Robert O. Young (born March 6, 1952) is an American entrepreneur and author of alternative medicine books promoting an alkaline diet. His most popular works are the “pH Miracle” series of books, which outline his beliefs about holistic healing and an “alkalarian” lifestyle.
Dr. Young states that health depends primarily on proper balance between an alkaline and an acidic environment in the human body, and that an acidic environment causes cancer, obesity, osteoporosis, yeast overgrowth, flu, skin disorders, and other diseases. Young writes extensively in his books about pleomorphism, a school of thought which was prominent in late-19th-century microbiology but which fell out of favor with the advent of modern germ theory. Young’s fundamental theory is that the human body is alkaline by design and acidic by function, and that there is only one disease (acidosis) and one treatment (an alkaline diet).
Young’s books recommend a low-stress lifestyle and a high-water-content, high-chlorophyll, plant-based diet and a moderate intake of high-carbohydrate vegetables, grains, and fresh fish. As part of this all healthy lifestyle Young advises abstaining from “acidic” foods—sugar, red meat, shellfish, eggs, dairy, processed and refined foods, stored grains, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, coffee, chocolate, and sodas—because he believes that such foods overload the body with acidity and cause disease. Young claims that disorders such as weight gain, water retention, high cholesterol, kidney stones, and tumors are all life-saving mechanisms for dealing with excess acidity in the body. Young’s writings commonly explain these theories using a “fish tank” metaphor that compares the environment of the human body to a fish tank.
Young bases some of his theories, research, and written works on the alternative medical approach of live blood analysis. Young teaches microscopy courses in which he trains people to perform live blood analysis as well as dry blood analysis solely for research and educational purposes, and not for use in diagnosing medical conditions. Live blood analysis is used by alternative medical practitioners, who say it is a valuable qualitative assessment of a person’s state of health. Live blood analysis has been described by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as an “unestablished laboratory test”, or test that is not generally accepted in laboratory medicine.
Young attended the University of Utah on a tennis scholarship and studied biology and business in the early 1970s, after which he did missionary work for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for two years in London. Young then went on to receive multiple degrees from Clayton College of Natural Health (formerly American College of Holistic Nutrition). These include a Master of Science in nutrition (1993), a D.Sc. with emphasis in chemistry and biology (1995), a Ph.D. (1997) and a N.D. (Doctor of Naturopathy, 1999).