Five health fads of the rich and famous

When American actress and model Jenny McCarthy went on the Oprah show in 2007 to reveal the flawed link between vaccines and autism, she had the world at her feet. The so-called “warrior-mom” shared the story of her son, Evan, whose autism, she claimed, was caused by vaccinations.

The influence that Jenny McCarthy had across the world was staggering. Women (and men) debated on online forums for ages, the media ran endless stories, opinion pieces flooded every site, talk shows were inundated with callers with their views; basically everyone had something to say or contribute.

The power of celebrity can’t be ignored. Like McCarthy, others like Kim Kardashian and Simon Cowell have spoken out about their health and beauty revelations. From placenta pills to oxygen shots, celebrities have tried and tested it all, and they all have their fair share of followers.

Celebrities often have the luxury to experiment with new trends, but for us normals, it may be better to first distinguish between the facts and the fads before jumping on the same bandwagon.

Here are five popular health crazes that are currently trending among the rich and famous:

  1. Waist training

Waist training involves wearing a corset or waistband for a few hours a day in order to shrink your waistline. Apart from obtaining the desired waistline and waist-hip ratio, people also wear corsets to reduce belly fat and cellulite. This seemingly new fad is actually rooted in the classic corset which was popular in the Victorian era. Women also used the Victorian corset to slim their waistline. Doctors warn though, that this trend can have serious health implications because it restricts the diaphragm and causes digestive problems.

Seen on: Kim Kardashian, Jessica Alba, Amber Rose, and Snookie.

  1. Oil pulling

Oil pulling involves swooshing a spoonful of natural coconut oil around in your mouth in the morning for about 20 minutes. This supposedly removes the plaque from your teeth. Celebrities love oil pulling because they claim their teeth feel healthier and whiter. In simple terms, replace your mouthwash with some coconut oil for a brighter smile – but don’t forget to brush twice a day, and floss!

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Celebrity approved by: Shailene Woodley, Miranda Kerr, and Gwyneth Paltrow.

  1. Vitamin drips

Vitamin drips have become one of the more popular celebrity fads. It involves injecting vitamins into your body through a drip. Drips, in general, are known to be the fastest way of getting medicine into your body because substances are directly fed into the veins. Therefore, vitamins drips have become trendy because they are quick ways to boost immunity and energy. Vitamin drips that are popular among celebrities include Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12 and other replenishing minerals. Don’t rush off to emulate your faves though, first check with your doctor if you really need certain vitamins. Experts still agree: get your vitamins first from your diet.

Celebrities who get their V-boost: Rihanna, Kelly Osbourne, Cara Delevigne, Chrissy Teigen, and Ryan Philippe.

  1. Cupping

During cupping, a flammable substance (like alcohol) is set on fire in a cup and placed upside down on a persons’ skin. As the air inside the cup cools, it creates a vacuum. This causes the skin to rise and redden while the cup is left in place for up to three minutes. Cupping is popular, because people believe it can help with pain, inflammation, blood flow and relaxation. Cupping is trending now, but it’s not a new therapy and dates back to as far as ancient Middle Eastern, Egyptian and Chinese cultures.

Celebrity cuppers: Michael Phelps, Madonna, and Frieda Pinto.

  1. Infrared sauna

Infrared saunas use infrared lights within a sauna-like environment to penetrate the body tissue. It’s become popular for lowering blood pressure, increasing core temperature and helping weight loss. Celebrities are fond of this therapeutic sauna because of its alleged anti-ageing benefits. Are they safe? Most of the research says so but if you have a heart condition, check with your doctor first.

Celebrity approved by: Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Anniston, Lady Gaga, and Cindy Crawford.