join now2

 

Social Media

The China Study Myth PDF Print E-mail
Written by Denise Minger   
Saturday, 24 March 2012 20:55

Flaws in the Vegan Bible

The year 2006 marked an event that rocked the world of nutrition (as well as the walls of Whole Foods): the release of The China Study by T. Colin Campbell. Printed by a small publishing company known for other scientific masterpieces such as The Psychology of the Simpsons and You Do Not Talk About Fight Club, Campbell’s book quickly hit the word-of-mouth circuit and skyrocketed towards bestseller status, with sales exceeding half a million copies to date.

The premise is that all animal foods—ranging from Chicken McNuggets to a fillet of wild-caught salmon—are responsible for modern ailments like heart disease and cancer. Such diseases, the book claims, can generally be prevented or even cured by shunning animal products and eating a diet of whole, unprocessed plant foods instead.

Although this startling thesis was hard for some to swallow, the book appeared credible due to its exhaustive references and the author’s laundry list of credentials—including a PhD from Cornell, authorship of over three hundred scientific papers, and decades of direct research experience. Perhaps not surprisingly, The China Study was quickly absorbed into the vegan community as a bible of sorts—the final word on the harmfulness of animal foods, and indisputable proof that a plant-only diet is best for mankind. To the exasperation of meat lovers everywhere (especially those who enjoy arguing for sport), once lively debates with vegans were now extinguished with one simple phrase: Just read The China Study!

But despite the book’s black-and-white declarations about animal products—and its seemingly well-referenced arguments—The China Study is not a work of scientific vigor. As we’ll see in this article, the book’s most widely repeated claims, particularly involving Campbell’s cancer research and the results of the China-Cornell-Oxford Project, are victims of selection bias, cherry picking, and woefully misrepresented data.

Does Animal Protein Cause Cancer?

The seeds of animal-food doubt were first planted early in Campbell’s career, while he was working in the Philippines on a project to help combat malnutrition. A colleague informed him of a startling trend: liver cancer was plaguing affluent Filipinos at a much higher rate than their less-wealthy counterparts—a phenomenon that, despite a slew of other lifestyle differences, Campbell believed was linked to their higher intake of animal protein.1 Bolstering his suspicions, Campbell also learned of a recent study from India showing that a high protein intake spurred liver cancer in rats, while a low protein intake seemed to prevent it.2 Intrigued by this gem of little-known research, Campbell decided to investigate the role of nutrition in cancer growth himself—an endeavor that ended up lasting several decades and producing over one hundred publications (none of which pertained to Fight Club).3

The China Study relayed Campbell’s findings with powerful simplicity. In a series of experiments, Campbell and his team exposed rats to very high levels of aflatoxin—a carcinogen produced by mold that grows on peanuts and corn—and then fed them a diet containing varying levels of the milk protein casein. In study after study, the rats eating only 5 percent of their total calories as casein remained tumor-free, while the rats eating 20 percent of their calories as casein developed abnormal growths that marked the beginning of liver cancer. As Campbell described, he could control cancer in those rodents “like flipping a light switch on and off,” simply by altering the amount of casein they consumed.4

Despite these provocative findings, Campbell wasn’t ready to declare all protein a threat to public health and stamp the peanut butter aisle with Mr. Yuk stickers. Animal protein, it turned out, seemed to be uniquely villainous. In several of his experiments, when the aflatoxin-exposed rats were fed wheat protein or soy protein in place of casein, they didn’t develop any cancer—even at the 20 percent level that proved so detrimental with casein.5 It seemed that those plant proteins were not only PETA-approved, but also the least likely to turn rat livers into tumor factories.

These findings led Campbell to his firm and famous conclusion: that all animal protein—but not plant protein—could uniquely promote cancer growth. Out with the steak, in with the tofu! But as several critics have pointed out,6,7 that proclamation required a few somersaults of logic (and maybe some cartwheels of delusion). The effects of casein—particularly isolated casein, separated from other components of dairy that often work synergistically—can’t be generalized to all forms of milk protein, much less all forms of animal protein. An impressive number of studies shows that the other major milk protein, whey, consistently suppresses tumor growth rather than promoting it, likely due to its ability to raise glutathione levels.8,9 Another of Campbell’s own studies suggests that fish protein acts as a cancer-promoter when paired with corn oil, but not when paired with fish oil—highlighting the importance of dietary context (and the neverending terribleness of vegetable oils).10

And the kicker: one of Campbell’s most relevant experiments—which sadly received no mention in The China Study—showed that when wheat gluten is supplemented with lysine to make a complete protein, it behaves exactly like casein to promote tumor growth.11 This means that animal protein doesn’t have some mystical ability to spur cancer by mere virtue of its origin in a sentient creature—just that a full spectrum of amino acids provide the right building blocks for growth, whether it be of malignant cells or healthy ones. And as any vegan who’s been asked “Where do you get your protein?” for the eight hundredth time will answer, even a plant-only diet supplies complete protein through various mixtures of legumes, grains, nuts, vegetables, and other approved vegan fare. Theoretically, a meal of rice and beans would provide the same so-called cancer-promoting amino acids that animal protein does. Indeed, Campbell’s experiments lose their relevance in the context of a normal, real-world diet opposed to the purified menu of casein, sugar, and corn oil his rats received.

But that’s only the tip of the proteinaceous iceberg. In his September 2010 article, “The Curious Case of Campbell’s Rats,”12 Chris Masterjohn ventured beyond the well lit pages of The China Study to explore the dark alleys of Campbell’s publications firsthand. And what he found regarding the low-protein rats was a far cry from the sunshine-and-lollipops descriptions we read in the book. Although rats consuming a high-casein diet were indeed developing liver cancer as Campbell described, the ones in the low-casein groups—which were portrayed as downright bright-eyed and shiny-coated in The China Study—were suffering an even worse fate. Campbell’s research actually showed that a low-protein diet increases the acute toxicity of aflatoxin, resulting in cell genocide and premature death. Because protein deficiency prevents the liver from successfully doing its detoxifying duties, less aflatoxin gets converted into cancer-causing metabolites, but the end result is massive (and eventually deadly) tissue damage.

Even the research from India that jump-started Campbell’s interest in the diet-cancer link showed that rats on a low-casein diet were dying with disturbing frequency, while the high-protein rats—tumored as they may have been—were at least staying alive.13 (It’s surprising, then, that The China Study promotes a plant-based diet to prevent cancer, when death is equally effective and requires fewer shopping trips.)

More clues for understanding the casein-cancer research come from another Indian study—this one published in the late 1980s, and examining the effects of protein in aflatoxin-exposed monkeys instead of rats.14 As with Campbell’s experiments, the monkeys were fed diets containing either 5 percent or 20 percent casein, but with one important difference: instead of being slammed with an astronomically (and unrealistically) high dose of aflatoxin, the monkeys were exposed to lower, daily doses—mimicking a real-world situation where aflatoxin is consumed frequently in small amounts from contaminated foods. In a fabulous case of scientific switcheroo, this study showed that it was the low-protein monkeys who got cancer, while the high-protein monkeys rejoiced in their tumorlessness.

This apparent paradox highlights a major problem in Campbell’s rat research: the level of aflatoxin exposure plays a critical role in how protein affects cancer growth. When the aflatoxin dose is sky high, animals eating a low-protein diet don’t get cancer because their cells are too busy dying en masse, while animals eating a higher protein diet are still consuming enough dietary building blocks for the growth of cells—whether healthy or cancerous. When the aflatoxin dose is more moderate, animals eating a low-protein diet develop cancer while their higher-protein counterparts remain in mighty fine health.

In a nutshell, the animal protein fear-mongering in The China Study stems from wildly misconstrued science. What Campbell’s rat experiments really showed wasn’t that animal protein is a vengeful macronutrient of doom, but the following:

1. High-quality protein promotes cell growth no matter where it comes from;

2. Protein deficiency thwarts the liver’s ability to detoxify dangerous substances; and

3. With more realistic doses of aflatoxin, protein is actually tremendously protective against cancer, while protein-restricted diets prove harmful.

Did the Real China Study Show That Animal Foods Are Associated With Disease?

The China Study only devotes one chapter to its namesake study, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a doozy. Also known as the China-Cornell- Oxford Project, the China Study was an enormous epidemiological endeavor exploring diet and disease patterns in rural China—a project coined “the Prix of epidemiology” by the New York Times. Spanning sixty-five counties and collecting data on a whopping three hundred sixty-seven variables, it generated over eight thousand statistically significant correlations between nutrition, lifestyle factors and a variety of diseases.15

Although a project of such magnitude inevitably found some contradictory and non-causal links, Campbell asserts in his book that the data generally pointed in one direction: “People who ate the most animal-based foods got the most chronic disease,” and “People who ate the most plant-based foods were the healthiest and tended to avoid chronic disease.”16 Although—as echoes through the hearts of statisticians everywhere— correlation doesn’t equal causation, these associations in conjunction with Campbell’s other research are supposed to make a compelling case for animal foods being legitimately harmful.

But were the results of the China Study really a sparkling endorsement for plant-based eating?

It seems this conclusion is based, in large part, on unreliable blood variables rather than actual foods. In his book, Campbell states that he and his research team “found that one of the strongest predictors of Western diseases was blood cholesterol,”17 and proceeds to treat cholesterol as a proxy for animal food consumption. Throughout this chapter, we learn that the China Study data found associations between cholesterol and many cancers, as well as cholesterol and animal protein intake—implying that animal protein and those same cancers must themselves be intimately linked.

But because blood cholesterol can be affected by a number of non-dietary factors and can even rise or fall as a result of disease, examining the relationship between food itself and health outcomes is likely to be more informative than using cholesterol as an overworked, fickle middleman. But the direct relationship between animal protein and diseases isn’t discussed in The China Study for one monumental reason: that relationship doesn’t exist. An examination of the original China Study data shows virtually no statistically significant correlation between any type of cancer and animal protein intake.18 Only fish protein correlates positively, but probably non-causally, with a small number of cancers: nasopharyngeal cancer, a rare disease that only strikes one out of every seven million people; liver cancer, which shows up in fish-eating regions because aflatoxin proliferates in humid areas near water; and leukemia, which is likely linked to other elements of the industrialized lifestyles associated with coastal regions (and thus fish consumption) in the China Study.19

Ironically, when we look at plant protein— which The China Study argues so vigorously is cancer-protective—we find almost three times as many positive correlations with various cancers as we do with animal protein, including colon cancer, rectal cancer, and esophageal cancer.20 Likewise, for heart disease and stroke, plant protein has a positive correlation while animal protein and fish protein have negative or nearly neutral correlations—meaning the animal-food eaters in rural China, if anything, are getting less cardiovascular disease than their more vegetarian friends.

But matters get even more interesting when we look at some of the peer-reviewed papers generated by the China Study data, most of which are co-authored by Campbell himself. As with the casein research, the China Study findings as described in Campbell’s book are a hop, skip, and eighteen thousand jumps away from what the original research says. Although wheat gets nary a mention in the China Study chapter, Campbell actually found that wheat consumption—in stark contrast to rice—was powerfully associated with higher insulin levels, higher triglycerides, coronary heart disease, stroke and hypertensive heart disease within the China Study data—far more so than any other food.21,22 Likewise, in a paper from 1990, Campbell conceded that “neither plasma total cholesterol nor LDL cholesterol was associated with cardiovascular disease” in the China Study data, and that “geographical differences in cardiovascular disease mortality within China are caused primarily by factors other than dietary or plasma cholesterol”—revealing that not even the beloved cholesterol middleman could live up to its heart-disease-causing accusations. 23

And in the spirit of saving the best for last, another of Campbell’s own papers, published a mere two years before The China Study hit the shelves, states point-blank that—despite Campbell’s claims about the superior health of the near-vegan rural Chinese—“it is the largely vegetarian, inland communities who have the greatest all risk mortalities and morbidities and who have the lowest LDL cholesterols.”24 Maybe the lesson here is the same one we gleaned from Campbell’s rats: it’s pretty tough to get sick when you’re dead!

The Gist

Despite its increasing popularity (and glowing endorsements by high-profile vegan converts like Bill Clinton), The China Study is, in many ways, more a work of fiction than a nutritional holy grail. The book has spawned a number of myths about the hazards of animal protein and the true results of the China Study itself—myths that easily crumble under a scrutinizing eye, but nonetheless continue trickling into the mainstream and gaining mounting publicity.

If there’s anything positive to take away from the book’s four hundred seventeen pages, it’s the promotion of a whole-food diet—and the resulting elimination of vegetable oils, high fructose corn syrup, refined grains, and other industrial products that tend to displace real food on our modern menus. But for those seeking scientific literature of a higher caliber, The Psychology of the Simpsons is likely to be a more satisfying (and animal-product-friendly) read.

 


 

SIDEBAR

THE PLANT-BASED DIET DOCTOR SQUAD

DEAN ORNISH , MD: Limits sugar, corn syrup, white flour, margarine, vegetable oil, alcohol and any processed food with more than two grams of fat. Program involves smoking cessation, peer support, stress management and exercise.

CALDWELL ESSELSTYN, MD: Forbids vegetable oils, refined grains, white flour, and products made from enriched flour such as bread, pasta, bagels and baked goods. Uses statins to bring patients' cholesterol levels below 150.

JOHN MCDOUGALL , MD: Limits white flour, refined grains, sugar-coated cereals, soft drinks, processed carbohydrates, fruit juice and vegetable oils.

NEAL BARNA RD, MD: Forbids vegetable oils, high-glycemic foods, high fructose corn syrup, caloric sweeteners and fried starches like potato chips and french fries.

JOEL FUHRMAN , MD: Excludes refined foods, including vegetable oils.

Getting rid of empty and refined foods, especially vegetable oils—the common denominator in all these plant-based prescriptions—will make for improvements in almost everyone. But long term, without nutrient-dense animal foods,
deficiencies will emerge.

 


 

REFERENCES

1. Campbell, T. Colin, PhD, with Thomas M. Campbell II . The China Study: Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, and Long-Term Health. Dallas: BenBella Books, 2004, p. 36.

2. Ibid, p.36.

3. Ibid, p. 48.

4. Ibid, p. 60.

5. Ibid, p. 59.

6. Masterjohn, Chris. “The Truth About the China Study.” http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/China-Study.html

7. Colpo, Anthony. “The China Study: More Vegan Nonsense!” http://anthonycolpo.com/?p=129

8. Bounous G., et al. Whey proteins in cancer prevention. Cancer Lett. 1991 May 1;57(2):91-4.

9. Hakkak R., et al. Diets containing whey proteins or soy protein isolate protect against 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene-induced mammary tumors in female rats. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2000 Jan;9(1):113-7.

10. O’Connor, T.P. et al. Effect of dietary intake of fish oil and fish protein on the development of L-azaserine-induced preneoplastic lesions in the rat pancreas. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1985 Nov;75(5):959-62.

11. Schulsinger, D.A., et al. Effect of dietary protein quality on development of aflatoxin B1- induced hepatic preneoplastic lesions. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1989 Aug 16;81(16):1241-5.

12. Masterjohn, Chris. “The Curious Case of Campbell’s Rats—Does Protein Deficiency Prevent Cancer?” September 22, 2010. http://www.westonaprice.org/blogs/cmasterjohn/2010/09/22/ the-curious-case-of-campbells-rats-does-protein-deficiency-prevent-cancer/

13. Madhavan, T.V. and C. Gopalan. “The effect of dietary protein on carcinogenesis of aflatoxin.” Arch Pathol. 1968 Feb;85(2):133-7.

14. Mathur, M. and N.C. Nayak. “Effect of low protein diet on low dose chronic aflatoxin B1 induced hepatic injury in rhesus monkeys.” Toxin Reviews. 1989;8(1-2):265-273.

15. Campbell, p. 73.

16. Ibid, p. 7.

17. Ibid, p. 77.

18. Junshi C., et al. Life-style and Mortality in China: A Study of the Characteristics of 65 Chinese Counties. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990.

19. Minger, Denise. “A Closer Look at the China Study: Fish and Disease.” June 9, 2010. http://rawfoodsos.com/2010/06/09/a-closer-look-at-the-china-study-fish-and-disease/

20. Minger, Denise. “The China Study: Fact or Fallacy?” July 7, 2010. http://rawfoodsos.com/2010/07/07/the-china-study-fact-or-fallac/

21. Gates J.R., et al. “Association of dietary factors and selected plasma variables with sex hormone-binding globulin in rural Chinese women.” Am J Clin Nutr. 1996 Jan;63(1):22-31.

22. Fan W.X., et al. “Erythrocyte fatty acids, plasma lipids, and cardiovascular disease in rural China.” Am J Clin Nutr. 1990 Dec;52(6):1027-36.

23. Ibid.

24. Wang Y., et al. “Fish consumption, blood docosahexaenoic acid and chronic diseases in Chinese rural populations.” Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. 2003 Sep;136(1):127- 40.

This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Spring 2012.

About the Author:

[authorbio:minger-denise]

Comments (53)Add Comment
Bill Clinton is Not a Vegan
written by Kimberly, Apr 05 2014
Bill Clinton says in interviews that he eats fish, salmon, I think it is, once or twice a week. I don't know why he is so often referred to as vegan; he's not.
casein
written by spoon, Mar 29 2014
I only recently discovered that I'm intolerant to gluten and casein in dairy and I struggle to digest legumes so going on a plant based diet again would be out of the question. I'd struggle to eat as I also have oral allergy syndrome meaning I can't eat most fresh fruit unless it is stewed and there is only one nut I'm not allergic to. I don't eat chicken or pig as these are normally soley grain fed and cause me problems. I was vegan many years ago until I found my protein levels were too low.
I wonder how many of those who have noticed a difference in their health since switching over to a plant based diet, have a gluten and/or casein intolerance and do not know it? I recently discovered that grains (including corn) were causing me many health problems and most of them disappeared when I stopped eating grains. It's only more recently that I realised my remaining health issues were being caused by an intolerance to casein. (Often those who have a gluten intolerance also have casein intolerance). By switching to a plant based diet, the removal of casein alone could be enough to significantly reduce the health problems one could have previously experienced. I have a relative with similar health problems who is on a plant based diet and has only reduced their intake of gluten, not eliminated it - their health problems have improved, but not completely disappeared. For three months, I went grain and dairy free whilst eating meat (and fish) and all of my usual health problems fell away. Little is ever mentioned about casein - it's normally lactose we hear about. If someone has a casein intolerance and doesn't know about it, they will naturally see an improvement by embarking on a plant based diet, but should they consider eating meat?
USC study: animal proteins may be as bad as smoking in terms of cancer risk
written by Kathy, Mar 21 2014
The latest study March 2014 by University of South Carolina confirms animal proteins, particularly for the middle aged, increases cancer risk (as much as smoking does!): http://www.cancer.gov/newscent...CancerRisk

You lost credibility
written by NoMilk, Mar 17 2014
When you make snide comments about what other books the publisher printed you loose a lot of credibility. That sets the tone right away. That being said, like a few people here stated, I too was a beef and pork loving fool for a very long time, I even bought into the atkins diet. At 6'2" and 225 lbs I had a gut but my blood pressure and cholesterol were never bad. However, I suffered from chronic headaches. I had a read a few articles on veggie diets and health benefits. 2 years of veggie based eating, with the constant battle to not eat processed foods, I might get a headache once every 4 months at best. They were coming every other day. I am also holding steady at 198lbs too. I don't try to convert others, but I do recommend cutting way down on the meats. I am a big advocate against milk though and tell people often to not drink it. People complain about how expensive it is, I tell them the cure for that is simple DON'T BUY IT! You DO NOT need it and the only reason so many people think they do is because of the massive add campaign the dairy association ran and runs still.
Software Engineer
written by Keith Stevens, Feb 17 2014
I drank the "Forks Over Knives" cool-aid over a year ago. At the time my doctor wanted to put me on cholesterol and blood pressure medication, and my cardiologist prescribed something to slow my heart down. I was also taking two kinds of allergy medicines daily. I am 5'-11" and weighed 250+ lbs. As an experiment, I implemented the whole foods plant based diet I had been brainwashed against. Today I am off all medications, lost 50+ lbs. my cholesterol and blood pressure are well in the normal range and in addition to frequent hikes and bike rides my work outs consist of a 400-600 rep. core routine followed by for example 10 rounds of 10 pushups, 10 pullups, and 10 dips with 60 seconds rest between rounds. I am 58 years old. Sex has gotten much better without any pills. I do rarely (once in 3 months) eat a high quality (small) piece of meat, like a filet. But otherwise my diet is whole foods plant based. I am continuing to gain strength and endurance while still losing fat on this diet so while its possible Dr. Campbell may be full of shit as you say, if you don't mind I think I'll stick to my experiment since it looks like if it didn't save my life, it definitely made it worth living.
Works for me!
written by Kie, Feb 14 2014
This is just me. at age 51, I ate Meat and Dairy (mostly large quanties of Cheese)and almost no Veggies my entire life. My weight was 180. My cholestrol was at 198. I was always tired. BP always in the 180/120 range. I would hear my heart beating in my ears when I laid down at night. I started a vegan diet right after Thanksgiving. Two months later, BP is down to 145/90, Cholesterol is 157. Weight is 165. I sleep better and don't hear the blood rushing in my ears when I go to bed. My energy is up. I eat my fill and don't worry about serving size. I have found thousands of really good recipes on the web. I feel better than every.

Like I said, this is just me. 100% plant based is working for Me. The Libertarian in me belives you should be able to eat and drink what every "YOU" want. I DON'T CARE!

I do care that we are not being told the truth. I care that the USDA is funded by too much corporate money.
...
written by Charlotte Gilchrist, Feb 01 2014
It always throws up a red flag in my mind when someone with an opposing view utilizes sarcasm to describe the person with whom they disagree. Your view is maybe even more valid in my eyes if you just state your findings. Sarcasm seems to portray a further unnecessary emotional response and does nothing to support your case. I feel there is a lot of truth and information on both sides - perhaps we don't really understand the full picture of how our bodies utilize the foods we eat. Do the studies on rats really translate into human experience? Maybe rats should never eat cow dairy products. After all it was designed for baby cows. We might learn more if we look at these findings and dig deeper - there are so many variables in rat and human physiology. My best conclusion is that what we eat matters a lot as well as many other known and unknown variables. We are still out there learning I hope!
Path NOT FOUND, Low-rated comment [Show]
...
written by Robert, Nov 29 2013
"When you eat meat your HDL goes up (good), is this the human body telling you it is well adapted to that food? Yes."

No! This is your body defending itself against increasing LDL cholesterol levels.

All the cholesterol you require is produced by your liver. There is no requirement for a single gram of dietary cholesterol.
...
written by Eric, Nov 29 2013
The best diet is very obviously omnivorous and resembles the paleolithic diet that our ancestors consumed for millions of years. A 100% plant-based or 100% animal-based diet is inferior in terms of longevity to a diet containing both. Several studies (including those from Okinawa and the Mediterranean) provide evidence to the decreased longevity of vegans or those whose diets are deficient in certain animal-based nutrients.
...
written by kara, Nov 20 2013
One of my reactions to studying milk protein in China was that Asia may not be the best place to study the effects of something that historically hasn't been part of the diet; casein, which is found in milk (certainly not a general animal protein). Another thing that is interesting is that Dr.Campbell attacks those that adhere to strict nutrition-reductionist science and he himself isolated one small component (casein) and deducted all his findings from the effects of the isolated protein away from the food it is consumed with, which would contain many other nutrients that may offset some of the negative effects of casein. This method goes against what Dr. Campbell has claimed to stand for: a whole approach to nutrition.
Nice try? . . . not even.
written by Robert Whitaker, Oct 24 2013
Perhaps you should address all the hundreds of scientific papers and research results since the China Study that confirm that casein is indeed a significant cancer causer.

You might as well attack Columbus for his reasons for believing the world is round.
Wouldn't you?
written by Nutritionist M.S. , Oct 07 2013
I can completely relate, in fact if I ran a non-taxable, non-profit that earns 1.4 million annually I would verbally abuse and discredit any scientific evidence against my non-scientifically established claims.

In all seriousness I wish this review wasn't buried by such critical and belittling commentary, its over-defensive nature makes it lose any potential credibility.

Unfortunately this silly Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry, Mr. Campbell makes a lot of sense, when you actually read his complete work. Or if you do the full nutritional course with Cornell you will read other professionals findings in their line of work, like a heart surgeon and see the imagery of the narrowing of the arteries and their return to full health after a couple months of being on just a plant-based diet. There are many other works that have similar findings so one is attempting to discredit quite a lot of research and deem “stupid” many researchers and professionals.

Interestingly enough Mr. Campbell actually grew up on a dairy farm and would seemingly have reason to support the known healthy aspects and attributes of unprocessed dairy, but unfortunately seemed to find and prove that these don't out-weigh the potential harm.

I must add that I myself consumed more dairy than most people I know, eating two large bowels of cereal every morning, eating a family sized yogurt in the afternoon, using cream and half and half and fast becoming a connoisseur of a multitude of cheeses. After two decades of this I ended up growing 18 lipomas (a form of benign tumor). I now consume about 1% of the dairy I used to (the occasional food with cheese on it or a splash of half and half in coffee) and magically these have stopped forming in the last 2 years. My wife at the time had a similar high dairy diet and had kidney stones her entire childhood and young adult life. Only when she removed dairy from her diet did they all go away and never return. However the years and year of excruciating pain that I had witnessed and her being constantly bedridden were some of the toughest times. It is quite painful to see someone you love so much in that much pain ALL THE TIME.

Back to dairy, 80% of the proteins in cow's milk are casein and casein has been proven to grow tumors, can we just leave it at that? Actually I should add that milk from a cow is one of the biggest sources of calories from fat in the human diet. In fact 49% of the calories from cow's milk are from fat.

I must add that I actually respect the Weston A. Price organization for wanting to preserve the nutrients in a natural product by not having it over processed. However it is obviously hard for them to accurately review this study due to their extreme conflict of interests, when the very premise of their entire organization is based on how healthy cow's milk is for one.

Now back to another personal note, my mother wanted the best for me health wise growing up and she was a huge fan of the American nutritionist Adelle Davis. This was the first person and written work I had been introduced to growing up that recommended a good amount of dairy in diet. Tragically this famous nutritionist and proponent of consuming dairy, Adelle Davis, died prematurely in May 1974 of cancer. This ironically after apparently being quoted in her earlier days as stating that she never saw anyone get cancer who drank a quart of milk daily, as she did.

My mother and grandmother, like myself, were very heavy dairy consumers and both suffered heart attacks within the same week and ended up in the same intensive care unit, with me by their sides. One managed to be saved by a swiftly placed pacemaker and the others clinging onto life would be rewarded after an 18 hour operation. After seeing the havoc of dairy on ones endophelia cells first-hand, and reading the works of Mr. Campbell and the other certified medical professionals that have proven similar conclusions, I'm afraid my conviction and understanding of this subject remain quite unswayed. - Nutritionist M.S.
...
written by mcdmd, Aug 24 2013
A belittling approach in dissecting a scientific study could be described as an example of cognitive dissonance. Dr Campbell in his book The China Study in which he describes his years of research results, describes the public health consequences of scientific reductionism and corporate corruption including such groups as the American Cancer Society, does so with a restrained and civilized tone. He specifically discusses the flaws with and limitations of science which those with a background in science understand. Minger, by contrast, not only ignores this in her critique, but she relies on a distracting sarcastic wit. We are not having a discussion now, instead we are defending a team, which I would argue misses the point completely, and perhaps illuminates her true goal in discussing this material. Interestingly, Gary Paul Nabhan describes the relationship between a culture, native desert Sonorans, and the protective effect of their desert diet from their unique susceptibility to diabetes. Indeed, nutrition and the study of is complex. Added to the inherent complexity is the conflicting interests of those bringing food, or food like products to the table. Some are interested in the nation's health, others simply out to continue to benefit financially. The percentage of people who are adequately educated to identify the issues and sort through the data in a meaningful fashion is pretty small, giving, in my view, industry the advantage. It seems to me that we can all agree that unprocessed real foods are the way to go, whether or not you choose the not quite supported by the data paleo approach, the somewhat extreme but well supported vegan approach, or just a happy amalgamation of the two: in the words of Michael Pollan eat food, not too much, mostly plants.
...
written by mcdmd, Aug 22 2013
Dr Campbell puts forth his financial interest, as all physicians are required to do. I do not see where the author of this article puts forth her financial interest. If indeed she is backed by the meat and dairy industry, that is all the reader needs to know in order for her to be completely discredited. Further, much of her argument is facile and sarcastic rather than strictly factual which always sends up a red flag. Since the majority of people are, realistically, unable to assess the primary work put forth by the China Study it is vulnerable to attack. Clearly, Americans are unhealthy, clearly we live in a toxic food environment that our government plays no small role in supporting. Meat, dairy and processed foods have a lot to lose with the information given us in The China Study but if readers still have doubts read Salt Fat and Sugar by Michael Moss. That will help to put this critique in some mighty enlightening perspective.
..., Low-rated comment [Show]
Westerners are always glorifying the East with their silly images of things. , Low-rated comment [Show]
Lets At Least Try To Get Along
written by warren green, Jul 27 2013
If we look at the two competing theories for optimal nutrition these days, ( the paleo people and the plant-based/vegan advocates ) we can see that we're really not that far apart.)

We're facing a massive health care crisis in the coming years, and we're bickering over what I consider to be largely details.

The major problem I have with the Weston A Price Foundation is their unbridled support for dairy products ( raw and grass-fed, or not ). It just seems wrong to me!

The main point that needs to be made here is the one concerning processed foods ( which I consider conventionally produced dairy products to be ).

Why not split the difference? Eat a diet with lots of vegetables, add small amounts of grains ( mostly oatmeal and quinoa ), and also relatively small ( or larger, if you prefer ) amounts of meat ( mostly fish, or primarily some kind of white meat, and maybe the odd egg ).

The people on both sides of this issue comprise such a small portion of the total North American population that even give their food choices a second thought, that we really need to recognize our common ground.

Time is ticking, and we're all going to sink or swim togerher!

you need to consider large populations not rat studies
written by Will, Jul 25 2013
There is a lot of conflicting information and often studies are paid for indirectly by the meat and dairy industry. We're talking about LARGE populations of people that are the most healthy - ie those that ate a plant based diet. People like to cherry pick a SMALL isolated population like eskimos as justification for eating meat. First, they didn't live long enough and secondly they actually found frozen people who showed heart disease. Plus 7 billion of us all eating meat is unsustainable due to the large energy demands of raising cattle, compared to eating the grains directly. Athletes are known for 'carbo' loading. You need energy (carbs) to fuel your body. Asians eat lots of rice and vegetables and put a little bit of protein on it. Not like American diets that are full of refined foods and fat.
...
written by the-buddha, Jul 19 2013
Minger should go ahead and publish her work in some peer reviewed
journals. Surely she cannot claim that the entire pool of medical
biological journals is biased against her. If anything they
would be biased against vegan foods, since most editors and peer
reviewers in the US, Western Europe and Japan would be omnivores.

It has become fashionable for ordinary citizens to attack anything and everything as if they are experts on whatever is at hand, from
sports matches, to criminal cases, to wars, to court rulings,
foreign policy etc. To become an expert we have a training process
called higher education, peer review etc.

I am neither against or for her arguments. I have on one hand
a person whose work was supported by NIH (US tax payer for 50 years).
On the other hand I have someone whose credentials are none and
has not been subjected to peer review. This is the crux of this debate.
As a non-expert choose your side wisely.

The scientific consensus today is overwhelming in favor of
Dr. Campbell!
Please be rational...
written by adamoo, Jul 14 2013
I am really surprised at all of these attacks on this article. I really don't understand how calling fair criticism of the underpinnings of the China Study are straw man attacks. If the mice DIED before they could even get cancer because they didn't have sufficient protein, that's kind of important, isn't it?

Or that the mice didn't even have sufficient protein BEFORE getting the poison. But that if they were given the necessary proteins before or during receiving the poison, they would potentially survive regardless of the source of the protein.

At best, this shows a serious lack of scientific thoroughness on Dr. Campbell's part.

Then there are the correlations he makes to the China Study itself. These are correlations that same study doesn't dare to make and sometimes even contradictory to far more obvious data points!

For a real scholarly article that does a bang-up job on summarizing all proteins in our diets please look at the following:
JR Hoffman, MJ Falvo - Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 2004 - jssm.org
http://www.jssm.org/vol3/n3/2/v3n3-2pdf.pdf?utm_source=REFERENCES_R7
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2004) 3, 118-130
What is it that you people don't get?
written by Huh?, Jun 28 2013
Defenders keep pointing to the "scientific facts and studies," in the China Study. They have been proven wrong in the sense that Campbell cherry-picked and withheld information that went against his crusade against animal protein. Why is this so offensive to you guys?

The critique against the China Study is NOT to say that it is a horrible thing to eat a whole foods plant-based diet if choose, it's only saying that animal protein is not the monster this study makes it out to be.

The China Study DOES NOT prove the evil in meat. All we learned is to reduce refined and processed foods, and make sure we have enough protein, no matter what the source. Why are you people so upset about that?
what I would like to see is...
written by Gustavo Zaera Holo, Jun 24 2013
For every pro-vegan article there is, there seems to be a few articles from the anti-vegan trying to bring the scientific proof down. I would to see large scale scientific proof of the claims that animal-based diets are health promoting. Can anyone, please provide links to studies that prove this? I can't seem to find it.
just another guy
written by Rich, Jun 07 2013
This article is terrible. If you are going to criticize the China Study, you better bring more to the table than what is presented. There is too much money at stake for The China Study to not be attacked. I am sure a lot of the critics here have never read the book, because they want to put their heads in the sand and live life like they have.
I laugh when people say well this works for me and that doesn't. I need more protein which is a lie. You get plenty of protein from plant sources and one of our biggest problems is that we consume too much protein and the wrong type of protein. If our bodies were indeed so different from each other then explain why our western diet is so popular?? People don't actually need different foods but they WANT them. Is it hard to go plant based?? Yes it is. Is it hard to exercise regularly? Yes it is. Is it hard to get up in the morning and go to work day after day? Yes it is. People tend to take the path of least resistance. Walk down the street and how many out of shape overweight people do you see in America? They get in their car and drive from one location to the other and feast like kings and queens everyday of their lives and when they get sick with a major disease they say oh woe is me!
People will "cherry pick" the information they want to fit what they are doing. A little red wine is good for you then more must be better. A little dark chocolate good for you, then more must be better.
I read the China study and it is a powerful book. No other group of studies can be so convincingly tied together to disprove it. I would just love to see the author of the above article get into a debate with Mr. Campbell.
I have gone from vegetarian to plant based and the change is dramatic. I am 60 years of age and an avid cyclist. My cadiovascular is much better and I am in the biking shape of my life. I recently did the tour divide bike race from Banff Canada to Antelope Wells New Mexico carrying all of my own gear and completed it in under 29 days. My diet is even better now since I gave up all dairy.
If you want to stay on the Western diet, be my guest but don't cherry pick info to justify your decision. However if you get cancer, or another major life threatening disease don't' say you weren't warned.
...
written by Kelley, May 31 2013
Everyones body is different. Play with the foods that work for you be it veggies, meat, diary. Don't follow fads or diets. When we feel good and energetic its working, when we have aches, pains, headaches, sluggish, depressed eat something different. Keep a diary of what you eat and how your react. If you listen to your own body it will tell you. My grandmother lived to 98 and lived on her own until 96 when she fell and broke a hip, her husband died at 65 eating the same thick bacon she had on the stove daily using that same bacon fat to cook all her food. She was always a very nice, upbeat, happy woman. He was more serious, demanding and stressed. I think stress and your perception of life and energy frequency has more to do with health and longevity. I'm 50 and people always guess me 32-36. I eat meat,veggies, diary. Daily I eat brownie, ice cream, something sweet. I rarely eat deep fried as it tends to make me sleepy. We are all energy taking up space in a physical shell, we all decide when to come into this world and when to exit depending on the lessons we came here to learn and help others learn. Every time I see a doctor or especially the Chinese as they have some really interesting methods of determining a persons level of health , they always say I'm the healthiest person they see. I believe the key is be nice, treat yourself and other respectfully, do something you love to do every day as that success far out ways what society or your family expect you to do. Stress and living up to others expectations is the number one killer of happiness and of ones body. Always look to yourself for the answers, you know without asking someone else what is best for your body and reading all these books. My mother and I were just talking the other day about my sister who has been drinking wheat grass since 14, no meat, sugars , etc. She has just about every ailment you can name. We have 20+ people we know that have lived their lives the same as my sister and all have died of some sort of cancer or weird disease between the ages of 42-63, so explain that to me. I do however stay away from McDonalds and fried foods, they make me sleepy. My body OWN body tells me if I eat it and don't feel good, not for me. If I eat it and feel energized and happy, its for me. I don't do drugs and justed have a social drink here and there.
Whatever works for your personal body, Low-rated comment [Show]
And other, other countries?
written by marina, May 22 2013
Diet is cultural - so what about native Alaskans for whom a vast percentage of their diet consists only of meat (fish, seal)? Or what about the herding cultures of East Africa such as the Masai of Kenya or South Sudanese tribes whose diet consists largely of milk and meat (goat, cow). Or the Japanese who eat A TON of fish and other seafood. Or Europeans who eat all manner of meats. Americans have the luxury to actually CHOOSE what we eat for dinner. (This is Michael Pollan's "omnivore's dilemma".)

The only thing we can say for certain is that statistics shows a positive correlation between obesity, diabetes and cancer in the U.S.

Until Dr. Campbell's very selective research expands to a great many other societies that also consume meat and milk, I will continue to be highly skeptical.
...
written by Krishan, May 19 2013
Most "nutritionists" assert that we have definite carnivorous leanings, and some have even termed our incisor teeth "fangs" in defense of their erroneous position that humans are natural meat-eaters! If you look at the various species in the animal kingdom, each is equipped with teeth that are ideally suited to masticate a particular type of food. Herbivores (like the cow) have 24 molars, eight jagged incisors in the lower jaw and a horny palate in the upper jaw. Their jaws move vertically, laterally, forward, and backward, enabling the herbivore to tear and grind coarse grasses. Omnivores (like the hog) have tusk-like canines allowing them to dig up roots. Frugivores (like the chimpanzee) have 32 teeth: sixteen in each jaw including four incisors, two cuspids, four bicuspids, and six molars. The cuspids are adapted for cracking nuts, and the uniform articulation of the teeth enables the frugivore to mash and grind fruits. On the contrary, carnivores (like the cat family) have markedly developed canines that are long, sharp, cylindrical, pointed, and set apart from the other teeth. Fangs and sharp pointed teeth that penetrate and kill, that rip and tear flesh, are a feature of all true carnivores (except certain birds). The powerful jaws of the carnivore move only vertically, and are ideal for ripping and tearing flesh that is swallowed virtually whole and then acted upon by extremely potent gastric juices. Human teeth are not designed for tearing flesh as in the lion, wolf or dog, but rather compare closely with other fruit-eating animals. Human teeth correspond almost identically to the chimpanzees and other frugivores. The complete absence of spaces between human teeth characterizes us as the archetype frugivore. The "canine" teeth of humans are short, stout, and slightly triangular. They are less pronounced and developed than the orangutan's, who rarely kills and eats raw flesh in its natural environment. Human canines in no way resemble the long, round, slender canines of the true carnivore. Human teeth are not curved or sharp like the wolves or tigers, nor are they wide and flat like the grass and grain-eating species. Human teeth are actually like the fruit-eating monkeys, and the human mouth is best suited for eating succulent fruits and vegetables. It would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for humans to eat raw flesh without the aid of fork and knife. To term our incisor teeth "fangs" or even to liken them as such is outrageous.
Profits more important than health benefits
written by diane ekhoff, Apr 30 2013
Ever wonder why people are still smoking? Yes, there is money to be made. The Tobacco industry..yeah.
Well, I am reading some of these comments, and some going in great length to discredit the China Study. READ IT FIRST.
The biggest reason that it is not more widely known or promoted is this: The Meat Council, the Poulty Industry, The Pork industry ETC. Do you think they may have some MONIES pending on this study???? Its all about PROFIT folks.
My friend who i thought was pretty fit, a body builder with maybe just a little too much bulk on him contracted prostate cancer. He ate ALOT of CHICKEN and broccoli. Probably up to 2 chicken breasts every night for a few years. Didn't sound that bad. No red meat consumed. Bottom line, way too much protein consumed. These chicken breasts probably had growth promoting hormones in them too. Chicken breast of the 60's 70's were much smaller without these additives.
Anyway, I digress, He has inoperable prostate cancer at this point.
Personally I am sharing this book with everyone I know and care about. Most will go on with their current diets, it just easier, right...?
My body, THANK GOD, has always refused to eat a lot of protein. Always made me feel kinda sick and heavy. I am 67. and told all the time how I look years younger.
Do yourself a favor and read the China Study and figure it out for yourself. No cancer for me, thank you.
PS obviously, goes without saying, eat Organic whenever possible.
We're trying it
written by Lorie, Apr 29 2013
My cholesterol has been going up 1 point every year since my 20's. I have been meat-free for a year now. My new cholesterol reading, instead of going up 1 point this year, went DOWN 30 points. It is still high however so now I am going to go meat and dairy free for 3 months and see what happens.
..., Low-rated comment [Show]
Middle ground
written by Daniel Silverstein, Apr 12 2013
I think there definitely is a middle ground. From my experience counseling patients as a primary care physician, a whole foods diet generally holds promise for improving cardiovascular condition such as hypertension and general condition. The atkins type diet which is high in saturated fats is also beneficial for those trying to lose weight, and weight loss is one of the most important determinants of having a healthy blood pressure and vascular condition. I think the main point is that processed foods are always bad, and possibly by maintaining a healthy weight and keeping blood sugar and insulin levels down health can be achieved with or without a large component of animal protein.
Protein Myth
written by Gabe, Mar 14 2013
This is in response to CathyBaja, are you serious? Obviously you do not know your nutrition AT ALL!!!! Did you realize that 1 cup of black beans has 15 grams of protein, that is 1 CUP!! Nuts, grains, tofu all have tons of protein. 1 cup of cooked Quinoa has 18 grams of protein!!!! You are making claims that are completely false and making connections where none exist. You say that your vegetarian friend got a hernia and you say he got that because he was not getting enough protein. By your logic a person who eats meat should never get a hernia. BUT HOLY CRAP THEY DO!!!. Protein intake has nothing to do with hernias you are making connnections where none exist. As far as Carl Lewis, HE TURNED VEGAN IN 1990!!!! Look it up, he credits 1991 to his turning Vegan and even though in 1992 he got beat in some qualifiers in the olympics in 92 he turned in the fastest anchor leg ever in the 4 by 100m and that record stood until 1997. Also he won his 3rd gold medal in the long jump in 1996, long after turning Vegan. Plus if you are a biologist then you know that our digestive track mimics that of a herbivore. All of what you say has absolutely no merit. You can be a vegetarian and Vegan and be in bad health, that is if you are one of those vegans that eats French Fries and Potato chips and thinks that is okay. There is plenty of bad food for vegans but if you eat right you can be way healthier then any meat eater.
Publisher of The China Study
written by David Smith, Mar 05 2013
The initial straw man argument made by Denise Minger "the release of The China Study by T. Colin Campbell. Printed by a small publishing company known for other scientific masterpieces such as The Psychology of the Simpsons and You Do Not Talk About Fight Club" makes the rest of her article questionable at least and suspect at most. The publisher has an impressive list of authors,with mostly non-fiction titles: http://www.benbellabooks.com/
food tales
written by healthrevolution, Mar 01 2013
i'm a medical doctor and have seen personally how a plant based diet is clearly superior to a meat based diet. you can't argue with clinical results and lab numbers. my patients with high cholesterol, blocked heart arteries, gout, diabetes, hypertension and other lifestyle related diseases have all improved or even reversed their conditions with the switch from an animal product based diet to a largely plant based diet. those who benefited most were those who went for a purely whole foods, plant based diet. i have no doubt that Dr. Campbell's findings are credible and true. i find that people who have either personal interests in the meat and dairy industry or who simply have a preference for eating meat and meat products because it tastes good and they feel they cannot live without it are the ones determined to put down people like Dr. Campbell who's interest is for the good health of the public.
what's lacking in The China Study and this commentary is the importance of sufficient protein...., Low-rated comment [Show]
..., Low-rated comment [Show]
Wheat is already a complete protein
written by Pablo, Feb 12 2013
LOL, it is the ratio what can be different to animal foods. Failed critic at this regard.

Most plants are complete proteins, no missing aminoacids there.
...
written by Judith, Feb 12 2013
Brevity, please. I'm working on my diet, and trying to learn all the time. So naturally, what Denise Minger has to say is of interest to me. However, I wish she would stop tryng to sound so cute in her writing style. It doubles the number of words one has to get through, and just gets tiresome. There is way too much on the internet to read to slog through it.
sucking on a cow teat is just plain creepy
written by DeAngela Osborne, Feb 08 2013
What about WebMD or Harvard School of Public Health, are they credible sources? They seem to think that dairy products are not needed for health benefits. Additionally, Harvard School of Public Health believes milk recommendations are a “step in the wrong direction.”

The Dairy Industry has done an outstanding job having us believe that we still need to suck on the teats of another species, it's pretty gross really. Put it on our TV, have a celebrity endorse it, pay a few people off, tell us we need it, spend zillions on propaganda ads, and it could have been a dog. I'm no doctor, but this guy is. In fact, dairy was removed from "the healthy plate" by the Harvard School of Public Health a while back, not sure if everybody knew that or not.

Walter Willett, MD, PhD, professor of epidemiology and head of the nutrition department at the Harvard School of Public Health says, “One of the main arguments for USDA recommendations is that drinking milk or equivalent dairy products will reduce the risk of fractures. But in fact there’s very little evidence that milk consumption is associated with reduced fractures,” Willett tells WebMD.

Furthermore it's linked to most of our common "manageable" diseases at this stage.
...
written by debve, Feb 07 2013
too much focus on the protien. a skewed and slanted perspetive.
hey you love to eat dead critters go for it. don't try to justify it with documentation provided by the beef producers of america. there have been plenty of studies aside from this one that say basically the same thing. what about saturated fats, uric acid ect. it isn't necessarily the protien itself it is the entire package. she even goes so far as to call it fiction.
What is truth
written by Eric, Jan 16 2013
I will side with the evidence....I have not seen nor heard of one instance where this data has been discounted. Only weak attempts at smashing the good news and information these scientists have PROVEN over and over and over again. To me, much of this starts and ends with the government organizations that "oversee" what it is that "we" need. What a pile of crap. These agencies are as corrupt as the administration. Really, it doesnt take a doctor to understand that the former CEO or board member of the Dairy Association should be making decisions as to what "we" need to have in our diet, and then no shock when there is an increase from 1 to 2 cups of "milk". Get real people, we are being sold out to profit for companies that produce dairy and meat....if "anyone" was REALLY concerned about US, many practices would cease when it comes to animals....but NO ONE really cares about us....all dollars and cents. Look at Al "the idiot" Gore who curses those who drive SUV's, and then hops in a private jet....wake up.
Caveat lector
written by Barcadero, Jan 12 2013
1. The Weston A. Price Foundation is funded by meat and fish producers.
2. The China study was funded by universities and the Chinese government.
3. This article does not address IGF-1.
4. This article uses a rat study as a straw man for the population study.
5. The data shows: whole-food plant-based diets reverses the top killers.
6. The final quote is taken out of context. The inlanders were DHA deficient. Cancer was omitted, except liver cancer, which was positively correlated. Plant-based alternatives were shown to be as affective as DHA at deterring chronic diseases. Omega-3s from land animals (pigs, cows, etc.) were shown to not lower mortality or morbidity like DHA. Upshot: Some fish, or better yet, algae to avoid mercury concentration, is a good thing!
7. Minger uses subjective language and ad hominem attacks. Nevertheless, she is a confident public speaker and arguably attractive, and thus many take her advice.
8. Taking nutrition advice from paleontology ...
Points taken
written by Omnivore Searching, Jan 11 2013
The writer in this article definitely brings up very valid points about the selective reporting of research from The China Study. I am reading The China Study now and already and dubious about the simplicity and lack of follow-through on other cancer and illness factors, including other non-animal based foods, like wheat and corn for example. I am open to reading and learning what I can from this book, though today when reading another critique about the book I saw some quotes from the book that are really factually incorrect (which I even know). Campbell doesn't know the difference between simple and complex carbohydrates, which for a nutrition scientist with decades of experience, is alarming. This leads me to wonder if our specialized nutritionists, though perhaps too broad to categorize, are really knowledgeable about health and vitality.
The commentary here does have a concensus: this article does not make the point it promises to make.
written by Michael Ryan, Jan 07 2013
The author, Denise Minger, starts her critique of "The China Study," by asserting, "the book’s most widely repeated claims, particularly involving Campbell’s cancer research and the results of the China-Cornell-Oxford Project, are victims of selection bias, cherry picking, and woefully misrepresented data. She then goes on to make this case with exactly that.

One need not be a scientist to know who is right. Two phrases in the article give it away: "meat lovers" and "PETA-approved." The first is irrelevant in the search for scientific truth (food addictions are also well-documented) and the second is a sarcastic swipe at those who are drawn to veganism for moral reasons (as opposed to dietary-health alone).

The useful parts of this page are within the reader comments, almost all of whom take issue with the article's intention. I agree wholeheartedly with those who suggest that each individual must make up his or her own mind, about what is healthy for them, and what is not. I would also agree that the evidence of the benefits in a vegan diet (not to mention an even stricter regimen without processed foods, and without added salt, oil or sugar) is overwhelming. Just look at Bill Clinton (or would his being a liberal offend the meat-eating crowd?)
person observation
written by Timothy Wong, Dec 10 2012
I personally have experience with the vegan diet, i never thought i can be a vegan but after watching forks over knife I was very impressed by the strong facts that support the benefits of vegan diet, but it's not easy as meat does taste good and you do have more choices when you go eat out, and if you don't live in SF, NYC, or bigger cities, it's hard to find soy milk..they would be staring at you, like are you crazy? Anyway, my partner and his whole family has always been having high blood pressure issue, and his father and his uncle died fairly young because of a heart attack, he has been on a vegan diet for almost a year now, his blood pressure is back to normal, from 150/100 to 115/70, he was so shocked by that as he didn't take any medication at all, that reinforce the idea that he should stick with his diet.
I am here to say it may not work for everyone for having this very strict diet, but it definitely has some very powerful benefits considering our modern days diet essentially are very much processed and sugar packed. While not everyone who are animal eater would die young, but I strongly recommend the plant based diet is a healthier diet, my current diet consists of 80 to 90% of vegetables and whole grains, and the rest would be white meat and fish. No more red meat.
Comments seem right on, article, not so much
written by Margaret Robin, Dec 03 2012
Ah - The China Study is sensationalized. That jumps out at the reader if you get to about the second third of the book. Unfortunately, this article is also sensationalized. What is a body to do? I could try to read the original research findings myself, but probably would be lost in medical vocabulary. I like the commentators here who do what they feel is right and do what works for them. The vegan diet works for me very well. I do supplement occasionally with brewers yeast, which might not be pure vegan?
I'd have to agree....
written by Liz, Nov 30 2012
...with the commentator John H. To each their own. Constantly, as Cate says in her comment, something is good for you and bad for you depending on who you ask. I just try things for myself. My body chemistry is different than yours so what works for me may not work for you. Therefore both the China Study and the above criticism must be taken with a grain of salt.

For me it just so happens that a plant based partially raw diet (I also eat eggs and honey) is right for my body. My skin is clear, my nails are strong, I am energetic, my hair has less breakage, my cycles are less painful, my mood stays steady, I feel great after I eat, and I have even noticed less body odors smilies/grin.gif . (Sorry if TMI for anyone but we are on a healing arts domain.) With that said, my husband is the exact opposite and needs high protein to function at his best ability. Thus my opinion - "different strokes for different folks."
personal experience
written by John Hristov, Nov 12 2012
I think one doesn't need to argue, but just try it. I lost 40 kg of weight and started to run marathons and ultras since I went on a plant diet. Friends and relatives, including my wife, two of my brothers, my mother-in-law and my children demonstrate drastically improved or superior health when moved to plant diet. So, if you feel good on meat, go your way, but I know the huge difference it made for me and prefer the other way.

So, as I said, it is easy. If you are corpse eater, try plant for a couple of months and make your mind. If you are veggie, try meat for a couple of months and decide (BTW I have a friend also, who was vegan for 15 years, and at the age of 28 (yes, she started vegan very early, her own decision) suddenly started to eat flesh. She told me she didn't know why and she had no apparent reason.
Cate
written by PlantsRule, Nov 05 2012
I also have trouble determining what is healthy and what is not because one day something is healthy and the next it give you cancer. The problem I find with a lot of the people trying to debunk Dr. Campbell's China Study is that many of them are not as qualified as Dr. Campbell. Perhaps I missed it in the article above, but I do not see Denise's credentials. I myself am not an expert in statistics, but I know that its not as simple as correlating two items together. It is much more than that. You must account for variables and things of that sort, which Dr. Campbell did in his book. Also, his book is not one study, it is a compilation of many studies and experiments that all lead him to the same conclusion over his career.

The other thing that I do not see being mentioned in any of these anti-China Study write ups is the work of Dr. Essylsten. When switched to a plant based whole foods diet, his patients heart disease reversed, arteries became less clogged, they reduced the amount of medication they needed to take, and this all worked to the point where they no longer needed expensive and dangerous heart surgeries.

This is why I have to side with the scientist who has a lifetime of work to back his claims.
...
written by Randy , Sep 21 2012
Was there a motivation for Mr Campbell to arrive at these conclusions and publish them? Your article seems to imply that these conclusions should have been obviously incorrect and makes one wonder why someone with his knowledge and skill sets and apparent passion would knowingly mislead on a life and death topic??
Vegan
written by Misnomer, Sep 17 2012
To Cate:

More like Dr. Campbell has a vegan propaganda to spread. I believe any person with a brain for analysis and an intolerance for bull-crap would grind their ax on Dr. Campbell's work.
What's the truth?
written by cate, Aug 23 2012
I'm puzzled by the conflicting information everywhere I turn re plant-based diet and consumption of animal products. I have read the China Study and agree that it seems extreme and wonder, also, about the science. Large studies like this can be interpreted in a variety of ways , some good, some not so good. I also subscribe the the WAPF philosophy. Sadly, especially as reflected by this article, the dialogue seems to be divided into teams, each having their own studies/science to support their point of view and a need to be right. This article would have been improved by less put-down of the other side and sticking to the facts as she see them. The somewhat snotty tone makes it sound like she has her own ax to grind.

Write comment

busy
Last Updated on Thursday, 29 March 2012 17:14