is flat, then I say it's a sphere, and
then would it be right that I am called negative? same kind of thing. I don't consider it negative, I consider it accuracy.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/23/2018 02:16AM by fresh.

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Re: The wheatgrass scam
Posted by: NuNativs ()
Date: January 23, 2018 03:39AM

Grass eaters have multiple stomachs so grass doesn't belong in the human dietary. But hey, get your paws off my ginseng, I absolutely rate it in my top 5 "foods"...

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Re: The wheatgrass scam
Posted by: RawPracticalist ()
Date: January 23, 2018 07:05AM

>. i don't know what potent means. gives you energy? stimulation?

Good question.

With wheatgrass juice it is not like I am hungry and I drink it and feel full. It is not. Its effects on the body are usually noticed the next morning. You will sleep better and more energetic when you wake up, knees and body parts hurting less. It is more like from all the other foods you had been eating some little mineral was missing that wheatgrass brought and everything is now perfect. So for example if you were starting to get tired after 20 pull-ups you may notice that you can easily do 30, or you could go 15 minutes longer on the treadmill or take the stairs with ease. And you don't feel hungry as often as before.

I am actually surprised that athletes are not using it and the news is not talking about it with respect to sports like the Olympics. But it has to be something they had being drinking for some time before the game to make a difference not the day of the game.

As for the taste, I do not consider it as a food but rather a medicine, because we have lost of our natural health from years of abuse, so juices like wheatgrass juices help restore some of that. For me it is like tolerating one minute of discomfort for a day of feeling well and energetic. Personally I prefer barley grass to wheatgrass juice because barley grass juice is more like dandelion juice it is bitter and I can keep it my month for a longer time.

>my issue is that the unfounded claims are still being made

>specifically the oxygen issue

The internet is good and bad. It is the reality of our time. The unproven info about wheatgrass that was circulated when Ann Wigmore started was put on the net and people who are promoting wheatgrass just google for that and paste into their site. So it is not new info but old that is intentionally Plagiarized.

Raw food has water and oxygen in a cleaner state that cooked food. And when the plant is still growing that oxygen and water are even more health enhancing than what you get from cooked food.

At the conference Brian Clement and Gabriel Cousens had at the beginning of the month, they talk about the Enzyme Nutrition book by Howard that was published many years ago [] . And they said the claims in that book were exaggerated and that the big issue with enzymes was more of concern with processed foods and the sugar that came with them than with cooked food when compared to raw food.

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Re: The wheatgrass scam
Posted by: Tai ()
Date: January 23, 2018 08:20PM

I met a man who stayed at optimum health institute in san diego for two months. He was cured of MS there. He would soak his hands in wheatgrass juice and drink it. All these wheatgrass spas have so many glowing testimonials.
It's just odd to lambast fruit except wheatgrass is so sweet that a person might be repulsed by too much sweet fruit when having a lot of wheatgrass. But there's a lot of fruit that's not very sweet like papaya.

Look at annette Larkins. Smart lady. Brian looks great for his age too. Ann wigmore youthed on her program, not to mention all the cases she helped.

Wheat grass can taste good mixed into other juice. I would blend aloe vera and fresh mint and orange juice and then stir in wheatgrass juice.

Raw Practicalist , you are awesome. Such focus and dedication to have a grow oroom.

There is a correct time to harvest it, as i understand. When the second blade starts to shoot is the perfect time to cut the grass. Is that right, raw practicalist?

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Re: The wheatgrass scam
Posted by: Tai ()
Date: January 23, 2018 09:20PM

Grass eaters have multiple stomachs so grass doesn't belong in the human dietary. But hey, get your paws off my ginseng, I absolutely rate it in my top 5 "foods"...

Ann juiced grass in Lithuania without a juicer by mashing it. Then she chewed it in America before juicing it. So humans have their ways.

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