During the past few weeks on the internet, a medical doctor we shall refer to as “Dr. M” has challenged the scientific findings in Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s book The China Study.
As a result of this challenge, I received the following letter:
“Rev. Malkmus, I really appreciate your ministry and the very informative e-letters that you put out. As a health professional, I am on several preventive health care mailing lists besides yours… You may be aware that recently Dr. M has been challenging much of what Dr. Campbell says in The China Study. I’d appreciate it if in the near future you would address the fallacies that Dr. M presents in this article. I think it may prove to be a blessing to your readers and others since I know you have great respect for Dr. Campbell. Thank you for your consideration.” William A., Associate Professor, Health and Exercise Science, [university name withheld], California
For more than 40 years, Dr. Campbell has been at the forefront of nutritional research. His legacy, The China Study, is the most comprehensive study of health and nutrition ever conducted. Dr. Campbell is Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University. He has received more than 70 grant-years of peer reviewed research funding and authored more than 300 research papers. The China Study was the culmination of a 20-year partnership of Cornell University, Oxford University and the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine.
Dr. M has recently called this research into question.
“I have learned many things along this health journey. Clearly one of the major lessons is that there is enormous controversy when it comes to understanding what the human body was designed to thrive on. So my final words are to trust the body God gave you to tell you the truth.”
I am in perfect agreement with Dr. M regarding our bodies being designed by God. The Bible confirms this in Genesis 2:7.
“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
But let’s give a little biblical foundation regarding what God designed our physical bodies to be nourished with.
“And the Lord God planted a garden eastward of Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food.”
After God created that first human He placed him in that Garden of Eden and gave him a diet.
“And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed [vegetable], which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat [FOOD].
The use of the word “meat” here is unfortunate as any good concordance will reveal that it should properly be translated “food.”
That pure, plant-based diet was the exclusive diet of mankind from the time God created man until the flood some 1,700 years later. (See Genesis 7) It was only after all plant foods were covered with water that God gives man permission, I believe for survival purposes, to consume the flesh of the clean animals that were on the ark. (See Genesis 9:3)
However, once man started to consume animal flesh you will find that sickness enters the human race. Lifespan drops from 912 to 110 years in just 10 generations. (See Genesis 50:26)
Dr. M: “It is sad to see that many staunch vegans and vegetarians fail to even acknowledge that anyone is designed to have animal protein.”
The Bible clearly tells us to consume a 100% plant-based diet. If God told us this, obviously there is absolutely no need for any nutrient coming from an animal.
Dr. M: “After finishing my family practice residency in 1985 I read the book Fit for Life. The book made some very compelling arguments encouraging the consumption of raw fruits and vegetables. So I started its recommendations and had fruit for breakfast. After a few weeks I tested my blood work and was shocked to find my fasting triglycerides were nearly 3,000… Clearly this diet was killing me and I am convinced I would have died long ago had I remained on it…”
Hallelujah Acres does discourage the consumption of large amounts of fruit and in some instances discourages all use of fruit. Over-consumption of fruit can develop hypoglycemic problems, weakness, extreme weight loss, and even emotional problems.
However, just because Dr. M had a problem with fruit for breakfast is not sufficient reason to condemn a 100% plant-based diet.
Dr. M: “…large numbers of sick people fail to improve when they implement vegetarian or vegan diets… If after a meal you feel sluggish, tired, nauseous, or depressed, your meal was not ideal…”
What Dr. M describes here are the symptoms of detoxification. When a person who has been consuming the cooked Standard American Diet (SAD) then adopts a plant-based diet, (including freshly extracted vegetable juices), they often “feel sluggish, tired, nauseous, and depressed.”
That doesn’t mean the diet was wrong. It signifies that the body is full of toxic build-up and waste. The body is beginning to unload these toxins into the blood system for removal. Healing cannot take place until the body has rid itself of these toxins.
Detoxification is a positive sign that the plant-based diet works. It is usually a short-lived process. After completed, their energy usually increases and physical problems start to disappear.
If they abandon the plant-based diet because they don’t feel good, detoxification will stop. This often leads people to believe that the cause of the symptoms is the plant-based diet. In reality, the symptoms are a result of body trying to push the toxins out.
Remaining on a cooked, animal-based diet causes these toxins to stay in the body only to reappear at a later time, possibly in the form of a serious illness.
Dr. M: “I strongly believe everyone should seek to consume high quality fresh, organic, and locally grown vegetables every day… Vegetarian diets described by Campbell do work for large numbers of people… I believe vegetables, and not large amounts of fruits, provide the powerhouse of nutritional benefits that will vastly improve your health.”
AMEN, I heartily agree with these statements!
Dr. M: “Many have absorbed Dr. Campbell’s writings… particularly his book The China Study, which makes a radical case against the wisdom of eating animal protein at all, by linking protein to all manner of ill health… Since this book is widely trusted and used to defend a no animal protein position I thought it was important to provide my views on why I believe this work has some fundamental flaws.
The very title of the book is inaccurate. It is NOT a study, but a comprehensive set of observations. While this approach can be valuable, it can never prove his assertion that animal protein should be avoided, as he never TESTED that theory on real live patients… The China Study was an observational study. Correlations deduced from anobservational study do not – in fact, cannot – prove causation… I have sought to apply science to improve my health, and that of others for forty years.”
Science can be defined as: “a branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of fact or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws . . . systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation…”
This definition clearly says that an observational study is scientific. But even if an observational study does not prove causation, let’s talk about the medical doctors who have used a 100% plant-based diet to restore health to thousands. Dr. Esselstyne’s work at the Cleveland Clinic surely has proven this correlation, as have those who have applied the advice of Dr. Ornish and Dr. Fuhrman.
In addition, though these testimonials are anecdotal, tens of thousands through the years have written to share with me that after adopting The Hallelujah Diet (a 100% plant-based diet containing no animal protein or fat) they have recovered from over 170 different physical problems, including even terminal, metastasized, stage 4 cancers.
Sadly, some of those who saw their cancers go into remission started adding animal protein back into their diets only to see their cancer return. They, and apparently Dr. M, clearly do not understand the devastating relationship of animal protein to cancer.
Based on more than 20 years of observational studies, Dr. Campbell wrote, “only small intakes of animal products were associated with significant increases in chronic degenerative diseases.”
Dr. M: “Nutritional typing is a way to determine what YOUR customized diet is… If after a meal, you feel sluggish, tired, nauseous, or depressed, your meal was not ideal. If you are indeed following my nutritional typing program, this will be a giant clue that you need to modify your diet.
“If your current diet allows you to function at the highest level of energy and fitness and you rarely feel hungry or crave sweets that is a fairly good sign that you are eating food appropriate for your nutritional type. One of the underlying principles of the nutritional typing program is to ‘Listen to Your Body’ and adjust your foods based on how you feel mentally and physically after consuming them.”
I’m wondering if basing what is and what is not a proper diet upon how one “feels” after a meal is considered by Dr. M to be true scientific evidence. If Dr. M’s claim that Dr. Campbell’s 20-plus years of observational study of millions of people is flawed, would not basing what is proper nutrition on how a person “feels” after eating a meal be even more flawed?
Dr. M: “Another important distinction that must be taken into account when discussing animal protein sources is the difference between raw and pasteurized dairy. When you heat a protein to the temperature required to achieve pasteurization [about 160 degrees], you denature the tertiary and quaternary structure of the protein making it essentially a new molecule.”
Because pasteurizing denatures the protein in milk, Dr. M advocates raw milk, which is the type of milk most likely consumed by those in The China Study because most lived in rural communities.
However, nature itself teaches us that once the young of any animal species is weaned, it no longer needs mother’s milk. Cow milk, whether raw or pasteurized, is one of the most dangerous foods to consume. For more on the dangers of cow milk, get the book Don’t Drink Your Milk, by Frank Oski, M.D.. In 1985, he served as Director of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Dr. M: “Any time you cook meat at high temperatures, whether you’re grilling, frying, or broiling, some pretty dangerous chemicals are created… In order for meat to be its healthiest, it should be organic and grass fed, and it should be cooked as little as possible…You can, for example, quickly sear the meat on both sides, leaving the inside rare.
“Keep in mind that when it comes to parasites or other infections, the quality of the animal is of utmost importance. If you are consuming factory farmed animals that are fed and housed poorly, then disease-causing bacteria is certainly an issue. But infections become far less likely if you are consuming meat from appropriately fed and humanely raised animals.”
If “dangerous chemicals are created” when flesh is grilled, fried or broiled, would they not also be created if the organic grass fed flesh is only slightly cooked?
To realize that parasites and other infections are less likely is not very comforting. On a 100% plant-based diet, these concerns are totally eliminated.
Can A Plant Based Diet Provide Adequate Protein?
All animal protein originates in the grass and other plant-source foods the animal eats. If plant foods provide enough protein for large farm animals, surely they can provide adequate protein for the human body.
Most plant foods contain protein. Beans, leafy greens, seeds, and nuts are all high in protein. In fact, it would be almost impossible to design a 100% plant-based diet that was short on protein.
I have personally been on this diet for 35 years and have no indication of inadequate protein. My nails are strong, my abs are rock hard, and I am still building muscle at nearly 80 years of age.
Animal Foods Contain Artery-Clogging Fat
Last week we revealed that, after much research, former President Bill Clinton removed animal flesh and dairy from his diet. The fat build-up in his arteries necessitated a quadruple by-pass in 2004 and stents in 2010. I posted the video interview in that article.
Animal Foods Are Acidic
After digestion, most plant-sourced foods leave an alkaline ash. Animal-sourced foods leave an acid ash. This causes acid stomach problems, heartburn, arthritis, gout, and more.
When a person adopts a plant-based, alkaline diet, such as The Hallelujah Diet, they usually see their acid problems disappear, sometimes in as little as a few days. Furthermore, disease has a difficult time proliferating in an alkaline body. An acidic body provides disease with a fertile breeding ground.
The China Study Got It Right The First Time
There is so much more I could say regarding the dangers of an animal-sourced diet and the benefits of a plant-sourced diet. Hopefully we have provided enough information to generate some thought and a desire to learn more.
I strongly suggest you obtain a copy of Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s book The China Study. After reading this book you will be better able to properly evaluate Dr. M’s statements.
In 1998, we established The Hallelujah Acres Research Foundation to ensure The Hallelujah Diet had no weaknesses. The foundation is headed by Dr. Michael Donaldson, who received his PhD in Bio Chemical Engineering from Cornell University in New York. This is the same university where Dr. Campbell is Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry.
Dr. Donaldson is constantly evaluating The Hallelujah Diet to ensure we advocate the most recent scientific findings, including Dr. Campbell’s research.
My mom used to say, “The proof’s in the pudding.” The Bible says: “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” (John 8:32)