Sunday, August 15, 2010

Reductionism and Holism Go Hand in Hand

by Chris Masterjohn

In a new blog over at WestonAPrice.Org, I argue that reductionism and holism are not at conflict with each other unless they are used improperly, and that for science and any other type of problem-solving we must use both of them together.

I also provide a critical analysis of a recent study that used a "holistic" form of "dietary pattern analysis" to purportedly show that intakes of vitamin B12 and organ meats promote Alzheimer's disease.

You can find the post here:

Reductionism and Holism Go Hand in Hand

Read more about the author, Chris Masterjohn, here.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Dr. Campbell Warns Vegetarians About the Dangers of Plant Fat

by Chris Masterjohn

Interestingly enough, a top-ranking Google Video in a search for "China Study," posted five years ago, shows Dr. T. Colin Campbell, author of The China Study, warning vegetarians about the dangers of plant fat. 

Here's the lower-ranking YouTube version, since I'm having trouble embedding the Google version:

There are two interesting parts within the above video. The first occurs 19 minutes and 18 seconds into it. At that point, Dr. Campbell acknowledges that he could have approached the China Study in numerous ways and looked for other dietary patterns besides "plant versus animal," but nevertheless went on to look for associations between animal foods and disease.

What about other nutrients other than animal protein? Are there dietary patterns here? Getting away from this thing about single nutrients and get on into a broader view of the field, if you will, maybe animal-based foods versus plant-based foods – that’s one way to divide it up. I mean, I should suggest for your thinking there’s another way too, and that’s talking about whole, natural foods, if you will, as opposed to breaking the foods up and making, you know, things like sugar and fat all by itself. But, so, this is one way – just animal versus plant-based foods.
He then goes on to state that he went on to conduct the China Study with deep concerns about the role of animal protein in causing disease.
Then 29 minutes into the video, Dr. Campbell warns this group of vegetarians about the dangers of consuming plant fats:
We made a mistake 20 or 30 years ago in focusing on fat. It wasn’t animal fat. In fact we have evidence now to suggest that maybe the polyunsaturated fats of plants are more problematic in causing tumor growth than the animal fats. But – big but – this only occurs when total fat intake is high. So it raises questions about high-fat diets, quite frankly. So it’s animal-based foods, not fat.
As Denise Minger recently brought to light, Dr. Campbell's animal experiments showed that any complete protein, regardless of whether it came from animal or plant sources, promoted cancer equally well under the experimental conditions he used. 

So by "animal-based foods," Dr. Campbell apparently means any complete protein, wether it is from animal or plant foods, and polyunsaturated plant fat. He may have had a point when he stated ten minutes earlier in the video that he could have looked for other dietary patterns besides animal versus plant food.

Read more about the author, Chris Masterjohn, PhD, here.