If you use Instagram, you’ve probably stumbled across the feed of some D-list celebrity trying to use endorsements to pay their bills, who clumsily incorporate ridiculous products like herbal supplements and waist trainers into their heavily Photoshopped photos. While this sort of shilling is pretty transparent, there are some actual celebrities who also put their nonsense health advice out there — and because they’re so famous, most of the time we don’t question what they say.
If one of these wellness ideas has caught your attention, make sure to check it out with a doctor first so they can tell you just how ridiculous it is. Here’s a list of the most insane pieces of celebrity medical advice ever:
Breast cancer can be caused by a too-tight bra
Just last year, Gwyneth Paltrow (aka the Queen of Dubious Health Advice) came under fire for giving credence to the urban legend that wearing a bra that fits you incorrectly can cause breast cancer.
She posted an article by Dr. Habib Sadeghi on her popular lifestyle blog GOOP.com, in which Dr. Sadeghi expounded on his ‘theory’ that if your bra is too tight, it can prevent your lymph nodes from cycling toxins around your body. All of his claims have been debunked.
Infrared saunas can help you get over a flu
Another article posted on GOOP.com came under fire for its dubious claims just a few months after the article on bras leading to breast cancer. This time, Gwyneth praised the infrared sauna for its power to strip toxins from the body, then linked to a few different sites where you could purchase your very own in-home infrared sauna at the reasonable cost of just $2295!
The only problem is, there was no real health information present in the article, and doctors dispute whether saunas can have any benefit other than relaxation.
Colonics help you detox
This Gwyneth-inspired piece of bad health advice is a real doozy. This time, she’s promoting colonics as a way to detox your digestive tract.
The only problem is, this time, even though she’s promoting colonics as a path to wellness, she’s ignoring the fact that colonics can actually throw off the delicate balance in your digestive system and cause real harm.
Going gluten-free can improve your health
Tons of celebrities advocate for the gluten-free lifestyle, promoting it as a way to lose weight fast. Although there is actual benefit to be had from cutting out gluten if you suffer from celiac disease or gluten intolerance, simply choosing to eliminate it from your diet if you don’t have those chronic problems has been shown to do very little.
Michael Douglas in particular credited it with saving his life post-cancer. There’s no evidence to support this claim.
Vaccinations can be linked to autism in children
Jenny McCarthy, B-list celebrity and wannabe lifestyle guru, came under fire several years ago when she first made her views about vaccines public. She began to advocate against vaccinating children after her then 2-and-a-half-year-old son developed signs of autism soon after being vaccinated.
Now, she is trying to repair her image by doing a reality show after being called a dangerous threat to public health.
Using personal lubricant is lazy
Ronda Rousey recently spoke out about lube – a topic that comes a little out of left field for the UFC fighter. She believes women shouldn’t need lube during sex, repeating the myth that if you’re actually into it, you’ll produce enough to make the encounter enjoyable.
I guess she didn’t read up about the women who are physically unable to produce their own lubrication.
Vaginal steaming has health benefits and totally isn’t weird, you guys
OK, this is the very last piece of Gwyneth’s crazy advice. There are just so many to choose from!
Writing on GOOP.com about her last visit to the spa, Gwyneth threw in a little tidbit about getting her vagina steamed, then waxes poetic about the health benefits of the practice. Not only is this weird, but again, putting foreign matter down there throws off its delicate balance, and that’s really not something you want to do.
Women should rely on vitamins and exercise to combat postpartum depression
High on the list of things Tom Cruise doesn’t know about and will never experience personally is postpartum depression. That didn’t stop him from having strongly-held but completely misinformed opinions about it, though.
In 2006, he blasted fellow actor Brooke Shields for speaking out about her battle with postpartum depression, and advocated for women to use vitamins instead of doctor-prescribed drugs to fight it. Because he’s an expert, clearly.
Drinking apple cider vinegar can help burn fat
Action star Megan Fox recently attributed her weight loss to drinking apple cider vinegar, which she says helps rid your system of retained water weight following menstruation.
This theory has been debunked by actual nutritionists, who say that not only is it useless for weight loss, but can damage teeth if ingested long-term.
Waist training can change your body shape
While the Kardashian sisters are the biggest celebrities to jump on the waist training bandwagon, their support still doesn’t make it any more legit.
Even though it has been proved not to lead to any lasting changes in body shape, they still continue to promote it on their Instagrams all the time, urging their thousands of followers to try it for themselves.
MAX International products can help you ‘fight diseases’
Chuck Norris and his wife Gena recently signed on to be the celebrity ambassadors representing the multi-level marketing company MAX International. MAX International sells vitamins and supplements in what can only be described as a pyramid scheme.
Their support gives credence to the company’s outlandish claims. Even if the product was legit, the way in which it’s sold completely negates its benefits.
Vitamins taken in excess can be useful
Katy Perry posted an Instagram a few years ago where she held up massive bags of vitamins, claiming that taking over 25 per day helped her improve her health.
Although taking a good daily multi-vitamin is key, there’s no possible way your body can absorb the nutrients from 25 separate vitamins, and this could eventually lead to harm instead of health.
Leeches can detoxify your blood
This story sounds completely made up, but it’s actually true. Demi Moore spoke out in 2008 about the benefits of a good old fashioned leeching to ‘detoxify’ the blood. She flew all the way to Austria to do a cleanse, and part of the treatment saw her covered in leeches, letting them suck her blood.
Even though this treatment was considered backwards in the 1800s, apparently it’s been making a resurgence since the 1980s.
Drinking cow urine is good for your skin
Jessica Simpson recently found herself the face of a new VH1 show called The Price of Beauty, where she interviewed (mostly) women who found themselves on the receiving end of accidents during their pursuit of bodily perfection.
On the show, Jessica talked about the many times that she drank cow urine while in India, which was given to her as a detoxifying and skin improving treatment.
Preparation H can help with dark circles under your eyes
This sounds like a plot point from Miss Congeniality — and it was actually on set for this film where Sandra Bullock learned this trick. Apparently she advocates for using a little dab of Preparation H — a hemorrhoid relief cream — under your eyes to prevent dark, puffy circles.
Although it was made to be applied to another (very) sensitive area, people are generally not encouraged to apply it to their face.
Kitty litter as exfoliant
Snooki from Jersey Shore did some pretty crazy things during their six-season run, but one of her exploits that truly takes the cake is going on Conan O’Brien and advocating that people use kitty litter as an exfoliating face mask. Even if you’ve never owned a cat, you can imagine how harsh and abrasive it would be on your sensitive skin.
Maybe it was her attempt to seem like just another girl next door instead of a crazy celebrity, but it really backfired.
Organic food can cure your depression
TV and film star Evangeline Lilly recently spoke out about her battle with depression, but instead of crediting prescription drugs or therapy with her cure, she made sure to note that she believes it was her all-organic diet that improved her mental health.
While eating organic and healthy food is never a bad idea, crediting it with changing your brain chemistry is one step too far.