This month I do something different in this newsletter. I'll talk about a book. Its name is THE CHINA STUDY and it was written by T. Colin Campbell. If you have read it, you may want to skip the rest of this newsletter.
BACKGROUND. How I found THE CHINA STUDY. One of the things I learned as an undergraduate was that I could save myself a lot of time if I read the works most often quoted by other
authors. Back in those days they did not keep lists of articles and books and how often each was cited so I became an devoted reader of footnotes.
Some days I only read footnotes - and I quickly learned which authors were considered the 'important scholars' - so important that most everyone cited their work. Of course in those days I was reading philosophy, but the habit of paying attention to footnotes and citations has never left me.
For the past few weeks I have been reading in the area of nutrition. Not dieting. Nutrition. Now my original interest was related to heart disease and ways to reverse it.
And I soon found the authors who gave evidence of reversal of arterial plaque were all citing T. Colin Campbell who authored THE CHINA STUDY. So I got ordered this book through
inter library loan. When it came I found that this book not only addresses cardio issues but also cancer, diabetes and Osteoporosis. (Yes, some of the big health issues for
those over age 55)
Campbell grew up on a dairy farm in Pennsylvania. He was the first in his family to go to college. He studied veterinary medicine - until Cornell offered scholarship money in 'animal
nutrition'. AT M.I.T. he was assigned the task of finding out why chicks were dying wholesale. He found that toxic
chemicals in their feed, dioxin and aflatoxin. Later at Virginia Tech he was part of a project that focused on Filipino children dying of liver cancer [aflatoxin grew on the peanuts]
but this study raised an oddity. Children from the poorest families were surviving, while those whose families were better off were dying.
Well, his nutrition studies are a long story. He includes details. (I was fascinated by one set of experiments where they stopped cancer tumors from growing/replicating and then started them growing again via changes in nutrition!)
But the main focus of the book was a study done in the 1980s when Campbell and the most noted health researcher in China conducted the largest epidemological study ever done
in the world. The study was down in NorthWest China and they documented exactly what people ate and what diseases they developed. It is a long story. Their original
interest was cancer but they soon found that it was not just cancer but heart disease, diabetes and Osteoporosis were present or absent - depending on nutrition. And as noted elsewhere, changes in nutrition could stop or reverse
anyone of these diseases.
Now, I know that there are loads of books about nutrition. And every few years there are claims that this food or that. But this is the largest epidemological study ever done
in the world and since people in different villages ate very differently depending on crops, nearness of rivers, forest etc. It shows that nutrition, no genetics [as some originally thought]
is central to what diseases we develop as we age.
So, I am not making a list of recommendations - I really think you will want to read the book and come to your own conclusions.
NOTE: Cambell's research is ....well it is SCIENTIFIC research.... but he embeds this 'dry stuff' in a narration that will carry your along. THE CHINA STUDY is not the fastest read but I found it to be one of the most important books I have read in the last 7 years [and I read about 5- 7 books a week]. Here is a book that can show you how to avoid and even reverse
the major illnesses of aging.
Thanks for reading this far. Enjoy your life...and remember that taking time to laugh each day is an proven ageless aging habit.