Breatharians risk nutrition deficiencies, dietician says

A person can appear healthy but that doesn't mean that their bodies are not lacking vital nutrients.

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A human body can survive without food for a certain period of time depending on body and mental capacity but that does not mean they wouldn’t suffer from nutritious deficiencies, according to a dietician.

“With very minimal food you can survive but you might be deficient in some sorts of nutrients that your body requires,” said Hala Al Kuttab.

“We have a lot of starving people around the world, they live for years with very minimal food and drink. Us as humans, we are capable of staying without any sort of food for weeks, depending on each body.”

When faced with no food, the body first starts losing its extra fat and, when that runs out, the body starts consuming its own fat, which results in an emaciated form.

> Read more: Dubai 'breatharian' says she survives on water and almost no food

In the case of breatharians, who appear to maintain a healthy form, she said if they continue to consume water, and minimal bites of fruit or food, that could be enough to survive.

“I don’t know if I could do that; you have to reach a certain sort of spirituality and different level of thinking and conscious level. It is more of a psychological thing,” said Ms Al Kuttab.

“For a normal person, not everyone can do this, but maybe some people, if they are more spiritual.”

However, even if they appear active and energetic on the outside, their body might be lacking in main nutrients.

As for breatharians not feeling hunger, this is normal when a person stops eating for an extended period of time.

“Like when we are fasting during Ramadan, we are still hungry the first week, then we get used to it,” she said.

“At noon you are feeling so hungry and then later during the day you stop begin hungry, because your brain overrides your hunger.”