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Anthony William, the Medical Medium, is a food woo promoter and medium allegedly in contact with an incorporeal entity called the Spirit of Compassion who recommends that we should all drink 16 oz of celery juice every morning. Gwyneth Paltrow is a fan, and her website Goop has published his writing. He has had 3 books on the New York Times bestsellers list (although people citing that statistic are vague as to which part of the NYT bestsellers list). His work is also heavily promoted by his many fans on Instagram.
The problem is, there's no evidence for anything he says, and he has no medical or scientific qualifications or training.
William is particularly known for his advocacy of the bright green liquid made from juicing celery. He claims a wide range of health benefits to celery juice (and it has to be juice, drunk first thing in the morning): he says it can treat cancer, improve intestinal health, clear skin of acne and eczema, flush out viruses, relieve anxiety and fatigue, and cleanse the body of heavy metals and other toxins. He says:
- "Celery has an incredible ability to create sweeping improvements for all kinds of health issues."
- "Celery is truly the savior when it comes to chronic illness. I've seen thousands of people who suffer from chronic and mystery illness restore their health by drinking 16 ounces of celery juice daily on an empty stomach."
In reality, celery has some modest health benefits, with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. But it isn't particularly high in most of them. It is a good source of Vitamin K, but nowhere near as good as kale or Swiss chard. Most of the benefit in celery juice probably comes from celery's better-known constituent, water: you are often dehydrated when you wake up, so a glass of liquid will help rehydrate you. Juicing actually reduces the nutritional value, by removing fibre. Juicing anything also concentrates the sugar. But good hydration helps your skin, so there is that.
William claims that celery juice contains "undiscovered cluster salts", which are unknown to science and therefore almost certainly do not exist. His blog is full of pseudoscientific claims that seem on first glance to be scientifically valid but are often meaningless, such as: "Medical research and science have not yet discovered the different varieties of sodium in celery." This does nothing to justify any medical benefit, which could only be done with proper scientific tests, preferably double-blind clinical studies.
The other argument against celery juice is that it tastes kind of bad, with an unpleasant bitterness. You can buy celery juice if you can't be bothered juicing, but most commercial products add other fruit juices to provide more sweetness.
His latest interest is in detoxing the liver, in his fourth book, Liver Rescue. Despite the fact that detox is not a thing, and the liver is perfectly capable of removing toxins from the body. He claims the liver is the source of most diseases. Or to express it with the true vagueness of a master woo-pusher, "In today's world, we have no idea how many symptoms, conditions, and diseases are rooted in an overloaded liver." So even he concedes that there's no actual evidence for his claims.
- Medical Medium, 2015
- Life-Changing Foods
- Thyroid Healing
- Liver Rescue
- a/k/a Anthony William Coviello.
- Home, MedicalMedium.com, accessed 20 March 2019
- We speak to the man behind the celery juice craze that's all over the 'gram, Evening Standard, 17 Feb 2019
- Why celery juice isn't the miracle some claim, Good Food (Australia), Feb 26, 2019
- Celery Juice Is All Over Instagram, So What's the Big Deal?, Emily Shiffer, Shape.com, Mar 12, 2019
- The Truth About The Celery Juice Craze, Abby Langer, Chatelaine, Jan 21, 2019
- Celery Juice, Medical Medium blog, accessed 20 March 2019
- Celery Nutrition, Live Science
- Celery Juice Is a Waste of Perfectly Good Produce, Vice, Feb 12 2019
- Dietary water affects human skin hydration and biomechanics, Lidia Palma et al, Clin. Cosmet. Investig. Dermatol. 2015; 8: 413–421, Published online 2015 Aug 3. doi: 10.2147/CCID.S86822