A clip from The China Study by T. Colin Campbell
‘What if researchers produced considerably more impressive scientific results that were far more substantial in cause of cancer? What if there was a chemical that experimentally turned on cancer in 100% of the test animals and its relative absence limited cancer to 0% of the animals? Furthermore, what if this chemical were capable of acting in this way at routine levels of intake and not in extraordinary levels? Finding such a chemical would be the holy grail of cancer research.
This is exactly what I saw. The chemical was protein, fed to rats at levels that are well within the range of normal consumption. Protein! These results were more than startling.
Scientists, myself included, tend to be a skeptical bunch, especially when confronted with eye-popping results. It is our responsibility as researchers to question and explore such provocative results. I wasn’t convinced that protein actually might be harmful. A study of this protein effect on tumor development had to be done extremely well.
Cancer proceeds through 3 stages: initiation, promotion and progression. So what is the process that successfully ‘implants’ and initiates cancer-prone cells? Carcinogens. These chemicals are most often byproducts of industrial processes, small amounts are formed in nature. The entire initiation stage can take place in a very short time, even minutes.
So now our newly implanted cancer-prone cells are ready to grown and multiply. This 2nd stage occurs over a far longer period of time than initiation. But the initial cancer cells will not grow and multiply unless the right conditions are met. If any of the needed factors are missing the new cells will become dormant, while awaiting further supply of the missing factors. This is one of the most profound features of promotion. Promotion is reversible, depending on whether the early cancer growth is given the right conditions in which to grow. This is where certain dietary factors become so important. These dietary factors, called promoters, feed cancer growth. The profound importance of this reversibility cannot be overemphasized.
We determined whether the amount of protein that we eat could change this enzyme activity. The answer was clear. Decreasing protein intake from 20% to 5% not only greatly decreased enzyme activity but did so very quickly.’