Firm claims diabetes cure

A legal scuffle may be in the future for the University of Calgary after officials denied allegations the school covered up a cure for diabetes.

The controversy arose when well-known infomercial spokesman Kevin Trudeau published his best-selling book, Natural Cures “They” Don’t Want You To Know About. Trudeau cites herbal remedies for over 50 specific diseases, which he says are being suppressed by pharmaceutical companies and government agencies. On page 349, Trudeau says, “The natural cure for diabetes is a combination of herbs researched at the U of C for over 20 years.”

A statement released by the Julia McFarlane Diabetes Research Centre at the U of C called the information in Trudeau’s book inaccurate and misleading, and said that there have been no clinical trials conducted at the U of C in the past 20 years on herbal remedies for diabetes. Clinical trials are used to understand the side effects a remedy may have on humans.

Director of the JMDRC Dr. Pere Santamaria elaborated on the statement.

“We have conducted some research on herbal compounds, but no clinical trials were done,” he said. “You cannot approve using the extract until the proper procedure has been completed.”

That research was licensed to Eastwood Bio-Medical Research Inc., headed by chief executive Dr. Youngsoo Kim. The company has patented the research for the natural remedy Eleotin. Their website claims Eleotin was first developed at the JMDRC at the U of C and is effective in improving the blood glucose levels in diabetes patients.

“When we got the technology license from the U of C, their documents said that it would cure diabetes,” said Kim, referring to the herbal compounds used in the first version of Eleotin developed by his company. “On the basis of their claim we made these investments.”

Kim was Trudeau’s source for the information published in his book.

“The products were interpreted by a very popular infomercial star and all of a sudden [U of C officials] begin to say there is no cure,” Kim said.

Santamaria said Eleotin has no relationship to the previous research done at the U of C.

“The compounds [that were licensed] are not part of what the company sells,” he said.

Kim is pursuing legal action against the university.

“Every right-minded person will say that EBMR was claiming the cure and that EBMR was lying,” said Kim. “But it was the U of C, we are suing the U of C. I am not going to stay silent.”

Lawyers for the U of C would not comment on legal issues with Kim. However, the school’s legal counsel has asked Trudeau to cease and desist from further associating the U of C with the claims in his book.

In the book, Trudeau says he is forbidden by the United States Federal Trade Commission to name the cure by brand name. The FTC also banned Trudeau from appearing in or producing future infomercials as a result of publicly making false and unsubstantiated claims. Trudeau maintains in his book that the herbal remedy works, and says, “[the cure] is called by the Asian Diabetic Association the final cure for diabetes.”

Santamaria stressed it isn’t possible to cure diabetes with any herbal extract.

“This claim is groundless,” he said. “It has no scientific foundation.”

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