Respectful Insolence

I never would have thought it possible, but it’s happened.

I’m sure most of you have heard of Dr. Andrew Weil, that champion of quackademic medicine who has made it his life’s mission to bring the woo into academia in the form of training programs to “integrate” quackery with science-based medicine. From his home base at the University of Arizona, he spreads the woo hither and yon throughout academia, racking up big speaking fees wherever he goes and building a multimedia empire of books, DVDs, TV appearances, and Internet presence. Not satistfied, last year in the early stages of the debate over health care reform, Dr. Weil decided to try to influence legislation with Deepak Chopra and Rustum Roy.

What’s particularly infuriating about Dr. Weil is that he is the master of obfuscation, the bait and switch. He paints himself as being all about nutrition and exercise (and who could be against that?), but he assiduously avoids telling anyone exactly what he means by “integrative medicine.” Look at his website. Look at the list of practitioners. Look at a description of the clinic. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a detailed list of what modalities are actually offered at his clinic, other than vague mentions of “nutrition” or “mind-body” medicine. When it comes to “integrating” the woo with scientific medicine, mixing them up in a purée so fine that it’s impossible to tell what’s science-based and what’s not. Knowing my low opinion of Weil, I never thought I’d be taking his side on anything, but in this case I am, albeit not enthusiastically. The reason is that Dr. Weil has met a quack that makes him seem like a paragon of hard core science-based medicine, and that quack is not happy.

We’re talking the master of acid-base woo, Robert O. Young, who has posted a hilarious “rebuttal” to something Weil wrote in one of his newsletters. I must admit that I got a case of the giggles when I saw the title of Young’s rebuttal: The Non-Scientific Statements of Dr. Andrew Weil, MD. Maybe the giggles came from the fact that that could have been a title of a Respectful Insolence post, except that I would never come up with a title that boring. Or maybe they came from the extreme irony of seeing Young accuse anyone, even Dr. Weil, of being unscientific, given his history. After all, this is a man who clams that all cancer is due to excess acid, proclaimed viruses to be “molecular acids,”, denied that sepsis is caused by bacteria, and labels cancer as not cell at all but rather “a poisonous acidic liquid.” The result has been that Young has managed to dupe cancer patients into foregoing effective treatment in favor of quackery.

I guess this is what Weil gets for actually being reasonable for a change. Basically, Young points to a newsletter where Weil debunked the claim that alkaline water promotes health, saying:

Home water ionizers, which I’ve seen offered for sale on the internet, are just the latest twist in the ongoing effort to promote the notion that alkaline water is somehow protective of your health. The underlying idea is that you can prevent disease by balancing your body’s pH. Promoters claim that alkaline water is energizing, hydrates the body more effectively than regular water, improves the taste of food when used in cooking, promotes “regularity,” helps the body absorb nutrients more effectively, and on and on. I’ve even seen claims that it can cure everything from obesity and high blood pressure to breast cancer.

None of these claims are true. Furthermore, your body needs absolutely no help in adjusting its pH.

As much as I hate to say it, Dr. Weil is correct. Except in the case of certain specific diseases, the body is perfectly capable of regulating its own pH. Indeed, the pH of the blood is tightly regulated within a narrow range between around 7.35 to 7.45, with “normal” pH considered to be 7.4. This is slightly alkaline, as neutral pH is 7, but that’s not what Young is talking about. This is:

Dr. Robert O, Young, Ph.D. states, “There are NO dis-ease or diseases without being too acidic. You cannot have loss of energy, irritation, catarrh, inflammation, ulceration or degeneration without acid. You cannot be sick and alkaline.

I had to stop right here, because this is the most utter nonsense that I’ve heard in a long time. Many are the conditions that can lead to a metabolic alkalosis, including congestive heart failure, cirrhosis, various forms of hyperaldosteronism, and others. It is quite possible to be sick and alkaline; sometimes being alkaline is a manifestation of systemic disease. In other words, Young is a medical moron. But, then, you knew that already, and if you didn’t this next passage should hammer the point home:

So if the body needs no help in adjusting its pH then why does it get sick. When we understand that the body is alkaline by design and acidic by function then we understand that the body does need help in maintaining its alkaline design with proper alkaline food, drink, exercise, thoughts and deeds. The basic knowledge that the body is alkaline by design and acidic by function is NOT taught at medical school.

If the body needs no help adjusting its blood oxygen content, then why does it get sick? If the body has no problem regulating the electrolyte content of its blood, then why does it get sick? if the body needs no help in maintaining its level of red blood cells, then why does it ever get anemic? Because shit happens, that’s why! Disease causes you to get sick, which may be manifest by any number of abnormalities and derangements in physiology, one of which can be, depending upon the disease, a metabolic acidosis. Even in that case, though, the body is quite good at compensating through a respiratory alkalosis. These compensatory mechanisms only break down when the insult due to disease is so great and/or persistent that the body’s ability to compensate fails.

As for the complaint that the “basic knowledge” that the body is “alkaline by design and acidic by function” isn’t taught in medical school, it depends on what you mean. Acid-base physiology was taught in nauseating, excruciatingly painful detail in my medical school, and, from what I know of the curriculum of my current medical school, it is also taught in mind-numbing detail. It’s such a critical topic in human physiology that I can’t imagine that it wouldn’t be taught in every medical school as a major component of physiology classes. Indeed, it is impossible to understand human physiology without understaning at least the basics of acid-base balance and how it is regulated.

The only germ of truth that Young mentions is that the body does produce excess acid from its metabolic processes. But guess what? The kidneys are very good at getting rid of those excess H+ ions by excreting them into the urine, where they are bound by various proton acceptors, such as ammonia and, well, pissed into the toilet. Indeed, the tag team of the lungs and kidneys are very good at regulating bicarbonate ion concentration through a combination of respiration (which regulates it within minutes) and the ability to excrete or hold onto bicarbonate (which regulates over the long term). Thanks to these mechanisms, the body doesn’t need a constant intake of “alkaline” food or other source of alkaline. As for treating disease, routine alkalinization of the blood is not recommended except for a relatively few conditions where urine alkalinization is therapeutic, such as to prevent the formation of certain forms of kidney stones. But to Young, acid is everything:

Both steps involve H+ or proton or acid secretion from the cells of the kidney into the urine. That is why we age. Aging is actually a fermenting and acidic process. The body has an alkaline buffering system which helps to maintain alkalinity, but when this becomes compromised from an over acidic lifestyle and diet, you start having the symptoms of dis-ease and disease caused by metabolic acidic waste products. So, absolutely you should make daily attempts to increase alkalinity with alkaline ionized water and food to prevent and/or reverse dis-ease and disease.

He even makes a hilarious analogy:

You would have to do some serious alkalizing just to keep up with the body’s need for more alkalinity. But that is why we age–or should I say “ferment” from over-acidity. Which by the way, I might add, is why ALL disease or most dis-ease is a result of excess acid and NOT excess base(alkalinity). This was proven by Alexis Carrel in his chicken experiment in 1908. Carrel received a Nobel prize for this research. He was able to keep a chicken heart alive for 20 years until he decided to stop changing the alkaline mineral salts every 48 hours. What we learn from Alexis Carrel’s work is that you can keep the body cells alive indefinitely if you maintain the alkaline mineral salts daily.

I’m rather puzzled, as–surprise! surprise!–Young’s description doesn’t jibe with, oh, you know…history. In actuality, Dr. Carrel’s chicken heart cells survived for 32 years and were intentionally terminated after his death. It’s also been noted that Carrell’s experiment has never been fully duplicated. In any case, Carrel “proved” nothing of the sort. All he demonstrated was the feasibility of keeping a certain type of cell alive almost indefinitely in a defined nutrient medium.

But to Young, besides being unhealthy, “excess acid” can change one cell type to another:

The human cell cannot tolerate low alkalinity and can never tolerate ANY acid condition. The cell begins its biological transformation becoming bacteria in the first stage; then yeast in the second stage; then mold in the 3rd stage of transformation until the anatomical elements of the organized cell (microzymas) are released to become part of some other organized cell.

This is germ theory denialism, plain and simple. Basically, it’s regurgitated Bechamps. Well, actually, it’s regurgitated Enderlein, who proposed that “endobionts” that live inside the cells can change form from the Primitive Stage (microbe), to the Middle Stage (bacteria), to the End Stage (fungus). Although it might have been understandable that scientists could have mistaken these forms for being the same, but that’s what science is good at: Figuring out that they aren’t the same organisms and that human cells do not turn into bacteria; bacteria do not turn into yeast; and yeast do not turn into mold. Such a thing may have seemed plausible 150 years ago, but not today. Yet Young, and other germ theory denialist quacks, try to tell you that if you just keep your body “alkaline enough,” you are invulnerable to bacteria, which is not just a font of burning stupid, but a dangerous font of burning stupid.

Young is a perfect example of one aspect of quacks that distinguishes them from practitioners of science-based medicine. Science-based medicine recognizes the complexity of disease; it delves into that complexity, trying to make sense out of it and use that knowledge to develop better treatments for disease. Quacks choose to make sense of disease another way, and that way would be insulting to disease, if disease had feelings, in that they often tend to boil all disease down to one cause or a hadful of tightly related causes. I’ve often wondered why. It’s more than just the fact that they don’t understand the science behind disease. After all, Young appears to understand acid-base science, but he only understands it at a very superficial level, demonstrating once again that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing–particularly to those reading his tripe.

In the end, my guess is that boiling down all cancer–or even all disease–servess at least one purpose, besides soaking the marks by giving quacks a patter that even the uneducated can understand. Humans crave explanations and control. If science can’t give it to them, maybe pseudoscience can. The sense of control then comes from embracing the alt-med idea that you can control everything about your help, that you will be invincible if you only eat the right foods, take the right supplements, and do the right exercises. The flip side of that, of course, is that if you become seriously ill–for instance, with cancer–it’s your fault for not doing these things.

Is it any wonder why I despise these quacks to much?

Comments

  1. #1 Lycanthrope
    April 27, 2010

    …and labels cancer as not cell at all but rather “a poisonous acidic liquid.”

    That’s one huge slap in the face to any surgeon who has ever personally removed tumors or parts thereof.

  2. #2 Dave W.
    April 27, 2010

    I’m guessing that if Young weren’t out to make a buck, he’d be “prescribing” regular daily hyperventilation to generate respiratory alkalosis.

  3. #3 scruss
    April 27, 2010

    He’d definitely make the “Best Beards of Woo” calendar.

  4. #4 Pablo
    April 27, 2010

    That’s one huge slap in the face to any surgeon who has ever personally removed tumors or parts thereof.

    Actually, my first thought was that it was a slap in the face of pathologists. But then again, it is easy to dupe the general public who are mostly unfamiliar with pathology and what pathologists know.

    It’s like the moron who thinks that it is not possible to distinguish cancer cells from fungus under a microscope.

  5. #5 Dangerous Bacon
    April 27, 2010

    Young says we must have “proper alkaline food, drink, exercise, thoughts and deeds”.

    Well now, what alkaline thoughts and deeds does he have in mind? If I think about a basket of puppies, is that an alkaline thought? If Sarah Palin comes to mind, does that immediately drop my blood pH to 5.8? Are good deeds alkaline? And if so, by how much? (Obviously, if I help too many old ladies across the street I could boost my pH to 9 and that wouldn’t be good at all).

    C’mon Dr. Young, where’s your Handbook of Acid-Base Thoughts and Deeds to guide us in our quest for Health?

  6. #6 Matthew Cline
    April 27, 2010

    Yet Young, and other germ theory denialist quacks, try to tell you that if you just keep your body “alkaline enough,” you are invulnerable to bacteria,

    If I remember my Bechamp flavored germ theory denialism correctly, they don’t claim that you’re invulnerable to bacteria, but rather that bacteria in the blood (and anywhere in the body but the gut) is actually a symbiont**, destroying dead tissue in the same manner that maggots do in maggot therapy.

    ** The exception to this being bacteria that directly cause tissue necrosis, like gangrene.

  7. #7 Kristen
    April 27, 2010

    What happened to the last post? “List you don’t want to be a part of”, I think.

    Tried to show it to my husband and got 404.

  8. #8 Jacksonskepticalsociety
    April 27, 2010

    I see a non-stop barrage of people asking me about their pH. I can usually set them straight on the alkaline water nonsense by having them show me a bottle, with ingredients listed: Water, plus salt and baking soda.

    That mixture is good for people who are severely dehydrated, if my wilderness first aid is not mistaken. But if you’re not about to die, it’s totally pointless and super-expensive.

    The alkaline thing is so ridiculous that even Weil can’t take it. The local supplement snake-oil salesmen perpetuate the idea, though – by selling pH strips (which have a dismal accuracy) and telling people to lick them – and your saliva is generally more acidic than your plasma, if I’m not mistaken.

    I think an entire Respectful Insolence week could be devoted to the idiocy behind alkalinity.

  9. #9 Matthew Cline
    April 27, 2010

    Orca, you missed this great bit of acid/base woo from Young:

    How does a person measure the acid/base of the blood when the blood is always maintaining its delciate pH balance at 7.365? Any excess acidity from diet or metabolism is eliminated from the blood and out into the connective tissues to preserve its delicate pH balance. The biochemistry in maintaining blood alkalinity is quite extreme. The body will sacrafice all other organs and organ systems to maintain the delicate pH balance of the blood at 7.365.

  10. #10 squirrelelite
    April 27, 2010

    Dangerous Bacon,

    I endorse your sentiments, but a minor clarification might be in order.

    The pH scale, as I am sure many of our commenters are aware, is a negative exponential scale based on the concentration of H30+ ions in a water solution. (As I understand it, if any H+ ions which are just free protons exist, they are quickly attached to a regular water molecule making it an H3O+ ion.)

    So, the lower the number, the more H3O+ and the more acidic.

    I think I see now where you are going on the squeaky clean, soapy, alkaline thought/deed of helping little old ladies.

    If you really want an alkaline overdose, though, I suggest a bath in a nice hot tub of good old fashioned lye soap.

  11. #11 Krebiozen
    April 27, 2010

    I’m glad to see this take-down of Robert O Young’s bizarre ideas. I have spent too much time arguing with people about the idiocy of these ideas about alkalinity. As I have pointed out elsewhere, our bodies produce about 1 kg or 20,000 mmol of acids every day, mostly as carbon dioxide, a lot more if we exercise vigorously, and eliminate them effortlessly. A 4 ounce piece of beef generates about 8 mmol of acids, a liter of Coke contains 2.5 mmol of acids (pH 2.6 = 0.0025M). So the amount of acids generated in our diet is tiny compared to the amount our metabolism produces constantly. Experiments using ammonium chloride to induce a metabolic acidosis require 4 mmol/kg and a low alkali diet to achieve this, or 15 mmol/kg and a high alkali diet. That means a 60 kg person would have to consume 240 mmol of acids daily, the equivalent of 7.5 pounds of beef or 96 liters of Coke each and every day to overwhelm their homeostatic mechanisms and produce acidosis.

  12. #12 IBY
    April 27, 2010

    @Cline
    I guess he knows nothing about buffers.

  13. #13 tim gueguen
    April 27, 2010

    Perhaps one thinks proper alkaline thoughts by imaging a strip of litmus paper with the proper colour.

  14. #14 Dr Aust
    April 27, 2010

    * sigh *

    Another example of Woo That Never Dies. (i.e. no matter how utterly crazy and repeatedly discredited)

    I had a go at the alkaline water woo a couple of years ago:

    What could be so fine – as to be alkaline (Warning: Irony)

    I am genuinely impressed, though, to see that Alkali-Woo is too crazy even for Andrew Weil. So he did learn something at medical school after all.

    PS Love the Epically Unreal idea of “alkaline thoughts and deeds” (!), as so perceptively discussed by Dangerous Bacon.

  15. #15 Ian
    April 27, 2010

    I hadn’t heard of alkaline water until I went to my cousin’s house and he offered me a glass of water with this weird gleam in his eye. I drank it, and he said “isn’t that the best water you’ve ever had?” Not wanting to be rude, I muttered a non-committal “yeah, sure.” That’s when he dragged out his alkalizer, as though it was a revelation from on high. “It’s ALKALINE WATER!” he crowed. “It’s better for you!”

    I fear for his children. Good kids, all of them, but if that’s the kind of nonsense you grow up with, it isn’t that hard to imagine teh stewpid diffusing into your psyche.

  16. #16 madder
    April 27, 2010

    Okay, I’m familiar with the alties’ notion of One True Cause for All Dis-Ease ™.

    But this business of human cells transforming into bacteria, then yeast, then mold is absolutely mind-boggling to me. Is there no altie claim too stupid for the marks to swallow?

  17. #17 Matthew Cline
    April 27, 2010

    But this business of human cells transforming into bacteria, then yeast, then mold is absolutely mind-boggling to me. Is there no altie claim too stupid for the marks to swallow?

    It actually sort of makes sense if you start with the premise of rejecting the germ theory of disease. If you have bacteria circulating through your blood, yet the bacteria isn’t an infection, then where did they come from? Any answer in the form of “the One True Cause of All Disease weakened the immune system enough to let the bacteria in” is implicitly admitting to the germ theory, so somehow the bacteria have to arise in your body from something other than bacteria.

  18. #18 Mu
    April 27, 2010

    Ian, next time he comes visiting you just return the favor with a tea spoon of baking soda in his water, and tell him it’s the extra strong version of alkaline water (only available by prescription normally).

  19. #19 Canus Lupus
    April 27, 2010

    Interesting comments ORAC. I like your literary style as well. However, to criticize “the man” rather than, or in addition to, “the concept” detracts from your position – in my opinion. I’ve been a professional researcher for just over 35 years. In that time, I’ve learned many things in that time – and what I failed to learn, I have no doubt you will point out pretty quickly.

    The number one thing is this. We live in a western economy. That means nothing happens unless people buy things. The big pharmaceutical companies spent just over $30 billion dollars last year trying to convince you and me to buy there stuff.

    C’mon ORAC! What would you say to a car company that had to spend 5 million dollars a year in your community to convince you the car was good?

    From a consumer point of view, what are we to do? On the one side we have people like Young and Weil, and on the other side we have big pharma that actually hires people to blog and write stuff (similar to yours) that is designed to scare people into opting for the status quo.

    It is a very difficult battle we are in. My research on the acid side of the scale is scary. Coke and other have a pH of 2.5. It takes 64 ounces of pH 8 water just to neutralize that. We know that the body will strip minerals from the bones to buffer acidity. So what is the ideal balance of alkaline intake?

    Big pharma lost it’s virginity when Dr. McCully exposed them on their “statin” scheme. We now know that cholesterol is good. The body will make it if you don’t have enough. It lubes the joints and is involved in many enzymatic processes. The killer in this issue was homocystein. Big pharma didn’t want that known because to lower homocystein is cheap.. with just $5 per month worth of folic acid.

    And big pharma’s executives keep sliding between the mother ship and FDA and other regulatory agencies like they’re all parts of a well oiled machine. The optics are bad.

    Having said all that, I’ve experimented with alkalinity for treatment of weight and health issues and my observation is that there was a significant increase in overall health when the subject reduced acidic intake and increased alkalinity.

    I would like to know the medical mechanisms that were brought in to play on this, but I don’t have a multimillion dollar lab.

    I also have a good friend who is a clinical trials pharmacist. She disclosed to me all kinds of stuff. She says that big pharma pays all the bills at her cancer clinic and that if any patient is consuming anything outside of the traditional American diet, they are excluded from the program. Big Pharma does not want any alternative products to skew their results. They are not concerned at all about curing cancer, they are concerned with developing drugs that they can market. I confirmed this with another friend who is a retired pharmaceutical engineer. He said that they would bury him if they knew what he’d told me.

    After all that I ran out and bought Glenn Reynolds’ book “Army of Davids”.

    There is just too much to cover here… I’d rather sit and have a nice acidic beer or five with you but alas… there’s work to do.

  20. #20 Vicki
    April 27, 2010

    Canus lupus–

    Yes, we live in a market economy: that no more means pharmaceuticals are bad (or good) than it means that bicycles, novels, or carrots are. Nor is the street busker who I can listen to free necessarily a better musician than the band that’s playing in a local club. Price may not guarantee quality, but neither does getting things for free.

    At the other end of your comment, “my friend who I can’t name says that they don’t want to cure you, and that they’ll kill him if they find out I said this” is not convincing. Anonymous leads to checkable facts may be evidence and may convince people; anonymous plus vague is not.

  21. #21 tsig
    April 27, 2010

    Al kaline
    he played for the detroit tigers but I don’t see what that has to do with health.:)

  22. #22 David N. Brown
    April 27, 2010

    On a lighter note:
    HCl (hydrochloric acid) is used a lot in geology. When I was volunteering in a paleontology lab, I used it liberally to clean carbonate matrix off of fossils. Once, we had two police officers touring the lab, and my supervisor said, “Are you done using acid for the day?”

  23. #23 Sophia
    April 27, 2010

    “The cell begins its biological transformation becoming bacteria in the first stage; then yeast in the second stage; then mold in the 3rd stage of transformation until the anatomical elements of the organized cell (microzymas) are released to become part of some other organized cell.”

    “But that is why we age–or should I say “ferment” from over-acidity”

    This twatwaffle thinks that beer is made by making hops grow old?

  24. #24 phoenixwoman
    April 27, 2010

    By the way, Prince Charles’ aide at his woo firm just got busted for fraud: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/apr/26/prince-charles-aide-homeopathy-charity-arrested

  25. #25 Jarred C
    April 27, 2010

    Canus Lupus # 17 said, “Coke and other have a pH of 2.5. It takes 64 ounces of pH 8 water just to neutralize that.”

    What’s the point of that statement? It’s not biologically significant (which it seams like you are trying to imply). Drinking a can of soda at pH 2.5 doesn’t mean much when your stomach has a pH between 1.5-3.5. Unless you’re injecting soda intravenously, then I can see a problem here. (Or perhaps an enema? Ew/Ouch).

    To me, that statement makes no sense, especially when paired to the following sentence. Are you trying to intentionally obfuscate things?

  26. #26 Scott
    April 27, 2010

    It’s quite notable how completely evidence-free post 17 is. “Proof by vigorous assertion” don’t work, bub.

  27. #27 Ian
    April 27, 2010

    Like Canus Lupus, I would like to throw out an obligatory pseudo-compliment before launching into a concern-troll rant.

    Hey Orac, I saw a picture of you. I like your glasses.

    Have you ever used your glasses to look at how foreigners are ruining the ball pits at McDonald’s franchises all over the country? You should write about that, even though it’s completely unrelated to this post. My friend’s uncle’s former room-mate saw a Mexican kid in a ball pit stab a million babies. Surely my unsourced anecdote is sufficient information to convince all of your completely credulous readers that Playland(tm) violence is on the upswing, and it’s all the fault of damn dirty furriners!

    @Jarred C:

    Unless you’re injecting soda intravenously, then I can see a problem here. (Or perhaps an enema? Ew/Ouch)

    I’ll thank you to keep your editorializing about my lifestyle to yourself. What substances I inject into what orifices in front of audiences of what size are my own personal business!

  28. #28 D. C. Sessions
    April 27, 2010

    Damn, I love pH woo and the lies that idiots tell to go with it.

    For instance, there’s the pH of cola beverages and the beautiful ignorance that people proudly display on the subject. Consider the “64 ounces of 8.0 to counter” bit — where some genius did a weighted dilution of 8 ounces of 2.5 and 64 of 8.0 by adding (8*2.5+64*8)/72

    I won’t spoil the punchline for those who don’t understand why this doesn’t work.

    Perhaps more readily grokked by the average reader is the reason why carbonated beverages are so acidic: dissolved carbon dioxide. Once the stuff goes flat (or flatulent, or otherwise degasses) you might want to check the pH again. There’s a reason it’s called “soda.”

  29. #29 Pablo
    April 27, 2010

    Coke and other have a pH of 2.5. It takes 64 ounces of pH 8 water just to neutralize that

    As Jarred asks, why do you want to neutralize it?

    The stomach, under normal operating conditions, has pH on the order of 1 – 2, and about 1 L of liquid. It can expand with larger volumes, but adding acid to acid doesn’t do much. Dumping in a lot of more pH neutral food can increase the stomach pH to 3 – 4 for a short time, but it quickly restores itself.

    I have colleague who, when she teaches biochem, harps constantly on the role of buffers. You can’t understate their importance. The body is an extremely buffered system, and if you try to mess with that pH, the buffers take over.

  30. #30 Pablo
    April 27, 2010

    It’s quite notable how completely evidence-free post 17 is. “Proof by vigorous assertion” don’t work, bub.

    Oh come on, Scott. He’s got an unnamed friend who will attest to it.

  31. #31 Seb30
    April 27, 2010

    “… becoming bacteria in the first stage; then yeast in the second stage; then mold in the 3rd stage of transformation …”

    Oh, that’s where that mold came from on my Pseudomonas petri dishes. And me thinking I had some contamination…

    @ 17 Canus lupus

    “Coke and other have a pH of 2.5. It takes 64 ounces of pH 8 water just to neutralize that.”
    Why on earth would you want to do that? Of course it’s going to take forever to neutralize something that acid with something so close to neutral pH. It’s like emptying your beer glass with a teaspoon. That’s why a real chemist would be using stronger acids and alkalis.
    Now, explain to me, how is your body neutralizing the content of your stomach on a daily basis? I hope you know your stomach is full of hydrochloric acid.
    Also, you never noticed your stomach has an easier job if you drink something acid (like orange juice) before a rich meal?

  32. #32 JohnV
    April 27, 2010

    @DC

    Man I was busy looking up dissociation constants for carbonic acid (6.37)and sodium carbonate (3.67) so I could explain why the numbers you put up wouldn’t give you the right answer (also the lack of a concentration of acid+base doesn’t helping any). Then I read again and realized what you were saying :p

    And I was so excited about this being the first time in the 10 years since I took analytical chemistry that I’ve used that knowledge.

  33. #33 Scott
    April 27, 2010

    Oh come on, Scott. He’s got an unnamed friend who will attest to it.

    My 50 unnamed friends assert otherwise. And they’re big, tough, and carrying rather large clubs, too. ;)

  34. #34 Jarred C
    April 27, 2010

    JohnV @ 30;

    Not to mention that he claimed you need 64 ounces of pH 8 water to neutralize coke at pH 2.5; yet he doesn’t specify how much coke. So apparently, 64 ounces is enough to neutralize either a few mL of coke, or even a gallon or two of coke.

    64 ounces, it’s the magic number.

  35. #35 D. C. Sessions
    April 27, 2010

    Now, explain to me, how is your body neutralizing the content of your stomach on a daily basis?

    For those who don’t get enough of the fulminating insanity Orac puts up for well-deserved Respectful Insolence here, there’s always his old stomping grounds: misc.health.alternative

    Over there, we have luminaries who actually claim that for true health it’s necessary to maintain stomach alkalinity. I kid you not.

    MHA: where John Scudamore is a moderate.

  36. #36 Natalie
    April 27, 2010

    DC @ 26 – not being well versed in chemistry, I’ve decided the punchline to your post is the health benefits of regular burping following a delicious Coca-Cola.

  37. #37 WMDKitty
    April 27, 2010

    Sounds like this guy is ON acid….

  38. #38 Arren
    April 27, 2010

    Ian, superb satirical commentary from you of late — keep up the good work!

  39. #39 Little_Ruru
    April 28, 2010

    Agree with #36. Ian, your #25 provoked a LOL which scared the parrot off my shoulder > 2 laps around the lounge > back to shoulder.

  40. #40 ESPness
    April 28, 2010

    A city not far from me has very hard water. The kind that will kill a washing machine in 5 years and clogs up your iron. I haven’t checked the stats but I’d guess no one gets sick there, but they still have a hospital. That’s odd.

  41. #41 Necandum
    April 28, 2010

    Assuming 8 ounces (240ml) of Coke at 2.5ph, you’d need 25,640 ounces (758 litres) of 8ph water to neutralise it.

    Good luck with that.

  42. #42 Krebiozen
    April 28, 2010

    I did post about this yesterday, but my comment has not yet appeared. Our bodies produce about 1 kg or 20,000 mmol of acids every day as carbon dioxide, a lot more if we exercise vigorously, and perhaps 100 mmol/day as non-volatile acids, and eliminate them effortlessly. A 4 ounce piece of beef generates about 8 mmol of acids, a liter of Coke contains 2.5 mmol of acids (pH 2.6 = 0.0025M). So the amount of acids generated in our diet is tiny compared to the amount our metabolism produces constantly. Experiments using ammonium chloride to induce a metabolic acidosis require 4 mmol/kg and a low alkali diet to achieve this, or 15 mmol/kg and a high alkali diet. That means a 60 kg person would have to consume 240 mmol of acids daily, the equivalent of 7.5 pounds of beef or 96 liters of Coke each and every day to overwhelm their homeostatic mechanisms and produce acidosis.

  43. #43 Matthew Cline
    April 28, 2010

    Our bodies produce about 1 kg or 20,000 mmol of acids every day as carbon dioxide, a lot more if we exercise vigorously, and perhaps 100 mmol/day as non-volatile acids, and eliminate them effortlessly.

    Is it really fair to include carbonic acid, since it’s so easy to eliminate via just breathing it out?

  44. #44 Krebiozen
    April 28, 2010

    @43 Matthew, I’m not sure what you mean by “fair”. Is it fair to include the non-volatile acids, as we eliminate them easily by urinating? If it was only CO2 from our metabolism that was exhaled, I would agree, but it isn’t. Any increase in hydrogen ion concentration in the blood (whether from our metabolism, our diet, or from negative thinking about naturopaths) is buffered by the carbonic acid-bicarbonate buffer, and the CO2 produced is exhaled, maintaining the blood pH. The deficit in bicarbonate will be made up later by the kidneys by some complex active secretion, reabsorption and buffering.

    For example, the coke that was mentioned earlier is acidic because of phosphoric acid which, if absorbed, will be buffered by bicarbonate to form CO2 and phosphate. The CO2 will be exhaled, the phosphate will assist in the kidneys in excreting other non-volatile acids.

  45. #45 paulmurray
    April 28, 2010

    “they often tend to boil all disease down to one cause or a hadful of tightly related causes”

    This is typical of the paranoid style of thinking – *everything* boils down to something simple and identifiable, whether acid, flourine in our precious bodily fluids, or black helicopters.

    Or the devil, for that matter. Google “paranoid style”.

  46. #46 Helena Constantine
    April 29, 2010

    At least he keeps his patients safe from Andromeda.

  47. #47 nomuse
    April 30, 2010

    #46 Good one! I had to stare at it for a minute before the shoe dropped, though.

  48. #48 Janice Mattioli
    November 30, 2010

    And your vast amount of nutritional knowledge is from…? The ‘traditional’ American medical school…?

  49. #49 Chris
    November 30, 2010

    Ah, we have another necromancer! So, Ms. Mattioli, why have you decided to grace us with your empty questions on a seven month old article?

    Did you bother to read the article? Did you check out any of the more recent topics? Did you check the search box on the upper left of this page for more articles on Robert Young?

  50. #50 Jeff Cahill
    December 4, 2010

    Hi,

    I’m a layman and have a question about alkalinity/acidity I’m sure someone here can explain to me. Please take this discussion as entirely separate from Robert O. Young as I am only interested in trying to understand this one issue.

    In the comments, it is mentioned that the body can adjust its acidity. Many sources I have read claim that excess acid from animal products is neutralized by the body leeching calcium from tissue and bones. Reportedly, studies have shown that vegans have better bone mass than milk drinkers, although I have not gone so far as to research this.

    Regarding the acid cola drink going into an acid environment (the stomach), what is mentioned in the comments makes sense. However, I am still a little cloudy as nothing is mentioned once the mixture leaves the stomach.

    So, if an acidic food goes into the stomach and encounters stomach acids, what happens next? When it goes into the small intestine, it is acidic. This is the stage I would guess that if the statement I mentioned above is true, the body would need to use something to neutralize it.

    Now, if it is an alkaline substance, I would presume that it would mix with the acid in the stomach and come out into the small intestine a more neutral substance, and need less alkalinity to neutralize.

    Yes, the body can maintain the proper PH balance, but the issue is how and at what cost? It would seem to me that the net cost would be and seems to be calcium leeched from the body to neutralize the acid.

    As I mentioned, I am a layman. I am neither a doctor or a scientist … just someone trying to understand this subject. I don’t understand how the stomach works or the intestines, but I am intelligent enough that you don’t have to dumb it down for me. If I don’t understand something, I can research it and if still in the dark, I’ll ask for clarification. I’m hoping someone can clarify this for me.

    Thanks so much.

  51. #51 madder
    December 4, 2010

    @Jeff Cahill:

    You’re right about alkaline foods partially neutralizing stomach acids. But whether that happens or not, pancreatic juices are secreted into the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). As I recall, one of the main neutralizers of acidic chyme (the stuff coming out of the stomach) is bicarbonate. I am unaware of any major involvement of calcium ions in this process, and would guess that the primary cation is sodium (but could be wrong; someone will correct me if so).

  52. #52 Jeff Cahill
    December 6, 2010

    @madder

    OK, thanks. So, from my limited research based on your post, it seems that the body would take co2 from the breath and convert to bicarbonate, which would be used to neutralize the acid. Am I on the right track?

  53. #53 ferp
    December 6, 2010

    Crossposting.

    The simple answer, Jeff, is it’s a buffer system in your blood. It doesn’t leech out or suck anything from your bones or whatnot anytime you eat acidic/alkaline foods, the body simply maintains a buffer within your bloodstream at all times to keep your body at a pH of around 7.4.

    http://www.chemistry.wustl.edu/~edudev/LabTutorials/Buffer/Buffer.html

  54. #54 Jeff Cahill
    December 7, 2010

    Thanks very much, ferp. I’ll try to wrap my head around that in the next few days.

  55. #55 akljdfkjfjfjfj
    December 27, 2010

    Man.. the worst part is this guy is getting rich off idiots who believe his crap. Upon visiting his blog it was terribly obvious this guy is full of crap.

    I mean I came across this guy doing some research because I’m interested in trying out pro-biotics for some digestion problems I’ve been having… I wanted to know of any bad side effects. Google had a bevy of terrible things to say about pro-biotics.. until I realized all the citations were from this “Doctor” Young.

    I eventually came across this. Lol. I was pretty irate that morons on ehow were writing articles and citing this guy like he’s legitimate. I guess in a way they’re either just plain dumb (didn’t do research on who they were referencing) or just wanted the hits/ratings on their article.

    I posted this site as a response to a few of those articles… I seriously can’t believe the amount of idiots that will believe anything they read even when it lacks any logic or has any real basis.

  56. #56 Lynette Rorer
    May 6, 2011

    quackery maybe, but following Young’s suggestions eliminated a plethora of health problems for me. From feet that ached on waking to the point that I felt like a cripple at 52, to constant nagging mucous in the back of my throat, hypertension, and monthly colds and flu, and an overall worn out tired feeling that never left. Within a months time most of these were gone and all were gone in a year. I will add that this is the ONLY diet I’ve been committed to for almost four years. If it didn’t do amazing things for me I certainly would not follow it. I don’t buy expensive supplements from Young, I don’t approve of him marketing all that stuff. But I do think he’s on to something.
    Maybe you all are afraid of what might happen to your medical practices if there are no sick people.

  57. #57 novalox
    May 6, 2011

    @lynette
    It took you 5 months to come up with that fallacious a remark?

  58. #58 Truth
    May 19, 2011

    well seems to be a lot of intellectual dim wits on this site. Young promotes a theory about alkalinity in the body that is flatly refuted by many on here – yet there are many people and a few have posted here that they have recieved benefits by following what Young is promoting – To all the intelligent people here why not spend some time finding out why people get positive results from what Young promotes, rather than nit-picking about why Young is a fraud. I mean seriously all your bretheren 100 years ago practiced “blood letting” as a medical treatment which you all now realize was crazy and do you know what the greatest advancement in medical science has been in regard to the impact to Human health in the last 200 years? A better sewer system! Please also spare us the nonsense that Young is a greedy self seeking money hungry Quack, because that could equally apply to many people in the Medical profession and most likely to some that post on here.

  59. #59 Bronze Dog
    May 19, 2011

    What good evidence do you have that he’s right, “Truth.”

    Anecdotes don’t count. Anecdotalism is a big part of what supported allopathic bloodletting and the four humors hypothesis it was based on. Anecdotalism is still a big part in supporting allopathy’s sister, homeopathy. Anecdotalism can be used to support anything.

    People who actually know something about the human capacity towards self-deception already know several ways a useless product can get positive reviews. Usually people like you, however, refuse to admit being anything less than perfect gods.

  60. #60 Chris
    May 19, 2011

    Dear Necromancer, if you don’t like this article, you’ll dislike the more recent one even more:
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/05/all_bacteria_are_bad.php

    Also, leeches are still used in medicine, and some people have a genetic condition that requires therapeutic removal of blood. The difference between those and Mr. Young is that there actual evidence to support them.

    Plus, one what planet are lemons considered “alkaline”?

  61. #61 Matthew Cline
    May 19, 2011

    @Chris:

    Plus, one what planet are lemons considered “alkaline”?

    Among those who practice, errr, “alkalinization” (or whatever it’s called), a food is called alkaline or acidic based on whether or not eating it is supposed to increase or decrease body/blood pH, rather than based on the pH of the food itself.

  62. #62 Louis Morgan
    June 29, 2011

    I had an Ex Girlfriend with Lupus so bad she could barely walk or pee and was in such incredible pain. She had been through the ringer with Doctors for about 7 years and possibly some of the drugs had kept her alive at times. In the midst of taking these drugs I thought she didn’t have long to live. I had her go on a Robert O Young type alkaline diet as a last ditch experiment(since it’s so strict & “non-fun” for many)). The first three days were hellish, then she got better & better and in about 3 weeks she was about 90% symptom free, I mean feeling dramatically better!!! I could do a more in depth writing but the point is that this alkaline diet worked amazingly well for her. In addition to saving her life she also lost cellulite as a side effect. If anybody discounts these immediate life changing results as “quackery” then they are the biggest “Quacks” I could imagine.There is a big difference between open minded skepticism(which is where I’m at) and scoffing at something because it doesn’t fit with your conceptual models or standards. If something seems to give results it gets my attention, if it turns out to not work I move on, very simple. Oh BTW my ex didn’t have the discipline to stay on the Robert O Young diet or something resembling it so eventually some of her symptoms crept back, but it had nothing to do with the efficacy of the diet,it had to do with her taste addiction. As with many she held her “comfort foods” in higher esteem than her physical health. At least she is still doing ok though and knows how to bring back the balance if she needs to, she has a bigger sense of choice now. Not saying this diet would work for everyone but it certainly did for her, gotta be willing to experiment. Louis

  63. #63 Louis Morgan
    June 29, 2011

    Yeah Robert O Young has something to sell like most people, not everyone is like Mother Teresa(bless her Heart)get over it!!! Condemning a way of living or a dietary practice or anything “positive” for that matter before trying it or putting it to the test, is well, negative and ignorance-indulgent a type of intellectual arrogance or just plain blanket statement attitude. Real science, if one is into that, is based on investigation, it’s about open minded inquiry and looking at results, not coming to conclusions all the time based on No personal experience. So many “know it alls” jeez! I’ve been investigating health researchers such as Robert O Young for years and quess what, no one seems to have all the answers for everyone and not one diet or supplement is for everyone even if they say they are, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t value to any one of them. Use the best of intuition and reasoning and experiment, experiment, experiment;) Thats one of the great things about being Human, we have the ability(or potential anyway)to stay open minded and to be flexible and to inquire. Why cling to concepts sooo tightly? I guess it gives some people a rush to be right as often as possible or to break down other peoples view points, a type of power trip? Seems that some people are more into disproving than actual results or helping people as well. No I don’t work for the guy, I just think it’s rediculous generalizing and putting harsh labels on people that have helped so many, even if they are trying to make a living at what they do. Nothing wrong with questioning but all this judgement without any real “putting the rubber to the road” and trying things out, I mean come on. Even if you don’t agree with the technical aspects and all the chemistry and hypothesis for the diet, doesn’t mean it doesn’t work for many people.

  64. #64 Chris
    June 29, 2011

    Louis Morgan:

    I’ve been investigating health researchers such as Robert O Young for years

    What are your qualifications? Why should we believe you, or care what you have to say?

    I see one serious flaw in your statement about Mr. Young, you called him a “health researcher.” How good of a “researcher” is Mr. Young if he thinks lemons are alkaline?

  65. #65 Louis Dinwiddie
    June 29, 2011

    Chris, What are your health qualifications? Mine are that I read books, research You-tube, go to live lectures listen to Cd’s, Videos, Etc for years now and take all those assumptions and put them to the test as best I can, thats all I really care about is the results I get, not debating all the ideas. I haven’t been sick, not even once in over a decade, that means something to to me. The idea with lemons is that the end product of their metabolism is one of alkalinity not that the lemon its self is alkaline did you get that? Can you prove or not prove this? I can’t at the moment. But the diet has value was my point, what are your qualifications? What have you seen with your health or that of your loved ones? Thats what I’m most interested in.

  66. #66 Louis Dinwiddie
    June 29, 2011

    Chris, What are your health qualifications? Mine are that I read books, research You-tube, go to live lectures listen to Cd’s, Videos, Etc for years now and take all those assumptions and put them to the test as best I can, thats all I really care about is the results I get, not debating all the ideas. I haven’t been sick, not even once in over a decade, that means something to to me. The idea with lemons is that the end product of their metabolism is one of alkalinity not that the lemon its self is alkaline did you get that? Can you prove or not prove this? I can’t at the moment. But the diet has value was my point, what are your qualifications? What have you seen with your health or that of your loved ones? Thats what I’m most interested in.

  67. #67 Composer99
    June 29, 2011

    With regards to Louis [variable last name]‘s claim:

    The idea with lemons is that the end product of their metabolism is one of alkalinity not that the lemon its self is alkaline did you get that? Can you prove or not prove this?

    {citation required} – it is not Chris’ responsibility to prove, not prove, disprove, approve, or anything-else-prove your claim.

    Please provide evidence, from physiology or from experimental/clinical studies, showing that the metabolizing of lemons can somehow increase human internal pH.

  68. #68 augustine
    June 29, 2011

    Chris is a rocket scientist so she can pretty much figure out anything in the world because she’s that much more smarter than anyone else. But her expertise in health and disease stems from her years traveling with a military family. She’s worldly, you know. She won’t tell you that she has stayed in a Holiday Inn Express.

    Composer99 plays the flute. Not quite sure why that makes him an expert in health. But flute players are entitled to their opinions, too.

  69. #69 Louis
    June 29, 2011

    Chris, Robert O Young is a health researcher, thats a fact, how can that be a flaw in my statement? Whether he’s good or not is a matter of opinion. What in the heck are you talking about? Your the one that came up with the “good” in that statement , I just said the diet worked for my Ex.

  70. #70 Gray Falcon
    June 29, 2011

    I’ve seen glowing testimonials for 19th-century patent remedies that contained mostly alcohol. Testimonials only assume that treatment was what was responsible, or at least the principle behind it. It’s entirely possible your wife simply removed an allergen from her diet when she changed over.

  71. #71 Louis
    June 29, 2011

    Far as I’m concerned nothing is proven by the writing of words in regards to the lemon thing, as I said I don’t completely assume Robert Youngs statement about lemons is true. I will entertain such assumptions though for awhile and see what results are seemingly gained. as for qualifications, yeah rocket Scientist is pretty awesome, definitely gotta prove that stuff in order to get into space or such. How would you prove much of anything just by writing it down though? If I see something thats sounds like people have gotten good results with it then I will check it out and put it to the test with my own body.

  72. #72 Louis
    June 29, 2011

    Grey Falcon, yeah it could be an allergen was removed and that was the sole benefit, yet another assumption. We had tried numerous other diets, supplements etc and didn’t get any real significant results until trying the “alkaline diet”. Thats why I said it may not work for everyone. Testimonials are just one aspect of learning, and useful at times.

  73. #73 Krebiozen
    June 29, 2011

    Louis,
    Lupus is notoriously variable in its course. I know a couple of people with lupus and they have bad periods followed by good periods, followed by bad periods. They often attribute their good periods to some change in diet or lifestyle they have tried, but are disappointed when they relapse and the new diet or whatever has no effect.

    You have no idea what the course of your ex’s illness would have been if she had not tried Young’s diet. Maybe it helped, maybe it didn’t. There is no good reason to think his diet would have any dramatic effect on an autoimmune disease like lupus.

    I don’t believe Robert O. Young is a health researcher, I think he is a clever con artist with a bunch of mail order qualifications from unaccredited academic institutions. He puts people on a diet that science tells us will be healthier than the standard American diet, and also sells them expensive powders and vegetable extracts. When they feel better, he claims this is because his products made their bodies more alkaline, which contradicts mountains of scientific evidence. This is a classic bait and switch strategy.

    In more than 20 years as a biomedical scientist working in clinical biochemistry I measured blood pH on hundreds, probably thousands of people. The only ones whose blood pH was acidic were those who were extremely ill – for example diabetic ketoacidosis, kidney failure, salicylate overdose or cardiac arrest. Once their underlying problems were resolved, their blood pH would return to normal. Young’s claims that we accumulate acids through a poor lifestyle is demonstrably wrong.

    By the way, lemons are claimed to be alkaline because they contain citric acid. When citric acid is ingested it is neutralized by bicarbonate in the body to form carbon dioxide, which is exhaled, and citrate which is excreted in the urine. Citrate is alkaline, so ingesting lemons leads to alkaline urine, even though it actually increases the net acidity of the body. Young claims that urine pH reflects tissue pH. It doesn’t.

  74. #74 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    June 29, 2011

    Not a valid comparison, but someone told me a while ago that his friend’s leukemia was put into complete remission by prayer. I heard several months later that the leukemia was back, and didn’t have the gall and poor taste to ask for the cause.

  75. #75 Louis
    June 29, 2011

    Krebiozen, Your assuming that the Robert Young diet didn’t work for helping greatly alleviate the Lupus is highly assumptional and biased towards your dim opinion of Robert Young. You’ve only heard a slight brief tesimonial and you’ve come to all kinds of conclusions & opinions. Regardless of your education in Bio medical science if You haven’t tried the diet or observed others on it, or even heard the full details of my testimonial, I can see that you’ve made your mind up. We didn’t use any of his products BTW except the book which I had had previously before I even met my girlfriend. What does all the education in the world mean if one can’t keep an open mind? Again, I never said this diet was “the end-all be-all of diets” it just “SEEMED”(does that word work better for You?) to work for Us. I’m a bit more of an “explorer” than a “concluder”, though I conclude at times as well. Mostly I just play with assumptions, and some of them pan out wonderfully, and many don’t. I haven’t had a cold or flu in ten years though so maybe you think thats all placebo?

  76. #76 Louis
    June 29, 2011

    Mephistopheles O’Brien, whatever it was that improved the leukemia, old patterns of lifestyle can return. Also some diseases can come and go of thier own accord. Too bad it returned. With my Ex Erin whenever she resumes a more “alkaline” lifestyle she improves again, but she is an addict to food and doesn’t have the discipline to be consistent, but even dabbling in it has kept her “seemingly” in better health despite her lifestyle.

  77. #77 Bronze Dog
    June 29, 2011

    Krebiozen, Your assuming that the Robert Young diet didn’t work for helping greatly alleviate the Lupus is highly assumptional and biased towards your dim opinion of Robert Young. You’ve only heard a slight brief tesimonial and you’ve come to all kinds of conclusions & opinions.

    You REALLY don’t know how skepticism works, do you?

    Science-based medicine requires that we assume something doesn’t work until it’s been given a decent scientific trial. Testimonials, regardless of which direction they go, are useless as confirmation of a hypothesis.

    Quite frankly, it sounds like you’re the one who’s jumping to unwarranted conclusions based on anecdote, as if your example was the template upon which reality is based.

    Regardless of your education in Bio medical science if You haven’t tried the diet or observed others on it, or even heard the full details of my testimonial, I can see that you’ve made your mind up.

    And we should just blindly take your word for it that you are a godlike entity capable of knowing those full details?

    Get over yourself. The reason anecdotes are useless for hypothesis confirmation is precisely because no one can claim to know all the relevant details in the everyday environment, especially given the human capacity for self-deception. Science tries to clear up that confusion by cutting down on variables.

    What does all the education in the world mean if one can’t keep an open mind?

    Pure projection. He’s given very good reasons to doubt your conclusions, and you’re berating him for daring to raise questions. You’re the closed-minded one.

    You should exercise some skepticism and try to understand that you, like every other human being, is subject to self-deception and bias. Try learning something about our actual positions, rather than rehearsing your prejudices.

    I haven’t had a cold or flu in ten years though so maybe you think thats all placebo?

    I once thought taking daily vitamins was responsible for a period of my life with minimal colds and such. Then I read that it’s normal for people to go through their 20′s with minimal colds. I stopped taking the vitamins, and still no colds.

    The human body is not a toaster. It’s dizzying in its complexity. That makes cause an effect much harder to establish than you seem to think it is. That’s why people like us demand clinical trials for treatments, and not just blindly follow the advice of random anecdotes on the internet.

  78. #78 Krebiozen
    June 29, 2011

    Louis,
    As I wrote, “Maybe it helped, maybe it didn’t”. I didn’t assume anything, you assumed that the improvements your ex experienced were due to the diet. The only way to find out with any degree of confidence if an intervention like a diet works for a disease like lupus is a clinical trial of a large number of people. I know from my own personal experience just how easy it is to fool yourself into thinking that a supplement or a change in diet has had an effect on your health when it hasn’t.

    I think that eating less fat and refined carbohydrate, eating more fruits (though Young claims these are toxic) and vegetables, losing a bit of weight and taking some moderate exercise can have a dramatic effect on many people’s health. I don’t believe this has anything at all to do with alkalinity, as Young claims.

    I do have a very dim opinion of Young because he promotes idiotic ideas that anyone with any scientific literacy knows are nonsense. For example, he claims that our stomach are not acidic, and their function is to alkalize foods. I have measured the pH of stomach fluids and I know that they are acidic. I also know, through personal experiment, that the enzymes in our stomachs that digest proteins work better at acidic pH.

    Young claims that we accumulate acids from our foods, when I know that our metabolism constantly generates far more acidity than we could possibly take in as food, and that our bodies easily eliminate through urine and respiration. How is it that we can exercise vigorously and our bodies effortlessly eliminate the large amounts of excess acid produced, yet if we eat a piece of cheese, they have to store the acids generated in our tissues? It’s unscientific rubbish.

  79. #79 Louis
    June 29, 2011

    Yeah this isn’t the forum for Me I guess, I’t seems my Master-debater aspect got tempted as I was researching alkaline diet stuff and I was sidelined. Mostly I just want to explore, absorb, play with, put to the test all manner of ideas in my on-going fascination with human health. I’m into many, many, many viewpoints, the alkaline diet is just one area of research I explore and has a soft spot for me because I saw it “seemingly” change the life of someone I loved. I’m literally into almost anything health related and I will entertain any authors viewpoints. Not really into debating all day, but it’s been interesting. I am more open minded/experimental than ever yet quite skeptical and damn it feels good! Thanks for the responses, Ciao Louis

  80. #80 Chris
    June 29, 2011

    Louis:

    Chris, Robert O Young is a health researcher, thats a fact, how can that be a flaw in my statement?

    Buying a diploma from a mail order outfit does not make him a health researcher. He says and writes things that are factually untrue, like claiming his diet will cure cancer. All you have to do is go to a more recent discussion about one of his victims:
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/12/a_horrifying_breast_cancer_testimonial.php

  81. #81 Louis
    June 29, 2011

    Krebiozen, Your right I overlooked that you wrote “Maybe it helped, maybe it didn’t”, yeah assumptions on both sides, but to say your not assuming anything, come on get real. We’re both making assumptions, thats how we ultimately get anything done. Being rigidly attached to assumptions is something else. I don’t agree or totally disagree with all of Roberts ideas, same with most authors, that doesn’t mean there arent some ideas that serve a purpose or get results.

  82. #82 Bronze Dog
    June 29, 2011

    Which alleged assumptions are you disagreeing with? Get it out there.

  83. #83 Louis
    June 29, 2011

    Krebiozen, Skepticism (or scepticism) has many definitions, but generally refers to any questioning attitude of knowledge, facts, or opinions/beliefs stated as facts.

    This is one definition on wikipedia, is that not it? I can be highly questioning of anything and still try it out and see if it has efficacy. I don’t need a clinical trial to get some results from a diet how simple is that?

    Whats your point? You need a clinical trial to live life? How do you know no one’s cancer was ever improved by the diet? Maybe not everyone gets those results, thats granted.

  84. #84 Bronze Dog
    June 29, 2011

    I don’t need a clinical trial to get some results from a diet how simple is that?

    Yes. You. Do.

    Do you not realize how naive and arrogant you’re being? You’re essentially claiming that you have the godlike ability to not have your perceptions colored by biases, to not be able to deceive yourself, and to not be fooled by alternative causes.

    You are not a god. You are a human being like the rest of us. For something as complex as that human body of yours, you can’t simply accept a narrow sample. You need to weigh it against many other humans to filter out selection biases, dumb luck, and nonspecific alternative causation.

    My epistemology simply assumes you’re human (or otherwise similarly flawed), and thus you are vulnerable to the same cognitive biases. Are you challenging that assumption in particular?

  85. #85 louis
    June 29, 2011

    Chris, oh I didn’t know research was limited to people who went to a certain university. Are you kidding me, anyone who reads a variety of material is a reasearher to some degree or another. Whether you agree with it or not does not make it “non-research” Whether someone does not go to college or not does not make them a bad researcher necessarily.

  86. #86 Chris
    June 29, 2011

    Do you seriously believe a person who bought his credentials and cannot get simple things like the acidity of lemons right?

    First he is lying. Second he does not know the basics of chemistry, or even cooking (the acidity of lemons is crucial in some dressings and other uses, and some foods are actually “cooked” with citrus juices, like ceviche).

    You are gullible.

  87. #87 Gray Falcon
    June 29, 2011

    Louis, this isn’t a question of having a fancy degree, this is a question of thoroughness and study design. At no point did Bronze Dog suggest having a degree was necessary to do research, he simply pointed out the weaknesses in your personal observations. I’ve actually seen a small but well-designed study of seasickness remedies done on “Mythbusters”, which showed that ginger performed better than the placebo, and had less drastic side effects than the competing medication.

  88. #88 Krebiozen
    June 29, 2011

    Louis,

    It wasn’t me who mentioned skepticism, but the way I think of it is to always ask how you know what you think you know.

    There are hundreds of different diets you might try, raw food diets, vegan diets, raw (and rotting) meat diets, low carb, high carb, you name it and probably someone out there has promoted it as the key to health and long life. There are far too many to give each one a try personally and see what works, especially as this is a very unreliable way of finding the truth. Some of them may well be dangerous.

    The best way I know of finding out what might be useful is to see if anyone has done a clinical trial, or any sort of study to see how people who follow that diet fare as compared with those who have a different diet. The EPIC study in Europe is following nearly a million people while closely following their dietary habits and some interesting findings have emerged already. Fruit and vegetables are good, too much fat and processed meats are bad seems to be the main finding so far. Vegetarians have a slightly higher overall mortality than meat eaters, which I thought was interesting, though there may be other reasons for that.

    As for whether a particular diet might help with cancer, there have been a number of studies that have looked at that, and the results have not been impressive. The Gonzalez protocol which is largely dietary was tried for pancreatic cancer, but patients who had conventional treatment lived three times as long as those on the dietary treatment. If you are interested in alternative cancer treatments, I recommend this website for a skeptical look.

  89. #89 Louis
    June 29, 2011

    Krebiozen

    When did I say I was not prone to self-deception and bias, I’d be the first to admit that. And I didn’t say you should blindly take anybodys word for things(unless you want to), where do you come up with this stuff? How did I act GODlike?, this stuff is all your projections. I just gave a friggin testimonial, discard it as you will.

    Talk about projection & assumptions. This is just getting to be a name calling match, gotta go. Peace

  90. #90 Chris
    June 29, 2011

    I should also note that a person taking, and understanding, college prep chemistry in high school would know that Mr. Young does not know anything about pH. Any competent cook would know which fruits are acidic, plus the reason for the bubbles created when vinegar and baking soda are mixed (like in cakes, muffins and other quick breads… or even buttermilk and baking powder).

    And it only takes reading this blog’s more recent posts on Young to realize that he contributed to a death.

  91. #91 Bronze Dog
    June 29, 2011

    That was my post about self-deception and bias.

    In order to accept testimonials or personal experience as conclusive evidence, you have to assume that you have those godlike immunities. You didn’t say them out loud, but you’ve kept them hidden in enthymemes (unstated premises), whether you realize it consciously or not.

    I’m just calling out the assumptions I perceive you’re making.

    Science is about cutting out as much of those as you can with good experimental design, and you’re openly advocating an experimental design (unblinded self-experimentation with a sample of n=1) that maximizes the effect of those biases.

  92. #92 louis
    June 29, 2011

    Chris, of course I know lemons are acidic, it’s the debate as to what is the end product of metabolism, and i never said I was convinced of Roberts idea on that, you assumed I did. Have you actually read the book “sick and tired” by Robert or the Ph Miracle? Have you actually entertained his explanation, I’m not saying I agree with it. Gullible, you’re not even reading what I said accurately, so you might not have read what Robert said accurately.

  93. #93 Louis
    June 29, 2011

    Bronze Dog, I certainly don’t think Testimonials are Conclusive Evidence. I just think they have a certain limited value in experimenting with ones own health. thats fine if You don’t agree. I’m just not into labeling buncha people as Quacks, that doesn’t seem very scientific to me, not that you were throwing that label around.

  94. #94 Bronze Dog
    June 29, 2011

    I just think they have a certain limited value in experimenting with ones own health.

    Much, much more limited than you seem to think.

    thats fine if You don’t agree.

    You do realize that people end up dying because they take that attitude, don’t you? Don’t be so flippant about such a serious matter. This isn’t like a preference for chocolate or vanilla. This is about how one establishes fact, and how we use those facts in what can become life-and-death matters.

    I’m just not into labeling buncha people as Quacks, that doesn’t seem very scientific to me, not that you were throwing that label around.

    If they don’t perform real scientific trials to reach their conclusions, they’re quacks, and they can have very serious consequences.

  95. #95 Chris
    June 29, 2011

    Louis:

    Have you actually read the book “sick and tired” by Robert or the Ph Miracle?

    Why should I waste my time with someone who inflates their credentials and has contributed to the death of woman with breast cancer?

  96. #96 Bronze Dog
    June 29, 2011

    Another good question: Why should we read a book written by someone who thinks citric acid is alkaline?

    If it requires abandoning basic chemistry, I’m not willing to hand over money. Try giving us something from a peer-reviewed scientific journal. (Do you even know what that entails?)

  97. #97 Chris
    June 29, 2011

    Especially since there are so many more wonderful books around. I am just finishing up The Disappearing Spoon, and next on my list is A Planet of Viruses by Carl Zimmer.

  98. #98 Louis
    June 29, 2011

    I don’t feel I’m being flippant. My assumption right or wrong is that millions have died at the hands of Doctors(M.D.s) all over the land. Why pick on just one person and one or a few incidents. I’m not familiar with the incedent some of You are referring to where someone died Under Roberts care(although I’ve read about it briefly on wikipedia)? Thats definitely unfortunate, although it happens all the time with all kinds of Doctors and it doesn’t negate ALL of Roberts work, even if he has been irresponsible. So people are taking risks when they work with their own health, very true. People take many risks going to an M.D. eating at a restaurant and driving in their car constantly. Is there some guarantee that just because someone tries something they are going to be alright, where does this responsibility lie? As well, just my opinion. You haven’t read any of his books, this is not even a real debate. like I said I’m into many, many authors and yet I don’t totally believe or not what they espouse, I just pick & choose and see what seems to be working. Not all of Us want to wait around our whole lives before all the studies are finally in, how long will that be on any given subject? Cars and planes work well enough for us to use yet people get killed in them all the time, does that mean we shouldn’t use them because there hasn’t been a study yet showing that driving is safe? It’s similiar with health, there are risks when you try to help yourself whether through your own research or by going to an M.D., or a holistic practitioner for that matter. life is full of risks, thats not being flippant.

  99. #99 augustine
    June 29, 2011

    Bdog

    Do you not realize how naive and arrogant you’re being? You’re essentially claiming that you have the godlike ability to not have your perceptions colored by biases, to not be able to deceive yourself, and to not be fooled by alternative causes.

    “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
    Tell Me, if you [a]have understanding,
    -Job 38:4

    Where were you BronzeDog?

  100. #100 Chris
    June 29, 2011

    Louis:

    I’m not familiar with the incedent some of You are referring to where someone died Under Roberts care(although I’ve read about it briefly on wikipedia)?

    See the blue lettering in one of my comments, #80. That is a link to a more recent article. Put your cursor over the blue lettering, it will turn (depending on your operating system) from an arrow to a little hand. When that happens click on the left mouse button.

  101. #101 Bronze Dog
    June 29, 2011

    I don’t feel I’m being flippant.

    You certainly came across that way.

    My assumption right or wrong is that millions have died at the hands of Doctors(M.D.s) all over the land. Why pick on just one person and one or a few incidents.

    1. This isn’t about individuals, this is about methods. This is about diligence versus laziness. My beef with you this isn’t just about Young, but a philosophy of laziness you seem to be espousing.

    Unblinded, undocumented, unverified, unreviewed “experiments” with only one subject (AKA ‘anecdotes’) are hardly worth calling experiments when you’re dealing with something as complicated as the human body.

    2. Don’t mix up infrastructure problems with knowledge problems:

    Accidentally killing someone because a pharmacist put the wrong label on a bottle of pills you gave the patient is an infrastructure problem. Neglect because you’re overloaded with other patients is an infrastructure problem. Letting someone die of a disease because you chose to cherry pick anecdotes instead of using science to find the right treatment is a knowledge problem.

    Everything you’re posting seems to be an attempt to dodge fundamental issues of epistemology.

    You haven’t read any of his books, this is not even a real debate.

    You need to get acquainted with the big picture, here. What I came in here about was your reckless abuse of basic logic and apparent ignorance of humanity’s capacity for bias and self-deception. That’s the key factor that unites you and every quack I’ve ever known about.

    You come across as trying to ignore the elephant in the room by nitpicking about my lack of knowledge about tiny, tiny details.

    And yes, there are risks in everything in life. I’ve flamed a lot of quackery apologists for employing the Perfect Solution Fallacy. (Vaccines aren’t perfect, therefore, they rationalize, they’re absolutely worthless.)

    What I want is for civilization to learn about and minimize those risks wherever possible. I harbor no delusions that we can eliminate risk.

    To me, you seem like a gambler who believes in luck, not probability or statistics. You can’t perform statistical analysis on a sample size of one. Just because you see one person win a few bucks at the lottery does not mean the lottery is a sound investment.

    From Ugh Troll:

    “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
    Tell Me, if you [a]have understanding,
    -Job 38:4

    Where were you BronzeDog?

    Augie presents a self-defeating argument: Unless he himself was there to see god lay down that foundation, he can’t take that god’s word for it. Of course, he’s taking the author’s word for it that god even had that conversation.

    Of course, we all know he’s not the sort of person who’d care about evidence- and logic-based epistemologies.

  102. #102 augustine
    June 29, 2011

    Bdog

    Just because you see one person win a few bucks at the lottery does not mean the lottery is a sound investment.

    You’re just a kid aren’t you Bdog? Your level of science blog maturity is on the low end. You just raised a Wizard of Oz sized scarecrow.

  103. #103 Bronze Dog
    June 29, 2011

    So… are you arguing that the lottery is a sound investment if you see one person win?

  104. #104 Louis
    June 29, 2011

    BronzeDog, I respect the complexity that goes into the technology I enjoy and the “scientific” process which that process employs, I just don’t think being healthy and recovering from a health issue is always that complex, sometimes it is, it depends on the situation. Intuition is also a factor, it’s what ties everything together, and it can be simple as well as complex, it’s a paradox. Following a particular diet to the letter to make it work at it’s utmost effectiveness is not being Lazy, i think your confused. How do you evaluate what to put into your mouth food or otherwise? Do you line up a bunch of peer-reviewed scientific journals all the time or do you eat what you want willy nilly, we both have our ways of looking into things and I respect both. I won’t resort to labeling you as a quack like you have Me, but I will say that we are both looking for answers. Maybe too much complexity is one of the reasons we have such rampant health issue? That was an inquiry, not a statement. I see both sides. So I assume the way you talk your not much into health books at all unless they are up to a very high standard of scientific scrutiny? We all got our thing man. I’m very much into info backed up by lots of science, just won’t limit myself to that. How do animals know how to eat? It’s not through peer-reviewed scientific journals & constant studies telling them what to do or not do. They use “INTUITION”, again I’m not negating all things scientific at all, just saying there are other ways to perceive in this world, all of it can be integrated, doesn’t have to be negated. I don’t consider animals lazy, extremely VITAL maybe, especially when untouched by Humans, you know what I mean BronzeDog? Those darn gambling animals hahhhaa

  105. #105 Chris
    June 29, 2011

    Louis, why are avoiding going to the article about Kim Tinkham? Here is the link, again:
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/12/a_horrifying_breast_cancer_testimonial.php

  106. #106 Bronze Dog
    June 29, 2011

    Following a particular diet to the letter to make it work at it’s utmost effectiveness is not being Lazy, i think your confused.

    That is NOT where I’m accusing you of laziness. I’m accusing you of mental laziness in making conclusions based only on personal experience and anecdote. It doesn’t matter if it’s a diet or a drug regimen.

    How do you evaluate what to put into your mouth food or otherwise? Do you line up a bunch of peer-reviewed scientific journals all the time or do you eat what you want willy nilly, we both have our ways of looking into things and I respect both.

    There’s referring to the consensus of experts, which strives for objectivity through a sort of rivalrous redundancy.

    I see both sides.

    You don’t even seem to be aware of my “side.”

    So I assume the way you talk your not much into health books at all unless they are up to a very high standard of scientific scrutiny?

    It’s not “very high” standards. You just seem to have no standards of any sort.

    How do animals know how to eat? It’s not through peer-reviewed scientific journals & constant studies telling them what to do or not do. They use “INTUITION”…

    Useful enough instincts formed by countless generations of brutal natural selection that only requires they survive long enough to reproduce. I kind of want humanity to do, you know, better than just that.

    You know, by challenging their gut instincts instead of just arrogantly assuming they’re correct.

    …just saying there are other ways to perceive in this world, all of it can be integrated, doesn’t have to be negated. I don’t consider animals lazy, extremely VITAL maybe, especially when untouched by Humans, you know what I mean BronzeDog? Those darn gambling animals hahhhaa

    It sounds like you believe in the Disney theme park version of nature.

  107. #107 Louis
    June 29, 2011

    Bronze Dog, Winning the lottery(you talking state lottery or those little, small town local ones?) is a little different than experimenting with different diets or supplements to raise ones health, not the greatest Analogy. Playing with a diet based on a book to help with ones own health or that of a loved one is much better odds, but of course not without risk, of course thats a given. Many of us feel that going to a doctor is far riskier, but thats also a gross generalization, it all depends on the doctor doesn’t it? I’ve had a few friends & family, go to the hospital for something that didn’t seem terribly serious and come out DEAD, within days!!!!!!!!!!!! Hows that lottery for ya? In the end it comes down to what your going to trust, and it’s always a risk.

  108. #108 Bronze Dog
    June 29, 2011

    Bronze Dog, Winning the lottery(you talking state lottery or those little, small town local ones?) is a little different than experimenting with different diets or supplements to raise ones health, not the greatest Analogy

    You completely and utterly missed my point. Was it deliberate?

    That analogy isn’t about diet, it’s about the inherent flaws in anecdotes!

    Once again, you demonstrate your inability to see my side, despite claims to the contrary.

  109. #109 Narad
    June 29, 2011

    I can be highly questioning of anything and still try it out and see if it has efficacy. I don’t need a clinical trial to get some results from a diet how simple is that?

    Fine. How do you choose which ideological diet to try out for “efficacy”? If it doesn’t work, how do you choose the next one? Is it necessary to periodically go back on previously tried diets to see if they now have “efficacy”? Why diet in the first place? This is simply a recipe for meandering dilettantism.

  110. #110 Louis
    June 29, 2011

    Chris, I have been looking through the article, thank you, very sad. Most of my family died in the hands of M.D.s from cancer, cirrhosis, hepatitis etc earlier than was necessary in my opinion, so I know the feeling of loved ones dying. I still am not convinced that Roberts program is worthless or bunk. I will say it doesn’t work for everyone and that he is quite fallible and possibly arrogant and the like, but I won’t condemn him as a quack, I also totally believe in integrative medicine. He should have not pushed her to do it his way, even if he really believed it would work. You really think he wanted her to die , get all her money and have all this heat and/or guilt come down on him? This attitude is quite prevalent in many M.D.s if you’ve noticed. They think they “know it all” many times and won’t admit their own fallability or ignorance in any given subject. This is a human thing, an egoic thing, an over confidence thing, not an alternative mecicine thing. I never said Robert knows it all, maybe he said he did though. What are you trying to convince me of at this point? I agree with you. Btw my current girlfriends name is Kim

  111. #111 Louis
    June 29, 2011

    BronzeDog, I probably don’t understand your veiwpoint, admittedly, i have tried, but afterall you are you and I am Me, how would we know exactly what the other is going through from a few paragraphs? Turtles living to be hundreds of years old, thats quite some time for reproduction. I know thats one of the exceptions;) Yes I do want better for Us humans as well.

  112. #112 Louis
    June 29, 2011

    Narad, because I get results, pure & simple, and it’s fun. Its called health freedom. You can eat what you like, why do I care? But if as a friend you told me you got some great effect from some food or supplement I would be into trying it depending on if it enticed me for whatever the reason, whats your point? You just eat everything without thinking about it or what? Comes down to trust no matter who you follow. when you go to the store you trust based on the fact that everybody around you is shopping, that the food is safe, we live by trust, you can’t get far without it. If some guy in a lab coat says its been approved for this or that, even better!

  113. #113 Chris
    June 29, 2011

    It is not what Mr. Young tells you to eat, it is the fact he tells people it will cure their diseases. Which is why Kim Tinkham died too young and in much pain.

  114. #114 Gray Falcon
    June 29, 2011

    Louis, you make speak of health freedom, but some of us feel that people do not have a right to be deceived. Tell me, do you people should be free to buy cars that they are unaware lack brakes?

  115. #115 Narad
    June 30, 2011

    Try answering the actual questions. What’s the plan if your “fun” diet suddenly stops producing “results”? Grab hold of the first piece of “enticing” psychic flotsam that passes by?

  116. #116 Louis
    June 30, 2011

    BronzeDog, I said early on I thought testimonials(or anecdotes) had limited value for me, but whatever value they have it is signifigant for me. I never said testimonials/anecdotes weren’t flawed. What i said was i utilize all available information, flawed or not. What about that is not clear? All information gathering is flawed, but you do your best, we obviously have a different idea about that. I don’t really want to convert you to think purely the way I do, i like the way you think. It’s nice to have a variety of ways of perceiving, so many great things come out of that mix. I bet you kick ass at chess.

  117. #117 Bronze Dog
    June 30, 2011

    Narad, because I get results, pure & simple, and it’s fun. Its called health freedom.

    Please note: I consider the bolded portion the most important point I’m trying to get across, which you seem to be ignoring.

    1. When dealing with complex structures like the human body and its reaction to certain events, how can you trust results from unblinded, uncontrolled pseudo-experiments that do nothing to remove confounding factors and biases? (AKA: Anecdotes)

    2. We’re familiar with a LOT of people talking about “health freedom.” All too often, they present attitudes against informed consent and consumer protection laws. Some even express views that could be construed as favoring the deregulation of human experimentation. As such, we usually see it as a code word for giving their favorite quack a special exception from the rigorous standards and accountability we want to apply equally to all who provide health services and products.

  118. #118 Louis
    June 30, 2011

    Ok Chris yes, i understood;)

  119. #119 augustine
    June 30, 2011

    So… are you arguing that the lottery is a sound investment if you see one person win?

    Did anyone except you make that argument? Create scarecrow. Burn straw. End of story.

  120. #120 Louis Dinwiddie
    June 30, 2011

    Narad, i like to think I’m a little more discerning than to pick up on every flotsom man, but whatever. Well ok if My diet or lifestyle “suddenly stopped working” then I would readjust, and try other things As I have many times in my life. You think I worship one diet or dogma? I stay as current as possible and check out whatever latest research is out that I have time to read or listen too, there’s only so much time in the day.Thats what the internet is so good for, long as you can get through alot of “money inspired” stuff and get to people that present things without alot of money motivation as a bias. this money motivation is found in many supplement companys obviously as it’s found with drug companies. So yes takes some real looking into. so you didn’t anawer my question, you just eat everything and hope for the best or have you done any research into how to take care of your body through diet, or do you care or even think thats possible?

  121. #121 augustine
    June 30, 2011

    Once again, you demonstrate your inability to see my side…

    Still self-centric, I see. All about you.

  122. #122 augustine
    June 30, 2011

    Fine. How do you choose which ideological diet to try out for “efficacy”? If it doesn’t work, how do you choose the next one?

    Narads, still preaching the 4 food groups?

  123. #123 Louis
    June 30, 2011

    BronzeDog, I should clarify, I trust enough to try something out and then go from there. I don’t mean I trust enough to think that what I did would work for everyone or even thats it’s working all the time for me. Some things I don’t notice an effect from, or very subtle but I continue to take it, so what?

    Yes Grey Falcon people should maybe be limited in some of Their claims, but not all the way, you wanna give up free speech? There is a fine balance. Just as M.D.s might be limited in giving out death sentences & such.
    Brakes in a car are a little more cut & dry though and no one should claim to have brakes in a car that are not working/non existent, of course.

  124. #124 Louis
    June 30, 2011

    This has been interesting. Peace;)~~~~~~~~~

  125. #125 augustine
    June 30, 2011

    grey falcon

    Louis, you make speak of health freedom, but some of us feel that people do not have a right to be deceived. Tell me, do you people should be free to buy cars that they are unaware lack brakes?

    The scientists try their best hand at rhetoric. Are you really a scientist?

  126. #126 Gray Falcon
    June 30, 2011

    augustine:

    Did anyone except you make that argument? Create scarecrow. Burn straw. End of story.

    You did insult him for suggesting the opposite. Perhaps you should reconsider your policy of reflexive disagreement. Of course, you once insisted your own words for a strawman argument.

    The scientists try their best hand at rhetoric. Are you really a scientist?

    Clearly, you never learned what analogies are from your homeschooling. I suggest you learn about them before you come back here.

  127. #127 Gray Falcon
    June 30, 2011

    Louis, try to keep on subject. What mainstream doctors do is as meaningless to Young’s validity as whether ground walnuts work as an ingredient in spaghetti sauce.

  128. #128 augustine
    June 30, 2011

    What mainstream doctors do is as meaningless to Young’s validity as whether ground walnuts work as an ingredient in spaghetti sauce.

    What mainstream doctors DO is called “modern medicine”. It’s modern, It’s medicine, it’s what they do!

  129. #129 Gray Falcon
    June 30, 2011

    Augustine, was there a point to your last rant? At all?

  130. #130 augustine
    June 30, 2011

    Yes. YOu think modern medicine = SBM = EBM.

  131. #131 Narad
    June 30, 2011

    so you didn’t anawer my question, you just eat everything and hope for the best or have you done any research into how to take care of your body through diet, or do you care or even think thats possible?

    Oh, I thought that was rhetorical. I eat a mostly vegetarian diet and avoid the fat excesses that characterized, say, early Moosewood style cooking. I suppose that’s eating everything and hoping for the best, of a sort. And I’m quite familiar with the history of food faddism, with an emphasis on combiners and residual Lebensreform.

  132. #132 Louis
    June 30, 2011

    Narad, Thanks for answering, hope thats been doing well for You;) I am lacto-veggie a good part of the time and have played with many many diets, foods and Herbs over the years. I do change it up quite a bit as I continue to learn. It’s a fascinating adventure! I try to study every aspect of Nutrition from ancient culture(or the interpretation of that anyway)to not so ancient(Like the Hunzas) to the latest scientific findings and everything in between, always open to considering new ideas.

  133. #133 Krebiozen
    June 30, 2011

    Louis,
    Are you aware that the longevity and health of the Hunzas is a myth? Here’s what one Pakistani writer had to say about this:
    “We all know that some moronic Victorian Brits made a big thing of Hunza longevity. Here were people living up to nearly two centuries, those fools told us. And longevity being one hell of a glamorous thing, the natives clung to it for all they were worth.”

    Another visitor to the area wrote:
    “…the people spent most of their time inside mud huts breathing horribly polluted air from open fires. They suffered from bronchitis and a host of ailments like tuberculosis, dysentery, malaria, tetanus and cancer. An iodine deficiency in their diet caused mental retardation. Children went hungry in the spring as food stores dwindled. The life expectancy for people in the isolated traditional villages, according to a 1986 medical study, was only 53 years for men and 52 for women. The healthiest people were the ones living in more modern villages near a new road to the outside world. There, trucks were bringing in food, vaccines, antibiotics, iodized salt and stoves with vented chimneys.”

  134. #134 Composer99
    June 30, 2011

    The ugh troll’s citation of Job reminded me uncannily of the thread over at Pharyngula about the young girl who pulled a “Where you there?” stunt, with the encouragement of her parents and creationist Ken Ham.

    Working from the same playbook, perhaps?

    (For the record, I don’t play flute. Ugh troll is lying making it up as he goes along. Par for the course.)

  135. #135 Bronze Dog
    June 30, 2011

    BronzeDog, I should clarify, I trust enough to try something out and then go from there. I don’t mean I trust enough to think that what I did would work for everyone or even thats it’s working all the time for me. Some things I don’t notice an effect from, or very subtle but I continue to take it, so what?

    So, are you saying you don’t care about the results of your self-experimentation? If so, what’s the point in doing them?

    Augie:

    Did anyone except you make that argument? Create scarecrow. Burn straw. End of story.

    Bullshit. I was asking if that was your argument, because you insulted me for using an analogy to suggest the opposite.

    You could have said ‘no’ and offered an explanation about what’s wrong with the analogy I made, but you instead opted for playing games. Who’s being immature?

    Still self-centric, I see. All about you.

    And here you’re hypocritical. I’m ‘self-centric’ when I accuse someone of a straw man, but you’re not self-centric for doing the same when I ask you a simple, direct question about what you’re arguing.

  136. #136 Mu
    June 30, 2011

    Taking a three month old thread and boosting it up to the nr 2 most active on scienceblogs, past PZ, that’s some serious trolling. Louis, you’re making Augie jealous.

  137. #137 Chris
    June 30, 2011

    What makes it even worse, Mu, is that this article is over a year old. He is purposely ignoring the more recent articles about Young being part of a woman’s death from untreated breast cancer.

  138. #138 Louis
    June 30, 2011

    Chris, Hello I looked at the articles you referred me too in the link you put up, is that the one your talking about that I’m supposedly “ingnoring” and that I actually responded to You about earlier? Or are you referring to other articles that weren’t in the link you presented? You on the otherhand didn’t seem to acknowledge what I had to say, only to refute what I had to say. I already agreed with You that this was a tragedy for Kim and her family, I had a close cousin die at 17 from leukemia, so I get it, first hand, Sad. So what are you talking about? There is massivie irresponsibility on the part of health practitioners all the time with all types of health care persons, M.D.s Holistic, or otherwise, lots of arrogance with many. Seems to be the case with many when they are considered “experts” or have a high degree of education, goes to their head, then there are many who seem to maintain some humbleness as well despite their position, so what else is new. I’ve seen it right in front of me. What is it I’m ignoring? Just the practice alone of giving out “death estimates” like ‘Mrs Jones you might only have 6 months to live” hows that for irresponsibility? You know how powerful a statement like that is to someone who holds an M.D.(or anyone respected) in such high regard and the negative impact that can have on a person who believe it? And whats really bad is how frequently that happens. This is nationwide, not an isolated incidence. So I took the time to read the article and see where you guys are coming from.

  139. #139 Louis
    June 30, 2011

    Bronze Dog, of course I care about & love the results I get from self exerimentation with supplements, foods & herbs and I get many, thats why i do it. There are times though where i don’t seem to get a clear result or a very subtle one, which is ok as well, so at times like that I trust that what I’m doing is helping. Just like you trust in the food you eat, that it’s going to sustain you, or not toxify you. Yes, life can be simple at times BronzeDog. Yes when it comes to severe illness it is far riskier to just “try stuff out” I acknowledge that. I haven’t been to a doctor for an illness in over 15 years and i never-never get sick with cold, flu or anything that I’m aware of, except a very occasional headache or stomach ache. I kiss people who are full blown with a cold or flu and it doesn’t touch me. I also don’t touch DRUGS OF ANY KIND. I feel these results are due to my lifestyle/diet/placebo/attitude a mix of all that. Thats why i do value double blind studies & the like because theres always the possibility of placebo, in terms of promoting or selling something that is supposed to grant benefits. Even though I’m sure some of my benefits are due to placebo thats fine with me, I’m getting benefits that are well worth the money I spend for the energy, immunity, & sense of well being I enjoy. Of course there are people that don’t do any of these things and take drugs ta boot an have similiar health, thats awesome.

  140. #140 Bronze Dog
    June 30, 2011

    Bronze Dog, of course I care about & love the results I get from self exerimentation with supplements, foods & herbs and I get many, thats why i do it.

    Then what process do you perform to reduce personal bias, self-deception, and what controls do you have in place to prevent confounding factors from changing the outcome and confusing causation?

    It sounds like you’re flip-flopping, contradicting your previous “clarification,” which contradicted the posts from before.

    Even though I’m sure some of my benefits are due to placebo thats fine with me…

    So, you’re fine with deceiving yourself? Wouldn’t you rather know the truth so that you could make good decisions?

    And if I were a doctor, I most certainly would NOT be comfortable with deceiving my patients with placebo effects outside of a clinical trial that necessitated a control group.

    It’s disempowering, going back to the old outdated authoritarian/paternalistic relationship. The modern world of medicine is built on increasing informed consent, to empower the patient to make good decisions based on reliable information. That’s what REAL health freedom is about, and what the quacks of the so-called “alternative medicine” movement are adamantly against.

    I can’t understand why you would want to disempower yourself to the extent you are. Why do you want to reduce your ability to make good decisions?

  141. #141 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    June 30, 2011

    Louis, you’re taking medical and nutrition advice from a guy who thinks that a human cell can transform into a bacterium, then a yeast cell, then a mold spore. If your vet told you there was a disease going around that could cause your cat to turn into a holly tree, would you continue to believe anything they said? And yet that’s not 1% as crazy as Young’s scenario. Doesn’t this raise any red flags for you?

  142. #142 Louis
    June 30, 2011

    Bronze Dog, filp flopping, jeez. Ok I’ll further clarify I seem to get clear results with some things and not with other things and I’m ok with that. And I admit to personal bias, self-deception, but not enough that I don’t move on with what I enjoy. I can see this level of scrutiny if I was releasing a new drug to the public, but I’m just a guy taking supplements and such & feeling great, whats your point? How do you leave the house?

    And to address your last paragraph about me disimpowering myself. I feel that you are rather insane at this point. I’ve talked with schizophrenics before that had more interesting things things to say and more kind hearted. If someone tells you they got a new job or just won a triathlon do you tell them their disempowered? You just wanna push buttons?

    There’s plenty of informed consent in AMA medicine as well as Holistic & Alternative medicine, as well as it’s opposite in both. If you don’t see that I’d say You are entertaining a high degree of self deception & Bias. High Ego/Arrogance is across the board, learn to observe! Matter of fact there seems to be plenty right here.

  143. #143 louis
    July 1, 2011

    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge,

    I would not believe that a cat could turn into a holly tree because that is obvious and I have no reference for that ever happening, unless I saw it happen. With the idea of pleomorphism I really don’t have the lab experience to have a solid veiwpoint. If I could get You and Robert in a room and have you guys break out the microscopes and both of you put your best foot forward then I would have more confidence in saying yay or nay to pleomorphism as a possibility. But yes I am open to the possibility because it is a microscopic process and not the same as Cat turning into a tree. Can you see bacteria with your naked eye?

    All I said was that I had employed the diet at one time for my girlfriend that had been in & out hospitals and had seen numerous Doctors for 7 years with limited success. She, Erin, could barely walk, pee or even stand up for very long with her severe Lupus at the age of 39 which was attacking her kidneys, Joints, muscles and who knows what else. We had tried different other dietary changes with little result. When i suggested we try the Robert Young diet it was a last resort because it is very strict and boring for many but since it seemed her life was on the line and Doctors just kept giving her pain pills, we thought she should at least give it a shot. The first three days were so miserable for her we almost gave up, but then on the fourth day she had some improvement, then more the next and so on. By the end of three weeks she was almost symptom free. She is still doing ok today as she dabbles in the diet, but she doesn’t follow it strictly because she likes her comfort foods that don’t fit into the diet. So don’t believe a testimonial, thats fine. I integrate all kinds of dietary veiwpoints into the way I eat and am feeling great. I am alwys open to factors that will enhance health even though I feel very healthy already.

    I never said all Roberts ideas were sound, but something made me wanna try it with her and it helped her to thrive for the first time in Years!! So chalk it off to placebo blah blah blah just telling You what happened. I’m into many authors and veiwpoints and I entertain them, but few of them I’m convinced about, but I still put them to the test if they appeal to me. BronzeDog seems to think these kinds of results are dissempowering hhaha

    Anyway I take most ideas with a big grain of salt especially with health stuff, doesn’t mean I have to flatly reject them. I can discard one idea and pay attention to another but I don’t have to condemn a whole line of reasoning. BTW my Ex Erin went to numerous doctors and got worse and worse after following their advice, so we did the best we could and got real lucky in this case.

  144. #144 Chris
    July 1, 2011

    Actually, I’d be surprised if Mr. Young knows how to use a microscope, or how to even load and stain a slide. Considering that one a more recent article here it is revealed that:

    Whether it’s his claim that alkalinization is the cure for basically all disease, his characterizing sepsis as not being due to bacterial infection, his description of cancer as a mechanism to protect the body from “rotten cells” spoiled by acid and liquified, or his nonsensical attacks on Andrew Weil (his being one of the only men who can make Weil look reasonable by comparison), Robrt O. Young never fails to bring home the woo, often in ways that are utterly hilarious to anyone with a modicum of understanding of science and science-based medicine.

  145. #145 Chris
    July 1, 2011

    Rats, I forgot another quote from that article:

    I should have remembered! Young is a follower of Antoine Béchamp. He’s a germ theory denialist.

    Louis, have you met Tony?

  146. #146 Louis
    July 1, 2011

    BronzeDog, Yes of course I want “TRUTH”, where do You find the truth? I want the truth and I accept that the truth is a very relative statement. Results actually mean something. We use many assumptions in life, thats just how it is. We can try to minimize that or we can take our assumptions less seriously but they are still there. Minimizing them is what has allowed us to enjoy all our technology, but with something as complex as the Human body it’s just not as clear cut as say the workings of a car. Every year veiwpoints on the Human body and Biology in general seem to find new distinctions depending on what lens one is looking through. I like to look through many lenses and stand on many shoulders. So yes there are assumptions in there and Bias & self deception, to some degree or another and obviously the less of those the better. The real deception is thinking one has some exclusive handle on the “Truth”. Despite all this, results come in varying ways in varying cases/circumstances. I feel very secure not knowing the whole truth. You actually think you know what the truth is? Thats pretty awesome if You do. How do you gauge whether you know the truth?

  147. #147 Chris
    July 1, 2011

    So how much have you been drinking?

  148. #148 Louis
    July 1, 2011

    Yeah I read the article Chris, I remember the paragraph. It’s nice to see another viewpoint, thank You.

  149. #149 Louis
    July 1, 2011

    Thanks for the insult Chris, “GOOD ONE”. Sounds like you know the truth as well and an expert on IQ. I assume you are asking me if I was drinking, no I don’t touch drugs whatsoever including the drug alcohol. But I did drink some vegetable juice earlier;) Yeah bring on the snideness!

  150. #150 Chris
    July 1, 2011

    So that is your natural thought pattern, with the random capitalization. That explains lots.

  151. #151 Louis
    July 1, 2011

    Chris, Well the last one was a joke if you caught that smarty. It’s not random capitalization, it’s a specific word I wanted to EMPHASIZE;) In my opinion IQ tests measure certain aspects of intelligence, not all. But thats a whole other can of worms and i didn’t claim to be that intelligent in the first place. Supposedly Einstein failed some courses in language, social studies, history, etc. People have the capacity to be intelligent in one area and not in others. Capitalization is fun sometimes. If You notice I don’t rely on it every time.

  152. #152 Bronze Dog
    July 1, 2011

    Louis, you really don’t seem to understand what I’m saying. You seem to think “clear” results are clear when it comes to anecdotal evidence. That is the arrogance I’m talking about. If you don’t have any methodology to eliminate bias, you can’t claim the results are clear.

    The fact that you admit you’re potentially deceiving yourself with the placebo effect, doing nothing to control for it, and being so flippant to not even care about which factors are affecting your health is what I see as disempowering.

    You speak like you are deliberately maximizing the opportunities for your biases to affect your interpretations, and thus you are deliberately sabotaging your ability to make good decisions.

    There’s a difference between playing the best odds and going on hunches and whims. You seem to favor the latter whenever I suggest doing the work necessary to finding out what the best odds are.

    As for alternative medicine allegedly favoring patient autonomy, you really need to catch up. We’ve seen countless games of “blame the victim,” endorsements of absolute authoritarianism as a model of epistemology, human experimentation that’s almost designed to be useless for gathering information, abusive paternalism, and so on and so on and so on.

    So far, you’re not the worst, but you’re not so different: You’re one of the ones who seem to try to hide it behind a smile and lip service to science.

  153. #153 Louis
    July 1, 2011

    BronzeDog, Thank You for the clarity. I acknowledge much of what you say. There are many people in positions of very high resposibilty(who take care of many patients) who aren’t very methological as You say on a daily basis, they let all kinds of Bias into the mix and some get consistently good results and others don’t. This is just one man with some bias, self deception, observation and intuition all mixed in and I have seen very favorable results. Consistent great results are the key, at least for me taking care of myself. Can you provide the names of some people that use the level of methological scrutiny you propose and get great results in a non-intusive, non-invasive way? The methodology Your describing are for people who build space shuttles or design cars, aeroplanes, nuclear power plants, Drugs etc and those things have flaws a percentage of the time & lives are lost. I fully agree in it for those things and not nescessarily for a guy taking supplements & herbs that are GRAS(generally recognized as safe)Not that I need the FDA for approval before I take something, but sometimes thats a nice addition. You tell me a medical “professional” who doesn’t take educated guesses(bias & self deception) all the time with thier patients and i’ll say thank You once again. I do minimize bias by not having solid beliefs, everything to me is an “appearance”. I acknowledge that various things I do appear to have an effect but I don’t get all dogmatic about it. I also like the word seemingly. I think your level of methodology is good to apply as much as possible in health situations. It can be applied to drug testing, but how do You take guessing & bias out of diagnosing a patient when you have twenty other ones lined up for appointments? The main thing with treating someone is telling them all their options and explaining the risk in certain situations. Many, many health professionals don’t even know that many options other than what they’re doing and are operating out of ignorance. Others are more well informed. What about you and your bias? You think you are exempt? Just because you prescribe this ideal does it mean your not subject to self deception in the way you run your own life?

  154. #154 Louis
    July 1, 2011

    BronzeDog BTW I appologize for some of my comments even though they were a reaction to referring to me as arrogant, self deceiving & the like continuously. I find that many people are, so I shouldn’t take it too personally. You don’t even know me and you seem to have many solid opinions about me. That practice alone is quite highly biased & self deceiving and I have been guilty of it as well, out of defensiveness. I really don’t like to think I can describe a person accurately, as I think we are all a mystery that cannot be fully understood, let alone summed up by a label. No matter how many labels you can put on a person or anything for that matter, there is always that which lies deeper than the minds evaluation, that which is ineffable.

  155. #155 Narad
    July 1, 2011

    I do minimize bias by not having solid beliefs, everything to me is an “appearance”

    Great. Have you ever wondered why these appearances seem to follow one after another? How do you choose among them? This is little more than a recipe for getting lost in bus stations.

  156. #156 Louis
    July 1, 2011

    Narad, So if you consistently get bloated if You eat grapefruit you gonna just keep eating it? Or are you gonna change your approach and stop eating them? Or better yet you might try eating grapefruit by it’s self and see if that works or combining it with other foods one at a time and take mental note of each. It’s the same way in reverse, if You always feel invigorated after eating grapefruit then why stop? Don’t you do this in your own life all the time? Or do you have a panel of scientists follow you around all day? Yet maybe theres a bit of placebo in taking the grapefruit and getting a beneficial effect, so how would you weed that out Narad? Thats why I say “seemingly”, because placebo can always be part of the equation. Based on that kind of evaluation I would say it “seems” like grapefruit helped me feel invigorated. Someone else with a bit more bias might take the same observations and say, oh yeah for sure these grapefruit makes me feel better and you will feel better too if you do them. That too me is really pushing the envelope of assumptionality. If a friend comes to me feeling low on energy at the end of the day I might say, here try this grapefruit it seems to help me feel more energy, they may get a different effect than I did, or not. If I wanted to add more placebo to the mix I might say with some degree of charisma, oh man let me tell ya these grapefruit will absoltely knock your socks off!!!!! But that would be more assumptional than a light suggestion and would be futher away from being objective. So how would you act in the same example? Or would You rather say, I have no idea if the grapefruit did anything for my energy because my bias or self-deception might be clouding everything so I might as well give up on them as an energy boost. I’d rather go with my observations and continue to get the benefit. This is how I choose among them, it requires feedback from the body. Do you not many times observe some substance or food seemed to make you nauseous, do you not act from your observation, or do you just get lost at the bus stop and take a bunch of Pepto?

  157. #157 Louis
    July 1, 2011

    Narad, So if you consistently get bloated if You eat grapefruit you gonna just keep eating it? Or are you gonna change your approach and stop eating them? Or better yet you might try eating grapefruit by it’s self and see if that works or combining it with other foods one at a time and take mental note of each. It’s the same way in reverse, if You always feel invigorated after eating grapefruit then why stop? Don’t you do this in your own life all the time? Or do you have a panel of scientists follow you around all day? Yet maybe theres a bit of placebo in taking the grapefruit and getting a beneficial effect, so how would you weed that out Narad? Thats why I say “seemingly”, because placebo can always be part of the equation. Based on that kind of evaluation I would say it “seems” like grapefruit helped me feel invigorated. Someone else with a bit more bias might take the same observations and say, oh yeah for sure these grapefruit makes me feel better and you will feel better too if you do them. That too me is really pushing the envelope of assumptionality. If a friend comes to me feeling low on energy at the end of the day I might say, here try this grapefruit it seems to help me feel more energy, they may get a different effect than I did, or not. If I wanted to add more placebo to the mix I might say with some degree of charisma, oh man let me tell ya these grapefruit will absolutely knock your socks off!!!!! But that would be more assumptional than a light suggestion and would be further away from being objective. So how would you act in the same example? Or would You rather say, I have no idea if the grapefruit did anything for my energy because my bias or self-deception might be clouding everything so I might as well give up on them as an energy boost. I’d rather go with my observations and continue to get the benefit. This is how I choose among them, it requires feedback from the body. Do you not many times observe some substance or food seemed to make you nauseous, do you not act from your observation, or do you just get lost at the bus stop and take a bunch of Pepto?

  158. #158 Jimmy
    August 16, 2011

    I grew up with Robert O Young. He was a gifted guy, funny, good athlete and cruised along in school making good grades without allot of effort (Middle School). We worked near each other in our early 20′s and one thing that I really want to know is this: Robert lost his hair early in life to typical male pattern baldness, I mean chrome dome baby.
    So after he shows up as Mr. PH 14 he has some hair. Did his miracle diet produce that hair after his shiny dome existed or does he have holes in his head? He has to promote the hair growth, geeze what an opportunity missed by another slick LDS multilevel marketing mavin. M”ber was his nickname-it stood for Mental!.

  159. #159 Michael
    August 27, 2011

    Wow. Most of you who are against Robert O. Young are just as blind and ignorant as the ones who buy alkaline water machines without researching them. The pH issues have nothing to do with blood pH, but with extracellular pH. I am not going to waste my time any further here, but thought I would donate this research article. Please read. It is from Moffitt Cancer Center, a very reputable institute.

    Bicarbonate Increases Tumor pH and Inhibits
    Spontaneous Metastases
    Ian F. Robey,1 Brenda K. Baggett,1 Nathaniel D. Kirkpatrick,1 Denise J. Roe,1 Julie Dosescu,2
    Bonnie F. Sloane,2 Arig Ibrahim Hashim,3 David L. Morse,3 Natarajan Raghunand,1
    Robert A. Gatenby,3 and Robert J. Gillies3
    1Arizona Cancer Center, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona; 2Department of Pharmacology, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan;
    and 3H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, Florida

    Abstract
    The external pH of solid tumors is acidic as a consequence of increased metabolism of glucose and poor perfusion. Acid pH has been shown to stimulate tumor cell invasion and
    metastasis in vitro and in cells before tail vein injection
    in vivo. The present study investigates whether inhibition of this tumor acidity will reduce the incidence of in vivo
    metastases. Here, we show that oral NaHCO3 selectively
    increased the pH of tumors and reduced the formation of
    spontaneous metastases in mouse models of metastatic breast
    cancer. This treatment regimen was shown to significantly
    increase the extracellular pH, but not the intracellular pH, of tumors by 31P magnetic resonance spectroscopy and the
    export of acid from growing tumors by fluorescence microscopy of tumors grown in window chambers. NaHCO3 therapy also reduced the rate of lymph node involvement, yet did not affect the levels of circulating tumor cells, suggesting that reduced organ metastases were not due to increased intravasation.

    In contrast, NaHCO3 therapy significantly reduced
    the formation of hepatic metastases following intrasplenic
    injection, suggesting that it did inhibit extravasation and
    colonization. In tail vein injections of alternative cancer
    models, bicarbonate had mixed results, inhibiting the formation of metastases from PC3M prostate cancer cells, but not those of B16 melanoma. Although the mechanism of this therapy is not known with certainty, low pH was shown to increase the release of active cathepsin B, an important matrix remodeling protease. [Cancer Res 2009;69(6):2260–8]

    Introduction
    The extracellular pH (pHe) of malignant solid tumors is acidic, in the range of 6.5 to 6.9, whereas the pHe of normal tissues is significantly more alkaline, 7.2 to 7.5 (1–3). Mathematical models of the tumor-host interface (4) and in vivo measurements have shown that solid tumors export acid into the surrounding parenchyma
    (5, 6). Previous in vitro studies have shown that tumor cell invasion can be stimulated by acidic conditions and that this may involve lysosomal proteases (7–9). These observations have led to the
    ‘acid-mediated invasion hypothesis,’’ wherein tumor-derived acid facilitates tumor invasion by promoting normal cell death and extracellular matrix degradation of the parenchyma surrounding growing tumors. Furthermore, pretreatment of tumor cells with acid before injection leads to increased experimental metastases
    (10, 11), and these observations suggest that low pH up-regulates proinvasive and survival pathways. It has been argued that metastatic cancers are selected for their ability to export acid (12). Acid is a by-product of glucose metabolism, and notably, elevated consumption of fluorodeoxyglucose by more aggressive cancers has been observed with fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (13).

    The current work tests the hypothesis that neutralizing the acid pH of tumors will inhibit invasion and, hence, reduce the incidence of spontaneous metastases. Acid pH was inhibited using oral NaHCO3, which has previously been shown to effectively reverse pH gradients in tumors and not affect the pHe of normal tissues (14). This was confirmed in the current study using 31P magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and fluorescence ratio imaging of SNARF-1 in a dorsal skin-fold window chamber. Notably, bicarbonate did not affect the systemic pH or the growth rate of primary tumors but had significant effects on the formation of spontaneous metastases. In two of
    three experiments, NaHCO3 therapy reduced the colonization of lymph nodes, but in no experiment did it significantly affect the levels of circulating tumor cells. The lymphatic results notwithstanding, these results indicate that inhibition of end-organ metastasis did not occur by a reduction of intravasation. In contrast, the formation of liver metastases following intrasplenic
    injection of MDA-MB-231 cells was significantly reduced,
    indicating that end-organ colonization of metastatic sites was affected by NaHCO3 therapy. Similarly, metastases following tail vein injection of PC3Mpros tate cancer cells were also inhibited by bicarbonate treatment, yet those of B16 melanoma were not. Preliminary investigations into possible mechanisms showed that the release of active cathepsin B into pericellular space was
    significantly increased by acidic conditions, and thus, NaHCO3 therapy may be acting to inhibit the release of this important matrix remodeling protease.

  160. #160 vee
    December 4, 2011

    thank you, michael for for pointing out the big picture, most of these comments sound like rhetoric heard from drug company lobbyists.

  161. #161 Scottynuke
    December 4, 2011

    Thanks for being three months late with that Big Pharma shill ad hominem, vee.

  162. #162 Krebiozen
    December 4, 2011

    The pH issues have nothing to do with blood pH, but with extracellular pH.

    I hadn’t noticed Michael’s post until today. Shame, perhaps he could have explained how that extracellular pH manages to stop itself from ending up in the blood, since every organ of our bodies is perfused with several liters of blood every minute. The pH of tumors is relatively acidic because of their relatively poor blood supply, and the information he gives about tumors does not support Young’s nonsense at all.

The site is undergoing maintenance presently. Commenting has been disabled. Please check back later!