Don't Take Diabetes Advice From Strangers

Maybe you have diabetes. Maybe your blood glucose isn’t that high yet, but it’s starting to rise.

You’ve read that losing weight is the best way to get your blood sugar down. And you’d like to shed those 15 or 25 extra pounds. Maybe you’ll start next week.

Then the online ad catches your eye. A “breakthrough”… “secrets the medical establishment doesn’t want you to see”…diabetes advice  from researchers with a “moral duty” to get the word out about their “miracle cure.”

That’s worth 30 bucks, right?

Perhaps you’ve seen ads like this one online.

diabetes advice

Or maybe you’ve stumbled on a website like this promoting diabetes advice.

diabetes advice

Or maybe spam about diabetes advice has hit your e-mail inbox.

diabetes-advice-3  diabetes advice

If you’re curious and click on the links, you’ll typically be treated to one of several long videos telling similar stories. A “courageous” medical researcher— sometimes he’s “David Pearson,” sometimes he’s “Kenneth Pullman,” sometimes he’s someone else—is “risking his career” to alert the public about a simple, natural, quick way to cure diabetes that drug companies are trying to suppress.

diabetes advice

The videos assure you that their cures treat the root cause of diabetes, are backed by dozens of studies, and will save thousands of lives. And they can be yours for about $30 or $40.

diabetes advice

Who’s behind the videos? It could well be a Boise, Idaho, company named ClickBank, which bills itself as “the world leader in performance marketing of digital products.” Among those products is ClickBank’s library of 50,000 courses and “cures.”

Where do the “digital products” come from? Maybe from you.


“Have you ever compiled or created useful information that is now just ‘collecting dust’ on your hard drive?” asks the company in a pitch for new material on its website. “ClickBank is the easy way to sell your digital product.” Easy is right. You don’t even have to disclose your real name to your prospective customers…or substantiate any claims you make.

If you don’t have anything to sell, you can become an “affiliate marketer” and hawk something from ClickBank’s extensive library. You simply set up a website—ones that feature phony product reviews do very well—or send out spam e-mails. Just make sure your websites or e-mails contain links to products from ClickBank’s library.

If someone bites, ClickBank collects a fee for handling the credit card transaction, then gives the affiliate marketer (that’s you) a nice chunk of what’s left.

diabetes advice

Diabetes booklets are among ClickBank’s hottest sellers. According to the website, some affiliate marketers rake in half a million dollars a month selling Diabetes Free.

And what are online shoppers offered when they click on one of the links for this diabetes advice?

In the case of Diabetes Free, a 121-page booklet (that you have to download and print) with a hodgepodge of advice on “how to treat the root cause of diabetes in as little as 14 days.”


For your $37 (“Retail Price: $197”), you’ll be urged to detoxify your liver with a cleanse, adopt a largely plant-based diet (with no dairy, and no sugar and fat at the same meal), and visualize yourself diabetes- free. You’ll also be taught how to make a Diabetes Free Powder (mostly from Chinese herbs), and you’ll be encouraged, among other things, to drink distilled water, use only “natural” household cleaning products, cut back on plastics, buy “natural” alternatives to prescription and OTC drugs, and get more house plants to detoxify the air.

And if you are pre-diabetic or have diabetes, and know all the risks of diabetes, including cognitive decline, you might be inclined to pay $37 for this information.

When we e-mailed the publisher, asking for proof that Diabetes Free’s advice works, we were referred to the 30 references that take up the last five pages. Not one of them was a test of what the booklet recommends.

Once we put Diabetes Free in our cart, but before we could check out, we were deluged with offers for other material—some (like music downloads) having nothing to do with diabetes—that could have added hundreds of dollars to the final bill.

Stop right there.

Take your advice from trusted sources like the American Diabetes Association, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Diabetes Education Program. If you do, you’ll find they all agree on the following advice for preventing and treating diabetes:

  • The best way to dodge diabetes is to lose (or not gain) extra pounds.
  • Do at least 30 minutes of brisk walking or other aerobic exercise every day. Experts also recommend strength training sessions two or three times a week.
  • Limit sweets, especially sugar-sweetened drinks. Even the naturally occurring sugars in 100% fruit juice may raise your risk.
  • Fill up half your plate with vegetables and only a quarter with (preferably whole) grains.
  • Eat leafy greens, whole grains, beans, and nuts to get enough magnesium.
  • Replace saturated and trans fats with unsaturated fats to lower the risk of heart disease.
  • Get the RDA for vitamin D (600 IU a day up to age 70 and 800 IU over 70) from supplements or foods fortified with vitamin D.

If you have diabetes, which of these suggestions has worked best for you? Let us know in the comments.

4 Replies to “Don't Take Diabetes Advice From Strangers”

    1. Nutrition Action Healthletter subscribers saw this is the May issue:

      The “gold standard” test is to see if a supplement or drug lowers hemoglobin A1c levels when pitted against a placebo. (A1c shows your average blood sugar over the past three months: 5.6 percent or less is normal, 6.5 percent or more means you have diabetes, and anything in between is prediabetes.)

      In a 1997 study of 150 people with type 2 diabetes in China, those who took 200 or 1,000 micrograms a day of chromium picolinate had lower A1c levels after four months than those who got a placebo.(2) Since then, however, chromium (including picolinate) has struck out in 7 of 8 studies—including all four from the United States or Europe—in a total of 476 people with type 2 diabetes who took 400 to 1,000 mcg a day or a placebo for at least three months. (3) And in a six-month Yale University study of 59 people with prediabetes, 500 and 1,000 mcg a day of chromium picolinate was no better at lowering A1c than a placebo. (4)

      (2) Diabetes 46: 1786, 1997.
      (3)World J. Diabetes 5: 160, 2014.
      (4) Endocr. Pract. 17: 16, 2011.

  1. Good recommendations. I would add- Please see a certified diabetes educator for current, evidence based information about diabetes.

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