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Man Claims He Has Not Had
Anything To Eat or Drink In 70 Years


Scientists are studying an 82-year-old Indian man who claims he has not eaten any food or drink for 70 years.

Prahlad Jani says he survives on "spiritual life force" provided by a goddess who pours an "elixir" through a hole in his palate, the Telegraph newspaper reports.

Researchers from India's Defence Research Development Organisation are keeping Mr Jani under observation in Ahmedabad, Gurjarat, in the country's west.

They believe if Mr Jani's claim is legitimate, it could help them teach soldiers survive for long periods without food or disaster victims to hold on until help arrives.

"If his claims are verified, it will be a breakthrough in medical science," said Dr G Ilavazhagan, director of the Defence Institute of Physiology & Allied Sciences.

Mr Jani, who says he left home at the age of seven before living as a "holy man", has spent six days in isolation and doctors say his body is showing no signs of dehydration. He has not passed any urine or stools.

Doctors will continue to observe Mr Jani for another 15 days at which point they expect to see muscle fatigue, weight loss and serious dehydration.

Most humans will die after 50 days without food. The world's longest hunger strike is 74 days.

Tests on Mr Jani's brain reportedly show that it resembled that of a 25-year-old person.

An Indian doctor who specialises in people who claim they have supernatural abilities has supported Mr Jani's claim. Others have described Mr Jani as a "village fraud".



April 30, 2010

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