Fact Check: Dr. Oz Does NOT Promote Gummy Cure To 'Clean Blood Vessels' -- Or For Any Other Purpose

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: Dr. Oz Does NOT Promote Gummy Cure To 'Clean Blood Vessels' -- Or For Any Other Purpose Fake Promotion

Did Dr. Mehmet Oz promote a gummy cure to "clean out your blood vessels"? No, that's not true: For years the celebrity Dr. Oz has been the subject of false promotional advertising using his name and likeness to sell products, and he has been outspoken about the problem, warning his audience to avoid the scams. Several video clips showing Oz have been altered and a false audio track promoting gummies has been added. Responding to Lead Stories about such bogus promotions, Oz described them as "fraudulent uses of my name, likeness, and my voice."

One such promotional video post was published by the Facebook page Omen XIII on December 1, 2023 (archived here). It opened:

๐ƒ๐ซ. ๐Ž๐ณ: "๐‚๐ฅ๐ž๐š๐ง ๐›๐ฅ๐จ๐จ๐ ๐ฏ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฌ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ค๐ž๐ฒ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ ๐ž๐ญ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ซ๐ข๐ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐Ÿ—๐ŸŽ% ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐œ๐ก๐ซ๐จ๐ง๐ข๐œ ๐๐ข๐ฌ๐ž๐š๐ฌ๐ž๐ฌ. ๐“๐ก๐š๐ญ'๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ฒ ๐ˆ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ง๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ ๐ฌ๐ญ๐จ๐ฉ ๐ฌ๐š๐ฒ๐ข๐ง๐ : ๐ข๐Ÿ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฐ๐š๐ง๐ญ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฅ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ, ๐œ๐ฅ๐ž๐š๐ง ๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐›๐ฅ๐จ๐จ๐ ๐ฏ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฌ."

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:


(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu Dec 7 17:22:43 2023 UTC)

The video shows Oz speaking to a host on a television station set with an illuminated backdrop with the channel 6 and NBC peacock logo. A chyron for Fox News Channel is displayed at the lower edge of the frame with the caption:


The fabricated Dr. Oz voiceover, which has been added to this video, says:

It can cost tens of thousands of dollars to deep clean your blood vessels and restore optimal blood health. But a new five dollar cure will deep clean your blood vessels in days and this is essential for anyone over the age of 40. Say goodbye to high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Take just two of these gummies daily to restore optimal heart, health and youth.

Lead Stories conducted a Google search for the phrase, "NBC channel 6 Dr. Oz" (archived here) and was able to locate the segment posted on YouTube on January 3, 2019, titled, "Dieting Wrong? Dr. Oz Talks Right Way To Lose Weight," which aired on NBC 6 South Florida. The moment in the segment (pictured below) that appears in the falsified gummy promotion appears at the 1:14 mark. At this moment in the video Oz is not talking about cleaning veins and arteries, he is discussing a weight-loss strategy. He says:

Let's flip when you eat on its head. Eat your dinner for breakfast, eat a reasonable sized lunch, your happy hour should be your dinner -- a very small meal. And by three o'clock you should be done with your carbs. You're basically becoming a little keto overnight.


(Source: YouTube screenshot taken on Thu Dec 07 19:28:10 2023 UTC)

Lead Stories reached out by email to Oz for comment and he responded on December 7, 2023. He wrote:

Thank you for contacting me, the clips you have identified are, in fact, fraudulent uses of my name, likeness, and my voice. Despite years of efforts I've made to prevent the proliferation of fake ads using my name and likeness, these ads continue to spread across the internet, as organic content and as fake ads. The advent of AI has led to even more egregious efforts to manipulate my likeness to dupe consumers. The websites and companies being paid to run these ads must start sharing the names of the fraudsters so that we can stop them. Dr. Mehmet Oz, Professor Emeritus, Columbia University

Oz has spoken out about this situation, if not the specific ad that is the focus of this fact check, for years. On February 28, 2017, he wrote an article, "The Dangerous Spread Of Fake Ads" in the Huffington Post, describing the origins of the problem, which he said at that time had been going on for a decade. This was followed by his contributor article on November 19, 2017, titled, "FTC Crushes Fake Ad Scammer Who Targeted Dr. Oz and Other Celebs," with Oz stating:

While we continuously warn our viewers about these illegal product ads, many people still fall victim to these dubious sites because these scams look legitimate and frequently offer 'free trials' only to continuously bill your credit cards for hundreds of dollars for fake and potentially harmful products. I've been fighting this battle since my days on the Oprah Winfrey show over 10 years ago. Our aggressive legal efforts to thwart these advertisers led to no meaningful financial penalties due to the balkanized and covert structure of the illegal ad system, so this FTC ruling is a remarkable endorsement of our arguments.

Examples (pictured below) from the pages Omen XIII and Dr. Kenzie Ramsey show a variety of promotional videos active on Facebook at the time of writing. These ads use fake voiceovers and altered footage from Dr. Oz appearances.


(Source: Lead Stories composite image with Facebook screenshots taken on Thu Dec 07 20:23:08 2023 UTC)

A video ad posted by the page Dr. Kenzie Ramsey begins with a scene of a fistfight in a TV studio amphitheater (below left), and cuts to Fox News host Sean Hannity. The altered Hannity voiceover says:

An attempt on the life of a doctor on the air. The Dr. Oz came to tell about a new innovative tool that allows you to clean blood vessels and normalize blood pressure in a few days. Who is against this medical progress and why?

The video then cuts to what appears to be a badly bruised Oz (below center) speaking about his new remedy. The voice of Dr. Oz is fake and the video image has been altered to make his face appear bruised. In reality the opening scene of this video was not an attack on Oz but a fight between two journalists on the set of a Polish TV show as reported in the Daily Mail on April 27, 2017. The video clip of Oz speaking came from a June 17, 2014, Senate hearing where Oz was asked to testify. He was not bruised and he was not promoting a method of cleaning blood vessels. He was testifying at a hearing on weight-loss scams (PDF of his full written testimony is here) where some of his own endorsements of diet products (which were not gummies) were included in the scrutiny.


(Source: Lead Stories composite image with Facebook and Time.com screenshots taken on Thu Dec 07 20:23:08 2023 UTC)

On February 17, 2021, a "Dr. Phil" episode was shared on YouTube as a series of short segments (Part 1 begins here). At the 1:36 mark in Part 4 titled, "Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz Speak to Women Scammed by Fake Ads," Dr. Phil McGraw asks Dr. Oz, "How do you know that it's not you and I?" regarding ads for CBD gummies. Oz responds:

We don't actually sell products like CBD. And so there is no competing entity that can come out and say, 'Wait a minute, we're the real CBD from Dr. Phil!' and so there's a vacuum that's created, and these guys fill it.

Additional fact checks about false endorsements and misleading ads for gummies can be found at Leadstories.com.

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  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


Read more about or contact Sarah Thompson

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