For example, Goop advocated adding iodine supplements to your wellness regimen, which could actually interfere with thyroid function and be dangerous for some people.
The post was further misguided because it emphasized iodine deficiency, which is very rare in the United States and developed countries (presumably Goop’s readership, yes?). After all, iodine is added to table salt and part of our standard diets. And even if you cut down on salt consumption, that’s all right, too: Salt is just one small way we get iodine from what we eat. What’s more, the article attests that iodine “supports your immune system in fending off invaders” when it’s real purpose is to support the thyroid in the production of hormones.
Who might have suggested such a thing? Goop’s source is self-described “medical medium,” Anthony William. According to William’s website biography, he was “born with the unique ability to converse with a high-level spirit who provides him with extraordinarily accurate health information that’s often far ahead of its time.”
In other words, a ghost gives him tips on wellbeing. A GHOST.
But we can’t exactly blame William. We blame his ghost ― and Goop, because this is hardly the site’s first foray into fringe and potentially dangerous wellness tips.
A representative for Goop declined to comment for this story but stressed that each post features a health disclaimer and that these recommendations are not necessarily endorsed by Paltrow or the site. One wonders, in that case, why these health claims are published on a site bearing Paltrow’s name.
Here are some other things you should probably avoid ― and remember, you should always discuss any health or wellness regimen with your doctor.
You don’t need to...
Stick a stone in your vagina.
The site suggested readers shell out between $55 and $66 for a jade egg to insert in their vagina to increase “chi, orgasms, vaginal muscle tone, hormonal balance, and feminine energy in general.” And when you’re done with it, “wrap the egg in silk ... and store it on an altar ― it should take a sacred place in your life.”
Seriously, don’t do this.
“There is no evidence at all to suggest that [jade eggs] may help, and it carries potential harms, including vaginal infection and trauma,” Maria Isabel Rodriguez, an assistant professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Oregon Health & Science University, previously told HuffPost.
Worry about a parasite for no reason.
Just reading Goop’s article, “You Probably Have A Parasite,” will make you itch. The piece outlines the frequency of parasite infections and touches on what can happen if you have one.
There’s a chance an ailment could be a result of the microscopic critters, but many of the most common symptoms Goop’s expert cites as evidence of parasitic infections ― such as bad breath, diarrhea and constipation ― could be caused by any number of things.
And if you really do have a parasite, you’ll need more than goat’s milk, which is what the article’s expert recommends, to cure it. Dietary updates will be necessary, however so will a visit to the doctor and most likely a prescription medication as well.
The disclaimer at the foot of the article, which Goop includes on all its health stories, says it all:
The views expressed in this article intend to highlight alternative studies and induce conversation...This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.
Basically? If you feel something is wrong, head to your doctor before you head to conclusions.
Insert a Bluetooth pod in your vagina.
Goop says to blame the French because this idea originated there, but we blame Goop for completely misinterpreting it.
Meet Elvie. It’s a $199 tampon-like device you insert, connect to Bluetooth and then feel the pulse while you play accompanying games on your phone. The gadget claims to increase the strength of pelvic muscles, for a better bladder, bowel control and even sex.
But the truth is that you don’t need to spend $200 to keep pelvic muscles strong. You can do Kegel exercises for free, which scientists say can effectively strengthen the uterus, rectum, small intestine and help with incontinence.
And yes, the French medical system considers pelvic floor health an important component of the physical therapy the country provides new mothers after childbirth. But of course, French pelvic floor therapy is supervised by a medical professional, covered by insurance and specifically for those who have just delivered a baby.
Buy a $300 bronze shower head “for health.”
Their claim? That your regular shower head accumulates mold and bacteria over time, which can give you a shower-induced sickness known as nontuberculous-mycobacteria (translation: a condition that may cause severe cough, fatigue and even weight loss).
Holland told HuffPost earlier this year that your shower head is not any more likely to carry this bacteria than the water in your tap, the soil on the ground or the water that splashes off the pavement after it rains.
Goop has a big platform that they could be using to educate people with science-backed health information ― not ghost stories.