The China Study by Thomas Campbell

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have we been eliminating plant and animal species from the face of the
earth as we are doing now. Never before have we introduced, on such a
large scale, genetically altered varieties of plants into the environment
without knowing what the repercussions will be. All of these changes in
our environment are strongly affected by what we choose to eat. II
As the billions of people in the developing world are accumulating
more wealth and adopting the Western diet and lifestyle, problems cre-
ated by nutritional excess are becoming exponentially more urgent with
each passing year. In 1997, the director-general of the World Health Orga-
nization, Dr. Hiroshi Nakajima, referred to the future chronic disease bur-
den in developing countries as "a crisis of suffering on a global scale."12
We've fumbled around for the past 2,500 years, building up the un-
sustainable behemoth that we now call modern society. We certainly
won't have another 2,500 years to remember the teachings of Plato,
Pythagoras, Seneca and Macilwain; we won't even have 250 years. From
this urgency arises great opportunity, and because of that I am filled
with hope. People are beginning to sense the need for change and are
beginning to question some of the most basic assumptions that we have
about food and health. People are beginning to understand the conclu-
sions of scientific literature and are changing their lives for the better.
Never before has there been such a mountain of empirical research
supporting a whole foods, plant-based diet. Now, for example, we can
obtain images of the arteries in the heart, and then show conclusively,
as Drs. Dean Ornish and Caldwell Esselstyn,jr., have done, that a whole
foods, plant-based diet reverses heart disease. 13 We now have the knowl-
edge to understand how this actually works. Animal protein, even more
than saturated fat and dietary cholesterol, raises blood cholesterol levels
in experimental animals, individual humans and entire populations.
International comparisons between countries show that populations
subsisting on traditional plant-based diets have far less heart disease, and
studies of individuals within single populations show that those who eat
more whole, plant-based foods not only have lower cholesterol levels, but
have less heart disease. We now have a deep and broad range of evidence
shOWing that a whole foods, plant-based diet is best for the heart.
Never before have we had such a depth of understanding of how diet
affects cancer both on a cellular level as well as a population level. Pub-
lished data show that animal protein promotes the growth of tumors.
Animal protein increases the levels of a hormone, IGF-l, which is a risk
factor for cancer, and high-casein (the main protein of cow's milk) diets
allow more carcinogens into cells, which allow more dangerous carcino-

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