June 28, 2022

We are having Joe Rogan flashbacks

Health experts have been forced to warn people against using “fish cleaner” in their “mouth, ear, or anus” after a viral TikTok trend started doing the rounds.

It seems that in 2022 there’s a new home remedy popping up every five minutes, with podcaster Joe Rogan’s Ivermectin perhaps being the most famous. This new trend comes straight from TikTok, where a substance known as Methylene Blue has become a one-stop-cure for almost every ailment.

There’s just one problem: It totally isn’t.

@dr.jon.l #stitch with @abienergy22 no to methylene blue for covid #covid19 #pandemic #science #health #doctor #fypシ ♬ original sound – Doctor Jon

If you were to believe some nutritionist and fitness influencers on TikTok, this Smurf-coloured liquid has more uses than a Swiss Army knife – from anti-ageing, to boosting cognitive abilities. Its TikTok patrons even claim that it boosts metabolism and cures covid.

While the fabricated list of benefits is enough to hook any poor fool, the cool blue tongue you get as a result will undeniably draw in an even bigger audience.

However these claims simply aren’t true – and in reality, guzzling fish tank cleaner is actually pretty bad for you – as explained in the stitched TikTok video featured above.

Who knew, eh?

A report from the Independent suggests that Methylene Blue became a popular home remedy after a 2015 study by Dr Kan Cao at the University of Maryland. Cao had been treating a child with Hutchinson-Gilford syndrome, a fatal premature ageing disease, where he found great anti-ageing properties in this bright blue substance.

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While most people would not read such a story and immediately think, “I should take this at home”, if covid has taught us anything, it’s that people often pay too much attention to disinformation relating to the health sector.

Fitness influencer Ben Greenfield – notice how he has no doctor preceding his name – was one influencer to recommend the chemical to his 375,000 followers.

He wrote: “It’s methylene blue, a potent cognitive enhancer—albeit one that will turn your mouth – okay I’ll say it – “Smurf blue” for hours. This is one of my favorite nootropics due to its wide-ranging benefits that include.”

He then alleges that such benefits include enhanced mitochondrial function, increased memory and cognitive function, enhance effects of light and oxygen therapies and “much more.”

However “There is a universe of difference between a health and fitness influencer and a qualified medical professional,” Hussain Abdeh, superintendent pharmacist, at Medicine Direct, told The Independent.

“Viewers should not take medication tips from them. You should only take medicine that has been recommended specifically for you by a certified doctor or pharmacist.”

On the actual benefits of Methylene Blue, which is often used as fish tank disinfectant, he said: “While it is true that methylene blue has been used in some medical treatments, this is not a widely prescribed medicine, and these treatments will have been prescribed by a qualified doctor.

“This disinfectant can be toxic if taken in large doses, so taking an unregulated amount can be very dangerous. Furthermore, it may also interact with other medicines you are taking, which could make your medication less effective or increase the risk of side effects.”

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