The pH Miracle

Balance Your Diet, Reclaim Your Health


By Robert O. Young, PhD

By Shelley Redford Young

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Forget counting calories, fat grams, and cholesterol. Forget blood pressure, blood sugar, and hormone levels. The single most important health measurement is the pH level in your blood. Now, The pH Miracle unlocks the surprisingly crucial role pH balance plays in weight loss. How acidic or alkaline your blood is (pH levels) directly affects your health and is controlled by diet.

For example, if the blood becomes overly acidic from eating too much of the wrong kinds of food — wheat, bananas, meats, and cheese — it can lead to weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and more. The Youngs’ program includes over 50 recipes and explains which foods to eat, which to avoid, and which supplements can help on the way towards optimal health and weight loss. In just weeks, readers will find they have more energy and a stronger immune system, and will have shed pounds and inches.


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Table of Contents


Copyright Page

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Part I

A New Theory

Chapter 1

The New Biology of Health

A new day is dawning. A day of truly holistic health, vitality, and well-being. A time of energizing our very cells, maximizing the life force of our bodies. An era of naturally lean and strong physiques! An era of focusing on right food instead of wrong drugs. This book, based on the microscopic evaluation of blood leading to correct nutrition, will light this path for you. It will help you understand the revolutionary science I (Rob) call the New Biology, and explains practical ways to change your diet and unleash the full power of your body to heal itself.

In truth, the light came over the horizon more than a hundred years ago. Unfortunately, the radical work of some great pioneering scientists has been overlooked by a mainstream medical model so deeply involved with its own myths that it was blind to larger truths. Until now. We are in a process of peeling off the blinders and looking at an entirely new model of human health while correcting the old model of disease. Working from decades of exhaustive research—my own as well as the work of those early (ignored) pioneers—we'll discover the basic pathways to illness and wellness. You'll get the science, of course, but also the practical applications that will allow you to put the science to work.

It's all about balance—pH balance. The universe operates by keeping opposites in balance, and the universe contained within your body is no exception. When imbalance occurs, we get the signs of disease (or dis-ease): low energy, fatigue, poor digestion, excess weight, foggy thinking, aches and pains, as well as major disorders. This book is about reclaiming balance: energy; mental clarity; smooth operation of all body systems; clear, bright eyes and skin; and a lean, trim body. By following the program in this book, all that can be yours within weeks.

All you have to do is take a look around you to see that most people with our modern lifestyles are suffering from imbalance. They are obese. Tired. Prematurely aging. Perhaps you are, too. Chances are at least one person you love is suffering from one of the top three killers in the United States—heart disease, cancer, or diabetes. When I asked the audience at one of my lectures how many of them had a family member with one of these big bad three, 80 to 90 percent raised their hands. The fact is, half of us will die from heart disease or diabetes. A third will die from cancer.

If you're like many people in our culture, at this point you're thinking, Well, you have to die of something. We've forgotten that it is natural to die—and to live—healthy! In fact, it is your birthright to live healthy, right up until the day you die. Making that vision a reality is the great gift of this program. And believe me, it has nothing to do with mapping the human genome, cutting-edge medical technologies, or even more powerful—and dangerous—pharmaceuticals. The good news is, the answer is much, much simpler than all that. And available right here and now. Today.

One of the most obvious clues is right there in the top three killers—cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. All are directly linked to diet. In fact, eight of the top ten causes of death in America today are—not to mention that diet is obviously the cause of the obesity of 60 percent of Americans. (I have no doubt that if and when we devote enough energy to studying the less common "diseases" and health challenges, we will prove that they are also related to your diet.) Eating the proper foods and getting the best nutrients, in balance, will help you avoid all that—along with the misery and poor quality of life that so often precede death, sometimes by decades. The simple secrets to finding the right combinations are what The pH Miracle is all about.

Even mainstream medicine agrees: "Foods contain nutrients essential for normal metabolic function, and when problems arise, they result from imbalances in nutrient intake and from harmful interaction with other factors. For… adult Americans who do not smoke and do not drink excessively, one personal choice seems to influence long-term health prospects more than any other—What We Eat" (from the 1988 "Surgeon General's Report on Health and Nutrition," emphasis added).

Since that landmark report from C. Everett Koop (and even before, depending on the circles you run in), Americans have been following one diet craze after another, not only in an attempt to drop the excess baggage most of us are carrying around but also as a way to find our way back to good health. Further, since that report, America's agribusiness industry and the advertising world have dramatically and disingenuously increased the false, distorted, misleading, and nonsensical information about the food sold in our grocery stores and served up in our fast-food restaurants. The result? We, as a country, are fatter than ever. And we're certainly no healthier.

The problem is that while diet is the key not only to slimness but also to overall health and well-being, it has to be a diet that properly balances our body chemistry. But every one of the diets Americans have tried—including not just the "average American diet" but also such supposedly healthful regimens as low-fat diets, the food pyramid, the macrobiotic diet, the blood type diet, the metabolic type diet, high-protein and low-carbohydrate diets, the raw food diet, and vegetarianism—creates wildly imbalanced body chemistry. Even if one way of eating does get rid of extra pounds (usually temporarily) or lower cholesterol levels or lessen digestive troubles for some people, it does not fulfill the promise of simple good health. We're so used to our modern medical machinery, in fact, that good health seems anything but simple. I'm here to tell you: It is simple.

Forget cholesterol and carbohydrate counts. Forget calories and fat grams. Forget blood pressure, blood sugar, hormone levels, or any of the other markers of health you're used to at the doctor's office. It turns out that the single measurement most important to your health is the pH of your blood and tissues—how acidic or alkaline it is. Different areas of the body have different ideal pH levels, but blood-and-tissue pH is the most telling of all. Just as your body temperature is rigidly regulated, the blood and tissues must be kept in a very narrow pH range—mildly basic or alkaline. The body will go to great lengths to preserve that, including wreaking havoc on other tissues or systems.

The pH level of our internal fluids affects every cell in our bodies. The entire metabolic process depends on an alkaline environment. Chronic overacidity corrodes body tissue, and if left unchecked will interrupt all cellular activities and functions, from the beating of your heart to the neural firing of your brain. In other words, overacidity interferes with life itself. It is (as we'll see in more detail in the next chapter) at the root of all sickness, dis-ease, and disease.

If that's not enough to get you interested in balancing your body pH naturally, nondestructively, keep this in mind: Overacidity is also what's keeping you fat. (More about that later.)

The goal, then—and what this program allows you to do—is to create the proper alkaline balance within your body. The way to do that is by eating the proper balance of alkaline and acid foods. That means 80 percent of your diet must be alkalizing foods such as green vegetables. (This percentage will go down somewhat once you've successfully rebalanced yourself. And if you're very sick, the percentage should go up for some period of time.) That leaves much smaller portions of acid foods (such as meat and grains) on our plates. In addition, carefully chosen, high-quality alkalizing supplements will help you achieve and maintain pH balance. You'll learn more about all this in detail in later chapters. You'll also need to exercise properly (see chapter 13) and adopt other alkaline lifestyle practices, like learning to manage stress (see chapter 14).

That's it. That's all there is to it. Get at least three-quarters of your plate covered with alkalizing food, use the alkalizing supplements as explained in this book, and you'll be good to go.

The following chapters explore the details of why, and the remainder of the book shows you specifically what and how. You'll get the benefit of my own exhaustive research and the work of the great minds that have gone this road before me, and you'll also get Shelley's real-life, practical expertise in how to make all this happen for you.

Bottom line: This program will bring you increased quality and quantity of life. I guarantee you'll see immediate improvement. Your energy will increase, you'll find new mental clarity and powers of concentration, you'll build strength and stamina, and you'll lose excess body fat while increasing muscle mass. You'll have bright eyes and clear skin. You'll look better. You'll improve your athletic performance. Your entire body will function more efficiently. Whatever health challenges you've been facing will improve and most likely evaporate altogether. In short, you'll regain all the effortless, sustainable energy and wellness you thought was lost with your childhood. With the healing, wholeness, and rejuvenation that this program brings, you'll experience, possibly for the first time in your life, vibrant, energetic personal health.

Over and over again, we've witnessed joy, relief, and renewed peace of mind in those who have turned a serious or chronic illness around, those who lost weight that they had been battling for years, those whose cholesterol levels dropped, blood sugars normalized, blood pressure improved, skin cleared up, itching stopped, energy returned. I've seen people who no longer required insulin injections for their diabetes. People whose aches and pains disappeared. Even people who had been diagnosed with cancer whose tumors vanished and who were pronounced cancer-free. We hear frequently from people who haven't been able to work for months or years who are returning to work, people whose allergies are letting up, people whose infections clear. People who are well, whole, and energetic again. People like Sharon and her husband. We'll let her tell their story:

I was up to a record 192 pounds. I was depressed and tired and had attempted almost every diet known to humankind. I would lose weight and then gain it right back when I returned to my old eating habits. I became more and more discouraged. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired—and fat! I knew it was time to make some major lifestyle changes.

So, once again I stepped onto the diet roller coaster by going to a local weight loss organization. It worked for the first few months. I lost thirty-two pounds, traded in my diet sodas for water, and started to exercise. I thought I might really have the problem licked this time.

At this same time, my husband applied for a life insurance policy. The findings of the company's physical exam scared us to death. His cholesterol was practically off the charts at 340. He had fatty growths in his shoulder. He was at his heaviest ever, too: 227 pounds. For someone who is five-foot-nine, that's quite a load to carry around. The report made him out to be a walking time bomb. An accident waiting to happen. Just like me, he realized he needed to make some serious changes. But he was confused about what and how.

Before he could take action, we moved into a new house and went on a vacation. I went back to my old eating habits, stopped exercising, and regained twenty of the thirty-two pounds I had lost. When things settled down again and we realized we had to take action, that's when the pH Miracle came into our lives.

We shared the same first thought: How on earth could we change our lifestyle so drastically? And the same second thought: We had to try. That night we committed to the program—and immediately headed over to a favorite local restaurant to pig out on our last barbecued pork ribs and mud pie. The next morning we changed our diets—and changed our lives. We've never looked back.

My husband's cholesterol dropped to 242 in six weeks, and is now under 200. He had been experiencing arthritis in the hips and had been thinking about surgery. But the pain has disappeared! For the first time in my life, I'm not depressed. I'm no longer a compulsive eater; no longer do I eat until I get sick—and then eat some more. I'm not a slave to my addiction to sugar and breads. Now the foods I crave are avocados and soybeans. We both would still like to lose a few more pounds, but we don't worry about it anymore. We know our bodies will reach an optimum weight. And we'll never regain it because we no longer crave the foods that made us sick, tired, and fat in the first place.

It turns out the weight loss is almost a side benefit. What we've really gotten out of this is feeling better. Our minds and bodies are stronger. We no longer feel sick and tired all the time. Even our relationship has benefited. We have a more fulfilling life. We can more fully enjoy the best things in life—mainly, our kids.

Speaking of our kids, we are now gradually working them into the program, too. They've been raised on fast food and pizza, candy bars and soda pop. And they've been addicted to sugar, bread, and meat—and been tired, obese, and depressed as a result, just like so much of their generation. Who would have thought they would ever be drinking green vegetable juice for breakfast? We feed them healthy meals, and they take supplements as well. They still have some sugar now and then, but we know this is not an overnight process. The whole family is headed in the right direction.

Robert Louis Stevenson wrote: "There will come a time when we will sit down to the banquet of our consequences."

We were. And we are. I like this way much better.

Besides the huge volume of tales like this one—which I'll share more of throughout the book—I've seen the scientific proof of such transformations with my own eyes, though nothing is more persuasive than the radical changes in people's everyday lives. I've observed many thousands of blood samples, including pH levels, from people all over the world, and seen the transformation that occurs—right down to the individual cells—when people change the way they eat, the way they drink, and the way they think.


All this healing occurs because people are willing to take responsibility for their own health and make the necessary changes. That was a mission Shelley and I were on for ourselves starting more than thirty years ago. But it took quite a while to realize that what seemed to be optimal in popular thought was still leaving us tired, seemingly prone to every passing cold, and just not able to get the very best out of life. Eventually, through trial and error—experimenting on ourselves—we developed the pH Miracle diet and lifestyle program, and found, finally, the way to get fully, permanently, holistically healthy—physically prepared to live life to its fullest.

We had always been active and on the lookout for ways to improve our health. By 1980, we were on what we thought was an ideal strictly vegetarian regime—mostly complex carbohydrates, along with some simple carbs (sugars), proteins, and fats. We were conforming to what seemed to be the best possible nutrition for our bodies, and we raised our children this way.

We ate the best of all foods sold in our favorite health food stores. Yet still we felt that afternoon fatigue. Our athletic endurance seemed to have plateaued, and we weren't getting any further improvements. We didn't have the strength and stamina we wanted. We were slowly but surely getting one common sign of aging after another. And it all seemed to be getting worse as we grew older.

What we didn't know then was what havoc all this was wreaking on our body chemistry, how it dangerously acidified our bodies, inviting all the disastrous consequences explained in upcoming chapters. Thank goodness the whole family had stayed generally healthy, but with what we know now we can see we were lucky. We were setting ourselves up for a lot of potential trouble.

It took a long time to realize what was going on—and what we could do about it. When we did figure it all out, what a dramatic difference! For one thing, though neither of us was overweight to begin with, we both shed pounds. I lost about twenty pounds—and four inches around my waist. Shelley dropped about fifteen pounds, and is now the same size she was in high school (nine). More important, we felt much better. Not only that, but I also could see astounding changes in our blood, including the pH levels. One good thing about the roughly fourteen-year journey we went through in developing this program was that it gave me time to come to some new (to me) laboratory techniques with which I could chart our progress (which I'll describe more fully later in the book).

Since we were essentially healthy to start out with, I was eager to test the effects of the dietary changes we were making on people facing serious health challenges such as diabetes, cancer, obesity, heart disease, lupus, gout, MS, Parkinson's, and arthritis. Sure enough, in my studies I could see the same sweeping improvements in their blood and the pH of their saliva and urine. They all reported feeling better and losing weight. And in many cases, even the dire conditions healed or disappeared! Witnessing these amazing results, I knew we'd stumbled upon more than a way of eating that just happened to be right for us and our family. We'd found something we wanted to share.

We've been fully on the pH Miracle diet and lifestyle program for more than ten years now, and there's no doubt in our minds: We'll never go back. We've gained too much we'd never want to give up. Even as we get older, we keep feeling better. And we know we're protecting ourselves from the ravages of the diseases that claim so many of our fellow Americans. We've found a way to ensure that we'll be there for each other, for our work, and most of all for our children, over the long haul. And we'll be able to truly enjoy every minute of it.

Good health should be second nature to us, but for many people it seems very difficult to maintain. The pH Miracle plan changes that forever. It will empower you to regain what is rightfully yours, encourage you to take responsibility for your own well-being, and restore the great gift of wellness to you.

I know that there are lots of formulas out there for getting well. And many of them have good track records and positive reputations. Often, that's because they deal partially (perhaps unknowingly) with what you're going to learn here. Also, you can get a lot better without getting completely well, so you might think the job is done without ever reaping the greatest rewards. Once you experience the full, vibrant wellness that comes with this basic change to your diet and lifestyle, however, you'll know just how tremendous the difference can be. So we invite you to begin this journey and experience the results for yourself. Awaken to the light of a new day!

Chapter 2

It's All About Alkalinity

Before we get to the specific steps for transforming the way you eat—and the way you feel—I (Rob) want to give you a little background in the science supporting those steps. Think of it this way: I have good news and bad news—and I'm going to give you the bad news first. We'll get to the good news soon enough—the ways you can protect yourself from all this bad news, and the delicious food you can eat in the process—but for now I want you to understand some of the scientific foundation upon which we have built the pH Miracle diet and lifestyle program. Once you do, I think you'll see clearly why following the program is so important and can make such a profound difference in your life.


We're starting from the premise that of all the balances the human body strives to maintain, the most crucial is the one between acid and base (or alkaline). Mainstream medical texts are all in agreement: The pH balance of the human bloodstream is one of the most important biochemical balances in all of human body chemistry. But mainstream medicine does not understand—and is not yet seriously researching—how the body turns itself inside out and upside down in order to keep that balance. The human body is meant to be alkaline, and the body will go to great lengths to maintain the appropriate, slightly basic, nature of its blood and tissues. But all body functions produce acidic effects; it is all too easy and far too common for blood and tissues to become acidic. That is: The human body is alkaline by design, and acidic by function. What that means in practice is that the body needs alkaline fuel, and that acids are created as a by-product of all human activity. Add to this activity a huge acidic dietary imbalance, and you have massive overacidification of cells, tissues, organs, and eventually blood. Such an imbalance sets the stage for chaos, opening the door to sickness and disease. Overacidification of body fluids and tissues underlies all disease, and general dis-ease as well. For one thing, it's only when it is acidic that the body is vulnerable to germs—in healthy base balance, germs can't get a foothold. Furthermore, acids are the expression of all sickness and disease, as well as of dis-ease. In short, good health requires a body in proper acid–base balance. Proper diet and lifestyle choices (like the ones laid out in this book) are the only way to ensure that.

The relationship between acid and base is scientifically quantified on a scale of 0 to 14 known as pH—pronounced like the two letters—which stand for "potential hydrogen." On that scale, 7 is neutral. Below 7 is acid and above it basic, or alkaline. Technically, pH reflects the concentration of hydrogen ions (positively charged molecules) in any substance or solution. And it is measured on a logarithmic scale, meaning that each number up (or down) the scale represents a tenfold difference in value. A pH 5 acid is ten times as acidic as something with a pH of 6; a pH of 8 is ten times as alkaline as a pH of 7. Higher numbers—more alkaline numbers—mean there's a greater potential for absorbing more hydrogen ions or acids. Lower numbers indicate less potential.

But you don't need to understand the details of the chemistry here. Just know that these two kinds of chemicals—acids and bases—are opposites, and when they meet in certain ratios, they cancel each other out, creating a neutral pH. In the blood and other fluids in body tissue, however, it takes about twenty times as much base to neutralize any given amount of acid, so it's better and easier to maintain balance than it is to regain balance when the body gets seriously out of whack!


Just as our body temperature must be maintained at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, our blood is ideally maintained at 7.365 pH—very mildly basic. (A mainstream doctor would accept up to 7.4, but that's problematic, as we'll see later.) Different areas of the body have different specific pH requirements, but the blood needs to stay within a pretty tight range. It is a reliable indicator of internal conditions in general. Maintaining the alkaline pH of the body's fluids, including blood, urine, and saliva (and even, though you don't generally measure these, tears and sweat), is critical for good health. Prime among these is the blood.

Physiological disease and dis-ease are almost always the result of too much acid stressing the body's pH balance, to the point where it provokes the body into producing the symptoms that we call disease. (More about this confusion later.) Disease can also be simply the toxic effects of an external source, such as exposure to air pollution from smoke, cars, or planes, or poisons from a toxic dump site, but that is much more rare. Symptoms can be the expression of that stress, but they can also be a sign of the body's effort to balance it. Depending on the level and extent of the stress, symptoms may not be obvious or even noticeable. The kicker is that excess acid is something we do to ourselves, thanks to the choices we make. The good news, then, is that once we recognize that fact, we can make different choices. But we must be ready to take responsibility for our acidic lifestyle and dietary choices before we'll be able to make the healthy changes.

All of the body's regulatory mechanisms (including breathing, circulation, digestion, and glandular function) work to balance the delicate internal acid–base balance. Our bodies cannot tolerate extended acid imbalances. Acidity reveals itself in our bodies in seven stages:

  • Loss of energy.
  • Sensitivity and irritation (as in IBS).
  • Mucus and congestion.
  • Inflammation.
  • Hardening of soft tissue ("induration," including lupus, lyme, fibromyalgia, hardening of the arteries, plaque).
  • Ulceration.
  • Degeneration (cancer, heart disease, stroke, AIDS, ALS, MS, diabetes).

In the early stages of the imbalance, the symptoms may not be very intense and could include such things as skin eruptions, headaches, allergies, colds and flu, and sinus problems. As things get farther out of whack, more serious situations arise. Weakened organs and systems start to give way, resulting in dysfunctional thyroid glands, adrenals, liver, and so on. If tissue pH deviates too far to the acid side, oxygen levels decrease and cellular metabolism will stop. In other words, cells die. You die.

So a declining pH just can't be allowed. To prevent it, when faced with a lot of incoming acid, the blood begins to pull alkaline minerals out of our tissues to compensate. There is a family of base minerals particularly suited to neutralizing, or detoxifying, strong acids, including sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. When these minerals react with acids, they create much less detrimental substances, which are then eliminated by the body.

Now, a healthy body maintains a reserve supply of these alkaline minerals to meet emergency demands. But if there are insufficient amounts in the diet or in the reserves, they are recruited elsewhere, and may be leached from the blood (as with sodium or potassium), the bone or cartilage (as with calcium), or muscles (as with magnesium)—where they are, of course, needed. This can easily lead to deficiencies—and the many and varied symptoms that come with them.


  • "Dr. Young has discovered a brilliant insight to re-create our health, expand our longevity, and feel better fast!" --Mark Victor Hansen, cocreater of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series
  • "Dr. Young may be on the threshold of a new biology whose principles could revolutionize biology and medicine and potentially help people worldwide. Additional research is desperately needed!" --Neil Solomon, director, International Council for Caring Communities' Health Advisory Board, United Nations, and New York Times bestselling author

On Sale
Nov 16, 2008
Page Count
368 pages

Robert O. Young, PhD

About the Author

Robert O. Young, Ph.D., D.Sc., is a nationally renowned microbiologist and nutritionist, who speaks to audience around the world on health and wellness.

Shelley Redford Young is a licensed massage therapist and the chef behind the recipes in The pH Miracle.

Learn more about this author

Shelley Redford Young

About the Author

Robert O. Young, Ph.D., D.Sc., is a nationally renowned microbiologist and nutritionist, who speaks to audience around the world on health and wellness.

Shelley Redford Young is a licensed massage therapist and the chef behind the recipes in The pH Miracle.

Learn more about this author