Gwyneth Paltrow has Vitamin D deficiency, might develop osteoporosis


This might be too obscure, but does anyone else remember Emily Mortimer’s guest starring arc in the first season of 30 Rock? She kept telling Alec Baldwin (Jack) and Tina Fey (Liz) that she had “bones like a bird, hallow.” It was a funny bit, just because Mortimer’s consistent line-delivery. This story about Gwyneth Paltrow reminded of that. According to the Daily Mail, Gwyneth is in the early stages of osteopenia, which is the precursor to osteoporosis. This is all based on Gwyneth’s GOOP newsletter from two weeks ago, where she claimed that doctors were astonished with how low her Vitamin D levels were. So basically, Gwyneth Paltrow has crash-dieted her way into being a little old lady with brittle bones.

With her extreme diets and harsh exercise regimes, Gwyneth Paltrow is nothing if not health conscious. So it must have come as a shock to be told she is suffering from an ailment more commonly the preserve of elderly women.

The 37-year-old actress says she is in the early stages of osteopenia, precursor to the brittle-bone disease osteoporosis. And according to experts, it could have been caused by the very diets she hoped would keep her in prime condition.

The problem was diagnosed in a bone scan after she suffered a leg fracture. In her internet newsletter Goop, she said: ‘My doctors tested my vitamin D levels, which turned out to be the lowest thing they had ever seen (not a good thing).’

As a result, Miss Paltrow, who won the Best Actress Oscar for her role in Shakespeare In Love, says she has been put on ‘prescription-strength vitamin D’.

She was also told by doctors to spend ‘a bit of time in the sun’.

Osteoporosis is a bone disease which leads to an increased risk of fractures. It is more common in women, especially following the menopause, and can be caused by lack of calcium in the diet and too much exercise. All of which has led to speculation that the actress’s lifestyle might be in some way to blame.

Miss Paltrow lives in north London with her rock star husband Chris Martin, from the band Coldplay. In 1999, she began following a macrobiotic diet which concentrates on vegetables, grains, soup and fish.

She broke off from it between 2003 and 2006 when she had her two children Apple, now six, and four-year-old Moses. Since then, she has followed a less intense version but admits she does not consume many dairy products.

Nurse Julia Thomson, of the National Osteoporosis Society, said: ‘Diet certainly has a big role to play in bone strength. It’s all about maintaining the right ratio. Osteopenia may occur when one cuts out certain food groups such as dairy, especially if it is a lifelong habit. Calcium is certainly a biggie when it comes to osteoporosis. I don’t know that there is evidence to prove absolutely that cutting out the food group could cause the condition, but if the calcium intake is extremely low that will have an effect on the skeleton.’

[From The Daily Mail]

I had a mild Vitamin D deficiency when I was a teenager (back when I didn‘t eat anything good for me, and you know, was a dumb teenager), and my doctor just told me to change my diet. It is seriously one of the easiest things to remedy. Go out in the sun. Drink milk, eat fish or beef or eggs. And if all else fails, just take over-the-counter supplements. The fact that Gwyneth has or had health problems because of a vitamin deficiency doesn’t surprise me in the least – she’s always recommending diets and cleanses and juice and cabbage-water crap-tastic bullsh-t that doesn’t seem healthy in the long run. And the fact that she considers herself some kind of healthy person – who deigns to give others advice – is even more disturbing.

NEW YORK - JUNE 08: Actress Gwyneth Paltrow attends Stella McCartney - Spring 2011 Presentation at Gavin Brown's Enterprise on June 8, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Stella McCartney)

Photo by: JG/AAD/ 2010 5/26/10 Gwyneth Paltrow at the National Movie Awards. (London, England) Photo via Newscom

Header: Gwyneth on June 7, 2010. Credit: WENN.

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64 Responses to “Gwyneth Paltrow has Vitamin D deficiency, might develop osteoporosis”

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  1. anonymous says:

    One of the best ways to get more vitamin D is to take cod liver oil supplements, which contain natural vitamins D and A.

  2. jc126 says:

    That macrobiotic diet always sounded like crap to me. Excluding most dairy, mostly grains, it sounds too imbalanced.

  3. Kate says:

    I don’t trust nutrition and exercise advice from anyone who looks like she just punched her way out of a grave.

  4. lisa says:

    Well clapping.. the chickens have come home roost. I just wonder how many people she has influenced with her dumb advice. I am sure she will spin this into another Goop chapter..and her followers will follow still. People can be so easily lead in the wrong direction. We need so much to have a leader.

    Don’t like her at all, and she should NEVER do that raccoon eye thing. It makes her look strange. She is too pale.
    She should focus on making a good movie without Robert D. I guess she forgot she was supposed to be an actress.. PLEASE GO ACT Gwenny.

  5. Lynn says:

    Big deal. I have the same thing but you don’t see my name in the tabloids or on internet gossip sites. Must be a slow news weekend.

  6. The Truth Fairy says:

    In the 1st pic I can see the carve marks from her rhinoplasty.

  7. Kelaa Khaa says:

    I didn’t realize Vitamin D deficiency can be caused by too much excercise, so I’ll have to let my sister know since she follows a weird diet and excercises frenetically. And when I look at Goopy I want to have a giant milkshake topped with whipped cream.

  8. Isa says:

    Does anyone actually listen to her? I thought the only reason people read her blog was to make fun of her. I like to think she doesn’t have that much influence.

    I need more calcium in my diet, but I am just not a big fan of dairy except for cheese.

  9. Lisa says:

    One of my friends found out she had osteopenia in her late twenties, after she fell while test-riding a mountain bike. She broke her hip and the doctors told her she absolutely had to rest more or would end up with osteoporosis. Her diet was fine, and she obviously exercised enough (which you need to do in order to strengthen your bones), but she didn’t rest enough.

    Also, it’s important to get enough magnesium, which makes your bones flexible, but which nobody emphasizes because it’s not in any easily-marketed foods like dairy.

    Recommended minimum intakes of Vitamin D are pretty low compared to what your body needs to be heatlhy. In the US, the RDA is 400 IU/day, but many doctors today say you should get around 2,000 IU/day, especially if you don’t get much sun.

  10. Mrs Odie 2 says:

    Many vegans manage to get adequate calcium without dairy. Many Asian countries consume virtually no dairy and they don’t have epidemic calcium deficiencies. It isn’t the calcium, it’s the calorie restriction.

  11. Oi says:

    Well, duh. Extreme dieting and exercise is not healthy in the long run. And sun. Yes. Where did people get the idea that no sunlight at all is a good thing? Some sun is natural, looks healthy and does not give you cancer. Moderation moderation moderation.

  12. sara says:

    This is medically incorrect. Dairy products are not the only source of calcium, and plant sources such as spinach or kale contain larger and more readily absorbed forms of it. There is also no direct link between calcium consumption and the risk of fracture or even bone density itself. Osteopenia is a term invented by a pharmaceutical company and was not considered a separate condition until the advent of so-called osteoporosis drugs. Vitamin D is not in fact a vitamin; its dietary precursor is converted by the body with the aid of sunlight into what is more accurately called a hormone-like substance. Please don’t post on nutritional subjects without consulting a trained authority first. There is much misinformation here.

  13. mln says:

    A macrobiotic diet is prescribed in Europe for Cancer patients , and survivors of nuclear incidents and I believe it works but it is extreme cases and not meant for anorexic actresses.

  14. bellaluna says:

    I’m so glad I don’t listen to these celebutards who spout their diet “secrets.” Anorexia and bulimia are not secrets, they are eating disorders.

    @ mln – Macrobiotic diet is used in the US for cancer patients, as well. I just can’t imagine wanting to use it for any other reason. A lady in our church when I was a teenager had cancer, and she went on a macrobiotic diet – it was disgusting.

  15. Taya says:

    Maybe if her osteoporosis speeds up we will not have to see this twat again.

    Please osteoporosis, make Gwyneth go away.

  16. Kelaa Khaa says:

    Interesting point, sara. I have read that fosamax actually makes your bones more brittle because it prevents the bone from breaking down, as it normally does. Something to do with osteoblasts and osteoclasts. If anyone knows more please share.

  17. Lauren says:

    I have been taking Halibut liver oil for years. Vitamin D is apparently very important for breast cancer prevention. My mom has breast cancer, and her doctor told me V-D is vital. GP looks ghastly!

  18. Rosanna says:

    I just couldn’t live without dairy! I drink at least 500 ml of milk a day, and eat several portions of dairy (4-5). To me, milk and dairy are the most awesome things on Earth 🙂

  19. stephiespoons says:

    @ sara: Thank you for stating that. ITA.

  20. lucy2 says:

    Probably because she’s always doing cleanses, she’s cleaned all the nutrients out of her body!

    I think she needs a new hobby, she seems to spend all her time obsessing over her body and health.

  21. jc126 says:

    What’s medically incorrect? Who said dairy products were the only sources of calcium?

  22. blinditemreader says:

    I’ve been taking 1,000iu of Vitamin D on a daily basis since November. I think it helped a bunch in the winter, too. Vitamin D deficiency is also linked with multiple sclerosis.

  23. Belle Epoch says:

    Haha! Kate that was brilliant!

    I eat a lot of yogurt, but it turns out vitamin D is NOT added to yogurt the way it is added to milk. Too bad for me.

    Sitting in the sun for a few minutes helps your body make vitamin D – and please don’t jump on me, I am not saying we should all get skin cancer. Just eat your lunch outside.

    Here is a short article from the NYTimes with some helpful information about how much sun we need, and whether or not sunscreen prevents the body from making vitamin D (answer: not enough to worry about):

  24. Boombeeba says:

    I’m no doctor & neither is my aunt but ever since I was lil when I would go visit her she always insisted that I drink a glass of milk w/ Dinner. As icky as it was to me then, she said it would help prevent things like these for me n the future. Trinken Sie Milch!

  25. Sankay says:

    This will become even more of a problem as many woman shun sunlight.

  26. CB Rawks says:

    I was vitamin D deficient and my doctor just gave me a powder to stir into juice. And now I’m bouncing off the walls. 🙂

  27. Orbit says:

    According to, a common side-effect of osteopenia is to prattle on in public about your life and personal medical issues.

  28. CB Rawks says:

    Kate said “I don’t trust nutrition and exercise advice from anyone who looks like she just punched her way out of a grave.”


  29. cheekemunkey says:

    One of the best sources of calcium (and magnesium) is bone broth made from organic / grass feed ruminant animals. Slow cook beef / buffalo bones for 48-72 hours, or chicken / turkey for up to 24 hours with a little ACV and a few vegetables and enjoy! You can even eat the marrow.

    For a nation that eats so much meat, it’s such a waste not to make use of the bones.

    Sara, I agree with the message, but don’t agree that one needs to be an ‘expert’ to comment on nutrition. That is exactly what’s gotten the western world into such a pickle with it’s low-fat / low-salt spit-it-out-if-it-tastes-good nonsense.

    I encourage everyone do their own research and come up with their own conclusions.

  30. lolo says:

    She looks good, she looks healthy and I don’t know her personally but I love her. That comes from a drunken mouth.

  31. Feebee says:

    A Hollywood star sacrifices health for a size whatever body… why is this news?

  32. lrm says:

    macrobiotic is pretty cool-and is not c*rap in my opinion…though I don’t follow it strictly or anything-the times where i have tried it out, i was amazed at how quickly all cravings stopped,a nd how i specifically was uninterested in eating dairy or sugar of any kind at all (besides fruit-but cravings for sweet dramaticlaly dropped w/in a few days). i felt really balanced emotionally, too.

    macrob. diet has alot of japanese influence (it was founded by a japanese guy, actually), so it has far more than just grains and vegetables in the diet. you’d have to research it further to understand it. and it’s very doubtful her vit D deficiency has anything to do with a macro diet.
    Has anyone seen the stats about japanese longevity and health, over the centuries? speaks for itself.

    anyway, goopy trained with that psycho who advocated basically not eating…so i believe it has more to do with that, and avoiding the sun, than the fact that she has eaten balanced and healthy food in a macro diet. at least look it up before you bash it. and like i said, i am not a fanatic or anything-i just like understanding things before deciding whether they are useful or not,both to me personally and in general.

  33. Kazoo81 says:

    my sister has a severe vitamin D deficiency, but she rarely works out and her diet is normal (not macrobiotic). her doctor stressed the lack of sun as being one of the main problems.

  34. Whitey Fisk says:

    I find it concerning that this single comment thread on a gossip website contains more legitimate health information than Gwyneth’s entire health-focused and “nourishing” website could ever possibly hope to.

  35. Mrs Odie 2 says:

    Vitamin D supplementation is extremely important for infants too, since we keep them out of the sun. Virtually impossible to avoid the sun here in L.A.!

  36. MightyMouse says:

    Kelaa: Osteoblasts are young bone cells that “grow” bone. Therefore, stimulating osteoblastic activity promotes calcium deposition in the bone (while simultaneously removing calcium from the bloodstream).

    Osteoclasts are bone cells that break down bone, releasing calcium into the bloodstream. Osteoclastic activity is necessary to keep serum [blood] calcium levels sufficient for muscle exertion. The one muscle that really needs serum calcium levels to remain steady is the heart.

    The body’s most immediate need is to keep serum calcium levels normal. Whether or not bones have adequate strength is not addressed unless there is sufficient calcium intake to cover both serum and bone density needs.

    @ cheekeemonkee: right on!
    (And osteopenia is a medical diagnosis based on defined bone density levels. It is not a manufactured condition.)

  37. Ally says:

    On the bright side: hollow bones = weight loss!

    (Just kidding, but some of those Vogue women are so obsessed with looking like 15 year-olds well into their 30s…)

    Eat a balanced diet, as much organic as you can afford, get a little bit of sun, the end.

  38. Lucinda says:

    Vitamin D deficiency is pretty common and can be caused by a variety of medical disorders (like Celiac disease) as well as lack of sun exposure and certain prescription medications. Northern climates, such as England, seldom get enough sun to meet the Vitamin D need and milk is not a good source of Vitamin D. As stated earlier, leafy greens are much better. There are a multitude of reasons she could have low Vit. D.

  39. original kate says:

    not interested in taking any nutrition/dieting advice from the goopster – she always looks like she’s either getting the flu or recovering from the flu.

  40. BRE says:

    I think Gwen likes to exaggerate. Remember when she said she was in Labor for days and Doctors later said that wasn’t possible, she was probably just having minor contracts not full blown labor. Also, if her doctors truly have not seen a Vitamin D level has low as hers EVER, wouldn’t she have rickets? And what is prescription strength Vitamin D? I mean, they come pretty high over the counter, it’s not like they wouldn’t just tell you to take more. And if she was actually getting sound (professional) advice for diet and exercise over the years they would have discussed Vitamin D! I am a Vegan and light skin so I stay out of the sun, I am not in the field but I have educated myself to know how important Vitamin D supplements are (for everyone really)

  41. MightyMouse says:

    Hey BRE: Yes, what Gwen is describing does sound a lot like rickets. Of course, with her ability to exaggerate, I doubt this was the worst case EVER.

    Prescription strength vitamin D is usually in the form of D3 (the end form of the vitamin) and supplements may be in the form of D or D2 (intermediate forms). Vitamin supplements are fine as long as your kidneys are healthy enough to convert it to the final form.

  42. Missfit says:

    Wow, who would have known…here she is trying to be “healthy” and she’s not. See, thin isn’t always “hot” or “healthy” and plenty of people do it the unhealthy way. Sun is good, just put sunscreen on, what’s the big deal? It’s like if you have sex, put a condom on, if you don’t want an std or to get pg. And it’s not like she’s allergic to dairy and I’m sure the people who don’t like to eat meat, find a way to still put protein in their bodies, so I’m sure the same goes for dairy.

  43. Miss Bitch says:

    The only person who knows what she’s talking about here is Sara. Vit. is dangerous in many ways and should not be advocated for supplementation without careful thought. And BTW, my D level is 6 and I plan to keep it that way. D suppresses the immune system, leaving the host open to chronic illness. I have sarcoidosis, and since I cut all D out of my diet and life, I am getting better. I’m on a treatment protocol that helps me move it out of my system.

    GP is full of shit. Do not supplement with D.

  44. Shay says:

    There’ll be many more actresses with similar diseases due to their bird-like diets.
    You can’t get all nutrients by eating like a bird and stuffing vitamin tablets down your throat.
    Many female celebrities go on every fad diet imaginable and all of them are bad.
    Then again, that’s what their astronomical fees are for.When they are elderly they can pay for 24/7 nursing care!

  45. Kelly says:

    Im constantly amazed by people’s almost total ignorance of their own digestive systems, how food is utilized by the body, and this nonstop 1970s whackjob garbage about ‘cleansing’.

    Food is good for you. Recent studies have absolved dairy fat from cholesterol and heart attack/stroke involvement, in fact, unless youre unlucky enough to be lactose intolerant, which is a genetic mutation carried by a small proportion of peeps, you should be eating full, real dairy. Think about it- we evolved eating these foods. They are the reason we look and act and crave these ways. Eat some darn dairy!! Ok, so make that organic free range dairy!

    You cannot ‘cleanse’ yourself by putting magical compost-type ingredients in your mouth. By the kind of logic you hear these nutty food phobics spouting, you should get extra clean by chugging draino. There is medically and scientifically no such damn thing as a cleansing diet- does not, can not exist. Cleansing is what your liver and kidneys do. Accccceeeeeeppppttttt iiiiiiiiiittt! GP, you are super stupid and if you end up a bent old handbag of a creature, hissing at sunlight in a nursing home somewhere, you’ll deserve every moment of it.
    Unfortunately, your kids will probably suffer the consequences of your stupidity before someone gives you a clip round the ear and stuffs a hunk of cheese in your gob.

  46. bros says:

    here is a very good article on vitamin D and why we need the sun. Im willing to bet Madonna has a deficiency as well.

  47. Ali says:

    Normal exercise does not lower your vitamin D, 5 days a week for an hour. However, excessive exercise is detrimental to female bones causing some of the same problems that vitamin D deficiency does.

  48. k says:

    There are entire populations of humans who do not consume dairy products and do not develop osteoporosis. Lack of dairy is not the culprit. Humans have not evolved to consume other mammal’s milk; the dietary inclusion of milk into the human diet is an historically new thing, ie only since we embraced agrarian, sedentary culture over nomadic/hunter-gatherer.

  49. Mare says:

    Milk is for calves. All the praise for dairy comes from big companies who sell it.

  50. Shawna says:

    I detected a bit of malicious irony in this post… not nice. Even someone who keeps up with her health can miss something.

  51. Ruffian9 says:

    For God’s sake; Vit D is one of the easiest things to get. If you’re sun-reactive, like me, just eat a balanced diet (yes, I eat low fat dairy) plus a daily supplement. Pennies a day, people. This isn’t rocket science. Oh, and don’t smoke!

  52. jill says:

    I rarely eat dairy and am past 50. I’m in terrific shape, and my bone density tests show no risk of osteo problems. I eat tons of fresh raw fruit and vegs. I work out often and don’t use artificial scent on my body or in my home. (Messes with hormones and ages you.) People think I’m 42, not 52.

  53. Patrice says:

    I don’t buy that this is a result of her purely “not eating dairy”. Humman beings are not enginered to consume the milk of other species, in fact it is quite UN-NATURAL. Something else must be going on here…maybe girlfriend just doesn’t eat enough as a whole?

  54. CB Rawks says:

    Miss Bitch, that is scarily incorrect. Without vitamin D you can’t absorb calcium.
    Hence the osteoporosis.
    Not fun to have your bones snapping right and left. But hey, if you’re into that.

  55. Lulu says:

    I was born in the same month and year as Gwyneth and I have the exact same diagnosis.

    I have also been on prescription Vitamin D for a year — it’s 50.000 IU every other week. I also have osteopenia. It can happen for a variety of reasons.

    I haven’t started Fosamax because of the side effects. I’m not sure what to do, but am taking Strontium meanwhile.

  56. annaloo says:

    Break bitch, break!!!!

  57. AC says:

    You don’t need to eat dairy to get enough calsium. There is also possibly a genetic componant to osteoperosis. It’s linked to a lot of things but there is no official cause.

  58. Kara says:

    Truth Fairy,

    Doesn’t look like rhinoplasty to me. She has a slightly crooked nose with a small bump on it. I can’t imagine anyone having that intentionally done (not that she has a bad nose – just not a plastically perfect one). When you have rhinoplasty they flatten out the top of the nose like a ski slope. She doesn’t have that. I think the lines you’re seeing are shading or maybe makeup. I’m not a huge fan of hers by any means but I do know rhinoplasty as I had the procedure done myself.

  59. BRE says:

    Miss Bitch: I would disagree with you on vitamin D supressing the immune system. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and my Rheum dr encourages more D (as well as calcium obviously), and I take drugs that suppress my immune system. I think we are still learning a lot about the benefits of Vitamin D and also remember that so many of the recommended doses were created 50 years ago, our diet is much different!

  60. Lisa says:

    Vitamin D deficiency in women is very common in this day and age. I believe it has something to do with the quality of our food and the quality of the light we are getting. Meaning the ozone layer is rather messed up, I imagine all the toxic air effects it as well. Also the fact that most people wear tons of sunscreen and that inhibits your ability to get sunlight. I live in Southern California and I don’t get enough sunlight to keep my vitamin D levels right. My vitamin D was low when I was still eating meat 2 years ago and it is low again-2 years off meat of all kinds. There seems to be no rhyme or reason. I am a yoga teacher, a bodyworker, I eat well et et. I chalk it up to enviromental toxins. Our bodies are changing because our world is changing. Food for thought. Also, for all the people who slather on sunscreen 24/7-remember what you are putting on is a chemical-that most likely reacts with sunlight/heating. No telling what effects we will see from that practice 10 years from now.

  61. Miss Bitch says:

    My 25,D level is 6 – yes, 6. Most doctors would freak out about this, but any biomedical researcher involved in the study of D will tell you that supplements will cure this problem. D is a hormone, not a vitamin. It restricts the efforts of one’s immune system to combat disease, and, when taken in high doses, can leave one open to life-threatening diseases such as lupus, thyroid disease, lyme syndrome, CFS, fibromyalgia, heart disease and Alzheimers.

    That kvnt GP just likes to call attention to herself with recycled panic stories. No need to supplement, people – they don’t provide you with the right kind of D. Just eat a balanced diet.

  62. GB says:

    Amazing the hostility in most of these comments. Just because she has a vitamin D deficiency doesn’t mean everything she says in her blog is incorrect or unhealthy. For example, she gives positive refs to two MDs–Junger and Hyman–who recommend supplementing with D3 (2000iu) and getting an hour of sunlight per day if possible.
    Her blog is cheerful, well written, and well intentioned. Some of it is fluffy, some of it is quite serious, and unlike so many comments here none of it is mean spirited.
    I don’t understand why being successful and famous makes it open season on a person. Being an actor doesn’t mean you are dumb. Nor does breaking your leg. Nor does trying the recommendations of doctors who study nutritional medicine.

  63. Since research is finding more and more that most people are not getting enough vitamin D, articles like this one will hopefully spur readers to increase their vitamin D, whether by exposing themselves to a bit more sunshine or by taking some vitamin D supplements.

    Having insufficient vitamin D can result in a host of health problems. Personally I had osteomalacia (weak, painful bones) and extreme muscle weakness that made getting up from a chair a great, exhausting, embarrassing struggle. Now that I have been taking vitamin D3 tablets for over a year I am in less pain and I can rise from chairs with scarcely any difficulty, as well as feeling much stronger and more positive.

    I recommend vitamin D. – It’s now my favourite vitamin…(o:

  64. legal Nurse says:

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