Ashton Kutcher's leading role as Steve Jobs in the biopic "jOBS" -- which recently premiered at Sundance -- took an immediate and dangerous turn when, two days before filming began, the actor was hospitalized with pancreas problems after reportedly mimicking the Apple founder's diet.
"First of all, the fruitarian diet can lead to like severe issues," Kutcher told USA Today. "I went to the hospital like two days before we started shooting the movie. I was like doubled over in pain. My pancreas levels were completely out of whack," Kutcher added. "It was really terrifying ... considering everything."
By several accounts, including Walter Isaacson's 2011 biography Steve Jobs, the tech entrepreneur often went on fruit-only diets. In fact, according to Isaacson, it was the inspiration for his company's name: "I was on one of my fruitarian diets," Jobs reportedly told Isaacson of the decision to call the computer company Apple.
However, despite Kutcher's experiences, there is no evidence that a fruit-only diet leads to pancreatic problems and it is certainly not a risk factor for pancreatic cancer (the disease that killed Jobs to which Kutcher alludes). In fact, a diet high in fruits and veggies can actually reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Conversely, dietary risk factors for pancreatic cancer include meat-heavy diets and diets high in processed foods.
Still, a fruitarian diet can be unhealthfully incomplete. Columbia University's Health Center reports that eating mostly or only fruit can cause deficiencies in essential vitamins and nutrients, including calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin D, B12 and other B-complex vitamins. It can also be too low in protein and fatty acids.
Although it sounds as if Jobs ate exclusively fruit, it's important to note that most fruitarians do not subsist entirely off of sweet fruits. While there are many definitions of the diet, those who call themselves fruitarians eat diets that include nuts, seeds, vegetables and small amounts of grains, beans, legumes and tofu.
Have you tried a fruitarian diet? Tell us in the comments!