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Dr. Bill's Commentaries

There is no cure for diabetes   (September 27, 2009)

Once or twice a year, I get riled up by some bizarre claim that someone has found a cure for diabetes. This time, it was a claim that a product (which I will not name in this essay) "is a newly discoverd [sic] herbal formula which helps heal and cure Type II diabetes." The writer continues with the pseudoscientific claim that the "herbal supplement ... is a medicine to help cure and heal the diabetes condition by changing the shape of the beta cells back to normal." Notice several slippery and pseudoscientific statements in this quote: (1) that a herbal supplement is a medicine, (2) that changing the shape of the beta cells can be done, and (3) that changing the shape would somehow improve the function of the beta cells. He also conveniently ignores the generally accepted fact that type 2 diabetes is a disorder involving insulin resistance of peripheral tissues, as well as a problem with the pancreas providing enough insulin.

The author also states that the product "has been researched and discovered first at the Julia MacFarlane Diabetes Center at the University of Calgary in Calgary, Alberta, Canada." But Googling the product's name and the JMFDC at the same time only finds the single commentary that I'm so riled up about. And contradicting his "newly discovered" comment, the author adds "The Center has been working on its development for the last 20 years." (Which makes it even more surprising that there's no publications that I can locate about it in medical journals, even in the listing at the website of the company who makes the stuff.)

But there is a very interesting disclaimer at that website: "...neither Eastwood Bio-Medical Research Inc., its affiliated companies, its employees, its distributors, nor its personnel make any claims that the products manufactured by Eastwood Bio-Medical Research Inc cure, diagnose, or, prevent any diseases. Statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease." This disclaimer is very clear; the company is not claiming that the stuff is a cure.

There is no cure for diabetes. As I've said before, medications, herbs, or whatever simply can't reverse the aging process of middle-aged adults with type 2 diabetes, nor reverse the beta-cell loss of type 1 diabetes.

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Dr. Bill Quick began writing at HealthCentral's diabetes website in November, 2006. These essays are reproduced at D-is-for-Diabetes with the permission of HealthCentral.

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