Following a tip off by Ben Goldacre, I was shocked to read this article by Victoria Stewart of the Evening Standard, which appeared in yesterday’s ES magazine. (EDIT: The article has since been removed from the Standard site but can be found here.)
It contains such gems as ‘the average sleep-deprived, hard-partying Londoner will probably have an acidic pH level below 7’. Despite the fact that she admits to being unable to focus and falling off her bike when on the diet, Stewart still somehow comes out in favour of it and believes she miraculously raised her pH level. She is vague about how her pH level was tested but does state that a blood sample from her GP showed she was originally on the wrong side of 7. If this were the case, she would be very ill indeed.
Interestingly, the article mentions Gareth Edwards from Energise For Life, which describes ‘Dr’ Robert Young as ‘one of the top research scientists in the world’. Earlier this week, I had been meaning to contact Edwards to ask how he feels about some of Young’s more wacky theories but I unfortunately haven’t yet got round to it.
I have placed an angry comment under the Evening Standard article (which has yet to appear) and have also emailed a complaint to firstname.lastname@example.org, where I said:
I wish to voice my concerns about Victoria Stewart’s Alkaline Diet article published yesterday in ES Magazine and which still appears in the Health and Beauty section of the website.
Like Victoria, her adviser Stephanie Morgan, and Stephanie’s mentor, the ‘blood analyst’ Gareth Edwards, I am not a medic. I do however possess a basic understanding of human biology – something they clearly lack. The article is mistaken, misleading and possibly in some cases, downright dangerous.
The blood testing to which the article refers is Live Blood and Dried Blood Analysis. It is based on an out of date, disproven theory (pleomorphism) and used to encourage people to buy nutritional advice and dietary supplements.
The diet and associated blood testing are based on ‘Dr’ Robert Young’s pH Miracle plan (as the Energise for Life website run by Edwards proudly boasts). Young claims to be a top research scientist but he is clearly nothing of the sort. His understanding of science is so odd it would be funny were it not for the sad fact he is misleading vulnerable people. He believes he can reverse AIDS, diabetes and cancer and advises sufferers to stop taking their medication. He believes HIV does not cause AIDS and that there is no such thing as the Swine Flu virus. He believes blood cells are built out of light. If you (understandably) find this hard to believe, I recommend you follow the links in my Josephine Jones blog.
There is no excuse for printing nonsense like ‘the average sleep-deprived, hard-partying Londoner will probably have an acidic pH level below 7’. I would not expect Victoria to have an understanding of acid-base homeostasis or to know the pH range of blood, but I would expect her to know her way around the internet. It would have taken two minutes of online research to make the connection between Gareth Edwards the ‘blood analyst’ and Robert Young’s ludicrous and audacious pH Miracle site.
For further reading, I have included links to my blog and the websites to which I refer.
Here are the links:
I will report back on any further developments.