Vegan Influencer On Extreme Diet Has Died Aged 39

Zhanna Samsonova Dead: A vegan influencer - who was on an extreme diet - has sadly died aged 39.
Credit: @rawveganfoodchef/Instagram

Vegan influencer Zhanna Samsonova – who was on an extreme diet – has sadly died aged 39.

The content creator captivated her 17,000-plus followers with her dedication to her plant-based lifestyle.

However, her untimely death has sparked a debate about the potential dangers of extreme diets.

Samsonova had reportedly been relying solely on fruits, seeds, and smoothies to sustain her body for an impressive 10 years.

Originally hailing from Russia, the influencer’s dedication to the raw vegan lifestyle was evident in her social media posts.

She proudly shared her ‘mono meals’ and abstained from salt, fat, oil, and even water in favour of fruit juices.

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Samsonova’s Instagram feed became a source of inspiration for many who sought to adopt a similar lifestyle.

Yet tragedy struck the content creator as she passed away on July 21 in Malaysia from a ‘cholera-like infection’ exacerbated by ‘exhaustion of the body by a vegan diet’, as per The Mirror.

Her family’s grief has been compounded by the uncertainty surrounding the cause of Samsonova’s death, and they have been tirelessly trying to bring her body back to Russia for further investigation.

An official cause of death has yet to be determined.

In an interview with the Russian newspaper Vechernyaya Kazan, her mother, Vera Samsonova, voiced her concerns about her daughter’s extreme diet.

According to some of the influencer’s friends interviewed by Russian news outlet, there were visible signs of her diet’s toll on her health.

“It was scary to look at her, to be honest, her hands were like those of my 12-year-old sister, thin,” one friend reportedly said.

Another claimed they’d seen Samsonova a few months ago in Sri Lanka ‘looking exhausted’.

They allegedly said: “They sent her home to seek treatment. However, she ran away again. When I saw her in Phuket, I was horrified.”

However, Samsonova’s commitment to her lifestyle was unwavering, and she never complained about her health, with her death leaving her loved ones in shock.

The raw vegan diet, which emphasises fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, does have some proven health benefits.

Notably, it can improve blood cholesterol levels and promote heart health.

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However, as with any restrictive diet, there are drawbacks.

One of the main concerns is the potential lack of essential vitamins, such as Vitamin B12, which can lead to weakened muscles and bones over time.

Healthline, a reputable health resource, cautions that a raw vegan diet can be challenging to maintain without careful planning to ensure adequate nutrient intake.

Despite the benefits, it may not be suitable for everyone, especially those who struggle to meet their nutritional needs without supplementation.

Samsonova herself had proclaimed that her body and mind were transforming every day and that she adored her new self.

“I never revert to my old behaviours because I adore the new version of myself,” she reportedly said.

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Written by Cal Gaunt

Cal is a former content editor at IGV who specialised in writing trending and entertainment news. He previously worked as a news reporter at the Lancashire Telegraph and earned an NCTJ in Sports Journalism.