Diet, Nutrition, and Cancer Survivorship | T. Colin Campbell, PhD (2007)

8:30, First speaker is minimizing prostate
cancer through diet. T. Colin Campbell, who is emeritus professor of nutritional science
at Cornell University in Ithaca. Dr. Campbell is the author of “The China Study: Startling
Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, and Long-Term Health.” His principal scientific interests,
which begins with his graduate training in the late 1950’s, has been on the effect of
nutritional status on long-term health particularly on the causation of cancer. Thank you very much for that very kind introduction.
I want to thank Dr. Mark Scholz and Jim O’Hara and Amy Greene for inviting me to this very
prestigious conference. It’s indeed a pleasure to talk to a conference like this—a medically
oriented conference about this topic, about nutrition. I spent many many years—more
than 50 I guess now, counting all together—working in this field with many students and colleagues,
mostly at Cornell University, doing this work and much of my work in the beginning and throughout
my career had to do with trying to understand really what cancer was all about. All the
way from the cellular level through the whole body level, but along the way nutrition became
very interesting and I learned a lot of things that I didn’t expect to learn. In fact, my
views these days are rather different than what they were when I was a student. In fact,
quite dramatically different. But in any case, I want to get into the presentation. It’s hard to talk about a subject like this
as complex as it is, quite frankly, in just the minutes we have. So all I can do really
is to kind of go through a hop, skip, and jump through some of these significant observations
that in fact I and my students worked on over the years with my colleagues. So, let’s start
out then and first to mention incidentally that the message I want to tell you is not
specifically just for prostate cancer. It’s a message that has a much broader and diverse
effect on cancers of all kinds, diseases of all kinds I should say. So it’s a generalized
view, but it’s a view that actually applies I would argue to prostate cancer as well as
other cancers too. Let me start here with this first slide and
show you the kind of model that we tended to work with in science to describe the various
stages of cancer. What you can see here going from the color-coded green on the left to
the red is sort of the cancer progression process. Cancer, as you may know, takes a
long long time from the time from the first seeds on through to the development of the
clinical diagnosis, essentially, and it’s divided oftentimes into initiation, promotion,
progression. Initiation really has to do with the genetic seeds if you will. Promotion has
to do with the long period of time over years when in fact these early seeds, these early
cancer seeds, are beginning to grow and coalesce and develop into what we call tumors, and
eventually we get diagnosed and, of course, then things begin to change too. But it’s
a continuum, I want to emphasize this idea that it’s a continuum, and the research I’m
going to describe that convinced me of a very different view is largely concerned with promotion.
And during promotion, during this time, it takes years, decades if you will, whereas
initiation, in contrast, that’s just the time it takes for let’s say for us to get our genes
impacted by a chemical or something like that. That occurs all the time, most of our lifetime
to some extent sort of creating these infant cancer cells. Nutrition is this long period
of time. That’s the period of time that I really want to talk about insofar as my own
research is concerned. Without getting into the details of why I
got involved in this particular line of research, I just want to show you some results. These
are results having to do with experimental animals. And I learned early own, actually
when I was working in the Philippines, sort of surveying or coordinating a nationwide
program feeding malnourished children that protein, it seemed, played a role in
cancer development. And it was on that basis, without getting into all the details, it was
on that basis that I came home and we organized a rather major research project that continued
for the next about 30 years funded mostly by the National Institute of Health and also
by the American Cancer Society that led to this series of results that I’m going to describe
here. And I just want to touch on just a couple of highlights. I could show hundreds of slides
to illustrate this point, but I think these next two or three slides might do the trick. Basically, the cancer that we were looking
at in this particular case as a model to understand cancer was liver cancer, in rats to be specific.
And so we were interested in the effect of protein on the development of this cancer
over the development of that cancer. This slide here basically shows that over the early
stages of that development—first twelve weeks—if we fed diets that contained the
good levels of protein, the recommended levels of protein, which incidentally is 20% of total
calories, as opposed to feeding diets of 5%, which is considered not to be enough. (Quite frankly it is enough when they get to be adults.) But in any case feeding them regular levels,
the good levels, as you can see the cancers once formed started to grow over the first
12 weeks and quite a dramatic difference. This coincided, in fact, with an observation
that was made by some Indian workers prior to that they really got me into this. But
then the next series of studies illustrated here in one slide really turned out to be
quite provocative. Namely, if we started feeding animals the first three weeks, for example,
20% proteins, the good levels (the recommended levels if you will), and then switched them
to 5% we turn the cancer off. If we then returned and fed them the 20% protein diet turns it
on. So we got to a point in time when we could actually turn on and turn off cancer development.
Admittedly, it was the early stages. So it begs some questions as to whether or not this
really applied to let’s say full-blown tumors, but in any case, this is the early stages
and it was the period during promotion. Now the promotion period, as I say, nested period
I’ll return to that. That’s the period during which the nutrition acting as a fertilizer
if you will of growing these cancer states. That’s the period of time that’s really critical
in this whole process. But it turned out we were feeding 20% and
5%, but I wanted to know something about what about the intermediate levels going from let’s
say from 4% up to 20%. Protein is an essential nutrient and I’m sure that you all appreciate
that. We need protein. The question I’m really referring to here is what happens when we
consume protein in excess of our needs, and so this is illustrated here in these external
animal studies. Namely, up to 10% protein, that’s about the amount they need. They don’t
actually even need that, but they need about that at least, or that’s plenty for them to
do all the good things that protein does and it’s when they start consuming diets in excess
of 10% we can see the issues starting to develop. And that concept of the threshold is as common
to nutrient action. There are also oftentimes nutrient thresholds. Nutrients are good things.
They do good things for us, but when you see the threshold, we see the level that, you
know, beyond that—that’s when we get into mischief. And that threshold concept is, as
I say, is very important in context of what I’m going to tell you here. Now, what I just quickly described was what
happens in the early stages of cancer development. Here’s a study where we followed cancer development
during the entire lifetime of these animals. A lifetime in the case of a rat is about two
years—about 100 weeks. So what we did there, we just fed 5%, 20%, we actually did more
than that. This is just a sample of some of the data out of a very large study, but we
fed 5% or 20% diets for the entire 100 weeks. And if you look over on the right-hand side
you’ll see the degree of cancer formation—we call it tumor severity which takes into consideration
the numbers of tumors as well as the growth rate and size of the tumors—and you can
see a huge difference. A huge difference. Feeding the good levels of protein really
turned on that cancer big time, and this coincided, in fact, what the early workers in India had
done, coincided with what I thought I saw in the children in the Philippines as well.
5%, none. The really interesting part of this study, if you can see there, it’s sort of
the second column area on the left, is that the 20% animals were all dead at the end of
their lifetime of liver cancer. These animals had been exposed to a carcinogen that caused
liver cancer, but they’re all dead. The animals given 5%, allegedly not enough to support
good health, they’re all alive and thrifty. Their hair coats were sleek. They were hopping
around the cage. They were energetic. All the rest and no cancer. It was dramatic. It
was dramatic. And we actually looked at this many different ways. The protein we were using
was casein. Casein is the main protein in cow’s milk. Soy protein, whey protein didn’t
do that even when it was fed at 20% of calories. So there’s a dramatic difference between casein
and these plant-based proteins. I found this to be provocative and that’s an understatement
because I was raised on a dairy farm—milking cows, and we milked cows and we drank milk,
and I drank generous quantities of milk because in those days to the extent I even knew anything
about nutrition it was largely because of the protein content in the cow’s milk that
we thought we were doing the right thing. I actually went away to school then to Cornell
University, did my doctoral dissertation on trying to figure out how to grow animal-based
proteins, cow’s protein if you will, more effectively so we could consume more of it.
So that was the early part of my career. This was a shock and it took me a while to get
over it, but we had to get over it and move on. It turns out that casein had this effect.
What was suggested here too was casein is an animal protein, these others are plant
proteins, so I thought maybe was emerging here a dichotomy between what plant proteins
do and what animal proteins do. Without giving all the details of that I’m going to share
with you my confidence in the idea, yes there is a major distinction between animal protein
and plant protein in terms of what they can do, and not just for cancer. So, let’s stop here quickly for some main
points. Namely, a low-protein dietary protein—something like 5%—decreases both initiation and promotion,
but its effects on promotion are primary. That’s important, incidentally, because we
knew, or at least I thought I knew in those days, that during the promotion stage cancer
is reversible and that’s what we basically demonstrated. So the fact that it operates
during that period was interesting. So the nutrient activity during promotion strongly
indicates that cancer development can be controlled perhaps even reversed by nutritional means.
That’s an exciting concept. That’s an exciting concept, especially when you consider it in
the context of the levels of nutrients being consumed in this case. Not heroic, excessive,
unreal levels. These are levels well within the range of which we all experience quite
frankly. So we look for, how does this work? In science,
we’d like to learn how it works. And a lot of people tend to think it’s fundamental to
western nutrition, fundamental to western science, we want to know how something works.
We want to know what the so-called explanatory mechanism is because if we know that, then
we can do things like maybe develop some drugs and this and that and sort of intercept that
right reaction. Well, this was again another very provocative idea. It turns out there
is no such thing as a single explanatory mechanism. There’s a whole bunch of stuff all working
on hundreds of thousands maybe of reactions interacting, it’s a very complex system. We
started looking for mechanisms in fact during the initiation stage and during the promotion
stage you can see there, and every time we look for a mechanism we found one, which you
know, that turns on a light bulb too. You know, because it’s not a single mechanism,
so we can’t stop this by stopping a single mechanism essentially. It’s a whole thing
sort of operating together, and that principle held true for much of the other work we did.
We didn’t incidentally do just protein in this concept because once we got involved
in this and I started realizing that gosh nutrition is really important. Why don’t we
look at some other cancer systems too? Like pancreatic cancer and some other nutrients
like carotenoids and fat and breast cancer/mammary cancer and things like that. And as we got
into these kinds of studies we can see this dichotomy only getting reinforced. This dichotomy
of animal-based nutrients as opposed to plant-based nutrients. Animal-based nutrients went that
way. Plant-based nutrients went that way. And it was major, it was a major distinction.
And so, for cancer prevention, a diet that has less fat, less animal protein, more plant
protein, more carotenoids essentially is the kind of diet that prevents cancer and reverses
cancer if we can go that far to say that kind of thing. And so let’s return to this scheme
that I showed you in the beginning and you can see there I’ve elaborated a little bit.
The promotion, it shows it reversible. That’s clear. It’s reversible. Whatever stage, plant-based
protein, plant-based foods push it to the left; animal-based foods push it to the right.
Again, coming from… I remind you I’m coming from the farm. We did our own slaughter of
animals. We milked our cows. We did all the rest. Ate out eggs. This is troubling. The question here in this slide is, “Well,
okay if it’s reversible during promotion what about the later stages when people already
have cancer?” I wanted to speculate that it would operate there too and I’m convinced
it does. We just tend to ignore it. Much of the research tends to ignore it or not even
study it all, but basically, the same kind of conditions that operate during promotion
prior to the actual diagnosis of the disease are the same kind of forces and mechanisms
that are operating after diagnosis too. And I’m going to go out on a limb a little bit
on some of these kinds of things, but I’m really convinced that’s a very exciting area
of future research, and we have a lot of evidence now to support that point of view. In any
case, so that’s how it works with cancer, then we wanted to raise some questions, “well
what about some of these other diseases?” So, actually, I got involved about 3 or 4
years ago with my youngest son, who is now in medical school, to write a book called
“The China Study,” whereas we put this story together, as I started writing this down and
trying to understand what in the world it was I thought I knew, I wanted to go back
and look and see if this was consistent with some of the other kinds of diseases too that
troubled us. and it turns out, here’s a list of a bunch of diseases (not a complete list)
for which there is published peer-reviewed research. Really substantial stuff that goes
back a long time, much of which has been ignored by the medical community, I must tell you,
and by my own research community. But in any case, the same plant-based diet comprised
of whole foods is known to prevent, to suspend, and/or cure all of these diseases—some of
which are very serious, as you know. Some of which are perhaps just problematic and
troublesome, but in any case, that’s quite a list. And I could stand here for hours talking
about some of the research that has been done. It turns out that this idea of consuming a
plant-based diet to prevent cancer, reverse cancer, is the same kind of diet that actually
restores health and prevents disease of all kind. It’s just the very definition almost
of health. At the same time, it also promotes superior physical fitness believe it or not.
I’ve been working with some world-class athletes who’ve gotten into this and we’re finding
in fact they’re the ones that tend to get out in front of the others when they do it
the right way as far as performance is concerned. It’s a very exciting area. I think athletes
have unfortunately elite athletes have gone too far into the high-protein, high-fat, low-fiber
kind of diet to do their various and sundry things, and they need not do so. Okay, so I’m talking about something that’s
“wholism.” I call it wholism. Yeah, the word in the dictionary is usually spelled H-O-L-I-S-M,
I don’t like it spelled that way. That’s my spelling because I like to talk about the
whole. So what we’ve summarized in the last three slides is that there are countless dietary
and lifestyle factors. I really mean countless. I don’t know how many hundreds of thousands
of things in foods that might be operating in a sort of system who operate then between,
you know, countless biologic mechanisms and again, unlimited really, to produce countless
health and disease inputs. The same thing, it’s a common formula, a common message, essentially
that’s operating in this way and we have to acknowledge the fact it’s very complex as
far as the biochemistry is concerned, and it’s a mistake to focus on one, just one little
bit of it at a time—not being aware of the whole—but the whole is much greater than
the sum of its parts. It is indeed impressive. In fact, the converse of that is reductionism,
as I call it, which is fundamental to the way we do research, it is fundamental to the
way we have actually practiced our medicine. I call it—when it’s called “naked reductionism”
in other words, when we look at things in isolation—single chemicals doing single
things by single mechanisms is trouble. We’re asking for trouble when we do it that way,
especially when you consider the question of diet. And that’s where a lot of confusion
arises in the public about nutrition. People tend to want to think, “What does this nutrient
do? What does that one do and how does it work?” That’s not the way nutrition works.
We’ve got to consider it in the context of whole foods. So I say if there’s an evil force
in biomedical research it is, in fact, naked reductionism. I’m working on a second book
right now to sort of elaborate this point, but I think it’s a very important point because
it’s fundamental, it’s the way we in the profession think—wrongly—as well as the way the public
thinks—wrongly—about what really creates health. Now, I’m going to show you just what the consequences
of that wrongful thinking. I’m going to go back and just choose an example that you may
have heard about. This is a comparison, for example, that was published in the 1970s by
my good friend (my late friend) Ken Carroll and some others showing a relationship between
total fat intake in breast cancer. Similarly, it was shown for colon cancer, heart disease.
If you compare different countries you can see a really impressive relationship. the
higher the fat intake, the higher the breast cancer rates. That slide, this thing was shown
probably more than any other slide in medicine almost for many years. That this particular
observation here is what led to the idea for the public to think about cutting down fat
intake and specifically cutting down the saturated fats. That was not a good message. A good
idea to cut down fat, yes, but that wasn’t the end of the story. There’s far more to
it than that. Show this nice relation—look at that, theres something more here, so I
went back and actually took ken’s data and looked at it a little more carefully. Turns
out if you draw a line, if you look at that in a theoretical sense, it shows, it suggests
at least a threshold and this constant threshold, again, is important. In other words, you can
consume up to a certain amount of fat in a diet and in theory not expect to get breast
cancer—I say in theory—and of course, we know we need some fat in our diet, no question
about it. The fat normally present in, let’s say, plant-based foods, so that’s the relationship
that was shown there, but then Ken had some data too that didn’t get much attention. If
you look at the relationship between plant fat intake and breast cancer you see no relationship.
You look at animal fat intake and the relationship returns, and here this threshold is zero.
In other words, it’s sort of suggested if we look at it from the theoretical point of
view, it sort of says putting any fat, animal fat, or any fat from animal foods that diet
is going to then increase breast cancer risk. So we see this dichotomy emerging again—plant
fat versus animal fat. This part of the story wasn’t told as far as his data were concerned. But it turns out that it’s not just that.
They can be animal protein because the correlation between total fat and animal protein is almost
perfect. 94%, you can see there. And so we could say, okay that’s the animal protein
intake. We ought not to consume any animal protein because, in theory, you know the breast
cancer rates, colon cancer rates, heart disease rates, and other kinds of diseases that go
together can start to increase. So, it’s not just protein also, by the way, it’s animal
food. It’s animal food. So that original chart that was shown really should have been animal
food. So, we have evidence showing that dietary
fat alone is not the cause of breast cancer. This is what I’m just elaborating on here,
this particular example. Lots of other evidence too for the same point of view, but I wanted
to show this because this is what had been commonly discussed over the years. So one
kind of evidence, the one I just showed, association of animal protein with total fat in Ken Carroll’s
international study. In other words, it can be animal protein as well as animal fat and
I would argue in fact it’s probably much more significant. There’s another example, again,
a popular one many of you have heard about. I think most of you know about the Nurses
Health Study. How many have heard of the Nurses Health Study? You’ve heard of that, and it’s
a study done at Harvard not costing something like a 150 million dollars on a group of about
90-100 thousand nurses or so. There’s evidence in that study too, although the investigators
don’t want to particularly want to admit it quite this way, but there’s strong evidence
in there to illustrate the same point I’m going to make. As a point that led to a lot
of confusion. That’s why I’m showing you this because it has to do with this naked reductionism
concept. Here is a relationship as the Nurses Health
Study Group investigators; here’s the relationship between fat intake and breast cancer after
eight years. Actually, now after 14 years. You can see those dotted lines across there.
You can see those dotted lines across there, you go from let’s say something pretty high-fat
diets like 49% of calories (that’s a pretty fatty diet) down to something less than 30%,
29%, or so, and as people, as women decrease their fat intake from around 15% to 25% breast
cancer doesn’t go down and here’s what people did. They took the Ken Carroll study or the
scientists who did this and told the public about it. They started taking out fat of the
diet and how did they do it? They started using low-fat milk, they started using skim
milk, they started using lean cuts of meat and things like that in the hope that by decreasing
that alone they would decrease breast cancer risk. It doesn’t work. It doesn’t work. And
it won’t work for heart disease either and this is basically what was shown here because
that’s what these women were doing. They didn’t change their ratio. What they did not do,
they didn’t change the ratio of the animal to plant-based food. So they didn’t do [it].
In fact, these women (in these nurses) in this particular study were virtual carnivores
[laughs]. They consumed… I mean that’s what they were told to do. I mean that’s what they
were led to believe. That’s what we did. That’s what I did. You know, because even by using
lean cuts [of meat] and skim milk they’re jumping from the frying pan into the fire
because they’re taking out the fat and the protein content actually goes up. so in this
particular study here, for example, the lower the fat intake the higher the protein intake
and protein intake was already high in the beginning. 81% of the total protein in these
women, 81% was from animal-based foods. Largely from dairy. So, now we’re getting evidence,
you can guess it, that dairy is related to breast cancer, strongly related to breast
cancer. Just this one thing, so we did that so that
study moved along. I’m quite critical of that kind of study because all the women in that
study were doing everything wrong and they changed their fat intake, yeah, but that didn’t
make a whole lot of difference, as you can see. There are other studies, unfortunately,
many of the human studies that we have done over the years—basically, we use a cohort
of people who are consuming diets in the wrong way and we don’t have anybody in the study
who really should be doing things the right way. So how can we learn? We get a lot of
confusing results, the public gets confused and all the rest of it. The Women’s Health Initiative Feasibility
study (that’s a big one) that had three arms to that study. About 40 hospitals in the country
are involved. Many of you may have heard of it. There’s something similar to the Nurses
Health Study, not exactly, but similar. And so they were also focused on if you get the
fat out of the diet you’re going to get some good things out of this. They spent more than
a billion dollars now so far during that study, and the results are the same thing, and so
when the results came out that fat has no relationship in breast cancer—featured in
the front page of the New York Times headlines, everybody gets confused. Oh my gosh, they
say “you know that’s not…” In other words, the whole dietary hypothesis begins to fall
apart because of this mischief, of this wrong conclusion. It’s really about whole food.
It’s not about fat. And so I just wanted to show that’s what happens when we use naked
reductionism doing research and then tell the public about it. And there’s lots and lots of other examples.
there’s the bete-carotene trials. In other words, foods that are high in beta carotene—vegetables,
and so forth and so on—are associated with lower cancer risk, right? So what did researchers
do? They pull out the beta-carotene, put it in a little pill, and gave it to some people
to see what it would do, and what did it do? It increased cancer risk, it didn’t decrease
it. Nutrient supplements don’t work. Not in the long term, they simply don’t work. That’s
naked reductionism. Chemical carcinogen testing is another fantastic example. We tend to conclude
that single chemicals cause cancer and we forget, we just forget about all this second
stage of promotion sort of controlling whether that occurs. Anyhow, this is something very
fundamental, really has to do with western medicine. The fact that we tend to rely on
single chemicals, usually drugs, to try to achieve something good in the long-term. At
best, what we tend to do is patch over things, I think, at least compared to diet. Diet is
far more significant. Let’s get to the China Study quickly. Eventually,
I had an opportunity with colleagues from China and colleagues from University of Oxford
and elsewhere to organize a study in China to go there in the early 1980s right after
our two countries started to talk to each other. To go there and to see why it was in
China that cancer was so common in some counties and not in others. This is an Atlas here for
breast cancer. You can—without seeing all the detail in that—that breast cancer is
much lower in China overall than here, but actually nonetheless there were differences
between high-rate regions and low-rate regions. So we wanted to go there and I wanted to put
into play this idea of measuring a whole lot of different things to look at patterns and
see in fact, you know, what might come out of that kind of study. So we had about four
dozen different kinds of diseases to consider. We collected all kinds of information, you
can see there. It was a very elaborate study, to be honest about it. we ended up with 367
items of information, of “variables,” we call them. About four dozen different kinds of
diseases. We measured things in the blood, in the urine, and food—analyzing. About
two dozen different laboratories around the world got involved in working with us on this,
and so we had this chance to get into the data and ended up with a huge volume of data
that we can begin to look for patterns. And we started looking at little details of that
big pattern of stuff and here’s some here. This has all been published. Breast cancer
versus fat. Estrogen versus breast cancer. Age, genetics, I mean on and on and on. What
came out of these detailed analyses, of the bits and parts was basically the same thing.
The closer we get to a plant-based diet—whole foods plant-based diet, not the nutrient supplements,
whole food plant-based diet—the closer we get to that, the greater is going to be the
health outcome and the less is going to become the disease. And I should say, a lot-fat I
mean—let me go to the next thing here… Here’s one way we looked at the China data.
This huge volume of data. When we look at data this way we have to use different approaches.
We can’t look at single little details. So here’s a bunch of diseases that we had data
on in China, and I just simply wanted to see if in fact there was any aggregation of similar
kinds of disease in the same area. And you can see two lists here. So-called poverty
diseases and also affluent diseases all the diseases in any one list is correlated with
diseases in its own list and inversely correlated disease in the opposite list. So in other
words, the diseases on the right are diseases that tend to get us in Western countries,
industrialized countries. The diseases on the left tend to get poor countries. So this
suggests there’s some common, maybe some common causes. I wanted to know what were the common
causes of let’s say affluent diseases and we measured a bunch of stuff and it turns
out that as cholesterol goes up in the blood, these diseases start to appear. And this was
really interesting because cholesterol in China, in rural China the range of cholesterol
goes from 90 to 170. The average is 127. Their high is near our low, and they are consuming
mostly plant-based diets. So as these people increase their cholesterol levels, they increase
it as they start putting in even small amounts of animal food. I found that surprising because
I didn’t think we would see that. As soon as small amounts of animal food start to be
put into the diets of these, as they get more money and they can buy a side of beef or whatever.
As they start consuming more and more of this animal food their cholesterol levels start
to go up and in turn, is associated with these Western diseases. Just as an indicator. Cholesterol
is not the cause, it’s an indicator. So a whole bunch of stuff starts going wrong at
the same time and here’s just basically the total cholesterol and the bad cholesterol,
HDL, you can see the correlation for those of you who are interested. You see the highly
significant associations. Animal proteins is associated with increasing levels of total
cholesterol and bad cholesterol, and plant protein as an indication of plant-based foods,
of course, is inversely correlated. So, in other words, it sort of affirms, essentially,
what we were doing both in the laboratory and other human studies. So here’s the big, grand sort of conclusion
of the day. For minimal disease risk—this is from The China Study—virtually all of
the observed associations favor the nutrient composition of a whole foods, plant-based
diet. As they say, what made this particularly intriguing in China if we go back and take
those data that Ken Carol had, in the beginning, looking at breast cancer for different countries
of the world, and I marked it off here, Western studies are all done at the top right quadrant,
we’re all consuming the wrong stuff, we do studies and we get confused and we tell it
to the public and the public gets confused, and you know we change little things here
and there. Just trivial changes aren’t going to make much difference. But then, in the
lower left-hand quadrant, no studies have been done down there. That’s where the China
Study was, and what we basically showed is that we start putting in reasonably small
amounts of animal-based foods and I should add—not at that time—as we start consuming
processed foods too, in other words, getting away from whole plant foods we get that problem. So there’s the main idea. Plant-based diets
enhance health, prevent and cure a broad range of diseases. It works throughout the disease process, as I’d like to suggest again. Tthe diet I’m talking about, whole vegetables,
fruits, grains, legumes, nuts, little or no added salt, sugar, fat, or processed foods.
That’s what we need to work toward and the results can be amazing. Incidentally, this
is a high carbohydrate diet. You can see, 80%— this is a high carb diet. You may find
that surprising. Carbohydrate basically only comes from plant foods. When you are consuming
plant foods, that’s a high carb diet. Unfortunately, there are some really mischievous authors
out there with no training in nutrition writing books talking about high-protein, low-carb
diets. They were the ones that invented that silly term “carb.” I like to think about carbohydrates,
but in any case, they confuse the public about talking about low carb diets when they are
really talking about refined sugars, white flour, things like this. Fair enough. That
kind of carbohydrate is not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about whole foods, which
incidentally is a high carbohydrate kind of food. So this is my final slide. In my research
career what—as I look back—the thing that intrigues me most and convinces me most about
this message is to try to work out some principles. Principles that can apply across genders,
male and female. Principles that apply going from one species to another. Principles that
apply from early stages of these diseases to the late stage of disease. Principles that
apply going, let’s say, from really good health to ill-health. Principles. So I think principles,
once we get the principles in our minds we begin to understand what’s going on. That’s
what’s so impressive, and here are some principles. Health and disease is a continuum, it’s not
a dichotomy. We don’t, for example in cancer—all of a sudden we’re free of cancer and suddenly
we go to the doctor and the doctor says, “you’ve got cancer.” No, no, no. It’s just been noticed
at that time. That’s basically what it is because there’s a continuum, so the factors
working toward that point also work after that point. Multiplicity mechanisms work like
a symphony or body as a symphony when you think of a nutritional sense. It’s beautiful.
Dose and response thresholds are very helpful to understand what they are. We can control
our genes through nutrition, so what are we doing all this research and getting so concerned
about genetic disorders? Plant-based diets keep all these mischievous genes that we have
in our system under control. The effect is comprehensive. It applies across the board.
And I should tell you I think this is a validation of history. I’ve really been quite interested
in the history of philosophy and the history of science. This idea was extent and popular
in the 1600s and 1700s by the leading authorities of the day. It also was prominent in the 1800s
by serious people too and it got put to sleep about the late 1800s as we got into the Industrial
Age for all sorts of different reasons. And it really does have a very old history. And
it’s been summarized, as I said before, I sit down with my son who is actually a graduate
in theatre from Cornell University, was an aspiring actor in Chicago and a good writer.
I said he could write better than I could, so I got him involved to come back and he
got so carried away with this thing he decided to change his career from theater and now
he’s in medical school. Anyhow, it’s in that book if you want to see, you know, how I came
up with these weird ideas. Different ideas than what I ever thought I would star, but
I have to tell you, I am enthusiastic for what this can do. And since this book came
out, the feedback we’re getting at the present time. It is really gratifying. The number
of people who are trying this and writing and telling. You could see it if you want
to look and see, look on Amazon. They write reviews on there. Just look at the reviews
that have been sent in. It’s really pretty incredible what this kind of approach can
do, you know, to actually create health and prevent disease Thank you very much

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