Stuff that occurs to me

All of my 'how to' posts are tagged here. The most popular posts are about blocking and private accounts on Twitter, also the science communication jobs list. None of the science or medical information I might post to this blog should be taken as medical advice (I'm not medically trained).

Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmail DOT com

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Saturday, 15 June 2013

Even more surprised to see a Matt Traverso ad for 'How to reverse diabetes' on Facebook

Just spotted an advert on my Facebook page for a way to reverse diabetes. I've pointed out to Facebook that this advert (or a suspiciously similar one) has already been 'banned' in the UK - ie an adjudication was upheld against it and it must not be shown in its current form again.

In case people with diabetes are Googling to find out information about an e-book on the topic I hope they'll find this.

Save your money, the advert is full of nonsense about acids and alkalis that betrays some confused thinking about physiology as well. The person or people behind the book, Matt Traverso, has / have already had two adjudications upheld against him / them for misleading advertising about diabetes and also Alzheimer's.

This is the offending website for diabetes http://www.reverse-diabetes-today[dot]com/ (replace [dot] with a dot for link to work).

For an example of how spectacularly wrong the advert is here's a sentence that demonstrates a lack of awareness of the different ways in which Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes develop:

"If you don’t stop the attacks on your pancreas‚ you develop type 2 and eventually type 1 diabetes!"

No, Type 1 diabetes is largely an autoimmune condition. The immune system starts attacking the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin and as the cells die off the person's blood glucose levels rise. Type 2 diabetes usually begins with insulin resistance. There's plenty of insulin and sufficient cells in the pancreas to produce it but the rest of the body's organs aren't responding appropriately, so even though there's enough insulin to do the job of normalising glucose levels it's not able to do it and so glucose levels rise.

I say largely because there are obviously people whose diabetes doesn't fit neatly into these categories (some people have MODY - maturity onset diabetes of the young, or LADA - latent autoimmune diabetes in adults and there are other forms of diabetes that are also caused by a very specific genetic change).

People with Type 2 diabetes may move from managing their diabetes with diet / activity and perhaps pills to diet / activity and insulin (and possibly pills as well) - but they still have Type 2 diabetes. I'm prepared to accept that many people are confused by this (I've spoken to hundreds who are) and it's not too surprising given that diabetes used to be classified as 'insulin dependent' and 'insulin independent'. However, as far as I'm concerned this confusion is inexcusable in anyone trying to claim the status of a healthcare information provider for people with diabetes.

The website also makes some very grand claims about curing diabetes in three weeks and references as well as confusing 'normal' blood glucose levels with 'not having diabetes'. There's undoubtedly a great deal that a healthy diet can do to help glucose levels, as well as blood fats, but normal levels doesn't necessarily mean 'cure', particularly if the complications of diabetes are already underway.

It's one of those things where there's some generally sensible lifestyle advice (eat fruit and veg, move about a bit, don't survive on processed foods) that is then overlaid with some vaguely mystical nonsense that sounds sciencey, and presumably makes the advice a bit more marketable.

"Dr. Young is an American microbiologist and nutrition scientist and known as one of the top research scientists in the world. His findings are currently sending shockwaves throughout the scientific community."

This bit is rather comical given his history. Young is also an advocate of live blood analysis which appears to be a bogus diagnostic technique to help you find out how many herbal supplements you need to buy.

Here are two Advertising Standards Authority adjudications against Matt Traverso's adverts:

Matt Traverso t/a Vital Life Education
A website offering a book called "The Alzheimer's-Reversing Breakthrough" stated "Discover The Truth About Alzheimer's That Doctors And Pharmaceutical Companies Don't Want You To Know About 'At...
Date: 11 May 2011
Decision: Upheld

Matt Traverso t/a Vital Life Education Claims on a website, viewed on 13 April 2011, for a book entitled “How to reverse Diabetes”. The ad was headed "The Diabetes-Reversing BreakthroughTM Don't Even Think About Taking More...
Date: 3 August 2011
Decision: Upheld


  1. Anonymous has left a comment with which I generally agree, however as I'm legally responsible for any defamatory content posted here (because I now moderate all comments) I've decided not to post it, but yes, indeed :)


  2. Yeah. Here's a little tip! Why pay for a book when all this information is online for free? Secondly, if this does in fact cure diabetes, which it does not, because what you fail to say, is that you must change your diet, and stay on that diet. you cant go back to eating the junk again. And if its a cure, why is this doctor selling it? does this not violate his hypocratic oath to save lives?
    People take the time research foods that reduce blood sugar levels. change your diet, look online, all the information in this book, is online already.
    I was diagnosed with type two diabetes last year. refused metformin from my doctor, researched online to discover my blood sugar levels were at risk of developing type 2 not that i was, changed my diet, researched and learned on my own.
    Here is another tip, your organs don't repair themselves. once cells are damaged, they dont heal. so your level of damage if minor, early on, maybe sufficient to trigger your insulin production, but also known that other organs also can produce insulin, something that can compensate for your pancreas.
    good luck,

    1. Other organs don't produce insulin. Also, since about half of people newly diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes already have some degree of complications already getting their glucose levels normalised doesn't constitute a 'cure' as damage done may not be fixable, though undoubtedly huge improvements, and my comment is not meant to minimise importance of good glucose control! Also blood pressure, blood fats important too.

  3. Thank you for providing this information! I hope people who are like me and searching for help with this debilitating disease, will take the time to do some research and find this article before wasting yet more money on scams.

  4. Everyone might like to know that Dr Robert Young mentioned in the piece above (not a medical doctor, he has a PhD from an unaccredited and closed-down diploma mill 'college') was recently arrested, more at and also here on my blog

  5. Hey. Nice work. Two interesting subjects: quacks and diabetes. Both equally pleasant. Thanks for doing the legwork on this guy.

  6. "Young is also an advocate of live blood analysis which appears to be a bogus diagnostic technique to help you find out how many herbal supplements you need to buy"

    What a narrow minded view you have of Dr Young and his work!!! Read the article you refer to above for the flow of testimonials on him which probably led to the blog owner closing off comments.

    l am still yet to respond correctly on my blog.

    1. Well, live blood analysis is flat out nonsense so it is indeed a bogus diagnostic technique. Two practitioners in the UK have been fined large sums of money and several have been sanctioned by the UK's Advertising Standards Authority.

      I don't know the current status of Robert O Young's arrest and whether this will go to trial or what the outcomes might be but it's clear that he's been involved in quite a wide variety of unconventional treatments and diagnostic tools - it just so happens that this time he's crossed the line in that US state (according to what is permitted, which varies across the US).

      According to the 24 January press release from the Medical Board of California ( Mr Young has been "for conspiring to practice medicine without a license and multiple counts of grand theft."

      As the PDF notes "Young is the author of “The ph Miracle,” a diet designed to “alkalinize the body.” However, Young took it a step too far when he went beyond advocating dietary changes and began using intravenous treatments on patients housed at his avocado ranch in Valley Center" - silly as alkalinising diets are (do people really have no idea that the stomach secretes hydrochloric acid?!) they're not particularly illegal as long as ridiculous claims aren't made or no-one gets hurt. But when someone starts invasive treatment which they're not licensed to give, it doesn't generally end well.

      I do hope you understand that testimonials do not provide the sort of information that would be useful for someone to assess whether or not a treatment is safe or effective. That's really quite a crucial thing in understanding evidence.

  7. Someone's sent a comment suggesting that they'd paid $1500 for a herbal cure for Type 1 diabetes. This appears to be a spam comment (they said it worked, but it's clearly nonsensical) - anyway I'll pass the info on to Trading Standards. I doubt there's much they can do in this particular case ($ suggests not UK anyway) but it may be useful to get a sense of how widespread this nonsense is. Pleasingly a lot of regulatory bodies are really cracking down on scam treatments, so I suppose now's the time to report stuff if you've not done so before.

  8. In my humble opinion, there is no such thing as diabetes cure. I am blessed with type 2, and even if I watch my diet, exercise, drink my half a gallon water a day, avoid stress etc, and then miraculously my blood glucose level and the A1C test both drop down to the normal levels, this doesn't mean I've snapped out of it. I still have my type 2 diabetes that I will hopefully cope with good.

    I would never pay $1500 or so to whoever sells me this carp. This is a bunch of hot air, some people are just after making money at any cost, so they'll spin you a tall tale and you swallow the hook, the line and the sinker by paying for it. And then comes a big disappointment.

    Good luck

  9. Hmm. There is a cure for type 2 diabetes. Published June or July 2011
    but check it our for yourself.
    Involves 6 weeks of drastic calorie control (they label it energy consumption) plus a small percentage of fresh food.
    Go for it!

    1. Not quite, that was a small study of 11 people who'd had Type 2 diabetes for only a few years and who were followed up very closely for a few months. The paper is here, I wrote about it here

      It is *not* a cure-all but I've no disagreement that weight management and healthy eating can make an enormous difference to anyone with diabetes.

      More info about the weight loss reversal in (some) people with Type 2 diabetes from the team behind the paper here

  10. There are always people trying to leave comments on this blog telling us about some fake diabetes cure - I post them here with contact details removed to prevent anyone wasting money on these scams.

    "maria susan is my name; i had suffered Diabetes for several years ago. My sugar level was cas high as anything you can think about. i looked for how to get rid of this diabetes for a long period of time, but could not found any solution. Though i have always believed on herbal medicine, but was never chanced to look for any because of my work. But not too long i saw some good news on the internet on how a herbal doctor cured so many persons of various diseases, and viruses. So i also decided to contact the doctor those people talked about he is by the name [fake doctor]. I emailed him, and i explained my problem to him, he said he has the cure for diabetes and i decided to give him a try because there is no harm in trying. So i started the process, and he prepared some herbs and sent it to me here in my country, so i began to use it, and behold it worked for me like a magic. I am happy to say today i am diabetes free, and my sugar level is back to normalcy. Please if you also have same, and or similar problem please rush to contact [fake doctor] before it becomes too late for you. His email is [fake doctor] you can whatsApp his number on [phone number]"

  11. Well it's been several years since I've had an anonymous spam comment trying to promote a diabetes cure but here's one. I've redacted the website and company name for obvious reasons.



    My son was diagnosed diabetes 2008. He is in his late 30’s. He urinate a lot, usually during the night and his blood sugar was 600. I do not know where he could have inherited it. Since then I have worked on finding a good way to control it or reverse it. and I was introduced to [REDACTED] and ever seem My son started using [REDACTED] I purchased online from [REDACTED] November last year. After 5 weeks of usage, his diabetes was totally reversed, blood sugar now normal and his last A-1C was 4.0 perfect. To know more about [REDACTED] visit www.[REDACTED].com


Comment policy: I enthusiastically welcome corrections and I entertain polite disagreement ;) Because of the nature of this blog it attracts a LOT - 5 a day at the moment - of spam comments (I write about spam practices,misleading marketing and unevidenced quackery) and so I'm more likely to post a pasted version of your comment, removing any hyperlinks.

Comments written in ALL CAPS LOCK will be deleted and I won't publish any pro-homeopathy comments, that ship has sailed I'm afraid (it's nonsense).