The China Study – A Critique

Since I have received numerous inquiries about my opinion of The China Study, it’s time to share the answer to this frequently asked question with you.


I laboriously read through the whole China Study book by T. Colin Campbell, PHD, all the while feeling the rebellion to his ideas fomenting in me.


If you haven’t read the book, Dr. Campbell did some research on animals, made many observations about humans and their diets and performed extensive research on the diets and diseases of people living in and native to China.


The information in this article is strictly my observations and opinions based on my study of nutrition, extensive history of helping people find their optimal eating plan and common sense. Others have performed exhaustive analyses of Dr. Campbell’s research and statistics and have found them flawed. At the end of this article you will find links to these other critiques if you want to review these more extensive analyses.


Dr. Campbell is very knowledgeable, but I think his research is flawed. He got very stuck on his observations about low protein not causing cancer in areas where aflatoxins were initiating the cancers and then he looked for other research that corroborated his theory.


Also, he studied Chinese people whose ancestral diets have been close to vegan. Vegan may work for Chinese but not necessarily for other metabolic types.


Doctors/scientists who say one way of eating is for everyone have always frustrated me because they don’t take into consideration an individual’s unique metabolic type. Often that way of eating has worked well for them as individuals so they think that everyone should eat that way.


How about Dr. Price’s research of 17 cultures on 5 continents? All of the people he studied were extremely healthy on their native diets and they all ate animal protein. But they were eating very high quality nutrient dense food that they grew or harvested locally.


Any of these healthy natives that moved to the city or whatever and started eating the “modern diet” of sweets, canned food, coffee, etc. rapidly developed bad teeth and poor health.


However, Dr. Campbell makes some very good points about eating healthier that I highly agree with. He advocates consuming more plant based foods, an excellent idea, in their whole natural form. He’s waking people up to the degenerative nature of our food supply and calling us back to true health. Yes, we need to eat more vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds, but some of us need properly raised, healthy, nutrient dense animal protein in our diets too.


Dr. Campbell’s presentation of his case for a totally plant based diet is very persuasive, which makes it even more dangerous for folks who need animal protein to survive. Had it not been for my extensive studying of nutrition and diet I might have been persuaded too. But long ago I overcame the frustration of trying to figure out which diet guru I should follow when I realized that we are all unique and have unique dietary requirements.


Also, I reviewed Dr. Kelly’s work after reading the China study because his clinical work with people who had cancer helped him recognize that people’s bodies have different metabolic activity.


However, he initially also fell into the trap of thinking that everyone working to overcome cancer should eat according to the vegan way (no animal products). Then a young woman begged him to help her with her allergies. Reluctantly he tested her and then put her on the vegan diet. Eventually he married her.


After some time passed on the vegan diet to his consternation she became almost comatose. He sat up all night trying to figure out what was wrong and what to do about it.


Then he had an inspiration. He went to the butcher shop, bought the best grade of raw beef and had it ground. Back at home he fed her small bites of the ground beef and she completely recovered.


That’s when he started looking at metabolic types. Some can be vegan or vegetarian (maybe 1/3 of the population) but many have to eat animal protein. In the critiques listed below you will find testimonies of those who tried to stay totally vegan or vegetarian and became very sick. When they started eating animal protein again, they healed.


Dr. Kelly separated folks into about 27 different metabolic types and had them eat accordingly. He had them eat vegan until their cancers and blood tests improved, then they could eat appropriate amounts of animal protein. His research showed that overeating protein overwhelms the protein digesting enzymes which digest away the protein coating on the cancer cells. Once that coating is disrupted, the immune system can destroy the cancer cells.


So, it is important to not over eat protein. Dr. Kelly thought that folks should stop eating protein at 1 pm so they would have extra proteinase available to work on any cancer cells that might form in the night.


So here’s what I’ve observed about one aspect of how degenerative diseases develop:

Cancer – protein digesting enzyme deficiency

Diabetes – carbohydrate digesting enzyme deficiency

Heart disease – fat digesting enzyme deficiency


If we eat according to our metabolic type, we will be healthy. Some can be vegan, some cannot. Some can be vegetarian, some cannot.


Perform an Internet search for metabolic typing to determine your type and eat accordingly. Dr.  Mercola provides a metabolic typing quiz at no charge on his site


More extensive critiques of The China Study:


These links should keep you busy for a long while. If you want more info, perform your own Internet search.



Dr. Jo



About Dr. Jo

Dr. JoDr. Jo delights in sharing the message of health. She believes disease is optional if you know how to take care of yourself. And she’s a great coach to help you reverse or prevent disease.

So she writes this blog to keep you up to date with information that may undermine your health if you are not aware of it. She also provides tips on healthy living, how to reverse degenerative diseases, delicious recipes, and ways to enjoyably change your habits to healthy ones.

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