With concerns about the increasing incidence of the so called ‘diseases of affluence’ bringing suffering and disruption to the lives of many, the voice of one the world’s longest serving scientists, a disciple of Hippocrates, is now beginning to be heard. ‘Let food be thy medicine’ to Plant Pure Nation to an end of life enjoyed as both ‘graceful and peaceful’ for many, is the aim of American biochemist Dr Colin Campbell.


Brought up on a dairy farm and gaining his PhD on a study of the ways of improvements to the production of animal protein he was later given an assignment to study ways of improving the protein content of the diets of the poor in the Philippines. Coincidental with this was a concern about the incidence of cancer attributed to a highly carcinogenic mould aflatoxin in peanuts, their staple food. But to his surprise it wasn’t the poor living on the less healthy end of the crop but the more affluent able to afford the western diet high in animal protein that were succumbing to cancer. About the same time a piece of research undertaken by a group in India had demonstrated that by infecting a population of rats with aflatoxin and feeding half a 5% protein diet and the other half a 20% protein diet ,(casein in both cases),led to the death of the whole of the second group with no effect on those on the low protein diet. Campbell repeated the experiment and got the same results, then went on to switch the feed back and forth discovering that he could switch on and off the development of cancer by increasing and decreasing the amount of protein in the diet. This had the effect of turning his world upside down. ‘Protein’ meaning ‘of prime importance’ had been discovered in the early 19th century and was considered to be the basis of a good wholesome diet, and had long been identified with animal products.

 A great opportunity to further his studies was shortly to come his way from China. When Premier Cho EnLai was in the grip of the final stages of cancer of the bladder he commissioned a monumental study of the death rates from cancer among 880million (96%) of their citizens. Because of the genetic uniformity of the Chinese and the stability of their communities, (this was in the 1970s), the information produced was of great value to Campbell producing a wealth of information relating diet to the incidence of most of the diseases troubling the West.

 Another significant piece of research, this time at home, was the discovery of the importance of whole plants in the diet. When the researcher extracted vitamin C from an apple it was assessed to be 263 times less effective as an antioxidant than when left in the fruit.


Putting all his discoveries together Colin Campbell is advocating a ‘Whole Food Plant Based Diet’ with the very minimum of animal protein, low fat, sugar and salt. The campaign is growing in the States under the banner ‘Plant Pure Nation’ with the backing of such notables as former President Bill Clinton, golfing icon Gary Player, and has been taken up by Google and Facebook in their staff restaurants.


 However you view your personal health, or have concern for family or friends, the studies are reassuring and accessible.


Diets containing more healthy, unrefined plants have been shown to prevent or treat a wide range of diseases,

Or worsened outcomes with more animal food intake’


High blood pressure               Kidney stones                           Enlarged prostate        Pancreatic Cancer


High cholesterol                     Chronic kidney disease             Oral Cancer                 Prostate Cancer


Heart disease                        Obesity                                       Lung Cancer                Acne


Gallstones                              Alzheimer’s disease                   Liver Cancer                Ulcerative Colitis


Ulcers                                     Parkinson’s disease                   Stomach Cancer         Crohn’s Disease                          


Gastroesophageal reflux        Cataracts                                   Colorectal Cancer       Chronic obstructive             

Disease (GERD)                                                                                                           lung disease                                                                                                                                          


Diabetes (Both type 1             Macular Degeneration               Endometrial (uterine    Rheumatoid arthritis                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     and type 2)                 Cancer                         Multiple Sclerosis


Transition to Health-Lifting the Body Burden-The Science

  ‘The China Study’ provides the detail, ‘Whole’ is a summary and explains why the information is not making the impact it merits. ‘The Campbell Plan’ reveals how a practising GP uses the results of the research with his patients. ‘How Not To Die’ vindicates this plant based approach with references to a huge volume  of research and the site ‘nutritionfacts.org’ provides a daily update with short videos. There is also a DVD appropriately titled ‘Forks Over Knives’ which takes a journey through the science to the remarkable testimonies of those who have recovered from a whole range of ‘The Diseases of Affluence’ by following this simple but fundamental change to their lifestyle.


R.E. Yarwood -2016