The China Study by Thomas Campbell

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So there we had it. The years of animal experiments illuminated
profound biochemical principles and processes that greatly helped to
explain the effect of nutrition on liver cancer. But now we could see that
these processes were relevant for humans as well. People chronically
infected with hepatitis B virus also had an increased risk of liver cancer.
But our findings suggested those who were infected with the virus and
who were simultaneously eating more animal-based foods had higher
cholesterol levels and more liver cancer than those infected with the
virus and not consuming animal-based foods. The experimental animal
studies and the human studies made a perfect fit.

Almost all of us in the United States will die of diseases of affluence. In
our China Study, we saw that nutrition has a very strong effect on these
diseases. Plant-based foods are linked to lower blood cholesterol; ani-
mal-based foods are linked to higher blood cholesterol. Animal-based
foods are linked to higher breast cancer rates; plant-based foods are
linked to lower rates. Fiber and antioxidants from plants are linked to a
lower risk of cancers of the digestive tract. Plant-based diets and active
lifestyles result in a healthy weight, yet permit people to become big and
strong. Our study was comprehensive in design and comprehensive in
its findings. From the labs of Virginia Tech and Cornell University to the
far reaches of China, it seemed that science was painting a clear, con-
sistent picture: we can minimize our risk of contracting deadly diseases
just by eating the right food.
When we first started this project we encountered significant resis-
tance from some people. One of my colleagues at Cornell, who had been
involved in the early planning of the China Study, got quite heated in
one of our meetings. I had put forth the idea of investigating how lots of
dietary factors, some known but many unknown, work together to cause
disease. Thus we had to measure lots of factors, regardless of whether or
not they were justified by prior research. If that was what we intended to
do, he said he wanted nothing to do with such a "shotgun" approach.
This colleague was expressing a view that was more in line with
mainstream scientific thought than with my idea. He and like-minded
colleagues think that science is best done when investigating single-
mostly known-factors in isolation. An array of largely unspecified fac-
tors doesn't show anything, they say. It's okay to measure the specific
effect of, say, selenium on breast cancer, but it's not okay to measure

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