The Unscientific Nonsense of Gabe Mirkin’s Acid/Alkaline Theory Article

Many of you have written to me concerning an article
written by Gabe Mirkin entitled, “Acid/Alkaline
Theory of Disease Is Nonsense.” Actually, Dr.
Mirkin has chimed in with his two cents worth
on any number of occasions, each time being
approximately incorrect as every other time.
It is quite amazing that the allopathic community
still does not understand some of the most
fundamental activities of the human body including
eating, drinking, digestion and most important
pH fluid balancing.

The following are a few of the major statements
made by Gabe Mirkin in one of his most recent
articles and my subsequent comments about what
he is saying.


Acid/Alkaline Theory of Disease Is Nonsense
by Gabe Mirkin, M.D.

Dr. Gabe states, “Have you seen advertisements
for products such as coral calcium or alkaline
water that are supposed to neutralize acid in
your bloodstream? Taking calcium or drinking
alkaline water does not affect blood acidity.
Anyone who tells you that certain foods or
supplements make your stomach or blood acidic
does not understand nutrition.”

The truth is that taking alkaline supplements
or drinking alkaline water will first buffer
the dietary acids in the stomach before buffering
the metabolic acids of the blood and tissues.
This is a good thing since the ideal pH of the
stomach should be over 7.2 to do its work properly.
Current medical savants are simply incorrect when
they state that the ideal pH of the stomach is in
the 1.5 to 3.0 range. Further, any residual
alkalinity that makes it into the blood stream
will be thrown out into the interstitial fluids
to buffer metabolic acids.

Dr. Gabe also states that, “vinegar is acidic
and is used as a digestive enzyme. Protease,
lipase and amylase are all acidic enzymes
that break down proteins in the stomach and
make the over-all pH of the stomach more acidic.
Most all supplements that help with digestion
are acidic and will lower the pH of the stomach.”

Wrong again, Dr. Merkin. When we ingest acidic
digestive enzymes, we force the cover cells of
the stomach to begin producing sodium bicarbonate
to buffer the acidic protease, lipase and amylase.
In order for the stomach to produce sodium bicarbonate
to buffer acidic supplements, food or drink, it must
pull sodium, chloride, water and carbon dioxide
from the blood. This can cause sodium and chloride
deficiencies of the blood leading to enervation.
Also, for every molecule of sodium bicarbonate
produced by the stomach, an acidic waste product of
hydrochloric acid is produced which is taken up
into the blood through the gastric pits causing
an acidification of the blood and then tissues.
The blood cannot withstand the slightest decrease
in alkalinity and so the hydrochloric acid is taken
up by the connective tissues and the fatty tissues
leading to latent tissue acidosis and the cause
of all sickness and dis-ease.

Various parts of the body may also give up calcium,
magnesium and potassium ions into the blood in order
to help buffer the excess acids from the stomach.
When these important alkaline minerals are given up,
especially on a consistent basis, this can then
cause bone, muscle and other tissue to diminish or
begin to degenerate due to the loss of these
alkalizing ions. This is the cause of tissue
wasting in what we refer to as degenerative dis-ease.
The secondary effects of taking acidic digestive
enzymes and/or eating acidic food or drink is the
damage to the delicate intestinal villi of the small
intestine. When this happens, the body cannot produce
healthy stem cells, erythroblasts and then erythrocytes.
This leads to blood disorders and then tissue disorders.
Without a healthy, small intestine, it is impossible
to make healthy blood, and without healthy blood,
it is impossible to make healthy body cells that
make up body organs.

Dr. Gabe also states, “your stomach is so acidic
that no food or drink can change its acidity.
Citrus fruits, vinegar, and vitamins such as
ascorbic acid or folic acid do not change the
acidity of your stomach or your bloodstream. An
entire bottle of calcium pills or antacids would
not change the acidity of your stomach for more
than a few minutes.”

This is just wrong. This is where Dr. Gabe Mirkin
does not understand or has perhaps never been aware
that the stomach lining secretes an equal amount of
sodium bicarbonate into the stomach in order to
alkalize the food, drink and supplements that we eat
with a toxic acidic waste product of hydrochloric
acid which is taken up by the blood to be eliminated.
When the body does not have enough sodium bicarbonate
to alkalize food, the hydrochloric acid that is then
produced will fall into the gastric pits of the
stomach. Ideally, it would NEVER come into contact
with the food as the sodium bicarbonate rises to the
front or comes to the fore in order to alkalize the
food or liquids ingested. The equation is:
NaCl + H20 + C02 NaHC03 + HCL. The stomach
begins producing and releasing sodium bicarbonate
(an alkalizing compound) immediately when you put
food or drink into your mouth. You can test the
saliva after eating or drinking an acid food and
you will find that in a healthy person, the pH of
the saliva goes up to a pH of 8 or even greater.
When you put something into your mouth, the
salivary glands immediately begin secreting sodium
bicarbonate to increase the pH. This does not
happen when you eat or drink an alkaline food or

Another simple experiment will show you that when
you combine sodium bicarbonate with hydrochloric
acid in a flask, the hydrochloric acid will fall
to the bottom of the flask as the sodium bicarbonate
will rise to the top. This is what happens in the
stomach. The sodium bicarbonate made from the cover
cells of the stomach rises to the front to meet
the food or liquids ingested as the hydrochloric
acid falls into the gastric pits of the stomach
away from the food or drink ingested. The primary
purpose of sodium bicarbonate rising to the
forefront is to alkalize the food, not digest
or acidify the food. The stomach is an organ of
contribution NOT digestion. Its main contribution
is to manufacture sodium bicarbonate designed by
Mother Nature to alkalize the food and liquids
we ingest.

Dr. Gabe then states, “all foods that leave your
stomach are acidic.”

This statement is not categorically true as stated
by Dr. Gabe. And ideally, it would never be true.
It would depend on how acid or alkaline the food is
that you are dealing with and how healthy the body
is. All food coming out of the stomach should be
alkaline in preparation to be received by the small
intestine at a pH of 8.2 to 8.4. If the food that
comes out of the stomach into the duodenum is less
than a pH of 8, then a healthy pancreas and gallbladder
will secrete additional sodium bicarbonate in order
to bring up the pH of the liquid food to an 8.2 to
8.4 pH. The secretion of sodium bicarbonate is only
possible if the foundational elements of sodium,
chloride, carbon dioxide and water are available
from the blood. The stomach is the major organ for
producing the alkaline sodium bicarbonate and is
responsible for alkalizing and not digesting the
food and liquids that we ingest.

Dr. Gabe also states, “the food enters your
intestines where secretions from your pancreas
neutralize the stomach acids. So no matter what
you eat, the food in stomach is acidic and the
food in the intestines is alkaline.”

I would like you to understand that the pancreas
and the gallbladder are only second in line or
back-up glands to bring up the pH of the food or
liquids ingested to the ideal 8.2 to 8.4 by
secreting sodium bicarbonate. The alkalizing
of our food and drink is very important in order
that the liquefied food can be transformed into
new stem cells in the crypts of the small
intestine or the root system of the body for
making new blood. If the liquid food is too
acidic, it will harm and even destroy the
intestinal villi. This will lead to many if
not all sickness and dis-ease including all
blood disorders.

Dr. Gabe then states, “You cannot change the
acidity of any part of your body except your
urine. Your bloodstream and organs control
acidity in a very narrow range. Anything that
changes acidity in your body would make you
very sick and could even kill you. Promoters
of these products claim that cancer cells
cannot live in an alkaline environment and
that is true, but neither can any of the other
cells in your body.

First of all, there is no such thing as a cancer
cell. There are only cells which have become
cancerous. Cancerous cells­-originally healthy
cells­-have been spoiled with dietary and/or
metabolic acids. When you increase your
alkalinity by simply using sodium bicarbonate,
not only does your urine pH go up above 8, but
your tears, sweat and saliva will also go up.
Our bodies are alkaline by design and acidic
by function. Any food or drink that we ingest
that will maintain that alkaline design will
also preserve the body from aging and will
keep it healthy, energetic and youthful.
Our body cells love alkalinity just like the
ocean fish that swim in a pH of 8.3. My clinical
microscopy and analysis over a 30 year period
of research tells us that body cells thrive in
mild, moderate and high pH fluids ranging from
7.3 to 11 pH. Body cells do not tolerate even a
mild acid state. In fact cancerous cells thrive
in a pH of 5.5.

Dr. Merkin goes on to state that “all chemical
reactions in your body are started by chemicals
called enzymes. For example, if you convert
chemical A to chemical B and release energy,
enzymes must start these reactions. All
enzymes function in a very narrow range of
acidity. (The degree of acidity or alkalinity
is expressed as “pH.”). If your blood changes
its acidity or alkalinity for any reason, it
is quickly changed back to the normal pH or
these enzymes would not function and the
necessary chemical reactions would not proceed
in your body.

It is amazing to me how so many functions
of the body are still not properly understood
by so-called modern medicine­ medical practice
that is still actually resting on the wrong
foundational germ theory of Louis Pasteur. First
of all, the body runs on electrons not enzymes.
The enzymes of the body are the exhaust or
the acidic waste products of energy consumption.
We no more need enzymes to run our body then a
car needs carbon monoxide to run. They are both
acidic waste products of metabolism or energy
consumption that need to be eliminated as quickly
as possible through their exhaust systems. For the
human body, acids would be eliminated through
urination, perspiration, defecation or respiration.”

Dr. Gabe states, “When you hold your breath,
carbon dioxide accumulates in your bloodstream
very rapidly and your blood turns acidic, and
you will become uncomfortable or even pass out.
This forces you to start breathing again immediately,
and the pH returns to normal. If your kidneys are
damaged and cannot regulate the acidity of your
bloodstream, chemical reactions stop, poisons
accumulate in your bloodstream, and you can die.”

Here Dr. Gabe is talking out of both sides of his
mouth. He is right that when you hold your breath
and if the blood cannot purify itself from the
acidity, then you would die. But, this is the
same thing that happens when you over-indulge
in acidic lifestyles and diets. This is the
same thing that happens when the body cannot
eliminate its acidic waste products fast enough
through its elimination systems and organs. So,
dietary and/or metabolic acids that are not
eliminated are thrown out into the blood and
then into the connective tissues and fatty tissues
leading to latent tissue acidosis­ the only cause
of dis-ease. If this process continues and the
lymphatic system does not or cannot eliminate the
acid buildup, because of lack of alkaline hydration
and exercise, through perspiration or back into
circulation and then eliminated through urination,
the acidic body wastes will begin building up and
breaking down the body cells and tissues even while
the blood is maintaining its alkaline state at
7.365 to 7.4.

When the acidity of the tissues continue, the
blood overcompensates by pulling alkalinity from
the bones and muscles into the blood and we then
note a remarkable increase in the blood pH from
7.36 to 7.4 to 7.5. When the pH of the blood
increases in alkalinity, we now know that the
tissues are acidic and the body has entered into
latent tissue acidosis. If this continues and
the alkaline reserves of the body begin to be
used up, the pH of the blood will reverse and go
from a state of alkalosis or latent tissue acidosis
to compensated acidosis to decompensated acidosis
until death. That is why we see very sick people
wasting away as the body is pulling its alkaline
mineral resources from the bones and tissues into
the blood in order to maintain the delicate pH
balance of the blood at 7.365 to 7.4. When the
human body is alkaline by design and acidic by
function and is actively engaged in maintaining
that alkaline design through an alkaline lifestyle
and diet, it is theoretically impossible to lose
bone mass or muscle mass or to get sick or tired.

Gabe states, “certain foods can leave end-products
called ash that can make your urine either acid or
alkaline, but urine is the only body fluid that
can have its acidity changed by food or

The fact is that the urine is a direct reflection
of the tissue pH, caused indirectly, in part, by
food and drink, and can be either acidic or alkaline.
The ideal pH of the urine is 7.2 or above. Most
folks have urine pH lower then 7.2. My own clinical
research has indicated that an acidic urine pH will
manifest as body fatigue and tiredness. A urine pH
that is over 7.2 will manifest an energetic body.

Dr. Gabe says that “ALKALINE-ASH FOODS include fresh
fruit and raw vegetables. ACID-ASH FOODS include ALL
ANIMAL PRODUCTS, whole grains, beans and other seeds.
These foods can change the acidity of your urine, but
that’s irrelevant since your urine is contained in
your bladder and does not affect the pH of any other
part of your body.”

Here Dr. Gabe has really lost his way. Alkaline
foods include low sugar fruits, green vegetables,
healthy oils, whole unprocessed salts, and alkaline
water. Acid foods include dairy products, animal
flesh, eggs, vinegar, soy sauce, peanuts, corn,
high sugar fruits, high sugar root vegetables like
potato and beet, mushrooms, algae, coffee, tea,
tap water, tobacco, marijuana, most all prescription
drugs, just to name a few. For a complete updated
list of acid and alkaline foods and drinks read,
The pH Miracle for Weight Loss, by Dr. Robert and
Shelley Young.”

It is also important to note that the pH of the
urine is a direct indicator of the pH of the body
tissues. When the urine pH is acidic, you are more
likely to be sick and/or tired. When your urine
pH is alkaline or above 7.2 pH, you are more likely
to be healthy and fit. People who are sick will
always have an acidic urine pH. People who are
healthy and fit will always have an alkaline pH.
It is that simple. That is why I have been teaching
and instructing tens of thousands of people for many
years that if you want to be healthy and fit, you
have to pee and sweat your way to health.

Dr. Gabe goes on to say that “when you take in
more protein than your body needs, your body cannot
store it, and so the excess amino acids are
converted to organic acids that would acidify
your blood. But your blood never becomes acidic
because as soon as the proteins are converted to
organic acids, calcium leaves your bones to
neutralize the acid and to try and prevent any
change in pH. Because of this, many scientists
think that taking in too much protein may weaken
bones to cause osteoporosis.”

Well, “right on” Dr. Gabe. You finally have
explained something that conforms to the way
that the human body actually works. The body
does, indeed, pull calcium ions from the bones
and magnesium ions from the muscles to buffer
the organic acids from animal proteins in order
to maintain the delicate alkaline pH of the blood.
But, it is very important to remember when you
are pulling alkaline minerals from the tissues
and organs in order to maintain the alkalinity
of the blood, you end up with acidic tissues and
organs that leaves weak and brittle bones, tissues
and organs.

I would like to add that eating animal protein
results in the release of uric, nitric, sulphuric,
and phosphoric acids which the body tissues and
organs do not manage well. You can test the morning
urine after eating animal proteins and note the
lowered acidic urine pH. The morning urine pH
is a direct indicator of tissue pH and a person’s
lifestyle and dietary choices over the last
24 hours.

Dr. Gabe and I are in agreement that the body
pulls alkaline minerals from the bones to maintain
the alkalinity of the blood at the expense of weak
or degenerative bones such as in the symptom of
osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is the direct result
of an acidic lifestyle and diet, especially the
ingestion of animal proteins. You can protect
your bones, muscles and other organs with an
alkaline lifestyle and diet. So give up the
“beef” Gabe, whether from animal or from emotions.
They are both acidic and compromise the delicate
pH of the body fluids.

Gabe also states that, “cranberries have been
shown to help prevent recurrent urinary tract
infections, but not because of their acidity.
They contain chemicals that prevent bacteria
from sticking to urinary tract cells.”

I would explain it this way. Cranberries contain
antioxidants that buffer the acids in the fluids
of the body including the urinary tract. Bacteria
is the result of cells that have transformed because
of the over-acidic state of the body. Acids act
like molecular glue. The antioxidants of the
cranberries help to buffer those acids with
alkaline compounds thus reversing the very thing
that causes the infection, that is, metabolic
and/or dietary ACID.”

Dr. Gabe states: “taking calcium supplements or
drinking alkaline water will not change the pH
of your blood. If you hear someone say that your
body is too acidic and you should use their product
to make it more alkaline, you would be wise not to
believe anything else the person tells you.”

I would like you to understand that taking alkaline
supplements or drinking alkaline water will help
prevent the blood from pulling alkaline compounds
from other parts of the body and thus helping to
maintain its alkaline design. Nobel prize winner
in medicine, Dr. Alexis Carrel, in 1912 stated,
“the human cell is immortal as long as we maintain
the alkaline fluids that it is bathed in.”
I stated in 1986 that the human body is alkaline
by design, however, acidic by function. If you
can maintain the alkaline design of the body with
an alkaline lifestyle and diet you will never get
sick, tired or suffer from ANY dis-ease or disease.

People have been listening to allopathic medical
spokesperson like Dr. Gabe Mirkin for many decades.
Part of the reason that western medical science
is in such disarray, part of the reason that
750,000 people die from medical treatment every
year in America, and part of the reason that
drug companies spend so much money wooing doctors,
is that western medical science is controlled by
inadequate, wrong-headed, and self-invested research
programs and methodology. That research is
controlled in large part by the pharmaceutical
industry in conjunction with medical schools.

Almost all non-traditional and alternative
medical practitioners use products that cannot
be patented and do not reap obscene profits
from people who are unhealthy and sick. I
think it is fair to say that medicine controlled
by patents are more about money than health.
Thus, with this value system, there is little
reason for profit-oriented pharmaceutical
companies to look beyond the present broken-down
system and model.

I encourage spokespersons such as Dr. Gabe Mirkin
to look beyond the present system and to ask new
questions about how the body works, why so many
people are sick, why the elderly are on half a
dozen medicines or more, why so many people die
in the care of our medical system, and why so
many people are becoming increasingly distrustful
of the present medical system.

9 thoughts on “The Unscientific Nonsense of Gabe Mirkin’s Acid/Alkaline Theory Article”

  1. Well, I give Dr. Young 50 points and Gabe Merkin, who incidentally livesin the Washington,D.C. area and who used to have an afternoon radio show, maybe 1 point for trying. My neighbor once went to see Gabe. The neighbor got stung by a bee and hada severe reaction and, I guess, Gabe fixed him up. But the discourse and argument presented by Dr. Young is exactly the same kind of argument that takes place between patent attorneys and patent examiners in the attorney’s quest to obtain a patent.


  2. Fantastic argument, Dr. Young! That clears up a load of googled misinfo for me. I have a couple of questions though. First, does the citric acid in lemon juice succeed in alkalizing our body by leeching calcium and assorted minerals from the bones, or am I missing something? Second, is sodium citrate (whether from supplements or by combining lemon juice and baking soda) effective in helping the body fight candidiasis?


  3. Hi Dr young,Im glad you posted a response to Gabe Merkins comments but Im still none the wiser as I havent studied science/biology/blood etc and I dont think I will have time to do that. Its very hard to know who to believe.My biggest stumbling block is this… why doesn’t the medical community at large take on your ph miracle methods and accept it as a way of treating people generally over the world if it has such amazing results? Wikepedia says your methods are untested and that live blood testing is highly controversial and often used to con people into buying lots of products and then people go back to spend more money on more tests and more products etc etcDoctors I have spoken to in the UK, and even BUPA (a huge private medical health company here in the UK) have never even heard of live blood testing!! What is going on???With great respect, your doctor qualification is also in question on wikepedia and on the internet in general. It is said that it is easy to get your qualification with a correspondance degree that costs very little money. You may have heard of Dr Gillian McKeith here in the UK – shes a big health guru thats always on TV. Well she had a similiar degree (Im told) and was taken to court only to lose. She now cant call herself Doctor!! (see Bad Science website for more info – – just scroll down a bit). On her website she is now just Gillian McKeith! Could this happen to you?I really want to believe you but Im very skeptical (if you hadnt noticed :).Please reply to this (here on the web) if you’re an honest man and explain what is going on and how I can be sure. Ive read a diary of a lady who followed your plan to the letter for 7 months. Although she had some good results, she still has health problems and has lost a lot of weight that she shouldnt have (way under what her weight should be for her height). I wasnt convinced. Tony Robbins says to give your plan 30 days – well she gave it 7 months (so far) and has shelled out a small fortune in your supplements and special green drinks. Surely God (if there is one) didnt plan for everyone to spend so much money on their eating???If you are honest and this is all true then the best of luck to you.Please,please, please reply.Many thanks,Scott Hammond


  4. Dear readers, PhDs can be bought or earned without accreditation, but no matter.Mr. Young’s theory on stomach alkalinity can be disproven with real science, but it can also be disproven with the same bad science and faulty logic to which he clings.Consider the devout adherent to a minimal-acid, alkaline diet. For the purposes of this experiment, such a person may have recently detoxed if this will further remove acid from the body. It is important to follow the guidelines Mr. Young recommends to maintain a healthy stomach pH of 7 (roughly). If said person follows Mr. Young’s plan, then they MUST have a stomach pH of 7, right? Otherwise, if even the best practitioner of the diet cannot achieve a healthy stomach pH, then Mr. Young is no more useful than an MD, and he can be disregarded by his own advice.Support for Mr. Young’s theories hinges, in part, on whether or not the stomach’s contents are acidic or basic (you use the word alkaline, but I will refer to the preferred chemical term).How do we measure stomach pH? Well, Mr. Young feels safe because nobody has suggested a method to obtain stomach pH. For the sake of establishing truth, however, we should induce vomiting in our subject.This can be done by trigggering the gag reflex (thus avoiding any intake), and the upheaved stomach fluids should be tested for pH.Alternatives include imbibing the subject with alcohol (ethanol, which is the form of alcohol people drink, has a very weak dissociation constant, which means it releases few protons in equilibrium with water. Thus, ethanol in the aqueous/alkaline contents of the stomach will have a negligible effect on stomach pH. It will NOT taint the pH test.)So, while no reasonable person would try this simple test to defend Mr. Young’s theories, I leave it as an open challenge. You may deny “modern medicine” (and for God’s sake, why do you even use such a vague term), but you cannot deny basic chemistry, for that is the only science you haven’t completely bastardized with your work. If you deny chemistry itself, then your theory falls apart as well, for you have no science left to ground yourself.


  5. As a brief follow-up, people deserve freedom of information, and they deserve freedom from false information. I will not defend the abuses of “modern medicinen,” as you call it, but neither will I stand by as a false prophet takes advantage of the vulernable. “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”Before medicine, there must be biology. Before biology, there must be chemistry. To anyone who seeks the truth, perhaps you should learn your chemistry. No one can claim it carries the same taint as modern medicine, for the two are not married to each other as the field of biology is.Furthermore, take a damn course on statistical analysis. Take a course on logic. Take a class on study design. Half the “proof” I’ve been shown by proponents of natural medicine isn’t proof at all. Case studies are “suggestive,” and their findings merit new research, but they are not proof.I trust the natural world more than I do the manufactured one, but you can’t fudge numbers / fail to control for confounding factors, and expect your “research” to be meaningful. Anecdotal evidence is never “research.”


  6. Dr. Young states “facts” that are totally contrary to standard scientific knowledge, and does not back them up with any research citations. For instance, he states repeatedly that the stomach produces sodium bicarbonate. My A&P class taught me that acid is produced in the stomach and bicarbonate is produced (among other things) by the pancreas and is secreted in the duodenum, as Merkin states. This makes logical sense. Why would your body produce an acid just to neutralize it at the same moment? Nothing would get done. Not to mention, I think we've all seen what happens when you mix vinegar with baking soda (bicarbonate). Much gas is produced. What would be the purpose of this happening in your stomach?If he has research that indicates the conventional medical wisdom is wrong about basic digestion, he is sure not citing it. To the poster who suggested we measure the ph of stomach contents: that's already been done, and I think anyone who's ever vomited can tell without testing, that stomach contents are acidic. I'm shocked that “Dr” Young just makes up these ridiculous answers to a quite reasonable article.


  7. By taking more acid alkaline food which you can get mostly from vegetables and fruits can make your blood more alkaline. In alkaline condition, the blood can hold large amount of oxygen. This include in the cells.


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