Another day, another Goop product being called out for touting questionable health benefits. This time, the Gwyneth Paltrow-founded lifestyle company is under fire for a supplement called the Mother Load, which is marketed towards new mothers to help them “get back on their feet.”
“While undoubtedly magical, having a baby can be a taxing and depleting physical experience for mothers—and effects can be felt for years after,” the product description reads, adding that the regimen is a “top-of-the-line natal protocol” that can also be taken during pregnancy or prior to conception.
And that may sound well and good, however it’s now come to light that the product contains a high amount of vitamin A, which can lead to birth defects and liver toxicity if taken while pregnant. As such, a nonprofit organization called the Good Thinking Society, which sets out to raise awareness of skeptical health-related products, is accusing Paltrow of trying to make a buck off giving “potentially dangerous advice” when it comes to health products with “unproven” benefits.
“I find it absolutely extraordinary that anyone would contemplate selling these kinds of supplements to pregnant women,” Professor Julia Newton-Bishop, a clinician scientist at the University of Leeds told the Sunday Times.
A spokesperson for Goop responded to the controversy surrounding the product — which is not recommended by the National Health Service (NHS) or World Health Organization — in an attempt to downplay the safety concerns.
“When used as recommended, Goop’s The Mother Load supplements are safe during pregnancy,” a spokesperson for Goop told Us Weekly in a statement. “The Mother Load contains a very moderate 450 mcg (1500 IU) of vitamin A (preformed vitamin A as retinyl palmitate), which is less than the recommended daily intake of 600 mcg per day (per NHS).”
The spokesperson noted that the “concern is that pregnant women not consume excessive vitamin A, a key tenet of good nutrition” adding, “moderation is the best policy.”
Last month Goop was forced to pay out $145,000 to customers who had bought “vaginal eggs” that had been advertised to do anything from enhance sexual energy to increase bladder control.