One Year Later: The China Study, Revisited and Re-Bashed

31 07 2011

Lest this blog sink further into its eery two-month silence, I think it’s high time for an update!

First item of business: The Ancestral Health Symposium. Due to some serendipitous events, it turns out I’ll be presenting at this hyperventilation-inducingly-awesome event next week. My lecture is at 10:00 AM on August 6th in the Rolfe 1200 auditorium. If you’re lucky enough to have a ticket, I hope to see you there, and to verify my existence for anyone who still thinks I’m a meat industry puppet. Otherwise, unless PETA pops in and sets fire to UCLA, all the presentations should be available online for free shortly after the symposium is over. Woohoo!

Second item of business: Now that he’s outed the project himself, I feel safe in announcing that Mark Sisson is going to be publishing the book I mentioned working on in an earlier blog post, and that it’ll be released mid-2012. I’m super excited, and couldn’t ask for a better publisher to work with. Or one with more impressive abs (see link above). More details to come in the near future.

Now on to the real point of this post.

One year ago, this happened:

Those are the monthly visits to this blog, according to my top-secret WordPress dashboard. And that crazy jump last July is when I posted my critique of the China Study, which is probably the only reason most of you know this blog exists. Thanks to Richard Nikoley’s smackdown roundup, the critique got passed along by a lot of cyber-hands, eventually reaching Campbell himself.

With the release of the movie Forks over Knives, Campbell’s recent appearance on the Bill Maher show, and continued Wikipedia drama about the peculiar lack of criticism on its “The China Study” page, it seems the China Study is back in the spotlight for awhile.

Since I’m not a vegan anymore, I figure it’s okay for me to beat dead horses. And also to resurrect the ones I buried last year and wallop on their half-rotten, fly-infested carcasses with my fists a few more times. So wallop I will: This post is dedicated to driving a couple more nails into the China Study coffin—and is aimed particularly at the folks out there who would rather listen to peer-reviewed research than some girl with a blog.

So my dear readers, hecklers, and spambots, I present to you a collection of peer-reviewed papers based on the China Study data that contradict or conflict with Campbell’s interpretation in his book, “The China Study.” Some studies you may have seen before; others will be new. Regardless, you can rest assured that these papers—some co-authored by Campbell himself—are by folks generally considered qualified in their field, and that, contrary to the “animal foods are harmful and cholesterol is associated with all Western diseases” message we received in “The China Study,”* other perspectives of the data abound.

*It’s also worth noting that”The China Study”—the one written by Campbell and published by BenBella Books—is not peer reviewed. Shockingly, neither are BenBella’s other books, including “You Don’t Talk About Fight Club,” “Seven Seasons of Buffy,” and “The Psychology of Harry Potter.” Contrary to what’s apparently popular belief, books—even health books—don’t have to pass under the scrutiny of peer review before they hit the stands. Hence why this exists.

But first, a few words on peer review

I want to burst the Peer-Review Bubble of Perfection before we get much further.

Peer review might be the best we’ve got right now—but it’s far from infallible, and its biases are no secret. In an article from 2000, Richard Horton—editor of the uber-peer-reviewed journal “The Lancet”—wrote some rather scathing comments about the peer-review system, stating that it is “biased, unjust, unaccountable, incomplete, easily fixed, often insulting, usually ignorant, occasionally foolish, and frequently wrong.” Even peer-reviewed journals have published papers on the problems with peer review (e.g., this article in “Nature”).

To top that off, history is speckled with some disturbing cases of research fraud that slipped right through the peer-review system. The best example is Scott Reuben, once considered a pioneer in the field of anesthesiology and pain management, who concocted at least 21 “studies” that were pure works of fiction—and managed to get all of them published in peer-reviewed journals. Over the years, he accepted big bucks from pharmaceutical companies to conduct studies on drugs like Celebrex and Effexor, but instead of actually enrolling patients, he made up some numbers and slid his nonexistent findings into major publications. And as it turns out, many of the drugs he convinced the world were beneficial were either ineffective of downright harmful. (You can see a list of his falsified peer-reviewed papers here.)

That’s an extreme example, but it illustrates the point. Even peer-reviewed papers should be taken with a grain of salt instead of held as gospel.

And with that, here are some papers to mull over. The bolded parts within quotes are to highlight the relevant bits.


Erythrocyte fatty acids, plasma lipids, and cardiovascular disease in rural China by Fan Wenxun, Robert Parker, Banoo Parpia, Qu Yinsheng, Patricia Cassano, Michael Crawford, Julius Leyton, Jean Tian, Li Junyao, Chen Junshi, and T. Colin Campbell.

A study involving fat, cholesterol, and cardiovascular disease? Surely they must be talking about how all that nasty saturated fat in animal foods clogs your arteries, right? Oh, snap:

Within China neither plasma total cholesterol nor LDL cholesterol was associated with CVD [cardiovascular disease]. … The results indicate that geographical differences in CVD mortality within China are caused primarily by factors other than dietary or plasma cholesterol.

There were no significant correlations between the various cholesterol fractions and the three mortality rates [coronary heart disease, hypertensive heart disease, and stroke]. In contrast, plasma triglyceride had a significant positive association with CHD and HHD but not with stroke.

We’ve even got a cameo appearance from wheat again:

The consumption of wheat flour and salt (the latter measured by a computed index of salt intake and urinary sodium excretion) was positively correlated with all three diseases [cardiovascular disease, hypertensive heart disease, and stroke].

And for those of your leery of industrial oils and polyunsaturated fats, check this out:

Unlike what might be expected from studies on Western subjects, there was no significant inverse correlation between RBC-PC total PUFAs and CVD mortality; in fact, RBC-PC total PUFAs, especially the n-6 fatty acids, were positively correlated with CHD [coronary heart disease] and HHD [hypertensive heart disease].

That one was a little acronym-y, but basically it says that higher levels of polyunsaturated fats (especially omega-6 fats) in red blood cells was associated with more heart disease.

So if you don’t want to take my word for it, take the word of this peer-reviewed paper: The China Study data showed no correlation between cholesterol and heart disease, but did find wheat and polyunsaturated fats to be mighty suspect.


Association of dietary factors and selected plasma variables with sex hormone-binding globulin in rural Chinese women (PDF) by Jeffrey R. Gates, Banoo Parpia, T. Colin Campbell, and Chen Junshi.

Wheat-fearers, you’ll enjoy this one.

This study focuses on sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), a molecule sometimes used to test for insulin resistance. (Higher levels are associated with better insulin sensitivity; lower levels are associated with insulin resistance and diabetes.) After fishing out associations between SHBG, fasting insulin, triglycerides, testosterone, and a number of diet and lifestyle variables, the researchers found:

The principal positive food-SHBG correlates in order of magnitude were rice (0.61, P < 0.0001), green vegetables (0.49, P < 0.001), fish (0.42, P < 0.001), and meat (0.38, P < 0.05). The strongest negative food correlate with SHBG (positively correlated with insulin) was wheat (-0.57, P < 0.0001).

In other words, the foods associated with higher SHBG (and lower insulin) were rice, green veggies, fish, and meat. The main food associated with lower SHBG (and higher insulin) was… dun dun dun… wheat. Not only do we have vindication of some animal foods, but we also have another red flag whipping up over our favorite glutenous grain. Although the link with meat diminished in more sophisticated statistical models, the other foods kept their associations with SHGB—and wheat proved to be the strongest predictor of low SHBG, while rice was the strongest predictor of higher SHBG. In discussing their findings, the researchers note that wheat seemed to accompany a number of markers for poor health:

Significant differences in the diet of rural Chinese populations studied suggest that wheat consumption may promote higher insulin, higher triacylglycerol, and lower SHBG values. Such a profile is consistent with that commonly associated with obesity, dyslipidemia, diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. On the other hand, the intake of rice, fish, and possibly green vegetables may elevate SHBG concentrations independent of weight or smoking habits.

It looks like the post I wrote on wheat and heart disease in the China Study was old news: Campbell and his colleagues already spotted the link back in 1996! But why would wheat have such a vastly different effect than rice? The paper offers a possible explanation:

The effect of rice and wheat on SHBG was remarkable and unexpected. … Nevertheless, there is some evidence to suggest that rice and wheat can have significantly different effects on the biochemical variables we measured. Panlasigui et al (58) found that the high-amylose rice varieties had blood glucose responses that were lower than those of wheat bread. Other varieties, particularly “converted” rice, gave considerably higher values. Miller et al (59) in comparing rice and wheat varieties found that the insulin index (II) was unusually low on the relative scale compared with the glycemic index (GI) of the same foods. For example, Calrose brown rice had a GI = 83 but an II = 51. White bread was used as the reference food (GI = 100, II = 100). Wheat may be unique in its relative capacity to stimulate insulin. Most recently, Behall and Howe (60) reported a significantly lower insulin response curve area in both normal and hyperinsulinemic men consuming a high-amylose diet. The relative differences in the fatty acid proportions and/or amylose content for wheat and rice may thus be responsible for modulating serum SHBG, triacylglycerols, and insulin.

Although it’s still speculative, the amount of amylose (a component of starch) and relative proportion of fatty acids in wheat might make it more problematic than other grains like rice—especially in terms of raising triglycerides and fasting insulin while lowering SHBG. Which is particularly interesting in the context of this paper, because in one of his responses to my critique, Campbell stated:

[The] correlation of wheat flour and heart disease is interesting but I am not aware of any prior and biologically plausible and convincing evidence to support an hypothesis that wheat causes these diseases, as you infer.

Go figure!


Prolonged infection with hepatitis B virus and association between low blood cholesterol concentration and liver cancer (PDF) by Zhengming Chen, Anthony Keech, Rory Collins, Brenda Slavin, Junshi Chen, T. Colin Campbell, and Richard Peto.

This one’s a doozy. But first, some background info to help us understand the full extent of its doozydom.

One of the prevailing themes in “The China Study” is a supposed link between cancer and animal protein (and subsequently, blood cholesterol). Campbell first started chasing this association after finding that casein, a milk protein, raised cholesterol and promoted liver cancer growth in rats exposed to aflatoxin. After reviewing the China Study data, Campbell concluded this link held true in humans: He states that animal protein, as reflected by higher cholesterol levels, promoted liver cancer in folks already at risk for it (namely those who carried the hepatitis B virus). Straight from the book:

In addition to the [hepatitis B] virus being a cause of liver cancer in China, it seems that diet also plays a key role. How do we know? The blood cholesterol levels provided the main clue. Liver cancer is strongly associated with increasing blood cholesterol, and we already know that animal-based foods are responsible for increases in cholesterol. … Individuals who are chronically infected with HBV and who consume animal-based foods have high blood cholesterol and a high rate of liver cancer. The virus provides the gun, and bad nutrition pulls the trigger. (Page 104)

People chronically infected with hepatitis B virus also had an increased risk of liver cancer. But our findings suggested those who were infected with the virus and who were simultaneously eating more animal-based foods had higher cholesterol levels and more liver cancer than those infected with the virus and not consuming animal-based foods. (Page 105)

Seems clear enough. According to Campbell, the data showed that liver cancer went hand-in-hand with high cholesterol in the China Study data.

…Which is what makes this particular study (co-authored by Campbell, nonetheless) so interesting. Campbell et al. set out to investigate “the association between low blood cholesterol concentration and liver disease by studying blood lipid concentrations about middle aged men in rural China.” Already seems fishy, huh? Before even discussing the study results, the paper includes some sections that contradict the notion that high cholesterol is linked with liver cancer:

Several prospective epidemiological studies … have found an inverse relation between cholesterol concentration and the subsequent risk of cancer. … A prospective observational study in a Chinese population … found a significant inverse association between blood concentration of cholesterol and subsequent mortality from non-malignant liver disease or from liver cancer. More recently significant excess risk of death from liver cancer and chronic liver disease has been reported among North Americans with a low blood cholesterol concentration.

In the largest study in a Western population (the multiple risk factor intervention trial) 100 deaths from liver cancer were recorded during the follow up period, and a significantly increased risk of death from liver cancer was found among people in the group with the lowest cholesterol concentrations.

In our previous prospective study of another Chinese population the subsequent risk of death from liver cancer was shown to increase significantly with decreasing blood concentrations of cholesterol.

Whether low cholesterol is a cause or a consequence of cancer is a different story—but either way, there’s no mistaking it: Liver cancer looks pretty solidly linked with low cholesterol in other relevant studies. And this study does nothing to refute that:

We have now shown that prolonged infection with hepatitis B virus is an additional factor contributing to the inverse relation between cholesterol concentration and liver cancer. Chronic hepatitis B, which usually starts in early childhood in China, leads not only to liver disease but also to a lower blood concentration of cholesterol in adulthood. This produces, as observed elsewhere, an inverse relation between cholesterol concentration and the risk of death from liver cancer or from other chronic liver disease. This result may also help to explain, at least in part, the inverse association between cholesterol concentration and liver disease observed in Western populations.

So why did Campbell repeatedly state in “The China Study” that liver cancer was associated with higher cholesterol? Probably because it was—but only after the (more reliable) individual data was aggregated at the county level, which made it easy to succumb to a little somethin’ called the “ecological fallacy.”

Let me explain. The publicly available China Study data—the stuff I used for my critique, and that Campbell pulled correlations from in his book—consists of averaged values for 65 counties, instead of the thousands of data points originally collected. But this particular study used the individual data, before any of it was combined and diluted by averaging. And as the paper explains, that makes this study much more reliable than the ones using aggregated data:

In this study there was a negative correlation between chronic infection with hepatitis B virus and blood concentrations of cholesterol (and apolipoprotein B) when people living in the same village were compared with each other, but the correlation was reversed when average values for different villages were compared with each other.

Correlations between populations based on average measures in groups are subject to the “ecological fallacy” (whereby these correlations may not represent the correlations that would be seen among individual subjects). … In general, comparisons within populations are much more reliable than comparisons between populations when assessing association of variables and diseases in individual subjects. So, in the present instance, the negative correlation observed when people living in the same village were compared with each other provides the most reliable evidence as to the real relation between chronic infection with hepatitis B virus and lipid concentrations in individual subjects.

This is kind of fascinating. Here we’ve got a China-Study-based paper—again, co-authored by Campbell—that explicitly describes why aggregated data can be unreliable, and why positive links between liver cancer variables and cholesterol are probably backwards. This also begs the question of how many other associations in the aggregated data would be reversed at the individual level. (Or whether any seemingly neutral relationships are actually correlated—such as liver cancer and the carcinogen aflatoxin, which are paradoxically unassociated in the aggregated data.)

Here’s an example to help illustrate the concept of “ecological fallacy” as it relates to liver cancer in China.

Say we’ve got two counties, each with 1000 residents. Folks in the first county have total cholesterol ranging from 130 to 150, with the average being 140. These lucky ducks are free from liver cancer or hepatitis B infection! The second county has total cholesterol ranging from 120 to 190, with the average being 170. Much more liver cancer and hepatitis B infection in this place, but the afflicted folks all have cholesterol at the bottom end of the spectrum, around 120.

What happens if we look only at the aggregated data? We’d see that the county with the lower average cholesterol (140) had lower rates of liver cancer, and the county with higher average cholesterol (170) had higher rates of liver cancer. Thus, a liver cancer/higher cholesterol relationship is born. But what happens if we look at the individual data instead? We’d see that the people with liver cancer had lower cholesterol than any of the healthy folks—the exact opposite of what the averaged data showed.

See how tricky numbers can be?

At any rate, this (peer-reviewed!) study blatantly contradicts some of the claims made in “The China Study,” especially the concept that cancer goes hand-in-hand with high cholesterol.


Dietary calcium and bone density among middle-aged and elderly women in China (PDF) by Ji-Fan Hu, Xi-He Zhao, Jian-Bin Jia, Banoo Parpia, and T. Colin Campbell.

True to its title, this paper examines the role of calcium in bone density in the China Study data—with a special focus on the effects of dairy calcium versus plant calcium. Campbell et al. zoomed in on five counties with “distinct lifestyles and diets”: the dairy-and-meat-loving Xianghuangqi, the infamous dairy-full Tuoli, and the rural, nearly-vegan farming towns of Jiexiu, Cangxi, and Changle.

But before we look at the paper itself, let’s see how Campbell summarized its findings in a Cornell Chronicle article in 1994:

Animal protein, including that from dairy products, may leach more calcium from the bones than is ingested, said Campbell, professor of nutritional biochemistry at Cornell and director of the Cornell-China-Oxford Project, the most comprehensive project on diet and disease ever conducted.

Campbell [and other collaborators] analyzed the role of dietary calcium in bone density by following closely the diets of 800 women from five counties that have very different diets in China. … Analyses of these data suggest that increased levels of animal-based proteins, including protein from dairy products, “almost certainly contribute to a significant loss of bone calcium while vegetable-based diets clearly protect against bone loss,” Campbell reported.

Sounds pretty clear: The dairy-eating counties must have had poor bone health due to their animal protein habit, whereas the more plant-based dieters were skeletally superb. In other words, milk does a body bad! But do the summaries above match up with this paper actually found? First, let’s look at what the women in each county were typically eating:

*Lest I get the “you’re trying to justify your dairy addiction” line and/or accusations of dairy industry affiliation, I’d like to remind everyone that dairy hasn’t been part of my diet in over six years, and I believe the dairy most people consume (low-fat, ultra-pasteurized, etc.) is downright nasty stuff. But that doesn’t mean I won’t defend dairy when the science warrants it.

As you can see, Xianghuangqi ate a pretty shabby diet as far as whole-foods veganism is concerned: We’ve got dairy galore, beef, mutton, wheat flour, a mere smattering vegetables, and millet. Their bones should be snapping like peanut brittle! Tuoli’s not much better, what with their milk tea, animal flesh, and decided lack of green leafy veggies. More bone snappage, right?

I’ll let the paper speak for itself:

Analysis by individual for all counties combined showed that [bone mineral content] and [bone mineral density] were correlated positively with total calcium (r = 0.27-0.38, P < 0.0001), dairy calcium (r = 0.34-0.40, P < 0.0001), and to a lesser extent with nondairy calcium (r = 0.06-0.12. P = 0.001-0.100), even after age and/or body weight were adjusted for. The results strongly indicated that dietary calcium, especially from dairy sources, increased bone mass in middle-aged and elderly women by facilitating optimal peak bone mass earlier in life.

Did you catch that? Dairy calcium—far more than plant calcium—was linked with stronger bones. Moreover, the paper notes that “nondairy calcium … showed no association with bone variables after age and/or body weight were adjusted for.”

Continuing on:

Comparison of results in Table 7 reveal that calcium from dairy sources was correlated with bone variables to a higher degree than was calcium from the nondairy sources, probably resulting from the higher bioavailability of dairy calcium.

A comparison of the bone mass of women in the five counties revealed that 20% greater bone mass at the distal radius was observed for all age groups of women in county YA [Xianghuangqi], a pastoral county with high consumption of dairy foods, as compared with the nonpastoral areas with lower calcium intakes.

I’ll add my own unsolicited 2¢ and speculate that calcium probably wasn’t the only protective factor in the dairy-eating counties. Aged cheese, likely consumed at least in Xianghuangqi, is high in vitamin K2—a nutritional superstar when it comes to bone health (among other things). K2 isn’t present in plant foods except for a fermented soy product called natto (not everyone’s cup o’ tea). As the paper notes, the dairy-eating counties also had a higher intake of fat (25% of daily calories, opposed to 9.9 – 13.6% for the other counties), potentially increasing the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins necessary for bone health.

So how did Campbell conclude from this study that “increased levels of animal-based proteins, including protein from dairy products, almost certainly contribute to a significant loss of bone calcium”? The dairy part is unfounded no matter which way you spin it, but the rest of his statement probably stemmed from this:

The associations between bone mass and other nutrients, like dietary protein and phosphorous, were also examined. However, none of these nutrients showed an association with bone mass as significantly as did dietary calcium, although an inverse correlation was observed consistently for nondairy animal protein.

Unfortunately, that’s the only blurb in the entire paper that mentions animal protein in relation to bone mass, so we can’t see the data behind the “consistent inverse correlation.” In the context of this study, though, it makes sense: Protein has a complex relationship with bone formation, serving as a synergist when calcium intake is adequate, but as a potential antagonist when calcium intake is low. In other words, the effects of protein on bone health depend on how much calcium you’re taking in.

So for the counties in this study that ate more animal protein but sparse calcium—such as Changle, which had the highest non-dairy animal food consumption and also the lowest calcium intake (averaging a mere 230 mg per day)—I wouldn’t be surprised if an animal protein/weaker bones connection showed up. Whether that trend would hold at higher calcium intakes is a different story. And either way, this finding doesn’t jive with most other research done on this topic: Most studies show a protective association between animal protein and bone density, formation, and retention:

In addition, if animal protein was such a bone-killer and plant protein was bone protective, we’d see vegetarians or vegans having the best outcomes in the bone department. But this just ain’t the case. At best, non-meat-eaters are equally matched with their omnivorous counterparts; at worst, they’re more prone to fracture:

So, although the “calcium-leeching” properties of animal protein is a common battle cry in the vegan world, the research just doesn’t support it. There are even some interesting (and peer-reviewed!) papers out there looking at how belief systems influence the interpretation and misrepresentation of bone/protein studies. Read that link because it’s awesome.

But back on topic. This paper, with Campbell’s own name on it, suggests a strongly bone-protective role for dairy in the diet. Not quite the message we heard in “The China Study.”


Reply to TC Campbell by Frank B. Hu and Walter Willett.

Short n’ sweet, this one speaks for itself. Frank Hu and Walter Willett responded to Campbell’s criticism of their findings in the Nurses’ Health Study*, and in so doing, offered their take on the China Study.

Campbell questioned the validity of our findings because they contradict the results of international correlation studies on animal product consumption and disease rates. … Correlational studies conducted within a country can usually provide more credible data than international comparisons because of relatively homogeneous populations and the possibility of collecting data on potential confounding variables at individual levels. A survey of 65 counties in rural China, however, did not find a clear association between animal product consumption and risk of heart disease or major cancers.

*The Nurses’ Health Study has its share of problems, and I actually agree with Campbell’s assessment in some cases, but that’s a story for a different day.


Correlation of Cervical Cancer Mortality with Reproductive and Dietary Factors, and Serum Markers in China by Wan-De Guo, Ann W. Hsing, Jun-Yao Li, Jun-Shi Chen, Wong-Ho Chow, and William J. Blot:

As this paper notes, cervical cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among Chinese females. There are a few known risk factors (especially herpes infection), but other than that, the reason for its variation across China is a big mystery. Can we blame animal foods for this one?

After identifying the variables that had the strongest correlations with cervical cancer in the China Study data—including herpes infection, serum ferritin, body mass index, cigarette smoking, age at first birth, green vegetable intake, and animal food consumption—the researchers ran multiple regressions to see which correlations were legit. The results?

When these variables were considered in the multiple regression analysis, early age at first birth and higher BMI were positively associated with cervical cancer mortality, while consumption of green vegetables and animal foods were negatively correlated.

Simply put, animal foods were inversely associated with death from cervical cancer—meaning the folks eating more animal products had fewer deaths from this disease. If it were true that animal protein promotes the growth of cancer cells, as Campbell theorized based on his research with casein and liver cancer, then we’d expect to see the opposite. What an anomaly.


Risk Factors for Stomach Cancer in Sixty-Five Chinese Counties (PDF) by Robert W. Kneller, Wan-De Guo, Ann W. Hsing, Jun-Shi Chen, William J. Blot, Jun-Yao Li, David Forman, and Joseph F. Fraumeni, Jr.

In this paper, the authors pulled out variables that had strong correlations with stomach cancer in the China Study data, and then analyzed them in greater depth using some regression models. The most significant associations involved plants—but since the focus of this post is animal foods, let’s see what the researchers uncovered on that front:

Consumption of green vegetables, rice, meat, and fish was associated with reduced mortality. … On the other hand, salt-preserved vegetables, potatoes, wheat, and millet, plus combinations of wheat, corn, and millet, were correlated with significantly increased mortality.

Our finding of a significant inverse association for meat is consistent with a recent case-control report from Turkey. Meat is a common source of selenium, which showed the strongest protective effect among all the plasma micronutrients.

Say what? Not only did meat not seem to increase stomach cancer rates (which we might expect if Campbell’s “animal protein spurs cancer growth” hypothesis held true), but it actually showed the opposite trend. Perhaps the selenium was enough to counteract meat’s general evilness. Also interesting is that the foods associated with increased stomach cancer mortality were mainly of plant origin. Including wheat.

However, this paper did uncover a relationship between stomach cancer and one animal food: eggs. Given the known associations between stomach cancer and salt-preserved foods (and lack of association with any other animal food), I’d wager this link has something to do with the way eggs are eaten in China rather than anything inherent in the eggs themselves. China is known for dishes like salted duck eggs, which are preserved with salt or charcoal, and century eggs, which sit for weeks or months in a mixture of ash, salt, clay, and other ingredients, gradually becoming glossy balls of ammonia stench. It seems likely that preserved eggs could increase stomach cancer risk for the same reason preserved vegetables do.

Century egg. Nom, nom, nom.

The researchers also note that they “know of no previous reports linking egg consumption to increased [stomach cancer] risk” and that the counties with high egg consumption had other confounders not accounted for—including a tendency to be in coastal areas, have a higher percent of industry-employed workers, and have higher indexes of socioeconomic status. In addition, the range of egg intake in China may be too narrow to determine anything meaningful: The eggiest county ate the equivalent of only two or three chicken eggs per week, and the average for all counties was about 1/15th of an egg per day.

Nonetheless, no other animal foods, nor animal protein as a whole, contributed to stomach cancer risk in this analysis. Which is pretty interesting, because Campbell still links stomach cancer with animal foods via blood cholesterol in his book (pages 78 – 79):

What a surprise we got! As blood cholesterol levels decreased from 170 mg/dL to 90 mg/dL, cancers of the liver, rectum, colon, male lung, female lung, breast, childhood leukemia, adult leukemia, childhood brain, adult brain, stomach and esophagus (throat) decreased.

Yet as meat consumption increased, stomach cancer decreased. How curious!


Fish consumption, blood docosahexaenoic acid and chronic diseases in Chinese rural populations by Yiqun Wang, Michael A. Crawford, Junshi Chenb, Junyao Li, Kebreab Ghebremeskel, T. Colin Campbell, Wenxun Fan, Robert Parker, and Julius Leyton.

As an animal food rich in protein, fish should top the list of health villains—at least according to the animal protein/disease theory. Was that the case in this study? From the full text (not linked above):

Our finding that the highest blood cholesterol levels in the Chinese were associated with DHA and fish consumption but with the lowest risk [of heart disease], is also a contradiction of what might be expected.

The higher blood LDL cholesterol levels associated with the marine coastal and lacustrine communities in China as compared with their inland neighbours, needs to be seen as starting from very low levels. In this context, it is the largely vegetarian, inland communities who have the greatest all risk mortalities and morbidities and who have the lowest LDL cholesterols. It could well be that there is a minimum level of LDL cholesterol below which cell membranes are adversely affected.

Translations: In the China Study data, fish-eaters (with higher cholesterol, to boot) were generally healthier than the more vegetarian populations that didn’t consume seafood.

And here’s a nice table showing the associations between red blood cell concentration of DHA (which the researchers determined was mostly due to fish intake) and chronic diseases. (The bars to the left of the center line indicate a negative or “protective” correlation; the bars to the right are positive.)

The researchers note that the liver cancer correlation has a likely explanation:

[It] is not difficult to visualise the reason for the link with liver cancer. The coastal, estuarine and lacustrine regions with the high fish and sea food intakes are also those with the highest humidities. Storage of food in regions of high humidity is known to encourage the spread and growth of hepatitis B virus and Aspergillus flavus which produces aflatoxin, both are major causes of primary carcinoma of the liver.


Diet and Blood Nutrient Correlations with Ischemic Heart, Hypertensive Heart, and Stroke Mortality in China by Wande Guo, J.Y. Li, H. King, and F.B. Locke.

Here we’ve got a paper reporting some of the correlations between blood markers, food intake, and cardiovascular disease in the China Study data. Yep, cardiovascular disease! We should see animal products splattered all over this one, right?

Five variables were positively correlated: triglycerides and herpes antibodies with ischemic heart disease; salt and phosphorus (females) with hypertensive heart disease; and only albumin (males) with stroke. … Some findings confirm those observed in the West (salt, triglycerides, herpes, legumes, oleic acid, and liquor), but molybdenum and age at first pregnancy have not been emphasized previously. Still others significant in the West have not been observed here, such as cholesterol and smoking.

This bears repeating: This correlative study (the kind Campbell drew heavily from to link animal products and disease in the China Study data) found no association between cardiovascular diseases and cholesterol. Nada. Or smoking, which is also pretty interesting. How peculiar that one of the most monstrous “diseases of affluence” was unrelated to blood cholesterol.


Okay, folks: That should be enough to chew on for now. I hope to see some of you at the Ancestral Health Symposium in a few days!


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158 responses

1 08 2011
Alex

Another great post, Denise!

1 08 2011
Monte

Woot! Can’t wait for the book. Great article as usual Denise. As an added bonus to the wheat bashing I get to add “acronym-y” and “doozydom” to my vocabulary. >:D

1 08 2011
Monte

“It also smelled kinda like baked beans. If they were baked in the filthy heat of Satan’s asshole.”

hahahahaha! Brilliant. Everyone should read that natto “review” of awesomeness.

1 08 2011
Alex

That natto review was hysterical, but I must confess that I’m a crazy-ass gaijin who actually likes the stuff.

2 08 2011
Ronald Pottol

Well, isn’t that a part of miso soup?

Animal studies imply that it can only make up about half of your K2 needs though (well, for sure if you are a rat or mouse).

1 08 2011
Dave

“Death by Food Pyramid” sounds a bit like Taubes’ “The Diet Delusion” but with a primer on statistics and, of course, written in your quintessential style. I’ll look out for it next year.

Whilst professional periodicals may not be the font of all wisdom, is there any likely-hood of you getting your critique of “The China Study” or the ongoing saga of “Death by Wheat” published in a peer-reviewed journal?

1 08 2011
So much for the alkaline diet theory. « The Bone Architect

[...] to the bone stuff, which might lead you to think I posted the wrong link.  (But in case you want to read about the entire China Study debunking, here’s the link.) Thank you, Betsy, for bringing this to my attention. Fascinating! Dietary calcium and bone density [...]

1 08 2011
Asclepius

Nice job. I thought round one of your ‘China Study Smackdown’ was pretty brutal. I am glad to see that round two above shows you smacking Campbell’s work down harder than ever.

1 08 2011
Denise Minger revisits the China Study.

[...] Minger detailing how we can all become confused but data and how that data can be misinterpreted. One Year Later: The China Study, Revisited and Re-Bashed Pleased read the whole of the blog post before replying. I appreciate why many here will find it a [...]

1 08 2011
Jane

This comment of Cambell’s is quite extraordinary:

[The] correlation of wheat flour and heart disease is interesting but I am not aware of any prior and biologically plausible and convincing evidence to support an hypothesis that wheat causes these diseases, as you infer.

Why doesn’t he say, yes of course, WHITE wheat flour is indeed toxic?

1 08 2011
Anand Srivastava

So last time it was death by Campbell’s data. This time it is death by Campbell’s own research papers. I love it.

Now what would 30Bad people say. Are they really 30 times bad?

1 08 2011
Patrick

Great post Denise! I’d like to print it out to make it available for folks who come to the theater where I work where we are, alas, showing “Forks Over Knives” next week. I want folks to have the other side of the story, so to speak.

1 08 2011
Mario Vachon

I am just grateful that you take the time to share this with us. I wish you posted more often, but the posts are always worth the wait.

1 08 2011
David Csonka

Denise – pick on somebody your own age, will ya? :D

Btw, that book on living on air just blows my mind. The author actually tried to prove her cause and almost went into kidney failure. Talk about commitment…

1 08 2011
john

Ahh, this stuff always puts me in a good mood–thanks D.

The increased diabetes (along with liver cancer) is interesting, but the correlation is somewhat low, and it’s just a correlation.

1 08 2011
"Denise Minger" is Made Out of Meat | Free The Animal

[...] I have to admit that I was almost taken in entirely. While I eat meat regularly, I had no idea it could be so nefariously seductive and not just on the olfactory senses, but even conceptually. That's right, I think meat talks to us. It makes arguments. "Denise Minger," after a 2 month meat hibernation, appears to be at it again. [...]

1 08 2011
Ben

Good stuff. I can’t wait for the book.

2 08 2011
Jo

Thanks so much for taking the time to post this!

2 08 2011
Alina

Thanks for such a great post!

Regarding salt-preserved vegetables in the stomach cancer study, I wonder if Vitamin D can partly explain the observed relationship. The paper confirms that salted vegetable intake tended to be higher in the north, while raw vegetable consumption is naturally higher in the south. I also wish they included more details about the particular fermented vegetables consumed most often. It’s an interesting issue given the common perception of fermented vegetables like sauerkraut being unequivocally healthy.

2 08 2011
David I

Fermenting of vegetables and grains seems to have been a widespread practice all around the globe until recently, and might have had an influence on human nutrition second only to the invention of cooking.

So I tend to raise my eyebrows a bit when I hear the practice condemned…

2 08 2011
Alina

I found the finding disappointing too. The paper says:

The opposite effects associated with green and salted vegetables are key findings in this study. Stomach cancer mortality tended to be low in counties with high consumption of fresh green vegetables and elevated in counties where salted vegetables were eaten more frequently. Numerous case-control studies in China and other countries have reported a protective effect for green vegetables, although only a few studies have reported an elevated risk associated with salted vegetables. In addition to salt, which itself may increase risk, Chinese salted vegetables have been reported to contain nitrosamines and other compounds that may be carcinogenic.

That’s why I was curious about the details (particular fermentation processes commonly used by participants in the study), and whether other factors can explain the observed difference. Any thoughts on this?

3 08 2011
Stan (Heretic)

Re: Stomach cancer mortality tended to be low in counties with high consumption of fresh green vegetables and elevated in counties where salted vegetables were eaten more frequently.

Stomach cancer is also endemic in Poland, where sauerkraut and pickled cucumbers are widely consumed!

4 08 2011
David I

Yes–“pickled” vegetables (with whatever is buried under that label) seems to double the risk of GI cancers, On the other hand, a doubling of risk of something that is relatively rare isn’t all that scary. It’s in the realm of studies on red meat and cancer, which I also find unconvincing.

The real problem I see with these kinds of correlations is that the use of pickled foods tends to be highly correlated with latitude (as is the need to store vegetables). So it would be easy for this to be confounded with things like average Vitamin D levels.

Perhaps the estimable Ms Minger would like to look further into this issue, as I suspect the stats are just as sloppy on this issua as on others.

2 08 2011
Aaron Blaisdell

Bravo! You should do this for a living. We can use a gal like you in academia!

2 08 2011
2 08 2011
Dave

Disrupted sleep can stop you burning fat

“In moving to uninterrupted to interrupted sleep, carbohydrate metabolism went up from an average 324 to 346 grams/day (statistically significant).

At the same time, fat metabolism dropped from 61 to 29 grams per day. In other words, the rate at which these men burned fat dropped by half over just two nights of interrupted sleep.”

3 08 2011
The Big Fat Myth « H3roic H3alth

[...] decided to research after reading about the vegetarianism and the rebuttal of the China Study by Denise Minger.  My research also lead to the excellent article on “The Myths of [...]

3 08 2011
Padraig

Great post. We NEED a girl like you in academia. =))

I hope the book is more about how good fruit and other natural raw food is though and less about the nonsensical China Study.

Also put in a chapter on GM foods and why they are so extremely bad. You could write a book on this subject entirely afterwards as it is so important.

3 08 2011
Is this a good workout routine for a beginner?

[...] Answers: Seth Answered:Yes but since you mentioned this is your first workout, you should take the weekend off because it will keep you motivated and it is necessary for your central nervous system to recover. You can find good workouts on bodybuilding.com. I know the name sounds for bodybuilders but it has excellent fitness information so check it out! good luck! FredB Answered:Large dietary studies, like The China Study Project have associated wheat with increased incidences of disease including heart disease. http://rawfoodsos.com/2011/07/31/one-yea [...]

3 08 2011
Is this a good workout routine for a beginner?

[...] Study Project have associated wheat with increased incidences of disease including heart disease. http://rawfoodsos.com/2011/07/31/one-yeaWhile Olive oil may be healthy, eating it with wheat bread is counter productive. Working out [...]

4 08 2011
Charles

Hello,

I know this is entirely anecdotal, but I was a fervent vegetarian/vegan for the last 8 years (I’m 25 now) and experienced a plethora of health complaints; extremely low BMI, osteoporotic bones, teeth erosion, low concentration and the list goes on. It seems like the more committed I became to consuming less animal products, the weaker I became and nearly collapsed at a weight of 95 lbs (lowest) at a height of 5’10.

This was about a month ago, at which point I decided that I would try an alternative to the vegan/vegetarian diet. I was under the illusion professed by such notorieties as Douglas Graham, that the human diet is to be composed of 80% carbohydrates, 10% fats and 10% proteins. So, with great hesitation, reluctance and a slurry of other apprehensive concerns I decided to enter into the foray of animal products.

I had been so sick of preparing food, only to be so consumed by the process of making it (vegans/vegetarians will know what I am referring to when I say we are OBSESSED with making food for ourselves and others) that I would eat it, feel guilty and purge it. So, I decided to go somewhere where I could sit back, relax and enjoy food that others had made for me (guiltily at first!!!). McDonalds fit the profile, and so I went there with money in hand and my eye on animal protein and fat.

I had been conditioned by vegan propaganda to dislike the smell of cooking animal fat and protein, that these were our friends being sacrificed to fulfill some selfish need, that animal products are unnecessary & even worse, downright deadly! But, I tell you, upon entering those golden arches I hoisted off all vegan mind-washing and settled upon ordering. I chose something small, easy for me to handle because of my heavily burdened digestive system (having eaten about 90% of my diet from fruits) and decided on a bacon cheeseburger. I sat down in public to eat my bacon cheeseburger, as most of my eating habits as a vegan/vegetarian were to eat in seclusion.

The first bite was… pure bliss, ecstasy; NOTHING at all like the sensations produced by biting into a ripe fruit… this tasted like it was providing me not only calories, but the building blocks of life. Fruit tastes good, mind you, but it does not satiate or give you sustaining energy. The second bite came almost as quickly as the first — however, this time around I noticed the gummy taste of the bun to be interfering with the meat of the issue: the bacon and the burger! The bread tasted like extraneous, throw-away garbage… like it was there for filler, providing NOTHING nutritionally.

From that day forward, 1 month ago, I decided that I would continue one subsequent day to the next until I tired of eating 100% animal products (no sources of carbohydrates, meaning no fruit or vegetables). The day has yet to come where I have felt I needed a fruit or vegetable to, because they are not providing me with the nutrients needed to fuel the growth of my depleted body. How depleted was I? 5’10 and 95 lbs sounds pretty damn depleted to me, what about you?

I am still not out of the danger zone in terms of my health. I have gained 10 lbs in a month, my energy has improved exponentially and I feel more alive than ever. My brainpower is still much lower than optimal because of the depletion of vital fats sourced from animal products, so I expect to recover some of that as days go by. I literally was not able to parse words together to form a sentence a month ago when I was at my worst… but things are slowly falling into place.

Here’s what I am consuming most of my calories in: ground beef (350 calories per 1/2 cup), full fat old cheddar cheese (120 calories per 30 grams), liver pates (90 calories per 20 grams), beef bone marrow, homemade lard, cultured butter. Mostly, day-to-day, I am consuming ground beef with the cheddar cheese. On its own ground beef tastes incomplete, however adding the cheese makes it taste more nutritionally complete.

As long as I continue to show gains in terms of my weight, strength and overall other markers of health I will not return to the “fruitarian” deathstyle. I’ve learned a lesson: just because something tastes great, doesn’t mean that it is altogether the only food we should be consuming. The thought has entered into my mind that perhaps fructose is being used by plants to turn humans/other species into mindless zombies to spread their seeds. The energy they provide is for short-term bursts, giving us time to spread their seed and come back for more, and spread it again and again. But this is just my rambling mind trying to explain why I failed on a fruitarian diet.

Thanks, Denise and others for helping me open my eyes.

Charles

8 08 2011
malpaz

YOU went from one extreme to the next. its called an eating disorder, i did the same thing. no meat to only meat is NOT your answer. find balance

8 08 2011
Monte

Thanks Mal. I was going to say the exact same thing the other day but forgot to make the reply. Why can’t people take the middle ground as an answer?

9 08 2011
JeffreyD

It’s kind of weird that he’s gone from 100 to 0% plant foods. On the other hand, over the course of a month or even a few months such a diet is totally OK, and definitely a diet high in animal products is the way for him to go. Hopefully he can phase back in a certain amount of vegetables or he might come down with scurvy, sometime around Christmas. Also I don’t envy his trips to the toilet with 0 fiber intake.

9 08 2011
Padraig

“Also I don’t envy his trips to the toilet with 0 fiber intake.”

If he eats enough oily fat it’ll have some lubricant, at any rate.

15 08 2011
Another Halocene Human

Lol, he could always eat raw adrenal glands from a freshly slaughtered buck. Supposedly this is how FN peoples avoided scurvy in the Great White North.

Oooooor you could just eat some onions and/or lime. They go good with beef.

I can’t really fault someone who went from bulimic vegan to cheeseburger diet. Probably too low in protein to care about anything else. In two months or so s/he’ll need to change it up.

9 03 2014
Jason

@ Charles You are coming across as a hypocritical, weak human being. Please learn some discipline, self-restraint, common-sense, and acquire some form of moral compass. What is the meat industry paying you for this comment? Or are you just ‘that’ self-absorbed? When you bit into that bacon burger, are you so sure that it was the meat that lit up your senses? or was it the salt, additives, and seasonings that ultimately did it for you? For such a long-winded response, I would’ve expected more positive merit. Look up some fruititarian / vegan LIVING success stories and you may figure out where you could improve. Here’s some reading and viewing material: Torre Washington https://www.facebook.com/ThaVeganDread — Frank Medrano http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvJHw64fxgQ — Alexey Voyevoda http://www.pledgevegan.com/watch-vegan-arm-wrestling… — Michael Arnstein http://www.thefruitarian.com/ — Mac Danzig http://www.ufc.com/fighter/Mac-Danzig — Mimi Kirk http://youngonrawfood.com/

4 08 2011
Jane

Charles, it’s possible that in the long term your new diet will prove to be no better than your old diet, because both promote iron overload. This paper http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19360717
says both fruit and red meat raise iron stores. ‘High body iron stores’, it says, ‘may increase the risk of several chronic diseases’.

People are just waking up to the evils of iron overload. A recent paper entitled ‘Iron behaving badly’ explains the problem. The best antidote to iron overload is, I’m sorry to say, whole grains. Not only are they high in micronutrients which prevent the damage iron can cause, they also contain phytate, which inhibits iron absorption. The paper linked above showed that whole grains decrease iron stores.

4 08 2011
tedhutchinson

@ Jane
Dietary factors associated with the risk of high iron stores in the elderly Framingham Heart Study cohort.
I think this is probably the paper you meant to link to.
I also found
Iron Behaving Badly and Kell’s other papers interesting though somewhat overly referenced for easy reading. But the section on Dietary sources of iron chelators should give people other alternatives to whole grains. It triggered my interest in melatonin. May I also suggest becoming a regular blood donor is also a useful strategy for reducing iron overload particularly for men and post menopausal women.

15 08 2011
ME

Another relatively easy way to deal with excess iron is to give blood regularly.

16 08 2011
Padraig

And let them prick you with a needle? Not for me. You know how if a person has a very bad heart they don’t want to prick them with a needle because it causes a shock to the cardiovascular system? My bet is that every needle prick you get is bad. They’re not getting my blood, and I’m not going to give blood for useless tests.

16 08 2011
ME

Apparently male humans have no mechanism to eliminate excess iron. Females have the menstrual cycle. Why is this if iron is so potentially damaging? One plausible explanation is parasites, which until relatively recently were endemic to humans.

Excess iron as a potential health problem has been known for many years. Some of the mechanisms were described in the Eades’ books in the mid 90’s.

29 12 2011
Amy Zucker Morgenstern

“They”? You mean people who are bleeding to death? People with leukemia? People with hemophilia? I’m having a hard time understanding your combative tone.

Like most of us, I owe the life of someone I love to blood donors. I’d give blood even if I thought needle pricks had a slight adverse effect on my health (and why should I think so just because they’re bad for some people? BTW, I’ve never heard of expected needle pricks being a “shock to the cardiovascular system”–could you cite some evidence?). If you hate needles, don’t donate, but please don’t speak with contempt of people who are trying to save lives.

29 12 2011
Padraig

You’re entitled to your beliefs, but I believe it’s more ethical not to donate. We want to solve things in a proper, sustainable way.

4 08 2011
BoyGeorge

My favourites which would certainly be off a great interest to miss Minger.

“Evidence for acne-promoting effects of milk and other insulinotropic dairy products” (2011).

“Both, restriction of milk consumption or generation of less insulinotropic milk will have an enormous impact on the prevention of epidemic western diseases like obesity, diabetes mellitus, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and acne”.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21335995

“Acne, dairy and cancer: The 5alpha-P link (2009)”

“A potent link to dairy seems to exist for three hormone-responsive glands. Acne, breast cancer and prostate cancer have all been linked epidemiologically to dairy intake”.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20046583

“Calcium, dairy products, and bone health in children and young adults: a reevaluation of the evidence”.

Pediatrics. 2005 Mar;115(3):736-43.

Debiec H, Lefeu F, Kemper MJ, Niaudet P, Deschênes G, Remuzzi G, Ulinski T, Ronco P. Early-Childhood Membranous Nephropathy Due to Cationic Bovine Serum Albumin. N Engl J Med. 2011 Jun 2;364(22):2101-10.

Minger you have acquinted with the recent and most comprehensive report in regards to colorectal cancer, it came out on may, 2011.

4 08 2011
BoyGeorge

BTW,

Minger how did the lecture at Weston Price Foundation go? BTW, I am curious how much do you recommend people to eat meat and the good dairy, not the evil pasteurization dairy, pasterization is behind many Western diseasesl, that’s almost the culprit number one, it’s not the meat and dairy, let alone saturized fats as some misled people may think, it’s the pasteurization.

9 08 2011
JeffreyD

Pasteurization actually kills the harmful diseases common to milk, while preserving all the nutrients. Pasteurization has saved countless lives and makes consumption of milk safe and commonplace. Pasteurization does denature some of the enyzmes in milk – a job that is finished by the high pH’s of our stomach acids, and not nutritionally relevant.

Also, milk is (of course) pasteurized in non-Western nations, seeing as it is of immense benefit. Unless people are raising the cow themselves, every half-developed nation in the world pasteurizes milk.

10 08 2011
Bob

If you ever look at an analysis of milk related “diseases”, you’ll see they’re based on correlation, which does not prove causation. It’s unclear to me that pasteurization has saved “countless” lives. It’s also unclear that pasteurization does more good than harm. I’ve had unpasteurized milk a few times (and didn’t get sick), but I really don’t like milk, or else I’d keep drinking it.

10 08 2011
Padraig

I agree, the very idea of drinking milk is complete nonsense. Why the hell would a human ever drink milk from a cow?

However I’m totally against the ban of raw milk because raw milk is one of the few things keeping a lot of natural, traditional farmers in business. It makes them use natural methods and helps people be aware of nature and how raw food is good. It gets them thinking about raw and big business, and how terrible factory farming is.

To take all that away and make every farmer a factory farmer shoving pharmaceuticals down the throats of poor animals and keeping them in despicable conditions, would be a terrible, terrible tragedy.

17 11 2011
Socrates

Many people’s body’s respond very well to milk. It hits the spot. And, for many of us, our ancestors have been consuming milk for thousands of years due to the positive health and thriving benefits. Results. Not cerebral philosophy.

13 12 2011
Sexy Sadie

“Milk hits the spot” What’s that supposed to mean? You mean like coffee, or alcohol, or pizza, or refined sugar hits the spot? You are confusing short term stimulation with health. People haven’t been consuming milk for thousands of years for health reasons. Where do you read that B.S.? People consumed dairy because it was convenient to keep a few animals to milk and was an available source of calories when other foods were in short supply. The only milk that the human body truly responds “very well” to, is milk from our own mother.

15 08 2011
Another Halocene Human

I’ll stack your N=1 against the thousands of children who have died from eating raw dairy products, a sad slaughter which has continued right up to the present day.

Raw milk is an excellent growth medium to a number of toxic bacteria which may be harmless in small doses to a healthy adult but deadly to our young.

4 08 2011
Jane

Sorry, that was the wrong link. Here hopefully is the right one.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12450906

The ‘wrong’ one is actually rather interesting in relation to Denise’s point about meat, acid and bone loss. It turns out that the reason bicarbonate prevents bone loss may not be because it neutralises the acid, but because it activates an enzyme called soluble adenylyl cyclase, which inhibits bone resorption by osteoclasts. This enzyme requires manganese, which might explain why manganese is good for osteoporosis.

4 08 2011
tedhutchinson

@ Jane Sorry I didn’t check for later posts before replying earlier.
Those interested in reducing the acidogenicity of the diet into the alkali-producing range with bicarbonate may like this Recipe for Magnesium/Bicarbonate Water

5 08 2011
Jane

Hi Ted, thanks. That recipe for magnesium/bicarbonate water might be improved by adding a little manganese and copper, don’t you think. I suppose ‘afibbers’ are people with atrial fibrillation. If I had heart problems the first thing I’d do is up my intake of magnesium, manganese and copper.

You know magnesium and manganese activate the enzyme that makes glutamine, which is used by the kidney for acid excretion. I can’t help feeling that the reason people say grains are ‘acid-forming’ is because refined grains have had their magnesium and manganese removed.

Glutamine is also used as fuel by gut cells, which means, if you are short of magnesium and manganese you won’t be able to absorb … magnesium and manganese. A vicious cycle.

15 08 2011
Another Halocene Human

Fascinating! This ought to get more press.

I suppose one way around this is to absorb your Mg not through the gut but through the skin. I use Epsom salts and they seem to work, and I understand there are some other methods out there?

5 08 2011
For The Love Of Food | Healthy Eating Tips - Upgrade Your Healthstyle | Summer Tomato

[...] One Year Later: The China Study, Revisited and Re-Bashed <<I’m not a fan of The China Study, and what I like about this critique is that it points out dozens of peer-reviewed papers that show the exact opposite of the claims made in the book—most co-authored by Dr. Campbell himself. Makes me wonder how he justifies these contradictions to himself. (Raw Food SOS). [...]

7 08 2011
Amanda Tuttee

I just came back from the Ancestral Health Seminary where Mrs. Minger was speaking. She gave an excellent talk which was very visual because it had a lot of slides. People clapped a lot she was so good. Pitchers do not do Mrs. Minger justice she is so pretty she almost makes me want become a leprechaun.

7 08 2011
Richard Tamesis

Is there a Youtube video of her talk by any chance?

8 08 2011
Amanda Tutee's biggest fan

According to the Ancestral Health website, videos of all of the lectures will be on the web.

Ancestral Health has a vimeo channel, but there’s nothing on it yet.

7 08 2011
mango genocide

I believe there was one taken and there will be one posted, but I don’t believe it’s up yet. In addition to checking here http://ancestryfoundation.org/ you can also ask here https://www.facebook.com/AncestralHealthSymposium or email
ancestralhealth@gmail.com. I’m interested as two talks were scheduled simultaneously throughout both days–I missed Mark Sisson to see Neisy, missed Melissa McEwen to see Tom Naughton, etc.

8 08 2011
mango genocide
8 08 2011
DanD

Charles, I’m not in a position to evaluate whether an all meat and dairy diet is the best one for you to recover. But could an all-or-nothing diet eventually lead you to become as disgusted with this diet as you did with your former one?
I suspect that someone who needs to rebuild his body could do so on a diet that includes vegetables (both low-carb and starchy) and fruits, as well as your present sources of protein and fat.
That is, a balanced diet that avoids the usual suspects like junk food, trans fats, seed oils, and sugar might work very well for you.
There are certainly people who benefit from cutting back on starches and fruits, of course. I’ve been eating junk food for 50 years, and am 100 pounds overweight. For me, starches and sugars are not something I can eat in moderation, so I’m trying my best avoid them.

8 08 2011
Padraig

Charles, your post is ridiculous. You are typical of the overdramatic, self-obsessed manics around the net with no idea what they’re talking about. You are the type of person that Denise and everyone else who knows about diet frowns upon, who will jump from one extreme to another and have a big “story” to tell along the way as “wisdom” for us all.

It seems to me like there are two types of people who are attracted to eating raw and being very conscious of what they eat:

1) People who are thoughtful and very careful about diet, listen to scientific evidence, like me, Denise Jane, Grok, Warren Dew, Suzanne and so on.

2) People who use diet as some type of game, some kind of “sport” where they want to get behind their “side”. Have no interest in rational debate, will say things like raw animals tasted better than anything in their life ever did, etc. Off the deep end one way, then some other crackpot idea comes into your head and suddenly it’s off the deep end the other, placebo all the way straight through. People like you make all of us look bad!!!! It’s people like you are the reason why so many people don’t find the truth about how good raw food is.

I hope you some day realize how much damage you could be doing to people when you just go around spouting this utter bull-crap.

As for the forums who call themselves “paleo”, those guys ban everyone who makes any type of point about fruit being good for you. They just ban them, shut them up completely, even if they are being completely reasonable and innocuous, just stating their beliefs. I believe this is tantamount to criminality and denying freedom of expression, I do not go along with the idea that “it’s their web server they can do what they want”… so long as they are on topic and innocuous people should have the right to post on a board.

8 08 2011
M.

Padraig >> “You are the type of person that Denise and everyone else who knows about diet frowns upon”… ”People like you make all of us look bad!!!!”…

Padraig >> “If I could release a virus that would destroy the entire human race I would instantly do it”

Pot…kettle…

8 08 2011
Padraig

“Pot…kettle…”

True I have some unpopular opinions on other issues, but it would be hard to rationally argue anything bad about my diet. I am open to any criticisms and explain my reasons.

Many people are 100% vegetarian… just because. There isn’t any real rationale behind it. Then others, often the VERY SAME PEOPLE who went head-first into the vegetarian stuff, go “zero carb”. It’s just nuts. It’s people trying to gain attention and be dramatic, when slow and steady wins the race. The so-called “paloes” try to put a spin on it as if it’s the diet we would eat in the wild, when it’s anything but if humans are given half a chance. Then the paleos forget about evolution and instinct and pull out the A.G.Es and fructose nonsense when it comes to fruit.

These people who were vegetarians first really did it to consider themselves superior to others, and convinced themselves it was for their health they were doing it also. Now this zero-carb and fructose nonsense is just their latest fad thing to make them feel special, as if they’re “in the know” about things. They don’t get the attention by being normal, they have no big story to tell and ability to be condescending. Amn’t I right?

Eating a lot of fruit is a perfectly natural act, it does nothing but good for your health. I do eat fish and eggs sometimes as part of my optimal diet (meat I eat sometimes but I don’t think I really should). If you could find any deficiency or fault in my rational diet then I’d like to hear about it.

13 12 2011
Sexy Sadie

Well said.

13 12 2011
Padraig

Thank you. I was about to compliment you on your quality and concise post about “milk hits the spot”.

8 08 2011
Misty

Really enjoyed your lecture at the AHS11 Denise! You are such an intelligent being. Thank you for your contributions!

9 08 2011
mango genocide

Nice post on Neisy’s talk here:

http://tinyurl.com/3vrwo2u

9 08 2011
mango genocide

Mention here, with photo of supermodel Minger, Inc. hired to play role of “Denise Minger”: http://nomnompaleo.com/post/8646432739/ancestral-health-symposium-day-2-paleo-eats

9 08 2011
11 08 2011
9 08 2011
Padraig

Personally I prefer text and pictures a lot more than presentations. I think they are in many ways the optimal form of communication, especially when you’re trying to be completely objective.

10 08 2011
anon

Video: Rawesome Foods Raided… Again! YouTube

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Armed Cops Raid Health Food Store in Raw Milk Crackdown (VIDEO)

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Max Follmer | 6 days ago | Comments (6) | Flag this

(Photo: YouTube)

After a year-long undercover investigation, law enforcement agents and federal health officials descended on a popular Los Angeles health food store in an early morning armed raid and arrested the owner on conspiracy charges.

His crime? Selling raw dairy products.

James Stewart, the owner of the popular Rawesome Foods store in Venice, California, was charged with conspiring to unlawfully produce and sell unpasteurized dairy products.

At the same time law enforcement was carrying out a “multi-agency SWAT-style armed raid” at the Venice store, authorities were also descending on Healthy Family Farms in Ventura County, north of L.A. They arrested Sharon Palmer, the owner of the farm, which was the sole supplier of raw dairy products to Rawsome Foods. Eugenie Bloch, a farm employee, was also arrested.

Rawesome and Healthy Family Farms were both featured in the documentary Farmageddon, which we told you about last month.

According to the LA Weekly, the arrests stem from the sale of raw goat milk to an undercover agent from a cooler in the back of a van in a grocery store parking lot. Elina Shatkin writes:

While it’s legal to manufacture and sell unpasteurized dairy products in California, licenses and permits are required. Rawesome may have violated regulations by selling raw dairy products to non-members.

The Weekly has a lot of details on the raids. Protests have been planned outside the courthouse today.

And Venice locals are, understandably, pissed. We’ve got video of the raid, after the jump:

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Tags: rawesome foods raid,rawesome,james stewart,eugenie bloch,raw milk,raw food,organic foods,Organic Food,food,farmageddon,raw milk raid,FDA,Los Angeles,california healthy family farms,video

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1newfi | 3 days ago |
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Oh, and meat glue people, this government’s regulations for the food we consume is a disgrace; and it seems no one really oversees what actually goes on. If someone really cared about our children, as well as what everyone else consumes, most of the junk on the grocery shelves wouldn’t be there; neither would there be some of the practices taking place with the food that is produced! I’m almost positive that the people in the food industry, do not consume what they put out there; for the masses in this country!

1newfi | 3 days ago |
Flag this

SusyQuick, thank you for your comment. There is far too much government intervention for nothing. And it’s a joke about what they do oversee and what they allow to go on, for our health and benefit; I think not. There is far too much that they allow to go on and do not oversee, like the conditions of egg farmers and the filthy and rotten conditions hens live under while hatching their eggs riddled with chemicals and antibiotics; in metal cages crowded for their whole life. If you have viewed FOOD INC., you already know what it is all about.

1newfi | 3 days ago |
Flag this

Pardon me, I was wrong, it is a Health Food Store, but I stand behind everything else I said. Thank you

1newfi | 3 days ago |
Flag this

Now isn’t that interesting, that they “RAID” a raw dairy farmer, but it’s quite all right to sell GMO foods without labels, spray the heck out of produce that is dangerous to everyone’s health; but they’re not doing anything about those issues. That is okay I guess, well it’s not okay with me; and many of us! This is sooo backward and negligent, along with inconsistent; with the way the food industry is. They don’t protect our health, they just want to interrupt someone’s livelihood; even if it means it isn’t all that bad. They pick and choose according to the USDA and perhaps the FDA, what they’re going to attack next. But they are not doing a good and consistent job of it.

suzyquick | 6 days ago |
Flag this

i have sent the following email to the appropriate party (the DA). please feel free to copy-paste and send yourself: sandi@da.lacounty.gov :

Dear Ms. Sandi,

After having read that popular Los Angeles health food store food store was raided because the proprietors were selling raw milk, I felt prompted to express my dismay.

Many people stand by scientific research which is not FDA-supported. And this makes perfect sense since the FDA fetters out chemical laden foodstuffs while making it near impossible for local, organic farmers to produce what people want—and need. Supporting sustainable agriculture and consumer integrity is what the people want—not wasted tax dollars on SWAT team style-raids for—raw milk.
Please consider revising the licensing regulations for the sake of your own community. Please be a stand-up individual and set a democratic example for the rest of the country. And please stop wasting tax dollars on absolute nonsense. You are inadvertently supporting large corporations that want nothing more than to keep one hand on American wallets and another (choking grip) on America’s economic pulse. If people want to drink milk, by god, let them drink it as they will. We are tired of having a limited say about what goes into our bodies as well as that of our children.

There is much implied, much unsaid and little text to support many of my claims, but I am certain that your personal knowledge of the said statements as well as your own conscious will make way for some serious decision-making that support the needs of the consumers who are willing and anxious to spend their hard-earned dollars foodstuffs of their personal choice.

While some people prefer to support a commercial and toxic food industry (for lack of dependable information), others are seeing the light of day. And this will continue to be the case. I recommend that you take a proactive stance that gives a voice to the people and supports American democracy.

Enough is enough.

brogoff62 | 6 days ago |
Flag this

Let’s see – it’s okay to continue selling salmonella-laced ground meat in national grocery stores, but raw milk products rate a swat team? Hmmmm

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When Venice natural food market, Rawesome Foods, was raided yesterday for selling “raw” or unpasteurized milk, it was not the first time. In fact, it is hardly a lone instance of government cracking down on the sale of raw milk.

Police arrested James Stewart, the owner of Rawesome Foods, and two raw milk suppliers, Sharon Ann Palmer and Eugenie Bloch of Healthy Family Farms. A year long investigation lead to the arrests.

While the raid itself appears to have been pretty by-the-book, rather than a SWAT-style raid as originally reported by Natural News, the absurdity of the raid itself is not so much in its tactics but in the fact that it’s happening in the first place.

Drinking raw milk carries a certain amount of risk, as do many other acts that adults are allowed to engage in, from drinking alcohol, to driving in a steel cage every morning at unbelievable speeds along with thousands of other people on busy city streets. The risks associated with raw milk are controversial, but have of course drawn the ire of regulators who have either banned the sales outright, or required a permit.

California apparently does allow the sale of raw milk but requires a permit to do so. I’m not sure why James Stewart did not have a permit. It’s possible the milk in question didn’t qualify, or that he simply didn’t believe the regulations applied to his store since it is essentially a private “drop-off-point” rather than an actual grocery store. Private individuals pick up privately distributed food from local farmers. If that’s the case, apparently regulators disagreed.

Obviously spending this much time and this many resources to bust people selling dairy products is silly. Making arrests, rather than simply issuing a fine for non-compliance, is silly. And yes, the fundamental issue here is the silliness of requiring permits – or making outright bans – to sell raw milk in the first place. Permits typically don’t make us any safer, and can serve crowd out competition. In this case, big dairy farms are crowding out smaller competitors.

I still wonder, though, if permits were available, why didn’t Stewart just bite the bullet? It seems easier to go along with bad regulations and fight them in the court of public opinion or at the ballot box rather than simply disregard them and face another raid. Hopefully we find out more as more light is shed on all of this.

Ongoing updates about the raid here. Stephen Colbert did a show on the previous raid of Rawesome which you can watch here. Protests over the raid are also in the works.

Rawesome Raid: Federal Agents Arrest Owner, Dump Food

First Posted: 8/3/11 03:49 PM ET Updated: 8/3/11 07:40 PM ET

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Rawesome foods, a private market in Venice California, has been raided a second time by federal agents. Initial reports from NaturalNews.com reveal that the owner, James Stewart, has been arrested and is being held on $123,000 bail.

Evan Kleiman, KCRW’s “Good Food” producer, confirms that Stewart has been booked for conspiracy to commit a crime, and that he is not allowed to post a bond to bail himself out of jail.

Sharon Ann Palmer and Eugenie Victoria Bloch of Healthy Family Farms, LCC, were also arrested along with Stewart, reports South Pasadena Patch. The farm and its owner, Palmer, are charged with producing milk without a license or permit since 2007. Healthy Family Farms is a regular vendor at community farmers markets, notes South Pasadena Patch.

The thirteen count complaint against the group stems from a yearlong sting operation, according to KTLA. KTLA notes that undercover investigators would make purchases of raw milk, cheese, yogurt, and kefir at Rawesome, even though the market allegedly did not have the proper permits to be selling unpasteurized dairy products.

During the raid, Stefani Perales (@lovingthenow) tweeted, “Raid is still going on :( They are dumping good Raw Food to waste!”

Objections to the raid are already mounting. Rawesome supporters organized a protest at the store site today. Others encouraged people to make their voices heard by calling the California Dept of Food & Agriculture.

15 08 2011
Another Halocene Human

Go jump in a lake, copypasta troll.

Raw dairy nuts appeal to emotion because the facts are not on their side. All apologies to those who are allergic to pasteurized milk, period, full stop. However, some of you who think you’re allergic to pasteurized milk are just allergic to Holstein milk, as these particular cows have a deleterious mutation which causes their milk to contain a highly allergenic casein. You should be able to consume all other milks, pasteurized or otherwise. Cheers.

11 08 2011
mark

Stop the fing nonsense kiddo!!!

11 08 2011
Anon

Sorry for the long cut and paste from Forbes Magazine on Raw Raid everyone inlc. host, tried to edit it right after it came up, however site doesn’t allow editing. Anyway probably the most relevant rawfood story this year just happened with people going to jail over it.

11 08 2011
Padraig

Aside from the negligent pasting, it doesn’t have anything to do with this topic. If you want to make a comment on it fine, don’t just go posting copy and paste articles out of the blue proclaiming them as the most “relevant rawfood story this year”, it’s off topic and VERY annoying.

13 08 2011
Anon

I understand, that is fine.
As I said I was unable to edit when I tried to, so if I’m negligent and in breach of a contractual obligation here, let me forfeit my chattels at once, as I await the serving of a summons in regard to your pending Superior Court filing.

For the record, I have visited Los Angeles in past 2 yrs and it is the capital of Rawfoodism and I recently visited this Rawesome location that had major goverments raid it this month and same time last year (as posted on front page of LA Times Sunday edition with video). I can attest that this market called Rawesome I discovered over the past yr and half is the Center of Rawfoodism, with every product for Raw Vegan to Raw Meater alike…So I would say it is extremely relevant when the authorities launch a campaign to shut down Raw Food Central, twice with swat teams, take a look at video online of them raiding it with guns a drawn over raw products and Swat gear on, while everyone dives under their hemp blankets.

Frankly it seems that there is a serious campaign afoot to regulate the raw element in foods, particularly dairy, as Wholefoods recently pulled all their raw dairy as well. Perhaps it is just the insurance regulators and government institutionalism or a society not ready to open up to diet vagaries.

13 08 2011
Anon

Wait a second didn’t someone say they saw a Black Helicopter over Wholefoods?

15 08 2011
Another Halocene Human


It’s getting real in the Whole Foods parking lot.

14 08 2011
Nutrition and Physical Regeneration » How To Slay A Giant – The Denise Minger Story

[...] However, as Minger notes in her latest review: [...]

16 08 2011
Epic Fail: My Experience As A Vegan « H3roic H3alth

[...] One-Year Later: The China Study, Revisited and Re-bashed [...]

16 08 2011
“Salad is what food eats” « A Man With A Ph.D.

[...] give the talk than the young woman so versed in statistics that she wrote a convincingly scathing critique of the vegetarian Bible known as The China [...]

21 08 2011
Mo

I do worry about one thing with all these studies – wheat seems a good indicator of poverty and animal protein seems to be a good indicator of wealth. So are all these studies corrected for household income?

22 08 2011
Dr. William Davis

Hi, Denise–

Congratulations on the book! It’s going to take the world by storm!

26 08 2011
Great links for the weekend!

[...] as making all sorts of other useful and interesting findings?  Well Denise is back with some more scientific studies.  I was particularly interested in the study looking at dietary calcium and bone density among [...]

28 08 2011
AndyL

This article and the other China Study one are both fantastic, thanks. Can’t wait for the book.

28 08 2011
No More Grains « Moonlight Micro-Farm

[...] The China Study, Revisited and Re-bashed [...]

30 08 2011
alan2102
30 08 2011
neisy

Hi Alan,

I responded to that critique here:

http://rawfoodsos.com/2010/08/06/final-china-study-response-html/

1 09 2011
alan2102

Thanks, Denise!

9 09 2011
Dr. P. A. Smith PhD

The wheat & animals you are eating is not what they use to be for sure.
How many pesticides, toxins, genetically manufactured foods are in there too? In other countries they don’t allow all the garbage allowed into our food system!! Are the food corporations funding the studies? Like the pharmaceutical companies fund the drug testing?

9 09 2011
tedhutchinson

Re Dr. P. A. Smith PhD@s point that food is not what it used to be.
This article questions the increasing reliance/consumption of ultra-processed foods.
Technology, Diet, and the Burden of Chronic Disease David S. Ludwig, MD, PhD
Inter

9 09 2011
tedhutchinson

Hopefully the rows in the paleo community won’t distract us from the central issue concerning REAL FOOD as opposed to junk food.
The big issue is ultra-processing ‘Nutrient profiling’, and ‘fortified’ soft drinks for Africans

22 09 2011
“Forks Over Knives”: Is the Science Legit? (A Review and Critique) « Raw Food SOS: Troubleshooting on the Raw Food Diet

[...] adjustments for confounders. I wrote about these studies in greater depth in my one-year China Study Anniversary post, but here’s the Reader’s Digest [...]

24 09 2011
Debunking Myths About An Animal Based Diet | EUPHORY

[...] adjustments for confounders. I wrote about these studies in greater depth in my one-year China Study Anniversary post, but here’s the Reader’s Digest [...]

30 09 2011
Book Review: Wheat Belly « The Amino Acid Diet

[...] One blog has dug into the details and points out the devastating impact of wheat consumption in China. The good doc has his own practice and experience to back up his claim that getting off wheat can greatly improve your health and waistline. He says that once his obese patients remove wheat from their diet they quickly lose 20, 30, 50 pounds within a few months. He remarks that among his last 30 patients they have lost an average of 26.7 pounds over 5.6 months. Davis goes on to explain how it is that wheat is responsible for rapid weight gain: In effect, wheat is an appetite stimulant: It makes you want more-more cookies, cupcakes, pretzels, candy, soft drinks. More bagels, muffins, tacos, submarine sandwiches, pizza. It makes you want both wheat-containing and non-wheat-containing foods. [...]

14 11 2011
Parker Whittle

Thanks for the good work. If you’re looking for additional and topical peer reviewed research contradicting the findings of The China Study, there are a couple referenced in this SciAm article (if you haven’t already seen these): http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=carbs-against-cardio

19 11 2011
Joejoe

I am so tired about getting sent to this lame web site everytime I am trying to find out about what to eat based on the china study…

23 11 2011
28 11 2011
‘The China Study’ and ‘Forks over Knives’, links to critiques | Julianne's Paleo & Zone Nutrition Blog

[...] One Year Later: The China Study, Revisited and Re-Bashed (A collection of peer-reviewed studies based on the China Study data that contradict Campbell’s interpretations and claims.) [...]

23 12 2011
The Third Day of Caveman Christmas | The Downtown Caveman

[...] Masterjohn’s critique over at the Four-Hour Workweek.  Also, courtesy of Denise Minger, here’s a collection of peer-reviewed papers using the China Study data that conflict with Dr. Campbell’s [...]

31 12 2011
2011 nutrition nuggets: background at Nebraska Engineer

[...] several responses to The China Study, that have become a thorn in Campbell’s back side.  See here for [...]

18 01 2012
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7 03 2012
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[...] China Study is full of holes. I found numerous articles and a WHOLE SITE dedicated to providing studies refuting the China [...]

10 03 2012
Eleanor Eglinton

It is not through the benevolence from the butcher, the brewer, or even the baker that individuals expect our dinner, but using their regard to their personal interest.
In the event the career you’ve chosen has some unexpected inconvenience, console yourself by reflecting that no career is without them.

14 03 2012
parker

Although, I have not read all of the articles that you posted related to claims of the China study, I read several of them, in their entirety. What is interesting, is the fact that you quote mine to support your claims. We can go through the actual specifics if you would like, but often I found that you pick quotes from each article, without discussing each article’s central thesis. One key point made in several of these articles is that the prevalence of for example, CVD, in China is significantly lower than in the West and that the overall consumption of meat products is also significantly lower (and thus their total fat intake and plasma cholesterol levels are substantially lower). Given this, the authors hypothesize other factors that may influence onset of diseases, such as CVD, specifically for these areas and their diet.

In addition, I admit that the peer-reviewed system contains flaws, however, I believe your criticisms are unsubstantiated. There is no other method on this planet that is as successful as the scientific method in the acquisition of knowledge. Peer-review represents the validation of this process. Peer-review ensures that whatever you as a scientist claims, is rational and substantiated by a group of your peers. In addition, publication makes your claims public, so that anyone can try to reproduce your results. This is the foundation of science. It is reproducible truth. Science is subject to the dictatorship of evidence. It is the opposite of democracy. Not all claims have equal substantiation, only those that are consistent with what is observed. When new data overturns previous claims and is more consistent with what is observed, then the old claim is modified or rejected. The process is self-correcting This process has given mankind everything from Velcro and antibiotics to the internet. To suggest to “take it (peer review) as a grain of salt” is ignorant. What is even more fascinating, is after your critique of peer-review, you went on to reference several peer-review publications. The problem becomes, when a person has access to the same outlets (e.g. the internet) as scientists do, they the are often given the same substantiation as professionals by the general public.

I am not trying to preach from authority, but I have B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in chemistry/biology from fancy universities. I myself have several peer-reviewed publications. I am, however, not a nutritionist. I do have a thorough knowledge of many diseases, therapeutics and biological processes.

14 03 2012
Morten

I assume that you are Robert Parker.
I’m pretty sure that the point of this blog post was that even though peer review does have it’s problems it’s still way better than a non-peer reviewed publication such as the book ‘The China Study’. And then she refers to your papers, first one where you found that oleic acid (monosaturated fat) was apparently protective against CVD and found an inverse relationship between oleic acid and arachidonic acid (polyunsaturated acid). Oleic acid is found in high levels in olives, rapeseed, peanuts, nuts, meat and in moderate levels in other seed/vegetable oils – arachidonic acid is an animal fatty acid (but one that humans can produce from linoleic acid which we mainly get from seed oils). That’s in the abstract. Further down you have that the Chinese in the study in general had a higher ratio of SFAs to PUFAs than the Westerners (more sat. than polyunsat.). And you write that there’s a correlation for CVD with polyunsat., wheat flour, salt and an inverse correlation for CVD with monounsat., rice, legumes, rapeseed oil, steamed bread, green vegetables. So basically your paper is supporting everything Denise writes on her blog (which is a blog – it’s open to comments and doesn’t pretend to be peer reviewed prior to publication).
And while I’d love to read the other paper as well I do have some work on cholera that I need to do.

Question for Denise: Why do Paleo people usually shun rapeseed oil? It has pretty much the same fatty acid composition as olive oil (except for a buttload of CLA). Is it because of the hexane extraction? It is a seed which makes it hard for me to evolutionarily defend while it should have a good composition (olives are fruits and the flesh where the oil comes from is what it trades to animals in return for them moving their seed far away) but it is also a hybrid of two wild seeds and I don’t know the fatty acid composition of those two.

14 03 2012
parker

Morten,

First, believe it or not, there is more than one person with the last name “Parker” (I am not Robert Parker).

Second, re-read my post. I do not understand how anything in your comment relates to what I wrote. My main point is, that many statements that she posted to support her point are often taken out of context relative to the main thesis of the articles that she is referencing.

Third, my comments (pretty rant-ish, I’ll admit) regarding peer-review are in response to her critique of the peer-review process.

14 03 2012
gallier2

About rapeseed oil. The problem with it, it’s its high LA content (not CLA which exists only in ruminant fat afaik) making it more fragile than olive oil. Virgin cold pressed rapeseed oil has a strong taste and can not be used for cooking. Commercial grade oil has been therefore deodorized, to make it taste neutral and less prone to rancidity. This has the unfortunate side effect of producing a non negligible amount of trans-fats and not of the good kind like CLA (which is a natural trans-fat).

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ejlt.200700096/abstract

30 08 2012
crosswind

MOST of rapeseed oil today is GMO too, thanks to Monsanto who owns most of the crop :(

16 03 2012
Tabloidhysteri angående rött kött |

[...] den som vill läsa mer: http://rawfoodsos.com/2011/07/31/one-year-later-the-china-study-revisited-and-re-bashed/ Dela det här:TwitterFacebookLike this:GillaBli först att gilla denna post. Postat i Forskning, [...]

18 04 2012
24 04 2012
Acidosis and bone health. Science or Science Fiction? | Primal Bodybuilding and Health

[...] rich in veggies and fruit, and avoid meat completely (because we all know, meat also causes cancer and heart disease! oooh [...]

26 04 2012
Nuchto

A friend of mine recently pointed out he is aware that meat causes bowel cancer as he worked (he is a biologist) on that stuff: the protein aducts come in contact with the crypt cells in the colonic mucosa and cause mutations.

http://www.wcrf-uk.org/cancer_prevention/recommendations/meat_and_cancer.php?gclid=CMvU7O-40q8CFYQMfAodMh1oJQ

What’s your take on this? Have you done research to debunk that?? I’d be happy to access the paper of that research.

17 05 2012
Questions You Have About American Diabetes Association Diet |

[...] prevent diabetes – Hudson Valley PressTwo New Studies Find Surgery Tops Medicine for DiabetesOne Year Later: The China Study, Revisited and Re-Bashed // initialise plugins jQuery(function(){ // main navigation init [...]

25 05 2012
Andrea

It’s incredible -.-” you are not a scientist, you say many wrong things!!

5 06 2012
The China Study: Fact or Fallacy? « Raw Food SOS

[...] look at peer-reviewed research than the words of some random internet blogger, see my collection of scientific papers based on the China Study data that contradict the claims in Campbell’s book. I’ve also responded to Campbell’s [...]

8 06 2012
Lynne

“The consumption of wheat flour and salt (the latter measured by a computed index of salt intake and urinary sodium excretion) was positively correlated with all three diseases [cardiovascular disease, hypertensive heart disease, and stroke].”
After reading your insightful critique of Forks over Knives, I have wondered why I have felt so wonderful eating a Gerson-like diet. I think this paragraph explains it…SODIUM. I would like to know more about low sodium high potassium diets.

30 08 2012
crosswind

Hi Lynne, in my holistic nutrition class, i learned that the best ratio for these two are 2:1, more potassium. of course we can get sodium from foods (celery etc.) and sea salt instead of the bleached refined salt in processed food.

26 06 2012
The China Study, What Gives? Raw Food Vancouver

[...] Denise Minger, on her fantastic blog RawFoodSOS, exposes some such reviews in a post found here. [...]

2 07 2012
2 07 2012
Do Vegans Get Heart Disease?

[...] One Year Later: The China Study, Revisited and Re-Bashed (A collection of peer-reviewed studies based on the China Study data that contradict Campbell’s interpretations and claims.) [...]

6 07 2012
selvan12345

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8 07 2012
liver cancer treatment

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16 07 2012
Jeff Doan

I think you mean HPV, not herpes, as the cause of cervical cancer.

29 07 2012
The TGIPaleo-Vegan Series! | tgipaleo

[...] more, I happen to think the science behind the whole thing is a little fuzzy.  And the China Study is not peer-reviewed.  Just BTW.  And can we get one goddamned thing straight?  Paleo is not Adkins.  Moving [...]

30 08 2012
Throat Cancer

Hi my family member! I want to say that this article is awesome, nice written and include almost all important infos. I would like to peer more posts like this .

30 08 2012
crosswind

Wow, great article and insights. I had some of these same scientific thoughts while watching this Forks over Knives movie with hubby last night. Plus, how can you not included Organic grass-fed vs. non-organic in a large study like this, of course fast food is going to cause ill-health and shortened life span.Also, some peope watching this movie might think the low cholesterol is healthy. Yes, lower is better than extremely high, but we NEED cholesterol to help make hormones & for our brain to think & stablize our moods. I see so many angry and argumentative vegetarians that could use some cholesterol, even from Coconut oil or Eggs. You can’t say all meat is bad because people eat at McChemicals. haha. Because they are eating way more than meat-like foods ie..
–fries cooked and fried in PUFA vegetable oils,
–high sodium foods
–refined wheat flour foods,
–high sugar,
–high amounts of chemicals that make up the food-like products

It’s not just one thing or just meat. In rural China areas, they never mentioned HOW the animals were treated, fed or killed. We know many animals in china are not humanely treated (just look at the cat/dog fur and meat trade). They study could use more facts and would be nice to have a peer review.

23 06 2013
Laura

As a healthy vegan, i notice anti vegans lumping organic soy and gmo soy together too. My family is strong and healthe and my grandparents are 99 and going strong. China study is legit.

30 08 2012
crosswind

In the China Study, the Doctors blamed the Meat on causing Breast Cancer, but a hormone given to cattle has already been linked to breast cancer and highly suspicious. So, yes the meat caused it….. BUT, what else was IN the meat??

21 09 2012
“Forks Over Knives”: Is the Science Legit? (A Review and Critique) | Justin Penoyer

[...] adjustments for confounders. I wrote about these studies in greater depth in my one-year China Study Anniversary post, but here’s the Reader’s Digest [...]

1 10 2012
Ranko Krstovic

This is a collection of a partial data, taken out of context. All blog does not worth a penny! Instead of trying to collect negative quotes about “The China Study”, do a little bit of your own research. Or, is this blog just to promote your own book, which worth as much as this blog (my speculation)?

2 10 2012
3 10 2012
Denise Minger vs. T. Colin Campbell — The China Study debate and take-home lessons. « Maria Mae Stevens

[...] the crux of T. Colin Campbell’s book, and was stated with great diplomacy in his response to her China Study bashing.  He has many decades in the field and has read untold studies in nutrition, conferred with untold [...]

9 11 2012
Von

Thanks in support of sharing such a fastidious idea,
paragraph is fastidious, thats why i have read it entirely

19 11 2012
daniel

19 year old teeny-bop denise minger debunked the work of renowned scientists? HAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHHAHAAH idiots.

10 01 2013
@denise-minger

She is just hating cause she could not get into Med School.

10 01 2013
Padraig

daniel you are a fucking idiot with zero brains and zero clue of how science works. what a fool.

19 11 2012
daniel

Was denise mingers analysis decoded from reverse playback of backstreet boys songs?

3 01 2013
Do Your Homework « Evading Health – I am my own worst enemy

[...] would you like to guess the culprit?  Here is the article she wrote on her blog Raw Food SOS titled One Year Later, The China Study revisited and Re-Bashed.  I originally checked out Wheat Belly because my mother is gluten sensitive and I have a feeling [...]

10 01 2013
DeniseDon'tRemove

Please go here for Campbell’s reply:

http://www.vegsource.com/news/2010/07/china-study-author-colin-campbell-slaps-down-critic-denise-minger.html

“One thing we were struck by early on was the fact that Minger apparently removes comments on her blog from scientific researchers who point out the flaws in her reasoning and in her understanding of accepted research methods. In his report below Dr. Campbell notes an example of one researcher whose critical post was removed.
A cancer epidemiologist who says she posted criticism of Minger’s methods last week on Minger’s blog complained in a posting on VegSource that her critical post first appeared and then was removed from the Comments area of Minger’s blog. In fact, Minger herself posted on VegSource in response to this epidemeologist’s complaint, and did not deny that the epidemeologist’s critical comments had been yanked. After complaining on VegSource about the post disappearing, the epidemiologist’s post apparently reappeared on Minger’s blog. (Minger subsquently said something about a “spam filter” being at fault.)
As the exchange showed, it was clear to the epidemologist that Minger was out of her depth, and she offered to give Minger some some assistance and teach Minger some proper methods of analysis. In response Minger expressed excitement at hoping to attract professional researchers to help examine Dr. Campbell’s data in the future, and see if they can aid Minger in proving Dr. Campbell is wrong in some way. Minger wrote that if she could enlist actual researchers who could help her poke holes in China Study data, “this could be a really great opportunity to grab the attention of the medical community.”

11 01 2013
Reading Between the Headlines - Sustainable Health Therapies

[...] 3. Minger, D. (2011) One Year Later: The China Study, Revisited and Re-Bashed. Retreived form Rawf… [...]

25 03 2013
FYH: Don’t Fear (Quality) Meat | Cocktails and Communion

[...] Masterjohn’s critique over at the Four-Hour Workweek.  Also, courtesy of Denise Minger, here’s a collection of peer-reviewed papers using the China Study data that conflict with Dr. Campbell’s [...]

8 05 2013
Josh

I’ve spent the last 5 hours reading your blogs on the China study. I had heard about the china study and was thinking of reading it so I went looking for some reviews to get me started. It all came from me reading an article by Mr Campbell that was a rebuttal to one of your articles. It was I thought a great article yet I strangely lacking in any reference or specific rebut to your article or even reference to his own work. None the less very well worded and convincing. Yet I like to read and research and it had a link to the post it was rebutting so I opened it and have been reading ever since. I don’t know if he is purposefully misleading or genuinely blinded by his perceptions, but from all the information you have put forward it seems quite disingenuous. I’m going to have to read his book now and find out for myself.
Thanks Denise for your diligent and thorough researching!

6 06 2013
random lawyer

these studies more up your alley?

[b]Vegetarians live longer than meat-eaters, according to a study published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, a Journal of the American Medical Association.
[/b]

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324423904578523190441042514.html

[b]Vegetarianism can reduce risk of heart disease by up to a third.[/b]

http://www.ox.ac.uk/media/news_stories/2013/130130.html

19 07 2013
Judi

Again, this is a theme vegans seem to echo a lot. It’s not all or nothing!! Yes, vegans live longer than meat eaters if the meat eaters are eating only store bought meats and not much else… the meat and potatoes kinda person. I wonder how vegans do in the long run if all their produce is laced with pesticides and GMOs. 70% – 80% organic plant based, the remainder grass fed meat, clean organic poultry and their eggs plus the right kind of fats. Go to RayPeat.com for accurate info on fats. Weston Price Foundation also has accurate info. Low fat will kill you. My dad subsisted on a no fat diet for years after his heart attack and that’s what killed him. Although initially he improved, over the years his skin turned into crepe paper, translucent. His body began to turn on itself and the diabetes and heart disease caught up with him again despite his diet. I wish we had known what I know now.

21 09 2013
6 Reasons I Eat Meat

[…] One Year Later: The China Study, Revisited […]

9 12 2013
tricialee113

I’m super late to the game, but yesssss! I love your blog! You are basically living my dream life. Thanks for all the (real) science! I’m totally a peer-review snob and I’m not afraid to admit it.

10 12 2013
Padraig

“totally a peer-review snob and I’m not afraid to admit it”… why, does it make you feel smart and informed? There are plenty of things that Denise and others advocate for that aren’t peer-reviewed but are common sense and clearly logical.

10 12 2013
tricialee113

Logical does not equal peer reviewed science. I’m a scientist because I love science and the scientific process. There are lots of hypotheses that are “clearly logical” until the data proves the hypothesis wrong. That is why they are hypotheses. I encounter lots of hypotheses in the struggle to find out the truth about real food in a grey literature world, and peer reviewed science makes it that much easier. There are plenty of bloggers out there with no scientific background that cite papers from journals and clearly have no idea what the point of the paper was because they do not have very much experience doing so. I just like that she is trying (and succeeding!) to boil down hard facts for the masses to understand :)

16 02 2014
veeravs

Thanks again, Denise!
I haven’t had a chance to read the full study report (it seems to be out of stock everywhere). I have a question about the liver cancer issue. The China study looked at hepatitis B as a risk factor. What other risk factors were taken into account? Did they consider any hepatitis B infection as a risk factor / did they analyse the advanced, cirrhotic cases separately? In western countries where liver cancer incidence has been going up about as long as the metabolic syndrome has been known, it is likely that non-alcoholic fatty liver cirrhosis (due to chronic obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome) is a risk factor but I suppose that phenomenon didn’t exist in great numbers in China at the time of the study? In western countries today, animal protein may of course be misused as a surrogate marker because obese people with metabolic syndrome probably consume a lot of everything, including animal protein.

16 02 2014
veeravs

Oops, sorry, I found the paperback version now and will be check the data within a week or two :-)

19 06 2014
Dom B

China Study great book peer reviewed or not, and an even better book that will not be peer reviewed is ‘Healthy at 100′ by John Robbins. The Western culture is not suffering half as much from an incorrect diet as it suffers from a lack of compassion. Simple really, don’t eat animals becasuse the animals themselves do NOT want to be eaten. Compassion and wisdom reside in the East obviously, far from all the peer reviews!?

26 06 2014
Doug

Hi Denise,

I left this comment on a different page but I’m going to copy it here. This goes directly to the results of “Risk Factors for Stomach Cancer in Sixty-Five Chinese Counties”

In 2013, 30 Chinese companies were producing poisoned 100 year eggs. They were producing over 300,000 tonnes per year.

“Thirty preserved egg companies are being shut down for using industrial copper sulphate, a toxic chemical, to expedite the egg-festering process. South China Morning Post reports:
Industrial copper sulphate usually contains high levels of toxic heavy metals, including arsenic, lead and cadmium”

These companies were the main suppliers of 100 year eggs and were producing these poisoned eggs for years, possibly decades.

So the one animal product link with cancer may have actually been an indication of long term poisoning.

Doug

26 06 2014
Doug

This translates into:

4.8 to 6.4 BILLION poisoned eggs per year

Assuming:

1 egg = 1.5 to 2 oz
32,000 oz per short ton gives you
16,000 to 21,000 eggs per ton times 300,000 tonnes per year equals
4,800,000,000 to 6,399,900,000 eggs per year.

Doug

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