Could Peaches Geldof have died from a vegetable juice diet? Copyright image: hunterpix @ Flickr

Could Peaches Geldof Have Died From a Juice Diet?

April 6th 2014. The media reports about the sudden death of socialite Peaches Geldof; 25-year old mother of 2 young children. My sincere condolences to family and friends.

Several speculations have been made, but the latest report about Peaches possible cause of death is the theory that she might have died from her vegetable juice diet. In this article I would like to seize the unfortunate death of Peaches to address the serious dangers of juice/detox/cleansing diets.

Downside of Juice Cleanses
If you might ask if it is possible to die from healthy diet choices, the answer is whole heartedly: yes you can. First of all let me make clear that a vegetable juice diet is not necessarily healthy. Yes, vegetable juices are full of vitamins, minerals and trace elements. The downside of these kind of juice cleanses is though that

– Vegetable juice cleanses exclude important and necessary nutrients
– Vegetable juice cleanses commonly are low in caloric value

Does this explain that Peaches could have died from her vegetable cleanse diet? Well, no, I don’t think so. There is another explanation that I find more plausible.

Dangers of detox diets
Juice fasting is a strategy use a lot by people that want to become healthier by detoxing the liver. As a side effect, weight loss is induced. Juice fasting can come with some severe health problems though, that could even lead to death. According to Butler (1992), juice fasting does not cleanse or rest the liver. On the contrary, it overworks the liver by saturating it with toxins produced by fasting itself.

Acidoses
Furthermore, fasting can lead to “acidosis that produces weakness, fatigue, irritability, depression, depressed libido, and a sick feeling” (Jarvis, 1995). Rapid loss of among others water, sodium, and potassium can cause fainting.

Heart Rhythm Distrurbances
Things are really bad when potassium is severely depleted, as this causes an electrolyte imbalance, which can cause a heart rhythm disturbances and death as a result (Jarvis, 1995). This is a common cause of death of people with severe anorexia nervosa.

Conclusion
Although it’s just a speculation as no details are brought out, Peaches death certainly could have been caused by her vegetable juice diet, as this diet can severely deplete potassium levels and cause heart rhythm disturbances.

What can you learn from this?
Be very careful with detox and cleansing diets. There is no evidence that detox diets work to cleanse the liver. They do induce weight loss, but this weight loss is temporarily and mainly consists of loss of water weight, which in turn can be dangerous. For these reasons, I don’t recommend detox/cleanse diets.

If you want to lose weight, aim for the long term. Workout regularly, not excessively. Eat well and don’t under eat more than 20% of your BMR (I wrote something about the BMR here).

Question

Maybe the latter is something for another article. Would you guys like me to write more about how to lose weight in a healthy way?

Sources

  1. Butler, K. (1992).  A Consumer’s Guide to “Alternative Medicine.” Prometheus, p.60.
  2. Jarvis, J. T. (1995). Fasting.

Copyright image: Hunterpix @ Flickr

About Angela

Angela
Hoi! Ik ben Angela; meisje-van-30-en-nog-iets, vrouw van, mama van een dreumesjongen en een nu ECHTE #fitchick. Model, diginerd, foto- & filmhobbyist. Van origine MSc in Communicatie gespecialiseerd in gezondheidsvoorlichting. 'Great' staat niet voor schoonheidsidealen, maar voor alles waartoe ons oprecht prachtige lijf en mind in staat zijn. Op deze blog schrijf ik over alles wat ik het delen waard vind. Ga je gang en kijk lekker rond. Aarzel niet om jouw mening of reactie te delen onder mijn blogs; vind ik alleen maar leuk!

6 reacties

  1. Thanks for the post- I agree…detoxing is the newest “fad” in the world of health and it certainly needs careful consideration. I don’t believe in anything that is ‘extreme” such as this and for that reason don;t recommend it to clients. Detoxing can happen simply from cutting out foods that are hard on the liver…such as sugar. Thanks for the post…I think we need more of this 🙂

    • Angela Willemse

      Hi Shelley, detoxing might work, but it rather works for water loss (which will come back after the cleanse) and weight loss due to low calories and water loss, than for detoxification. Our body is a power house with own ability to excrete toxins.

  2. Such an important message. Losing weight has so many different “popular” versions…it’s such a shame that it has to give holistic and natural nutrition a bad name. Can’t wait for further posts!

  3. Alice Skym

    Peaches Geldof was never on a juice-only diet! On July 20th 2012, I tweeted her asking for weight loss tips and she answered the following:

    “Unless you plan on getting pregnant to lose weight from hyperemesis gravidarum which is what I contracted when pregnant, I can’t–give you any ‘weight loss’ tips! I was seriously ill, puking ALL DAY and night and the weight, obviously, just fell off. If you–look at pics my weight loss was all within the 10 months of my pregnancy due to the hypremesis. All of those ‘juicing’ stories is just the press lying as usual. It was a quote pulled out of context from an interview I did–in which I had said, three years previously, that I had done a health kick where I drank juices ALONGSIDE eating more healthily. since the pregnancy I eat what I want and the weight hasnt gone back on, I guess my body has changed from it & my stomach shrunk. -my only tip for you now would be to eat healthily, cut out junk foods & exercise, which I guess is the only way to lose weight? Never believe what the press say about so-called celebrity ‘diets’, how wld they know the truth? Just love yourself, u r unique.x”

    Source:
    https://twitter.com/peaches_g/status/226312190485991426
    https://twitter.com/peaches_g/status/226312345964650497
    https://twitter.com/peaches_g/status/226312459164741632
    https://twitter.com/peaches_g/status/226313024921817089
    https://twitter.com/peaches_g/status/226313266517917699
    https://twitter.com/peaches_g/status/226313735550164992
    https://twitter.com/peaches_g/status/226313524333408256
    https://twitter.com/peaches_g/status/226314090639925248

    • Angela Willemse

      Hi Alice! This article is not about whether she was on a juice died or not (I actually don’t care about that), it is whether it is possible to die from a juice diet, so that people are informed about the risks. Please read the article again carefully 🙂 xx

    • Angela Willemse

      My dear, this article is not an investigation on how Peaches died. It rather is an investigation on if it is possible in general to die from a juice fast, as juice fasting is a trend and I want to point out the dangers and risks of juice fasts.

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