Raw food influencer Zhanna Samsonova, known as Zhanna D'Art to her more than 25,000 Instagram followers, has died following a decade of reportedly only eating exotic fruit.
Originally from Russia, the 39-year-old died in Malaysia and was said to have starved to death. No official cause of death has been declared yet.
Speaking to Russian media, Samsonova’s mother said she died from a “cholera-like infection” that was made worse by her restrictive diet.
The vegan influencer was well known for promoting a raw food diet on social media. According to the New York Post, she gained millions of views on TikTok, Facebook and Instagram.
Samsonova reportedly sought medical treatment while touring Southeast Asia.
An unnamed friend told Newsflash, “A few months ago in Sri Lanka, she already looked exhausted with swollen legs oozing lymph.
“They sent her home to seek treatment. However, she ran away again. When I saw her in Phuket, I was horrified.”
The New York Post reported that Samsonova ate a “completely raw vegan diet” for the last four years, consuming just “fruits, sunflower seed sprouts, fruit smoothies, and juices.”
On one Instagram post, she said, “I see my body and mind transform every day. I love my new me, and never move on to the habits that I used to use.”
The effects of a long-term raw food diet can have lasting consequences.
According to a study cited by the National Library of Medicine (NIH), the consumption of a raw food diet is associated with a high loss of body weight.
“Since many raw food dieters exhibited underweight and amenorrhoea (the absence of menstruation), a very strict raw food diet cannot be recommended on a long-term basis,” the study found.