Meet Diabetes Researcher Dr. Eli Lewis and ask him about AAT

If any of you are like me, you sign up for google news alerts on diabetes and watch the streams of potential cures every week! This week, there was a lot of breakthrough miracles, but I wonder how many of these will translate to the human body. When something is achieved in the mouse model, it will take a couple more years before it comes to human trial. For those of us with diabetes that is where the real answer rests!

For many, hope is a very tenuous word. All of us have had that feeling of hope dashed on the rocks of human truth. This past Easter made 40 years of living with diabetes and how many times I have been hopeful to find out it was a miss. I've never hinged my health on the hope of a cure, but instead I have focused on the day to day measures we need to stay well! What keeps my faith for a cure is that each miss narrows the focus!

My dad was a founding member of JDRF, and his key responsibility was to use his job as a TWA pilot to find researchers in every country and find out what they know. 40 years ago, they thought that a cure would be a vaccine against the coxsackie b4 virus. They knew that blood was a faster method to controlling blood sugar in diabetes and that the future for people living with diabetes was tight control. Today, we have blood glucose meters, meters for reading ketones, smaller gauged needles and lancets, we have rdna insulin, we have pump technology, we have continuous glucose monitors and we have vastly more knowledge on the microbiology of diabetes, type 1, type 2, gestational and double diabetes. And everyday we experience these advancements and hope is renewed!

One thing I've struggled with is the accuracy of the information! I have spent the last year trying to reach out to researchers and making my way into events to hear it from the researchers themselves! Last year, I listened to Dr. Todd Zion from SmartInsulin, TWICE! It is the difference between a google news alert with mostly cloudy information and knowing exactly what stage the research is in, and more importantly, if it even applies to you!

A month ago, JDRF Capitol chapter had a co sponsored evening, with American Association of Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel, to hear Dr. Eli Lewis discuss his Islet Transplantation using the drug AAT.
What started as something that did not apply to me, changed and become something, I think, all of us living with diabetes ought to think about!

What is the correlation between AAT and type1 and type2? AAT is a protein our body produces called Alpha 1 Antitrypsin, it is an anti inflammatory. What Dr. Lewis has discovered is that AAT if often low or inactive in people with diabetes. And if AAT is low, it can be injected and reverse the condition in some cases!

I was so intrigued, I asked Dr. Lewis if he had the time to write a blog for HealthCentral and to my surprise he said yes! More amazing, he is answering questions! The animal trials for AAT will by pass FDA approval because it is an approved drug that has been on the market for 2 decades. Human trials are set to begin soon and it may be worth looking into!

One story Dr. Lewis shared was a father called him and wanted his newly diagnosed t1 son tested for AAT. After several discussions the father decided to do AAT therapy, and to everyone's surprise, the son went off insulin and has been off insulin for over a year! To read Dr. Lewis's blog, and he is responding to questions, click this link:

I reached out to Manny to share this with my TuD family, because this is such an opportunity! And I want to thank Manny for understanding the opportunity we all have!

Fantastic news and thankyou for sharing. I had been hearing of salsalate, a generic aspirin-like drug, to reduce inflammation and lower blood glucose mainly for T2. This AAT is good news.

I’ve seen a lot of advances since I was diagnosed 30 years ago, with regards to treatment. 30 years ago we didn’t have the DCCT: there was no proof at all that controlling bg’s would help at all in the long term. 30 years ago home bg testing was not at all common. Today MDI and pumps are common - nobody was doing these 30 years ago. There have been many fundamental changes in the way diabetics think about not just control, but life.

But with regards to a cure… I have a hard time seeing how anything might help me. Just my cynicism. I will be happy to be proved wrong!