Is Eating a Plant-Based Diet a Cure for Cancer?
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I have been working closely recently with a few extraordinary nutritional researchers, and I find that the information they have compiled is quite eye opening. Interestingly, what these highly esteemed doctors are saying is just beginning to be understood and accepted, perhaps because what they are saying does not conveniently fit in with or support the multi-billion dollar food industries that profit from our "not knowing." One thing is for sure: we are getting sicker and more obese than our health care system can handle, and the conventional methods of dealing with disease often have harmful side effects and are ineffective for some patients.
As it is now, one out of every two of us will get cancer or heart disease and die from it -- an ugly and painful death as anyone who has witnessed it can attest. And starting in the year 2000, one out of every three children who are born after that year will develop diabetes -- a disease that for most sufferers (those with Type 2 diabetes) is largely preventable with lifestyle changes. This is a rapidly emerging crisis, the seriousness of which I'm not sure we have yet recognized. The good news is, the means to prevent and heal disease seems to be right in front of us; it's in our food. Quite frankly, our food choices can either kill us -- which mounting studies say that they are, or they can lift us right out of the disease process and into soaring health.
In the next few months, I will share a series of interviews I've conducted with the preeminent doctors and nutritional researchers in the fields of their respective expertise. And here it is straight out: they are all saying the same thing in different ways and through multiple and varying studies: animal protein seems to greatly contribute to diseases of nearly every type; and a plant-based diet is not only good for our health, but it's also curative of the very serious diseases we face.
On the subject of cancer, I've asked Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Professor Emeritus of Cornell University and author of the groundbreaking The China Study to explain how cancer happens and what we can do to prevent and reverse it. Dr. Campbell's work is regarded by many as the definitive epidemiological examination of the relationship between diet and disease. He has received more than 70 grant years of peer-reviewed research funding, much of which was funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), and he has authored more than 300 research papers. He grew up on a dairy farm believing in the great health value of animal protein in the American diet and set out in his career to investigate how to produce more and better animal protein. Troublesome to his preconceived hypothesis of the goodness of dairy, Dr. Campbell kept running up against results that consistently proved an emerging and comprehensive truth: that animal protein is disastrous to human health.
Through a variety of experimental study designs, epidemiological evidence, along with observation of real life conditions which had rational biological explanation, Dr. Campbell has made a direct and powerful correlation between cancer (and other diseases and illnesses) and animal protein. Following is a conversation I had with him so that I could better understand the association.
Kathy Freston: What happens in the body when cancer develops? What is the actual process?
T. Colin Campbell: Cancer generally develops over a long period of time, divided into 3 stages, initiation, promotion and progression.
Initiation occurs when chemicals or other agents attack the genes of normal cells to produce genetically modified cells capable of eventually causing cancer. The body generally repairs most such damage but if the cell reproduces itself before it is repaired, its new (daughter) cell retains this genetic damage. This process may occur within minutes and, to some extent, is thought to be occurring most of the time in most of our tissues.