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The pH Miracle: Balance Your Diet, Reclaim Your Health    by Robert O. Young & Shelley Redford Young order for
pH Miracle
by Robert O. Young
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2003 (2002)
Hardcover, Softcover

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

In the foreword to The pH Miracle, Early Show host Jane Clayson talks about drinking her greens (labelled 'swamp water' by her associates) and recommends this nutrition program from personal experience. The book promises a great deal; 'A new day ... of truly holistic health, vitality and well-being' and is interspersed with testimonials from people, with conditions from depression to cancer, who attest to improved health and mental clarity.

Though this had the reverse effect than intended on me (the Internet advertising bombardment has left me distrustful of testimonials) and diet miracle books are not new, this one does take an interesting scientific slant. It is also particularly thorough in explaining its basis; what foods to eat and to avoid and why; how to phase into the program; and even providing appetizing recipes (contributed by Shelley Redford Young) like 'Wild Yam Soba Noodles with Kale and Spicy Pine Nuts'.

Dr. Young begins by presenting 'a new model of human health' based on late 1800's pioneering work, that the author feels was sidelined due to the emergence of Pasteur's view that disease comes from sources external to the body. Robert Young's view is that the body's internal ecosystem, and in particular its pH balance, is a major root factor in health, good or bad - you won't just have to check your pool's pH balance if you follow his program, but your blood's, to avoid 'chronic overacidity'.

The case for this program is presented with enthusiasm and touches of humor, like the fish tank analogy for the body, that tells us 'When the fish are sick, change the water' or a comment that 'Acid imbalance is perfectly natural ... when we're dead!' Dr. Young's tour of the digestive tract entertains while it enlightens, though it's a disturbing idea that the sludge and slime of my fish tank might be replicated in my intestines.

The book recommends a twelve week transition to an alkaline diet, a one week cleanse, a seven week strictly alkaline diet, followed by a maintenance regime. It indeed sounds very healthy, but also fairly difficult to implement, requiring a juicer, large amounts of pure water and regular access to a health food store. Still, even gradual steps in the direction of a 'plant-based diet' are likely to be beneficial.

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