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May, 24

Food influencer who ate all-raw vegan diet dies of starvation: Report

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A 39-year-old food influencer from Russia, Zhanna Samsonova, has died of starvation. According to New York Post, Zhanna “died of starvation” after surviving only a diet of exotic fruit.

As per media reports, Zhanna was popular on social media and had millions of fans and followers on various platforms. She was known as Zhanna D’Art online. She died on July 21 after seeking medical treatment during a tour in Southeast Asia.
Zhanna was “eating an exclusively raw vegan diet consisting of ‘fruits, sunflower seed sprouts, fruit smoothies and juices’ for the past five years,” Daily Mail reported.

For the last 7 years, she was only eating durian, a smelly spiky fruit.

What exactly happened?

Zhanna developed ‘cholera-like infection’ which was triggered by the exhaustion of her body due to the vegan diet, local media has reported citing her mother. Her mother did not approve of her diet habit and had tried to convince her to have a balanced diet.
Her friends have revealed that a few months ago in Sri Lanka she looked exhausted with swollen legs and oozing lymphs. ‘They sent her home to seek treatment. However, she ran away again. When I saw her in Phuket, I was horrified,’ her friends told the media.

Nutritional deficiencies associated with a vegan diet

As per studies, consuming a vegan diet for a longer time can lead to serious nutritional deficiencies. A study published in February 2023 titled “The Impact of a Vegan Diet on Many Aspects of Health: The Overlooked Side of Veganism” found that a vegan diet “carries the potential for micro- and macronutrient deficits.” The study found that the deficits due to a vegan diet affect mental health, lead to a condition called orthorexia nervosa which involves obsessive (compulsive) food decisions and is the reason behind insufficient protein, calcium, zinc, vitamin B12, and vitamin D in the body. The study has urged for early intervention so that the health complications due to the deficiencies can be avoided.





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