A cure for type 1 diabetes! Prof Eli Lewis on a medical holy grail
Dr Eli Lewis, professor of clinical biochemistry and pharmacology at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, a public research university in Beersheba, Israel, may have stumbled across one of modern medicine’s most enduring holy grails: a safe, effective way to reverse type 1 diabetes. Lewis’s research focuses on the tissue damage that plays a role in type 1 diabetes, and which he says is often overlooked and under-studied. Back in 2003, Lewis began researching the role of inflammation in injured islets – tiny clusters of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas – and the effects of transfusions of an anti-inflammatory drug based on a protein the body produces naturally all the time, known as Alpha 1 Antitrypsin (AAT, or alpha1). AAT has so far been used mostly only to treat emphysema, but Lewis’s breakthrough research shows the protein’s promise via transfusion in reducing insulin dependence in type 1 diabetics, and in some cases actually reversing the condition completely, if caught early enough. He believes it may help type 2 diabetes, again if the disease is caught early enough, and supported with lifestyle change, including keeping carbohydrates low, which he says is essential for diabetics.
Lewis describes AAT as a form of ‘immuno-modulation’, and says its application goes beyond diabetes: US researchers are currently studying inflammatory bowel disease in patients; bone-marrow transplant prognosis is ‘phenomenal’ with AAT according to a Seattle trial; researchers are testing it in ischemic heart disease for diminished cardiac scar size; and it shows pr Continue reading