China Study Summary

In 2005, The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and his son, Dr. Thomas Campbell became the highest selling health book –– with over a million copies sold. Furthermore, it has been praised as the most important nutritional book because the extensive research and data associating animal food consumption to health issues. Even though the findings have been criticized, The China Study still presents five important takeaways about plant-based diet, nutrition, and chronic illness.

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What was the China Study?

The China Study was a twenty year long research project managed by T. Colin Campbell on the diet and lifestyle of 65 villages in China. The project goal was to discover the dietary and lifestyle factors that develop or protect from cancer, heart disease, and degenerative illnesses.

Timeline of the Study:

  • Early 1980’s, Colin Campbell partnered with researchers at Oxford University and Chinese Preventive Medicine.
  • In 1983, Campbell and researchers surveyed 6,500 people in China. They collected blood, urine, food samples, diet information, and questionnaires.
  • In 1989, 6 years later, they re-surveyed the 6,500 people with additional participants from 20 more villages in China and Taiwan. Making the total participants to be 10,200.
  • In 2005, Colin and Dr. Thomas Campbell shared their findings along with additional research in their book, The China Study.  

China Study Summary

The China Study provided an opportunity to compare plant-based diet of the villages in China to modern diet in the U.S. Based on the results, Colin Campbell and his son were able to conclude a whole food, plant-based diet as the secret to reversing chronic and degenerative illnesses, strong health, and longevity. As well as, link animal protein and dairy protein (casein) to higher rates of cancer and producing harmful effects in the body.  

The China Study Diet

The China Study is not a diet book but advocates eliminating animal and dairy protein –– meat, dairy, eggs, reducing intake of processed foods and lowering consumption of refined carbohydrates. And replacing it with plant protein and healthy carbohydrates.

the china study dairy

5 Takeaways from The China Study

  • Health is in our hands. The study brought to light that illness is beyond genetics and the environment. Through the extensive data, Colin Campbell established the relationship between diet and health. Therefore, we can change our health by eating right and taking care of ourselves.
  • Health statistics in the U.S. are scary. Even with modern medicine and healthcare improvements, U.S. has high rates of heart disease, cancer, heart attacks and diabetes. It is clear modern medicine cannot keep us healthy and our diet needs to greatly improve.
  • Main cause of degenerative illnesses are from animal protein especially dairy. Campbell references animal studies showing if markers of animal protein and casein, cow protein, fall below 10% then degenerative illnesses can be reversed. Even lowering the amount of animal protein can improve the way you feel –– physically and emotionally.
  • Don’t focus on the nutrient. If you take a nutrient out of context, you eliminate foods that are healthy and miss nutrients the body needs. That is why Campbell emphasizes whole food diet.
  • Lots of data supporting whole food, plant-based diet. The China Study was the first to provide extensive proof of the benefits of a whole food, plant-based diet and problems with the modern diet. The comprehensive study helped people to see that diet matters when it comes to long term health.  

Overall, The China Study helped people to understand their health and that they can improve it with the right food choices. Want to get back your health? Schedule a macrobiotic consultation with Denny Waxman or take one of our macrobiotic courses at SHI Macrobiotics.

For more interesting articles about nutrition, macrobiotics, and living a healthy lifestyle, please visit Denny’s macrobiotic blog.