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Has anyone heard of or read 'The China Study'?

(18 Posts)
PhDiva Tue 09-Jun-09 21:23:13

I am reading it now and I think it will change my life (see: here


bicci Wed 10-Jun-09 11:54:58

It looks fascinating.
What's the main gist? I supposed from the Amazon blurb that a diet based on mainly veggie and unprocessed food is the route to go?
I always thought the idea of the Atkins diet eating solely meat was horrendous.
And remember seeing a program about people who lived like gorillas I think, ages ago; their blood pressure dropped by half and they all had perfect insides and heaps of energy.
Eating stacks of fruit and veg.

Yet for many people meals revolve around meat/cheese/pastry and a pile of frozen peas, or half a tomato and some iceberg.

PhDiva Wed 10-Jun-09 15:28:28

Scroll down to the reviews, as they explain a bit more.

Basically, the scientist who wrote the book has pretty established beyond a shadow of a doubt that the single biggest cause of cancer and heart disease in the West is the consumption of animal protein! Not fat, not harmful chemicals, not stress, not lack of exercise, not genes.

It is based on a massive study done on the differences between the kinds of diseases which poor, rural Chinese suffer from and their diet, and comparing the findings to how Americans eat and what diseases they suffer from. He explains his case in a layman's terms, so it is understandable for most people, and his evidence is overwhelming.

I have read through the whole book and I think it is going to permanently change the way I and my family eat. I want to share it with everyone I know - including my mum who has survived cancer, and my dad who has had a heart attack.

I can't believe no-one has talked about this book on MSN before.

bicci Wed 10-Jun-09 16:45:34

I hadn't seen the reviews.
It sounds very conclusive and makes sense.
I was just thinking today actually, about whether I could give up sugar all together - I think I'd find it very hard.

We eat very little meat- my two youngest do like it though, and our eldest doesn't eat meat, althoguh we've recently persuaded her to eat fish from a nutritional point of view.

We would find it easy to drop meat, and we don't really eat much cheese atm.
Milk could be difficult although we only have it on cereals, cheese sauce etc...

How about you?
Has it changed you drastically or were you heading that way anyway?

nightcat Wed 10-Jun-09 19:09:07

I know someone who knows the author professionally and he is mainly in agreement too. I haven't read all 500+ reviews, but also feel that there is a lot of good stuff there (going by pages that can be seen plus reviews plus other readings on nutrition).

Milk generaly is regarded as not that healthy, I mean would anyone (apart from babies!) drink human milk beyond babyhood? Think not - but we were brainwashed by the industry that it's good for us and we are constantly offered new products. Many anti-cancer advice hinges on removing dairy (book by Jane Plant) and animal proteins generally.

Animal protein could be bad because of what's in the mass produced meat (vaccines, growth hormones, chemicals (eg sheep dip), etc), unsuitable feeds etc).

I wish the book wasn't so hard to find in UK, might try and get it.

PhDiva Wed 10-Jun-09 20:08:29

Somehow I haven't noticed the link between animal protein and cancer before, even though I am always interested in health news....

It totally makes sense, though. My mum was diagnosed with colo-rectal cancer about 10 years ago. After growing up on a farm in the Australian outback, she lived most of her life in India where she ate plenty of fresh fruit and veg, walked everywhere and never ate junk food. We were all shocked that she of all people should get cancer, and it has remained unexplained to this day. Now I realise, of course, that she is an avid meat eater and loves diary.

I have recently cut out most meat and diary from our diets just in a bid to eat more healthily. And for the first time in my life, I have no PMS! I went for an ultra-sound check-up the other day too, and found that a fibroid I have in my womb has shrunk from 5 cms to 3! (fibroids feed on estrogen, high levels of which are related to a meat-rich diet).

So I am utterly convinced by this book. how easy it will be to follow its recommendations, however, I don't know.

With regards to getting the book, 'I have a friend' who has downloaded it free from a site called Apparently, you sign up for username and password, and then you can search through thousands of free books people have loaded up. Click on the links and download. Apparently you might have to also download some unzipping software too such as 7zz which reads .rar files. It's actually quite a legitimate site, apparently....hmm

abraid Wed 10-Jun-09 20:16:06

Just a word of caution about the site: lots of these sites, effectively, pirate authors' work. If you think this man has some good ideas, please, please buy a copy of his book (I take the point about it being a bit hard to find) and let him benefit from the royalties.

Otherwise you are stealing from him. And please don't say it's just the same as going to the library; it's not: if you borrow a library book in the UK, the author gets paid a small amount. And the library buys a copy to start with.

nightcat Wed 10-Jun-09 20:21:27

thank you PhD, will investigate, maybe try my contact in US.

PS. J Plant's book also talks about Asian diet and she rescued herself so far from breast cancer by going dairy free. In some people, dairy creates addiction through opioid-like substance, one of the reasons why people find it hard to give it up. I have managed to wean myself off most dairy (and also wheat), although occasionally slip.
here is her book (top one) and it's available in the libraries, no need to buy. I can see that she has published a few more too.

PhDiva Wed 10-Jun-09 20:47:08

Why wheat, nightcat? J plant's book looks good too, and I check local library.

abraid, of course you are right, but we should also bear in mind that most of the world's population can't actually afford to buy such a book, or have absolutely no way of accessing it other than downloading it from the internet. In view of the fact that the info it contains could save people's lives, I am sure the author wouldn't mind too much if it is sometimes accessed this way.

nightcat Wed 10-Jun-09 21:39:31

Re wheat, when my ds was diagnosed with gluten sensitivity by a neurologist, I discovered that I also had problems related to wheat (when they resolved!), so although I don't have formal diagnosis, I feel much healthier when gluten-free.
PS. U should be able to check the library catalogue over the internet and if not at your local library, U can order it to be sent there for a small fee. And for reading about wheat (if interested!), U could try (also from the libraries) - Dangerous Grains. I think the issue with wheat is that it has been commercially tweaked and made pest-resistant so much that it's not what it used to be. Funny that Asian diets rely on rice not wheat; their agriculture is perhaps not as commercial as western (yet).
I think nutrition (rather than drugs) are a way to go, in my view anyway..

ThingOne Thu 11-Jun-09 18:12:13

A recent big study has shown that a vegetarian diet prrotects against many sorts of cancer but ironically not against colo-rectal cancer here.

I had rectal cancer and was told mine was genetic, and have been told my children need to be screened regularly from the age of 25.

I was vegetarian for years, then mainly vegetarian and then fish eater. So by all means, do try to live a healthier life but don't assume that just because you have a good diet you will not get these diseases.

While it is true that many, even most, cancers appear to be lifestyle related there are many that are not. Things I've read recently vary between a half and a third.

PhDiva Thu 11-Jun-09 19:38:58

ThingOne, I am sure you are right - we can never totally protect ourselves... But when you say you were vegetarian, did you eat many diary products?

ThingOne Thu 11-Jun-09 20:42:38

No I didn't, actually, as I can't bear milk. I eat a lot of yoghurt now, but started that habit long after the tumour will have started growing. I didn't avoid eggs at that time (although I did for about five years until very recently. I did eat cheese but I really was a nuts and seeds kinda gal.

I've read the stuff (well some of it) on amazon. He's clearly the man that started all the thinking about lifestyle and cancer/heart disease. It's interesting as to even old fogeys such as me (42) it's such an ingrained concept you can't quite grasp it being "new"!

What he does say, although obviously I now can't find it, is that his finding are "the biggest single thing" so he's obviously not denying there are other causes.

PhDiva Thu 11-Jun-09 21:10:49

ThingOne you must have been very young when diagnosed with cancer, which I think is a marker of genetic factors, no?

The author does also say that the disease-prevention benefits of the diet seem to come into effect only at the VERY low levels of animal protein intake. I am not sure how I could give up quite all animal products....

ThingOne Fri 12-Jun-09 17:48:42

Yes, I'm sure it is. I was forty when diagnosed. They said it had been there at least five years. I suspect longer tbh as I remember very minor things before I had children. Just thought they were insignificant at the time!

The more common, lifestyle relate colorectal cancer is far more common over fifty.

I've thought about a vegan, or almost entirely vegan diet now that I'm better. Ironically I'm now eating extra protein (fish, tofu, nuts, seeds, pulses and even crappy old tinned tuna) as I'm recovering from chemo and have more surgery later this year. And you need protein to repair cells.

Maybe I'l revisit the whole idea of the nearly vegan diet when it's all over, which I'm hoping will be by the end of this year. I do sometimes wonder if the reason I had the tumour for so long but was ok (conceived two babies) was because of my diet, but you can't really ever know in an individual case.

deadflesh Sat 13-Jun-09 19:10:53

I haven't read it yet PhDiva, but have heard/seen lots of references to it since becoming vegan.

It's on my list of books to get hold of soon.

I was the least likely person to be vegan, but since becoming vegan virtually overnight from my old omnivorous diet six months ago I have been totally amazed at the health benefits I have noticed.

I look and feel much younger, have lost weight and toned up, feel stronger, have more endurance, and have lost all the odd niggly joint pains I used to get. I also smell heaps better and sleep better.

I honestly can't see myself ever leaving this animal free diet.

PhDiva Sun 14-Jun-09 19:22:23

So why did you turn vegan, deadflesh? Or is the name the give-away?

I hope the surgery goes well, ThingOne. My mum had pretty extensive surgery to remove a tumor, but ten years later, you would never know she has ever had cancer. I must get her reading the China Study, though...

deadflesh Mon 15-Jun-09 22:12:34

I turned vegan about a day and a half after turning vegetarian on New Year's Eve.

The vegetarian decision was a culmination of several factors, from personal thoughts, books I had read and conversations I had had with a friend who was vegetarian.

I then researched a bit more on New Year's Day after effectively coming out as a vegetarian to my family, and the more I read about vegetarianism/veganism the more I knew that what fitted my own philosophy was veganism.

I normally look for the flaws and all sides in any argument and I am not one to stick with any theory that I can't robustly challege.

All I can say is it works for me, and I am amazed at how easy and enjoyable it is.

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