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Nutritionist: Drinking too much milk promotes cancer growth
After 27 years of animal studies, Dr. T. Collin Campbell, Emeritus professor from Cornell University, came to a shocking conclusion that drinking too much milk promotes cancer growth. The details were revealed in his book titled "China Study".
In 1982, Dr Campbell wrote for the U.S. National Academy of Sciences a report titled "Diet, Nutrition and Cancer" shocking the United States.
Thereafter, he organized an epidemiological study in China seeking associations between diets and diseases. The New York Times called the study the greatest in the world of epidemiological studies.
Dr. Campbell's studies in animal models found that casein, which accounts for 87 percent of milk proteins can promote cancer. In addition, milk can induce chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis.
(According to the studies), safe proteins come from plant foods such as wheat and soybeans. These plant-derived proteins, even at high doses, will not induce cancer.
Based on what he found, Dr. Campbell viewed the traditional Chinese diet full of plant foods as the only healthy diet, suggesting that intake of milk and meat products should be controlled.
Studies of Rats Led to Shocking Discoveries
Dr, Campbell spent 27 years on a series of animal studies among which the rat studies are most significant. (In his rat studies), two groups of rats were exposed to equally high doses of highly carcinogenic aflatoxin to induce cancer. The rats were then fed a diet either with 20 percent gluten (from plants) or 20 percent casein from animals.
After certain period, cancer cells did not increase in rats on the gluten diet while the number of cancer cells in the rats on the casein diet drastically increased. The important discovery is, when casein protein reaches or exceeds the level rats need for normal growth, casein starts to promote proliferation of cancer cells.
The experiments demonstrated that low intake of plant protein can inhibit cancer induced by aflatoxin. Even after a cancer has already developed, low intake of dietary protein can significantly suppress the progression of cancer.
High intake of dietary protein derived from animals, on the other hand, promotes cancer cells induced by aflatoxin. In fact, dietary protein has a significant effect on cancer. A small adjustment on protein intake can suppress or activate cancer initiation and progression.
Dr Campbell further pointed out that casein can promote all three stages of cancer development. Safe proteins come from plants including wheat and beans, which even at a high dose would not induce cancer.
Dr Campbell said that "a great number of studies indicate that so called poor-quality plant protein is very stable although it is employed relatively slowly to synthesize new proteins. These types of protein are healthy proteins which our body needs most."
Headline Report on USA Today
The Chinese often think that it is the milk and meat that make the Westerners strong. However, Dr. Campbell highly recommends the traditional Chinese diet full of plant foods, believing that such a diet is science-based and healthy.
On June 6, 1990, USA Today, a famous U.S. newspaper, published a report titled "Healthy life: the East beats the West". The report concluded that the Chinese diet is reasonable and suggests that American people should follow the Eastern dietary practice, controlling their intake of milk and meat.
The report based its conclusion on Dr. Campbell's study in China. For the study, Dr. Campbell and his team from Cornell University, Oxford University and The Chinese National Academy of Preventive Medicine surveyed diet, lifestyle and deaths from various diseases in 69 counties of 24 provinces between 1983 and 1989.
Researchers found incidence of obesity in China was far much lower than that in the U.S., so was incidence of heart disease, colon cancer and breast cancer. They found correlations between the diseases and the Chinese diet. A large portion of the book “China Study” was written based on the results of the study.
The Chinese researchers involved in the study "were rewarded with the grand prize by the Chinese Ministry of Health for part of the study," said Professor Huang Jianshi, an epidemiologist and expert in health management from the Chinese Union Medical University. He believes the book China Study is trustworthy, reliable, readable and practical.
Milk Factor behind Chronic Diseases
As economy is developing in China, Chinese people have a better life to live and milk has become popular with many families, becoming an indispensable element in life. In the meantime, incidence of chronic diseases has drastically increased although few people have recognized the association between milk consumption and the diseases.
On December 12, 2003, 13 years after USA Today published its headline report, Dr. Campbell compared the West and the East for their diets and lifestyles at the 38th academic conference of the Eastern Scientific Forum held in Shanghai.
In his report titled "From the Western Nutrition model to the nutrition future in the East", Dr. Campbell pointed out that the Chinese should not repeat the huge loss the West has experienced due to the inadequate diet, particularly obesity in the US caused by the nutritionally-imbalanced fast foods.
Dr. Campbell believed that milk consumption has become popular in China, leading to high intake of animal protein and imposing a burden on the economic development because of increased incidence of obesity and obesity-associated heart disease, stroke, and hypertension, which has increased public and personal medical expenditures over the years.
Dr. Campbell pointed out that low intake of animal protein is safe. But high intake can promote growth and spread of cancer cells. Some scientists do not believe it, but similar experiments confirmed the discovery.
"Therefore, the prescription for my health is, eating a diet mainly with plant foods is greatly beneficial to health. Eating a diet full of meat can be an unexpected danger. The dangerous foods include dairy products, meat and eggs." Dr. Campbell said.
Professor Huang believed "Eating too much of animal-derived foods including meat, eggs and milk can cause a lot of health problems such as obesity. But that does not mean people can't eat meat, can't drink milk and have to be a vegetarian. The important thing is, don't eat too much and eat a variety of foods. Any food can be bad if you eat too much of it. A healthy diet should have sufficient nutrients, a balanced variety, and controlled calories.
(By Xie Jin and Yang Rui from Health Times in Chinese)
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