|Copyright: The Dairy Education Board|
Sunday, July 25, 1999
T. Colin Campbell
Turn to the back cover of many of today's best-selling books on alternative medicine, and chances are that you'll find a quote from T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., professor of nutritional science at Cornell University.
Dr. Campbell has been one of the great spokespersons for a plant-based
diet and is best known for his landmark scientific study, the China-
Oxford-Cornell Study. Campbell has linked heart disease and cancer to
diet and his work is well respected and accepted throughout the world.
That study is the most comprehensive investigation of diet and disease in world history. Campbell was once a meat-eater, but the scientific evidence gathered from his work was convincing enough for him to adopt a plant-based diet. On May 8, 1990, Jane Brody of the New York Times wrote:
"Campbell's China study is the grand prix of all epidemiological studies."
It is interesting to note that Jane Brody is no advocate of a vegetarian
lifestyle, yet, she accepts and praises Campbell's science.
The major finding from Campbell's study was that people who eat a
typically American animal-based, protein-rich diet have seventeen times
the death rate from heart disease as do people who satisfy their protein
needs from fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains. Data from his study
indicated that women who derived their protein from meat and dairy
products were five times as likely to die of breast cancer than those
who ate a plant-based diet.
MY CONVERSATIONS WITH DR. CAMPBELL
I met T. Colin Campbell at the North American Vegetarian Conference in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Since that first meeting, we've spoken many times on the telephone. T. Colin Campbell is a brilliant lecturer, commanding the attention of his "students" with his sparkling brown eyes and piercing Irish wit.
We have discussed bovine proteins. Dr. Campbell calls casein "carcinogenic." Casein represents eighty percent of the protein in milk.
We also discussed "politics." Cornell University has historically been
a great friend to the dairy industry. Cornell professors like Dale
Bauman, David Barbano, and Culberto Garza have received many millions of
dollars from dairy industry sources. The influence of these three men
has shaped government policy and influenced dietary guidelines and food
The subject of his talk at Johnstown was the confusion in newspapers and conflicting views concerning "information overload." I took notes at his lecture, furiously scribbling down his words of wisdom. Campbell noted:
"I cannot imagine how the public at large can possibly understand all of the information and dis-information."
Campbell brought his audience to laughter when he said:
"I can design a study to show that a carcinogen is actually an anti-carcinogen."
This is exactly what the dairy industry does by promoting cheese and
claiming that dairy foods prevent colon cancer.
Campbell challenged the audience. He asked, "How many nutrients are there?" One listener called out "Nine." That's what the dairy industry claims can be found in milk. Nine essential nutrients.
In answering his own question, Campbell pointed out that there were countless things in foods which give us benefit, and noted that there were 600-700 different types of beta-carotene, carotenoids found in fresh fruits and vegetables.
Campbell taught me that the number of different variations of naturally occurring fiber could be measured in the tens of thousands.
Scientists speculate that an untold number of nutrients have yet to be
discovered, but Campbell revealed that the number of known unique
nutrients could be measured in the tens of thousands.
In science, we get caught up in dis-information. Campbell believes that
we should re-think our concept of exatly what is a nutrient.
Campbell presented evidence that revealed the average American's diet.
The average intake of protein is 90-100 grams per day. The RDA for
protein is 56 grams per day, while the minimum daily requirement is a
mere 24 grams per person per day.
New Nutrition is the name of Dr. Campbell's website. His diet and
wisdom has become a healthy model for all Americans to follow.
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