(NewsSpace.com) – Influencers wield a lot of power on social media, especially if they have a significant audience. Some use their popularity to push their products or lifestyle. Such was the case with 39-year-old Zhanna Samsonova, a vegan from Russia who lived in Malaysia. Her social media accounts on Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram received tens of millions of views. Sadly, she recently passed away, and reports indicate her diet may have been to blame.
On July 21, the influencer, known to her followers as Zhanna D’Art, died in a hospital. Russian outlet 116RU.com reported her death was a result of a cholera-like infection. The illness reportedly set in because her body was exhausted from lack of sustenance. Her mother said she tried to talk her out of the diet, but her daughter persisted.
According to a friend, Samsonova consumed “only durian and jackfruit for seven years,” and hadn’t drank water in six years. She regularly practiced dry fasting for days, a method of depriving the body of food and liquids. Another friend said the influencer looked exhausted and had an issue with edema of the legs, which were oozing.
Samsonova not only ate a vegan diet, she promoted it to her followers, saying she enjoyed “inspiring people to eat healthier.” She used to be a pescatarian but gradually removed other foods from her diet until she was strictly eating fruits and drinking smoothies. In 2022, she even went so far as to write a post condemning those who claimed fruit was unhealthy.
Those who eat a vegan diet are cautioned to ensure they get the proper vitamins as deficiencies are common. Other influencers who have promoted the lifestyle in the past have since changed their tune, including Bear Grylls and Kai-Lee Worsley. Along with medical experts, both now warn that it’s not healthy in the long run.
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