MAT: A Therapy That Slows and Repairs Diabetic Complications
Metabolic Activation Therapy (MAT), also called cellular activation therapy or pulse insulin therapy, provides diabetic patients with significant symptom improvement.
The primary purpose of MAT is to improve the physical and chemical changes in the body that cause diabetic complications.
The Treatment Process
MAT is a once-per-week treatment for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. It involves six hours of intermittent intravenous insulin therapy (insulin delivered in pulses), plus oral glucose. Pulsed delivery sends more insulin to the liver than regular insulin injections do. The increased insulin stimulates liver cells to manufacture enzymes required to process and use dietary glucose.
Treatments are given in a doctor’s office or clinic. Patients receive MAT while they lounge in comfy chairs and watch TV, sleep, read or enjoy personal hobbies. They can get up and move about as needed. Between MAT sessions, people continue their usual glucose control regimens.
Why MAT Helps
The human body breaks down glucose and fatty acids for fuel. It typically relies on fatty acids for 70 to 80 percent of its fuel needs. Fatty acids require more oxygen to break down and become cellular fuel than glucose does. Because MAT allows the body’s organs to use more glucose for energy than usual, less oxygen is required. Functioning of the heart, skin, skeletal muscles and other organs is enhanced; damage repair and healing is facilitated.
10 Benefits of MAT
- Blood glucose is more easily controlled.
- Progression of diabetes-related kidney or eye disease is slowed.
- Hypoglycemia awareness is restored; fewer episodes of severe hypoglycemia occur.
- Blood pressure is improved.
- Wound healing is accelerated.
- Heart metabolism is enhanced.
- Peripheral neuropathy is significantly improved.
- Gastroparesis is significantly improved.
- Blackouts/dizziness owed to orthostatic hypotension stop.
- Severe blood glucose swings with brittle diabetes occur less frequently.
MAT treatments are weekly because one session’s effects last seven days. Using MAT, people can stabilize diabetic complications for years, preventing their progression. If weekly treatments are discontinued, improvements are gradually lost and complications return.
MAT was developed in the 1970s by researcher Dr. Thomas T. Aoki at Joslin Research Laboratory, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School. It is typically recommended only for those who continue having serious diabetes complications despite carefully following other approved treatments. Most MAT patients have type 1 diabetes, but some are diagnosed with type 2. Treatment for one year costs about $25,000.
Medicare and Medicaid do not pay for MAT treatments, citing insufficient evidence of therapeutic benefit. Insurance companies refuse to cover MAT although it prevents the high costs associated with diabetic complications such as hospitalizations, dialysis or surgery.
Lack of insurance coverage may be owed to the six-hour weekly delivery format and the necessity for ongoing treatments. It also takes months of MAT sessions to see measurable improvements. Physicians are reluctant to offer this time-intensive treatment since it is not reimbursed. People interested in MAT should contact the Aoki Diabetes Research Institute (adri.org).
Sources: Cutler, Michael, M.D. Forbidden Secrets From Nature’s Pharmacy To Reverse Diabetes and Blood Sugar Problems, Easy Health Options Publications, 2010.;Aoki Diabetes Research Institute; Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services