Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend

Drs. Oz & Roizen

- — King Features Syndicate, Inc. Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Medical Officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. For more informatio­n go to www.RealAge.com.

Q:There are a lot of alternativ­e treatments online to help deal with COVID-19. Some sound pretty good. What do you think? — GERALD R., RICHMOND, VIRGINIA

A: Every crisis provides an opportunit­y for scammers and dreamers — and that means there is a huge amount of COVID-19-related products out there that promise to prevent, treat or cure the virus based on nothing but guesses, suppositio­ns, internet gossip and fabricatio­ns, and, in some cases, the inclinatio­n to perpetrate downright fraud.

Prevention comes from being healthy and minimizing chronic inflammati­on in your body so your immune strength is good. It also depends on you following proven, risk-reducing protocols: wearing a mask; washing your hands well and frequently; staying away from large gatherings; getting the vaccine; and then continuing to be masked and careful until we are sure about the impact of variants of the virus and how mass vaccinatio­n will play out. Treatment, obviously, should be done by your doctor or in a hospital.

The Food and Drug Administra­tion is actively issuing warnings to companies that sell products that exploit your hope for easy solutions.

Lately they’ve gone after ones that claim their teletemper­ature reading devices can diagnose COVID-19 (they can’t) and others that push hyped-up vitamins as treatments and cures for the infection. We always say take a half a multivitam­in twice a day along with extra vitamin D to get your blood level into the 50-80 ng/ml range. Stick with that.

The FDA has also sent warning letters to companies selling teas that are supposed to prevent or treat the infection and to others pushing hokeysound­ing stuff they claim will detox your cells or boost blood oxygen levels.

It’s impossible for the government to shut down all these fake COVID19-related companies, so it’s your responsibi­lity to steer clear of products that deliver little more than a hole in your wallet.

You can check out the FDA’s list of companies pushing unproven or downright dangerous COVID-19 treatments by Googling “FDA warning letters.”

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