UK watchdog censors alkaline diet cancer claims

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Nutrition Asa

Alkaline diets do not deliver substantiated cancer, diabetic or other benefits, the ASA concludes
Alkaline diets do not deliver substantiated cancer, diabetic or other benefits, the ASA concludes
Claims that an ‘alkaline diet’ based around consumption of vegetable and grain powdered beverages could benefit cancer sufferers and diabetics have been rapped by the UK advertising watchdog.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) told Energise UK Limited its claims were not backed in the scientific literature and should be amended.

The company indicated it was adhering to the ruling for products including Miracle Greens and Nature’s Sunshine Liquid Chlorophyll that it said could help deliver the low-acid, alkaline diet it had marketed as having a range of health benefits including the cancer and diabetes claims.

The ASA rook issue with reference to a ‘Dr Robert O Young’ who it said was not actually a qualified medical doctor but a PhD holder.

Claims such as: “[Dr Young] literally has an almost 100% track record with cancer patients”​ and “Dr Young discusses his latest research findings in the field of diabetes and how living an alkaline lifestyle can help reverse this disease”​ were not supported it said.

“[They] suggested that following Dr Young’s theory of an alkaline diet had helped patients with cancer and would help to reverse diabetes. We noted that we had not seen evidence to support those claims.”

“We were concerned that the claims appeared to offer advice or treatment for serious medical conditions for which medical supervision should be sought and therefore discouraged essential treatment for those conditions. We concluded that the claims breached the Code.”

Internet marketing such as this would not previously falledn within the remit of the ASA but it brought digital communications into its operations earlier this year.

Energise’s web statements included: "The body has to maintain this pH level and it will go to extreme measures and sacrifice everything else to make sure it stays there. Why? Because in an acidic state, red blood cells cannot possibly function as they are supposed to and begin a biological transformation into bacteria and yeast (called pleomorphism) and pollute your internal environment.”

It made further claims the ASA said were unsubstantiated.

“pH Miracle Greens is a greens drink powder mix, formulated by Dr Young to support a healthy Alkalarian lifestyle and provide your body with the healthy nutrients it needs to combat aging, help with weight loss or weight gain, and provide long lasting energy by alkalizing your body…If you need more energy, if you’re striving for better health, pH Miracle Greens is a potent way to help your body get exactly what it needs.”

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