MEDICS have expressed alarm over a Vegan diet which it is claimed can end unwanted periods in women.
Senior doctors and gynaecologists have warned women to avoid the diet because it could put their health at risk.
The extreme diet is being promoted by some online vegan bloggers to eliminate periods which they claim can be a sign of toxicity in the body.
They claim a low-fat, high-fruit and high-carbohydrate diet
can also end feelings of bloating, cramps and discomfort.
Now gynaecologists and responsible vegan dieticians have warned against the unhealthy diet, reiterating the fact that periods are natural and necessary.
Canadian gynaecologist Jen Gunter, stressed periods are not toxic.
She said: “This is a very dangerous idea and displays a complete lack of understanding of female biology and the human body in general.“Periods are not bad or filled with toxins.“This trend is alarming because it comes from someone who clearly has no understanding of periods or even biology in general and is just another form of body shaming.”
Vegan vlogger FreeLee the Banana Girl, from Australia, made headlines for eating 51 blended bananas and surviving on a low-fat, high-carbohydrate vegan diet.
In a YouTube video posted in 2013, she claimed she lost her period for nine months after switching to the extreme diet and cutting out meat, dairy and junk food.
Describing how she lost her period she said: “A lot of people are like ‘that’s unhealthy’ and ‘that’s terrible’. But is it? It felt good. It felt right.“I just instinctively felt that I was still ovulating because I felt so good.“I still believe that, largely, menstruation is toxicity leaving the body.“So a lot of people are having these heavy periods and painful periods because they have a toxic body or have a toxic diet.”
Miliany Bonet, a 19-year-old who runs a vegan blog, also praised her vegan diet for eliminating her period for months because it was “detoxing” her body.
She said: “If a woman or young girl decided she wanted to stop menstruating or lighten up her heavy periods, then I would recommend a raw foods diet to help them with that.“The industry has done a great job of brainwashing too many women into thinking that if they do not get their periods on a monthly basis, that something is wrong with their body and hormones.”
Dr Gunter was highly critical of this suggestion.
She added: “Dieting to get rid of your period is unhealthy and anyone promoting this should be ashamed of themselves and take a first year biology course.”
Vegan dietitian and lead author for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Vesanto Melina, also discouraged raw vegan diets that mainly consisted of fruit.
She said: ‘These diets are low in protein and zinc.“It’s not an ideal vegan diet because the nutrient intake is very insufficient.”She said these diets are proven to lead to a partial or complete loss of menstruation of women in their childbearing years.She added: “These women believed it was good thing.“They made a mythology out of it.“But it’s not a normal thing. You need different food groups.”
Women with eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia, also miss their periods due to extreme weight loss and insufficient nutrient intakes.
Around seven million American women and around 645,000 women in the UK have an eating disorder.
The obstruction to menstruation is harmful because it can increase the risk of infertility and can cause great damage to the body.
Eating disorder charity Beat says: “Amenorrhea, or the absence of periods, is a sign that somebody is at a low weight.
“Being at a low weight and restricting intake for a significant lengths of time can have other serious side effects – low blood pressure, osteoporosis, organ failure, infertility, restricted growth among others.”