goatGwyneth Paltrow’s latest woo slinger wants you to believe that not only are you infected with parasites, but that parasites cause almost every illness known to human kind. In fact, they cause every single symptom. Gwyneth is already on board shilling her parasite voodoo in Women’s Health, but apparently she wants to cover all her crazy train bases so we get to hear about better (and by better I mean more flatulence) living though goat milk on GOOP.

What Paltrow’s parasite whisperer, naturopath Linda Lancaster, means by parasite is  somewhat braod and shall we say different from science’s understanding. GOOP gives Lancaster a forum to spout the nonsence that a parasite “anything that infests the body and has a life of its own.” Lancaster even considers yeast (Candida) and syphilis (T. pallidum) to be parasites.

Infectious diseases is obviously not a subject understood by naturopaths, because according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention a parasite is an organism that lives on or in a host organism and gets its food from or at the expense of its host. There are three main classes of parasites that can cause disease in humans: protozoa, helminths, and ectoparasites. Spoiler alert, bacteria, and spirochetes, and fungi are not on the list. This is not Ph.D. level info or even Biolology 101, this is five seconds on Google.

The GOOP post is ridiculous and dangerous and I’d just write it off as batshit crazy except some people are going to follow this advice and waste a lot of money. Some may even get ill. Also, it makes a mockery of people who are truly suffering from parasitic diseases and is insulting to people who study and treat parasites.

Of course Lancaster tests everyone for parasites because testing generates revenue. How else do you get people coming back for complicated therapies only you can offer if you don’t diagnose them with a mystery illness that their conventional providers have ignored?!  I am not guessing about this, Lancaster admits this upfront:

“I recommend having a test done by a naturopathic physician or natural medicine doctor—doctors trained in integrative medicine will be aware of the problems parasites can cause and can recommend further testing and natural treatment.”

That’s right, a naturopath knows more than a board certified infectious diseases doctor or gastroenterologist and conventional labs don’t offer the type of “special” tests that only naturopaths can interpret. This is well-known chicanery. I can’t tell you the number of times I have reviewed meaningless labs from naturopaths. It is sad because my patient wasted her money and often based treatment on those results. It also affects my ability to form a relationship with my patient. My patient trusted this naturopath and now I am telling her something completely different. It often takes 3 or more contacts to undo each piece of bad information, so by doing worthless tests a patient not only gets the wrong and sometimes dangerous therapy but also feels duped and now distrusts medicine even more because in her mind a naturopath is on par with a doctor. Letting someone call themselves a doctor does that.

Apparently parasites cause brain fog and bad breath and psoriasis and even normal flatulence!  But Lancaster can’t really tell us which parasites causes which. It’s all very mysterious, at least until you plunk down your cash for special; testing and bags of herbs.

Did you know if a child is “grinding their teeth at night, picking their nose, and itching their butt” they a have a parasite and it’s not just being a three-year-old or reacting to stress from their mother obsessing over the fact that they ate sugar and conventional strawberries at a birthday party? What shocked me most about this statement is that people take their children to this woman and might potentially be following her advice.

Lancaster claim that a “low vibrational field” can make you susceptible to parasites and “we’re all already tired, and our cells are moving slowly.” I can’t believe an editor thought is was ethical and good to release that word salad on the unsuspecting masses.

Cells moving slowly. Let that sink in. Do they smirk at GOOP when they write this? Do they nod their heads in wonder at the illumination? Do they just laugh all the way to the bank?

By now I know you have a “what the actual fuck” expression, and dear reader, so do I. Here’s the explanation for slow cells and the other stuff that hurts my brain:

Heavy metals and chemicals have a low vibrational frequency that causes our cells to slow down and lose their vitality. On the other hand, radiation, including both fallout and EMF, can cause agitation in the cells, creating weakness in our neurological and immune systems. As long as there are heavy metals, chemicals, and/or radiation in your system, you are more susceptible to parasites and their eggs. 

So sanitation, clean water, cat feces, and standing water have little to do with parasites, it’s energy fields and heavy metals and radiation. Maybe if the CDC and World Health Organization got their acts together and listened to naturopaths we could actually help people!

It gets worse though. No really, it does. This is how Lancaster treats the parasites that only she and her ilk  can divine:

My treatment is based on knowledge of the Essenes, a community that lived outside of Jerusalem during biblical times. In those days, when a healer learned of a worm infestation, they would put the patient in a tub of milk until the worms would come out to drink—parasites love milk! In fact, many people who think they’re allergic to milk actually have a parasite in their system.

In my experience, an eight-day, mono-diet goat-milk cleanse—accompanied by a specific vermifuge made of anti-parasitic herbs—is the most successful treatment. Parasites primarily live in the mucus lining of the gut system, where they feed on nutrients before they enter the body. Think of the goat milk as bait—parasites come out of the gut lining to drink the milk, which they love, but they also consume the vermifuge, which will eventually eradicate them. On top of being highly effective, this method is a much more gentle medicine than bombarding them—and your body—with a harsh drug.

The treatment my friends that has been evading the dullards at the CDC and the WHO is goat milk bait, but only goat milk because it has the right pH! (If you were playing woo BINGO you would have collected your prize by now).

Why is goat’s milk a natural parasitic? Duh, “the high levels of fatty acids” so “goat milk breaks down faster in the body.” Not sure how digestion plays a role, but hey I only went to medical school. Although, I do wonder if all it takes is ruminant dairy fat why doesn’t Lancaster suggest butter?

Questions, so many questions.

Not content with Lancaster’s view on dairy goat milk composition I went to the UC Davis Agriculture site to check. Apparently the unsaturated fatty acids, oleic and linoleic, are the same in cow’s and goat’s milk. The only difference is goat’s milk has a higher proportion of short chain fatty acids, specifically capric, caprylic and caproic acids (they give the distinctive goat’s milk taste and smell). Does Lancaster really mean these three short chain fatty acids are parasitophilic and that parasites in the liver or brain can somehow sense them in the digestive tract and move to the gut to be expelled? That is exactly what she is saying and apparently what Gwyneth Paltrow is willing to believe and promote. This is magic, not medicine. Then again if you base your therapy on 2,000 year old ideas and theories that is what you get. There is a reason modern medicine isn’t based on the Bible, ya know?

Lancaster apparently prefers raw goat’s milk, apparently Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium, E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella are either not a concern or they have been incorrectly classified by science as bacteria because they are really parasites so they will just follow the milk through the gut. Or something. It’s hard to joke about it because people will be harmed by this advice. Raw milk of any kind is not safe. If it were safe no one would have ever thought they needed pasteurization.

Just think, this Lancaster woman can cure parasites (and syphilis!) by drawing them into the gut with goat’s milk and she is toiling away in Santa Fe instead of touring the world driving out parasites like a modern-day St. Patrick or Pied Piper.

This advice is stupid and dangerous and frankly insulting and if Paltrow is really a goat milk clense devotee it isn’t just her advice that stinks, I bet her gas is atrocious too.

 

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178 Comments

    1. You didn’t actually address the original other’s claims and instead relied on ‘appeal to authority’ logical fallacies. At least the OP gave reasons for belief whether those reason are true or false is yet to be known because, alas, no sources. Pity, a specialist couldn’t weigh in.
      Also the OP said milk (goat to avoid the many cow allergies) was used because the parasites like to eat the sugars and the dose of ‘herbals’ kill them while they’re eating? Not the fat ‘straw man’ fallacy you used, as if it were even necessary. Seems really pathetic that all *you* can muster against a pseudo-intellectal naturopath is fart insults.

  1. Thank you for all the work you do to enlighten the flat earth society. As a social scientist i’m fascinated with why people buy into all this. You may need to trade in your “lasso of truth” for a whip, chair and circus outfit to address this level of crazy. I find this article reasonable in perspective as to the possible why of it all (note-no personal connection to the website/article): http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/03/denial-science-chris-mooney

    1. “why people buy into all this” — Naturopathy exploits patients’ craving for warm, parent-like reassurance with tangible, ‘common-sense’ therapies (like goat’s milk) and causal explanations that patients think they can understand (worms!), in preference to the unintelligible therapies and diagnoses offered by scientific medicine. This patient preference is as old as medicine. Read Robert Burton’s satiric “Anatomy of Melancholy” (written in 1621) for insights into the psychology of patients.

  2. Well if it was good enough for the Essenes…

    Bloody Bronze Age bullshit. I eagerly await the article about how to cast out the demons that cause epilepsy and schizophrenia, or how to lift a curse.

  3. just FYI…Typo…2nd Paragraph.. “Braod”. Thought you’d probably want to know. Love your fabulous pro-science campaign against quackery and cray cray crapola. Thanks for the work you do!

  4. What the hell is the fascination with unpasteurized goat’s milk??? We had goats when I was a kid, and even the cats had to wait until the milk was pasteurized. Thank you for taking on the GOOPs of this world. The brush back you must get has to be both frightening and absurd.

  5. Funny thing is , on ALL sites that do something like this , there is ALWAYS a Disclaimer in the Terms and Conditions .
    If any of these things worked , there WOULDN’T need to be the Disclaimer .
    Thanks Jen .

  6. Jen, you are my hero! I have been telling people that Paltrow is a nutball since the first time she was on Oprah and cooked flounder with miso sauce.

  7. I can attest that baby goat cuddles are extremely beneficial to one’s mental health! Conversely, I’ve also heard the argument that we modern hyper-hygienic, hyper-allergic folks need a few good parasites to give our overactive immune systems something to do (instead of triggering autoimmune reactions.)

    1. You need to read the comic “Bitch Planet” if you aren’t already. There is a reference to using parasites as a weight loss device in there. Not to mention that the harmful effects of GP are play-by-play fear mongering to women (also a part of the storyline)

    1. Wow. From WaPo::

      “Sunscreen lotion contains a mixture of inorganic and organic compounds that deflect or absorb ultraviolet radiation, forming a helpful barrier on the skin.
      The drinkable sunscreen, called the UV Neutralizer, claimed nothing so mundane. The water was first imprinted with vibrating frequencies, its makers said. […]. Once spritzed into a user’s mouth, the neutralizer created “scalar waves” that negated harmful rays for three hours”

      1. I had many little bottles ‘imprinted’ with saving therapies by a rather way-out osteopath. He would stand well clear of the machine as it worked its magic. But it was pay-back time (for being sceptical) when I was really ill after one of the treatments – so there was something in the alcohol after all!

  8. I’ll just highlight the expression that always makes me laugh in these ‘natural’ way articles:
    “As long as there are heavy metals, **chemicals**, and/or radiation in your system, you are more susceptible to [whatever].

    Chemicals! Do you mean like water, digestive juices, enzymes, DNA!!

    Sorry about the exclamation marks.

  9. Remarkable how the relation you describe between naturopaths and their true-believer patients is so similar to Donald Trump and his true-believer followers. How many counterexamples will it take them before they see that they’ve been hoodwinked?

  10. The only surprise here is that Paltrow is actually drinking any animals milk, I was under the impression she was a Vegan and thought she might be douching with this just to add to her absolute stupidity. Thank-you for continually writing about the assinine advise in GOOP, I am sorry that you have to deal with the fallout of that idiocy in your professional capacity. I am sure every OBGYN in the English speaking world has the same problem.

  11. Please don’t ever stop speaking truth to idiocy- you are providing a valuable service and I just wish more people would read your blog and get educated with the real scientific FACTS about health matters. Alt medicine is just an income producer for these wacky naturopaths.

  12. “In fact, many people who think they’re allergic to milk actually have a parasite in their system.”

    I wonder if this person really means lactose intolerance, because in my experience nobody realizes dairy allergy exists until I painstakingly explain to them what it is & why my experience is not the same as their sister who’s lactose-intolerant-but-still-loves-dairy-anyway-so-why-are-YOU-complaining.

    A large portion of humanity is lactose intolerant. On the other hand, while dairy is one of the most common food allergies, that’s still a comparatively small amount of people.

    Of course, I don’t expect a naturopath to acknowledge the difference between these two things. If the average person thinks they’re the same, then you can make the most money by pretending they’re the same.

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