There are three certainties in life: Death, Taxes and Goop capitalizing on people’s concerns about their health and calling it “well-being”.
The latest offense comes in the form of some thinly veiled advice on recovering from COVID-19 in an article titled “GP’s Picks: Healing My Body
with longer term detoxification. Gwyneth Paltrow, who contracted the virus at the start of the pandemic, wrote on her site about how she is still experiencing some effects of the disease – particularly brain fog and fatigue. She said she had tests from her doctors in January, which “showed very high levels of inflammation in my body.”
After getting her results, she consulted her functional medicine practitioner, William Cole, who put her on a new diet adapted from her new book “Intuitive Fasting” to address the problem. (The book is published in partnership with Goop.) The diet, which she says is “keto” and “plant-based,” also allows her to fast each morning until 11 a.m. It is also sugar and alcohol free.
Paltrow also adds that she’s taking more supplements, including more zinc and vitamin C, “which is fine. [Cole] says are essential to me at the moment.
The article then goes on to list a bunch of products Paltrow currently relies on as long haul, including an expensive collar, hiking boots, and a workout tank top that costs more than a monthly Peloton membership.
Here’s the problem with that (aside from the suggestion that having a $ 500 sauna blanket in your COVID-19 arsenal will help you get rid of the disease): Like most health articles on Goop, the suggestions included are not fully supported by research. In fact, when it comes to supplements, a study published earlier this week found that vitamin C and zinc don’t really make a difference in symptoms of COVID-19.
Taking tons of supplements – especially without seeing a doctor – is not advised. “Unless someone is deficient in a particular vitamin or mineral, there is no benefit to taking a supplement,” said Jarod Fox, infectious disease specialist and chair of the Orlando Infectious Disease Group. Health, at HuffPost.
Otherwise, the supplements “don’t really provide people with anything other than expensive urine,” Fox said.
And when it comes to “intuitive fasting” and “healthy eating,” those are just fancy words for restrictive eating habits. This type of labeling can exacerbate eating disorders and poor relationships with nutrition. You don’t need to “detox” your body to be healthy. Eating lots of nutrients can certainly improve your well-being, but labeling sugar like the devil and avoiding entire food groups in the name of COVID-19 probably won’t.
Now, Goop never directly suggests that people should follow this plan. But the most insidious part of it all is that it targets an audience that is already struggling so much and will do anything to feel better.
The long-term effects of COVID-19 are brutal. In addition to brain fog and fatigue like Paltrow mentioned, people have reported hearing loss, heart problems, shortness of breath, tingling, and more. Some even said that they suffered terrifying effects like falling teeth.
Doctors are doing their best to help. However, the disease is so new to the medical world that it will be some time before we have a full understanding of its long term effects. The answers probably don’t lie in a strict diet that plays the game of diet culture and supplements that aren’t really supported by research.
“In my experience with the long haul COVIDs, there have been few products, foods, supplements, herbs, or other quick fixes that have significantly advanced the needle and in some cases we have actually seen people move backwards. by even minimal changes, ”said Noah Greenspan, a cardiopulmonary specialist specializing in long-haul COVID-19 and founder of the Pulmonary Wellness Foundation.
“In my experience with long haul COVIDs, there have been few products, foods, supplements, herbs, or other quick fixes that have significantly advanced the needle.”
– Noah Greenspan, a cardiopulmonary specialist specializing in long-haul COVID-19
Instead of focusing on these quick fixes, Greenspan recommends those who are still experiencing the effects of COVID-19 to relax and recover.
“One thing we learned very early on on our long haul journey, through so many patient reports and individual consultations, is that overdoing it can lead to very intense and tangible setbacks in the form of ‘exacerbations, relapses, flares or lack of progress, whatever it is,’ said Greenspan. (That probably means limiting strenuous hiking with those expensive Goop-approved hiking shoes.)
Fox also recommended getting personalized emotional and physical support, including mental health help, nutritional counseling, and exercise advice.
“There are a number of support groups with people who offer advice on things that have worked for them. However, this is certainly not a one-size-fits-all approach, ”he said.
“I would also encourage them to contact their primary care physicians and get their advice before starting any new diet or exercise program and to avoid any supplements unless specifically recommended by a licensed physician,” Fox added. .
Goop’s Long Term Detox article joins a long list of Goop wellness “tips” that are more harmful than beneficial. The website has been the victim of a lawsuit over its medical claims. It also now includes disclaimers on most of their health related articles. Some famous examples of Goop’s bad wellness wisdom include the suggestion that women use a jade egg in their vagina in the name of female health, that using special stickers will balance your energy, and that you must take unnecessary iodine supplements.
Goop did not immediately return HuffPost’s request for comment. When discussing previous articles of a similar nature, the company previously stated:
As we have always explained, the advice and recommendations included on Goop are not formal endorsements and the opinions expressed by the experts and companies that we profile do not necessarily represent the views of Goop. Our content is aimed at showcasing unique products and offerings, finding open-minded alternatives, and encouraging conversation. We are constantly striving to improve our site for our readers, and continue to improve our review processes for featured products and companies.
Look, the wellness industry is lucrative for a reason. Products like the ones featured on Goop are a big part of it, and there is clearly an appetite for it. But can we please leave COVID-19 in general? The last thing this disastrous pandemic needs is more misinformation.