The China Study


The China Study

"The China Study" (ISBN 1-932100-38-5) is a 2005 book by T. Colin Campbell, of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell Universitycite journal
last =Arnold
first =Wilfred Niels
title =The China Study
journal =Leonardo
volume =38
issue =5
pages =436
publisher =MIT Press
month =October | year =2005
accessdate = 2008-01-26
] , and one of the directors of the China Project, and his son, Thomas M. Campbell II.

The book examines the relationship between the consumption of animal products and illnesses such as cancers of the breast, prostate, and large bowel, diabetes, coronary heart disease, obesity, autoimmune disease, osteoporosis, degenerative brain disease, and macular degeneration. The "China study" referred to in the title is the China Project, a "survey of death rates for twelve different kinds of cancer for more than 2,400 counties and 880 million (96%) of their citizens" conducted jointly by Cornell University, Oxford University, and the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine over the course of twenty years.

The authors introduce and explain the conclusions of scientific studies, which have correlated animal-based diets with disease. The authors conclude that diets high in protein, particularly animal protein (such as casein in bovine milk) are strongly linked to diseases such as heart disease, cancer and Type 2 diabetes.

The authors recommend that people eat a plant-based diet and avoid consuming beef, poultry and milk as a means to minimize and/or reverse the development of chronic disease. The authors also recommend that people take in adequate amounts of sunshine in order to maintain sufficient levels of Vitamin D and consider taking supplements of vitamin B12. The authors criticize "low carb" diets (such as the Atkins diet), which include restrictions on the percentage of calories derived from complex carbohydrates.

Principles of food and health

In the book, the authors describe their eight principles of food and healthcite book
last = Campbell
first = T. Colin
title = The China Study:The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health
format =
accessdate = 2008-01-07
year = 2006
publisher = Benbella Books
page = 223-240
isbn=1-932100-38-5
] :

*Nutrition represents the combined activities of countless food substances.
*Vitamin supplements are not a panacea for good health.
*There are virtually no nutrients in animal-based foods that are not better provided by plants.
*Genes do not determine disease on their own, they must be activated or expressed, and that nutrition plays a critical role in determining which genes, good and bad, are expressed.
*Nutrition can substantially control the adverse effects of noxious chemicals.
*The same nutrition that prevents disease in its early stages can also halt or reverse it in its later stages.
*Nutrition that is beneficial for a particular chronic disease will support good health across the board.
*Good nutrition creates health in all areas of our existence.

Basis for the principles

The authors state that their views are scientifically based on research, and that much of the evidence is obtained from human studies.cite book
last = Campbell
first = T. Colin
title = The China Study:The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health
format =
accessdate = 2008-01-07
year = 2006
publisher = Benbella Books
page = 21
isbn=1-932100-38-5
] One such human study, The China Study, they describe as a comprehensive study of dietary and lifestyle factors associated with disease mortality in China comparing the health consequences of diets rich in plant-based foods to diets very rich in animal-based foodscite book
last = Campbell
first = T. Colin
title = The China Study:The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health
format =
accessdate = 2008-01-07
year = 2006
publisher = Benbella Books
page = 75
isbn=1-932100-38-5
] among people who are genetically similar.cite book
last = Campbell
first = T. Colin
title = The China Study:The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health
format =
accessdate = 2008-01-07
year = 2006
publisher = Benbella Books
page = 72
isbn=1-932100-38-5
]

tatistical evidence: "Western" diseases correlated to concentration of blood cholesterol

The authors state that the China Study included a comparison of the prevalence of Western diseases (coronary heart disease, diabetes, and cancers of the colon, lung, breast, leukemia, childhood brain, stomach and liver)cite book
last = Campbell
first = T. Colin
title = The China Study:The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health
format =
accessdate = 2008-01-07
year = 2006
publisher = Benbella Books
page = 76
isbn=1-932100-38-5
] in each county with diet and lifestyle variables and found that one of the strongest predictors of Western diseases was blood cholesterol with a statistical significance level equal to or exceeding 99.9% certainty.cite book
last = Campbell
first = T. Colin
title = The China Study:The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health
format =
accessdate = 2008-01-07
year = 2006
publisher = Benbella Books
page = 77
isbn=1-932100-38-5
]

The authors report that lower blood cholesterol levels are linked to lower rates of heart disease and cancer. They add that as blood cholesterol levels decreased from 170 mg/dl to 90 mg/dl, cancers of the liver, rectum, colon, male lung, female lung, breast, childhood leukemia, adult leukemia, childhood brain, adult brain, stomach and esophagus (throat) decreased.cite book
last = Campbell
first = T. Colin
title = The China Study:The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health
format =
accessdate = 2008-01-07
year = 2006
publisher = Benbella Books
page = 78-79
isbn=1-932100-38-5
] They also report that the counties in China with the highest rates of some cancers were more than 100 times greater than counties with the lowest rates of these cancers.cite book
last = Campbell
first = T. Colin
title = The China Study:The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health
format =
accessdate = 2008-01-07
year = 2006
publisher = Benbella Books
page = 71
isbn=1-932100-38-5
] The authors also state that “as blood cholesterol levels in rural China rose in certain counties the incidence of “Western” diseases also increased. What made this so surprising was that Chinese levels were far lower than we had expected. The average level of blood cholesterol was only 127 mg/dl, which is almost 100 points less than the American average (215 mg/dl). ...Some counties had average levels as low as 94 mg/dl. …For two groups of about twenty-five women in the inner part of China, average blood cholesterol was at the amazingly low level of 80 mg/dl.”

They add that these "Western" diseases were relatively rare in China by western standards adding for example that "at the time of our study, the death rate from coronary heart disease was seventeen times higher among American men than rural Chinese men."cite book
last = Campbell
first = T. Colin
title = The China Study:The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health
format =
accessdate = 2008-01-07
year = 2006
publisher = Benbella Books
page = 79
isbn=1-932100-38-5
]

Blood cholesterol levels correlated to diet, particularly animal protein

The authors state that “several studies have now shown, in both experimental animals and in humans, that consuming animal-based protein increases blood cholesterol levels. Saturated fat and dietary cholesterol also raise blood cholesterol, although these nutrients are not as effective at doing this as is animal protein. In contrast, plant-based foods contain no cholesterol and, in various other ways, help to decrease the amount of cholesterol made by the body.”cite book
last = Campbell
first = T. Colin
title = The China Study:The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health
format =
accessdate = 2008-01-07
year = 2006
publisher = Benbella Books
page = 80
isbn=1-932100-38-5
]

The authors also state that "these disease associations with blood cholesterol were remarkable, because blood cholesterol and animal-based food consumption both were so low by American standards. In rural China, animal protein intake (for the same individual) averages only 7.1 grams per day whereas Americans average 70 grams per day."

The authors conclude that “the findings from the China Study indicate that the lower the percentage of animal-based foods that are consumed, the greater the health benefits—even when that percentage declines from 10% to 0% of calories. So it’s not unreasonable to assume that the optimum percentage of animal-based products is zero, at least for anyone with a predisposition for a degenerative disease.”cite book
last = Campbell
first = T. Colin
title = The China Study:The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health
format =
accessdate = 2008-01-07
year = 2006
publisher = Benbella Books
page = 242
isbn=1-932100-38-5
]

Metabolism and incidence of obesity linked to diet

The authors report that "the average calorie intake per kilogram of body weight was 30% higher among the least active Chinese than among average Americans. Yet, body weight was 20% lower."cite book
last = Campbell
first = T. Colin
title = The China Study:The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health
format =
accessdate = 2008-01-07
year = 2006
publisher = Benbella Books
page = 99
isbn=1-932100-38-5
] The authors add that "consuming diets high in protein and fat transfers calories away from their conversion into body heat to their storage form-as body fat (unless severe calorie restriction is causing weight loss.)"cite book
last = Campbell
first = T. Colin
title = The China Study:The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health
format =
accessdate = 2008-01-07
year = 2006
publisher = Benbella Books
page = 101
isbn=1-932100-38-5
]

The authors state that "diet can cause small shifts in calorie metabolism that lead to big shifts in body weight" adding that "the same low-animal protein, low-fat diet that helps prevent obesity also allows people to reach their full growth potential."cite book
last = Campbell
first = T. Colin
title = The China Study:The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health
format =
accessdate = 2008-01-07
year = 2006
publisher = Benbella Books
page = 102
isbn=1-932100-38-5
]

Osteoporosis linked to diet

The authors state that osteoporosis is linked to the consumption of animal protein because animal protein, unlike plant protein, increases the acidity of blood and tissues. They add that to neutralize this acid, calcium, a very effective base, is pulled from the bones, which weakens them and puts them at greater risk for fracture.cite book
last = Campbell
first = T. Colin
title = The China Study:The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health
format =
accessdate = 2008-02-01
year = 2006
publisher = Benbella Books
page = 205
isbn=1-932100-38-5
] The authors add that "in our rural China Study, where the animal to plant ratio [for protein] was about 10%, the fracture rate is only one-fifth that of the U.S."cite book
last = Campbell
first = T. Colin
title = The China Study:The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health
format =
accessdate = 2008-02-01
year = 2006
publisher = Benbella Books
page = 208
isbn=1-932100-38-5
]

tatements on misinformation about nutrition

The authors state that "most, but not all, of the confusion about nutrition is created in legal, fully disclosed ways and is disseminated by unsuspecting, well-intentioned people, whether they are researchers, politicians or journalists."cite book
last = Campbell
first = T. Colin
title = The China Study:The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health
format =
accessdate = 2008-01-07
year = 2006
publisher = Benbella Books
page = 250
isbn=1-932100-38-5
]

The authors also state that some people in very influential government and university positions have acted "to stifle open and honest scientific debate."cite book
last = Campbell
first = T. Colin
title = The China Study:The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health
format =
accessdate = 2008-01-07
year = 2006
publisher = Benbella Books
page = 266
isbn=1-932100-38-5
]

The authors further state that "there are powerful, influential, and enormously wealthy industries that stand to lose a vast amount of money if Americans start shifting to a plant-based diet."cite book
last = Campbell
first = T. Colin
title = The China Study:The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health
format =
accessdate = 2008-01-07
year = 2006
publisher = Benbella Books
page = 249
isbn=1-932100-38-5
]

tatements on current nutrition studies

The authors add that current studies on nutrition are flawed because these studies are overly focused on the effects of varying amounts of individual nutrients among individuals consuming a high-risk diet, including high levels of animal-based protein.cite book
last = Campbell
first = T. Colin
title = The China Study:The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health
format =
accessdate = 2008-01-07
year = 2006
publisher = Benbella Books
page = 272
isbn=1-932100-38-5
]

See also

*Vegetarian nutrition
*Vegetarianism in China
*Veganism
*Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

References

External links

* [http://www.thechinastudy.com/ The official website promoting the book "The China Study"]
* [http://www.nutrition.cornell.edu/ChinaProject/ China-Cornell-Oxford Project]
* [http://www.mcspotlight.org/media/reports/campbell_china2.html The China Study]
* [http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/China-Study.html Chris Masterjohn - "The Truth About the China Study"]
* [http://www.vegsource.com/articles2/campbell_china_response.htm T. Colin Campbell's Response to Questions Raised About the Book, "The China Study. Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-Term Health"]
* [http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/Campbell-Masterjohn.html Chris Masterjohn Responds to T. Colin Campbell Regarding the China Study]
* [http://www.beyondveg.com/billings-t/comp-anat/comp-anat-8e.shtml Tom Billings - "The Cornell China Project: Authoritative Proof, or Misinterpretation by Dietary Advocates?"]

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