Gwyneth Paltrow has an interesting approach to long COVID, and NHS bosses aren't happy

It's certainly... alternative.

Gwyneth Paltrow at a red carpet event
(Image credit: WireImage)

It's certainly... alternative.

Gwyneth Paltrow is a wellness and lifestyle guru known for her iconic - and often unconventional - approach to health and wellbeing.

As well as being an award-winning actress and CEO of controversial wellness brand Goop (remember the vagina candles?), she has a YouTube channel and podcast. On both, she chats to fellow celebrities about their diet, workout plans, and general wellness routines.

But this week, the actress has come under fire for her questionable 'solutions' to the long COVID she's currently suffering from.

The star says she contracted COVID-19 in January, and has since been treating her ongoing symptoms with the help of functional medicine practitioner, doctor Will Cole.

She's shared that Doctor Cole has recommended intuitive fasting, among other alternative therapies, as part of her healing regime.

A photo posted by on

She's also adapting her diet, eating mainly "keto[genic] and plant-based", and avoiding sugar and alcohol to aid her recovery.

On the fasting front, she is said to fast until 11am every day. She's also taking infrared saunas as regularly as she can.

But several NHS representatives have voiced their concerns about Gwyneth's approach. They're encouraging her to remember her "duty of responsibility" when discussing alternative COVID treatments.

The national medical director for the NHS England, professor Stephen Powis, shared that Gwyneth's methods were "really not the solutions we'd recommend". He also said "serious science" needed to be applied to recovery tactics.

"Like the virus, misinformation carries across borders and it mutates and it evolves," he said. "So I think YouTube and other social media platforms have a real responsibility and opportunity here."

A photo posted by on

"In the last few days, I've seen Gwyneth Paltrow is unfortunately suffering from the effects of COVID. We wish her well, but some of the solutions she's recommending are really not the solutions we'd recommend in the NHS."

"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," he said.

Wondering what exactly long COVID encompasses? When an individual catches COVID-19, for many, it's a short lived illness. For others, after effects can last for weeks or even months.

Long COVID clinics have been set up across the UK, and according to the British Medical Journal (BMJ), long COVID occurs in around 10% of people infected.

What do you reckon—is Gwyneth's advice helpful or harmful?

Ally Head
Health, Sustainability and Relationships Editor

Ally Head is Marie Claire UK's Health, Sustainability, and Relationships Editor, eight-time marathoner, and Boston Qualifying runner. Day-to-day, she works across site strategy, features, and e-commerce, reporting on the latest health updates, writing the must-read health and wellness content, and rounding up the genuinely sustainable and squat-proof gym leggings worth *adding to basket*. She regularly hosts panels and presents for things like the MC Sustainability Awards, has an Optimum Nutrition qualification, and saw nine million total impressions on the January 2023 Wellness Issue she oversaw, with health page views up 98% year on year, too. Follow Ally on Instagram for more or get in touch.