Celebrity fascination goes way beyond wanting to hear everything about stars’ hottest roles, music, or books. We want to know their favorite foods, where they go when they need a vacation, and what they do to stay healthy. Just because a favorite celeb swears by a particular treatment doesn’t mean it’s good for you, though. Some of the most famous faces on the planet also happen to be the worst sources for medical information. Their most outlandish suggestions range from ridiculous to downright dangerous, which these seven celebrity health tips prove. If it comes down to making a choice based on a medical professional or a movie star, you’re much safer sticking with doc.
1. You should steam your vagina
Actress-turned-lifestyle guru Gwyneth Paltrow is all about wellness these days. One glance at Goop, her popular website, proves it with content covering healthy food, spirituality, fitness, fashion, and more. While Paltrow’s used to dealing with critics, her site’s suggestion to go for Tikkun Spa’s vaginal steam to cleanse the uterus and balance hormones drew far more skepticism than usual. The real difference this time around is many of the naysayers were medical professionals.
2. Vaccinations cause autism
Most people think of Jenny McCarthy when they hear claims of vaccinations leading to autism, but Jim Carrey also purported this idea. CBS News shared a story about Carrey tweeting a picture of a boy with autism accompanied by text suggesting vaccines caused the illness. The reason this argument even surfaced in the first place is due to a 1998 study claiming the link, which has since been retracted and disproved numerous times.
Unlike a lot of medical studies, which are hazy at best, research surrounding the link between autism and receiving vaccines is clear: There isn’t one.
3. Eating clay in the morning detoxifies your system
Like Gwyneth Paltrow, Shailene Woodley has become increasingly interested in wellness. She’s especially into food and much of what she eats is extremely healthy. In an interview with Bon Appétit, she said her diet includes a lot of farmers market produce, sweet potatoes, and protein. On the other hand, some of her eats are more than a little questionable. In a piece featured on Into The Gloss, Woodley shared she eats clay, saying it “helps clean heavy metals out of your body.”
If the advice seems crazy, that’s because it is. Medical professionals have no idea what Woodley’s talking about.
4. Get four blood tests a year
Very few people would question Mark Cuban’s prowess as an investor and businessman. As a health advisor? That’s a different story. Cuban set off a Twitter storm after telling followers they should get a comprehensive blood test four times per year. The original tweets have been removed, but you can still see them over at Business Insider.
While it’s certainly true blood tests can help detect serious medical conditions, there’s no reason to order them if nothing seems wrong.
5. Depression is imaginary
During a particularly heated interview with Matt Lauer on Today in 2005, Tom Cruise sought to defend his stance against using antidepressants. He even questioned whether or not depression is real. At one point, Cruise said, “There is no such thing as a chemical imbalance.” He later went on to describe the medications used to treat depression as very dangerous.
While antidepressants aren’t necessarily right for everyone, insisting they’re dangerous might scare away people who could really benefit from them.
6. You shouldn’t eat nightshades
Following your favorite athlete’s diet usually involves a lot of smart nutrition choices. In some cases, though, their selections don’t make much sense. Take Tom Brady, for example. His chef revealed to Boston.com the Patriots quarterback doesn’t eat nightshades because they can contribute to inflammation. He said he’s especially careful about avoiding tomatoes.
This reasoning might sound like it makes sense, but there’s one problem: Tomatoes are among the best foods for fighting inflammation. One 2010 review highlighted one of the most potent antioxidants in tomatoes, lycopene, for its ability to fight inflammation in a number of ways.
7. Eating fois gras could lead to Alzheimer’s disease
Former James Bond actor Roger Moore gained a lot of friends in the animal-rights-advocacy realm when he shared his firm stance against fois gras. For those unfamiliar, the delicacy is essentially liver from a fattened goose. Traditional methods of force-feeding geese is gruesome, so his stance is completely reasonable. What’s not is his claim that there’s research linking the fatty food to Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and arthritis, which he wrote in a piece for the Daily Mail in 2009.
If you try to research the relationship between fois gras and any of these diseases, you won’t get very far. Dr. Stuart Rulten, a molecular biologist at the University of Sussex, told British newspaper The Times no such link has been established. There are many reasons people may choose to forgo fois gras, but fear of Alzheimer’s disease shouldn’t be one of them.
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