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Bad GOOP Advice, snake oil

Dear Gwyneth Paltrow we’re not f**king with you we’re correcting you, XOXO Science

Dear Ms. Paltrow,

I understand you recently said that anyone who is going to fuck with you better bring their A game.

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I’m pretty sure you don’t mean comment on your recipes but rather the growing exasperation from medical professionals and journalists alike at the almost constant debunking of the health “advice” and all around medical bullshit that you and your pals at GOOP promote and sell. No, we don’t have adrenal fatigue we have goopitis.

When I tell you that alcohol is a toxin I am not fucking with you I am being factual. Do you really think everything in the world is a toxin except alcohol and botulinum toxin? You worry so much about toxins that you constantly need to “cleanse,” but if someone were to get inTOXICated at your worried wellness GOOP cash grab in June you’ve got them covered with an intravenous. There are only three ways that wasted wellness fits in with your toxin phobia, you are incapable of understanding the definition of toxin, you are under the mind control of charlatans, or you are willfully spreading misinformation. I’m happy to entertain a fourth if you’ve got one.

 

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From the latest GOOP book, Botox an actual toxin not listed as a toxin.

 

What do you possibly have to gain by spreading lies to women about bras causing breast cancer? Ever had a breast cancer survivor cry in your office worried that she caused her cancer by wearing bras for 20 years? Probably not. I have. When you give your platform to crackpot theories about bras and breast cancer you are literally fucking with breast cancer survivors. Is this fun for you? Is this your A game? And no, it’s not an “alternative theory” or “backed by research.” This kind of fear mongering causes so much distress that researchers have to do special studies even though the idea is biologically implausible and not supported by the myriad of research already available. I can think of better ways to spend those breast cancer research dollars.

From tampons to tomatoes to toxic lube your website is a scare factory. Literally. It’s either made up (often poorly, but with liberal use of the word toxin) or someone’s hypothesis with little to no supporting data. Tampons are not vaginal death sticks, vegetables with lectins are not killing us, vaginas don’t need steaming, Epstein Barr virus (EBV) does not cause every thyroid disease, and for fuck’s sake no one needs to know their latex farmer what they need to know is that the only thing between them and HIV or gonorrhea is a few millimeters of latex so glove that shit up. Here’s an A game pro tip for you, if you are writing a “sex post” use an expert who actually knows that the WHO has guidelines on lubricants. Your post on lubes is so bad it’s a joke.

You have the gall to tell people like me that we better bring our A game when you bring ghosts and magic to the table. Literally. You promote a ghost whisperer and crystals and of course jade eggs that one recharges with energy from the moon. Really, a dude who talks with ghosts, Naturopaths, and a jade eggthusiast who has a certification from the school she founded is on your A squad?

 

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Crystals absorb information? Uh, yeah. No.

 

Did you ever wonder why the only medical experts you interview or promote are fear mongers who coincidentally have something to sell? Candida! Lectins! Parasites! I regret that I have to be the one to inform you my dear, but the sky is not falling. Have you ever asked yourself, “Why are my only experts in concierge practices?” or “Why aren’t there any doctors who work at a University who think EBV causes every thyroid disease?” or “Wow, I wonder if there could be something to all this criticism from people with tons of letters after their names and maybe I should at least read up a bit as this is my mission?” or “Why doesn’t Medicaid cover goat milk therapy?” If you commented on my acting or told me how to pose for a headshot I’d listen because you are an expert in those areas.

And ancient therapies? Girl, you love those. This means that you want your medicine from before we understood that bacteria and viruses were a thing, like when people thought tuberculosis was caused by vampires? What about trepanation or drinking Gladiators’ blood? Those are ancient therapies. Are they in your rotation? Honestly, it’s like you and your experts use Horrible Histories as a reference.

Your goopshit bothers me because it affects my patients. They read your crackpot theories and they stop eating tomatoes (side note, if tomatoes are toxic why do Italians have a longer life expectancy than Americans?) or haven’t had a slice of bread for two years, they spend money on organic tampons they don’t need, they ask for unindicted testing for adrenal fatigue (and often pay a lot via copayments or paying out-of-pocket), or they obsess that they have systemic Candida (they don’t). I have a son with thyroid disease and I worry that in a few years he might read the kind of batshit crazy thyroid theories you promote and wonder if he should stop his medication and try to cure the chronic EBV that he doesn’t have. I also worry that science will have to spend more and more resources disproving snake oil as opposed to testing real hypotheses. I worry that you make people worry and that you are lowering the world’s medical I.Q.

It is hard for people to hear that what they are doing medically is a waste of time. Trust me, I have to tell people they can get the same pelvic floor with free Kegel exercises as they can with your $66 jade egg. I have to tell people that they could have eaten bread and had a beer now and then because they don’t have systemic Candida and even if they did that wouldn’t have been how we would treat it. I know it is hard for you to hear that goat milk can’t cure the parasites causing the adrenal fatigue that you don’t have, probably even more so for you because the paranoia pathway and worried wellness pay swell. However, have you ever wondered why a woman (meaning you) who can work out for hours, eats a reportedly healthy diet, lives in a meticulous house, and isn’t overweight is simply so ill with adrenal fatigue, toxins, and parasites? Could it possibly be that you are getting bad medical advice? It is also entirely possible that you are just laughing all the way to the bank.

It does not take my A game to counter the snake oil, biologically implausible theories, incorrect information, and magic that you and GOOP pass off as health advice. Really, I’m not sure it even takes my C game. It might take a game, like Clue, but that’s about it.

We’re not fucking with you we’re correcting you and you know what? We’re not going to stop.

 

XOXO

 

Science

 

*May 24, 2017: Correction, this post has been updated to reflect the fact that GOOP claims the energy of jade eggs is recharged by the moon and not the sun.

 

 

Comments are now closed.

 

Discussion

119 thoughts on “Dear Gwyneth Paltrow we’re not f**king with you we’re correcting you, XOXO Science

  1. Well done Dr Jen. Your A-game is a Premiership football game, while Gwyneth’s is the equivalent of some kids, in the park, using their jumpers as goalposts.

    Thank you for continuing to dispel her harmful, ridiculous, anti-science shite. People like her are a giant, pus-filled boil on the backside of society.

    Posted by Boostick | May 22, 2017, 4:01 am
    • I think Gwyneth is that weird kid that just spins in circles with her finger up her nose instead of trying to play the game.

      Posted by M | May 23, 2017, 8:39 pm
    • I agree with science this time. Miss-information it’s too easily spread by celebrities whom think they know it all. You need to research what you post or say especially in an interview. Your fans can only back you up so much, but when things get weird they’ll stop believing in you. Keep doing what you’re doing Gwen, you don’t need more media acceptance thru different channels.

      Posted by Bella Redl | May 23, 2017, 10:06 pm
      • Luckily, science does not need for you to agree with it to be correct.

        Posted by Ann Cecil | May 24, 2017, 4:55 pm
  2. Reblogged this on NSFW Biology.

    Posted by NSFWbiology | May 22, 2017, 5:43 am
  3. This is awesome!!!!

    Posted by Paul Conte | May 22, 2017, 8:00 am
  4. I don’t have a vagina but, if I did, I’d most assuredly come to you for advice.

    Posted by The Photonomad | May 22, 2017, 8:50 am
  5. Systemic candida infections are STILL (not) around? Our local herb lady “diagnosed” me with one of them at 18, back in 1999 and put me on what was basically a starvation diet (no milk, no sugars of any kind including fruit, no white flour, no yeast or fungus, no pork, no potatoes/tomatoes/zucchini/eggplant/pumpkin/squash… and I think I´m still missing something) for a YEAR to get rid of it. Messed up my already somewhat strained relationship with food for good.

    Posted by LaMaria | May 22, 2017, 8:51 am
  6. You’re on fire here, Dr. Gunter, yay for you! We all needed that.

    Posted by bri65 | May 22, 2017, 9:41 am
  7. Well done! You are bad ass.

    Posted by vaccinesworkblog | May 22, 2017, 1:41 pm
  8. Love this! I recently sent an angry rebuttal to a friend promoting a cancer cure scam. A lot of the same language (toxins, et al) and pseudo-science and bullshit.

    Posted by Kat | May 22, 2017, 1:59 pm
  9. Awesome! Love it! Bravo!

    Posted by Sam | May 22, 2017, 2:06 pm
  10. Gwyneth Paltrow is harming and hurting millions more than she is helping. She can hide behind all of her money though and justify her ignorance with celebrity status. She is single handedly one of the most selfish and arrogant people on the planet. Narcissistic personality disorder much? A bunch of mental illness with too much time and money is what she is. If only there was a way to make her pay for the harms she has caused others.

    Posted by Julieann | May 22, 2017, 2:26 pm
  11. Oh dear sweet delicious righteous snark and sarcasms! Thank you Doctor, thank you so much!

    Posted by Raucous Indignation | May 22, 2017, 3:14 pm
  12. A great debunking of Paltrow’s garbage, but could have used a good editor.

    Posted by Sunny | May 22, 2017, 3:48 pm
    • When I charge for reading I’ll be sure to get one.

      Posted by Dr. Jen Gunter | May 22, 2017, 4:29 pm
    • True.

      Posted by danceslowlikehoney | May 23, 2017, 5:30 am
    • My thoughts exactly. I couldn’t agree me with you and totally would have sent this to a bunch of friends, but am afraid the grammar issues reduce the credibility of an otherwise great piece. But thanks for saying what so many of us are thinking!

      Posted by Lisa | May 24, 2017, 11:09 am
  13. Go Doc!!

    Posted by Paul | May 22, 2017, 6:22 pm
  14. I’m also quite frustrated by bearing witness to people avoiding actual medical care and healthy living practices in favor of the fake promise of hope. It is terribly unethical and harmful.

    I’d like to see more information on the psychology of why people feel compelled to believe the hype.

    I’m all for countering the delusional concepts with fact and reason, but those who have bought into pseudo science have already abandoned that path.

    I may be wrong, but it doesn’t seem like we’re dealing with simply “stupid” people.

    Seems like a combination of desperation, feeling of hopelessness, not really knowing medical facts, and not recognizing their own biases, seeking instant gratification, and perhaps feeling attracted to the diversion of something fantastical rather than facing uncomfortable truths about themselves…

    Many are very susceptible to these quacks.

    Add to that peer support and confirmation bias, and it is very unlikely that reasoned thinking will penetrate the facade for those who are harmed by the crap.

    I get that people also don’t want to hear about how our brains reasoning centers are impaired by reward seeking, implicit and explicit bias, etc, and that impaired reasoning can result in believing the attractive promises.

    Nevertheless, it may be the case that if more people understood why our natural falibilities can deflate ones ability to recognize and avoid the scam.. maybe more people can become more aware of their own thoughts, and perhaps a better understanding on why scams are successful, from a psychological perspective. Maybe a post on “the psychology of falling for the scam”.

    Posted by Cris LaBossiere | May 22, 2017, 6:34 pm
    • it doesn’t seem like we’re dealing with simply “stupid” people.

      1. I agree that her ideas are completely stupid and contrary to, you know, science

      2. And I think you are on to something. People want to feel that they are in control. They want to believe they can prevent cancer if they just do the right things, i.e., not wear a bra. Even my dad, who was smart and educated and rational (he was an aircraft mechanic and he understood things like, you know, science), when he was dying of cancer wondered if maybe that shark fin therapy would work.

      What I don’t understand is why someone who has this kind of public platform wouldn’t use her power for good. Is she just stupid? Or is she evil?

      Posted by the gold digger | May 23, 2017, 6:03 am
    • I don’t believe people are falling for a scam. I believe so many people feel awful. Have been to countless doctors and doctors can’t help them. There isn’t medicine to help or the medicine doesn’t help. The medicine masks one symptom and creates another. I honestly think people just want to feel well and will try anything . I thank Goop for looking at the other side of the picture and looking for solutions . If they come from witches or mediums I am all ears. Maybe science should do more research on EBV. Science isn’t a finshed subject there is still tons of research and learning to be done. I wouldn’t ever want to visit any medical doctor that believes everything is black and white and because science can’t prove it it just not be true. I believe they just can’t prove it yet.
      A little medical history.. it is actually medical doctors that are the true “quacks ” . Medical doctors used to prescribe mercury to cure everything . An elixir and it made people go quacky .. hence the Term.
      I feel sorry for this “science” Dr. she clearly feels scared and wonders if there is more she should be doing for her son. Sounds like medical school let her down and her mind is questioning what she is doing . Hope her patients keep challenging her and she considers going into research.

      Posted by Adele | May 23, 2017, 6:14 am
      • It sounds like you believe in magic. I do not want witches and mediums being confused with medicine, just like I don’t want someone using magic or ghost whispering to fly an airplane.

        Many of the theories advanced by Paltrow are biologically implausible or, in the case of EBV and thyroid, simply not true. In fact if her expert had even a rudimentary understanding of science and medicine they would know it could not be true. That is how bad her ideas are.

        I am afraid that people will waste money and that some will die. One only has to look at the latest measles epidemic to see the disaster caused by Paltrow’s kind of anti-science way. She actively promotes things that
        harm, either by wasting money or diverting attention from real conditions and therapies and that, Adele, is a tragedy.

        Posted by Dr. Jen Gunter | May 23, 2017, 6:44 am
      • quacks ” . Medical doctors used to prescribe mercury to cure everything . An elixir and it made people go quacky

        WTF is “going quacky”?. Muppet.

        The term ‘quack’ is actually Dutch in origin. They coined it because the snake oil salesmen hawking their wares spoke such absolute shite that it sounded as meaningless as ducks quacking.

        As for your spiel about mercury, a) [citation needed] and b) the wonderful thing about science is that it is constantly making new strides, and eliminating old, outdated practices once they’re proven scientifically invalid. Your ilk, OTOH, believe in drinking colloidal silver, shoving industrial bleach into the rectums of autistic children, believing that juice cures cancer, and that homeopathy does, well… anything.

        You want to know what’s super-dupes natural? Death. Death in childbirth, death from a dirty cut, death from ear infections and UTIs, death from vaccine-preventable diseases, and death from untold numbers of daily hazards. You know what put a stop to all that? Science. But, if you want to chance your arm at foiling tetanus with magic honey, or stopping pre-eclampsia with apple cider vinegar, then you do you.

        You might want to get off the internet too, that’s a product of the evil malevolence that is science. I’m sure you can build something comparable out of bark, antler velvet and dowsing rods though.

        Posted by Boostick | May 23, 2017, 8:14 am
      • But science HAS proved it. Science has proved that it isn’t true. There’s nothing scientists love more than discovering new things, resting those things and proving them.

        Asking to research these things is asking science to un-science.

        Medical doctors are the quacks? Fine, set your own leg the next time you break one. Take care of yourself if you get meningitis. I’ve had it. It’s sucks bad. It’s been nearly 30 years and is likely the cause of my migraines. Also, if you ever have an allergic reaction to anything, don’t rub anything more than a little dirt on it.

        Posted by Emily | May 23, 2017, 9:26 am
      • Preach it!

        I have a word for the science-denying, “I don’t believe in medicine” crowd. That word is “lucky”. Like you said, nobodys trying to fix a fracture with tea tree oil, or mainlining Bach Rescue Remedies to banish an aneurysm. It’s really easy to swear off legitimate science-based medicine if you’ve never needed it.

        Woo works as nothing more than a distraction against self-limiting issues that feature a swift regression to the mean.

        Science has saved my life on several occasions. Science stops me from going insane because of chronic agonising pain. I ❤ Science!

        Posted by Boostick | May 23, 2017, 11:32 am
      • Well said!!

        Posted by TaranTula | May 23, 2017, 5:41 pm
      • Let me guess: You’re an anti-vaxxer, too?

        Posted by Kukkialla (@kukkiallahall) | May 23, 2017, 6:13 pm
      • A little counter-history from a medical historian: “quack” was coined in reference to chiropractors.

        Posted by Anna Lubo | May 23, 2017, 10:36 pm
    • There’s a lot to what you say, Cris. I also see a tendency for the marks to cling to the idea that they’ve become privy to special knowledge, which in turn makes them special. There’s also a bit of status signaling involved: if someone has the resources (time, access to this esoteric “knowledge,” and especially money) to buy into the wellness lifestyle, then clearly they’re successful. Even if you can only buy a little of it, you’re buying a little of that success.

      And finally, the marketing of this wellness stuff implies heavily that there’s some kind of worry-free and blissful existence to be had if one just buys in. You too can spend your days in loose white linen clothes, walking barefoot on sunny beaches, if you just send us your money. Or at least that’s how you’ll feel, anyway. That loose white linen is a powerful signifier of success: it’s utterly impractical for anything but vacation, and usually expensive anyway.

      Posted by madder | May 23, 2017, 7:05 am
  15. Awesome and hilarious read.Spot on.

    Posted by Gloria | May 22, 2017, 6:47 pm
  16. This is your best post ever. “C game”. I love it. How did she ever think that she could defend herself against a medical degree? I could take on her so called experts from the depths of a propofol induced stupor. I’d better stop before the GOOP princess gets any ideas.

    Posted by William Stueve | May 22, 2017, 7:21 pm
  17. I’m so tired of that vapid maggot squirming into my news feed. No one needs to bring any game, just ignore her and her entitled version of an easy bake oven.

    Posted by Stephanie White | May 22, 2017, 8:38 pm
  18. 1. Who the hell would want to fuck w/ her know what she’s been doing to her vagina?
    2. What would she know about As? She needs to leave those to doctors and people intelligent enough not to buy her BS.
    3. A threat from someone who has “consciously uncoupled” from her brain is NO threat.

    Posted by MAEggert (@eggertma) | May 23, 2017, 12:27 am
  19. She’s not the only one. Those diet charlatans and their ’12 things you can NEVER eat’, from the stable of that quack vet ‘Doctor that poses as an ‘ND’ and cons people into his seminars and books.

    Posted by Bryan Collins | May 23, 2017, 12:34 am
  20. Here’s an idea. If you think that her ideas are harmful (is there any doubt?), then boycott her movies and all the other moneymaking crap she’s involved in.

    Posted by Ian | May 23, 2017, 12:54 am
  21. Reblogged this on Bubblechog's Blog.

    Posted by bubblechog | May 23, 2017, 6:33 am
  22. Question: have you heard of the company Lola that has organic cotton tampons? They claim they are better than regular tampons because they only have cotton as an ingredient and that there haven’t been any studies on the effects of artificial fibers in tampons. I don’t really know what the artificial fibers would do that would harm us, but I was looking into it because it’s cotton and they deliver to your door… do you know anything about it? Is it a waste of money? I can’t find anything on Google and I trust you to tell me the truth! 🙂

    Posted by Shelby Hoving | May 23, 2017, 8:23 am
    • I’m willing to bet that there’s less to have an allergic reaction to. I had my first period in over 2 years a month ago and my nether regions were on fire from the tampons. If I have another anytime soon, I’ll try for something more natural. If that doesn’t work, it’s the Red Tent for me.

      Posted by Emily | May 23, 2017, 9:29 am
    • Don’t flush them. Unless you want a fetid pool of human excrement in your backyard where your septic tank is buried. Or want to pay a plumber to get his extra long snake to pull them out of your 6″ antique pipe between your house and the city sewer pipes. Or want sewage in your basement. I rented a house after a tenant that flushed her baby diaper sized sanitary pads too. It was the only time I was glad to tell someone that I was in ovary failure and didn’t get periods anymore. Not me. Oh, the smell. Even regular tampons take a long time to disintegrate and shouldn’t be flushed.

      Posted by M | May 23, 2017, 8:38 pm
  23. Typo:”… like when people though tuberculosis was caused by vampires? ” should be” thought”.

    Posted by Steve | May 23, 2017, 8:35 am
    • Did it make you feel superior picking up somebody on a typo instead of taking in the content of the article? Do you honestly think that anybody gives a f about a typo. I give more of a f about your mental health based on that comment. Steve the Typo Nazi.

      Posted by Vanessa Murphy | May 23, 2017, 9:59 pm
      • Oh lord. It’s a courtesy. It’s a thing people do on the blog posts of people they enjoy. Sort of an only your real friends will tell you thing.

        Posted by Annette | May 24, 2017, 3:03 am
  24. Dr Gunter. I cannot thank you enough for this post. These charlatans do so much damage to science, it’s incredible. After Jenny MacCarthy, an actress expert on vaccines, here we have Gwynneth and her quack theories. And you are right : these ‘celebrity experts’ have to be followed and corrected every step of the way! Thanks.

    Posted by Louis | May 23, 2017, 9:21 am
  25. imagining a condom made of ‘a few millimeters’ this would be more of a size-enhancer, no? or nearly a dildo. Maybe you were writing of the rolled-up packaging. Perhaps you intended micrometres thickness, or millilitres even if alluding to the harvesting process.

    {thanks for the article, keep up the fight!}

    Posted by D | May 23, 2017, 10:02 am
    • Fair enough, but I was imagining a rolled up condom just out of the wrapper and it sure looks a few millimeters at the rim. Then again I haven’t used a condom in a while. Appears the standard thickness is 0.07 mm

      Posted by Dr. Jen Gunter | May 23, 2017, 12:38 pm
  26. Whoa,someone feels a teeny bit threatened here! Gwyneth is looking terrific for all her so called bad advice! Yoni steams are used all over the world and are very effective, a practice that had survived for thousands of years! Our world is extremely toxic and anyone who says otherwise is part of the problem.

    Posted by karen | May 23, 2017, 1:47 pm
    • So you are ok lying to women about bras causing breast cancer or the duplicity of warning about toxins while promoting alcohol? Ethics aside it’s medically and biologically incorrect. Scaring people about latex condoms? Not cool, etc. etc. Much of the health device, including the “Yoni” care is at best a waste of $ but potentially hazardous.

      Posted by Dr. Jen Gunter | May 23, 2017, 2:51 pm
    • I feel like the author is quite angry. It’s the medical industry that scare people with their greed fueled tactics that have driven people to look somewhere else.

      Posted by TaranTula | May 23, 2017, 5:51 pm
      • Tarantula, you cannot POSSIBLY be that stupid. Seriously. I sure hope you never get cancer, because if you do, it’s going to take more than rubbing aloe vera on your armpits or whatever other nonsense to make it go away.

        Posted by Hater-of-Idiots | May 23, 2017, 7:19 pm
      • Your reply speaks for itself. You have nothing intelligen to say so you just throw up a bunch of words out. You must be under a doctors care. Your braincells are non existent.

        Posted by TaranTula | May 24, 2017, 4:19 am
    • I always hear people talk about “toxins” but I can never get a straight answer to what these actually are. I think the liver and kidneys do a pretty good job getting rid of toxins for free.

      Posted by Jeff | May 23, 2017, 7:59 pm
    • The world has been toxic since we crawled out of the primordial soup. Somehow life managed to survive without vaginal steaming, and made do with actual bathing, for quite a number of years. I mean, kudos to her for monetizing fear mongering, but that’s not what I’d call being kind.

      Posted by Annette | May 24, 2017, 3:10 am
  27. BOOM! Go get your head Gwenny, it just got knocked off your shoulders! Thanks doc, she needed that. She’s always been an obnoxious ass, and she’s needed to be pulled back down to earth for some common sense.

    Posted by Pamela | May 23, 2017, 2:33 pm
  28. Just ‘myriad research’, not ‘a myriad of research’.

    Posted by Bozcon | May 23, 2017, 3:04 pm
  29. Dear Dr. Gunter,

    I am, first of all, a firm believer in science and a hardcore skeptic. Your criticism of Ms. Paltrow’s take on health matters, I agree, is warranted. Along with lifestyle items, she’s selling a lot of snake oil, and probably making a killing on the latter.

    The problem I have with the reflexive dismissal of all alternative health solutions, however, is that the established solutions, backed by stacks of peer-reviewed studies, are sometimes questionable themselves. Yes, science has taught us much, and immense good has come of it, but sometimes what appears to be science simply isn’t. Corporations and the fallible humans is their employ often have a large stake in the outcomes of studies, and when they do, profit and ego tend to lead to outright fraud.

    Nowhere is this more evident than in the areas of food and drugs. Agribusiness and the pharmaceutical industries pay for the vast majority of the studies in these fields. It is clear, if you look at the data and the methodology, and then follow the money, that much of the science published in these two areas isn’t genuine, but junk masquerading as science. This literature comprise the most costly and sophisticated scams ever perpetrated on the medical community, the government, and the public.

    This is not the fault of science; it can’t ever be. It is always self-correcting, given time. The scientific method is our only hope of seeing past our biases, prejudices, and misapprehensions, our only hope of learning the truth. It’s the fault of deeply flawed humans who manipulate statistics and use the trappings of science to deceive.

    Fortunately, there are scientists who work, usually underfunded, outside the industrial arena, and a few fine science journalists who report on them. These writers do the digging, sniff out the trail, understand the data, and are able to communicate it to the public. One such scribe, for instance, is Gary Taubes, and another is Nina Teicholz. Please have a look at their work, see the peer-reviewed studies which they find hold up, and which ones don’t. It is staggering! Huge numbers of MDs, professors, deans of medical schools, and policy-makers have been hoodwinked for decades. The public simply has no chance at all.

    The point of this screed is not to support all alternatives, or to dump on you, on medicine, or, least of all, on science. My point is that we cannot afford to trust anything without checking beyond what we previously thought we had to check. We can’t rely on our most venerable professional journals without vetting the funding of the research. We can’t say automatically, because a finding is in the NEJM or Lancet, that it’s gospel. Or if it isn’t in these places, that it’s obviously baloney.

    Unfortunately – and ironically! – it almost comes down to faith; we must determine who we feel is trustworthy, and proceed from there. The problem is that it takes more work to figure that out than most of us have time for. This is a serious problem, to be sure.

    Thanks for your attention (if you didn’t glaze over before the end). I wish you all the best.

    Dave Riopel – not a scientist or a doctor
    Vancouver, Canada

    Posted by Dave Riopel | May 23, 2017, 4:40 pm
    • BRAVO and hell yes! But maybe way too balanced and logical for this crowd. We shall see.

      Posted by Colbert | May 23, 2017, 9:34 pm
    • You know what we call alternative medicine that works? Medicine.

      Tim Minchin

      Posted by Annette | May 24, 2017, 3:14 am
    • Interesting logic: science makes mistakes so we should not dismiss stuff that has no supporting evidence at all. That “reflexive dismissal” you refer to is rejection of anecdote versus use of the scientific method to determine efficacy for any treatment or health claim.

      Correcting mistakes derived from using a scientific approach is orders of magnitude better than trusting alternative medicine that has NO systematic research supporting its use or efficacy. Just because you want something to work doesn’t mean it does anything.

      Posted by Chemist | May 24, 2017, 7:37 am
      • Dear Chemist,

        I agree with everything you say.

        I’m not suggest we should accept quackery with no scientific eveidence, I’m saying that, especially in the fields of food and drugs, there’s a lot widely accepted (and supposedly scientific) evidence that is not actually scientific. I’m talking about fraud. I thought I’d made that very clear, but if it wasn’t, I apologize.

        The other side of the coin is that, opposed to this fraudulent but accepted mainstream medical science, there is other actual science (poorly funded, but still done with exacting methodology by PhDs in university labs, etc.) which gets swept aside, buried by the volume and force of the industry funded pseudoscience. This isn’t ‘alternative’ science in the way we view snake oil, but the fact that there are often competing hypotheses on a given topic. It happens, though, that some of the studies supporting these hypotheses are genuine, some are not, so it appears we have alternatives. Maybe this point I didn’t make clear.

        Heck, even when considering only genuine science we still get competing theories. What seems to happen is that the medical establishment, under the sheer weight industry funded research, creates dogma, and that is hard to change, even with findings that are real but contrary.

        Science is everything, but these’s a lot of chicanery pretending to be science out there.

        Dave

        Posted by Dave Riopel | May 24, 2017, 10:50 am
    • Thank you ,well said — I believe in science and scientific method, and I also find merit in alternative health care practices. It’s not either/or.

      Most doctors are not trained in nutrition, and much of the research on nutrition shows that what works with nutrition is all over the map, that bodies respond differently to the same foods in ways we don’t understand. Money and corporate influences color what gets studied and what is put forward as standard/accepted medical practice. What is publicized and written about.

      Medical studies show benefit from practices like acupuncture even though those studies can’t explain WHY it works. Studies show prayer can improve health outcomes. Or that journaling about trauma can lower blood pressure. The world is complex and mysterious, and science is one tool to try to begin to penetrate that mystery.

      There is probably more that we don’t know about the human body and how it works than we do (especially the brain).

      We shouldn’t blindly foloow EITHER “standard medical practice: or “alternative medicine.” We should be skeptical when someone’s information about standard or alternative medicine is being used to sell something. (such as chemo being effective for a limited number of cancers.)

      Read up, research, stay informed, and when there isn’t a big danger, experiment. No harm seeing how your body responds to say a daily dose of turmeric.

      My son has epilepsy. He takes a pharmaceutical (standard medicine), and he takes CBD oil (alternative medicine). Right now, that is the most successful combo to control his seizures.

      (And I am personally a big fan of the jade egg — used properly for resistance training and strength exercises, it’s a great tool for strengthening the pelvic floor, much, much more effective than standard Kegels and comparably priced to other weights that can be used this way.)

      Posted by Isabel | May 24, 2017, 10:12 am
  30. Just tried to subscribe and got a garbage html page, FYI. Thanks for your excellent POV!

    Posted by Amy Canaday | May 23, 2017, 5:24 pm
  31. She may not be right on quite a lot of things but her goop will never come close to the medical/big pharma deadly evils being done on daily basis.

    Posted by TaranTula | May 23, 2017, 5:47 pm
    • You again, Tarantula? If you have children, I feel sorry for them. Not even kidding.

      Posted by Hater-of-Idiots | May 23, 2017, 7:20 pm
      • I want try to converse with you on an intelligent level but you are an idiot and there’s no reasoning with stupid.

        Posted by TaranTula | May 24, 2017, 4:15 am
    • You get that she runs this as a corporation, right?

      Posted by Annette | May 24, 2017, 3:15 am
  32. No one forces you to buy her stuff or read her blog. You on the other hand and your friends at medical FORCE your deadly agenda on us!!! You force us to shoot our babies up with mercury, you force us to take deadly meds, you force us to pay insurance and if we don’t you force us to pay a no insurance fee. You buy yourself your own government to force your evils into our schools. You made us into disposable Guinea pigs and you are complaining about some dumb ass blogger trying to seek stuff? How much is a visit to see you? Probable a ridiculous fee that puts most moms in debt that we HAVE to pay. No one makes you pay any attention to her that is your CHOICE. A choice that you people take away from us!!!

    Posted by TaranTula | May 23, 2017, 7:01 pm
    • Children DON’T have a choice, you nitwit. They’re at the mercy of their parents, and if the parents are as stupid as you appear to be, then I guess we all should get ready for lots of kids dying from preventable deaths. It’s already happening. Perhaps this really is nature’s way of thinning the herd? One thing is for sure: the world will be a better place when the last of the idiots such as yourself have succeeded in killing themselves with their stupidity. Pity that you’re likely to take so many defenseless children with you to the grave. But hey, it’s your ‘choice’, right?

      Disgusting.

      Posted by Hater-of-Idiots | May 23, 2017, 7:23 pm
      • You’re the idiot! You are so uneducated on the subject you’re speaking of! It’s you that the world needs to rid of. You’re the poison of this earth. Loser. Keep your head up your ass and eat your shit.

        Posted by TaranTula | May 24, 2017, 4:14 am
    • I had a conversation with someone like you the other day, and they accused me of making up the idea that there are two forms of mercury, and the one that used to be used in vaccines does not accumulate in the body.

      That’s pretty much all I need to know about people who do their own research on vaccines.

      Posted by Annette | May 24, 2017, 3:22 am
  33. Thank you and I am sharing this post because it is excellent! Also, I am a clinical research manager (MS, CCRP) and like a true cross-referencing dork, I followed the links into the rabbit hole until I landed on my ass in the pit of EWG. Wow, they do include a whole lot of solid academic citations but when you click on the reference, the abstract often reports outcomes that are the opposite of what EWG claims. For example, EWG states that the FDA finds SPF ratings useless, but really the FDA is just clarifying that the SPF numbers (15, 30, 50, etc.) do not refer to number of hours, but rather level of strength. So yes, Dr. Jen, GP and EWG are snake oil sales experts.

    Posted by gypsy284 | May 23, 2017, 7:18 pm
  34. Speechless

    Posted by Pb | May 23, 2017, 7:37 pm
  35. Gwyneth Paltrow is a total narcissist who believes that she is superior to everybody around her, except probably her mates like Madonna. She would be sitting back counting all the dollars of “stupid” people who believe her shit. She probably even laughs about it with her A LIst pals. Unfortunately there will always be gullible people falling for scams because they don’t do the research on the topic and are chasing the elusive dream that some narcissistic scam artist/ Hollywood Actress is falsely conveying to them. If you want medical advice, particularly regarding health, I don’t think you should be asking some Botoxed,skeletal Hollywood bimbo who clearly smokes a shitload of weed to come up with this shit and (if she doesn’t she’s definitely a mentaller) or her sycophantic so-called experts. I’m all for alternative medicine but not if it is clearly not proven to be of any assistance to people. Gwyneth Paltrow should stick to what she knows best (allegedly acting/singing) and anybody buying into her baseless bullshit needs to take a good look at themselves and use the money you spend on her shit towards finding out psychologically why you buy into every scam that comes up.

    Posted by Vanessa Murphy | May 23, 2017, 9:45 pm
  36. “trepanation or drinking Gladiators’ blood”…god don’t give her ideas!!!

    Posted by jd | May 24, 2017, 3:45 am
  37. Thank your for a voice of sanity. I live with Chronic CMV (which is in the same family as EBV), as in the virus has been eradicated but my immune system is still producing CMV antibodies non-stop. This results in crippling fatigue, muscle and nerve pain, and heightened allergy responses. I was properly diagnosed by a medic who gave me prescriptions and a list of supplements. One of the prescriptions is Alprazolam (better known as Xanax). The list of strange symptoms that this one chemical brings under control (for me) is too long to include here.

    When my sister dragged me off to see a naturopath with one of those strange “Meridian Meters”. The naturopath gave virtually the same diagnosis, but started testing a variety of other products to see what would work–according to that meter, nothing that she tried was going to work. When we put a single Xanax pill on the “antenna pad”, everything lit up to say, “This is exactly what is needed!”

    Therefore, I’m not anti-naturopathy, but see it as complimentary.

    Incidentally, while I may suffer the Chronic effects of this virus family, there is nothing to be found wrong with my Thyroid function!

    For those who want to get an education on their own health conditions (without tripping over into hypochondria), you need to be vigorous and rigorous in discarding junk science, much of which can also be found in the main stream.

    Anyone with half a brain can figure out that alcohol is a toxin. Why do alcoholics die of liver failure? D’uh! The bit that most people don’t know is that FRUCTOSE (a basic sugar) is metabolized by the liver in the same way as alcohol! HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup) is heavily used in the US for everything from soda to icecream. So drinking a soda instead of a beer isn’t helping your waist line or your liver.

    There’s plenty of good data available on the internet, but you have to sift through an awful amount of junk until you come up with the basic facts. Also, remember that everyone’s body is different. What works for one person may NOT work for another.

    Posted by Mic | May 24, 2017, 4:35 am
    • Pet peeve (and usually a first clue someone doesn’t understand the topic they are discussing) is the use of Toxin to cover any substance that is toxic to humans. Toxins are very specifically “poisonous substance produced by living cells or organisms.” As such, alcohol isn’t a toxin, but has toxic properties that are concentration dependent (true of almost every chemical.)

      Posted by Chemist | May 24, 2017, 7:52 am
      • Treating alcohol poisoning is the process of detoxification. When you are drunk you are intoxicated.
        There is a field of medicine called toxicology. While yes a toxin in the strict biological sense is a harmful substance made by a bacteria or plant or other organism I think it is fair game to include alcohol under the broader use of the word toxin. Toxin can also used synonymously with poison and as Paltrow and GOOP are terrified of non poisons that the label as toxic while promoting cocktails I felt it was an acceptable use.

        Posted by Dr. Jen Gunter | May 24, 2017, 8:30 am
      • Could you clarify your objection to classifying alcohol as a toxin? I am a brewer, and have a scientific background. I can assure you that alcohol is (most often) “produced by living cells or organisms.”

        Posted by Tony Dadd | May 24, 2017, 10:25 am
  38. Holy Shit! That was fucking GENIUS! Bravo!

    Posted by gerry | May 24, 2017, 6:36 am
  39. Brilliant and well said. Thank you! (From a nutrition MD who is constantly being asked about these types of products, tests, diets, supplements, and ‘cures’ that we mainstream MDs don’t know about.) While I am more open to integrative medicine than most, I’m also most interested in actual evidence not just theories. I would love to connect with you!

    Posted by Melina Jampolis MD | May 24, 2017, 8:46 am
  40. I get your points Dr. Jen, well made ones, but this is a grating essay to read when your writing is so emotionally charged, dripping in sarcasm and quite frankly, mean. Stick to the facts and leave out the jabs.

    Posted by Nicole | May 24, 2017, 9:44 am
    • She made it more effective with emotional impact. Also, she described real consequences, real harm to her patients, caused by Paltrow’s commercially promoted falsehoods. She’s more than entitled to sarcasm and meanness in light of the celebrity/audience size disparity.

      Posted by #HealthSW Bothell (@SWBothell) | May 24, 2017, 12:12 pm
  41. Soo soo good. Perhaps GOOP should fund a randomized study or studies to actually test a scientific hypothesis. But I suppose you’d need a sound rationale and an informed patient.

    Posted by SSP | May 24, 2017, 10:55 am
  42. Um…Any chance you have similar comments directed to Dr. Oz? I love your scathing writing style (i.e., honesty), and would love to hear your opinion of America’s Quack.

    Posted by Ken Van Arsdel | May 24, 2017, 11:06 am
  43. I was really enjoying this until you chose to throw naturopaths under the bus for absolutely no reason.

    Posted by Stephanie | May 24, 2017, 3:18 pm
    • Then you didn’t read the link to the truly terrible GOOP post on lubricants written by a naturopath. or the link on goat milk cleanses for parasites recommended by a naturopath. naturopaths

      Posted by Dr. Jen Gunter | May 24, 2017, 3:24 pm
  44. What is this about systemic Candida? Is it a real thing? How is it being misdiagnosed? How should it be treated?

    Posted by randomdoodler | May 24, 2017, 5:19 pm
  45. This article frustrates me almost as much as Goop. I think I have only seen one other person commenting on balance. I take issue with throwing anything alternative under the bus and treating anyone who follows natural modalities as a first line of defense as crazy. My studies are in functional nutrition…and the problem is western med treats all symptoms with pharmaceuticals first and treats nutrition as quackery. Mind you these are meds that have major side effects listed- not me making anything up. To diminish the power and role of nutrition as a major healer of lifestyle disease it just as irresponsible as Goop. Am I against western med? No way. I want surgeons putting me back together if I need it. Do I want medicine to stop life threatening bacterial infections- of course? But what if, by getting to the root cause of our symptoms we could heal ourselves with much less medicine….and therefore less side effects to overcome. And your comments about bread and tomatoes just shows me how little you regard the role of nutrition. I was sick my entire life. The only remedy ever offered were antibiotics and pain meds. And I took them for far too long until I realized my gut was messed up and I had several food intolerances. And you know what, giving up gluten and tomatoes has given me a new lease on life. Debilitating pain gone just by giving up tomatoes. Am I saying this is everyone’s cure for pain- nope! The functional medicine perspective knows everyone is an individual…and not a one size fits all pharmaceutical prescription. I now dedicate my life helping people who have gone to doctors for years with no relief. I am not a kook. I am not irresponsible. I ask people to consult their doctors. But EVERYTHING I offer only benefits health. No side effects, no risks. Try healing modalities first if it is not a life threatening situation. You can prevent and reverse diabetes, IBS, heart disease, hormonal imbalances….and lots more by taking care of yourself in ways that are not advertised by mainstream meds. An elimination diet for one month will likely bring you more relief than a prescription pad, and even if it doesn’t you’ll have like added some fabulous nutrients into your life. If you spent more time being invested in healing an individual over angry ranting- it would go a long way.

    Posted by Sarah | May 24, 2017, 5:58 pm
    • I dunno, a blog is like a house. I get to do what I want. I choose to pass on good information in my off work hours. I am sure you have hours that you don’t work as well.

      Medicine has never stopped promoting a healthy lifestyle. Obviously, medical definitions of healthy have changed. What I am railing against, and that you have clearly missed, is the gross misinformation on GOOP. I am not bitching about taking big deep cleansing breaths or walks at sunset I’m livid about giving medical advice from ghosts, saying bras cause cancer, thinking that goat milk can do anything but give you bloat, and every other piece of trash on the GOOP site. Jade eggs used the way Paltrow suggests will HARM women. Scaring women about breast cancer? Shitty thing to do. Saying toxins will give you but have chai charcoal latte that has no hope of doing anything except give you a bezoar? I could go on, but 90% of the health information on GOOP is snake oil designed to make money. DOn’t even get me started on her supplements.

      Posted by Dr. Jen Gunter | May 24, 2017, 6:27 pm
  46. Meh.

    Posted by Alex | May 24, 2017, 6:11 pm
  47. Brilliant!!! Thank you immensely- now, if she’ll only read it!

    Posted by Nancy DiMarco, PhD, RDN, CSSD | May 24, 2017, 6:22 pm

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