Plant-Based Eating: The China Study

by Nicole Cain

If you or anyone you know is living with or concerned about cancer, diabetes, obesity, heart disease or the effects of aging, than you should know about the China Study. Conducted by Campbell & Campbell, the China study is the most comprehensive study of health and nutrition ever conducted.

The study included 367 variables, 65 counties in China and 6,500 adults who were given blood tests and completed questionnaires in addition to other testing measures. At the end of the study they found more than 8,000 statistically significant associations between a person’s diet, lifestyle and their disease variables. Over 20 years of research, a partnership with Cornell University, Oxford University, and the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine, the China study reveals three powerful truths about our diet and its impact on our health.

1. Your health does not come from medicine, it comes from nutrition. 

Just like your car’s performance is impacted by the type of gasoline you use, your body’s health is impacted by what you put in (and on) your body.

2. Animal-based protein is more likely to cause cancer than plant-based protein. 

The China study found that by raising and lowering doses of casein, which is the main protein in milk, they could turn the growth of cancer cells on and off.

3. Chronic disease, including heart disease, can be reversed through nutrition. 

Plants can ward off cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, autoimmune disease, bone, kidney, eye and even brain diseases. The Cleveland Clinic conducted a study revealing that when patients with established coronary disease were given a whole foods, plant-based diet, 70 percent saw the opening of their clogged arteries. These findings were duplicated in a later study conducted by Dr. Dean Ornish, a Harvard Medical School Graduate.

So, what is a plant-based diet anyway? 

A plant-based diet is a diet based on veggies, fruits, whole grains, legumes,and tubers. This diet excludes (or minimizes) meat, dairy products, eggs, and refined foods (especially carbohydrates and sugars).

How can I learn more?

There are lots of resources on where to go to learn more. My favorite is The Ultimate Resource Guide for Plant-Based Living By Rosane Oliveira.


Dr. Cain is a Naturopathic Doctor with an expertise in alternative treatments for bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety. She runs Health For Life Grand Rapids, a group of counselors and doctors who utilize a holistic approach to healing.


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