“The China Study”, written by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell II supports the need for a whole, plant-based diet. As stated on pages 348-349:
Never before has there been such a mountain of empirical research supporting a whole foods, plant-based diet. Now, for example, we can obtain images of the arteries in the heart, and then show conclusively, as Drs. Dean Ornish and Caldwell Esselstyn Jr. have done, that a whole-foods, plant-based diet reverses heart disease. We now have the knowledge to understand how this actually works. Animal protein, even more than saturated fat and dietary cholesterol, raises blood cholesterol levels in experimental animals, individual humans, and entire populations. International comparisons between countries show that populations subsisting on traditional plant-based diets have far less heart disease, and studies of individuals within single populations show that those who eat more, plant-based foods not only have lower cholesterol levels, but have less heart disease.
We now have a deep and broad range of evidence showing that a whole food,plant-based diet is best for the heart. Never before have we had such a depth of understanding of how diet affects cancer both on a cellular level as well as a population level. Published data show that animal protein promotes the growth of tumors. Animal protein increases the levels of a hormone, IGF-1, which is a risk factor for cancer, and high casein (the main protein of cow’s milk) diets allow more carcinogens into cells, which allow more dangerous carcinogen products to bind to DNA, which allow more mutagenic reactions that give rise to cancer cells, which allow more rapid growth of tumors once they are initially formed. Data show that a diet based on animal-based foods increases females’ production of reproductive hormones over her lifetime, which may lead to breast cancer.
We now have a deep and broad range of evidence showing that a whole-food, plant-based diet is best for cancer. Never before have we had technology to measure the biomarkers associated with diabetes, and the evidence to show that blood sugar, blood cholesterol, and insulin levels improve more with a whole-food, plant-based diet than with any other treatment. Intervention studies show that type 2 diabetes treated with a whole-food, plant-based diet may reverse their disease and go off their medications. A broad range of international studies shows that type 1 diabetes, a serious autoimmune disease, is related to cow’s milk consumption and premature weaning. We now know how our autoimmune system can attack our own bodies through a process of molecular mimicry induced by animal proteins that find their way into our bloodstream. We also have tantalizing evidence linking multiple sclerosis with animal food consumption, and especially dairy consumption. Dietary intervention studies have shown that diet can help slow, and perhaps even halt, multiple sclerosis.
We now have a deep and broad range of evidence showing that a whole-food, plant-based diet is best for diabetes and autoimmune diseases. Never before have we had such a broad range of evidence showing that diets containing excess animal protein can destroy our kidneys. Kidney stones arise because the consumption of animal protein creates excessive calcium and oxalate in the kidney. We know now that cataracts and age-related macular degeneration can be prevented by foods containing large amounts of antioxidants. In addition, research has shown that cognitive dysfunction, vascular dementia caused by small strokes, and Alzheimer’s are all related to the food we eat. Investigations of human populations shows that our risk of hip fracture and osteoporosis is made worse by diets high in animal-based foods. Animal protein leeches calcium from the bones by creating an acidic environment in the blood.
We now have a deep and broad range of evidence showing that a whole-food, plant-based diet is best for our kidneys, bones, eyes, and brains. More research can and should be done, but the idea that whole-food, plant-based diets can protect against and even treat a wide variety of chronic diseases can no longer be denied. No longer are there just a few people making claims about a plant-based diet based on their personal experience, philosophy or the occasional supporting scientific study. Now there are hundreds of detailed, comprehensive, well done research studies that point in the same direction.