Monday, November 28, 2011

The China Study

I wrote in August that my husband had read a CNN article, that lead to reading Dr. Esseltyn's book that read to reading The China Study. (going vegan post here)

And since then, we've been a mostly vegetarian household and my husband has been very strict in his diet following Dr. Esseltyn's diet with small variations when he eats out (I think he chooses not to worry about oils being cooked in foods when he eats out.)
But for a time my husband's sense of urgency was comparable to that of a missionary and it was a little hard to take.  So I did make a comment here or there, or the eye roll, and I did apologize to my friends when they came to my son's birthday party and received a lecture on nutrition.

But now I am reading The China Study and I do see why my husband feels the need to speak out.

There is a ton of information in the book and I'm not quite done yet.  But I can share the following highlights:

1.  Protein intake is associated with higher cancer risk:
In India an experiment involving liver cancer and protein consumption in rats showed that rats exposed to AF (aflatoxin) and then fed diets containing 20% protein developed liver cancer but rats exposed to AF and then fed diets contained only 5% protein did not develop liver cancer.
page 36,37 and the study is Madhaven TV  and Gopalen C, "The effect of dietary protein on carcinogenesis of aflatoxin" Arch. Path. 85 1968 133-137

{Aflatoxin, a fungus produced toxin, called "the most potent chemical carcinogen ever discovered"}

The India paper, along with Dr. Campbell's observations in the Philippines led to more studies regarding AF and protein intake.

Further on page 54 Dr. Campbell states "Foci development was almost entirely dependent on how much protein was consumed, regardless of how much aflatoxin was consumed"

2.  Not all protein is alike.  David Schulsinger did a study showing "gluten, the protein of wheat, did not produce the same results as casein, even when fed at the 20% level." pg. 59

3. Genetics only determine 2-3% of total cancer risk pg. 71

4. One of the strongest predictors of "Western Disease" was blood cholesterol pg. 77

5. Fat and breast cancer appear to be related.  Pg 87 the finds in Chinas showed that reducing fat from 24% to 6% was associated with lower breast cancer risk.  Pg. 84 findings by Ken Carroll, University of Western Ontario, show impressive relationship between fat and breast cancer.

that is only the first 90 pages of the book.

Chapter 5 is about hearts, heart health and heart disease.
"One study published in 1959 compared the coronary heart disease death rates in twenty different countries"
The study showed 1955, death rate in the United States duet heart disease: 700,000.  Finland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand followed the US with the United Kingdom coming in 6th at 450,000.  Japan, France and Portugal had just over 100,000 and Yugoslavia had under 100,000.

What I think is interesting is that people have been comparing heart health by country since the 1950s. In 1946 a doctor in Los Angeles did a study with heart patients and diet, 50 patients continued eating normally and 50 began eating an altered diet.  8 years later 12 of the first 50 were alive and 28 of the second 50 (those who altered their diets) were alive.  This information is old.  If you ask most adults they'll tell you not to eat certain foods to be healthy.  However almost all of them will tell you that you need milk, and you need meat, and you need animal protein.

My neighbor was talking to Tim about all of this and decided to do some reading.  She is married to my doctor.  She kept saying to him, "is this true?" and he kept saying "yes."  "So why aren't you telling people not to eat this?" she asked and he answered "I'm happy if I can get my patients not to eat meat lovers pizza every night with a 6 pack of beer.  They'd never put a vegan diet into practice."

I'm only 1/2 way through the book.  But I've stopped giving my husband a hard time for wanting the kids to be vegan.  I don't know if this will be a lifestyle change that takes hold, but it may be.  My husband is down to his college weight and running 8 minute miles in the morning.  He feels pretty good.  I don't think he really wants to go back to the diet he used to eat.  Me, I sneak of cookie every chance I get, but I have to admit, I feel pretty good too.

1 comment:

Estudiar En China said...

Hello Friends,

The China Study stands unique among research projects delving into the relationship of diet to disease and death. This massive international study of diet, lifestyle, and disease was primarily done in rural provinces of China. Thanks a lot for sharing with us...