Why Gwyneth Paltrow's COVID-19 Advice Is Sparking Controversy

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Actress turned lifestyle guru, Gwyneth Paltrow, is stirring up frustration within the medical community after disclosing details about her COVID-19 experience in a recent blog post for her wellness brand, Goop. Although she had COVID early on, Paltrow describes how the virus has left her with "long-tail fatigue and brain fog," and according to recent medical tests, her body is showing high amounts of inflammation. Paltrow chose to seek help from functional medicine practitioner, Dr. Will Cole, who told Paltrow "the road to healing was going to be longer than usual." 

Paltrow shares that she is following the flexible keto and plant-based diet from Dr. Cole's upcoming book, Intuitive Fasting, to help with her recovery. Her eating habits consist of no sugar or alcohol, fasting until 11 a.m. every day, and plenty of kombucha and kimchi. She is also taking supplements, stating in her Goop blog post, "I get fish oil, B vitamins, some vitamin D3 (I add more, but there's 500 IU in there to start), selenium, and zinc, all of which Will says are critical for me right now. I get even more zinc and selenium, along with the antioxidants vitamin C and resveratrol."

The 48-year-old actress shares, "Everything I'm doing feels good, like a gift to my body. I have energy, I'm working out in the mornings, and I'm doing an infrared sauna as often as I can, all in service of healing."

Paltrow frustrates the medical community

According to the BBC, the medical director of the National Health Service (NHS) Professor Stephen Powis, M.D., says Paltrow's methods are "really not the solutions we'd recommend." And explains, "Like the virus, misinformation carries across borders and it mutates and it evolves." Dr. Powis expresses concern for the long-term suffering Paltrow is enduring, but believes it is irresponsible for her to share her remedies for treating COVID-19, stating, "We need to take long COVID seriously and apply serious science. All influencers who use social media have a duty of responsibility and a duty of care around that." 

Agreeing with Powis is law professor and author of Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?, Timothy Caulfield. He tells The Gateway, "Celebrities and celebrity brands have an impact — and there's empirical evidence to back this up — on the utilisation of health services." In regards to Paltrow and her wellness brand's new Netflix series, the Goop Lab, he states, "These shows and all the stuff that hangs around it, the huge wellness-woo industry, it invites us to believe magical thinking, it invites us to set aside critical thinking, and I think in this age of misinformation that's a really big problem."