Gwyneth Paltrow’s unusual methods for tackling long COVID have been criticised by an NHS boss for not following “serious science”.
The Hollywood actress had written a blog about how she has coped with “long-tail fatigue and brain fog” after contracting coronavirus last year.
Paltrow, who has repeatedly been accused of promoting pseudoscience on her lifestyle website, said she had taken up a “keto and plant-based” regime with no sugar and alcohol, and now fasts until 11am every day.
Professor Stephen Powis, national medical director for the NHS in England, warned “influencers” such as Paltrow have a responsibility not to spread false information.
“Like the virus, misinformation carries across borders and it mutates and it evolves,” he said.
“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.”
Symptoms of long COVID can include extreme tiredness, shortness of breath, brain fog, difficulty sleeping, mental health issues and loss of appetite.
Some people who became seriously ill with coronavirus may have also lost weight.
The keto diet promoted by Paltrow involves eating very few carbohydrates and lots more fat, and has proven controversial – with some experts branding it dangerous.
Information on the NHS website encourages long COVID sufferers to eat a variety of healthy foods and to eat plenty of protein if they have lost weight and need to regain strength.
The health service also recommends getting enough sleep and conserving your energy if you are suffering from fatigue.
Writing in her blog, Paltrow said she had turned to a “functional medicine practitioner” after having tests done.
“After he saw all my labs, he explained that this was a case where the road to healing was going to be longer than usual,” she said.
The actress added: “Everything I’m doing feels good, like a gift to my body. I have energy, I’m working out in the mornings, and I’m doing an infrared sauna as often as I can, all in service of healing.
“A side benefit is my skin, which makes me happy – and makes me want to double down on skincare even more. Let’s make 2021 the year of never needing make-up, people!”