Healthy living * Weight loss

I'm a celebrity... what do I know?

Zone default image Dodgy health claims from celebs

Rich, famous, and some are downright gorgeous, but should we believe what celebs say when it comes to our health? Absolutely not, warns charity Sense about Science, which has published its annual review outlining some of the dodgy comments on science, health and medicine made by celebs.

Here are some of our favourites:

Fizzy drinks give you wrinkles

Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty: "I avoid carbonated drinks - they sap all the oxygen from your body and make your skin wrinkly and dehydrated."

We think you look fabulous Shilpa - and not a wrinkle in sight, but according to Professor Ron Maughan, physiologist at Loughborough University: "Carbonated drinks have no effect on oxygen levels in the body.

"At rest, the body is constantly producing carbon dioxide and this amount increases even more during exercise. By comparison, the amount from a fizzy drink is trivial."

So who do you believe? Duh!

Horse placenta fluid for sports injuries

Last year Arsenal striker Robin Van Persie had horse placenta fluid treatment for torn ankle ligaments. Dedicated or what?

He commented: "She is vague about her methods but I know she massages you using fluid from a placenta... I am going to try... It cannot hurt and if it helps, it helps."

But Professor Greg Whyte, sports scientist at Liverpool John Moores University, advises "a rehabilitation programme involving multiple episodes of deep friction massage, one-to-one care and targeted exercise." Not quite the same, is it?

He added: "Any benefits from the placenta treatment would more likely to be due to the massage and not the actual fluid. There is no evidence for the efficacy of using placenta extracts to treat torn ligaments."

Vinegar shots help you diet

According to the charity, vinegar shots are promoted as helping "flush fat and digest food more quickly," whatever that means. It's now hugely popular and has been used by actress Megan Fox and model Cindy Crawford.

Singer Fergie of the band Black Eyed Peas said:" I do vinegar shots. It has to be organic apple cider, unfiltered. Two tablespoons. For some reason I've noticed a difference on my stomach."

Wow! In the flat stomach stakes, Fergie, Cindy and Megan would no doubt beat most of us hands down, but vinegar shots?

Dietician Lucy Jones from the Whittington NHS Trust, London said: "There's no magic pill, lotion or potion for a quick fix to weight loss.

The body, including the liver is a well-oiled machine, which will not be improved by vinegar, whether it be organic, apple, cider, unfiltered, or your bog standard malt vinegar!"

Even if your well-oiled machine is a little rusty, we suggest keeping your hard earned cash in your pocket.

Meat takes 40 years to digest, then kills you!

Step up Heather Mills: "(Meat) sits in your colon for 40 years and putrefies, and eventually gives you the illness you die of. And that is a fact."

Yikes! But if you have been eating meat for twenty years, where does it all "go"?

Dr. Melitta Gordon, gastroenterologist from the University of Liverpool, said: "Meat proteins, like all other proteins, are digested by enzymes, and absorbed in the small bowel before they ever reach the colon.

Any remaining indigestible matter is mechanically transited through the whole bowel in a matter of days and expelled in your faeces."

But what does she know?

We could go on, from Roger Moore comments on foie gras leading to Alzheimer's (we're safe then), to Annabel Crofts homoeopathic cure for food poisoning. But we think you get the idea.

Let's hope in 2010, the celebs follow the charity's advice and phone a scientist before letting rip. But we know that won't happen and look forward to next year's report with baited breath.

Happy New Year!

This article was published on Mon 4 January 2010

Image © Pavel Losevsky -

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