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Tragic passing of Zhanna D’Art: Vegan influencer’s demise raises concerns of starvation

Vegan influencer Zhanna Samsonova, known as Zhanna D’Art, tragically passed away due to complications from her extreme plant-based diet. Emerging from Russia, she followed an unconventional decade-long regimen of exotic fruits, ‘dry fasting,’ and no water consumption.

Her demise on 21 July, attributed to a cholera-like infection aggravated by her extreme eating habits, marked an end to her 17-year Asian journey, advocating for her unique dietary approach. Despite a devoted following and perceived benefits, concerns mounted about her frail appearance and drastic choices.

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MALAYSIA: In a tragic turn of events, Zhanna Samsonova a 39-year-old, widely recognized as Zhanna D’Art in the vegan raw food community, has reportedly passed away due to complications arising from her extreme dietary choices.

Originally hailing from Russia, Ms Samsonova adhered to an unconventional plant-based regimen for a decade, consisting predominantly of exotic fruits, sunflower seed sprouts, invigorating fruit smoothies, and nourishing juices.

During her journey, she also embraced periods of ‘dry fasting,’ abstaining from sustenance for several days.

Remarkably, she refrained from consuming water for over six years, substituting it with fruit and vegetable infusions.

Tragically, Ms Samsonova’s life was cut short on 21 July while she was in Malaysia, about to return to her hometown of Kazan.

The cause of her demise has been linked to a cholera-like infection, exacerbated by her prolonged and extreme dietary restrictions, as reported by her mother in an interview with Russian local media.

Dietary Odyssey of Ms Samsonova

Boasting an Instagram following of over 10,000 devoted followers, Ms Samsonova spent the past 17 years traversing the vast landscapes of Asia.

Her journey was marked by her dedication to advocating for her distinctive dietary philosophy.

Her dietary evolution began with veganism, incorporating occasional fish and dairy.

However, her quest for optimal health led her towards an exclusively raw diet, brimming with vibrant vegetables and succulent fruits.

Through her social media presence, she eagerly shared what she deemed ‘wholesome’ recipes, inspiring countless others to explore similar culinary paths.

Ms Samsonova’s motivation for embarking on this radical nutritional odyssey stemmed from observing peers who appeared older than their years due to their consumption of what she referred to as ‘junk food’, quoted from NY Post.

In her pursuit of vitality, she refined her eating habits, eventually embracing an exclusive diet of raw produce and invigorating juices.

Reflecting on her journey, she eloquently wrote on her Instagram on 21 September 2022, “It has been five years since I switched on a fully fruit-based-low-fat diet known as 80/10/10 diet and I have not been sick during all that time. My mood is better, my mind clearer, I have more energy, easier to sleep, easier to wake up, I feel more stable emotionally.”

As time passed, Ms Samsonova’s appearance became increasingly frail in her online videos.

She often documented her meals, demonstrating her dedication to her chosen path.

Her ten-year milestone as a raw vegan was celebrated with an Instagram post (10 May), in which she shared a snapshot of her meal, composed of avocado kefir, tomatoes, cherries, and avocado.

Fears voiced by loved ones

Those close to her expressed concerns about her extreme dietary choices.

A close friend, who met her during her time in Thailand, candidly shared with local Russian media, “It was scary to look at her, to be honest, her hands were like those of my 12-year-old sister, thin.”

Another friend residing near her lamented, “I live one floor above her and every day I feared finding her lifeless body in the morning. I convinced her to seek treatment, but she didn’t make it.”

Despite suspicions surrounding the role of starvation in her passing, an official cause of death has yet to be confirmed, as her family awaits the conclusion of the medical report.

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