Dangerous Diets

Hoodia gordonii
Hoodia Gordonii – Does This Look Healthy?

Every year we hear reports of people becoming ill from following extreme “diets”. In some rare cases the diets prove fatal. While many products are regulated and sometimes banned, ideas, misconceptions and bad advice cannot be so easily controlled. Some diet systems are not inherently unhealthy, but due to lack of care and attention and often a disregard for the rules, people put themselves at risk by modifying and tweaking the diet plan.

Here we look at a selection of diet plans and products that have hit the news in recent years. Some due to the controversial nature of the research that is behind them, and some for more tragic reasons.

Meal Replacement Diet Plans

In Devember 2008 we heard of a woman who died after going on the LighterLife diet plan. This was a case where the diet plan itself was not at fault, the problem arose because the dieter did not follow the instructions correctly. The woman in the story died after drinking four litres of water in less than two hours. LighterLife is a meal replacement plan, not unlike Slimfast in that respect.

The LighterLife customer, Mrs. Jacqueline Henson, was hoping to reduce her 89 kg (196 pounds) when she chose the LighterLife meal replacement diet. The diet is aimed at very overweight people. It restricts daily calorific intake to just 500 calories for a period of 12 weeks. Meals are replaced with LighterLife products, which include shake, soups and bars. The rest of the time dieters are advised to drink only water. Mrs Henson lost 5.5kg (11.5 pounds) during the first week of the diet.

On the day that she died, Mrs Henson consumed almost 4 litres of water while sitting watching television. She noticed that her stomach had become solid, and later vomited. She developed a headache, so went to have a lie down. However, the headache was caused by a swelling of the brain caused by excessive water consumption. After collapsing at home, she was admitted to hospital.

A LighterLife relations manager said:

“We are so sorry to hear about Jacqueline and extend our sympathies to her family. Our programme gives clear guidance that water should be consumed regularly over the course of the day, and the coroner confirmed that the events were a tragic accident.”

Her husband, Mr Henson, is now trying to increase awareness of the dangers of consuming too much water.

“I had no idea that much water could kill someone. If I’d have known that I would not have let her drink it.” Mr Henson.

Acai – a “Natural” Weight Loss Supplements

Acai is marketed as a superfood that can aid weight loss. The marketing campaigns are often very aggressive and full of pseudo-science and fake testimonials. Many play on the idea that it is a “natural” diet, suggesting that this somehow makes it healthy. Acai adverts also often focus on the idea of “cleansing the body” to speed up weight loss – another urban myth.

In one advert that we reviewed in December 2008 it was stated that Acai results in:

  • Increased metabolism
  • Better Mood and Attitude
  • Rapid Weight Loss
  • More Self Confidence
  • Cleanse and Detoxify Your Body
  • Much More Energy
  • A Natural Colon Cleanse

The advert then goes on to explain that by “cleansing and detoxifying” your body you naturally speed up your metabolism to burn more fat. The naturalness of Acai is reconfirmed with “There are No Side Effects to the Acai Supplement. It is 100% all natural and carries zero artificial colors, ingredients, and no additives.”

The greatest statement, which really turns what could be a fad into an outright scam, is this: “you don’t need to Change anything in your lifestyle or diet” – once again, they are preying on desperate people who do not actually want to make any lifestyle changes to lose weight.

Finally the marketing letter explains how safe Acai is, once again explaining that it is 100% natural. Of course, this is far from the truth, as the products that are sold are often pills and not freshly picked berries!

Acai is not a Replacement for a Healthy Diet

Like green tea, Acai does have some health benefits. It is jam packed with nutrients and antioxidants. But, it is not the best source of antioxidants, or the best source of vitamins either. For native Caboclo populations in the Amazon, it is the main source of these ingredients. However, we have a wide variety of other sources, all of which can provide similar, and in some cases, better health benefits than acai. So, rather than jump on the Acai bandwagon, pop down to the market and buy some oranges and lemons instead.

Acai and Weight Loss

As for the weight loss? Really it is just another marketing con. Snake oil for fat loss. Like Beyonce’s Maple Syrup diet you will lose weight if you eat nothing but acai – but you will be losing muscle tissue, lowering your metabolism and setting yourself up for a yo-yo bounce and will probably gain all the weight back as soon as you revert to your previous diet.

Hoodia: The Kalahari Diet Scam

In 2009 we reported renewed interest in Hoodia diet pills. Hoodia seems to be yet another weight loss gimmick that is not actually founded on any scientific evidence. However, there really may be more to it, so before we declare Hoodia another weight loss scam, lets examine the evidence and determine if the rise of the Hoodia diet pill / cactus diet over the last decade is justified.

The active ingredient in the Hoodia, cactus, was discovered by western scientists very recently. However, the plant has been used by Kalahari tribesmen for generations, possibly thousands of years, as a means to ward off hunger during long hunting trips. The Hoodia cactus thrives in extremely high temperatures and takes many years to mature. Its flowers smell like rotten meat and are pollinated mainly by flies. It is surprising that anyone ever decided to sample the flesh from this cactus.

Hoodia has no known side effects, other than its possible appetite reducing effect. This makes it an ideal weight loss aid, if used responsibly. The active ingredient in Hoodia is a previously unknown chemical, which the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research named P57 in 1977. British bio-pharmaceutical company Phytopharm bought the rights to Hoodia, and started working on developing it as a weight loss pill.

They then sold the development and marketing rights to the giant Pfizer Corporation who took over development. The deal allowed Phytopharm to develop semi-synthetic variants of the drug by itself while Pfizer developed botanical versions, Pfizer released the rights to the primary ingredient in 2002.  This may come as a surprise now, considering the huge market that Hoodia now represents.

It has been suggested that for Pfizer to release something dealing with obesity they must have believe that there was no merit to its oral use. Pfizer states that development on P57, the active ingredient of hoodia, was stopped due to the difficulty of synthesizing P57. Jasjit Bindra, lead researcher for hoodia at Pfizer, states there were indications of unwanted effects on the liver caused by other components, which could not be easily removed from the supplement, adding:

“Clearly, hoodia has a long way to go before it can earn approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Until safer formulations are developed, dieters should be wary of using it.” Jasjit Bindra, Hoodia specialist, Pfizer.

However, the obstacles seem to have been overcome, as Hoodia, in many forms, is now widely available.

How Does Hoodia Work?

In 2003 Phytopharm were still convinced of its effectiveness, and described the process:

There is a part of your brain, the hypothalamus. Within that mid-brain there are nerve cells that sense glucose sugar. When you eat, blood sugar goes up because of the food, these cells start firing and now you are full. What the Hoodia seems to contain is a molecule that is about 10,000 times as active as glucose. It goes to the mid-brain and actually makes those nerve cells fire as if you were full. But you have not eaten. Nor do you want to.” Dr Richard Dixey, Phytopharm, 2003.

So Hoodia works simply by tricking the brain into thinking that you are not hungry at all. In one non-scientific study of people taking Hoodia, subjects ate on average 35% less than normal, which is a significant reduction in daily calorific intake. Certainly enough to trigger weight loss. However, there is still no published scientific evidence that hoodia works as an appetite suppressant in humans (observations and studies are not the same as scientifically proven results). Although there are more reports now strengthening the case for Hoodia, some medical weight loss experts remain sceptical and do not recommend hoodia to obese patients.

Marketing of Hoodia and Internet Spam

A lack of scientific evidence or regulatory approval have not stopped companies from marketing Hoodia gordonii with claims that it can lower blood pressure and reduce the appetite. Many companies have even claimed that celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey vouch for the effectiveness of Hoodia. However, the original article that appeared in a magazine in 2005 only mentions that Hoodia may be a tool for aiding weight loss, as it is used by the Kalahari tribesmen. There is not actually any evidence of Oprah Winfrey endorsing its use, or even actually ever using it.

Hoodia Today

In November 2008 Unilever pulled out of deal with Phytopharm to continue commercial development of Hoodia. Reasons have not been disclosed. However, it could indicate that scientific trials have proved inconclusive, simply meaning that it may not be a wonder drug for obesity after all.

Hoodia gordonii products are currently being marketed in a variety of formats to include: capsules, tablets, liquid tinctures, coffee and infusions, syrups, protein shakes and even diet fruit bars.

Whether you chose to try Hoodia is up to you. But be warned, like Acai berries and Green Tea, there is still no firm evidence that it will help you to lose weight. Hoodia could well prove to be one of the biggest diet scams of the 21st Century, driven almost entirely by internet spam.

Some people are proclaiming Hoodia to have ever increasing benefits, which include:

  • Increase energy
  • Have an  aphrodisiac quality
  • Cure hangovers
  • Control appetite
  • Reduce blood pressure
  • Fight Cancer
  • Stop the ageing process

It seems that no matter how little scientific evidence is found for supporting the health benefits of Hoodia, people continue to peddle it online. If it really was a perfect diet pill with no side effects, then it would have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and be available on prescription by now. However, it is not. Still the advice for obese and overweight patients is to eat a calorie controlled diet and exercise.

Be warned, as some celebrity websites are claiming that it has caused some people to lose too much weight. However, there are conditions called anorexia an bulimia which could explain the unhealthy weight loss experienced by some celebs. Blaming a pill could just be a sign that they are living in denial of their condition.

Raw Vegan Diets

In June 2008 the Independent newspaper published an article about a family who had gone vegan, with terrible consequences. A mother, Holly Paige, adopted a raw vegan diet for her family thinking that it was a very healthy and nutritious way of eating. But the diet led to her daughters having growth problems, both being below average height and weight for children of their age, with reduced bone density and very skinny arms and legs.

They had also swollen bellies and pinched cheeks, and most worrying, small holes appearing in their teeth. This was after three years of a raw vegan diet which included copious amounts of fresh fruit, vegetables, seeds, grains, soya and pulses. But of course, no meat, fish, milk, butter, cheese, yogurt, eggs, or any of animal product for that matter.

On one occasion one of her daughters that was on the vegan diet instinctively grabbed a block of butter while shopping in a supermarket and started gnawing into it. For a three year old who had never tasted butter before, this showed that some very strong natural instincts were at play here, making her ravenous when around fatty and protein rich foods.

Her mother realized later that she had been brainwashed into thinking that a raw vegan diet was healthy, and that dairy products were bad for your health. It turned out that her children were suffering from extreme vitamin D and protein deficiency. She quickly stopped the vegan diet. They still mostly eat a raw diet, but do eat dairy, such as butter cheese, eggs and sometimes fish.

Being a raw vegan is not that same as just a standard vegan, as raw vegans have a much more limited range of foods on offer. For example, raw vegans cannot eat fortified cereals or baked goods, limited grains, and only a few types of pulses. Also, cooking food makes it more digestible for humans, and increases the amount of nutrients that can be absorbed into the body.

In another case last week, an eight year old Scottish vegan was admitted to hospital with rickets. Her spine was so damaged that it was more like that of an eighty year old woman than an eight year old. Rickets is a bone condition that is caused by lack of vitamin D. Although vitamin D is naturally produced in the body when exposed to sunlight, the average Brit cannot get enough sunlight to produce vitamin D. Therefore a diet high in vitamin D is essential, and for this, oily fish, eggs and butter is the only way to obtain it.

However, the British Dietitian Association points out that being a vegan can be done healthily, but only if you know what you are doing, and consume the right foods and the correct supplements. They point out that professional advice is essential for anyone going on a restrictive diet.

It may be a little harsh to say that a raw vegan diet is bad for you. But a raw vegan diet done badly, with no knowledge of vitamins and nutrients, can certainly be very bad for your health, both short term and long term. In the case of the 8 year old girl, her spine may never recover fully.

Normal vegan diets are healthy and some athletes experience a performance improvements as a result. See our article on vegan fitness to learn more.

Vitamin Diets

The health benefits of vitamins has been exaggerated so much in recent years that some people are now doing themselves more harm than good by taking supplements. While some vitamins are perfectly safe at any level, others can cause ill health.

In 2008 studies were published which showed that some vitamin supplements are actually likely to do you harm rather than make you healthier. Many people started taking vitamins in high doses with the hope that they would boost their immune system and make them stronger and healthier. Celebrities are famous for taking vitamin supplements.

Robbie Williams had a dose of multivitamins injected into his bum after a particularly intensive party, and Madonna was also reported to have given Justin Timberlake a B12 vitamin injection in his backside.

Apparently Justin Timberlake was feeling a bit tired, and Madonna offered him a shot from one of her syringes stashed in her handbag. Geri Halliwell has reportedly used vitamin injections to keep going when she was on a starvation diet and skeletally thin. But were they actually improving their long term health? Here are the main problem vitamins:

Vitamin A (retinol)

Helps keep skin healthy, enhances immunity and helps you see in dim light. But all you need is 0.7mg a day if you are a man and o.6mg if you are a woman, according to the Food Standards Agency (FSA), which says you can get all you need from foods such as cheese, eggs, oily fish, milk and yogurt. Liver, another source, is not recommended for pregnant women. More than 1.5mg of per day may make your bones more brittle and prone to fracture as you age.

Vitamin C

We need around 4omg a day and it is not stored in the body because it is water soluble – but we should get enough from a normal diet. It is in a wide variety of fruit and vegetables and protects cells and helps the body absorb iron. Taking less than 1000mg in supplements is unlikely to do harm, says the FSA, but large amounts can cause diarrhoea and flatulence.


Turns into vitamin A in the body. You should get all you need from a varied diet, in particular from yellow and green leafy vegetables such as spinach, carrots and red peppers; and yellow fruit such as mangos, melons and apricots. Too much beta-carotene can increase the chances of smokers developing lung cancer. The FSA recommends taking no more than 7mg a day in supplements.

Vitamin E

Protects cell membranes. It is fat soluble, so the body will store it and you do not need a dose every day. It is found in plant oils, nuts and seeds and wheat germ in cereals. The FSA advises that taking too much supplementary vitamin E is not a good idea, but less than 540mg a day is “unlikely to cause any harm”.


The tiny amounts we need should be easily obtained from meat, nuts, bread, fish or eggs. It has an important role in the immune system, in thyroid hormone metabolism, reproduction and prevention of damage to cells and tissues; Too much can lead to loss of skin, hair and nails, but ingesting less than 0.3 mg a day will do no harm.

Weight Loss Tea Pills

In October 2010 a UK medicine watchdog has discovered that two types of weight loss tea contain substances that are banned in Europe and America. Payouji tea and Pai You Guo Slim capsules both contain a diet drug called sibutramine. This substance was banned by health departments in January this year due to serious side effects including heart attacks and stroke.

Sibutramine – Banned Weight Loss Drug

The drug was originally approved in 1997, however studies on people taking the medicine have revealed serious side effects that were not seen during human trails. As a result the medicine has been withdrawn. Unfortunately, some companies are still adding it to their weight loss products.

Many herbal weight loss products in America have been recalled recently as a result of this substance.

Read the Ingredients and Side Effects

If you have any weight loss pills or herbal remedies it is vital that you read the label and the leaflet to check whether or not this substance is present. You should also familiarise yourself with the known side effects of any medicine you take so that if you start to suffer from any usual symptoms you can take action immediately.

If you find your weight loss pills contain sibutramine stop taking them immediately.

Report Side Effects of Weight Loss Medicines

It is also recommended that if you suffer any unusual side effects while taking any medicine, whether for weight loss or anything else, that you report it. Sometimes medicines pass human trials but are still not safe. Only if people report problems early on can serious problems be prevented.

In the UK you can report unusual side effects to the Yellow Card Scheme which is run by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

Other Dubious, Dangerous and Fad Diets

Other diets and plans that we have reported on in the past include the Accu fat burning beads, which are now banned in the UK and USA. Fat burning pills are often advertised and again, few people read up on the possible side effects of these pills, or understand their uses and limitations. Another really scammy deal are the HCG Weight Loss Diets.

We looked at green tea in some detail recently, and concluded that although there may be a slight improvement in weight loss when it is taken, it really does very little to help people to lose weight – other than having a strong placebo effect.

One of the most popular “diets” is still the so called “Lemonade Diet“, which is actually just a fast (starvation). You cannot call something a diet if it does not involve eating!

Dieting really is a case of “everything in moderation“. Many of the foods and products that are good for us in moderation can become harmful when taken in excess. Whether it is protein, fat, vitamins, caffeine or even water, care must be taken that you do not get carried away with a poorly planned and misunderstood diet plan. It is always better to eat moderately, follow a simple, healthy and balanced diet and exercise often!


Extreme diets on eBay warning” by Tulip Mazumdar – BBC Newsbeat

How our vegan diet made us ill” by Natasha Mann – Independent.co.uk

Press release: Warning over unlicensed herbal Payouji tea and Pai You Guo Slim Capsules” – Mhra.gov.uk

31 Comments on “Dangerous Diets”

  1. So let’s completely overlook the number of people who suffer health problems who do eat the holy milk/eggs/meat/fish/etc. ANY diet in which you don’t achieve adequate nutritional intake is bad for your health – including the typical omnivorous diet.

  2. MotleyHealth says:

    Yes, that is pretty much what was meant by the last two paragraphs – “a vegan can be done healthily”. Any diet done badly is bad for you. The problem is, some people hear of the “health benefits” of certain diets, and then adopt them for the whole family without an understanding of what they are doing. This article is a warning to those that are considering a similar diet, not a suggestion that a vegan diet will always be bad for your health. I could talk all day about unhealthy omnivores…

  3. This article is one of the worst I have read in a long time. Obviously the mother should have been more knowledgable before changing her family’s lifestyle. But the whole bit about her daughter gnawing on a block of butter is just ridiculous. That is not a natural human instinct. She is a child. Children do things like that. Anyway, I just wish you would think things over before publishing an article like this again.

  4. MotleyHealth says:

    Hello Brittany. This is a true story, and yes, children do do things like that – but the fact that they had until that point not had exsposure to dairy products, and responded in such an instinctive manner once they got hold of some, shows that they were craving the fats and minerals that they had been deprived of. The article is obviously written with the aim to make people think twice before adopting a diet like this for their children. It is a warning to parents. As I mentioned above, at no point am I saying that a vegan diet cannot be done in a healthy way. But, a vegan diet done badly, can have much worse and longer lasting impact on the development of a child, than other diets, due to the essential fats and proteins which are often neglected by inexperienced parents.

    “… professional advice is essential for anyone going on a restrictive diet.”

  5. This article is interesting to say the least.
    I am a vegan and do understand how to have a balanced diet including supplementing B12 as a necessity and also take another supplement which I think anyone regardless of diet should do.
    I’ve recently attempted to go raw vegan and I am telling you from experience it didn’t work, I felt light headed, agitated and I CRAVED meat, dairy, eggs, bread. I’ve never had cravings before when I was just a normal vegan. As soon as I had a grain (raw vegans can’t have most grains unless they are soaked before hand) that was cooked it passed, I felt MUCH better and the cravings left.
    So, all I can say is it may work for some but it doesn’t work for me and I think that this article is interesting but I am disappointed you didn’t mention B12.

  6. It is all too easy for vegans to be slagged off and accused of child neglect but as mentioned above children with the standard junk british omnivore diet are much more likely to have long term health problems.I have been a vegan for nearly 18 years with no health problems (in fact better health) and I never have taken supplements. (And there is much debate about how effective or even harmful supplements can be. )My sister’s two young children have been vegan from birth and are fitter and stronger than their peers. It is all about how you do it. obviously as a vegan I could live on chips and dark chocolate if i so chose. It is interesting to see the range of foods that were fed to the children in this story as it sounds much more nutritious than many average childrens diets. Re your vitiman D comments, most vegan margarines are fortified with it anyway…In my opinion dairy produce is not ‘natural’ (its not meant for us!) and it is a myth that is a good source of calcium – we do not absorb calcium from animal produce as well as from vegetables. If I have children I will bring them up vegan – not raw food vegan although I think done properly this can be very healthy. I am glad your article doesnt totally slag off veganism although the headline is sensationalist and untrue.

  7. I would just like to say that back 2004 I saw the documentary,”the anti-fat pill and the bushmen”, this is where i first heard of hoodia. I immediately looked it up online and ordered some, it was quite expensive and came directly from South Africa. within a day or two I noticed that I had more energy, felt better, and less food cravings. I did lose weight but it was short lived because I could not afford to buy more. in 2006 or ’07, I can’t recall exactly I tried to buy more, this time it was quite difficult to figure out which company to buy from etc.. the price was still expensive but I tried it again anyway. i did not have the same results. the reason I think is that the strength isn’t as strong and/or there are fillers, whatever it was it wasn’t the same stuff. now I am completely sceptical of anything that says it has hoodia in it.

  8. MotleyHealth says:

    Thanks Natalie, it is good to hear some first hand experience of the product. Very sensible to be sceptical now. Maybe the same applies to the likes of Acai and Green Tea (or as German scientists have recently revealed, White Tea).

    Advertising rules are certainly lacking in some countries, so even the slightest trace of a product allows a company to claim it “contains” ingredient X.

  9. Surfbubbles says:

    Thanks for the information. I have been taking Acai for several weeks and it certainly keeps your bowels moving but have not lost any weight but have not put on any either. I guess everyone is looking for the miracle weight cure without the work. If you know of any, please let us all in on it.

  10. I am raw vegan and have been for about a year now. I lost 80 pounds so far, my blood pressure was on the verge of needing meds, now it is in the 70’s, my sleep apnoea is gone, my acid reflux is gone, my throat has healed from acid reflux damage, menstrual issues have disappeared.

    Yet, i have not paid close attention to balance, i am depleted in vitamin D and B12.
    so i am taking supplements now. Also there is a famous family storm and jingee who have 5 raw kids, they are skinny, but she tales them for check ups and they are in perfect health the oldest is 12 the youngest 2.

    so you just have to research and know what you are doing with any eating regime.

  11. MotleyHealth says:

    Lori, that is really the point. You have to research. This article is a warning to those who do not research, to those who read somewhere that being a raw vegan is healthy, and create their own diet without consulting anyone, or reading up on it. Obviously if you do your research and maintain a balanced diet, you will be OK.

  12. ann hughes says:

    I ordered a bottle of Acai but due to illness haven’t used the product—thank you for your update. also, I ordered and used the Zero patch which promises great weight loss without side effect–I was a bit concerned because they did not list the ingredients in the patch. when I received the patches, I placed one on my and my son’s bodies. the next day(today) I looked up the ingredients and boy am I glad I did—the product consists of fucus vesiculosus (a brown seaweed that is high in iodine) and Guarana a product that has the similar effect of caffeine only it is two and one half times stronger than caffeine. I’m deadly allergic to iodine—as soon as I saw the information I ripped the patch off of my skin. Also, both products are not recommended for people with high blood pressure, heart disease, etc. these patches can be deadly–people with normal thyroid function can develop hyperthyroidism –look up the symptoms—it can be deadly. Please do not use these patches. thank you, Ann Hughes

  13. MotleyHealth says:

    Hi Ann, you did well to look up the ingredients. This should be a lesson to everyone – never use a product without first learning what it is. These weight loss solutions are not medicines and should be treated with healthy scepticism and wariness.

  14. I am a raw vegetarian and I know that it can be done healthfully for children if one does the research and prepares recipes that use foods aiming to cover the rainbow of colors, textures, etc. available.

    The difficulty comes in when one caters to a child who was at first raised on the standard American diet (SAD) and expects the same textures, flavors, etc. and therefore refuses the new and different diet so the weak parent is boxed in to only a few of the wide variety of things that should be in the child’s diet so as to insure adequate vegetable sourced protein and other nutrients are consumed.

    The strong parent educates his or her self and as time goes on the child also on these nutrients, prepares nutritionally bountiful meals and insists the child eat correctly which results in a slender but awesomely healthy, balanced, intelligent and beautiful child blossoming forth. I know as I am watching this happen not only in my family but several others right now. Our view of what is healthy is in many cases skewed in this country to see fat as healthy and slender as sickly whereas both ranges can be malnourished and unhealthy but only one of these can be healthy.

    Being overweight is always unhealthy and is caused by toxicity and malnourishment. To reiterate, it is absolutely necessary that one study and research to do ANY diet correctly and not just assume that a little of this and a little of that is going to cover a child’s needs, not to mention the other stages in our lives.

    At this point a organic raw vegetarian diet offers the BEST NUTRITION POSSIBLE for the human body when done correctly but JUST LIKE ANY OTHER DIET can be devastating to the health if done incorrectly.

  15. Carlene Betzer says:

    Hello! I just read through your posting and We liked it. We were curious if you are going to publish more content to go along with this blog?

  16. MotleyHealth says:

    Hi Carlene, we publish new content on a regular basis. Keep coming back. You can follow us on Twitter.

  17. Chris-nutritionist says:

    A quick read of this article and it is very clear. This person is not trained or studied in health or nutrition.

    I for 1 have been a vegan for over 5 years own and run a health company and studied in nutrition.

    Vit d firstly is produced photochemically in the skin.
    2- bone issues, “calcium” this is another major issue a vegan that ears enough calories to live a healthy life will consume enough calcium to promote bones to become denser. Up to the age of around 35 our bones are getting denser then they begine to decrease in size. Conclusive studies have found the one important thing to increase bone density is density training “weights” “running” so on anything that puts inpacks the bone.

    A further point on this many foods that are high in calcium ex diary actually are also filled with antinutriants or toxins which can take much needed vitamins out of the body. You need 2 parts magnesium and high vitamin d to obsorb calcium.

    Please people read actually health articles published by “who” and others look up blue zones on the Internet these are zones where people peodomiantly live to over 100 and there diets are vegan.

    In Australia by 2020 we will have a 25% obese rate. That’s 1 in 4 people will be obese this does not include just overweight people. Vegan diets are not the problem look around read learn and learn to quickly read through bull s***.

  18. Lori this one is just for you.

    I’ve had a chance to read over the comments and your comment stuck out.

    B12 is very important for the human body, but we store much of it over time. If a person went from eating meat and or diary to vegan it should take 5-15years to be diffient. So if you went 1 year vegan and are having b12 issues there is moat probably something very wrong. B12 has been found to absorb in small amounts more frequently then in large amounts. A good supplement is a fortified soy milk or similar. You may need continually shots though as you said it occurred after 1 year being vegan. Other vitamins and minerals can play a role in obsorbtion so watch these.

    There are also current studies determining if we can obsorb the b12 which is produced in our bodys in the lower intestine, seems very interesting.

  19. MotleyHealth says:

    I have added a link to the original newspaper article (online version) which provides more detail. The Independent did go on to talk about the “Nutrients that everyone needs” too.

  20. I read the link not long after I read this, I was in one if thouse moods of randomly reading.

    If I could post to there’s and contact there’s Writter I would. They speak about calcium being the best source from milk thus is blatanty wrong just to let all know I’m also a body builder and semi pro fighter. I don’t supplement at all except b12 in vegan milk
    Based products.

    It seems whom ever wrote the original article had some major biases and no proper current reaseac h.

    Any diet where a person doesn’t consume a variety of foods restricts vitamin and mineral intack and having one intack out of wack can cause further problems with other vitamins and minerals and that also means having to much.
    But the down side of eating meat and diary are fairly well known now, increased rates of being overweight increased risk of cancer bone disorders bowl issues and so on. Being vegan with a proper diet is healthier I’m unsure of the raw aspect at least being 100% raw could have downfalls but as I’m not raw and haven’t studied on this I cannot comment. But like u said in the original comments eat enough food to Live a healthy life with variet and drink plenty of clean water and vegan diets will help to promote a healthier life but don’t be confused you can have overweight vegans to.

  21. MotleyHealth says:

    Chris, if you would like to write an article on a vegan diet for a bodybuilder / martial artist then we would be happy to publish it and mention Pura Veda. I think this is certainly a subject that we should cover more, also to create a more balanced discussion about veganism in general. Get in contact if you are interested in doing this.

  22. Yeah I totally agree an unbiased discussion on current medical and nutritional reasearch is a very positive thing. It takes the general public years to catch up to things people in the health industry take for granted, plus there is alot of money in our current food systems that duffently influences society standards on health.

    I’m happy to write some stuff up, but but in the meantime I have friends that compete in professional body building and strength comps they have a site already set up for general vegan health questions and nutrition especially for body builders and active people. I don’t have this handy at present but I’ll give them a call and get the

    Vegans like anyone though can be very unhealthy, especially now with fake meats and products
    hitting the market like no tomorrow. Which can have higher amounts of sugar salts and fats. some may be good in moderation a quick nutritional rule if thumb the less processed the better.

    I’ll get that site for you soon. Where abouts is the discussion. I’m from Australia the current fatest country in the world, so nutrition is starting to get pushed very hard in our media now.

  23. MotleyHealth says:

    “Where abouts is the discussion.” – it does not exist yet, it will follow the new article called “Vegan Bodybuilding by Chris”

  24. When I was 5 or 6, my family was moderate in eating meat. We went shopping, I grabbed a pound of butter, & began to chew on it, tin foil and all.

    …??? Now I’m raw vegan, b*otch.

  25. ok, all you vegans out there are getting really defensive and diverting from the facts all diets handled poorly will be bad for you its simply saying RAW vegan like every other diet is not infallible its not a personal attack merely showing that no side is perfect so chill out its all good :)

  26. I am Facebook friends with a 40 some yr old woman whose whole purpose on FB is to promote the raw vegan lifestyle. She frequently shows pics of herself in bikinis, short shorts, etc & frankly, as wonderful as she seems to be at times I sometimes want to tell her that she ISN’T ALL THAT. She flaunts a pic of her ‘buttless’ back side in size 3 jeans and brags she hasn’t wore a 3 in years. I see her cheeks kind of sunk in. IMO she is kind of ‘sunk in’. I asked if she did weights before and she said it wasn’t part of her ‘vegan diet’ (as if they didn’t mesh well). I am a vegetarian and I admire ppl who go all the way vegan. I have a juicer, I don’t use it daily but I realize the benefits of freshly squeezed juice & mixing green veggies in….but really….everything needn’t be so extreme.

  27. MotleyHealth says:

    For some people it does almost become a religion, it takes over.

  28. I would agree with this article in that A LOT of research is needed before doing any form of diet. Personally, I’ve put in countless ours of food, supplement and recipe research before going fully vegan. Also, having been a vegan for quite some time I can say that I would not raise my kids as vegan until they were a certain age. Just a personal thing.
    I will say that animal products are not needed for optimal health and the only downside to raw veganism is poor preparation. There are countless vegan and raw vegan athletes who have put the time and energy into doing this extremely beneficial diet properly.
    To add on to the doctors note; A high percentage of doctors have little or no training in nutrition. You’re better of consulting an actual nutritionalist or dietician for food concerns.

  29. Moneer Abdullah says:

    Also ex vegan. Almost destoryed me! Save your self.Dont be stupid. God said eat meat!!!! Excercise and dont eat processed foods and you will be great. 8 months still recovering from 4 months vegan. It sux!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. How many litres of water one should drink per day? how to determine the required amount of water? as per std they say 8-10glasses of water is must but u can drink more water as needed.

  31. MotleyHealth says:

    To be honest I have never measured how much water I drink. If thirsty, drink. Plus drink more if you are exercising. 8 to 10 glasses – how big is a glass? They never seem to say. Just drink naturally, i.e. try not to worry about it.

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