Book Summary: The China Study, Part 1

Guess what happened this weekend?  I went on a plane ride all by myself.  I sat in a chair all by myself and read for an hour and a half without shoving snacks in anyone’s mouth, or getting out new toys every 2 minutes, or changing diapers.  So I finally got to read a bit of “The China Study” by T. Collin Campbell.  I’ve been meaning to read this for years now, and finally found a chance to crack it open.  It’s a little extreme in some parts, but interesting research.  Here’s the first section’s summary.

Introduction

  • We are more confused than ever about how to be healthy, and many of our doctors don’t even know what we need to do to achieve optimum health.
  • Many diseases can be reversed through healthy diet and lifestyle (duh).
  • Collins grew up on a dairy farm and drank two quarts of milk a day.  In his early career he worked at MIT trying to figure out why millions of chicks were dying from an unknown toxin in their feed.  He helped discover dioxin, which is part of Agent Orange (BEING FED TO CHICKEN, PEOPLE!).
  • He then went to the Philippines to discover why there was a high prevalence  of liver cancer in Filipino children.  His team (backed by a government organization) aimed at getting those  kids as much protein as possible, thinking this was healthy for impoverished children.  However, he discovered that children who ate the highest protein diets were the ones most likely to get cancer.  They belonged to wealthy families.
  • This led to research (using rats) about protein, and the role of nutrition in cancer.  In his research he discovered he could turn cancer on and off simply by changing the level of protein consumed.
  • Casein (87% of the protein in cow’s milk) strongly promoted cancer.  Protein from plants was safe.
  • People who ate the most animal-based foods got the most chronic disease, and people who ate mostly plant based foods avoided chronic disease.
  • This research went against everything he knew growing up, and his colleagues scoffed at him.  He had to tread carefully since his research was being paid for by the government.  Yet, he knew they would not like the results…and possibly pull his funding.
  • p.8 “The distinctions between government, industry, science and medicine have become blurred.  The distinctions between making a profit and promoting health have become blurred.  The problems with the system do not come in the form of Hollywood-style corruption.  The problems are much more subtle, and yet much more dangerous.  The result is massive amounts of misinformation, for which average Am4erican consumers pay twice.  They provide the tax money to do the research, and then they provide the money for their health care to treat their largely preventable diseases.”

Chapter  1 – Problems We Face, Solutions We Need

  • If you are male, you have a 47% chance of getting cancer.  38% for females.
  • Heart Disease kills 1 out of 3 Americans.
  • Leading Causes of Death in ranking order:
  1. Diseases of the heart
  2. Cancer
  3. Medical Care (Scary), and we pay for our healthcare than any other country in the world.
  4. Stroke
  • We need to stop focusing on isolated nutrients, and look at the larger context instead.
  • Cancer can be turned on and off by nutrition, despite very strong genetic predisposition.

Chapter 2 – A House of Proteins

  • Back to the research in the Philippines:  This particular type of liver cancer was only occurring in Western countries after age 40.  In the Philippines, children under10 years were getting it.
  • Children who got liver cancer were from the best-fed and wealthiest families. They were consuming more protein than anyone else in the country, and yet they were the ones getting the cancer.
  • Back to the rats: He fed one group a diet made up of 20% protein and one group only 5% protein.  Every single rat on the 20% diet got liver cancer.  Not a single one in the 5% group got it.  This is a 100%  versus 0% result.  Almost unheard of in scientific research.
  • More observational research led to his advocacy for a whole foods, plant-based diet.

Chapter 3 – Turning Off Cancer

  • Cancer-causing agents have been added to our food (nitrites, dyes, toxins).  These chemicals increase cancer rates in experimental animals.  These often get a lot of press and explode in the media.
  • Another chemical that causes cancer but gets no press is protein.
  • Getting cancer is like growing grass.
  1. Initiation is like putting the seeds in the soil
  2. Promotion is when grass starts to grow
  3. Progression is when it gets completely out of control.
  • With cancer, the initiation phase is irreversible.
  • The promotion phase can last many many years.  It is reversible depending on whether it is given the right conditions to grow or not.
  • The third phase usually ends in death.  The goal is to take away optimum conditions for cancer cell growth in the promotion phase.
  • Many studies were done with Casein (in Cow’s milk).  When animals ate more protein than their body growth rate, disease onset began.  Animals that ate 20% protein were either dead or nearly dead from liver tumors at 100 weeks.
  • Protein from plants did not promote cancer growth, even at higher intake levels than casein.
  • Nutrients from animal-based foods increased tumor development while nutrients from plant-based foods decreased tumor development.

To be Continued…

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2 comments on “Book Summary: The China Study, Part 1

  1. I read and loved this book. It’s so powerful and informative and illustrates just how sick our society is becoming. If you like this book, you may also enjoy ‘A Diet for a New America’ by John Robbins (this book turned me vegetarian), ‘The Food Revolution’, also by John Robbins and ‘Sweet Poison’ by David Gillespie, which goes into great detail about the biochemical reactions of sugar in our body and the wildly misguided idea that fat is the cause of obesity as opposed to sugar. I think you’d enjoy these as you sound like you’re interested in revolutionary health ideas and the need to drastically redirect our eating habits.

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