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TikTok health trends doing more harm than good

Posted at 8:18 PM, Jan 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-26 21:18:18-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — On the social media platform TikTok, you can find practically everything. When it comes to your health, there are more and more so-called 'nutrition trends' than ever before.

Thing is, experts say, if they're not backed up by a real doctor, you could be putting your health at risk.

From putting clove after clove of garlic up your nose, drinking cup after cup of chlorophyll or dipping cucumber in sugar; all three are now trending on TikTok.

The makers of the videos are most likely medically trained, but that doesn’t stop countless people from trying it first-hand to see if it works.

“Ha ha ha. I’ve never heard that one that sounds ridiculous," Kristen Henricks of Corpus Christi told us when we showed her some of the videos.

Hendricks, her husband and their young daughter were out on the Bayfront getting some fresh air and exercise without any mobile devices in hand.

Nearby, we met Batriz Trevino, a student at Miller High School who uses TikTok.

When we asked her if she’d take part in any of those trends, she told us, “I’ve heard of the garlic one and I like cucumber so probably the cucumber one.”

After that, we showed some of the videos to Chantel Togarepi, a student at Texas A&M - Corpus Christi.

"Actually, yes,” Chantel said when we asked if she’d put garlic up her nose. We followed up by asking if she’d do it because it’s on Tiktok. "No,” Chantel went on to say, “because it’s getting all of the bacteria that’s in her nasal (area.)”

Or is it?

"If you see these videos as information rather than as entertainment it can really harm your health,” Jonathan Bailor told us. He’s a New York Times best-selling author and the CEO of the world’s fastest growing metabolic healing and diabesity treatment company, SANESolution.

Bailor also just releasing a documentary, Better, working hand in hand with top doctors at Harvard Medical School.

“15 second videos on TikTok are not the key to really anything in life,” Bailor told us.

“It’s very simple,” he said. “TikTok is not a reliable source of information.”

“It (the documentary Better) really does explore a new way of eating and thinking and living that allows you to live better and be better long-term rather than sticking cloves of garlic up your nose,” Bailor said. “The reason it seems so confusing is because Dr. Tiktok and Dr. Facebook present entertainment as if it was medical information and it’s not.”

Bailor also made the point that both nutrition and biology are sciences, and that’s why he says you should turn to the experts, and there’s a good chance they are not on TikTok.

So what can you do instead of following the videos on TikTok?

“If you literally just try to eat a little bit more vegetables this week than you did last week or a little bit more vegetables for your kids this week than you did last week over 52 weeks,” Bailor says, “if you continuously do just that week over week by January 2023 you’ll be amazed at how much better you feel and how much better you look.”

We broke it down for Chantel Togarepi who afterwards had a change of heart. We asked her what her message would be to other people.

“Don’t listen to TikTok but actually look up what they’re doing on medical websites,” Togarepi said.

As for Hendricks and her family, her advice is, “one, use common sense. Two, do research. Three, ask your doctor if you’re really not sure."

That's your medical doctor, and not Dr. TikTok.

When it comes to your health, medical experts remind you that if you want to lose weight, clear your sinuses, get more energy or even strengthen your immune system, see your doctor.

If you’re interested in Bailor’s documentary, just head over to Bettermovie.com

FILE - In this Feb. 25, 2020 photo shows the icon for TikTok taken in New York. (AP Photo)