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Debunked – The China Study

By Mikhaila

I’m going to keep this EXTREMELY brief, and very simplified. If it’s too simplified for people’s liking let me know, but I don’t want to bog people down with information. Comment with thoughts, suggestions, other studies you’d like to know about, or more areas to read about the china study.

What is The China Study?

When discussing an all meat diet, I’ve heard The China Study brought up numerous times. I wouldn’t say all of the science in it is bad, but the author makes conclusions you can’t make, generalizes, and leads readers to the WRONG conclusion.

The China Study: Revised and Expanded Edition: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, and Long-Term HealthThe China Study is actually a book written about a number of “studies”. Dr. T. Cloin Campbell of Cornell University and some of his colleagues studied the diet hundreds of thousands of people in China. They ended up publishing that animal protein contributed to a plethora of disease. This was a gross inaccuracy on his part for the reasons listed below, and contributed to God knows how much suffering.

Where did it go wrong?

  • Campbell links “animal protein” to cancer and autoimmune disorder’s. The studies in the book linking “animal protein” to disease, are done based on casein (a protein in cow’s milk). He generalizes and instead of being clear “casein causes…..” he writes that “animal protein causes….” This is wrong. Casein and meat are NOT the same AT ALL. He discusses casein causing Type 1 diabetes but doesn’t talk about gluten’s role in Type 1 diabetes, or fructose’s role in insulin resistance, or sugars role for that matter. The main mistake he makes, that caused God knows how much suffering, is lumping casein and meat together.
  • Campbell doesn’t look into carb consumption or sugar consumption. He omitted information in order to get the result he wanted. This book could easily have been just as popular if he didn’t omit key information, and was specific that he was talking about casein (not animal protein in general).
  • He suggests limiting cholesterol food to ZERO. We’re slowly finding out that cholesterol actually isn’t bad for you, and suggesting people eat zero of it is ridiculous. We need cholesterol to form our steroid hormones, process vitamin D, and form cell membranes.

Where did it go right?

Casein is linked to cancer and autoimmune disorders. I suggest avoiding dairy almost as much as I suggest avoiding gluten. But lumping dairy in with meat is a huge mistake. They are not the same.

What we can take away from it:

Be careful what you read. Most studies on diet are done badly and lead people to the wrong conclusions. Casein (dairy) should be avoided.

Further reading on The China Study:

Chris Kresser wrote a blog post about it, and it’s really worth reading. It covers way more than this oversimplified post.

Some readers have mentioned Michael Greger and nutritionfacts.org. This is one of the (many) reasons I think that doctor is a crook. He’s looking for anything that supports what he believes instead of looking for the truth. Compare what he writes to what Chris Kresser writes about The China Study and see for yourself. He lists The China Study as some of the evidence of plant-based diet without actually looking into the science behind it.

Join the Conversation

53 Comments

  1. Would be interesting to hear about your efforts to find a common underlying problem with the foods you can and can’t eat.

    Personally i am looking in to histamine. My food sensitivity’s seam to map decently to the histamine food list’s.

    1. Hi Carl S
      I have heard that the ‘nightshade’ family can be a problem. Have you looked at that?

    2. I’m I have read about that, but the fact that raisins make me feel really bad made me think diffrent. But now going through it in my mind that could be sugar rushes followed by really low blood sugar levels.

      Lactose is the only one food I get instant (a few hours) noticeable physical effect from digestion issues and gas.

      I used to have problems with the skin flaking on my fingers for years, that went away when I stoped eating gluten.

      My current thinking is that I will need to do an elimination diet like mikhaila, but that seams like a big big thing.

  2. Awesome work Michaila! Of course you pulled out all the vegan fanatics out of the cave–that was to be expected. I applaud you for your bravery and “saying it as it is”. I am fighting a similar war to you–and as a scientist, it is not any easier.

    Congrats for your recovery, and keep on digging! You will make a huge difference!
    Angela

  3. Awesome work Michaila! Of course you pulled out all the vegan fanatics out of the cave–that was to be expected. I applaud you for your bravery and “saying it as it is”. I am fighting a similar war to you–and as a scientist, it is not any easier.

    Congrats for your recovery, and keep on digging! You will make a huge difference!
    Angela

  4. michael gregor belongs to a vegan society with all those other doctor’s whose mission to convert everyone to veganism. All of his ‘research’ samples are bias toward vegan living. For example he says eggs are ‘toxic’ and cause heart disease and cherry picks research to support that. Many societies rely on eggs, indonesia for example and other non meat eating societies like india. If you look at the longest lived people (actual real people who make it past 80, for example), you might find they eat eggs. Genetics is a huge factor in your natural lifespan, smoking and too much alcohol will cut it short though. Stress causes cancer and heart disease, which is why a lot of the ex servicemen and women suffer these things early in life comparatively. So The china study was proven to be a fraud for various reasons but again the basic dysfunction is we are all looking for utopia and want to pay anything to read about it and find it. It’s in your genetics really. A healthy balanced diet, not orthorexia, has always been the advice. The heart foundation and the government dietician food pyramid which has been synthesised out of over five thousand pieces of research and analysed by real researches who know how to read studies and look for flaws, have concluded eggs in moderation belong in healthy balanced diet. My mother is 82, has no heart disease, no high blood pressure, no diabetes, she’s not overweight and has no arthritis. She lives independently. Doctors don’t need to see her. She is medication free. She walks for an hour a day briskly. She eats eggs. Meat. Milk. No cancer. Her siblings who smoked and drank heavily all dead. Same situation on my father’s side. He is 92. He eats eggs for breakfast every single day. He’s fit, independent and has no diseases. He’s a milk drinker. NO cancer. His siblings who smoked and drank heavily are all dead too, in their 70s. Look to the Queen of England, she’ll reach a hundred as her mother did. Her sister, who smoke and drank heavily, died young.

    1. Looks like eggs are indeed toxic according to IgG tests, for most people at least… I haven’t heard of a person who those test and eggs did not show up.

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