The China Study

The China Study
By T. Colin Campbell, PhD and Thomas M. Campbell II

Back in the ‘70s I was pretty certain there were two things causing our western diseases: excess consumption of processed foods and animal products. For almost forty years I have been a proponent of eating whole foods and eating lower on the food chain. But I really did not have a very strong body of evidence to back up my assertions.

T. Colin Campbell (along with his son) has come to the rescue with the delivery of this “bible” on healthy nutrition in 2006. He is as heretical as those who dared challenge the earth was flat and as revolutionary to the science of nutrition as Copernicus was demonstrating that the earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around.

This book was misnamed in my opinion. I had heard about “The China Study” many times and passed it off as some boring scholarly work that looked at the Chinese. Of course, had I read the bi-lines, I may have been slightly more intrigued. “The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted,” reads the headline. “Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, and Long-Term Health,’ reads the bi-line. (Thanks Mary, for dropping this book in my lap.)

This is not just one study. This is a lifetime of research, a compendium of information of the links between diets and health. The research is backed by 35 pages of footnote references. All of it leads to one general conclusion:

Eating a whole foods, plant-based diet will reduce the probability of acquiring the ravages of western disease. In the section of “Eating Right”, Campbell claims from all this research that eating a whole foods, plant-based diet will help you:

  • Live longer
  • Look and feel younger
  • Have more energy
  • Lose weight
  • Lower your blood cholesterol
  • Prevent and even reverse heart disease
  • Avoid surgery in many instances
  • Vastly decrease the need for pharmaceutical drugs
  • Keep your bones strong
  • Avoid impotence
  • Avoid stroke
  • Prevent kidney stones
  • Keep your baby from getting Type I diabetes
  • Alleviate constipation
  • Lower your blood pressure
  • Avoid Alzheimer’s
  • Beat arthritis, and more…

In Campbell’s early research years, he stumbled on an interesting correlation between aflatoxin and cancer and discovered that by lowering the amount of animal protein in the diet, the cancer could be turned off. Many years of lab research bore this out in rats and mice. Using epidemiological research he continued to see the correlation over and over again. The China Study itself represents the largest human population study ever.

Now you may be thinking that you could never slog through all this research. It is written in a easy to understand format and not presented as a research paper. It is rather a synopsis of a large body of work including that of many other researches and the convergence of the same conclusions. He reviews the work of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn’s research on cardiac disease prevention and reversal with a similar dietary approach and Dr. John McDougall’s dietary approach to disease prevention.

So you may be wondering why we have not heard much about it? Campbell spends part IV of the book precisely answering this question. Using much of his own experience and that of others working in science, medicine, and government, he shows the system at it’s ugliest. Industry and medicine do not have your best health options as a priority. It is what makes money is what is most important. But the politics of comfort, power and ego all come into play. Reading this last section may upset you, but you will certainly understand why we have not moved forward in health in this country. And unfortunately the rest of the world wants to be like us.

If you care about your health and that of your family, read this book.

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