Some Facts about Cancer Research

Cornell professor T. Colin Campbell was in the Philippines looking for a way to provide better nutrition for poor families. He was focused on peanuts—as an inexpensive source of protein. At that time, incidentally, children were getting cancer at an alarming rate—and a physician mentioned to Campbell that it was actually the children of the wealthiest families—presumably better nourished—that were getting the most cancer.

Then Campbell noticed the work of two researchers in India. They attempted to verify experimentally what people expected to be true. They thought that people that were better nourished would be better able to resist the onset of cancer. So they conducted an experiment by first giving rats a substance that might cause cancer—a carcinogen. Then they fed some rats 20% of their calories in protein (animal source—casein, from milk) and another set of rats 5% of their calories in protein. They expected the rats fed 20% protein to get cancer at a lower rate. But it was the rats fed only 5% protein that did not get cancer.

This result bothered Campbell so much that he repeated the experiment in his own lab. The result held. As Campbell puts it, the results were "exactly the opposite of what was expected".

But, in fact, not exactly the opposite. What was originally expected was that the rats on 20% protein would do measurably better—perhaps even 20% or 30% better than the rats on 5% protein. That’s about as big a margin of improvement as could be expected. The opposite of this expectation would be the situation where the rats on 5% protein did 20% or 30% better. But this was not the case. The rats on 5% protein did 100% better.

All of the rats on 20% protein got cancer. None of the rats on 5% protein got cancer. This profound, complete difference suggests that our own diets—the standard way Americans eat—may be on a completely wrong track, and have profound health consequences. After all, studies determining cancer susceptibility in humans are done with rats.

Other experiments, varying the amount of protein given, show that protein amounts from 5% up to 10% do not contribute to cancer. But from 10% to 20%, the more protein the more cancer. Amounts over 10% are amounts well over the body’s actual need for protein. And, amounts of 20% are well within the range normally consumed by Americans—and, very disappointingly, within the range considered optimal by the medical establishment’s guidelines.

Campbell repeated his experiments using various proteins. He found another striking result. Rats consuming proteins from vegetable sources did not get cancer, even if the protein was given at the 20% level.

In fact, Campbell found that he could turn the progression of cancer on and off by merely switching between animal protein and plant protein in the lab animals diets.

Campbell's experimental results are consistent with epidemiological (human population) data. For example, in 1958 (before American-style eating became popular) there were 18 deaths confirmed due to prostate cancer in the nation of Japan. In the same year in the USA (with twice the population of Japan) there were not just 36 such deaths. There were 14,000.

The difference is not due to genetics. When Japanese immigrate to the USA, they start to get cancer at the rate we do. The difference is due to diet—just like it is for experimental rats.

Being on a whole-food, plant-based (WFPB) diet is believed by Prof. Campbell to be overwhelmingly the most effective way to prevent cancer.

Dr. Kelly will talk next about its treatment.