Experts debunk bizarre celebrity health trends from ‘Vampire Facial’ to drinking wee

Celebrities are no strangers to eccentric health trends that only money can buy, but are they actually worth it?

From Michael Jackson’s “oxygen chamber” to Demi Moore’s “leech therapy”, it seems there are no lengths the rich and famous won’t go to in the name of beauty.

To us non-famous folk, such antics could be seen as ridiculous and a waste of money, but is there any method in this seeming madness? The answer is no, according to health professionals anyway.

Fads like vaginal sunbathing, drinking your own urine and voluntarily being stung by a load of bees – have all been dismissed as utter nonsense by experts. But this doesn’t stop our stars from continuing in their pursuit for the ultimate health kick.

But which alternative therapy left Kim Kardashian red-faced in more ways than one? Why would you think twice about kissing Madonna on the lips? And what on Earth did Gwyneth Paltrow do with some coffee?

All these questions and more are answered below, as reported by the Mirror.

Getting stung by a load of bees: Apitherapy

The majority if us would not be happy about a load of bees stinging us, but actress Gwyneth Paltrow is literally buzzing about apitherapy.

“It’s a thousands of years old treatment … People use it to get rid of inflammation and scarring,” Paltrow told The New York Times. “It’s actually pretty incredible.”

Megan Ayala, a nutrition, fitness and health expert at diet and weight loss website Patricia and Carolyn, told bestlifeonline.com that apitherapy is not a good idea at all – not least of which for the harm it causes the bee.

“Bee sting therapy is literal death for honeybees,” she says. “It is a cruel act towards the insects”.

Plus Megan warns the bee venom induces a histamine response from the body: “This causes anything from irritation like swollen, reddened skin, to severe allergic reactions that can be life-threatening.”

American actress Shailene Woodley once told Into the Gloss she “liked to give my vagina a little vitamin D … spread your legs and get some sunshine.”

Ayala had little time for this, blasting the concept as ‘absurd’. She said: “Yes, getting vitamin D is essential, but directly exposing your private parts to the sun is taking it too far.”

While sunning yourself is lovely, without proper precautions it can cause sunburn and skin cancer.

“It’s even riskier for people who have high-risk strains of HPV,” warns Megan. “Sunning the genital area would essentially increase the risk of HPV-related cancer.”

Smearing face with your own blood: Vampire Facial
Who can forget the crazy sight of Kim Kardashian’s face smeared and injected with her own blood?

The process is known as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy or, more commonly a ‘vampire facial’. A doctor draws blood from you, then spins it in a centrifuge to extract the PRP, before injecting it or applying it topically.

Kardashian later regretted it all, saying it was just too painful. Megan says the half-baked theory is that the ‘vampire facial’ is supposed to restore your youthful skin cells.

But there is precisely zero scientific basis for this. She said: “Getting your blood injected back in the skin can cause burning, redness, prolonged swelling, and bruises on the face. Certified dermatologists are hard to find, and they charge high fees, prompting people to go cheap, which is hazardous to their skin.”

Giving your immune system a ‘helping hand’: Vitamin IV Drips
These vitamin infusions have been around a long time now, with many stars in the 60s opting to get a boost every now and again.

These days, celebrities such as Rihanna have dabbled in various such infusions, which are said to help bolster the immune system and replenish lost vitamins and electrolytes.

But the dark side of Vitamin IV – which is a way of getting high concentrations of vitamins and minerals directly into the bloodstream – was thrust into the spotlight after Kendall Jenner was taken to hospital following a bad reaction to the treatment.

Jonathann Kuo , an aneasthesiologist in New York, told Vogue that vitamin IV drips aren’t really necessary. He said: “There are some vitamins and substances that react with each other,” and can result in a bad reaction.

BuzzFeed News says: “Aside from possible infections from improper needle use (which can happen in both hospital and home settings), vitamin toxicity can occur. For example, if you take too much vitamin B6, which is associated with brain health and mood improvement, you can damage your nerves in a way that can lead to permanent numbness in your limbs.”

Sitting inside a freezing tank for a bit: Cryotherapy
Who wouldn’t want to feel ‘an almost addictive feeling of wellness for most of the day’?

Well, that’s exactly how professional makeup artist Bobbi Brown described her dalliance with cryotherapy. The process is described by the the U.S. Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA) as “a three-minute session in a freezing tank.”

This technique is normally done to target specific areas of the body, to get rid of warts, skin tags, and some types of cancer.

But Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC) is gaining in popularity with celebrities these days, with Brown reporting she ‘felt a little less inflamed and my clothes felt a little looser: “I had been having pain in my joints, and that definitely subsided.”

“Exposure to extreme cold can cause injuries,” notes Megan. “Dousing your whole body in a frozen chamber increases the risk of getting frostbite or cold-induced rashes, and the extreme cold may also aggravate your other health conditions.”

As well as this, the FDA says: “Despite claims by many spas and wellness centres to the contrary, [the FDA] does not have evidence that WBC effectively treats diseases or conditions like Alzheimer’s, fibromyalgia, migraines, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, stress, anxiety or chronic pain”.

It’s Gwyneth Paltrow again, who four years ago proclaimed via her lifestyle website Goop the health benefits of a DIY flush of room temperature coffee into the rectum, delivered by something called the Implant O’ Rama.

But since then the bizarre practice has caused some serious side effects, including rectal burns, bowel perforation, infection and even death, according to Healthline.

David M. Poppers , MD, PhD, told Men’s Health : “At-home enemas like the one Goop is promoting have also been associated with severe infections and sepsis and severe ‘degradation’ of the colon wall and perforations. WebMD went a step further saying coffee enemas have even resulted in death.

Megan says while celebrities will seek out a professional to administer their coffee enema, a regular person may not have such an option. “An incorrectly administered enema can damage tissue in your rectum, cause bowel perforation and, if the device is not sterile, infections,” she noted.

Drinking your own wee
Madonna has said she likes to indulge in an ice bath before drinking her own wee, with Bear Grylls also being a fan of the latter. Ayala was quick to dismiss this one.

“Consuming urine can cause bacteria and toxins to be directly immersed in your body and it can lead to kidney and multiple diseases,” she said.

“Not only that, it’s disgusting.”