The man largely responsible for popularizing the alkaline diet, a bogus eating regimen based on the idea that certain foods cause your body to produce acid, has been arrested, the BBC reported.
Robert O. Young, who wrote the book “The pH Miracle,” claimed diseases were caused by acidity, a claim that inspired one of the most popular food writers in the UK, Natasha Corrett. Young was convicted of two charges of practising medicine without a license last year after he was found to have bought his PhD online, according to the BBC.
The alkaline diet gained some traction after Kate Hudson lauded it as the way she keeps in shape at this year’s Golden Globes, but the idea has actually been around for a while. The idea behind the alkaline diet is that certain foods like meat, wheat and sugar cause your body to produce acid, which leads to health problems such as bone loss, muscle loss, and back pain.
This is actually bogus, as what you eat has very little impact on the acid concentrations in your blood. As my colleague Jessica Orwig reported, blood pH levels hover around 7.4 — neither extremely acidic (pH level of 0) or basic (pH level of 14).
While what you ea can impact the acidity of your urine, your kidneys work hard to keep your blood pH levels steady. One small study, for example, found that a diet high in protein and low in carbs had a strong impact on urinary acidity but appeared to cause very little change in blood pH.
The BBC reported that Young advised a young woman who was dying from breast cancer, British army officer Naima Houder-Mohammed. Houder-Mohammed reportedly paid Young thousands of dollars for his alkaline treatment, which predominantly consisted of intravenous baking soda. According to the BBC’s reporting, Houder-Mohammed and her family ended up paying Young more than $77,000 (£62,700) for the treatment for his advice.
Houder-Mohammed reportedly stayed at Young’s facility, the “pH Miracle Ranch,” for three months, until her condition worsened and she was taken to hospital. She died there aged 27.
In 2011, the Medical Board of California began an undercover investigation at Young’s ranch, where they discovered none out of 15 cancer patients outlived their prognoses. One woman died from congestive heart failure, after being given 33 intravenous sodium bicarbonate drips over 31 days at a cost of £448 each.
Young is currently facing up to 3 years in prison.