3.1. Comparison of ELEOTIN with Chemical Hypoglycaemic Agents
ELEOTIN has a few advantages and disadvantages compared with available oral chemical drugs.
3.1.1. Advantages of ELEOTIN
The advantages of ELEOTIN in comparison with oral chemical hypoglycemic agents are as follows.
At first, ELEOTIN does not have any adverse side effects while most of oral hypoglycemic agents have. (For more details, see Appendix 1)
Secondly, ELEOTIN does not develop any resistance, while most chemical hypoglycemic agents do. In other words, the effect of ELEOTIN does not diminish even when one uses ELEOTIN for a long time.
Thirdly, ELEOTIN is safe for long term use or for the consumption of large quantity, while other chemical hypoglycemic agents often creates fatal consequences when taken in large quantities, unsuitable for long term use.
Fourthly, the beneficial effects of ELEOTIN seem to last for substantial periods, often as long as years after the termination of the usage, while chemical agents have only temporary effects on the control of blood glucose levels.
Fifthly, ELEOTIN seems to bring about the improvement of general health conditions for its users. Even though the general health promotion effects of ELEOTIN is hard to quantify, most of users report less fatigue, improved sleeping, better skin conditions, improved memory, and so on. No chemical agents bring about these benefits.
3.1.2. Disadvantages of ELEOTIN
There are certain disadvantages of ELEOTIN in comparison with other oral hypoglycemic agents.
Firstly, ELEOTIN's active ingredients are not yet known and they will be difficult to isolate in the near future. Considering that there are usually more than 200 secondary metabolites in a plant, and there are more than ten herbs and plants in the composition of ELEOTIN the possible combinations of active ingredients in ELEOTIN are of almost an infinite number. Even so, Eastwood believes they have a few strong candidates as to the primary active ingredients - a few versions of flavonoids and a few types of potassium salts.
Unidentified active ingredients, what statisticians refer to as stochastic explanatory variables, may create statistical problems such as biased and inefficient inferences. Our current statistical inferences presented in this report are quite safe from those problems. Also, the sale of ELEOTIN as a drug with clear therapeutic claims will not be possible until Eastwood solves this active ingredient identification.
This active ingredient problem is common to most of phytopharmaceutical medicines and fortunately people's attitudes toward these medicines are changing rapidly in recent days. After all, if a certain substance is safe for a long- term use and effective in the treatment of some serious diseases, the practical value of using the substance (without fully knowing what the active ingredients are) is something we should not ignore. There is a trade off between such practical value of using the substance for known efficacy and safety on the one hand, and the prudence of not using it until all the ingredients are fully known. We would like to point out that it is a matter of individual choice within regulatory environments, rather than a matter of scientific rules.
Secondly, because ELEOTIN's ingredients are all from natural herbs, the uniformity of ELEOTIN's efficacy is inherently limited. The location and timing of harvest, the conditions of storage after the harvest, etc. contributed to the lack of uniformity. The lack of uniformity adds to the difficulties of forming scientifically acceptable conclusions from the experiments and testimonies.
Thirdly, more often than not, the availability and the quality of a certain herbs are not sufficiently reliable. Some herbs are simply not available sometimes, and some herbs are dangerously contaminated due to the use of pesticides and harmful fertilizers.5 The procurement and the quality control of the material often increase the cost of the production prohibitively, endangering the feasibility of commercialization. By the year-end of 1998, there is going to be an agricultural project in a tropical area where some of the essential herbs for ELEOTIN are going to be grown organically in a controlled environment. This project will provide partial solutions to the problems of limited uniformity and limited bio-availability.
Fourthly, the method of taking ELEOTIN is still quite inconvenient to those people who did not grow up in the tradition of preparing oriental herb mix which invariably involves long hours of brewing. A few researchers argue that making ELEOTIN into a tablet form does, in fact, increase the efficacy, as well as, the convenience of the usage. Eastwood has studied the process of making ELEOTIN into a tablet form. This can be achieved through a spray dry process. However, Eastwood decided not to venture into forming any conclusions regarding the safety and efficacy of tablet form because they have not yet experimented with ELEOTIN in a tablet form long enough.
Fifthly, the analytic studies on ELEOTIN are still in their initial stages. Even though there are positive results defendable at high levels of statistical confidence, Eastwood still requires a huge sample size to procure a comfortable degree of freedom in statistical inference. In other words, when we deal with statistical analysis of such complex diseases as diabetes, we need to have a lot larger size of samples to arrive at the same level of statistical confidence. For now, we feel that these are promising results which warrant a larger scale study. Eastwood is expected to conduct a large scale study on ELEOTIN starting in December 1998.
3.2. Comparison of ELEOTIN with Traditional Hypoglycemic Treatment
We know that there are more than 1000 herbs which are used traditionally in various countries as hypoglycemic agents. However, we believe that ELEOTIN has certain advantages when compared with these traditional hypoglycemic treatments in general.
Firstly, for ELEOTIN there have been systematic studies on what modes of actions are involved both in the working of each individual herb and various combinations thereof, while most traditional hypoglycemic herbs are used just for their alleged overall hypoglycemic effects. The knowledge of the modes of actions allows us to minimize the dosage of ELEOTIN administration while maintaining the efficacy. Also, the same knowledge allows us use of ELEOTIN in conjunction with other therapies such as insulin injection and oral chemical hypoglycemic agents.
We strongly warn the danger of using certain herbs just for their overall and general hypoglycemic effects. Diabetes is a complex disease with many causes and mechanisms. Usage of certain herbs or any other substances for their overall hypoglycemic effects without minimal understanding of specific modes of actions runs the risk of over burdening certain parts of body. For example, when ß-cells are already strained in a severely diabetic patient, usage of herbs that promote insulin secretion will only aggravate the strains on the ß-cells. Knowledge of modes of action is essential for intelligent management and treatment of diabetes.
Secondly, the usage of ELEOTIN has been recorded and analyzed in a statistically systematic manner, while the knowledge of other traditional hypoglycemic herbs are mostly based upon folkloric traditions and oral anecdotes.
Especially, traditional herbs from a highly populated area such as India and China often come with a claim of a large number of satisfied patients. A typical claim is such as "87% of 300,000 patients are cured" etc. Such numbers should not overly impress us because the numbers themselves are seldom confirmable. To the best of our knowledge, as of April 1998, researchers of China and India are still searching for a treatment for diabetes. However, there are sometimes impressive empirical studies regarding some of the traditional herbs.
Thirdly, ELEOTIN is tested to be free of any toxicity or toxic substance, while many traditional herbs are either toxic or dangerously contaminated with pesticides and other harmful substances such as heavy metals. The methodologies of the tests are as follows:
* Standard Plate Count as described in Compendium of Methods for the Microbiological Examination of Foods, 2nd edition, 1984, Chapter 4.51, p66-82
* E. Colit- as described in Petri Firm-AOAC 991.14
* Samonella- as described in Compendium of Analytical Methods, HPB Methods of Microbiological Analysis of Foods 2, MFHPB- 20 September, 1978
* Staphylococcus aureus- as described in Compendium of Analytical Methods, HPB Methods of Microbiological Analysis of Foods, MFHPB- 21 July, 1985
* Yeast and Mold- as described in Standard Methods for Examination of Diary Products, 16th edition, 1992, 8.10, p.281-283.
* Meat Species ID.- as described in CO 16- Elisa-Tek cooked meat inspection kit.
* AA- Metal Analysis in food- as described in AOAC, 15th edition, 1990, 986.15, p.237-273.
* Pesticides- as described in Agricultural Canada, Food Production and Inspection, Laboratory Services Division, L.S.D. P-Pre-023-93(5)-FV, march 1993
The results of the above tests are all certified by proper regulatory agencies of Canada.
It is often claimed if a substances is natural, then it is safe and free from side-effects. Actually, nothing is further from the truth. Of about 1,000 herbs and plants with hypoglycemic effects, at least half are known to have toxicity in one form or another, and only a fraction (less than 5%) are known to be non toxic. Therefore, we should warn that the majority of traditional hypoglycemic treatments are not free of toxicity and side effects.6
However, the comparison of ELEOTIN with traditional hypoglycemic herbs is an evasive issue which does not justify a sweeping conclusion. All the advantages of ELEOTIN with respect to traditional herbs are of rather relative and temporary nature. Knowing that there is a massive amount of research activities being invested in the studies of traditional herbs these days, we can not exclude the possibility that these studies may produce, sooner or later, a herb or some combinations of herbs which provide a better treatment for diabetes than ELEOTIN.