The claim: The Pioneer Woman launched CBD gummies that reverse Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes
A video advertisement viewed more than 1.8 million times on Facebook is co-opting the brand of a celebrity chef to promote a bogus cure for diabetes.
The clip, published Jan. 21 on Facebook, claims sugar-free CBD gummies can reverse Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
“Tired of pricks and pokes? These gummies can end them for good,” text in the video reads.
The sponsored post distinguishes itself with a supposed endorsement from “The Pioneer Woman,” blogger and Food Network star Ree Drummond. The ad shows footage of Drummond in the kitchen and includes text that reads, “Her Gummies Reverse Types 1 & 2.”
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“Her Recipe Controls Sugar – 0 Meds Needed,” reads the caption on the video, which was published by a year-old page called “Food network in the kitchen.”
But Drummond has no connection to the product, and there is no evidence CBD reverses diabetes in humans. Diabetes experts told USA TODAY the claims in the video are false.
USA TODAY reached out to the Facebook page behind the ad for comment.
Weight loss only proven method of reversing diabetes
The claims in the advertisement are “entirely bogus,” according to Dr. Roy Taylor, a professor of medicine and metabolism at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in the United Kingdom. He told USA TODAY in an email there’s no known cure for Type 1 diabetes.
In contrast, it is possible for patients with Type 2 diabetes to go into remission under specific circumstances. But eating CBD gummies is not one of them.
Taylor’s research has shown Type 2 diabetes is caused by a small amount of excess fat inside the liver and pancreas. Decreasing this excess fat through weight loss is the only way to put diabetes in remission, he said.
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“The only way to get rid of Type 2 diabetes is to lose a substantial amount of weight –10% to 15% of body weight at diagnosis,” Taylor said. “That causes the fat level inside the organs to fall, and providing the condition has not been present for too long, blood sugar control can return to non-diabetic levels.”
CBD gummies have no comparable effect.
“I know of no credible evidence that CBD can reverse diabetes in human beings,” Dr. Jay Skyler, deputy director for clinical research and academic programs at the University of Miami Diabetes Research Institute, said in an email.
It is possible to delay the onset of symptoms in very young people, but only one drug has been shown to do that, Skyler said. The drug, teplizumab, has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Ad has no connection to Drummond
Drummond has nothing to do with the Facebook advertisement, which used footage of the television personality without permission, her lawyer told USA TODAY.
“Any CBD product marketing campaign that uses Ms. Drummond’s name or likeness, or that uses the Pioneer Woman brand, is fake and fraudulent,” Todd Bontemps, an intellectual property lawyer representing Drummond and her brand, wrote in an email.
This isn’t the first time the television personality has been the target of health product scams, as Lead Stories reported.
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In 2018, Drummond published a statement on Facebook warning fans not to buy weight loss pills supposedly endorsed by her. Two years later, it was CBD oil and Keto diet products.
“These types of online scams are particularly repugnant in that they are intentionally targeted to The Pioneer Woman user groups on social media sites like Facebook/Meta with the intent of not only duping, but also stealing from, unsuspecting consumers,” Bontemps said.
Our rating: False
Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that the Pioneer Woman launched CBD gummies that reverse Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Several diabetes researchers told USA TODAY there is no evidence CBD can cure the disease. And Drummond does not officially endorse any CBD products.
Our fact-check sources:
- Newcastle Magnetic Resonance Center, accessed Feb. 8, Reversing Type 2 Diabetes and ongoing remission
- Roy Taylor, Feb. 7, Email correspondence with USA TODAY
- Jay Skyler, Feb. 7, Email correspondence with USA TODAY
- Todd Bontemps, Feb. 8, Email correspondence with USA TODAY
- The Pioneer Woman – Ree Drummond, April 15, 2020, Facebook post
- The Pioneer Woman – Ree Drummond, July 23, 2018, Facebook post
- Lead Stories, Jan. 31, Fact Check: CBD Gummies Are NOT Endorsed By ‘Pioneer Woman’ Ree Drummond
- Pharmaceutical Technology, July 7, 2021, FDA declines to approve Provention Bio’s teplizumab for diabetes
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