Updated: May 26
Chapter Eight in Whole is part one of our deep dive into the world of Genetics versus Nutrition. This chapter, and the next (part two), will challenge us as we come to learn how much power we actually have over our health and wellness. Genetics or Hereditary? The difference can be thought of as Inevitability or Responsibility?
We would like to share with you here various excerpts from chapter seven this week from Dr Campbell's work. We hope you find it thought provoking and perhaps give you pause to reclaim the power you have within you to create a life of wellness.
Excerpts from Whole by Dr T Colin Campbell
"As with Nutrition, the discipline of genetics is unimaginably complex. This complexity has not filtered down to the public. Most of the population fends to think of genes as relatively fixed entities that cause us to look and function and behave in particular ways. The truth is far more interesting." (page 111)
"... relatively short segments of the DNA base sequence, called genes, are transcribed into comparable RNA sequences, which translate, in turn, into sequences of amino acids that are used to make proteins. These proteins then provide the structure and function of cells, acting as enzymes, hormones, and structural units. It is through the activity of these proteins that DNA manifests its destiny ... Every point in this process may be influenced by body biochemistry, diet, physical activity, medication, mood, and just about every other variable you can think of. Not only that: the so-called stages of genetic expression influence one another, too, feeding information backward and forward in an endlessly complex series of loops." (page 114)
"Now that the elementary particles of nutrition had been found and catalogued, nutrition scientists believed, whole foods need not be eaten. Human beings could get everything they needed from pills, and hunger and malnutrition would be banished to the distant past." (page 118)
"Do we simply accept the cards dealt to us, or do we consider the possibility that we can control our own destiny? If our health trajectory is mostly predetermined by our genes, then there's no point in trying to be healthy. If our choices trump the cards we were dealt at birth, then there's a reason fur us to do what we can to achieve and maintain health ...In contrast, there is an alternative belief system to genetic determinism that I call nutritional determinism, wherein nutrition controls the expression of genes to cause health or disease outcomes, by turning on health genes and suppressing disease genes ... And this is the belief system to which, based on my years of research and that of others, I subscribe." (pages 121 - 123)
Dr Campbell's final thought in the chapter (pages 123 - 124)
"Genes are the starting point for health and disease events; they are the 'nature' part of the equation. But it is nutrition and other lifestyle factors, the 'nurture part', that control whether and how these gens are expressed. The influence of nurture (i.e., nutrition) has far more influence on health and disease outcome than nature (i.e., genes).
A belief in genetic determinism suggests that our future health and disease events are already predestined at birth and that, as we age, we simply move from one disease benchmark to another according to the genetic blueprint we inherited at conception. This encourages the impression that there is little or nothing that we can do to prevent serious diseases like cancer. In contrast, the belief that cancer and related diseases are dependent on nutritional practices can encourage a sense of hope and lead to healthier behavior." (pages 123 - 124)
We thank Dr Campbell for all he has done and continues to do for us all in this world trying to live a plant-centric lifestyle, searching for optimal health and wellness and for always sharing his own authentic self.
If you are interested in joining our explorations of Whole with our 6D Book Club, where we dig deep into these ideas each week on zoom and learn how they impact our own lives, you are welcome to join us - simply click here to register today!
Registrations close on 31 May 2023.
Whole by T. Colin Campbell, PhD is an eye-opening, paradigm-changing journey through cutting-edge thinking on nutrition, a scientific tour de force with powerful implications for our health and for our world.
"The first problem for all us , men and women, is not learn but to unlearn."
- Gloria Steinem
"In the China Study, T. Colin Campbell revolutionized the way we think about our food with the evidence that a shole food, plant-based diet is the healthiest way to eat. Now, in Whole, he explains the science behind that evidence, the ways our current scientific paradigm ignores the fascinating complexity of the human body, and why, if we have such overwhelming evidence that everything we think we know about nutrition is wrong, our eating habits haven't changed."