A health expert has cautioned extreme diets such as the liquid cleanse Shane Warne was on when he died can increase the risk of heart attacks for those with cardiac issues.
Warne had just completed a 14-day ‘extreme’ liquid diet in an attempt to slim down before he tragically died of a suspected heart attack while holidaying in Thailand last Friday.
The 52-year-old Australian cricket legend was on a ‘boys trip’ at the luxury Samujana Villa resort in Koh Samui when he was found unresponsive in his room about 5pm local time.
Warne previously mentioned he had tried ‘traditional Chinese medicine’ for his weight loss and his family said he would regularly go on ’30-day fasting tea diets’ as he battled his weight over his career.
It comes as one of Warne’s close friends – Sporting News chief executive Tom Hall who went on holiday to Thailand with the cricketing great – revealed Warne enjoyed a very Australian last meal, wolfing down Vegemite toast after completing his extreme diet just days earlier.
The spin bowler’s final day included receiving a massage from two local masseuses at his villa and ordering a new tailored suit, according to Koh Samui police.
A medical expert has warned extreme diets could increase the risk of a heart attack in certain people with other risk factors. Shane Warne (pictured) had just completed a 14-day liquid diet before he dies in Thailand
Shane Warne ate Vegemite on toast as his last meal hours before he died of a suspected heart attack at a villa in Thailand , a close friend (pictured, Tom Hall) reveals
Shane Warne ordered a new suit and two masseuses hours before he died of a suspected heart attack at a luxury villa in Thailand – as his final moments are revealed by devastated friends
Local police said Warne ordered two Thai masseuses who gave him a massage in one of the rooms at the luxury Samujana Villa
Pictured: The body of Australian cricket player Shane Warne is transported from Koh Samui Hospital mortuary
The legendary Aussie bowler was a heavy smoker, had recently been treated for Covid-19, and struggled with other health issues.
There is no firm evidence to link Warne’s diet to his heart attack, and the cricketer’s autopsy is currently underway in Thailand.
However, the Heart Foundation’s chief medical advisor Professor Garry Jennings said that there was indeed a risk the heart could be put under extra strain by very low calorie diets under some conditions.
‘Mostly, these risks are on top of an underlying heart problem, they don’t come out of the blue. I doubt they could cause a heart problem just by themselves,’ Professor Jennings told The Sydney Morning Herald.
‘Basically, if your metabolism, your handling of fluids, salt and other electrolytes gets completely out of whack, if you have a small heart attack, you’re more likely for that to turn into something serious with a rhythm disorder.’
According to the publication, Warne had in 2019 purchased meal-replacement tea from a business in Sydney. It wasn’t clear if he followed the program.
Warne’s long-time manager James Erskine revealed on Sunday that Warne had taken to drastic measures to trim down, including liquid-only diets.
At the time of his death, he’d recently finished an extreme and ‘ridiculous’ cleanse in which he only had fluids for about 14 days, Erskine revealed.
‘It was a bit all or nothing. It was either white buns with butter and lasagne stuffed in the middle, or he would be having black and green juices,’ he said.
‘He obviously smoked most of his life [but] I don’t know, I think it was just a massive heart attack. That’s what I think has happened.’
Thai officials do not believe Warne’s death was suspicious, while also noting no alcohol or cigarettes were found inside the luxury villa.
Just five days ago, Warne shared an old picture of himself without a shirt to Instagram, revealing he was working hard to get back in shape.
‘Operation shred has started (10 days in) & the goal by July is to get back to this shape from a few years ago ! Let’s go,’ he wrote.
Just five days ago, Warne shared an old picture of himself without a shirt to Instagram, revealing he was working hard to get back in shape
Thai officials agreed they do not believe Warne’s death was suspicious, noting no alcohol or cigarettes were found inside the luxury villa
Two pools of blood had stained the carpet at the foot of Warne’s bed. Police said the blood was there as a result of frantic CPR carried out on the cricket legend
Warne (pictured) had famously gained and shed weight over his career and was known to have tried different extreme diets
The local police chief said Warne had visited a tailor to have a suit made earlier on Friday and ordered two local masseuses to come to his villa.
The investigation team said three friends of Warne had been interviewed, along with two hotel workers and four massage parlour workers, regarding the circumstances surrounding his death.
‘He called the girl to massage. It was just massage. He didn’t die because of the massage. He wasn’t well,’ the police chief said.
Warne’s family reportedly told authorities he was suffering health problems before travelling, including troubles with his asthma and chest pains.
Meanwhile, the long time friend of Warne, Tom Hall, recounted the spin bowler’s final meal before his fatal heart attack.
Hall, a championship-winning poker player, wrote for Sporting News about sharing Vegemite on toast with Warne.
‘I have dined with Shane in many fine establishments, but rather than sample some of the local Thai fare, we tuck into a plate of Vegemite on toast.’
‘Shane chomping away: “Geez, you can’t beat Vegemite with some butter, always great wherever you are in the world”.
‘An Australian through and through – this was to turn out to be his last meal.’
Warne then went upstairs to speak to his children on the phone. It was the last time Hall saw him alive.
Warne pictured with his former wife and the mother of his three children, Simone Callahan, in 1995
Jackson Warne shared a final photo with his famous dad (right and centre) on January 31, 2022. The pair were pictured beaming while watching the Australian Open alongside Australian Rules footballer Steven Baker
Erskine meanwhile told Australia’s Channel 9 Today show that Shane’s kids are in ‘complete shock’ at their father’s passing.
‘One minute the kids are talking to him every day, the next minute they can’t talk to him and they start thinking about he’s not going to be there for my 21st, he’s not going to take me down the aisle.’
Erskine said Warne’s children are ‘having a much harder time than anybody’ after the 52-year-old’s death.
His ex-wife, and the mother of his children, Simone Callahan is also said to be ‘really upset’ at the thought of her children having to move on without their beloved dad.
In 2021, Jackson opened up about his relationship with his iconic father, noting he only saw him as ‘dad’ and not a sporting legend like most others.
‘I can always remember just smiling. So, I think he did a great job. And I’m proud of him,’ he said.
Tributes are left as people pay their respects at a statue of former Australian cricket great Shane Warne outside the Melbourne Cricket Ground
Warne, 52, died of a suspected heart attack at the luxury Samujana Villas resort on the Thai island of Koh Samui on Friday evening
Thai police revealed on Saturday that they found his room splattered with bloodstains from the prolonged CPR but ruled out foul play.
Two pools of blood were found on the carpet at the foot of Warne’s bed as well as three blood-stained towels, and one pillow, with blood stains also on the mattress.
Ambulance crews also reported a pool of vomit by the bed.
Australian government officials have now met with Warne’s friends in Koh Samui to discuss bringing his body home to Melbourne.
It’s understood his family desperately want to avoid a post-mortem on the father-of-three being performed in Thailand so he can be returned to Australia as soon as possible.
But Thai authorities insisted they want to carry out the post-mortem before his remains are released to the family to be flown home.
Thai police said the body must be examined to find the cause of death and a report will then be sent to the Australian embassy in Bangkok.
‘We just really want to get Shane home,’ Mr Neophitou said after meeting Thai police at Bo Phut Police Station on Saturday.
Thai police lieutenant-colonel Chatchawin Nakmusik said he needed the results of the post-mortem to close the case before releasing the body.
‘I am waiting for the autopsy report. If there is nothing suspicious, then the case is closed,’ he told The Guardian.
Warne’s final Instagram post from Koh Samui’s Samujana Villa, Thailand. The cricketing legend was on a break with four friends