372 of 389 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A revolution in the making
The central message of this extraordinary book is: consume whole foods in the context of a plant-based diet. If you do you will greatly decrease the likelihood that you will die prematurely from the "diseases of affluence" that ravage our society, including cancer, heart failure and diabetes.
This is a diet that makes eminent sense and is in accord with what...
Published on 10 May 2006 by Dennis Littrell
111 of 129 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wanted to believe but have nagging doubts
When I first read this book I found it revelatory and went around telling everyone about it. However, with time and as people have questioned points from the book I have started to have nagging doubts about it. I have started to wonder: why is the author is such a lone voice in promoting these ideas? And if the conclusions are valid, why are they so at odds with the...
Published on 29 Nov 2011 by A reader
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372 of 389 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A revolution in the making,
This review is from: China Study, The: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-Term Health (Hardcover)The central message of this extraordinary book is: consume whole foods in the context of a plant-based diet. If you do you will greatly decrease the likelihood that you will die prematurely from the "diseases of affluence" that ravage our society, including cancer, heart failure and diabetes.
This is a diet that makes eminent sense and is in accord with what we may surmise was the natural diet of our ancestors in the prehistory before the rise of agriculture and animal husbandry. Campbell shows through intensive and wide-ranging studies, in particular through evidence from the "China Study: the most comprehensive study of health and nutrition ever conducted," that it is a diet that will prevent and even reverse disease.
Campbell is no pie-in-the-sky visionary or nutritional quack with a bogus agenda, nor is he an animal rights activist trying to find justification for his concerns. He is a bonafide mainstream scientist with forty years of experience who is currently Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University. Furthermore, he grew up on a farm, and prior to his learning about the effect diet can have on human health, he ate a more or less traditional American diet heavy on the meat, milk, fat, refined sugars and starches.
I have been reading books on nutrition and diet for decades. I have seen food fads come and go, and I have seen the rise of the supersize in which McDonald's and other large corporations have seduced us into eating not only foods that are bad for us, but lured us into eating (and drinking) them in large quantities. As a result we have become among the fattest people on the planet with something like two-thirds of the population overweight and one-third obese. (p. 135) Part of this is due to lack of exercise, but a significant part is due to eating too much. But Campbell believes that it isn't just how much we are eating, it is what we are eating. He maintains that eating exclusively from a whole foods, plant-based diet and maintaining an otherwise healthy lifestyle, we can eat as much as we like and not only keep trim but avoid the terrible diseases of affluence that haunt our society.
What is different about Campbell's book is first the enormous about of scientific evidence he presents, and second the idea that eating not just fats and overly processed foods is bad for you, but that eating too much protein, especially animal protein, is correlated with the scourges of diabetes, cancer and heart failure. Animal protein consumption in conjunction with various carcinogens in the environment causes cancer, to put it bluntly, is his message. This surprising finding is supported by Campbell's discovery that the effect of the carcinogen aflatoxin is almost completely negated when a low protein diet is followed. In particular, his research targets casein, protein from cow's milk, as contributing to the formation of cancerous tumors. He believes that consuming diary products on a regular basis is dangerous to your health.
All told, this is without doubt the best book on nutrition, diet, and health that I have ever read, and believe me, I've read a few over the years. The arguments presented, over and above the very persuasive evidence, are compelling. One of the things I like to do when evaluating opposing views on what is good for human beings is to ask myself how was it in the prehistory? What sort of diet did humans become adapted to over the millennia? It was only about 10,000 years ago that animal husbandry began; in other words, it's only been about 10,000 years since any people have depended on milk as a food. Furthermore, although prehistoric humans were hunters and scavengers, it is clear that the bulk of their diet came from gathering plant sources. Even when they did slay an animal, that animal's flesh was lean, not fatty. This is not to say that prehistoric humans did not eat animal flesh. They did. In some cultures (the Inuit for example) animal flesh was the mainstay of the diet. But they are exceptions. Furthermore, the deleterious effects of a diet containing significant amounts of animal products would not have affected prehistoric peoples much since few lived long lives. Today most people (in the Western world at least) will live into their sixties, seventies and eighties. How free from pain and discomfort and how active and healthful they will be for how long will depend to some large measure on what they eat. This is Dr. Campbell's message.
Another, more sinister message is contained in "Part IV: Why Haven't You Heard This Before?" It is here that Campbell chastises the medical profession, the scientific establishment and the government for being in the pocket of the various corporate interests. He shows how we have been indoctrinated by the diary, meat, poultry and drug industries into eating an unhealthy diet and attempting to treat the symptoms of the chronic diseases of affluence caused in part by that diet with ineffective and expensive drugs and invasive and dangerous treatments. He shows how under the Bush administration the recommended daily allowances (RDAs) from the government's Food and Nutrition Board have been revised so that increased amounts of fatty, highly processed, sugared and protein-stuffed foods are now more okay than ever. (See pages 306-314 for the appalling details.)
Why is this happening? Because corporate vested interests have hoodwinked the medical profession and taken control of the government agencies and have bought off the politicians. Campbell writes: "...[W]hen it comes to health, government is not for the people; it is for the food industry and the pharmaceutical industry at the expense of the people." (p. 318) He adds, "The whole system is paid for by the drug industry, from education to research. The drug industry has bought the minds of the medical profession." (p. 332) He concludes (in italics): "The health damage that results from doctors' ignorance of nutrition is astounding." (p. 329)
--Dennis Littrell, author of "The World Is Not as We Think It Is"
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars China Study,
This review is from: China Study, The: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health (Paperback)Having spent the last 70 odd years as an avid carnivore, I read the China study and have changed to a vegan diet.
The result has been a very significant reduction in my blood pressure, I have been trying to reduce it for several years without success. Another great result for the China Study!
163 of 171 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Risks of animal based proteins,
This review is from: China Study, The: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health (Paperback)The primary theme of this book is that animal based proteins affect the rate of cancer in any given population. He does also consider other things such as fiber, and has important findings in this area, but overall, the animal protein was the most startling.
In the introduction he explains how he worked in the Philippines when he was on the faculty at Virginia Tech. Their goal was to improve childhood malnutrition by making sure the children were getting as much protein as possible, in particular animal based protein. But, this led to a startling discovery, the children that consumed the most protein were also the most likely to develop liver cancer!
He then found a study from India, saying in essence, the same thing. They had fed two groups of rats a cancer causing agent, but one group was given 20% protein while the other was given only 5%. 100% of the rats fed a diet of 20% protein developed liver cancer, while none of the rats on the 5% diet developed cancer.
My initial thought was "What about vegetarians?" But many of them consume a large amount of animal based proteins in the form of milk, yogurt, cheese and eggs, which are all on his "avoid" list.
This blew away everything he had been taught about nutrition. He eventually goes on to study the subject in the laboratory for 27 years funded by sources such as the National Institutes of Health, the American Cancer Society, and the American Institute for Cancer Research.
His research showed that they could virtually turn on and off cancer growth by changing the level of protein consumed. This was a shocking discovery to say the least, one that eventually ends him up on a watch list funded by those who profit from the sale of animal protein.
There were other interesting insights, such as peanuts are often contaminated with a fungus produced toxin called aflatoxin (AF). AF is said to be the most potent chemical carcinogen. Carcinogen simply means that the item has been found to cause cancer. He went on to get a grant to study the subject and found that peanut butter would have levels of AF as high as 300% above what was considered safe. Whereas the cocktail peanuts level of AF was within acceptable parameters. The conclusion was, the good peanuts were being sorted out at the factor to go in the jars of nuts, and the worst and moldiest nuts were made into peanut butter.
There is of course political intrigue, because whenever you shake a financial tree like the meat producers, watch out what falls on your head. I felt like he handled this difficult aspect of his career with dignity, and didn't become a "Everybody's out to get me!" person. Instead, he continued on with his important research.
It is a somewhat heavy read but provides many insights into today's illnesses of affluence.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this has changed my life,
This review is from: China Study, The: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health (Paperback)This book has changed my way of thinking about nutrition for good!
I have been trying for years to lose weight because of PCOS and mainly failed until I followed the advice in this book. For the first time in several years the scales have gone down, but a massive bonus is that I have much more energy and zest for life!
The writer has a way of offering his findings for consideration rather than telling us what is wrong and how to do it, which is refreshing.
I would strongly recommend this book, it is a real eye opener.
75 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A shake up,
China Study also unveils behind-the-scene manipulation of big food business with no regard for consumer health. The authors make a big step forward in honest consumer education, as their integrity and scientific approach is beyond any doubt. Another no-hype volume with down-to-earth, commonsense approach to health and longevity is "Can We Live 150 Year?" I strongly recommend both books for everyone. Get them, and keep them for later reference. Don't miss it.
62 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life Changing Book,
and Red meat.
The book also emphasises the benefit of eating whole foods from a plant based diet.
The book really is an excellent read and will open your eyes as to how you should consider eating to become healthier and to greatly reduce your risk from many western diseases. Since reading this book (and another book called 'Never be Sick again' by Raymond Francis and Kester Cotton) I have pretty much become a vegan, basing my diet mainly on raw whole plant based foods. Excess weight melted away and some long standing health problems are no where near as problematic.
If I could give my own one line comment to summarise the whole book it is this: Western food causes western diseases. T.Colin Campbell proves this and gives overwhelming evidence by comparing the disease rates of different communities with their diet. He also gives results of a study where he gave rats, that had tumours, different diets. Those that ate 20% milk protein all developed cancer, those that ate 6% or less didn't. He could start and stop tumour growth by starting and stopping the milk protein diet! (Another interesting read focusing on the cancer issue is, 'Life in Your Hands' by professor Jane Plant).
Who eats the most refined food, and consumes the most meat and dairy? We do in the UK, Europe and USA. Who has the most Osteoporosis, Heart disease and cancer? WE DO!!! Is there a link? Or course there is!, read this book and find out why. I am so convinced by this that in addition to my original purchase, I have since bought three additional copies to loan out to friends and relatives who have health problems and who might be willing to consider that they can actually do something to improve their situation rather than just being at the mercy of the doctors and hospitals.
Since talking about issues raised in this book; My wife and children no longer drink (dairy) milk, my parents have gone diary free, and several friends have gone pretty much vegan. Cutting out dairy alone helped excess weight to come off as we have stopped consuming all those hormones that come in it. Don't believe me?... Try it for yourself to find out.
The only thing I am disappointed about is that I didn't know about all this 20 years ago, but I am so grateful to T.Colin Campbell for sticking his neck out and publishing this controversial masterpiece. It has changed my life.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended!,
This review is from: China Study, The: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-Term Health (Hardcover)I have recently finished reading this book and have given up meat, eggs, dairy and bread. I feel fabulous! I have dropped a few pounds in a few days too!!bonus!
I used to be a former vegetarian but I was a junk food vege. I would eat lots of pasta, cheese, eggs, and everyday junk. Then I got cravings for meat again after 7 years and started to eat it again. I then piled on tonnes of weight - not just cause of the meat but was just eating anything and everything.
I then started to cut down on the junk and lost 4 stone. but that is where i stayed. i couldnt shift anymore weight and i was bloated. I had cut out sugar etc but was still eating meat. But, since i have cut out meat, eggs, dairy AND bread i feel wonderful. The weight loss has started up again and I am fitting into jeans that wouldnt fit a week ago!
Obviously eating a plant-based, whole food diet is not about weight loss. It is about health, and the benefits you can reap by eating a natural, non-processed diet. The research in this book has convinced me that it is time (in my early 30's) to start putting my health first and start to think about the 'what if?'. I dont want to get diabetes, or heart disease, or a degenerative brain disease. I have seen my grandparents suffer ill health in old age and they were miserable. I do not want to live the same life in old age. So, this is for the rest of my life.
I would urge anyone to buy this book and take what it says to heart. At the end of the day it certainly is not going to do you any harm! try it for a while and you will see the light!
89 of 100 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 80% : Excellent Study but Different Conclusions Possible,
The book recommends a diet of 100 % whole plant foods. All writers outside the food processing industry could not disagree that it is safest to eat 100% natural whole-foods ie foods which have not been industrialised (eg corn-fed beef), fractionated (eg the myriad of foods constructed from extracts of corn, wheat and soy), contaminated (with numerous chemicals) or otherwise processed (eg homogenised milk). However there is no agreement that all the foods should be plant foods.
Animal Protein (Chapter 3)
Campbell reports that if aflatoxin poisoned rats are given too much casein they develop cancer. Casein is a fractionated food, derived presumably from modern industrialised cow's milk and something that humans do and should not eat on it's own - one wonders what would have happened if the rats had been given natural whole milk with is fat, other proteins, vitamins and enzymes (if not pasteurised) etc needed for proper digestion intact ? What would have happened if there were given other fractionated foods such as fructose extracted from otherwise healthy fruit ? - diabetic symptoms ??
Though dairy foods are modern food in evolutionary terms, humans have used them successfully for thousands of years.
From these experiments on HIGH LEVELS of FRACTIONATED, DAIRY foods on RATS, and one or two other experiments which he did not describe, Campbell goes on to conclude that ALL WHOLE ANIMAL FLESH foods (fish , poultry and meat and eggs) are dangerous to HUMAN health in ANY QUANTITY. This is in spite of the evidence that hunter gatherers survived for hundreds of thousands of years eating large amounts of animal foods of all types and that even some modern civilisations have survived perfectly healthily on all animal food diets. Today, many civilisations outside the western developed world live very healthily while consuming animal foods in substantial quantities (eg Japanese, one of the healthiest nations in the world eat substantial amounts of fish).
Nutrients (Chart 11.2)
No food writer would disagree that humans need to eat nutritious foods, as natural as possible with sufficiently high levels of vitamins, minerals and other organic nutrients. Table 11.2 focuses on those nutrients which are better obtained from plant foods. However many other nutrients vital or important to human health are better obtained from animal foods because they are not available in plant foods or the amounts available in plant foods are much lower- these include vitamins B12, B2 and B3 and D, minerals such as zinc and selenium, long chain omega 3 fatty acids, carnitine, creatine, carnosine and coenzyme Q10. If one adopts a vegan diet it can be difficult or impossible to obtain all these without using dietary supplements.
Western Diet (Charts 4.7, 4.8, 8.4,14.3)
In industrialised western societies, most of the food eaten is industrialised food rather than whole food. Animals are fed unnaturally and both plant and animal foods are fractionated. The resultant processed foods are loaded with fat, refined sugar and starch and modified animal and plant proteins and are low in essential nutrients. In the above mentioned charts, the industrialised western societies have highest incidence of disease - the most obvious association is with the industrialisation of food as the amount of truly natural whole animal and plant foods eaten is rather low in these countries. Primitive societies which do not use industrialised foods seem to do better.
From an ecological point of view it would be nice to believe that one could survive on an entirely vegan whole-food diet - however this seems to be very risky as it defies the whole history of human development for hundreds of thousands of years. The biggest risk to human health seems to be the industrialisation of food production rather than consumption of natural animal food. Four out of five stars are given because it could be optimum for 80 % of food to be whole plant food with 20% whole animal food (fish from the sea, true free range poultry and eggs, grass fed red meat and even some milk and butter, not margarine).
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life Changing (as other's have already said),
This book showed me the error of my ways, and if you read it then it will most likely change you too.
In my opinion this book should be part of school education, of course the Meat and Dairy industries would cry foul, but then that's to be expected, just like the tobacco industry still tries to derail the statistics around smoking.
One of the many things Dr Campbell is saying is that exposure to a carcinogen (like smoke) is not the most important thing in the formation of cancer. The most important thing is how you feed the cancer. He did a study with rats and a well known (at least to the medical community) carcinogen called aflatoxin (a form of mold found on peanuts). When the rats were fed with high levels of aflatoxin and very low levels of animal-based-protein the development of cancers was massively lower than when the Rats were fed with high levels of animal-based-protein in tandem with aflatoxin. In short the researchers effectively switched on and off cancer formation with diet, even in the presence of a highly carcinogenic compound.
There is much more to this book than just the study of lab rats.
This books goes on to show how consumption of animal-based foods increase all forms of chronic and degenerative diseases : cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, age-related-blindness, osteoporosis, kidney stones, autoimmune disease, alzheimer's and dementia.
The most important part about this book in comparison to others is that the conclusions are developed from numerically compelling research. It's not just opinion dressed up as fact. This book has the numbers to back it up (although he doesn't get bogged down in them) .
It also goes on to tell you how the Meat and Dairy industries unsurprisingly act just like the Tobacco industry has, and buy off governments and scientists.
All in all it is highly and complusively readable, it only took me a couple of days, I was gripped by it.
You really need to read this book, you will not regret it (well if you are young enough to benefit from a lifestyle change that is).
76 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars vital study in public and personal health,
In fact, T.C.C tells us, most cancers are preventable by different nutrition. Most heart disease (and all the related conditions of arterial disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension) is also preventable, mostly by different nutrition. It is most definitely not “all in our genes”. We are not just looking at death rates; think of the massive burdens of long years of disability and crippling expensive medical intervention. Look at the early development of atheroma in the arteries of our apparently ‘healthy’ young people.Dr Campbell is not the only one to quote some of this evidence. Recent advances in ultrasound examination of arteries by leading-edge medical science teams are exceptionally revealing and important (check out Science Update at Berwick Heart Support). Much arterial disease is reversible by a combination of different nutrition, exercise, smoking cessation and better social relationships.
Not all the evidence is in, but given the evidence that changed him, there is sufficient to change us. Quote from the book; “I started at the opposite end of the spectrum: as a meat-loving diary farmer in my personal life, and an ‘establishment’ scientist in my professional life.” Whatever the areas of study that still require more evidence, do not wait, buy this book and begin to do it. I started 17 years ago after a heart attack. My health gain was enormous.
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China Study, The: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-... by Colin Campbell (Paperback - 1 Jun 2006)