I made it thirty pages! Thirty pages before I threw the book to the ground and walked away with my hands in the air saying, “That’s it, I’m done”. The book in question was picked up at my local discount book store and is named 'The pH Miracle'. It had a recommended retail price of £9.99 but was being sold for £2.99, yet even at this vastly reduced price I felt that the universe had become unbalanced because I was funding the authors. Soon after attempting to read it, I therefore made a donation to my local museum, just to bring some balance back to the Force.
The book is written by a man calling himself Dr Robert O. Young, along with his wife, Shelley Redford Young, who claim they can help you lose weight, prevent disease and reclaim your health through the pH diet. I briefly talked about the pH diet and its claims on my website in the past and expected to see similar claims in the book, but I was honestly surprised at some of the misinformed, unscientific and ludicrous claims made within.
The book started off with me raising an eyebrow when it told me a little about Robert. “Robert Young, PhD. is a world-renowned microbiologist and nutritionist. He is Head of the InnerLight Biological Research Centre.” As arrogant as this sounds, if Robert was indeed a world-renowned microbiologist, I probably would have heard of him or at least his research. Robert also claims to be the Head of the InnerLight Biological Research Centre. Naturally I assumed this meant he was the Head of a research centre looking into bioluminescence. You can imagine my surprise when I found out that the InnerLight Biological Research Centre is a front for selling holistic medicine.
At this point I decided to look into Robert’s credentials and found that he got his ‘doctorate’ and other ‘qualifications’ from the same diploma mill as Gillian McKeith and my favourite quack, ‘Dr’ Bob – the now defunct, non-accredited, distance-learning Clayton College of Natural Health. His ‘doctorate’ was in Naturopathy, which is an alternative medicine based on a belief in Vitalism. This is the belief that special energy called ‘the vital force’ guides bodily processes and discourages the use of medical drugs and surgery. However, unlike Gillian McKeith and ‘Dr’ Bob, Robert found out first hand what happens when you try to impersonate a real doctor. In 1995, he drew blood from two women, claimed they were ill and then tried to sell them herbal products. He was charged with a felony for practising medicine without a licence, but that did not stop him. In 2001, Robert was again charged with a felony after telling a cancer patient to stop chemotherapy and instead use one of his products. In all honesty none of Robert’s history really matters regarding the book. All that matters is the accuracy of the claims made within it and Robert showed in the first thirty pages that he knows nothing about biology, chemistry, medicine or the real world.
Robert constantly contradicts himself in the book regarding the pH diet. He repeatedly correctly states that you can’t change the pH of your blood; your body goes to great length to keep it fairly constant (7.35 to 7.45) because a change in pH can make you very sick or even result in your death. But Robert then also repeatedly states that you can raise the pH of your blood by changing your diet and that having a higher pH will make you healthier. We all know this to be incorrect as anything you eat goes to your stomach – a highly acidic environment – so anything basic (within reason) will not survive very long. Like all crazy claims, there is an element of truth; yeast grows best in a neutral or slightly acidic environment. Studies have even shown that cancer cells grow faster in an acidic environment. It is also true that cancer cells can’t survive in a basic environment, but then again, neither can any other cells in your body. People who use this research to promote lowering your body’s pH often neglect to mention that all these things are grown outside the body because, again, you can’t change the pH of your blood.
Robert then shows us how little he knows about science, medicine and the real world, whilst explaining how the diet works and investigating the real reason for people becoming ill. He says “we are living in a plague of microforms”, which is news to me as I have not seen one in a public library for years and was unaware that miniature documents were a plague on our society. Robert then corrects my ignorance by saying that microforms are “yeasts, fungus, and molds as well as bacteria and viruses” and that “bacteria can change into yeast, yeast into fungus, and fungus into mold.” Claims like this would be scoffed at by GCSE science students and show what a fraud Robert is. They also show the integrity of qualifications coming from Clayton College of Natural Health, from which Robert also has a Masters of Science and a D.Sc with emphasis in chemistry and biology from. Firstly, saying that yeasts can change into fungus is the same as saying that budgerigars can turn into birds, because yeast IS a fungus. The rest is complete nonsense as these organisms do not have the magic ability to turn into one another at will. Robert then goes on to to say that not only do bacteria, yeast, etc have this magical ability, but so does our blood.
“The ability of microforms to evolve, to change form and function, depending on their environment, is known as pleomorphism. My theory is that red blood cells do this too: They can de-evolve and then re-evolve into any kind of cells the body needs – bone cells, muscle cells, skin cells, brain cells, liver cells, heart cells and so on.”
NO! Just no! The ability of an organism to change over time as a result of environmental pressure is called evolution and it does not happen to a single organism, but to a collective. Pleomorphism is the ability of some bacteria to alter their shape or size in response to environmental conditions – they can change shape, they don’t evolve. Red blood cells do not have the ability to change shape unless infected, or suffering from a genetic disease, and they certainly don’t have the ability to change what type of cells they are. Human red blood cells don’t even contain nuclei, so how could they magically produce the three billion DNA base pairs in a specific sequence found in all muscle cells, skin cells, brain cells, liver cells, etc? I thought I had hit the intellectual low point of the book, reading that red blood cells have the ability to ‘de-evolve’ and ‘re-evolve’, but I was wrong: Robert began to talk about where these microforms come from, and Louis Pasteur.
“Unfortunately, Pasteur was confusing disease with its symptoms, and that central misconception has come down through the generations as scientific law. In reality, disease is generally, underlying conditions, not the symptoms we diagnose. If germs are involved, they are themselves just symptoms of that underlying conditions. Remember that germs come from within our cells, and that germs invading from outside the body can only contribute to a state of imbalance and stimulate secondary symptoms. What most people call disease is really just a collection of these secondary symptoms. Germs are really just the expression of underlying disease conditions.”
Claiming that all diseases are caused by the spontaneous generation of germs within the human body due to magically acidic blood is simply astonishing in this day and age. This kind of medieval thinking has no place in the 21st century and that was the point when I was done reading this drivel. I usually have a high tolerance for reading quack crap, but I had reached my limits with this book from an author who is simply making things up. I know that most people who read the book will be angry over wasting money on it, but there will be a few that will believe every word he says. This is potentially dangerous as the book claims it can cure everything from hayfever to cancer, from athlete’s foot to AIDS, and prevent things from hyperactivity to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. I would like to finish by giving some of my own advice to anyone thinking of taking Robert’s, and it is simply DON’T!