Monday, January 17, 2011

Book Report - The China Study

This is my most recent read. It was compelling and I went through it quickly. In short, I highly recommend this book, and even more highly recommend the soul-searching you should do after reading it.
1) What You Should Already Know
T. Colin Campbell, the author, is a Cornell-based PhD nutritionist and scientist.
He is one of the most respected and published scientists in this field, and has literally hundreds of articles posted in the top scientific journals. He has spent significant time studying the effects of nutirition on cancer, and the implications are very important. In a nutshell, as a scientist and doctor, he recommends a "whole foods, plant based diet" for optimum health, and proves through rigorous scientific studies that this minimizes risk of the most deadly ailments of our time: cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. The establishment has vested financial interest in keeping us confused, and by promoting the cycle of meat and animal based diets which cause diseases that require expensive treatments and surgeries to intervene. Patients do not actually get well from these treatments. Once diagnoses, the downward spiral is usually fatal anyway, but these treatments cause undue pain, suffering and financial burden that could have been avoided or reversed through a whole foods, plant-based diet.
2) Holistic Health
The relationship between nutirtion and health is a complex one, and dealing with nutrients in isolation is not a successful method of improving health according to Dr. Campbell. In fact, supplements usually do the reverse, casuring more harm than good for our bodies. The best is to move toward a diet which offers holistic benefits and gives us the synergy that nature intended. Western medicine often focuses on the disease rather than the patient, and on the treatment rather than the cure. Nutrition is no different, and dieases are best addressed at their source - which Dr. Campbell contends is usually due to poor nutrition.
3) Supplements and other "magic bullets"
Dr. Campbell has done numerous labratory studies on health and vitamin supplements and concludes, as you might expect, that these do not offer the benefits they are ascribed. In fact, not only is it impossible to prove that supplements provide health benefits in isolation, they are shown to have damaging effects by actually increasing the likelihood of cancer and other sickness. The very things you take to save your life are probably killing you.
4) Conflicts of Interest
Food and drug companies sponsor most nutrition research and very carefully control what goes into the media. They also promote their self-serving agenda through elementary schools and even medical schools. The health care system rewards doctors for treating illness rather than avoiding illness, and hospital "top earners" are those doctors which perform the most surgeries, not those doctors which save the most lives. For the well-meaning healthcare professional, this is disturbing. For the industry at large, it is criminal.
There is far too much at stake for big business to promote real optimal health through better diet and nutrition.
5) Never Too Late
Most encouraging in his research is the result that cancer, diabetes, and heart disease are not only prevented by a whole foods, plant based diet, but that they are actually REVERSED by it. In his studies, Dr. Campbell showed that cancer promotion (when cancer cells multiply and spread) could be reversed in mice based on how much animal protein they were fed. This means that for humans, cancer patients could actually reverse cancer and put it into remission by adopting a vegetarian diet and avoiding animal products. This is a much better option that the suffering of chemotherapy and surgery.
6) Lifestyle Choices
I dislike Christianity primarily because of its focus on negative reinforcement.
In the same way, rather than threaten us with cancer if we don't become vegetarians, it is better to provide unbiased information and let each person choose his or her own lifestyle. We know smoking is unhealthy, even if the direct link to cancer is hard to prove. We also know vegetables and fruits are good for us, without having to be beaten over the head with carrot sticks.
At the end of it all, wouldn't you rather choose life?
7) How to Proceed
Get it; read it; think about it.
Most of us have been brainwashed into bacon and eggs and steak and potatoes meal choices. We know what is good for us, but often feel helpless or powerless to act. SHAKE OFF THE LETHARGY AND DO SOMETHING HEALTHY TODAY. Think about people you have loved and lost from cancer. Think about everyone you know who suffers by being obese. Think about everyone you have known who has died from heart disease that DIDN'T HAVE TO.
How are YOU going to live?
Let me know your thoughts. Let's do this together. Choose life.

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