(1) In Vilhjalmur Stefansson's book _Cancer Disease of Civilization_ 1960;
Hill and Wang, New York, NY. it points out that Stanislaw Tanchou "....gave
the first formula for predicting cancer risk. It was based on grain
consumption and was found to accurately calculate cancer rates in major
European cities. The more grain consumed, the greater the rate of cancer."
Tanchou's paper was delivered to the Paris Medical Society in 1843. He also
postulated that cancer would likewise never be found in hunter-gatherer
populations. This began a search among the populations of hunter-gatherers
known to missionary doctors and explorers. This search continued until WWII
when the last wild humans were "civilized" in the Arctic and Australia. No
cases of cancer were ever found within these populations, although after
they adopted the diet of civilization, it became common.
(2) More recently Bruce Aimes of U.C. Berkeley published a series of
articles on cancer causation in the journal Science (#236,238,240) one of
which (in#238,Dec 18,1987) is titled "Paleolithic Diet, Evolution and
(3) Then there is this study: Franceschi S, et.al; "Intake of
macronutrients and risk of breast cancer" Lancet 1996;347(9012):1351-6.
This study was done in the Italian population which having a low awareness
of diet and cancer issues there is less scope for recall bias. They found
the risk of breast cancer decreased with increasing total fat intake
whereas the risk increased with increasing intake of available carbohydrates.
(4) Then we have Lutz, W.J., "The Colonisation of Europe and Our Western
Diseases", Medical Hypotheses, Vol. 45, pages 115-120, 1995. Dr. Lutz, in
the face of epidemiological studies that failed to support the current
belief that fat intake was at the root of coronary disease and cancer, has
done his own explorations of epidemiological data. His findings show a
clear, inverse relationship between these civilisatory diseases and the
length of time the people of a given region of Europe have had to adapt to
the high carbohydrate diet associated with the cultivation of cereal grains
that was begun in the Near East, and spread very slowly through Europe.
(5) Apparently cancer LOVES carbohydrates. Conversely, a low-carb/hi-fat
diet seems to slow tumor growth. Experiments using Low-Carb to Treat Cancer:
(6) And finally: Key et al., BMJ 313:775 (1996) found that the breast
cancer mortality ratio of vegetarians was significantly greater (1.65) than
that for health-conscious nonvegetarians. While this higher mortality might
be attributable to a higher proportion of vegetarian women that have never
had children, there certainly is no evidence that vegetarianism helped at all.
The overall mortality ratio was slightly higher for vegetarians (1.07) than
for nonvegetarians in this group of uniformly health-conscious people, but
not significantly so. The mortality ratio for the group as a whole was half
that of the general population, showing the beneficial effects of their
The only dietary practice found to result in a significant reduction in
mortality from specific diseases was eating fresh fruit daily.
In case you were going to invoke the genetic fallacy as a rebuttal, two of
the authors note that they are members of the Vegetarian Society UK.