Doctors warn of dangerous new ‘dry fasting’ fad

Some fitness bloggers are abstaining from having a single drop – of water and it’s causing outrage online.

It’s called “dry fasting” – like regular fasting, but without water, and it’s the latest food fad flooding Instagram.

Alice, a British fasting guru living in Thailand swears by dry fasting as an enriching lifestyle to create a healthier mind and body.

“On a physical level I feel very energetic. My body vibrates and I can really feel a beautiful vibration happening,” she told 1 NEWS.

She began dry fasting several years ago, and preaches the benefits to her 8,000 followers.

But as the trend builds on social media, health experts here have major concerns.

“This is a load of rubbish to be honest,” says Dr Bryan Betty from the New Zealand Medical Association.

“I think dry fasting has no evidence whatsoever.. It’s potentially dangerous for patients, especially patients with kidney problems. The kidney needs to be hydrated - to restrict fluid is a very dangerous place to be.”

There’s currently no regulation around sharing health advice on social media, and officials like Dr Betty are concerned people, especially impressionable people looking for a ‘get quick fit’ scheme, could be easily influenced and put themselves in danger.

While it could be helpful to regulate advice from people who don’t hold the appropriate qualifications to spread health advice, policing a platform like Instagram is a big job.

“I think it would be difficult to regulate these platforms so it would be very hard to say that’s a path we should go down,” he says.