Scientist at centre of bear bile reports denies it’s a diabetes cure

15 November 2013

The scientist quoted in media coverage which claimed bear bile is a potential treatment for diabetes has made it clear his research should be used as strong evidence AGAINST bear bile use "for any purpose”.

Dr Gökhan Hotamısligil, geneticist at Harvard University School of Public Health and a co-author of the reported study, sought to correct reports in the National Geographic (“Bear Bile Could Stall Onset of Diabetes, Study Says”) and The Scientist: (“Bear Bile Prevents Diabetes in Mice”) by saying:

"It is important to clarify that our work has not used TUDCA which is based on bear bile. In fact, our work should be used as strong evidence against the use of bear bile for any purpose as it would not even be effective from a scientific and medical perspective.  Furthermore, there is absolutely no basis for even considering the use of bear bile as the source for any treatment or procurement of bile acids since many alternative sources that does not involve this cruel approach exist."

The statement from Dr Hotamısligil follows another from Animals Asia yesterday, referring to concern over misrepresentation in reporting on tests that clearly had not been carried out using bear bile.

Animals Asia founder Jill Robinson said:

“We are indebted to Dr Hotamısligil for putting this matter straight and we are hopeful that these well-respected publications will be willing to make the required corrections.  At a time when so much progress is being made to end the horrific practice of bear bile farming and to safeguard vulnerable species, the media must play its role in responsible reporting. In this instance there was never any suggestion from Harvard that bear bile had been used.”