- A woman went brain-dead after attempting a cleanse for which she drank a litre of soy sauce in under two hours, a University of Illinois adjunct medical professor said in a video on his YouTube channel, Chubbyemu.
- After doing the cleanse, the 39-year-old woman went in and out of consciousness and into cardiac arrest before ultimately developing severe nerve damage.
- Fad diets typically don’t get participants the amount of calories or nutrients they need for daily functioning and don’t offer any teachable moments about what healthy eating really is, Frances Largeman-Roth, a nutrition expert and the author of “Eating in Colour,” told INSIDER.
Cleanses are nothing new, but one woman’s recent attempt at one is reminding people that they aren’t actually healthy and can have serious consequences. On December 3, YouTuber Chubbyemu, a University of Illinois adjunct medical professsor, shared a video recounting the story of a woman who went brain dead after attempting a cleanse that required her to drink a litre of soy sauce in less than two hours, Health reported.
According to Chubbyemu’s video, the patient thought the soy-sauce cleanse could help release toxins from her body. Instead, it put her into cardiac arrest and eventually caused irreparable nerve damage.
The woman developed severe nerve damage from consuming too much sodium
The woman experienced central pontine myelinolysis, which is a neurological disorder that occurs when the body’s sodium levels rise quickly, pull water from the brain cells, and cause nerve damage, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Symptoms of central pontine myelinolysis include lessened awareness and difficulty speaking and swallowing. According to NIH, the condition can become so severe that a person’s muscles could become paralysed and the person might end up in a coma or die. While some people recover from the condition after a few weeks to a month, others are permanently paralysed from the condition.
Currently, the woman is unable to talk, swallow, move, or speak.
The majority of trendy cleanses are neither safe nor necessary
Most cleanses actually do more harm than good and aren’t sustainable for the long term, Frances Largeman-Roth, a nutrition expert and the author of “Eating in Colour,” told INSIDER.
“If something sounds too good to be true or a little nutty, like telling you to eat one thing only, then it probably is too good to be true,” she said.
Fad diets typically don’t give participants the amount of calories or nutrients they need for daily functioning and don’t offer any teachable moments about what healthy eating really is, Largeman-Roth said. This is especially dangerous for people on certain medications, and anyone with diabetes should be especially wary of cleanses. Largeman-Roth said these people need specific caloric intakes and nutrients, and restrictive cleanses may deplete them of the substances their bodies need to remain healthy.
Ultimately, fad cleanses and diets are completely unnecessary, as the body has its own natural detoxification system. “The kidneys and liver do a great job of removing toxins,” Largeman-Roth said.
If you want to move the body’s natural detox process along, you can drink lots of water and up your fibre intake. Largeman-Roth recommended 10 glasses of water and between 25 and 30 grams of fibre daily to keep things regular and assist the body with releasing toxins naturally.
To get lots of fibre, stick to the basics, like fruits and vegetables.
“You can roast them or put them on a salad, anything to just get more whole foods that are actually good for you,” Largeman-Roth said.
- Read more about fad diets:
- Why there’s no such thing as a healthy juice cleanse
- 10 natural weight-loss remedies that don’t work
- A nutritionist explains why juice cleanses don’t work
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