Physician Rebukes Samantha Ruth Prabhu for Propagating ‘Detox’ Misconceptions to Millions

In an era where celebrities often leverage their influence to advocate on topics beyond their expertise, Indian film star Samantha Ruth Prabhu has entered the spotlight. Her foray into the realm of health via her newly launched podcast ‘Take 20’ is currently facing heavy criticism for purportedly disseminating health misinformation. The controversy was ignited by a social media post from a user known as ‘The Liver Doc’—real name Cyric Abby Philips—a practicing hepatologist with over a decade of experience in liver medicine, who expressed his disapproval through a number of assertive online statements.

On a platform crowded with opinions and expertise of varying credibility, ‘The Liver Doc’ shared his scathing perspective on a segment from Prabhu’s podcast. With a clip from her show serving as the basis for his critique, Philips condemned the discussion around “detoxing the liver,” which was shared with Prabhu’s considerable following of over 33 million on Instagram. Philips labeled the information shared as “complete and utter BS,” expressing dismay at the podcast’s choice of guests, whom he referred to as “science illiterates.”

The specific point of contention emerged from a discussion in which the podcast guest – identified as a “Wellness Coach & Performance Nutritionist” – endorsed dandelion as a beneficial herb for liver health. ‘The Liver Doc’ refuted this claim with professional fervor, underscoring the lack of medical credentials held by the guest and describing the advice as baseless. He also took a jibe at the perceived insignificance of dandelions by recommending Ruth B’s song ‘Dandelions’ instead, humorously suggesting it as the only context where dandelions are useful.

Philips’s exasperation intensified with the response from Prabhu’s fans, who, in an attempt to support the actor, shared numerous articles and studies purporting the benefits of dandelion. These references, however, were based on animal studies rather than human research, prompting Philips to urge fans to refrain from engaging in medical discussions better suited for trained professionals.

This interplay between celebrity influence and health advice comes at a time when Prabhu herself is managing health challenges, after being diagnosed with myositis, an autoimmune condition. Despite her health battles, she continues to remain in the public eye, with her last acting appearance in the film ‘Kushi’ alongside Vijay Deverakonda and an upcoming role in the web series ‘Citadel’, where she stars opposite Varun Dhawan. This Indian adaptation of the American series of the same title promises to captivate audiences, hitherto underlining Prabhu’s diverse talents that span from acting to now, more controversially, health advocacy.

The debacle underscores the precarious tightrope that public figures walk when addressing health and science without formal credentials. The incident serves as a reminder of the weight of celebrity words and the inherent responsibilities that come with a large platform. As Prabhu’s misstep in the health podcast sphere faces scrutiny, it illuminates the broader discussion about the propagation of unverified health information and the need for critical evaluation of such content by audiences worldwide. Whether or not Prabhu will address the criticism and make amends by promoting evidence-based health content remains to be observed as this story unfolds.

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