Why Are People Buying Bear Bile?

According to the January 2019 issue of National Geographic, “A robust market for bear bile exists. In Asia bears are farmed for their bile, kept alive in small cages, with catheters inserted to drain their fluids.” The bears’ bile is purportedly so coveted because there are those who believe that, “chemicals that protect a bear’s organs from atrophying during hibernation could also sustain human organs…[some] researchers believe there are many more secrets to be revealed from bear bile, which is produced by the liver, stored in the gallbladder, and secreted as hormones into the bloodstream. They are taking aim at a range of therapies, including treatments for muscular dystrophy and bedridden patients who can lose half of their muscle mass in three weeks.”

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