19. Kind Of Weird: Are There Radio Active Elements In Tap Water?
One of the fascinations of Goop followers is the number of chemicals hiding undercover in our food and water. Something you might not have considered an issue is the presence of radium in your tap water. According to an interview conducted by Goop with Nneka Leiba, a director at the Environmental Working Group, the possibility of radium in tap water could pose a very real threat. Why? Because radium, while naturally occurring, can cause cancer. Here’s the problem. While the Environmental Working Group conducted an investigation that revealed 170 million Americans had radium in their tap water, they also concede that the levels are typically not high enough to register as a risk. For most people, accessing clean drinking water in the United States is not an issue. For residents of Flint, Michigan, however, this has not been the case since 2014. The Flint Water Crisis has exposed over 100,000 residents to extremely high amounts to lead in tap water, as well as to disease-causing bacteria that are typically filtered out during treatment. Gwyneth’s concern with radioactive tap water is understandable.
The idea of drinking radium is scary – but the evidence suggests that the risk is negligible.
For Flint residents who must contend with non-potable water in their daily lives, the non-threat of radium probably seems a bit silly.
18. Not Sure: Crystal-Infused Room Spray As A Febreze Alternative
Crystals are a huge trend in wellness. According to Business Insider, crystal healing – a pseudoscience at worse, an exercise in meditation at best – reached high popularity in 2017, becoming the go-to alternative therapy for the super-rich. Like astrology (which is kind of our guilty pleasure, wink wink), the idea behind crystals is that their properties can be individualized and serve each person uniquely. Believers in crystal healing promote the idea that crystals harness energy from the Earth, the sun, the moon, the seas, and other elements or aspects of nature. Gwyneth Paltrow isn’t the only celebrity fan of crystal healing. Kylie Jenner has been known to dabble in crystals, featuring Los Angeles celebrity healer Katie Manzella on her app in 2016. What’s the catch? We believe that finding meaning in the world around you is a beautiful thing – we’re constantly looking for meaning in the stars. Are crystals really that different? Arguably, not at all. You can feel a crystal in your hand. It’s not as abstract as constellations. The big caveat here is that Gwyneth is capitalizing on crystal healing by selling a room spray that retails for nearly $50. Hardly criminal, but definitely aspirational. The room spray is scented with essential oils and comes in a rather small bottle. The Goop website states that “rose quartz crystal, charged in the full moon, comes in each bottle.” It’s a lovely thought. We trust Gwyneth. We will also tell you that a similarly sized piece of rose quartz typically retails for $5. The full moon is free.
17. Strange! Gwyneth Enjoys Treating Herself To Non-Medical IV Treatments
IV therapy is the practice of injecting high doses of vitamins into the bloodstream in an effort to cure hangovers. While most people deal with terrible morning afters with coffee, Advil, and greasy food, Gwyneth is a fan of a particular kind of IV therapy service which caters to Hollywood’s uber-rich, sending nurses and equipment to peoples’ homes. While dehydration and a lack of vitamins are indeed a culprit in post-party nausea, there’s actually little evidence to suggest IV therapy works any magic beyond the power of suggestion. According to CBS News’ medical correspondent Dr. Jon Lapook, none of the claims made by IV therapy companies “have been FDA approved or validated by any kind of controlled scientific studies.” He goes on to criticize the product labeling that says the IV drips are only meant for healthy adults – “Well if you’re a healthy adult, why do you need this?”
So IV therapy is basically luxury snake oil.
It’s easy to criticize Gwyneth Paltrow for seeming out of touch, and while we’re not huge fans of IV therapy, we do have to give her some credit. Because most IV bags are manufactured in Puerto Rico, which was heavily damaged by Hurricane Maria, there was a shortage in the United States rendering them unavailable for non-medically necessary treatments. That should tell you something about IV therapy. Gwyneth used this as an opportunity to raise awareness and funds for Puerto Rico.
16. Bizarre: Can Fresh Herbs And Spices Cure Chronic Disease?
What do Yolanda Hadid, Avril Lavigne, and George W Bush have in common? Lyme disease. Lyme disease is an illness transmitted by ticks that can cause rashes, infections, chronic pain, and kidney damage. Because the symptoms of Lyme disease can often be mistaken for other conditions, many sufferers go without a proper diagnosis for years, causing their symptoms to worsen and their quality of life to suffer. Treatment in the United States is costly and not widely available, the fact that Gwyneth is promoting an alternative treatment is unsurprising. The problem with the specific practice Gwyneth is endorsing, which is called Panchakarma, is that it is heavily reliant on practices that are scientifically proven to be ineffective. Cancer Research UK, a company that conducts research into alternative treatments, Panchakarma treatments are unregulated and can pose a risk to patients who are not seeking viable medical treatment. Some forms of Panchakarma include bloodletting, which killed George Washington, and the application of herbs, spices, and oils in order to cleanse the body of toxins. The issue with the promotion of this practice is that there is so little evidence that any of it works, and a lack of industry regulation means that ingredients like plans or essential oils that might be considered toxic or pose an allergy risk can make their way into treatments. Panchakarma practitioners offer their services to sufferers of chronic Lyme disease because the lack of available treatment makes it difficult to relieve symptoms. After all, Lyme disease research is underfunded and the disease is widely misunderstood by doctors. Does this mean that alternative, pseudoscientific therapies are better? The research suggests that it’s probably not.