Vegan raw food diet influencer Zhanna Samsonova shared a chilling message on Instagram just days before she allegedly “died of starvation” on July 21.
“Life is meaningless, but worth living, provided you recognise it’s meaningless,” Samsonova, 39, posted in an Instagram story two weeks ago.
The caption floats over a photo of the influencer — who generated 27.6 million views on TikTok as Zhanna D’Art — making a shocked face, with a filter adding a sideways baseball cap to her head and sunglasses to her face, the New York Post reports.
Aside from her saved stories, Samsonova had not posted on her Instagram or Facebook in seven weeks, and her TikTok has been inactive for a year and five months.
Despite her lack of content creation, the self-proclaimed raw food chef maintained thousands of followers on various social media platforms.
The Russian national’s accounts have been filled with condolences since the news of her death broke in local media outlets.
The food influencer reportedly “died of starvation and exhaustion” after subsisting exclusively on a diet of exotic fruit in Malaysia, her friends and family told Newsflash.
Samsonova was pushed to seek medical treatment during a tour in Southeast Asia after friends and family grew concerned about her diet and “melting” body.
Her mother attributed her daughter’s passing to a “cholera-like infection” but her official cause of death has not been declared.
A proponent of uncooked herbivorous fare, the Kazan native claimed she ate a “completely raw vegan diet” for the last four years, consuming just “fruits, sunflower seed sprouts, fruit smoothies and juices”.
Meanwhile, a friend claimed that for the last seven years, Samsonova had only eaten the giant, sweet jackfruit and durian, a spiky, macelike fruit known for its custardy meat and noxious odour.
While a raw foods diet can have multiple health benefits — including weight loss, improved heart health and a lower risk of diabetes — there are downsides to this regimen, especially when not well planned, according to Healthline.
These include deficiencies in calcium and vitamin D, which are needed for strong bones.
This can also lead to suboptimal B12 levels, thus resulting in anaemia, nervous system damage, infertility and, somewhat paradoxically, heart disease.
A study published earlier this month in the Journal of Nutrition found that 100 per cent of participants on a raw vegan diet ingested less than the recommended 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B12 per day.
Despite the issues with Samsonova’s diet, many of her devoted followers refused to believe her eating choices led to her death, instead claiming that she was killed by chemicals in the fruit she ate.
However, other people online are citing her worrying — and possibly deadly — diet as a reason to avoid trendy but nutritionally unsound eating plans.
Samsonova isn’t the first to starve to death from an extreme raw foods diet.
Last year, vegan Florida mother Sheila O’Leary, 38, was sentenced to life in prison after starving her 18-month-old son to death by feeding him only small amounts of fruits and vegetables.
This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission