Published April 25, 2012
A Swiss woman starved to death after believing she could survive on light alone.
The woman embarked on the diet after watching the controversial 2010 documentary film "In the beginning there was light," newspaper Tages Anzeiger reported Wednesday.
The movie centers on Swiss chemistry doctor Michael Werner, 62, and 83-year-old Indian yogi Prahlad Jani, who both claimed to derive sustenance from spiritual means rather than the intake of food -- a concept also known as breatharianism.
Werner claims to have lived without food since 2001, while Jani told the documentary of how he had lived for 70 years not only without food, but also without water.
The woman, from the east of Switzerland, saw the movie and decided to try to survive entirely on light, preparing for the process by reading a book by Australian breatharian Ellen Greve, who goes by the name Jasmuheen.
In line with the book, the Swiss woman, who was in her early 50s, did not eat or drink anything for a week -- and even spat out her saliva -- before resuming drinking in the second and third weeks.
She reassured her concerned children that she would stop fasting if it became dangerous but she was found dead by them at her home last winter.
An autopsy showed that she died of starvation, ruling out any other contribution to the cause of death, the newspaper reported.
The Swiss was the fourth known death linked to breatharianism and Jasmuheen's books since the practice emerged in the early 90s.