Three weeks of diet based solely on fruit juice and she ends up in the hospital with irreversible brain damage. The victim of an unfortunate pseudo-medical council is a 40-year-old woman from Tel Aviv, who was rushed to the Sheba Medical Center in a state of malnutrition and cerebral neurological problems.
This was reported by several Israeli newspapers, recalling that the lady entered the hospital weighing barely 40 kilos after having followed the advice of a self-styled alternative therapist for three weeks who would have pushed her to eat only fruit and water.
As reported by various medical websites, the patient was hospitalised for n excess of water in the body that leads to a lowering of sodium concentration in the plasma. This is certainly not the first time this has happened. As reported by the British medical journal, a 59-year-old English woman recently followed a doctor’s advice for a urinary infection and started drinking half a litre of water per hour.
But the “cure” did not last long because the woman was hospitalised with significant symptoms such as difficulty speaking, vomiting, tremors. In short, we are faced with the classic use of foods or liquids that give many benefits but should be used properly, combined with other foods, and above all without excesses.
On the web, dozens of detox juices and water based diets can be found with a very quick google-search. Diets that often do not indicate that the choice of fruit and vegetables in juices is not sufficient as daily nourishment, and above all that this exclusion of other foods cannot be prolonged over time. The risk, is that extreme fasting can be on one hand “an incredible resource for self healing” but on the other “it can be one of the most insidious causes of mental suffering in progress of anorexia nervosa”.
The habit of a “diet” based on fruit alone has a name: fruitarian diet. And it goes back to the ideas of Arnold Ehret, a pseudo-German scientist of the late nineteenth century who idealised the “mucus-free diet” by claiming that both “semi-fasting” and nutrition based only on fruit and vegetables (especially green leaves) they were enough to support a human being and make him live in great shape. A news never confirmed at the historical biographical level, but that runs on many online sites of “counter-information”, is that Steve Jobs had been on a fruitarian diet, inspired just to Ehret, after having discovered the pancreatic tumor that then killed him.
Anyhow, dieting and eating healthy food is important but never enough to put your life at risk. Make sure to always follow your doctor’s advise before embarking on anything so drastic!