Dr. Mercola attacks the China Study: clash of the titans

When Joe Mercola contradicts the basics of nutrition taught on GreenSmoothieGirl.com and in my books, we get hundreds of emails.

Mercola’s newsletter yesterday supposedly exposes the “DARK SIDE” of the China Study. I’m not going to link to it and therefore give it a higher page rank. It doesn’t deserve it.

Before undertaking to explain what’s radically wrong with this article, let me say this: I agree with Mercola on some macro issues:

  1. That prevention and natural remedies are the best first-line treatments, rather than drug/surgery medical interventions.
  2. That far too much of our data comes from research that drug companies and agribusiness paid for.
  3. That sugar and processed foods are killing us. (Mercola implies, with the “false dilemma” logical fallacy, in yesterday’s newsletter that either animal proteins are killing us, or processed foods are, as if they are mutually exclusive.)

But we must use critical thinking skills to expose fatal flaws in his comments about Dr. T. Colin Campbell and the China Study.

(When you put yourself in the public domain, you invite dissent. Juxtaposition of ideas creates a climate for the truth to emerge.)

As I strongly disagree with Mercola here, I will invariably get some angry email. Most readers will appreciate that my only motive is to learn and then explain the truth (or as close as I can get to it) in this world of nutrition that has so many competing voices.

My own 12 Steps to Whole Foods is a compendium of the best nutrition practices. It advocates for eating much more plant food (especially raw food) than the average American gets and is a practical HOW-TO guide, more than a philosophical debate or meta-review of research. It purposefully doesn’t advocate for vegetarianism or veganism, although I am supportive of others who choose to wear those labels. My own family, except for two vegetarian daughters, eats a bit of homemade kefir, and occasional animal products when we are away from home.

Mercola attempts to discredit the joint effort of Oxford and Cornell Universities by calling theirs an “observational” study, which he infers is somehow inferior to having once had a medical practice.

The Oxford/Cornell China study is a very sound, huge, comprehensive study spanning over 25 years. My own advanced degree, background in research, and understanding of research principles, lead me to say this:

I am thankful, finally, for a vast piece of research in epidemiology that was not funded or influenced by the drug companies or agribusiness (which primarily hawks refined corn/wheat/soy products and processed and refined and GMO foods). I see no conflicts of interest in the Oxford/Cornell research. I see one of the purest voices in nutrition in Campbell and his team.

I interviewed him by phone as I wrote this, and he said, “I feel personally responsible to Americans to tell them what we did with their money,” because taxpayers funded the China study, not profit-motivated industries.

The research was the next natural step from methodical and rigorous animal studies. It’s   a remarkable piece of research examining 6,500 adults in 130 villages of rural China where some populations eat lots of animal protein, and others eat very little. The book The China Study represents the totality of Campbell’s experiences. Those include his many years of work in the Philippines studying malnourished children, to his experimental lab research funded by the National Institutes of Health, to the human studies project in China.

Mercola refers to Campbell “forcing” everyone into vegetarianism. This makes no sense on two levels beyond the unilateral emotionalism of the word.

First, the two diets Campbell studied were 20% animal protein (which correlates to the Standard American Diet) and 5% animal protein. Neither groups studied were vegetarian. The 5% group correlates to a low-animal-protein diet, similar to Daniel’s Biblical diet, as well as the scriptural “Word of Wisdom” counsel to eat meat “sparingly, only in times of winter/famine/cold.”

Second, Campbell takes the tone of scientist. He reports and interprets the data. He doesn’t “force” or even recommend any specific diet. He allows the reader to infer from the data whatever diet they choose to follow. He isn’t an internet maven selling a philosophy; he’s a researcher who found the opposite of what he expected to. He grew up on a dairy cattle farm and thought, well into adulthood, that a high-protein diet was ideal. Like John Robbins, son of the Baskin Robbins founder, only data convinced him otherwise. I personally am thankful for honest and pure truth seekers, willing to turn another way, when data challenges popular culture and custom.

Mercola attempts to downgrade the massive China project as “an observational study,” which he says does not “prove causation.” This is puzzling to me based on a three logic flaws.

First, Campbell is a scientist and would never say his study “proves causation.” No scientist would. I’m not a scientist but know enough about it to be aware you never achieve or claim “proof of causation.” Mercola gives a two-sentence primer on how the scientific process works: initial study, hypothesis, controlled trial. Which is precisely what Campbell and the research team did:

For the rest of this report, click here.

85 thoughts on “Dr. Mercola attacks the China Study: clash of the titans

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  1. I think basically what Dr.Mercola is trying to say through the article is that not everyone can thrive on a wholly plant based diet. Not that some people can’t. I took the test several times and even changed some of my answers to some questions and still came out a veggie type. Does that mean I’m going to eat protein with each meal? NO… not for any reason other than I just don’t feel it necessary for my personal well being. Isn’t that what Dr.Mercola was saying? Listen to your body.

    I’m all for sustainable eating and I believe that everyone should have more raw living foods in their diet. But to say that everyone can thrive on XYZ diet would be highly illogical.

    As with all health and wellness news, you have to test it and find out the truth for yourself.

  2. While the China Study has given us some very useful information, I also believe there are flaws.

    Rather than pick out several examples of why the study is flawed, I will refer you to Denise Minger who has done an excellent critique of the study, digging down deep. It is rather long, but very enlightening for those interested in the actual ‘nuts and bolts’ of the data on which the conclusions were based. I urge everyone to read this for a more clear understanding of the study.


    That said, while I do know many people feel far better on a raw or vegetarian diet, I also know that many who were on one, developed heath/energy issues a few years later, despite doing all the ‘right’ things, and only regained their health by incorporating good fats and meats into their diet.

    We have all seen studies that were lauded as fact, done and endorsed by many ‘experts’ with impressive degrees. And then we discover later that the conclusions were eventually proven to be false once the data is dissected, or upon new evidence. So I do not necessarily believe a study to be irrefutable fact simply because a group of experts say it to be so.

    We are all biochemically different. Anyone saying there is only one right way to eat for everyone is giving dangerous advice, IMO. And that includes the China study.

    1. Cindy, watch for Denise Minger’s paper to be taken apart by a group of epidemiologists, and note that the China Study doesn’t advocate for any one right way to eat. It just shows the dangers of heavy consumption of animal proteins, and the disease risk reduction for eating plant foods (which are literally hundreds of types of foods).

  3. I really appreciate your gumption in your dealings with the Mercola brand. I think there is far too much emphasis on subscribing to one, highly regimented way of eating/living (and usually therein labeling these choices). Not even touching the lack of science and information to back up his claims and the lack of attention to detoxification, I think the real disservice is not allowing people to draw their own conclusions. When Mercola puts out these highly opinionated and often fear-driven pieces, it does not give his subscribers the latitude to make their own opinions about the topic. Isn’t science supposed to be objective? And if you want to be opinionated (which is totally his right to do so) then don’t parade it as science unless you have the science and info to back up your claims.

    Finally, I think it’s worth noting that everyone is different. No one diet or nutritional plan will work for everyone, but I think incorporating more whole, natural foods will benefit everyone. So maybe it didn’t “work” for him, but that doesn’t make the findings false.

  4. You go girl !

    I also see too much of the natural , healthy ,raw food industry turning into big business and starting to spread the wrong information . Mercola get a big reputation from those who promote him not because he is the best . And they are going after big money not helping people . They have lost track and taken over by greed!

    I admire you standing up for what is right ! And even if some think you are wrong , you are still much more right than Mercola ! Common sense people !

  5. I have read a lot of Dr. Mercola’s stuff, and I took his nutrition typing test and found the concept confusing, as you did, and the choices listed inadequate. I also purchased and read his book on bird flu. It was poorly-written, full of repetition, contradictions and hyperbole. It was obviously thrown together to hit the market at the time it would sell the most copies, instead of being the result of careful research. I got off his mailing list after reading the results of my nutrition type test because I was tired of getting alarming emails all the time trying to sell me cookbooks and supplements that I don’t need. To me, Dr. Mercola is a charter member of Crackpots R Us.

  6. Interesting takes here– although quite lengthy to say: The China Study doesn’t advocate a total vegetarian lifestyle.

    I don’t see this as a clash of the titans but more of a clash of ignorance to fully read a book. Critics of TCS can never provide me one reference: the page number where Dr. Campbell says to make your diet “zero animal protein.”

    I read the article you chose not to link to. I agree with you, most critics of TCS tend to run with the idea that zero animal protein is 100% best. Hving read TCS 3 times I’ve never come away thinking meat = bad. It did change my desire to incorporate more veggies and (much) LESS meat into my diet.

    It is unfortunate ad hominem attacks on Dr. Mercola crept into your blog. These take away from an excellent job at pointing the fallacies of the opinion article.

    I tend to side with Dr. Mercola’s advice: do what works for you. Listen to your body. That is sound advice and hard to refute–much like the advice from Hippocrates: let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.

    Dr. Mercola iis off on one (although huge) point in his critique of TCS: the research does not advocate a complete withdrawal of animal protein. Beyond that, there is good advice to be found on his site.

    1. JP, I consider it a defense against the ad hominem suggestion of Mercola’s that because someone is a PhD researcher rather than a (current or former) practitioner, the research is somehow less valid.

  7. I used to follow Dr. Mercola, and read all his newsletters, until he passed around a video by some reactionary wacko that urged everyone NOT to fill out their Census forms. The video was so irresponsible, and so filled with misinformation (like doing a Census every 10 years isn’t in the Constitution – it is) that I was convinced he hadn’t really looked at it. After that I unsubscribed from all his emailings and told them why.

    I know Mercola has a big following, but this year his work has really gone down hill into conspiracy theories.

    Frankly, his criticism of the China Study seems to be along that vein. The only thing you can really say about these kinds of surveys is that often people are inaccurate in reporting what they eat every day – especially if there is social pressure around a heightened awareness of nutrition, which I doubt is present in China.

    I am especially saddened to read that he thinks that any researcher worth his or her salt would force a diet on this large a group of people. To think that the Chinese authorities would even allow this is just absurd.

    Sad. I really think Dr. Mercola is doing downhill.

  8. Robyn!

    THANKS so much for writing this! I read what Mercola said and I was just so blown away that he would say stuff like that about such a thorough study. . . I am so glad you came through with this wonderfully thought out and complete article! You addressed all of Mercola’s points and blew him out of the water! Needless to say, I won’t be looking to Mercola for any more information, but will definitely be looking to Green Smoothie Girl for more insight into health and well-being!

    You’re Awesome!


  9. Mercola used to be my number one website for information, but it seemed the more commercial he became, the more I started questioning some of his articles. So, I unsubscribed. My number one website now is http://www.doctoryourself.com No commercials, just common sense info backed by science. I also love following your blog Robyn. I had to chuckle at some of your answers to his arguments. Well done. Can’t wait for the Dr Campbell interview from you. I loved that book. And I in no way felt I should be a vegetarian after reading. I felt I should decrease the amount of animal foods in my diet.

  10. It’s clear many of you did not read his whole article and drew your own conclusions. He said that eating should be individual for every person. He states that he did try the principles of the China Diet and his tryglicerides went through the roof. He also said a vegetarian diet can be the best for some but not for everyone. I thought his article was good and in no way an attack as some of your are taking it, maybe you should actually read it. I love green smoothies and wouldn’t stop drinking them or living the way I live, but he had some valid points. It’s not like he was saying you guys are wrong and everyone should got get a big steak, he was simply saying he has treated thousands of people and one size does not fit all.

  11. Thanks Robyn for the additional details. I read Mercola’s article about the China study yesterday and was confused because he didn’t provide any specific details from the China study. I become a bit more skeptical when someone arguing against something provides little details. It usually means they don’t have a lot of substance behind their objection. I’m glad too that you shared your feelings about Mercola’s nutritional typing. I took the test as well and was confused by the questions because they were based on feelings and not fact and there were many questions where I couldn’t choose from his answers because none were exactly what I was doing. While I agree with Mercola’s stance that you should listen to your body, I will probably stop getting his newsletters because I think he’s gone too far.


  12. Dear Robyn,

    I’m sure you’re not going to be able to read the avalanche of emails generated by your response to Dr. Mercola’s “slam”, but I just want you to know I’ve got your back on this one girl…

    I’m LDS in Wisconsin and just found Dr. Mercola’s site last week, took his “test” and thought it was “junk” science as well. He does have “some” good info on his site but I don’t agree with a lot of it, whereas I do agree 100% for instance with the late Dr. J. R. Christopher.

    I saw where Dr, Mercola commented on the Diamond’s, “Fit for Life” not my favorite top 3 doctor, Dr. Joel’s, “Eat to Live” book or I would have personally railed on him. Here’s the paragraph on “Fit for Life” by Dr. Mercola. I’m sure you’ve caught it by now.

    “Quote” After finishing my family practice residency in 1985 I read the book Fit for Life. The book made some very compelling arguments encouraging the consumption of raw fruits and vegetables. So I started its recommendations and had fruit for breakfast. After a few weeks I tested my blood work and was shocked to find my fasting triglycerides were nearly 3,000. That is not a typo. Nearly three thousand…This was surprising because they had never been over 100 in the past. “Closed Quote”

    Thank you for sharing your wonder recipes with me. I just found you 2 weeks ago and love your info.

    Thanks, Carl

  13. Robyn,

    I fully expect it to be ‘taken apart’, but that has happened before and she has impressively ‘taken apart’ their critiques, IMO.

    While the study doesn’t advocate any one right way to eat, judging from the postings on the numerous forums I’m on, and my interactions with people who have read it, the overall message comes across that there is proof that certain foods/combinations are potentially deadly, since it has had the effect of scaring people unnecessarily so that they decide to become vegetarian. That is also the impression I came away with after reading it. And as Denise points out in her dissection of the study, some of the evils blamed on high meat/protein consumption are based on faulty data/methods of interpretation.

    I must say I’m not understanding your determination to believe everything in the study, and to automatically discount the very valid critiques by Denise and others. She and Mercola are not the only ones who have dissected the study and found faulty conclusions. Unless we are referring to God, I have yet to see a work such as the CS be totally true and without error. Did you even read her critique? Do you disagree with all of it? Do you agree with any of it?

    And I agree that was an ad hominem attack on Mercola. I’d much rather have a discussion on the study itself rather than focusing on Mercola and speculation on his motives and attacking his credentials.

  14. What does everyone say we are all different? That’s what sells crazy diet books. We are all so much the same.

    Whole food heals EVERYONE not just those crazy health nuts. Processed foods and industrial meat and dairy is toxic to EVERYONE with a human body. Period.

  15. Dr. Mercola is a businessman first and foremost. Everyone should read TCS for themselves and of course decide what the best way of eating is for themselves. I personally think people base their perception of EVERYTHING on what they like…I like veggies and fruit, and I dont like the way I feel when eating animal protein. I used to love the taste of steak, but just as the saying goes “nothing tastes as good as thin looks”, I believe “nothing tastes as good as living pain free feels. Simple deduction, Mercola is selling his product. HIM. No thanks!

  16. I subscribe to and read both Mercola articles and GSG articles and blogs. I much more appreciated the tone and content of Mercola’s discussion of this issue than GSG response to it. I tend to take information from both websites with a grain of salt, but in this case, I just am troubled by Robyn’s response.

    I am curious what people think of the studies of Weston Price, who searched for a purely vegetarian/vegan culture in the world that was able to maintain true health through their diet, and consistently always found that in order to maintain all aspects of health – including reproductive, dental, just to mention a few – some animal protein was ALWAYS present, and those cultures that did not (or probably more accurately) were not able to include animal protein, suffered some sort of health problems.

    For my own part, and this is anecdotal I know, my almost vegan diet prior to my first pregnancy was followed by complications during pregnancy and the presence of a heart defect in my child. My second pregnancy, when I included animal protein, was uneventful and my 2nd child was born completely healthy. Anecdotal, but follows the findings of Weston Price. I don’t want to be a fear monger but I do fear for the reproductive health of children in families that do not eat any animal protein. Families may seem perfectly healthy on a Vegan diet, but what happens 20 years down the line when your children want to start their own family?

    Just my 2 cents, and I probably said too much on this clearly controversial topic.

    Blessings to all.

    1. Hi Liz, remember–the China study didn’t look at vegetarians. It looked at 5% animal protein diets, versus 20% animal protein diet. And that’s what I teach too. I am concerned about reproductive health for the HIGH animal protein consumers. Look at the Pottenger cat study as evidence of what happens in the third gen of eating the American diet.

    1. Greg, you just did. 😉 Love John Robbins. He’s the OPPOSITE of “motivated by money.” He and his wife lived close to the land, on $10K a year, rather than help run the Baskin Robbins Corp. that he came to believe was not exactly helping people. And he has worked hard and educated himself and become very successful doing something else (teaching others) that is very valuable.

  17. I believe in being open to all sorts of info so that I can make the right decision for myself. I am a vegetarian, however I am starting to wonder if Mercola and I are just not a good fit. He goes off on so many things like agave etc. that I just don’t want to listen to him soooo negative. I am with you Robyn, I am sure you will hear from him soon.

  18. I am wondering how the effect of cooking meat at high temperatures has on the body, as doing this increases advanced glycation end products, which in turn produce inflammation in the body. I would like to see some research showing how raw milk, eggs and lightly cooked organic meats react within the body until I make a radical change in my diet.

  19. Robyn,

    Thanks so much for your thoughtful, articulate critique of Dr. Mercola’s article. Your comments are right on. I suscribe to Dr. Mercola’s newsletter (along with several other health newsletters, blogs, and listserves, regardless of their point-of-view — I like to keep up on the latest thinking as well as the latest arguments!), and while I have learned much of value in the newsletter, like you, I also disagree with his emphasis on meat eating. I’m surprised that you managed to be a “veggie type” on the test, though. Based on my own experience, I was guessing that everyone somehow turned out to be a “protein type.”

    Yes, research results can and frequently are misrepresented, but sometimes you just have to look at the data and go, “Yep. That’s what it means all right.” The China Study data are such, plus they are consistent with many other studies that show more veggies equals less disease risk; more meat and animal products equals more disease risk. It’s not necessarily a 1:1 relationship; clearly heredity, exposure to toxins, smoking, and a multitude of other factors influence the outcome for an individual. It’s statistical risks that are conclusive, not whether a single individual who eats or doesn’t eat something will have a particular outcome.

    I noticed the same tendency in Nourishing Traditions to discount numerous studies showing increased cancer risks in populations that eat large amounts of animal products, claiming either the methodology was flawed or else the conclusions were invalid. However, to be fair, I’ve also noticed the same tendency on the other side of the coin. There’s a hew and cry in the raw food community when a member of the community changes their mind and begins to eat animal food or cooked food. You would think the person were committing blasphemy!

    We need to do our best to make intelligent decisions based on the information that we have. If there is one thing proven by science over the past few centuries it’s that we don’t know everything!

    Thanks very much for all you do.


    Liz GT, Olympia, WA

  20. BRAVO Robyn for such an excellent article on Mercola and China Study.

    I was on the Holistic Health Cruise last March and heard Dr. Campbell speak three times. He has such integrity and is such a sincere, wonderful person. We have been vegan since we got back and are feeling great.

    You might mention PCRM (Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine)

    is doing a 21 day vegan kickstart program online with excellent videos, tips from vegan celebraties (including Dr. Campbell!)- it’s fun and very educational. 9-9 is day 4 but you can log in anytime.

    Thanks again for all your great work!!

    Betsy from Sedona

  21. I must be late to some game, because until this post, I’ve never heard of Mercola. But I have read the China Study, and several parts of it more than once, as I try to really understand the key points well enough to be able to explain them to others. While it has given me great clairty and hope for myself, it has created much fear in my heart that my husband could drop dead of a heart attack any minute, or get cancer because of his four groups: cheese, beer, red meat, butter. I don’t get an all or nothing message from that book – I just feel more than adequately equipped with the knowledge I need to live as healthfully as possible.

  22. I read the article also and knew it would bring a big response here. I have been living a semi-vegetarian life for 7 years. We have salmon about once a week and a steak once a year in the middle of the cold winter. I may have a piece or two of chicken during the year also at family functions. We eat mainly veggies, a little fruit, rice, nuts, etc. We’ve been getting about 3 green smoothies a week. Although this way of eating has really helped my husband in his fight against cancer, allergies, asthma, and high blood pressure, I remain overweight and somewhat sluggish. My fingernails grow really fast, but are very weak and now are full of ridges. This started after starting this lifestyle. So, I wonder, maybe I need more meat??? I wish I knew the answer!!

  23. I read both articles by Mercola and by Robyn and here’s my two cents…I can see validity in both cases. I think animal protein is important, but not too much. Since I’ve been focusing more on raw and plant foods, I feel a lot more energy. We eat meat sparingly, about once a week and we do consume cheese and butter, but not too much. We drink kefir or eat yogurt to obtain natural probiotics. We basically follow the LDS Word of Wisdom. How grateful I am for that document! Whenever I become confused about what to do nutritionally, all I have to do is look back to that document and I know which direction to go. It says to eat meat sparingly and in times of cold or famine…and that is what we do. We only eat meat from the best sources and we eat it very sparingly, though we do eat it year round (just as we eat vegetables and fruit year round as well). I appreciate your take on Mercola’s writings…it had me a bit confused but I do lean towards your recommendations of a mostly plant-based diet.

  24. Go GSG! I need to hear this full argument. I have been studying this issue for a while, including reading The China Study and reading Dr. Fuhrman’s stance. Something I read (sorry I can’t remember) indicated that there was some sort of connection between WAPF and Mercola? I would also like to hear from you what could be causing people to not “feel well” or not have enough energy from a completely vegan diet. THANKS FOR ALL YOU DO!!

  25. All of you posting on here that eat a somewhat vegetarian diet. I would love it if you could share with me some recipes that my family, including 3 small boys would love to eat:)

  26. My intelligence is insulted on a regular bases by friends and clients reciting some headline by Dr. M. as if he is bona fide (unbiased) authority.

    Professor Campbell:

    Starting as a ‘believer’, drinking a gallon of cows’ milk daily and diving deeply into his research career intending to focus on ways to save the starving people by increasing their intake of animal protein and ultimately passing beyond ‘believer’ to ‘seer’, professor Campbell has certainly ‘evolved’ and in the process factually supported what many of us have known and intuited for a long time, and done so, masterfully.

    Dr. M:

    Following Dr. M from the side for many years, we have watched him ‘de-volve’ as his dietary recommendations of many years ago suggested a much more balanced, sensible and humane approach (can’t find those articles anymore). He admittedly comes from a standard (backwards) allopathic medical foundation and has not been [the self-proclaimed] authority on nutrition or preventive medicine for long… He’s just getting his feet wet compared to many of us.

    As time has ticked, more and more, Dr.M, ignoring obvious physiological and instinctive indicators, pushes Meat-Meat-Meat, Milk-Milk-Milk and Pills-Pills-Pills. Examples include strong suggestions, even employing scare tactics to induce people to consume all manner of cadavers (disease and murder), raw cows’ and goats’ milk (disease and Infanticide), raw hen eggs (salmonella), Krill oil (murder and ecosystem devastation) and potentially imbalance producing Pills-Pills-Pills, sprays and fluids, D3 (unwise hormone replacement therapy), Etc.

    It would be interesting to list all of the super-hyped (must take, don’t leave home without, take-or-die,) supplements pushed by Dr.M, though it would be a huge undertaking, and lay out a day’s supply, then if anyone would be willing, swallow all that stuff and wash it down with the recommended volume of water. I’m pretty sure there would be no room left for food… And just imagine the weird chemistry experiment that would take place inside… Sane nutrition? I don’t think so.

    Dr. M has, on several occasions I am aware of, acted rudely towards professor Campbell. Professor Campbell did or said nothing to provoke such inflammatory behavior.

    I appreciate that Dr. M comes down hard on GMOs and EMR (electro-magnetic radiation-pollution), but it is inexcusable that he so powerfully poisons the minds of trusting followers on matters of something so fundamental as diet. And it is unconscionable that he so ruthlessly disregards the welfare of all non-human animals and the commons.

    I have a theory about the reason(s) for Dr. M’s perverted thinking and ‘selective’ guidance but will keep it to myself, and it is not my place to guess about his character of motivation. Could be, he means well, but that does not help the people harmed by irresponsibly delivered advice or the suffering and death of countless non-human animals which result from the following of such advice.

    I had a lot more to say about this sad situation, but that’s about all the attention I wish to put on it, and your letter, Robyn did a beautiful job. Thank you!


  27. I promised myself I wasn’t going to get too involved in this, but since my repeated attempts to post my comments, via blog, and yesterday through GSG support, keep coming up empty handed, I’m having a go at it again.

    Pottenger didn’t study the American diet. He did study different portions of meat, but the interesting conclusions had nothing to do with that, and instead whether the diet was raw or cooked/pasteurized (diet consisted of meat, milk, and cod liver oil, in varying portions). The outcome was seriously bad health for 4 generations of cooked diet, and normal/good health for raw, regardless of meat quantity.

    I’m going to try posting this now again (only a small part of my original comments that for some reason never posted.)


    1. Liz, yes, Pottenger studied cats, too. My point with Pottenger that his (very old, now) studies indicate that third-generation, we reap the whirlwind of the bad habits of our parents and grandparents, not just us.

  28. Robyn,

    I emailed my full comments yesterday, just waiting to see when they hit. Incidentally, one of the topics I bring up is the studies of Weston Price, no surprise there. While he didn’t study a single culture for 25 years, he did study indigenous cultures across the globe, most of whom presumably had been following the same diet for hundreds if not thousands of years. He found very healthy people eating vastly different diets, including animal protein consumption in varying quantities (but always of the highest quality). What are your thoughts on his studies and how they relate to the China Study? Have you found any holes in his studies?



  29. From your blog, 11/29/09:

    I wish everyone were dedicated to the truth, WHATEVER that truth may be, rather than promotion of an agenda. If I found compelling evidence that eating the Atkins Diet was truly a way to be lean, energetic, and healthy into old age, I’d promote that.

    I completely agree, which is why I am so interested in your thoughts on the studies of Weston Price. His global observations and studies of cultures throughout the world, healthfully consuming varying quantities of animal proteins, could be the one real contender for the China Study. You have a unique perspective, being so well versed in the China Study, and your clear drive and pursuit for the ultimate truth in nutrition would provide an interesting perspective if you ever were interested in going down that path and looking seriously into Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.

    I personally take what WAPF foundation states with a grain of salt, but there is a difference between WAPF and the original studies of Weston Price. I don’t believe we should use the studies as a green card for consuming massive quantities of animal protein, which the WAPF seems to lean toward.

    I’ve spent way too much time on this (including my original comments that as of yet are still unpublished on your blog), so I will leave it there.

    I am really, really happy with the green smoothies, as is my husband, and one of my two young boys. I try to only eat animal protein of the highest quality – pastured everything, and very, very importantly, I soak all of my grains before consuming (oats need warm water, some acid, and whole wheat in a 1:10 ratio in order to reduce phytic acid, and therefore maximize the bodies absorption of minerals/prevent mineral and bone loss, other grains mostly just need warm water, some type of acid, and varying amounts of time). Perhaps I am just preaching to the choir on this one, I hadn’t seen if you had gotten into this or not.

    Again, rambling, thanks for all of your awesome contributions, I really appreciate your extensive research and the contributions you have made to discussion of health. I just wish I could get your program at our library instead of having to buy it.



  30. Message received through email:

    Thanks for “Clash of the Titans”, but I think calling Mercola a “titan”

    is a stretch, particularly on a topic in which he’s so ill-prepared to

    speak authoritatively.

    I’ve spent much of the past two days reviewing his work and commenting

    on his site (and, regrettably, driving up his search standing), only to

    realize that he being opportunistic, opining on The China Study because

    it has been in the press, and offering sensationalistic headlines that

    have no support in his text.

    On your background, this may interest you. I spoke with the operators of

    two facilities that were licensed to raise full-blooded wolves (my

    understanding was that they were acting as sanctuaries, but I haven’t

    confirmed that). They both kept the wolves on plant-based diets and the

    wolves lived longer, healthier lives. While I visited one, I asked what

    they ate. The operator pointed to a bucket of produce. She said she had

    a friend who owned a produce store and she got perfectly good whole,

    plant-based foods from the friend to feed the wolves. I asked if the

    wolves liked it and she gave me a fascinating dinner-time demonstration

    that immediately collapsed the wolf-as-carnivore image.

    Finally, on Denise Minger, check out her Facebook page – she describes

    herself as a “professional sock puppeteer”.

  31. Message received through email:

    Anyone with a speck of intelligence will weigh truths against their own experience. I do not trust every study, nor do I trust every doctor (even one who has practiced for 25 years)

    I think that we have the power to discover what is the best way to eat or live right within us. I have been eating using the precepts taught by “Fit for Life” ever since I read the book many years ago. My triglycerides are extremely low. When I quit eating all processed foods, and meats, pre-cancer cells disappeared from my uterus. My health returned. I also never suffer from heartburn, indigestion nor constipation. My daughter also eats this way and likewise feels healthy and fit. The “test” is in the condition of the skin. Does it glow with health or is it pasty white? Are the eyes clear, hair shiny? Does the body have energy?

    We can educate ourselves and we can draw our own conclusion from self study and observation. We can teach others how to do the same.

    Kudos to you GreenSmoothieGirl. As the old saying goes, the proof is in the pudding. Keep it up. It is a shame we can’t expose every quack nor can we muzzle anyone who is able to support a website.

    Your integrity and others who follow this life style will speak for themselves.



  32. Message received through email:


    You are not the only professional to note Mercola’s blunders. He has mentioned many items concerning nutrition in the recent past that have no scientific or physiological basis. Indeed, I think he is “flying by the seat of his pants” most of the time. I have heard and read of many other pseudo-professionals that get a notion to write something that has no evidence of truth or sound nutrition. I like your posture regarding nutrition and health advice. Keep up the good work. You have my support.

    Blaine Chambers Ed.D.

    Founder, NutraPerfect Inc.

    Orem, Utah

  33. Message received through email:

    Hi Robyn,

    As a pebble in this Mercola hilarity here is my experience:

    Several weeks ago he published a note warning of the “dangers of HFCS.” Hey,

    everyone can agree on that, eh? So I began to read the article. He certainly

    began by warning about HFCS but then launched into a broader attack on fructose.

    This devolved into a “sources of fructose” and of course fruit was on that list.

    When I wrote in the comments that the China Study (CS) and the resultant 80/10/10

    Diet and others (yours included) line of thought find nothing wrong with being a

    fruitarian I was vilified with a number of angry posts, some with references.

    The notable reply to my comment came from Dr. Mercola himself in which he said that

    “After I had cared for 10,000 patients and seen the diverse needs of such a group

    then I could understand how the 80/10/10 protocol (nee CS) would not be applicable.”

    I began writing a detailed refutation of all of these comments. Then I realized

    something. While they were defending there “holy” belief system and I had intruded on

    their territory, they did not show compassion for my viewpoint: >That “maybe” a basic sugar

    in human biochemistry >fructose< was not a bad actor, and that while HFCS should be

    excluded (if you choose), fructose can not be. **Can not be.**<

    After realizing the nature of the intellectual discourse at Mercola (insular) I stopped editing and

    crafting my refutation comment.

    Mercola and Robert Young and the entire "Oil and Nuts" crowd will believe what they wish to

    believe. And it is their right to continue to believe that. It is, in the end, only their interference

    with my equal right to pursue my 25 bananas a day that would change my respect for their

    chosen way of life.

    "Everyone has an opinion and everyone is right." — Arnold Kauffman

    Take care,


    1. Alan, that’s funny. And you’re right to reserve your energies for things more productive! Only 10,000 patients? He said 25,000 patients in the anti-China-Study diatribe. Random.

  34. Message received through email:

    Good job reviewing the “dark side” . Although I get useful information from Dr M. I find that outside credentials are less and less important to me as I become my own authority based on how I feel emotionally and physically in response to what my food choices are. The closer to the sun and soil I am, the better I feel in general. And sometimes the connection with people is more important than what I eat. I like being hungry and appreciatively enjoying what is served. Jack Schwartz said something many years ago that still rings true for me. “It is not so much what I eat, as what eats me that determines my health.” The worry is worse than plant or animal or synthetic.

    I enjoy your dedication and curiosity.


  35. Message received through email:

    thanks Robyn,

    This is not the first time I have read your blog/emails. I find your well considered responses to Dr. Mercola and to other topics very balanced and without hyperbole. I’ve been consuming a quart of green smoothie almost daily for about a year now. I won’t go without it at this point. Many thanks for your voice out there on the internet. I’ve also heard you speak once in Orange County CA. I wish you continued success.

    I’ve heard Dr Mercola speak and while I too agree with him on a number of points, I find his marketing techniques, less educational and more fear driven. I have taken his ‘nutritional typing’ test recently and it left me with a lot more questions than answers. A couple of week before, a friend loaned me the metabolic typing diet book to read. It is very informative, but even the 65 question test in the book, is only a teaser to getting to the heart of a healthy diet for each individual.

    What is your thoughts about the concept of ‘fast vs. slow oxidizers’ mentioned in the book.

    Smile, Smile, Smile,

    Take a Load off for Awhile…..


  36. Message received through email:

    Hello Robyn,

    My name is Jesse and I have been a Raw Vegan for 4+ years. I have followed your newsletter for about a year and enjoy it very much.

    I just HAD to email you regarding your response to Mercola’s “discussion” of T. Colin Campbell and the The China Study.

    BRAVO ! You nailed it Robyn ! I agree with all of your very well thought out comments and the structure in which you presented it.

    Thank you for taking the time to share so eloquently what so many of us are thinking. I have also followed Mercola for several years, and have enjoyed many of his offerings and articles ………. but I must admit, I will be looking more with an eye of discernment, as it seems, especially over the last year or so his vision is being clouded.

    I too teach classes on Raw & Living Foods …. and am a supporter of encouraging folks towards a plant based diet …. and this morning, my inbox was FULL of comments from my students wondering what I thought …… Along with a few comments, I’ll be telling them that I agree with Robyn Openshaw !! Great Article Robyn !! Fantastic …..

    P.S. I am currently working with a Medical Doctor in Roswell, and we are opening in November an Integrated Medical Practice that will be unlike anything in the country. It will combine Traditional and Complimentary Medicine along with Lifestyle Classes and Training … including classes on how to transition to a plant based diet.

    Once we are open for business, and have all of our informational materials finished, I will send you our press kit, that you will be made aware of great resource in the Atlanta area.

    Thanks for all that you do …. Keep up the great work.

    Much Love,

    ~ Jesse

  37. Message received through email:

    This was a wonderful response to Mercola’s comments on The China Study. It gave me a much deeper appreciation for the person behind “greensmoothiegirl!” Thanks and keep up the good work.


  38. #

    Green Smoothie Girl Admin said,

    September 13, 2010 @ 8:35 pm

    Message received through email:

    Robyn, This was most interesting, and in my opinion,Mercola is full of boloney. I am a vegetarian, 95% vegan, and thaaks to your green smoothies, I get my vegetables. I don’t like vegetaables, but the smoothies are good . I became a vegetarian because of my relligion (Seventh Day Adventist ) and learned basic nutrition by a very respected physician who spent his entire career researching the scientific benfits of a veggie diet, and teaching others good nutrition. YOur ideals are close to his ( very varieant, but by what I have learned your principles are sound. I am not raw, but my husband and I are weaning ourselves from processed food.. Keep up the good work you do. PS if i “listened” to what my body thoght it needed ,I would be on a chocolate only diet. Ha Ha. Mary

  39. Message received through email:

    Thank you for your wonderful blog. I’m always curious about studies and discussions about health and have a girlfriend who is always keeping me on my toes about new information about health studies. My interest was definitely peaked about this particular subject and I couldn’t help but want to read the China Study for myself.

    I went ahead and picked up the book and have started reading it. So far I’m about 100 pages in and I am very interested in what I am seeing. Campbell has only just began to embark on his study in China but so far the research on the rats has my interest peaked. I’m a pretty opened minded person but I also require facts and this research so far is full of them. I have not looked at the Joe Mercola contradictions because you did a pretty decent job of debunking his claims mostly because he doesn’t give enough supporting information to back his.

    I did happen to come across a different site (when I was looking for information about the movie adaption) that was also similarly adamant about debunking Camplbell’s claims. The blog post was from a guy named Tom Naughton on a site for a movie called Fat Head which based on the pictures and the blog seems to support a diet high in meat consumption, link here.

    Regardless his claims seem pretty biased and based on personal experience with his diet (as well as he states he never read the book and never will) but he also links to a article written by Denise Minger who supposedly takes all of Campbell’s data and critiques it using her high comprehension of math and deductive reasoning and apparently finds a lot of flaws in his findings and research. I have not read it myself because I would like to read the book first and make my own conclusions before delving into a deep critique of it by someone else. I thought you might be curious to read its claims to have combed over the facts and finding flaws. Tom seems to think no intelligent Vegan will read this critique and I would like to prove him wrong having someone like you read it and comment on her findings. If you have time to check it out I would love to read what your impressions are. I’m also very interested in checking out the movie adaption of The China Study if you can keep us posted.

    Thanks again for sharing your wonderful insight, honest, intelligent opinion and personal experience with the world. I’m always working to better my life through diet and excercise and even though I sometimes struggle with the everyday roller coaster of life its always great to find guidance and support from caring people like yourself.



  40. Message received through email:

    Did you even read his article? He clearly states that this diet is good for SOME people, but not ALL people. It depends on your Nutritional Type. All people are NOT the same. There is strong evidence that many people fare very poorly on a vegan/vegetarian diet. You can’t just turn a blind eye to that in order to promote your own agenda, which is selling books and products. That is totally unethical.


  41. Message received through email:

    Dear Robin,

    Thank you so much for this intelligently written response to Dr. Mecola’s article. You made SO much sense! While I do admire Dr. Mercola and agree with many of his ideas, I have been highly skeptical as of late of many of the things he has written, and you very articulately gave me a voice as to why. I agree with all your points (I read the entire report) and you make good sense and are far more logical in my opinion. I, too, feel much, much better when my diet consists of almost entirely fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. I have more energy and vitality.

    Thanks for your well thought out comments. I look forward to more of your newsletters.



  42. Message received through email:

    Dear Robyn,

    I want to respond to your message here as relates to The China Study and
    Dr. Mercola. Generally, Dr. Mercola is well respected in the health food
    industry, however I think his analysis here is flawed. He is correct that

    The China Study is an observational study, but so are many studies. It is a
    very extensive, well designed study done by a top notch team of researchers
    over many years. They studied 6500 people over diverse parts of China and
    came up with over 8000 statistically significant associations between
    lifestyle, diet and disease.

    I do think he may have generalized a little
    far from the associations found with casein, the major milk protein, and all
    protein. Nevertheless, it is hard to ignore the results of this study and
    the associations between high protein diet and diseases ranging from cancers
    to a wide range of autoimmune diseases.

    I also found Dr. Mercola’s
    experience of moving some fruit into his breakfast and supposedly that
    causing him to have triglyceride levels of 3000 a little hard to believe. I
    have done hundreds of lipid panels and have never seen a triglyceride level
    even remotely close to that, not that it couldn’t happen.

    There may be familial illness in his case but even those people generally don’t have
    levels approaching that. Another point is that high protein, meat based
    diets have for the most part been shown to be often quite harmful. Even the
    American Heart Association agrees with that. Dr. Atkins would probably also
    agree if he were still alive.

    I do agree that one needs to listen to one’s body, but people are often
    fooled due to the very strong addictive qualities of our modern food
    industry. A great resource for that is Dr. Kessler’s book, “The End of
    Overeating”. People are very fooled into what they think they need and
    want, food-wise. Dr. Mercola’s Nutritional Typing test asks a series of
    food preferences and how people feel with various food selections. How can
    one answer those questions realistically if they have no concept what true
    organic food is and how it operates in the body? Of course, more people are
    going to associate with the higher protein diets, that is what they have
    been eating all their lives and that is what they think they need and feel
    best on. They have never been detoxified from those foods and been in touch
    with what they could feel like if they only knew.

    Keep up your good work Robyn!

    Tim M., M.D., Ph.D.

  43. Message received through email:

    Thanks Robyn!! I appreciate your factual argument. I read the China Study and it changed forever the way our family eats. I understand that you do not think soy is good for us, however I did not get that impression from reading the China Study. Do you think it is OK when it is non-gmo, and minimally processed?


    1. Stephanie, in whole-food forms, soy is not bad food. The only problem with soy is how omnipresent in the food supply it is (bags, boxes, cans–bread, soups, salad dressings, protein products, health-food store bulk bins) . . . far too many estrogens. If you are MAKING virtually all your food, some non-GMO soy shouldn’t be a problem at all!

  44. Message received through email:

    Hi Robyn,
    I don’t ususally bother to respond to these kinds of things but today I could absolutely not resist.
    I’m going to give you the “cliff notes” version of what I’d like to say.

    I was diagnosed with cancer almost two years ago. I ended up in Germany (no insurance here) for treatment and part of that treatment was traditional and part alternative.

    I survived the cancer and the treatments and I’m now healthier than I’ve been in many years.
    Why ? I took my bodies condition into my own hands and studied the problem, studied the various viable (to me) solutons and went for it. I managed my treatment(s), I determined what would be done – and not done and I survived. I have since gone about rebuilding my body to it’s current healthy state in much the same way.

    Before I go any fiurther I want to state here that a very wise physician whom I was wroking with some years ago taught me that what we do NOT put into our bodies is more important than what we DO put into them. Meaning that a clean, simple nutritious diet is far more beneficial than one that is full of aditives, extras, refined stuff, and even herbs, vitamins and all manner of “supplements”. Simple food – end of story. Unfortunately I didn’t heed his advice at the time – hence the cancer – but I never forgot it.

    When I was in Germany one of the alternative practitioners advised me to cut way back on the amounts of supplements that I had been taking. He said that Americans take way too much of the stuff and depend too heavily on it to maintain their health – another spin on the keep it simple philosophy.

    The nutrition program I adopted to build and maintain my health is the protocol developed by a German physicist named Johanna Budwig. She successfully treated cancer patients for decades. Her program made sense to me and has proved to agree with my body. Also it beautifully adapts to the Green Smoothie philosophy.

    I guess my point here is this. I believe that each of us must study, gather information, experiment and make decisions based upon our individual physiologies as to the optimum (and unique for each of us) approach to health.

    If we throw ourselves into the hands of anyone “out there” we’re asking for trouble. The claims made by many of the “guru’s” out there are so bogus I can hardly believe anyone would swallow any of it (pun intended).

    On top of all that – you Robyn have recent imperical evidence as to the benefits of your program in the form of a house full of healthy kids ! Who could argue with that ?

    Personally I’ve thought for a long time that many of the self procalimed “experts” out there have been bitten by the money bug and that’s really all they are about. All of their “studies” are slanted to sell their pills and tinctures – just like the drug companies. Sigh.

    Make me a smoothie please – I’m going to listen to my body and my body LOVES those green smoothies !

    Don’t pay any attention to the nay sayers Robyn. Don’t give them a moment of your attention. We all know what their agandas are. Well, many of us do and more are waking up every day thanks to folks like you. New thinking isn’t new at all.

    I think it was Louis Pasteur who had to campaign hard to get surgeons to wash their hands only about a hundred twenty five years ago. A quote of his: “I am utterly convinced that Science and Peace will triumph over Ignorance and War, that nations will eventually unite not to destroy but to edify, and that the future will belong to those who have done the most for the sake of suffering humanity.”

    So – we’re still a work in progress – we’re still waiting on some of his predictions to come to pass – but let’s not give up.

    Keep fighting the good fight Robyn. You are in very good company.
    Always grateful for you and your efforts, Kayt C

  45. Message received through email:

    You are mistaken about the China Study by Campbell. He is a hard core vegan and PETA member and hardly an unbiased objective source. Although I agree that it is best to eat a primarily raw high vegetable content diet, Campbell’s conclusions are biased and not valid. Just because something is popular does not make it true. Casein is demonstrated to cause increases in cancer when they are a large percentage of the diet. He erroneously concludes/extrapolates that any animal protein is the problem, (which is not supported by the data) but conveniently for his predetermined conclusion, plant protein is safe. You should check out David Getoff’s (certified nutritionist and naturopath) video on nutrition as it makes the best recommendations on diet I have seen to date, including healthy oils, vegetables, juicing, healthy proteins like organic free range eggs, antibiotic and hormone free grass fed beef, lamb, bison, Alaskan salmon all cooked as little as possible. There is something that occurs in vegans called failure to thrive. As vegetarianism is usually beneficial to most that try it for a while eventually failure to thrive occurs. There are no multigenerational (3 generations or more) healthy vegans anywhere. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration By Weston A. Price is also an excellent book based on many years of research on societies that have no health issues due to being isolated from modern processed foods. None of them are vegan. I appreciate that you are running a business and promote raw vegetarian foods for health. However exclusive veganism long term will not lead to thriving. I would recommend that you stay out of any public argument or comments on the validity of The China Study.


    1. Dear Michael, please read my writings. On this blog. In my newsletters. Nowhere have I advocated for “exclusive veganism,” and in fact very clearly and specifically and repeatedly I avoid that.

      And Campbell joined the vegans only after research led him there. He was raised on a dairy farm with lots of animal products.


  46. Message received through email:

    Dear Robyn as someone who has utilized Mercola’s intenseive diagnostics program twice in the last 10 years, practiced raw and semi raw veganism for 10 years after experimenting for 30 years. I can say YOU ARE BOTH RIGHT! we are omnivoris. Amazing human bodies capable of living off of most of good and bad nutrition. Mercola and his staff are mostly raw paleos. His comments were, we never achieved this level of health until we consumed animal protein raw. After selling 2 cases of Colin’s book in my store my comment to Mercola would be, ” you never gave a balanced raw or semi-raw vegan diet the chance to show you the amazing gift it truly is”. Keep up the good work, waste little time with the nay sayers. Mercola is also in the business of healing as we know the forests, praries, ocean, and produce department hold the key to long term health and vitality. Blessigs Rich

  47. Message received through email:

    Dear Robyn,

    I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your rebuttal to Mercola’s condemnation of The China Study and all things vegetarian!

    I’m a 67 year old guy who was introduced to the Natural Hygiene system of health care in 1976. That same year I adopted the Natural Hygiene lifestyle to the best of my ability, became a vegetarian, and quit using doctors and their drugs. That’s the year I discovered what being healthy is really all about!

    Mercola claims he tried the Fit For Life diet (which is based on Natural Hygiene) and suffered terrible consequences, saying he’d be DEAD now if he had continued on with it. BALDERDASH!!!

    I can say the exact opposite: if I had NOT followed the principles of Natural Hygiene and stuck with it (even though I fell off the Natural Hygiene wagon many times while trying to overcome some long-standing bad habits), I would be dead now! Through becoming a vegetarian, eating a raw diet and fasting, my body was able to heal itself from chronic ulcerative colitis. No medical doctors, no drugs, and no removal of the large intestine were needed! That was almost 30 years ago, and no sign of colitis has ever resurfaced. I also overcame the eczema I’d had since childhood.

    The Fit For Life book was (and probably still is) the all-time best selling book of its kind. Over the years, I’ve heard and read testimonies from so many people, attributing their health and recovery from disease to the principles laid down in that book. If Mercola were right in his assertion that it’s such a dangerous “diet”, how is it that all those people, including myself, are still alive and thriving?? How is it possible that sick people regained their health with it, while it was “killing” Mercola??

    Mercola admits he was wrong when he was following and practicing conventional medicine. I’ve got news for him: he’s wrong now about The China Study and vegetarianism, and in spite of all his “fame and celebrity”, the man still has a lot to learn.

    Best wishes to you, Robyn … keep up the excellent work!



  48. Message received through email:

    Dr. Mercola protrays himself to be an honest researcher and in his mind this is probably true. However, his basis for rejecting the information on the China study calls into question his ablilities to do anything but discuss his own intuition. He rejection is anecdodally based on his own experience of eating “only fruit” in the morning. This is hardly the diet advised by you or in the China study or by your information. In addition he rejects the research done by others in the book such as Pritikin, Ornish, McDougal, and countless others. Mercola is no titan.


  49. Message received through email:

    The primary question for me is this. Is the food clean? China is heavily polluted & has taken over Western practices of using pesticides & who knows what else. Is it meat or the poisons in the meat that make the difference. Weston Price’s research indicated that all of the healthy natives he studied around the world all had animal fats in their diets.

    Any comments?


  50. Received from LIZ, who could not get her comment to post:

    Hi Robyn,

    I had to doublecheck after you brought up Pottenger’s cats, but did verify that the diet they were fed wasn’t SAD –

    instead, Pottenger ended up finding differences between the cats that were fed raw versus cooked/pasteurized (referred to as processed in the link below) foods, which consisted of cod liver oil, meat, and milk. The interesting conclusion wasn’t in regards to the quantity of meat, but rather whether the meat and dairy had been cooked/pasteurized. The cats who ate the heated foods ended up with the serious health problems, starting with the 1st generation and continuing and progressively deteriorating through the 4th generation of cats.


    WAPFers and others (?) use this study as support for human consumption of raw milk (as opposed to pasteurized milk), and while feline dietary needs are different from human dietary needs, it is interesting to note that throughout the world, indigenous cultures have experienced excellent health consuming raw milk and meats from animals living healthy lifestyles (i.e., not commercially raised), although significantly more cultures consumed the latter than the former. 2 additional points – almost every indigenous culture in the world consumes some part of their animal protein raw, as raw meat contains vital nutrients that are lost during cooking (I think B vitamins maybe?).

    Additionally, different cultures thrive on different quantities of animal protein – dictated by what options are available to them (for example,a large majority of the indigenous Alaskan Eskimo diet was animal protein and fat).

    To me, the issue seems to be quality – this applies to all food sources, but seems to be particularly important when considering meat sources. The quantity of meat is whatever is necessary to maintain good health, and this may vary from person to person, and again I don’t feel this is always evident in the short term. I don’t necessarily subscribe to Mercola’s food type, I haven’t even read it. I am suspicious of food fads, however, which I think it would be hard to argue that the raw food movement isn’t a fad at this point –

    I don’t mean to ruffle any feathers by this statement, just that the raw, vegan diet is very popular, and I don’t know of any solid evidence (i.e., the health of cultures that have been practicing this diet for hundreds of years) that can prove that this type of eating has excellent short term and long term health benefits, through multiple generations.

    Perhaps if I dug into Weston Price information I could find a culture that ate mostly raw, and while Robyn I hear you that you aren’t advocating true vegan, which sets you probably a bit apart from most raw foodists, I still am hesitant to feel comfortable with a 5% meat recommendation as a one size fits all for every population. I think this could be particularly inappropriate for expecting and nursing mothers, but everyone needs to do their own research.

    I realize I have included all sorts of “information” in here that I didn’t cite – sorry, I don’t normally post to blogs just because of time, but this is a topic I am really passionate about, and I am, again, really, really worried about the reproductive health of our generation and our children’s generation. Robyn – I agree, I am also worried about overconsumption of meat, and how that relates to reproductive health, but I guess to me it is primarily an issue of quality again. We can’t expect to have good health, or good health for our children, if the animals we consume had poor health and poor living conditions.

    Robyn, I am really interested to know if you have dug into Weston Price – his studies were latitudinal (studying many different cultures, worldwide), rather than the China Study’s longitudinal, however it is important to note that the cultures Weston Price studied, were indigenous, and had eaten basically the same diet for hundreds, if not thousands of years. And interestingly, the animal protein varied between cultures, based on what was available (back then, for those cultures, the quality was not an issue). Weston Price looked for different aspects to determine health, and always came to the same conclusion. We all agree about the processed foods – the SAD is bad for everyone. But he also found that some portion of the diet HAD to include some sort of animal protein – fish, meat, cheese, bugs, grasshoppers, slugs – or individuals would suffer a variety of health problems (including reproductive).

    Sorry for rambling on and on, again, but this topic is so important.

    Blessings to all.

  51. Liz, I will have to talk about WAPF another time rather than burying it here. But yes, Pottenger’s studies are very old and weren’t “SAD” at least how we know it here–I should have said COOKED and RAW.

    (I blogged about this study quite a long time ago, if anyone cares to search for it.)

    I don’t necessarily think 5% animal protein is a one-size-fits-all for everyone. But those who ate this much lower animal-protein diet were much healthier than those who ate 20%.

    Quality has to be part of it. There’s a huge difference between range fed, truly organic chickens or eggs, and a chicken nugget!

  52. The China Study IS flawed, and another poster has provided the link to Denise’s critique, so I don’t need to. There is no one way of eating that works for everyone. DH & I have read the Metabolic typing book and it is the one that makes the most sense to us. I happen to be a protein type, as I thrive on proteins and he is a carbo type. We eat as raw as possible, have a medium garden this year, which will expand next year and perhaps some chickens can be added; we use raw meats from quality vendors at our local farmers market and we pay attention to the quality of the veggies we buy – we go for local and organic as much as possible. There is no one size fits all diet – we come from many cultures in this country, and all those cultures developed dietary regimes built on what was available over time in their area. That is why the metabolic typing made sense to us, as it takes into account ones background and is working very well for both of us.

  53. Ricard, you nailed it, I agree that Mercola is saying choose what works for your body. I tried a 100% RAW diet, I looked pregnant, my body could not break down all of the raw food nor absorb the nutrients, it was not working. I have to do what I call RAW fusion and I love it! Also, Robyn since we are on the subject of Mercola what is your stance on agave aka HFCS and alkaline water being over rated, I am so confused?

    1. Alisha, I addressed Mercola’s agave comments on this blog several months ago, and the blog is searchable.

      As for the alkaline water newsletter he just sent, I have a response written, so watch the blog. I am fact checking with a couple of experts. Thanks for your patience, but I will address it.

  54. All he said was that we should listen to our bodies. Some people need animal protein and some don’t. I am one of those individuals who need animal protein. I can not live on a plant and nuts based diet.

    I honestly don’t see anything wrong in what he said; unless of course we’re looking for some kind of controversial to call attention to ourselves.


  55. Is the quality of what you eat more important than what you eat? Nope, they’re both critical.

    You can have an organic plant or animal that are very nutritionally deficient.

    For example, plants do no make Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin). Cobalt is needed in the soil for a plant to pick it up. The plant is consumed by an animal that has bacteria that will produce vitamin B12. Bacteria have the enzymes required for its production. Lets say for example, a cow eats grass that contains no cobalt. The bacteria will not produce Vitamin B12. It’s impossible. Grass fed cattle are the healthiest cattle if the pasture is a healthy pasture. It must have a full spectrum of minerals and a thriving subterranean community. There must be a healthy symbiosis between all the microorganisms, fungus, nematodes, worms, beetles, etc.

    Another cattle example is that CLA is among many other things, a cancer fighting agent. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conjugated_linoleic_acid) Grain fed cattle do not have CLA in their flesh or milk. Grass fed cattle on healthy pastures are full of it. The cattle are healthy and can pass healthy properties on the the consumer. In the winter, milk products do not have the benefits of being pasture fed. Dried hay and alfalfa do not have the same properties as a healthy green pasture.

    Whatever plants or animals are consumed, make sure they are optimized. I heard many years ago and fully believe that “Take care of the little things (microorganisms) and the big things (macroorganisms – people) take care of themselves.”

    As far as Mercola goes, I was excited at first thinking he would provide me with objective health information. It soon became obvious that his objectives were motivated by the next commission driven product more than anything.

    Thanks Robyn

  56. Robyn, I truly appreciate your well-written article and the way it has stimulated interesting discussion.

    I do have to say that I am another one of those people who seem to do better on plenty of meat, fish, healthy fats, and no grains at all. I didn’t try a high-vegetable-and-fruit diet for just three weeks, as Dr. M did, I followed the McDougall diet religiously for 11 months. Lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, starches, hardly any fat. I gained weight (probably because I was hungry all the time) and my energy levels were quite uneven.

    It’s funny that you say the Atkins diet has made lots of people obese and unhealthy, when until I started a more paleolithic-type diet, I felt better on the Atkins diet, had better energy levels, and stayed slimmer than I had on any of the other diets I have tried in my life. I now have advanced to what I consider a better diet plan (see “Primal Blueprint”), which, like your articles, prescribes whole foods and lots of vegetables, but also a fair amount of protein and fat for weight loss and smooth energy levels. There is no dairy and there are no grains and no sugar to be found in this diet, which I think is key to its success for me.

    I do agree with very much of what you say… except that I think whole grains cause inflammation, and I am hoping that avoiding them (and dairy and legumes) will help with my autoimmune disease.

    Again, thank you for your splendid article, and I appreciate the work you are doing to help everyone discover nutritional truths.

  57. It seems to me that we all need to be very careful here. There is not a single study in the world that can 100% prove that one nutritional idea is the end all be all, until you follow many people from birth to death. I believe in sound nutrition and I think most people do. I just think we need to be careful about throwing stones and thinking our way is the only way. I have seen so many people become extreme in their eating choices that it carried over into other aspects of their lives. It then makes you question their over all sanity. This has led to isolation and other weird behavior.

    I don’t know why this is, but people who live a vegetarian lifestyle or similar seem to always feel they have to justify their lifestyle to others. Why is this? Go live the way you want and let others do the same. If you get attacked leave it alone, it won’t change your belief system, retaliatating just makes you come off as more elitist. That is what I am getting from this blog post. You attack a medical doctor because he has an opinion. He did do studies just like the other guy, it just so happens his conclusions were different. If everyone would have ignored him it wouldn’t have gotten this much publicity.

    I think everyone needs to be careful who they follow, and what they are telling people who follow them. I know a lady who was diagnosed with Cancer and decided to continue her vegan lifestyle and take herbs. Guess what she died. If she had gotten the proper medical care she may have lived because it was found early on. This is what living extremes and thinking you know everything get you. Most people who get sick get many opinions I don’t see how this is any different. Take it all with a grain of salt and live the way you are comfortable with. Then don’t get offended when others choose a different path. Believe me you can find flaws in any study, especially if you really want to and it serves your purpose and makes you money.

  58. Did anyone see the remake of “War of the Worlds” with Tom Cruise, Tim Robbins & others. Well remember how the aliens captured humans, extracted their blood & I’m not sure if they ate them or not. But while watching that movie I thought that is the same way we treat our animals. It’s disgusting. And the consequences of that is while we are killing them fast, they are killing us slowly. The reason so many people are taking statins for high cholesterol is because the cholesterol is clogging our blood vessels from eating animals. The point is our liver makes the cholesterol we need & if we ate a “garden of eve” type diet, we wouldn’t be so sick. I think Dr. Mercola is not doing human kind a good service with his recommendations. Remember Dr. Campbell was raised on a farm & he wholeheartedly believed in our brainwashed way of feeding our bodies. His change of heart was a result of the research he conducted. We’re no better than cannibals because most of the animals we eat want to live as much as we do. Would you eat your dog?

  59. I completely agree with Patricia. Live and let live; we are all different. I never heard of DR. Mercola until all the attacks on this newsletter.

    Just because we have one believe doesn’t mean all should follow it.


  60. What you were saying sounds right on to me. Thanks for being sensible and logical about your work. You are a great example and help to many! Thanks! Sarah

  61. It was with much interest, disbelief, and disappointment that we read the article and watched the video recently published by Joseph Mercola, M.D., who warned the public against alkaline, ionized water. We read with interest because of the torrent of e-mails we received from countless, upset people who felt betrayed by Dr. Mercola. We read with disbelief as Dr. Mercola offered numerous unsupported and poorly researched opinions, made many misstatements, and contradicted much of his own writing – past and present. We have noticed that Dr. Mercola’s articles have become, over time, increasingly negative and fearful. More and more, his articles seem to sacrifice true research in preference to making a sale or a point.

    This “natural health guru,” who once sprinkled fresh life over a desert of failed drug-based health options, has appeared to sell out and become the very thing against which he railed.

    Plain and simple, Dr. Mercola is a marketing machine… and a questionable one at that. A 2006 BusinessWeek editorial criticized Dr.

    Mercola’s marketing practices as “relying on slick promotion, clever use of information, and scare tactics.” [1] The Weston A. Price Foundation stated, “Mercola’s official pronouncement is a strange mixture of true statements and illogical sequelae, conflicting reasoning and unexplained omissions.” [2]

    Since the advent of his “brand,” Dr. Mercola has been one of the most outspoken voices against the establishment and questionable efficacy of the double-blind study. Yet now, because it suits him, Dr. Mercola has fallen on his own sword by contradicting the very credo upon which his sales machine was built.

    Among his many put-downs on medical research, he recently (on May 22, 2010 – only three and half months ago) wrote a particularly vehement attack.[3] In this article, he states, among other things, that, “Science-based medicine is a ruse,” “Published studies are likely to be seriously flawed,” “Natural therapies are at a disadvantage in this flawed system,” and finally, “If an alternative treatment has not been published in a medical journal it does not mean that it is unsafe or ineffective.” Now he calls alkaline, ionized water “snake oil on tap”

    because, “Scientific justification for these water systems is absent.”

    Which way is it Doctor?

    Further, Dr. Mercola sells products on his own website that lack scientific justification. What research does he provide for the efficiency and safety of his tanning bed; especially in light of a recent FDA report that states, “Tanning beds are now shown to cause skin cancer, skin burns, premature skin aging, and eye damage (both short and long-term).”[4] What double blind studies does he have in support of his extensive line of vitamins, minerals, herbal treatments, and plethora of other products? What research does he have to support the “high amount of calcium” he recommends in his Multivitamin Plus, which he claims “supports the skeletal system”?

    In the video, Dr. Mercola implores us each to don our “logic” and put “your natural thinking cap on.” Does he take us for fools? The video and article contain so many unsupported opinions, poor research, misstatements, and contradictions that it would take a voluminous tome to address them all! Let’s examine some facts, some of the fiction he proposes, and straighten out some of his egregious misstatements.

    Fact, fiction, or slick marketing? Dr. Mercola plays BOTH sides of the marketing fence – specifically to suit his shifting needs. Dr. Mercola, in his article, praises the cancer research of Robert Gilles, who uses highly acidic compounds to attack cancer cells and concludes, “Scientists who are in the process of developing prototypes for potential new anticancer agents that selectively kill tumor cells by interfering with the regulation of intracellular pH, have found that alkaline treatments do NOT have the desired effect-but strongly acidic treatments do.” Thus, Dr. Mercola uses a very pro-acidic treatment as proof of the inefficiency and even danger of using a pro-alkaline approach.

    But wait! In another internet article,[5] he praises an alternative method being practiced by Tulio Simoncini, a medical doctor from Italy.

    Dr. Simoncini injects tumors with highly alkaline sodium bicarbonate to kill the cancer cells. Dr. Mercola stated, “Unfortunately, Dr. Simoncini is yet another brilliant doctor who has been ousted from the medical community due to his revolutionary simple ideas of how to cure profit-making diseases.” See footnote [6] for some of Dr. Simoncini’s research.

    Fact: Dr. Mercola tries to appear as if he has an absolute answer on alkaline water when all he really does is side with the establishment (when it is convenient for him) to make his point and sell his wares.

    The fact is that the jury is out on the cause of cancer and the effectiveness of treatments.

    Fact: Dr. Mercola, in his article, states, “I can assure you that I would never use alkaline water as a regular source of water.” Yet, in a popular internet article [7] called Early Death comes from Drinking Distilled Water, Dr. Mercola states, “The ideal water for the human body should be alkaline and this requires the presence of minerals like calcium and magnesium.”

    Fiction: Dr. Mercola states, “There are very, very few legitimate, scientific studies about the effects of alkaline water on human health.”

    Fact: There are many university studies on various aspects and effects of alkaline, ionized water on human health. There are approximately 75 years of Russian research, 30 years of Japanese research, and 20 years of Korean research. All three governments have done extensive research.

    Please see footnote [8] for the list of Japanese research that has, to date, been translated into English. That the studies weren’t performed in the U.S. should give Dr. Mercola confidence; since, as he points out himself, the drug companies control much of the medical research done in the U.S. The fact is that Dr. Mercola has done poor research on this subject.

    Fiction: Dr. Mercola states, “And if you drink alkaline water all the time, you’re going to raise the alkalinity of your stomach, which will buffer your stomach’s acidity and impair your ability to digest food as low stomach acid is one of the most common causes of ulcers. This can open the door for parasites in your small intestine, and your protein digestion may suffer.”

    Fact: Ben Johnson M.D., D.O., N.M.D. states, “I have performed hundreds of gastroscopes. The stomach is normally empty. When you drink water without food the water moves through the stomach in a fairly rapid fashion into the small intestine where it is absorbed, not really affecting the mucous lining of the stomach nor the pH of that mucous.

    After years of research into the effects from drinking alkaline water, I am yet to see any causal relationship between alkaline water and parasite or digestion issues. In fact, there is a plethora of Asian research that shows the opposite.”

    Fiction: Dr. Mercola incorrectly states, “If you really want to alkalinize your body, it would seem wise to encourage it with the highest quality water possible, which is obtained from vegetable juice.”

    Fact: Ben Johnson M.D., D.O., N.M.D. states, “I know Dr. Mercola sells some juicers, so I guess it is good for him. Let’s be clear-juice is food. Basic biochemistry shows that the digestive system processes juice and water differently. Juicing is a great way to get nutrients – not H2o. If you want hydration then you need to drink water. I recommend that it be slightly alkaline so that you get the magnesium and potassium ions which are so healthy.”

    Fiction: Dr. Mercola states that ionizers are sold by making “astonishing health claims” and “unsubstantiated health claims,”

    including that they “cure cancer.”

    Fact: To date, IonWays has never received any warning from the FDA for its marketing or that of its representatives and has never claimed that ionizers cure cancer.

    Fact: Dr. Mercola has received two warning letters from the FDA for marketing nutritional products in a manner which violated the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. [9] [10]

    Fiction: Mercola states, “The fact that most water ionizers and alkalizers are being marketed by multi-level marketing (MLM) companies with less than stellar ethics.”

    Fact: There are 100s of companies in the U.S. selling water ionizers and approximately ten importers. Only three companies sell through MLM. The “ethical” statement borders on libel, but rather than pursue this legally, I personally invite Dr. Mercola to call me directly and find out about how IonWays does business, our ethics (compliance policies), and our charitable giving.

    Fiction: The “expert” in his video, Mr. Houston Tomasz, states that the ionizer industry “will not be around for very long.”

    Fact: Ionized water has been consumed in Japan since the early 1970s without any known contraindications. It has been sold and consumed in the U.S. since approximately 1995. It is estimated that about one in every six households in Japan now use a water ionizer, and one household in eight in Korea.

    Fiction: Mr. Tomasz states, “When you [MLM companies] are selling a product that 10 people get a commission on, it’s expensive.”

    Fact: I have run the sales for both MLM and a traditional business selling the Emco Tech product line-up. I would make a personal invitation to Dr. Mercola and challenge him to a “transparent”

    accounting review – his company and our company with results to be published. If you research, you will see that IonWays sells its industry-leading model for approximately the same price as all the other leading models, dispelling this notion. It is clearly not marked up to the level of the Enagic TM SD501 at $4,000.

    Fiction: Dr. Mercola states, “These consumers have merely fallen under the spell of a skilled [MLM] marketer who selectively misused pseudoscientific information, and twisted it around to scare them into buying their product.”

    Fact: Dr. Mercola is doing a great disservice to the hundreds of thousands of network marketers that dedicate their lives to helping others help themselves. The fact is that Direct Sales is one of the fastest growing segments of the global economy – especially during a downturn. Our Associates represent IonWays and their loyalty and passion is supported by a Compliance Department that makes sure all marketing efforts are compliant. As in any business model, there are sales representatives who will, at times, act out-of-line. When they do, they are appropriately reprimanded.

    Neither IonWays nor its Independent Associates misuse the existing science. I have personally presented the science behind our ionizers in front of hundreds of medical professionals of all types, and have never had anyone take issue with the statements I made. In the end, we are no more guilty than Dr. Mercola himself for using the available research and theories to support our beliefs.

    Most importantly, IonWays does not “scare” its customers-unlike the fear-based tactics employed by some internet marketers. IonWays’

    approach is to give out our product FOR FREE to allow the customer to make up his own mind. I invite the good doctor to come join one of our presentations and see for himself.

    Fact: The “expert” in the video, Mr. Houston Tomasz, is a V.P. for Sun Water Systems, Inc. (http://www.aquasana.com), which is a major player in the water filtration products industry. Dr. Mercola did not offer any certifications or credentials held by Mr. Tomasz that would qualify him as an “expert.” Certainly not an unbiased one.

    Fiction: Dr. Mercola states that, “Water ionizers are NOT filters.” Both he and Mr. Tomasz make similar statements in the video, including much discussion about lack or misuse of certifications.

    Fact: The IonWays Biostone Plus is manufactured in the USA with NSF certified components. The nine-stage Biostone Plus incorporates catalytic carbon, KDF, and multiple sediment filters between stages to remove the suspended solids of one micron or greater. The IonWays Athena is a dual filter model offering you the ability to have 18 separate barriers to treatment. We offer many pretreatments. IonWays does not claim its electrical certifications relate to the water.

    Fiction: Dr. Mercola incorrectly states, “I don’t think you are going to find naturally occurring alkaline water.”

    Fact: Most of the U.S. municipal tap water supplies are alkaline due to the fact that they are hard water. Further, there are many sources of naturally occurring, higher pH/low ORP water. One such example here in the US is the water from Trinity Springs in Paradise, Idaho. It is well documented that Trinity Water exits the ground at pH 9.4 to 9.6 with a -150mv ORP. There are others…

    Fact: Dr. Mercola lauds Dr. Masaru Emoto’s work on water crystals and states, “The healing water sources formed beautiful and complex crystalline geometries.”


    Fact: IonWays Emco Tech technology has been photographed by Dr. Emoto and was shown to have a beautiful and complex crystalline geometry (right). See the footnote to refer to the authorization number from the Hado Institute [11].

    Fact: Dr. Mercola states, “In the near future, I [Dr. Mercola] will post a comprehensive review of water filters.” Dr. Mercola already sells a competing water filtering system.[12]

    These iterations of fact or fiction cover only a small portion of egregious statements. As off-base as the article was, we are even more surprised that Dr. Mercola allowed the video to be published. In the end, his expert makes statements in the video that actually support the cornerstone principles behind alkaline ionized water. Mr. Tomasz states, “I personally believe alkaline is better, I like a pH above 7,” and, “Alkaline water is optimal because by definition you cannot have free radicals in an alkaline environment” …yet they talk in the video and the article about ionizer salespeople confusing the customer!

    So who is the real Dr. Mercola? You be the judge. In the May 2006 BusinessWeek editorial referenced above, columnist David Gumpert opined:

    “Mercola gives the lie to the notion that holistic practitioners tend to be so absorbed in treating patients that they aren’t effective businesspeople. While Mercola on his site seeks to identify with this image by distinguishing himself from ‘all the greed-motivated hype out there in health-care land,’ he is a master promoter, using every trick of traditional and Internet direct marketing to grow his business. He is selling health-care products and services, and is calling upon an unfortunate tradition made famous by the old-time, snake oil salesmen of the 1800s.”

    It’s our bet that Dr. Mercola’s recently published article and video warning against alkaline, ionized water were nothing more than “slick promotion” as BusinessWeek pointed out. We believe his forthcoming review will undoubtedly and inevitably steer you toward a specific water product or products. Then, in conjunction with these two publications, Dr. Mercola will have positioned himself to come across as the “unbiased voice of reason” the “dispeller of pseudo-science” and the “provider of unbiased truth.” The reality will be that (just as he does with the other 100+ products he sells or otherwise endorses) he is pulling the strings to steer many trusting readers to products for which he will receive some form of compensation, either directly or behind the scenes.

    He gets it both ways.

    I personally find Dr. Mercola’s approach sad and disheartening. We invite anyone who reads this article to talk with those who have personally consumed and benefitted from alkaline ionized water – many for upwards of 10 or 15 years. Better yet, we invite you to try it for yourself and see – for free. We ask that you let your body be the final judge. It is not by marketing that we will change the state of health in the U.S. It will be through a grass roots movement of people who empirically know alkaline, ionized water works. Regardless of what Dr.

    Joe Mercola says.

    In good health,


    President | IonWays, LLC

    “Our water changes everything!”

    *References omitted for space by GSG Admin

  62. I am coming to realize that there are 2 constants to disease prevention: the amount of fresh produce you eat and the amount of exercise you include in your lifestyle. If you feel you must eat animal protein for best health, go for it, but keep in mind what you are eating and how much: be mindful of portions, keep the protein lean, keep it clean, don’t exceed your body’s calorie requirements and make sure you get 7-10 servings of fruit and veggies. I myself feel my best when I include small amounts of animal protein on a daily basis, mostly highly quality eggs and organic cultured dairy products, and the occasional small serving of chicken breast, and grass-fed beef or buffalo. This ensures I get enough B-12 in my diet for my best energy levels. If you are a strict vegetarian or rarely eat animal protein, then you MUST take a broad spectrum B-12 supplement. B-12 deficiency is a serious matter, and causes fatigue, nail disease, pernicious anemia, chest pain, and dizziness. Your red blood cells depend on B-12 for healthy reproduction.

    Our nation’s health crisis isn’t, necessarily, because of our consumption of animal protein, but because we generally eat WAY too many calories during the day (about 1000 more calories than what we realistically need), and we do not use those calories during our daily routine! We also do not eat nearly enough produce to ward off disease and to keep our cholesterol levels in check.

    Eat your fruits and veggies, keep your foods as whole and natural as possible, don’t eat too much, exercise daily, and you will have life long good health. Simple advice really.

  63. Hi Green Smoothie Girl,

    I have been reading and re-reading because I am at this point so confused I don’t know which way to turn. I have been on the vegetarian then vegan and about 70% raw for about 6 years. Originally I eliminated meats and kept dairy and eggs I began gaining weight slowly. Then I added whole grains and legumes but still more weight gain and increasingly less energy. I thought I must not be doing this right and continued to search and learn. Next step was to eliminated all processed foods, check for high fructose corn syrup in everything, eliminate sugars etc. I added good fats like coconut oil, nuts and seeds. I even eliminated plastic containers, dishes and cups in the kitchen replacing them with glass and BPA free alternatives. I got a Vitamix and learned to make green smoothies and even went months with raw soups at night. I still drink green smoothies in the morning for breakfast (every morning) and eat many fruits and veggies barely any eggs or dairy and whole grains, nuts etc but I have been obese for the last 4 years. Of the 6 years eating progressively better according to vegetarian/vegan/raw foodies I am getting nowhere in my weight issues and having increasing issues with energy, aches and pains etc. I started this journey weighing 118 pounds at 5′ 1″ and now am around 200 lbs Absurd as I can tell with such a diet but the fact. Yes I do indulge once in a while say monthly (especially as the years progressed with no improvement on these issues) but nowhere near enough to cause this kind of weight gain.

    When I saw Mercola’s article and nutritional typing plan I thought maybe that has been my problem and maybe I need to try this way out. Now I see your article and am back to feeling unsure what to do. I see all the plant based diet advocates talk about how healthy one will feel and weight loss etc but that has not been my case and it is getting very confusing and scary because I feel my health being jeopardized. I was thinking that perhaps I am lacking in the proteins and calcium my body requires but to add more nuts and seeds at their high calories and fat with my current weight scares me. Everyone of the experts in nutrition and plant based diets has a financial investment in what they advocate. So how can those of us whose health truly depends on it know what to believe or who to trust?


    God Bless


  64. I have no idea why so many people think Dr. Campbell is hell bent on turning people into 100% vegans. I read the book and I did not get that impression at all. I felt like what he was saying was to incorporate a lot of different plant foods into our diet. Now I understand it’s due to Dr. Mercola and his ilk.


  65. i applaud everything said above – is the epitome of what he purports to be against – the largest online newsletter selling nutritional supplements for plenty of money for his pockets….his newsletters were 3 x week now 5 x week and are so full of advertising and hype i don’t know why i haven’t unsubscribed i think now is the time….i am right behind colin campbell perhaps i dobn’th av ethe scientific/medical knowledge it takes to critique but his credentials and the noteworthy names of eminent scholars supporting his research is undeniably valid….

  66. Dr Mercola has grown to be a big business. It is unfortunate that his views are now obscured by that fact.

    Dr Campbell’s study confirms what 6 million years old DNA has proven: Humans are vegans. It is because of our omnivorous this that we have so many diseases.

    ( see: Beyond Bones and Stones in the web, that explains this)

    Campbells’ study encompasses 600 million Chinese statistics in his diet, the most massive human research study ever done. How can one argue with such massive work, that included clinical trials for a span of 30 years? Our organisms can’t process such foods. In more recent times, we already see how due to wrong diet, ( see study of Pharaohs ) 7 mummies were studied by CAT scan, and show they suffered from arteriosclerosis. Others show they had gall stones. That study concludes they, being wealthy could afford animal products. The poor did not, and consequently did not have any such diseases. Same results as THE CHINA STUDY.

    Bill Clinton has decided to follow his advise, and so did I. My Cholesterol was 240 now it is 140!

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