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Every now and then a new wellness trend will come around where people obsess over supposed benefits of a product – fine, if it’s harmless...

But, doctors are concerned by a new trend that has seen influencers ingesting a substance called methylene blue, which is an anti-fungal dye used to clean fish tanks, claiming it has anti-ageing properties.

The substance can be administered for certain medical conditions such as methemoglobinemia, where blood is unable to transport oxygen to some parts of the body.

But, doctors have ridiculed claims that the substance is beneficial for anti-ageing and for boosting metabolism and cognitive ability.

It’s a fad that’s been promoted by fitness influencers such as Ben Greenfield, who has over 376,000 followers on Instagram.

A photo on his page shows him sticking his tongue out which has been turned blue by the methylene blue dye.

In the image caption, he listed off a range of alleged benefits to taking the dye, such as, “enhanced mitochondrial function” and “increased memory and cognitive function”.

Australian biomedical scientist Dr Darren Saunders begged to differ in a post about the bizarre and potentially dangerous trend on Twitter.

Scientist Saunders wrote: “I have just discovered the trend of fitness influencers sticking methylene blue on their tongue as a ‘metabolic or cognitive enhancer’ and I can't stop laughing.”

In another tweet, he mocked the supposed health benefits: “OMG, of course it also ‘slows down your chain of ageing’ - whatever the hell that is.”

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Californian make-up artist Luba Cohen also posted on Instagram about using the product in a post sponsored by a company that sells it.

In a TikTok video warning about the misinformation that methylene blue can prevent Covid-19, Canadian physician Doctor Jon warned that taking the substance can result in fatal conditions.

@dr.jon.l

#stitch with @abienergy22 no to methylene blue for covid #covid19 #pandemic #science #health #doctor #fypシ

Jon warned that in some people it can result in the destruction of red blood cells, causing potentially life-threatening consequences.

He added: “It has an FDA warning because it interacts with people’s antidepressants to cause something called serotonin syndrome which is potentially fatal as well.”

Yuck.

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