Now health nuts are drinking deer blood to ‘stay young’, risking deadly zombie deer disease, warn experts


Experts have warned against a new gruesome health fad in which people drink deer blood in the hope of turning back the clock on their brains and bodies.

In an image posted to X, formerly Twitter, one user shares his used nicotine pouch covered in deer blood, which he says is a ‘nutrient dense neutropic [brain health supplement]’ that ‘saves the digestive system energy’.

However, doctors have warned that engaging in this odd wellness ‘hack’ could expose you to terrifying zombie deer disease – a growing threat in the US.

The lethal condition, known medically as chronic wasting disease, causes deer to develop ‘zombie-like’ symptoms, like fatigue, disinterest in food, drooling and difficulties walking.

Some authorities have warned that it’s possible that the the disease may pass from animals to human following contact with blood or tissue from a sick deer.

The gruesome illness was retroactively ruled as the cause of death in two hunters in 2022, who suffered telltale symptoms of the disease, in a controversial scientific paper.

At least 33 states in America and parts of Canada have seen reports of a virus dubbed 'zombie deer disease' in animal populations. Indiana, not included in this map, was the latest to confirm a case. No cases have ever been confirmed in people.
At least 33 states in America and parts of Canada have seen reports of a virus dubbed ‘zombie deer disease’ in animal populations. Indiana, not included in this map, was the latest to confirm a case. No cases have ever been confirmed in people.

Sam Ghali, an ER doctor, replied to ClassyRedneck’s original tweet saying, ‘I really can’t believe I’m saying this but do NOT soak ANYTHING in wild animal blood and put it in your mouth.’

The Florida based provider followed up with a second post saying, ‘this is how zombie apocalypses get started.’

Chronic wasting disease occurs when the proteins in a deer’s body become misshapen – interrupting the brain’s normal function and causing a host of odd ‘zombie-like’ behaviors.

This includes slow, lethargic movements, a lack of interest in food and difficulty controlling bodily fluids according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. It’s nearly 100 percent fatal.

CWD is one of a type of diseases caused by prions, not by virus or bacteria, which are incredibly difficult to treat and somewhat mysterious to scientists. Prions are also responsible for diseases like mad cow and Creutzfeldt-Jakob.

It may take more than a year for an infected animal to develop symptoms.
It may take more than a year for an infected animal to develop symptoms.

Showing a picture of a light-pink Zyn, a nicotine pouch meant to help curb smoking cravings, X user ClassyRedneck11 shared what he said is a ‘bio hack’ – a term used to describe a health tip that has anti-aging benefits.

He, supposedly, dips the pouches in deer blood before tucking them into his mouth between his gum and lip.

‘Zyn soaked in deer blood, don’t fade this bio hack The content of the blood especially in wild game renders it a very powerful neutropic, even more so when reacting with nicotine,’ X user ClassyRedneck11 posted on April 28.

It’s unclear what the ClassyRedneck meant when he called the bloody bag ‘neutropic’, but it’s possible he was referring to a class of supplements called nootropics.

These chemicals are advertised as brain enhancers. The theory behind them is that contain the precursors for making the molecules that make the brain run smoothly, called neurotransmitters.

There isn’t great evidence that proves that nootropic supplements work, Katrina Green, a neuropharmacologist from the University of Wollongong who studies how nutrition impacts the brain, told the Guardian.

‘It’s a psychoactive substance, yet the regulations around these substances are so much more relaxed, and we have such little idea about what the impacts on the brain might be,’ Dr Green said.

Yet they’re popular amongst internet personalities looking to hack their brain and get the most out of their brain function.

The current scientific information online about deer blood does not list it as having nootropic-like effects.

Aside from CWD, there are a few other nasty, well-known diseases that you can pick up from coming in contact with tainted deer blood.

First, there’s brucellosis. You can get this disease if you eat or touch a deer that has this bacterial infection.

In humans, it can cause fever, bodily pain, swelling of the testicles, headache and fatigue according to the CDC.

Then there is deer parapoxvirus, which has been found in New Zealand and the US. This disease causes scabby boils to form on infected nicks and cuts- much like other forms of pox virus, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

You can also pick up bugs that you might be familiar with – like E. Coli, which can lead to urinary tract infections, diarrhea and vomiting.

Finally, there’s a disease called tularemia- which gets into deer after they’ve been bit with an infected tick. If you eat or touch a deer with this disease, you can develop pneumonia, fever and skin ulcers, according to the CDC.

Suffice to say, experts like Dr Ghali have a clear cut response to the people interested in trying this trend – don’t.

This article by Maiya Focht was first published by The Daily Mail on 1 May 2024. Lead Image: A deer with chronic wasting disease. It has the tell-tale, emaciated look. 

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