Ever since COVID-19 pandemic started last year, there has been an ocean of misinformation about curing the infection without any medical assistance. Even with the vaccines being rolled out, the misinformation hasn't stopped spreading and people are spreading unwarranted claims that the vaccines are deadly. Amidst all this, Hollywood's famous actor Gwyneth Paltrow drew NHS' attention for a claim she made about curing long COVID, a term to describe the effects of COVID-19 that continue for weeks or months beyond the initial illness.
Gwyneth Paltrow, in her latest blog post, revealed that she caught COVID-19 and suffered long-tail fatigue and brain fog. She then claimed to have taken advice from a "functional medicine practitioner," who told her healing would be longer than usual. In her blog post, she talked about a "keto and plant-based" diet, "lots of coconut aminos", sugar-free kombucha and kimchi and fasting till 11 a.m. - all to cure her long COVID. "I've been doing major research and finding some great stuff to support what I'm doing," she wrote.
Naturally, a celebrity such as Paltrow has a massive following and the potential to influence the masses. Several users have been sharing these tips on social media to help with the symptoms.
International Business Times reviewed some of the claims made by Paltrow on her blog. Most of the remedies are unverified and lack scientific backing of any form. Paltrow claims to have taken the advice from one functional medicine practitioner, but it hasn't been backed by other doctors or any studies.
Paltrow's blog also grabbed the attention of the national medical director for NHS England, Prof Stephen Powis who refused to let this information slide and influence others.
"In the last few days I see 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. Like the virus, misinformation carries across borders and it mutates and it evolves. So I think YouTube and other social media platforms have a real responsibility and opportunity here," Powis said.
Based on NHS chief's reaction, International Business Times has arrived at the conclusion Kombucha and kimchi treatment doesn't cure long COVID.