03 Jan What Are Stem Cells And How Can They Regenerate Your Body?
Stem cell therapy has been increasingly studied in the past few years for its regenerative properties. But are they safe? Do they really work? Keep reading to learn more about stem cells for regenerating your body and whether this treatment is right for you.
What is stem cell therapy?
Stem cells are often referred to as the master cells of the body. This is because stem cells have the unique ability to generate cells with highly specialized functions, such as brain cells, heart muscle cells, and more. The body will use stem cells as necessary for repair and healing throughout life.
Stem cell therapy is created from stem cells grown in a lab. They are designed to create specific specialized cells that help treat illnesses, conditions, or injuries. Cells can be delivered to the body by injection or through infusion IV therapy.
Where do stem cells for regenerating your body come from?
Stem cell therapies can be developed with a few different types of cells, including:
Embryonic stem cells
Embryonic stem cells are sourced from the inner cell mass of a blastocyst – an embryo of 150-200 cells that has not yet implanted in the uterus. The advantage of embryonic stem cells is that they can transform into more specialized cell types than stem cells from an adult.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs)
MSCs come from the stroma, a connective tissue that encases inner organs and tissues of the body. These cells can create new bone, fat, and cartilage cells, making them ideal to treat a wide range of health concerns.
Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS)
iPS can be grown from either adult or embryonic tissue. Sample cells are extracted, then encouraged to reproduce without specializing in a controlled culture known as a stem cell line. Though embryonic stem cells were traditionally considered easier to grow for therapeutic purposes, scientists have made progress with growing adult stem cells in recent years.
The study of stem cells offers valuable insights. By watching stem cells mature, researchers can gain a better understanding of how diseases and other health conditions develop. Additionally, stem cells can be used to test new drugs for quality and safety prior to them being used in human trials.
Are there different types of stem cells?
Stem cells are categorized based on their ability to differentiate into different cell types.
- Totipotent: Totipotent cells can produce all possible cell types. Zygote stem cells fall into this category, which is considered the most potent type of stem cell.
- Pluripotent: Pluripotent cells can turn into almost every type of cell and are sourced from embryonic cells.
- Multipotent: Multipotent cells have the ability to divide into cells of a similar type. MSCs fall into this category.
- Oligopotent: Oligopotent cells are able to differentiate into a limited number of cell types. Stem cells from an adult lymphoid or myeloid are oligopotent.
- Unipotent: Unipotent stem cells can only produce cells that are the same type as themselves. Adult muscle stem cells are an example of unipotent stem cells.
Generally, the more versatile a stem cell is, the more potential it has for therapeutic use.
What does stem cell therapy do?
Stem cells have a number of uses due to their regenerative properties.
Scientists are studying how stem cells can be used for a variety of treatments, including:
- Blood disease treatment: Hematopoietic stem cells are frequently used to treat diseases such as sickle cell anemia, leukemia, and other immunodeficiency disorders. These stem cells, found in blood and bone marrow, are able to produce any type of blood cell, enabling improved function.
- Brain disease treatment: Studies are ongoing to treat conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s with stem cell therapy. The regenerative properties of stem cells could result in damaged brain tissue being replenished, offering relief from symptoms and preventing further damage.
- Cardiovascular disease treatment: Studies show that stem cell therapy can help repair heart and muscle tissue.
- Cell deficiency therapy: Stem cell therapy is being studied as a treatment for people with type I diabetes. It is hoped that stem cells can replace those insulin-producing cells that were destroyed by the immune system.
- Tissue engineering and regeneration: Tissue regeneration is the most useful application of stem cells. Stem cells are already being used to create new skin tissue for burn victims. Stem cell therapy has also shown to aid in recovery for knee conditions after surgery, stimulating cartilage regeneration and relieving pain. Stem cells are also being utilized in tissue engineering, which involves helping the body heal and adapt to the use of biomaterials. The most exciting aspect of stem cells for regenerating your body may be in organ regeneration, which could help solve the shortage of organs available for donation for those who need transplants.
Human regeneration occurs at three levels:
- Molecular: the building blocks of the body such as carbohydrates, DNA, and fats.
- Cellular: cell structures responsible for the growth and reproduction of cells in the body, such as neurons or axons.
- Tissue: blood, bone, muscle, and skin cells.
Stem cell therapy works at all three levels to help repair damaged tissue and stimulate growth of new tissue to improve function.
Does stem cell therapy really work?
Stem cell therapy fuels the body with stem cells that can perform the same functions as damaged tissues, aiding in repairing or replacing them.
These benefits can address a number of health concerns, including:
- Supports brain health: Stem cell therapy can promote tissue repair and may stop disease progression in conditions like Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis. It can help improve cognitive function and mental clarity. Stem cell therapy has also shown promise in supporting recovery from stroke and dementia.
- Promotes healthy metabolic function: Stem cell therapy helps optimize your metabolism, helping you build healthy muscle tone, increase energy, and reach weight loss goals.
- Reduces inflammation and chronic pain: Symptoms of conditions like rheumatoid arthritis can be relieved by stem cell therapy, which can reduce inflammation and help suppress overactive immune response.
- Promotes tissue regeneration: Injury, illness, or chronic conditions can cause damage or loss of cartilage and other connective tissues in joints and nearby bone. Stem cells help stimulate repair and regeneration of these tissues to help advance healing for those with knee conditions and other health concerns. This is also evident in studies demonstrating the benefits of stem cells in dentistry. Stem cells were shown to stimulate the regeneration of dental pulp and bone, with little to no adverse effects.
- Strengthens and regulates immune health: Stem cell therapy can be used to help regulate overactive immune response and strengthen immune response for those with certain conditions or diseases.
What is stem cell therapy for Covid-19?
MSCs have been studied since the outbreak of the pandemic as a treatment for Covid-19.
Stem cell therapy for Covid-19 patients has been found to:
- Reduce severe inflammatory response
- Increase lung function
- Repair damaged lung tissue and protect lungs from further damage
- Help relieve pulmonary fibrosis (scarred lung tissue)
One study of 7 patients showed that all participants’ symptoms had cleared 2-4 days after receiving stem cells for regenerating your body, and there was significant improvement in lung function.
Are there other options for Covid-19 treatments?
If stem cell therapy is not the right choice for you and you are looking for treatments to address Covid-19 concerns, antibody treatments may be a suitable alternative. EVUSHELD is a preventative monoclonal antibody therapy designed to offer long-lasting protection against Covid-19.
These monoclonal antibody IV treatments offer support to the immune system for those who have tested positive for Covid-19. This treatment reduces the likelihood of hospitalization due to severe symptoms and shortens recovery time. It is especially valuable for those at high risk of hospitalization who have been infected.
Does stem cell therapy have any side effects?
The side effects and contraindications of stem cell therapy can vary based on how they are delivered and the type of treatment. Generally, stem cell therapy is delivered with a needle, either by injection or intravenously (IV). Both of these methods come with a small risk of infection at the injection site.
Side effects of intravenous delivery include:
- Air embolism
- Blood clots
- Vein damage
These risks can be greatly reduced by ensuring treatments are administered efficiently and in accordance with proper hygiene protocols by a licensed and trained healthcare professional.
In addition to these, there are several other risks to consider:
- People at high risk of developing cancer should also avoid intravenous stem cell therapy as it can suppress the immune system’s response to cancer cells. To be clear, the therapy does not cause cancer, but it can make it easier for cancerous growths to develop.
- People with rheumatoid arthritis should avoid getting stem cells injected directly into joint tissue. This can cause the development of synovial fibroblasts, which are cells that contribute to tissue and cartilage damage, as well as joint inflammation.
- Stem cell contamination, usually the result of improper handling of cells, can also cause infections. Embryonic stem cells have additional risks, including irregularities in growth or specialized cell production. They may also be rejected by the body, a result of the immune system attacking stem cells as invaders. Stem cell treatment may also simply fail to function as desired.
Why is stem cell therapy bad?
Stem cell research has incited much controversy over ethical concerns for several reasons, including:
Use of embryonic stem cells
In order to harvest embryonic stem cells, a human blastocyst must be destroyed, preventing a fertilized egg from developing. In more recent years, researchers have made much more progress in adult stem cell research, such as mesenchymal stem cells. These stem cells are typically collected from umbilical cord blood and do not require a blastocyst to be destroyed.
Mixing of human and animal DNA
In order to conduct research on stem cells, human stem cells are often inserted into animals. Some worry this could result in a partially human organism. In the U.S., federally-funded research can only create or work with embryonic stem cell lines created prior to August 2001 due to federal law.
How can I make sure stem cell therapy is the right choice for me?
Stem cell therapy is not for everyone. A responsible provider will conduct a thorough consultation with you before moving forward with treatment. They will ask questions about your family medical history, personal medical history, and the concerns you are trying to address with stem cell therapy. You should confirm your provider is a licensed and trained healthcare professional.
Additionally, you should investigate the lab providing the stem cell therapy to your provider. Although there are no FDA-approved stem cell therapies at this time, the laboratory in which they are processed should be FDA-approved. Lastly, there are quality guidelines (known as “cGMP” for current good manufacturing practice) that the lab should be following to ensure treatments are safe.
Get Mesenchymal Stem Cells For Regenerating Your Body At Home With Concierge MD
If you want to experience the regenerative benefits of stem cell therapy, contact Concierge MD. We are a licensed, mobile healthcare provider of a wide range of services, including intravenous stem cell therapy. Our health experts will conduct a consultation and determine if stem cell therapy is the right choice for you.
Once a treatment course is determined, a registered nurse (RN) will come to your home and administer the IV treatment. During the 60-minute session, the RN will remain onsite to monitor progress and ensure you are comfortable. Follow up questions can be addressed using our telehealth services, allowing you to get answers without having to schedule an appointment in person.
Concierge MD is proud to offer high quality health care in the comfort and privacy of your home. Reach out today!