Nutrition with 'light and water'? In strict isolation for 10 days without food - a critical case study

Forsch Komplementmed. 2008 Aug;15(4):203-9. doi: 10.1159/000148650. Epub 2008 Aug 15.


Background: In her book 'Living on Light', Jasmuheen tries to animate people worldwide to follow her drastic nutrition rules in order to boost their quality of life. Several deaths have been reported as a fatal consequence. A doctor of chemistry who believably claimed to have been 'living on light' for 2 years, except for the daily intake of up to 1.5 l of fluid containing no or almost no calories was interested in a scientific study on this phenomenon. PARTICIPANT AND METHODS: The 54-year-old man was subjected to a rigorous 10-day isolation study with complete absence of nutrition. During the study he obtained an unlimited amount of tea and mineral water but had no caloric intake. Parameters to monitor his metabolic and psychological state and vital parameters were measured regularly and the safety of the individual was ensured throughout the study. The subject agreed on these terms and the study was approved by the local ethics committee.

Results: The most important observations were a permanent urinary excretion of ketones, up to a 3-fold increase in free fatty acid plasma levels, a mean weight loss of 0.26 kg/d, and an initially secondary hyperaldosteronism. Additionally, his ability to exercise was reduced. The subject remained psychologically stable and testing did not reveal any relevant changes.

Conclusion: The results refute the claim and indicate a phase-II fasting state.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blood Chemical Analysis
  • Drinking
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Starvation / blood
  • Starvation / metabolism*
  • Starvation / physiopathology*
  • Starvation / psychology
  • Weight Loss