I recently read The pH Miracle. Balance Your Diet, Reclaim Your Health and found several points to disagree with in the book, which has recently become very popular. Dr. Young has done great work and I have a lot of respect for him and many of his concepts on health. However my areas of disagreement with him are profound because they refer to critical components of human health. We disagree on several other minor points such as the fact that he doesn’t encourage us to exercise, but others cannot go unchallenged because they are misguided in the most fundamental way. In my opinion, Dr. Young should reconsider his position on the following stances:
- Dr. Young promotes the consumption of fish, which is a problem for two reasons. First, almost everyone cooks the fish they eat. Cooked foods acidify the body and lead to nearly all disease. However, even if fish is consumed raw such as with sushi, it has become extremely laden with heavy metals, in particular mercury. The US pumps 40 million tons of methyl-mercury into the atmosphere, China over 300 million tons and Russia reportedly even more. Because of this, mercury has accumulated in fish, especially larger species such as Tuna, Albacore, Sword and Shark. Heavy metals are replete throughout our environment, having accumulated because of industrialization over the last 200 years. Cooked animal protein is one of the leading causes of disease. Eating raw meat, fish, eggs and dairy is not a health hazard as long as it is organic, non-medicated and disease free. The higher we eat on the food chain, the more concentrated the toxins we consume because animals have hundreds and sometimes thousands of meals that contain toxins that become concentrated in the flesh of the fish, animal or the milk and eggs they produce. When we consume animal flesh, we are consuming those concentrated toxins found in the animals. Because of these reasons, I would never suggest anyone eat fish.
- Dr. Young promotes a diet that is only 80% raw, 20% cooked. He offers many cooked food recipes in the back of his book, something I would never do. People don’t need to be tempted with cooked foods, nor instructed on how to make them in delicious ways. Of course, I want people to be eat as many raw foods as they possibly can. If someone is only able reach 20% raw foods in their diet, it is better than nothing. On the other hand, I encourage everyone to strive for a diet of 100% raw foods. Most of us won’t reach that goal. It has taken me many years of hard work to reach a 99% raw food diet. When I first started eating raw foods, I believed that 20% of our diet should be comprised of cooked foods, mostly starchy carbohydrates such as rice or potatoes. But after four years of eating that way, I eventually realized that chronic disease does not exist in the wild not because those animals who live disease free do so on a 100% raw food diet, not 80%. There are others who promote less than a 100% raw food diet, but they do so in ignorance. Or perhaps they want to rationalize their inability to reach a 100% raw food diet. It is very difficult to achieve that goal, but that is no excuse for promoting anything less. It may appear to be a practical approach to encourage people to eat cooked foods, but that will only encourage and sustain their addiction to cook foods. It is no different than offering an alcoholic a beer occasionally because you think they need it. Giving an alcoholic a drink is encouraging alcoholism in that person and suggesting anyone eat cooked foods is telling them to engage in an activity that prematurely ages us and leads to all disease. If you do suggest anyone eat cooked foods under any circumstances, then you are an enabler. People often will ask me which cooked foods are healthy and I answer that none of them are. And as to which raw foods are healthy, they all are, which is why I promote a 100% raw food diet and attempt to eat that way each and every day.
- Dr. Young states that “spirulina and algae supplements . . . thrive in acid conditions and . . . are the scum you see growing on the surface of stagnant ponds and lakes.” While you may find algae mixed with scum growing on a pond, it is not scum itself and should not be confused with it. There are over 70,000 species of algae and most are quite nutritious. I quite often hear nutritionists and dietitians refer to algae as pond scum and it demonstrates a profound ignorance about some of the most powerful foods on Earth. They regurgitate this ignorance of the facts because that is what they are taught during their college years and they have never bothered to research it themselves. It does not take a lot of research to discover the truth about the miraculous health properties of certain species of algae. Dr. Young also states that algae are drawn from natural sources such as lakes. All the Spirulina and Chlorella found on the market is grown in a controlled environment in ponds and not harvested in lakes such as Klamath Blue Green Algae, which is sold under various brand names. He also states that the vitamin B12 derived from algae is “made by bacteria that get into the algae via bird feathers and droppings. ” Spirulina and Chlorella naturally contain the entire vitamin B-Complex, including B-12. The body will not easily assimilate vitamin B-12 when it is not consumed from a natural food that contains the entire vitamin B-Complex, such as Spirulina and Chlorella. Dr. Young also suggests that broccoli and algae are equally nutritious, which is an absurd notion. “Fortunately, a day’s dose of algae differs little from a serving of organic broccoli, so you can reap the benefits without facing the risks.” A nutritional analysis of broccoli will show it to be a food that contains a very narrow range of enzymes and other organic chemical nutrients that are particular to that food. Nutritional analyses of either Spirulina or Chlorella reveal them to be the two most nutritional foods known. They contain the broadest array of nutrients and are the most nutritionally dense foods known. They also happen to be the two most scientifically researched foods in human history.
- Dr. Young also promotes the consumption of soy. Soy is rarely consumed raw unless it is sprouted. Nearly all soybeans are eaten after they are processed into tofu, textured protein or fermented into foods such as tempeh. Once you have cooked or processed any food, you have altered its natural chemical structure. Heat is a chemical reagent that radically alters anything it comes in contact with, including the foods we consume. The energy footprint of soy is unlike any other food we commonly consume. All raw foods contain negatively spinning ions, which are advantageous to our health and in fact are an absolute necessity if we want to be healthy. However, soy contains positively spinning ions, which are counter productive to our health, as are all positively charged particles. There are plenty of other problems with soy and its negative effects on the body, such as it produces a lot of gas for many who consume it. Other digestive problems often disappear when soy is removed from their diet, including infants. Processed soy products are rich in phytohemaglutinin (PHG), a glue-like substance that unbalances body chemistry, slows circulation and thickens the blood, numbing the immune and nervous systems. Enzyme inhibitors found in soy interfere with the action of trypsin, a digestive enzyme that breaks down protein. Soy also contains goitrogens, which suppress thyroid functions; phytic acid, which can block the absorption of essential minerals such as calcium, copper, magnesium, iron and zinc in the intestinal tract. The high amount of manganese found in soy-based infant formulas, 200 times that of breast milk, can cause brain damage in babies and a slowing of brain functions in children. One study concluded that the last thing women should do to prevent breast cancer is to consume soy. Another study showed accelerated brain aging in those who regularly consumed soy. Women who are pregnant should avoid soy because of the risk of breast cancer. Soy has also been linked to pancreatic cancer. Soy can slow sexual performance because isoflavones interfere with estrogen function. In one major study, Asian men who ate tofu increased their chances of getting Alzheimer’s Disease. “Soy can be used as a transition food to move away from meat and other animal protein to plant protein, that of Spirulina and Chlorella. But once that bridge has been crossed, it must be burned and soy should be completely avoided.”
- Lastly Dr. Young offers rather confusing advice regarding the most important component of human health, that of water. “Getting liberal amounts of alkaline water (having a pH between 9 and 11) neutralizes stored acid wastes and, if consumed every day in conjunction with a good diet, gently removes the acids from the body.” This is essentially true and I agree with Dr. Young, although I don’t recommend drinking water with a pH over 9.9 because it has become too caustic at that level. Ironically, Dr. Young promotes consuming purified water produced by distillation or reverse osmosis. He claims: “Distilled water comes closest to rain water, which, if our atmosphere wasn’t so polluted, would be the ideal source of water.” Distilled water is not anything like rain water. Rain water is full of oxygen and crystallizes into snow flakes unlike distilled water which has no crystalline structure. Dr. Masaru Emoto, a Japanese researcher, first introduced the concept of micro-cluster water molecule clusters. Using Magnetic Resonance Analysis, he demonstrated that water which had been distilled, polluted or passed through the body after consumption had lost its structure or inner order. It has been changed beyond its natural structure the same way cooking foods changes the natural chemical structure of food. The water found in plants is quite similar to distilled water in its purity. However, when we consume a plant such as a carrot, we do not only consume the water, but the whole plant as well, thus the water is buffered by the alkaline nature of minerals and enzymes of the plant. But to extract that water and consume it without neutralizing its purity and acidic nature, our body becomes the buffering agent and alkaline minerals are leached from it. I have written extensively in both my books about the dangers of drinking purified water. “[purified] water – like rainwater—have more oxygen atoms or hydroxyl ions (OH-), and fewer hydrogen ions (H+). More hydrogen makes water acidic.” Purified water is acidic, yet Dr. Young prescribes drinking both purified and alkaline water. Ionized Water and purified water are the exact opposite from one another in every way. Purified water is acid; Ionized Water is alkaline. Purified water leaves the body dehydrated; Ionized Water is extremely hydrating. Purified water leaches minerals from the body; Ionized Water provides minerals to the body. Purified water does not provide the body with oxygen; Ionized Water does. Purified water does not scavenge for free radicals; Ionized Water does. Purified water encourages oxidation of the body; Ionized Water reduces oxidation. On the other hand, Dr. Young seems to promote ionized water and even helps promote a water ionizer.
If Dr. Young wishes to be considered someone who promotes true health, he needs to re-examine some of the basic tenants of his ideas about health, particularly those I have outlined in this article.
The pH Miracle, Balance Your Diet, Reclaim Your Health, by Dr. Robert Young. Time Warner Book Group. 2000. Pg. 120.
Mercury In Your Fish, by Ken Cook, President of the Environmental Working Group.
The pH Miracle, Balance Your Diet, Reclaim Your Health, by Dr. Robert Young. Pgs. 117 – 118.
Ibid. Pgs. 86 – 87.
Ibid. Pg. 87.
Ibid. Pg. 87.
Ibid. Pgs. 63 – 64.
Phytohemaglutinin: Phyto=Sun hema=blood + glutin=glue or blood glue.
Nutritional status and phytate: zinc and phytate X calcium: zinc dietary molar ratios of lacto-ovovegetarian Trappist monks: 10 years later, Journal of the American Dietetic Association 88:1562-1566, December 1988.
Dietary estrogens stimulate human breast cells to enter the cell cycle. Dees, C. et al., Environmental Health Perspectives (1997) 105(Suppl. 3):633-636.
Dr. Lon White, Honolulu Heart Program. 1965-1993.
Oncol Rep 1999 Sep-Oct;6(5):1089-95.
The USDA trypsin inhibitor study. I. Background, objectives and procedural details Rackis, Joseph J. et al., Qualification of Plant Foods in Human Nutrition, vol. 35, 1985.
Heather Patisaul et al, Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. 2003. Study done with rats produced blood levels of the isoflavones similar to those in women regularly taking the supplements.
White LR, Petrovich H, Ross GW, Masaki KH, Association of mid-life consumption of tofu with late life cognitive impairment and dementia: the Honolulu-Asia Aging Study. Fifth International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease, #487, 27 July 1996, Osaka, Japan.
White LR, Petrovitch H, Ross GW, Masaki KH, Hardman J, Nelson J, Davis D, Markesbery W, Brain aging and midlife tofu consumption. J Am Coll Nutr 2000 Apr;19(2):242-55.
ACHIEVING GREAT HEALTH. How Spirulina, Chlorella, Raw Foods and Ionized Water Can Make You Healthier than You Have Ever Imagined In 90 Days or Less, by Bob McCauley. Pg. 52 – 54.
The pH Miracle, Balance Your Diet, Reclaim Your Health, by Dr. Robert Young. Pgs. 92 – 95.
Ibid. Pg. 94.
Effects of alkaline ionized water on formation & maintenance of osseous tissues, by Rei Takahashi Zhenhua Zhang Yoshinori Itokawa (Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, Dept. of Pathology and Tumor Biology, Fukui Prefectural University).