Fake video touts 10-day cure for diabetes

9 July 2024
What was claimed

A herbal remedy taken for 10 days will cure diabetes.

Our verdict

There is currently no known cure for diabetes.

A video posted on Facebook makes claims about an unnamed herbal remedy for diabetes. The video features several clips of celebrities and includes audio attributed to naturopath and wellness promoter Barbara O’Neill, who we have fact checked a number of times before.

The video claims that the remedy cures diabetes within 10 days and that over 50,000 people have taken it and are now “free of diabetes”. It also claims that Metformin, a medication commonly used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, “hides” symptoms whilst complications “are quietly developing inside you”. 

In the video, Barbara O’Neill is incorrectly identified as being a doctor. She has previously been barred from providing health services by Australian health authorities

There is currently no known cure for diabetes. Inaccurate health information can be harmful and untreated diabetes can cause serious complications. 

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Is the video authentic?

The audio in the video of Ms O’Neill is not synchronised with the lip movements of the speakers, which is consistent with it being faked. The celebrity clips include footage of singer Celine Dion as well as actors Keanu Reeves and Cillian Murphy. The clip of Mr Murphy appears to be taken from this interview from February 2024 where he is discussing his recent acting roles. 

The footage of Mr Reeves appears to come from this podcast interview from December 2023, where he can be seen wearing the same clothing and the same poster is visible in the background.

The footage of Ms Dion comes from this interview with Good Morning Britain from November 2019, where she can be seen wearing the same clothing.

At no point do any of these celebrities mention Barbara O’Neill, diabetes or indeed a cure for diabetes in these interviews.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition where the levels of sugar in the bloodstream are higher than normal. This can come about because the body doesn’t make enough insulin, which processes sugar in the body, or because the body is not able to use insulin properly (insulin resistance).

There are several different types of diabetes and different causes as well. Type 1 diabetes occurs when there is not enough insulin being made because the cells that produce it, in the pancreas, are gradually destroyed. This is usually due to genetic and environmental factors.

Type 2 diabetes develops when the body is unable to respond to the insulin that it makes (insulin resistance) and the body is unable to make enough to compensate for this. It is the most common type of diabetes and there are several risk factors which include obesity, ethnicity and a high glycaemic index diet

Gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy and although it often disappears after birth, women are at an increased risk of developing it again in subsequent pregnancies and also have an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in the future.

Diabetes can lead to many different complications, which can occur gradually or more rapidly at any given time. In the short term, sugars that aren’t controlled can lead to dehydration and tiredness, which can progress to life-threatening complications that require treatment in a hospital setting. Uncontrolled blood sugars over a longer period of time can result in damage to the eyes, kidneys and the heart. 

How is diabetes managed?

The treatments for diabetes may depend on the type and how far it has progressed at the time of diagnosis. All diabetics are advised to maintain a healthy lifestyle including eating healthily, exercising regularly and moderating their alcohol intake. Stopping smoking is also advised, as well as having regular eye and foot checks. Blood results should also be monitored.

Generally speaking, people with type 1 diabetes need insulin and type 2 diabetics may need insulin if tablets and lifestyle changes fail to control their blood sugars enough.

Metformin, which is mentioned in the video, is a tablet used in the treatment of type 2 and gestational diabetes. It works by lowering blood sugars and can be prescribed alone or in combination with other medications.

Is there a cure for diabetes?

There is currently no cure for diabetes. It is possible to go into remission for type 2 diabetes, which means that blood sugars remain stable without the need for medication for at least three months.

Remission is not the same as a cure. Remission stops new damage occurring in the body but the existing effects of high blood sugar may still remain. Moreover, diabetes can return at any point in the future and people are encouraged to keep up with their check-ups.

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