Another week, another piece of questionable advice from Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop.
This time, however, the website may have made its most dangerous recommendation yet, as a doctor has called out the latest post saying: “Almost everything in this article is wrong and potentially dangerous.”
In the Goop piece titled ‘Why We Shouldn’t Dismiss Iodine,’ the lifestyle site speaks to “Medical Medium Anthony William” who apparently heals people’s illnesses “using wisdom passed on to him from a divine voice he calls Spirit.”
William claims 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.”
So yes, Goop appears to be taking medical advice from a ghost.
William explains that he thinks we should all take iodine supplements to boost our immune systems, help with thyroid hormone production and even prevent cancer.
According to Canadian doctor Jen Gunter though, this is all wrong.
In a retort to the Goop article on her website, Dr Gunter spoke with board-certified endocrinologist, Elena A Christofides, to stress the point that William’s advice is not an accepted scientific method, he has no medical training and has not published any data.
She completely shuts down William’s advice:
“Mr. William’s spirit must not know too much about iodine because he swings and misses right off the bat. He says, ‘Iodine is essential for two main reasons: (1) your immune system relies on this mineral to function, and (2) iodine is a natural antiseptic.’
“Later on he says, ‘while iodine does also help with thyroid hormone production, that’s one small aspect of why iodine is important for your health.’
“The body needs iodine because without it you can’t make thyroid hormone and then you will slowly die. It will be a long and drawn out process. All of the symptoms of iodine deficiency are related to resulting thyroid dysfunction and 70-80% of the body’s iodine is stored in the thyroid. This is not a ‘small aspect’ this is THE ASPECT.”
Dr Gunter calls out William’s assertions as “bulls***. I just don’t know any other way to say it.”
She also reveals that Dr. Christofides has seen just one case of iodine deficiency in 19 years. And it’s nowhere near as common as William’s tries to make out:
“While iodine is essential, we actually need very little because it’s a micronutrient [...] basically eating out even a couple of times a month gets us enough iodised salt to suffice.”
Gwyneth Paltrow has said that William’s work feels “inherently right and true,” but Dr Christofides and Dr Gunter are concerned that people will read Goop’s article and take iodine supplements unnecessarily.
According to Dr Christofides, taking excessive iodine with a normal thyroid actually “blunts the thyroid and actually causes hypothyroidism.” She has even seen women take so much iodine that they give themselves the condition.
So yes, taking too much iodine actually causes the problem William says it will prevent.
“Almost everything in this article is wrong and potentially dangerous,” says Dr Gunter.
“We need very little iodine, that little bit is important but if you eat a healthy diet and have a little iodised salt here and there you will be just fine.
“If you take iodine supplements when you do not need them you could actually cause hypothyroidism, develop an autoimmune condition, or even get cancer.”
She stresses that iodine is not an internal antiseptic or immune booster as Gunter claims.
Perhaps ghosts aren’t the best sources of medical advice after all.
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