154 What Causes Cancer?

For many years we believed that carcinogenic chemicals were the cause of cancer. Researchers would take various carcinogens and give them to laboratory animals in different doses. But the dose amount was frequently so high that it really told us nothing as far as humans are concerned. For example, feeding huge amounts of aspartame (equivalent to 250 soft drinks a day) to rats is pretty useless.


There is another issue, however, that is described in Dr. Colin Campbell’s book The China Study. He states that in order for a chemical to be called a carcinogen, higher doses of it should result in more cases of cancer. That makes sense and the experiments Dr. Campbell and his researchers conducted at Cornell University indicated that there may be another factor in the formation of cancer cells.


It seems that when they fed rats a diet with 20% of calories from animal protein the clusters of cancer cells increased as the amount of the carcinogen was increased. Well… this is what we would expect, right? But what is really intriguing is that when they fed the rats with 5% of their calories coming from animal protein there was no formation of cancer cells no matter how much of the carcinogen was given to them. So did that carcinogen really cause cancer? (Dr. Campbell noted that when animal protein reached 10% the cancer would begin to grow again. That is why only 10% of your calories should come from protein.) Now that’s something worth thinking about.


It appears that chemical carcinogens may not be as harmful to us if we do not have cancer promoters in our diet. In developing countries where there is a lot of air pollution the risk of cancer still remains low. Hmmm… that is interesting but what does this mean for us? We can’t do much about air pollution or chemicals sprayed on our food or worry about food that is not organic… no we can’t change all that. However, we have a lot of choice when it comes to what we eat. Consuming fewer cancer promoters (animal foods, fats, oils and dairy) and increasing plant foods will decrease the likelihood of us developing cancer. It is calming to know what foods are cancer promoters and which foods are the best to choose. I am so glad you make healthy choices, my friend.


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