Shine went for 47 days without food but says financial difficulties she's enduring are 'message from the universe that it is time to stop'

A Seattle woman is to abandon her controversial attempt to live on light on Wednesday after 47 days of surviving on water and tea.

Naveena Shine, 65, had been attempting to go without food for 100 days. She said the "overt" reason for ending what she described as an "experiment" was financial – she claimed she will lose the trailer she has been staying in on Wednesday – but said she believed her monetary woes were "a simple a message from the universe that it is time to stop".

"After 47 days [the post was written after 44 days] I still feel really good, weight loss is slowing and all seems well. However, I still have no evidence that I am actually living on light and it could well be slow starvation,"Shine wrote on her Facebook page.

"Now that I am ending the experiment I will never know."

Doctors have warned that it is impossible for humans to survive on light and urged Shine to start eating. Four people are reported to have died attempting to subsist on light alone.

"Plants have what are called choroplasts that contain chlorophyll and they have the ability to capture energy from sunlight," said Dr Ronald Hoffman medical director of the Hoffman Center and host of a weekly health podcast.

"Humans don't have cholorphyll or chloroplasts. No humans do. It is impossible for a human to have that.

Shine, who is originally from Birmingham in the UK, said "a doctor can't see living on light because he looks through different lenses". She has not been undergoing medical tests during her period without food but has dropped to 126lb from her starting weight of 159lb.

Shine had said she would stop the fast if her weight dropped below 120lb. In daily posts to Facebook and YouTube she had complained of light-headedness and nausea, and said her extremities felt cold. Commenters have been a mixture of those who appear to believe living on light is possible and others urging her to stop.

"From the feedback I am getting, it is becoming patently clear that most of the world is by no means ready to receive the information I am attempting to produce," Shine said. "Even if it were true that a person can 'live on light' and I were successful in demonstrating that, I see that it would be synonymous with putting a non-driver behind the wheel of a huge truck. It would be an accident in the making."

In a YouTube video posted on Sunday, Shine said there are "many, many complex reasons" for ending her experiment. "Because I'm closing it doesn't mean to say there's any failure here," she said.

"I'm looking healthy, I feel healthy, bouncing with energy, none of those dire predictions that people were saying were going to happen happened."

But Shine appeared to acknowledge the risk to her health, at one point saying "I have no idea if I could" complete the 100 days.

"Personally, do I think it's possible? For me it's still a question. I see much more evidence to show that yes it's possible, but I also see that it has to come out from the inside. I'm not willing to risk either my life or other people's lives," Shine said.

© Guardian News and Media 2013

["Stock Photo: Teenage Girl Enjoy With Sunshine In Wheat Field" on Shutterstock]