I'm a celebrity - don't take what I say seriously

THE weird and wonderful scientific claims made by celebrities in the last year have been debunked by experts.

Diets based on blood group, hologram bracelets to boost energy and magnets to help weight loss have been scrutinised by scientists, who remain dubious about the claims made about them.

Charity Sense About Science has reviewed comments made by stars, including singer Cheryl Cole, model Naomi Campbell and cagefighter Alex Reid, in an attempt to put the public straight about the evidence - or lack of it - behind them.

In Celebrities and Science 2010, new weight loss techniques featured heavily after being mentioned in celebrity interviews.

Campbell was among those who spoke about the Master Cleanse diet of maple syrup, lemon and pepper which followers must eat for two weeks and nothing else. The model said: "It's good just to clean out your body once in a while."

However, Ursula Arens, a dietitian at the British Dietetic Association (BDA), said: "The body has many natural functions that eliminate substances which would be 'toxic' if allowed to accumulate."

Cole and singer Cliff Richard also featured in the report after trying the blood type diet, which claims that people with different blood groups break down food in different ways.

However, the BDA said: "Your blood group cannot affect digestion or the way food is broken down - this theory is really just another spin on reducing overall calorie intake."

Lindsay Hogg, assistant director of Sense About Science, urged caution when heeding the fads being followed by celebrities.

"We have thousands of scientists who are willing to look at claims about medicine and science. We'd like to see more celebrities checking out the science before they open their mouths."

The Myths

Syrup, lemon and pepper do little to 'cleanse' the body

A DIET used by Naomi Campbell and other celebrities is the Master Cleanse, where followers survive on maple syrup, lemon and pepper for up to two weeks with nothing else to eat.

In an interview with US chat show host Oprah Winfrey, Campbell explained: "It's good just to clean out your body once in a while."

Ursula Arens, of the British Dietetic Association, said: "Most diets have no effect on the rate of these physiological functions and do not improve the quality of 'cleansing' in the body."Charcoal offers sweeter 'wind', but little else

Pop star Sarah Harding told Now magazine that she crumbles charcoal over her food.

She said: "It doesn't taste of anything and apparently absorbs all the bad, damaging stuff in the body."

Dr John Emsley, chemical scientist and writer, said: "Charcoal is known to absorb toxic molecules. However, the body is already quite capable of removing any 'bad, damaging stuff' it encounters.

"It might help prevent any smelly farts though."

Blood type makes no difference to calorie intake

SINGER Cheryl Cole, right, tried the blood type diet, which claims that people with different blood groups break down food in different ways, and should eat different things. In an interview with Hello! she said: "It has made such a difference, not just to my shape, but to how I feel and my energy levels." Sian Porter, of the British Dietetic Association, said: "Your blood group cannot affect digestion or the way food is broken down – this is really just another spin on reducing calorie intake."

Placebo effect of hologram bracelet

A SILICONE bracelet embedded with a hologram promises to improve strength, energy and flexibility.

Formula 1 driver Rubens Barrichello gave the bracelet his endorsement, saying: "It is amazing how I feel better when I exercise."

Professor Greg Whyte, a sports scientist at Liverpool John Moores University, said: "The bracelet is likely to be a placebo, as he expects to feel a change."

Magnetic attraction is all in the mind

Coronation Street actress Kate Ford said: "A magnet worn on my wrist's acupuncture point stopped me anxiety eating and helped me drop two stone."

Edzard Ernst, professor of complementary medicine at University of Exeter, said: "There is no evidence that suggests magnets worn at wrist points can have any beneficial powers."Homeopathic 'nasodes' offer no protection

Actress Julia Sawalha said: "I don't get inoculations or take anti-malaria tablets when I go abroad, I take the homeopathic alternative, called 'nosodes'?."

Professor Jayne Lawrence, chief scientific adviser, Royal Pharmaceutical Society: "There is no active ingredient in homeopathic treatments that protect against the disease."

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