is a hot topic, with much controversy surrounding
the use of . How would you like to by-pass all the
moral issues and get the benefits of your own stem cells without any
The following four questions will provide you with an introduction
to Stem Cells and Stem Cell Health covered in the report.
The defines a stem cell in this way:
“Stem cells have the remarkable potential to develop into many different
cell types in the body. Serving as a sort of repair system for the
body, they can theoretically divide without limit to replenish other
cells as long as the person is still alive. When a stem cell divides,
each new cell has the potential to either remain a stem cell or become
another type of cell with a more specialized function, such as a muscle
cell, a red blood cell, or a brain cell.”
To read the entire Report please: Click here.
For more information on the science of stem cells you can go to
stemcellhealthproducts.com. If you have any more questions please
feel free to email or call me and I can guide you
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Stem Cell Health is simple and natural. Embrionic Stem Cells are Controversial Conversation. Consequently Stem Cells are hot political news. We are interested only in what everyone agrees about -- no bull here.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Saturday, January 26, 2008
"As to diseases,
make a habit of two things—
to help, or at least do no harm."
--- Hippocrates, The Epidemics ---http://www.stemcellresearch.org/facts/CheckTheScore.pdf
Direct reprogramming of human cells is one of the most significant scientific findings of the last quarter century; more significant than cloning Dolly the sheep. Indeed, the scientist who originally cloned Dolly, Professor Ian Wilmut, recently stated that direct reprogramming is “extremely exciting and astonishing”, a scientific approach he finds “100 times more interesting” than cloning—so much more interesting that he will abandon cloning research and pursue direct reprogramming instead.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
For the millions of Americans whose vision is slowly ebbing due to degenerative diseases of the eye, the lowly neural progenitor cell may be riding to the rescue.
In a study in rats, neural progenitor cells derived from human fetal stem cells have been shown to protect the vision of animals with degenerative eye disease similar to the kinds of diseases that afflict humans. The new study appears today (March 28) in the journal Public Library of Science (PLoS) One.
The lead author of the study, University of Wisconsin-Madison researcher David Gamm, says the cells - formative brain cells that arise in early development - show "some of the best rescue, functionally and anatomically" of any such work to date. In animals whose vision would typically be lost to degenerative retinal disease, the cells were shown to protect vision and the cells in the eye that underpin sight.
The new findings are important because they suggest there may be novel ways to preserve vision in the context of degenerative diseases for which there are now no effective treatments. Macular degeneration, an age-related affliction that gradually destroys central vision, is a scourge of old age, robbing people of the ability to read, recognize faces and live independently.
The finding that the brain cells protected the cells in the eye was a surprise, according to Raymond D. Lund, an author of the new study and an eye disease expert at the University of Utah and the Oregon Health and Sciences University. The neural progenitor cells, which arise from stem cells and further differentiate into different types of cells found in the central nervous system, were being tested for their ability to deliver another agent, a growth factor that has been shown to be effective in treating some types of degenerative disease.
What was surprising, say Gamm and Lund, was that the cells alone demonstrated a remarkable ability to rescue vision.
"On their own, they were able to support retinal cells and keep them alive," says Lund, who has conducted pioneering studies of cell therapy for eye disease. "We didn't expect that at all. We've used a number of different cell types from different sources and these have given us the best results we've ever got."
How the cells act to preserve the deteriorating eye cells remains unknown, says Gamm. Like all cells, neural progenitor cells do many things and secrete many different types of chemicals that may influence the cells around them.
"The idea was to test the cells as a continuous delivery system" to shuttle an agent known as glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor or GDNF, Lund explains. "It's not a sensible thing to inject the eyes many times over years. The idea was to use the cells as a continuous delivery system, but we found they work quite well on their own."
Lund has experimented with other cell types as therapies for preserving vision. The neural progenitor cells, a cell model developed by Wisconsin stem cell researcher Clive Svendsen, have been used experimentally to deliver the same growth factor in models of Parkinson's disease and Lou Gehrig's disease. Svendsen is also an author of the new PloS One report.
"It seems that the cells in and of themselves are quite neuroprotective," says Gamm. "They don't become retinal cells. They maintain their own identity, but they migrate within the outer and inner retina" where they seem to confer some protection to the light-sensing cells that typically die in the course of degenerative eye disease.
For researchers, the work is intriguing because the progenitor cells come from the brain itself, and not from the part of the nervous system devoted to vision.
"This cell type isn't derived from the retina. It is derived from the brain," says Gamm. "But we're not asking it to become a retina. They survive in the environment of the eye and don't disrupt the local architecture. They seem to live in a symbiotic relation ship" with retinal cells.
Gamm and Lund emphasize that the new work is preliminary, and that much remains to be done before the cells can be tested in humans: "The first thing is to show that something works, which we have done," says Lund. "Now we need to find out why, but this is a good jumping off point. "
The new work was funded by the Walsh Foundation, the Heckrodt Foundation and the National Institutes of Health and was conducted in conjunction with the Waisman Center Stem Cell Research Program at UW-Madison.
"What we hope to do is provide a bridge for all researchers on campus involved in stem cell research," says Clive Svendsen, a UW-Madison neuroscientist and a noted stem cell authority. The new center will be co-directed by Svendsen and cardiologist and stem cell researcher Timothy Kamp, and will operate under the joint auspices of the Graduate School and the School of Medicine and Public Health.
"We're going to cover all of stem cell biology and regenerative processes," Svendsen says, keeping a broad focus on stem cells ranging from embryos and adult tissues to cancer stem cells.
The new center will encompass existing programs in regenerative medicine and an interdisciplinary stem cell post-doctoral training program, and will serve as a focal point for basic, pre-clinical and clinical research in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine, an emerging multidisciplinary field that seeks to develop technologies to repair or replace diseased or defective tissues or organs.
Kamp and Svendsen estimate that as many as 50 UW-Madison faculty are engaged to varying degrees in stem cell research and regenerative medicine. In addition to the much-publicized work with human cells on the UW-Madison campus, scientists whose work could be supported by the new center include basic scientists who study stem cells and development in other animals ranging from non-human primates to nematodes, a roundworm widely used in biomedical research.
The new center, Kamp says, will serve as a focal point for research by helping to develop core facilities, a seed grant program, funding for post-doctoral fellows and educational and outreach programs. To begin with, the center will be a virtual one, with no building but with the administrative and support capacity to effectively fuel key areas of research and education.
This is especially important, the researchers note, as key campus projects such as the Interdisciplinary Research Center and the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery evolve.
"We see strong links between the various programs through collaborations and funding programs," Kamp explains. "Given the wide interest in stem cells and regenerative medicine, the interdisciplinary and translational nature of the work, and the pre-eminence of Wisconsin in this area of biology, we feel this is both timely and crucial for Wisconsin to maintain its leadership."
Both Kamp and Svendsen say the new center will be critical to the university's ability to maintain and strengthen its programs. It will, for example, be an asset in helping to attract the best faculty and students to Wisconsin.
"Another emphasis of the center will be on recruitment and retention," Svendsen says. "It is important to show UW-Madison has leadership and focus in this area," especially as competition from other states and from Europe and Asia becomes more intense.
The center will also serve as a focal point for fund-raising, advocacy and outreach, the researchers note.
"Part of our motivation is to build community," according to Kamp. "We want to bring people together to empower the basic research and the clinical applications any way we can."
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Important links from the Genetic Science Learning Centerat the University of Utah
Stem Cells in The Spotlight
What is a Stem Cell?
What are Some Different Types of Stem Cells?
What is the Goal of Stem Cell Research?
Stem Cell Therapies: What is the Recipe for Success?
Stem Cell Therapies Today
Stem Cell Therapies in the Future
Creating Stem Cells for Research
What are Some Issues in Stem Cell Research?
Monday, January 21, 2008
In addition to offering unprecedented hope in treating many debilitating diseases, stem cells have advanced our understanding of basic biological processes. This review looks at two major aspects of stem cells:
I. Three processes in which stem cells play a central role in an organism, development, repair of damaged tissue, and cancer resulting from stem cell division going awry.
II. Research and clinical applications of cultured stem cells: this includes the types of stem cells used, their characteristics, and the uses of stem cells in studying biological processes, drug development and stem cell therapy; heart disease, diabetes and Parkinson's disease are used as examples.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
If you have had the need to seek out stem cell therapy options, then the chances are that you may already have familiarised yourself with certain terminologies in the field. What follows is a synopsis of pertinent concepts, procedures and terminologies that should simplify matters, inform you further, and empower your effective decision-making.
What is a Stem Cell?
Stem cells are undifferentiated cells. Pluri– or totipotent stem cells have the potential, given the required microenvironment, to develop from a progenitor or parent cell into each cell type of the human body. When stem cells are referred to as being multipotent then their developmental capacity is a bit more limited and they have an ability to differentiate into many, but not all, cell types (thus multi lineages). Stem cells are capable of dividing and renewing themselves infinitely, acting as a regeneration and maintenance system.
The potency of stem cells makes them key to developing new regenerative and transplant cures.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Many diseases that are currently incurable are associated with degeneration of specific cell types in the body. These include but are not limited to: cancer, infectious diseases, heart disease, diabetes, neuro-degenerative diseases, auto immune diseases, and skin disorders.
Stem Cell Therapy involves the introduction of healthy new stem cells to, potentially, repair and replace damaged or lost cells. This therapy, often referred to as Regenerative Medicine, provides much promise for the treatment of what were previously regarded as incurable diseases.Medical Therapies (click below for details)
Friday, January 18, 2008
Meet Hunter, a 9-year-old golden retriever. His big, friendly personality dominates life at home with Frank and Linda Riha in Burbank, Calif.
"This is like our child," Linda said. "I mean he is such an important part of our family."
Making Strides Without Red Tape
In the race to perfect "regenerative medicine," stem cell therapy for animals is ahead of treatment for humans because it is not so strictly regulated. It's not experimental -- it's here.
And while the debate rages over the ethics of embryonic stem cell research, doctors have made stunning progress with "adult" stem cells recovered from body fat.
They are less powerful than embryonic cells, but they don't require the destruction of an embryo. There are no side effects and no problems with rejection, because the patient is also the cell donor.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
All this has been possible because of 23 years ago I joined CellTech which is now under new ownership and management as simplexityhealth.com, which provided the fuel to stay young and the income to use in our lives and help others to heal their bodies.
I intend to be doing workshops and lectures, at a minimal of 3 months of the year. Hopefully you will participate in one of these events.
I have been getting the most miraculous results, by combining the Enzyme E12 with Stemplex.
I take E12 with meals as well as between meals. The current research, indicates that the surest and fastest wy to clean up the blood vessels is to take enzymes between meals, as well as to take them with meals to assure complete digestion and freedom from incompletely metabolized food toxemia. The inner cleanliness, might mean that the blood vessel pathways that transport the StemPlex has a non obstructed path (without stickiness) to deliver much more of the goodness of Stemplex generated stem cells and the anti-oxidant influence, to transform ones body.
I just lectured at the www.rawworld.org/. During the Q/A one of men, said, " I have no questions, but a comment." He said, "I saw Viktoras lecture at Hipocratesinst.org 22 years ago, and today he looks younger and more brilliant. His lifestyle must be working" I find often, women compliment me on my youthful hair. I have also been complimented on the youthful skin. As well as, on many occasions, I was greeted as "May I help you Miss" or' Excuse me Miss" … It is more than my long hair. When I speak up, they apologize, to which I commented, "Thank you for the compliment, Women are almost always more attractive than men."
Since starting the regime of E12 with Simplex, not only the skin improved, but also my hair has gotten to be thicker, my white of the eyes are pure white. I noticed a dramatic increase in energy and I feel sharper, especially on stage.
TO CELEBRATE MY 68th BIRTHDAY, I invite you to try the Stemplex with enzymes E12.
Love in Service
Here are a few good reasons why you should use Enzyme E12 with and between meals
"Biology will be to the 21st Century what physics and
chemistry were to this century...The main area of interest
[will be] the production of enzymes, or living catalysts, which
[will] act in the same way as chemical catalysts
Megatrends," Ten New Directions, John Naisbitt 1992
"Enzyme is the most promising word in research today...Today,
many researchers are convinced that virtually all disease can be
traced to missing or faulty enzymes."
Today's Health, American Medical Association, '62
"In the near future substantial developments in pharmacology and
therapeutics can be expected of enzymes"
Kirk and Othmer,
Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Biochemical Pharmacology -
"Bible" of the pharmacologists. (1994)
"What does Dr. Garry Gordon, noted medical doctor have to say:
"With systemic ('high in protease, like Enzymes E12*') oral enzymes ('taken with meals and between meals'), I can save the life of virtually every one of my heart patients. For thirty years, I have specialized in keeping people with the serious and often seemingly hopeless heart problems alive. In fact, I say if you die of a heart attack or stroke your doctor isn't doing his job because he didn't tell you about enzymes." AC Loes, MW., Steinman, D, The Aspirin Alternative, "Escape the Toxicity of NSAIDs, Freedom Press, June 1999, ISBN 1-893910-04-0
* - comments inserted by Viktoras
Raw and or Live food – a food that is enzymatically active. By eating the raw and Living foods and taking enzymatic, probiotic and green whole foods, you will experience a miracle,
RESEARCH ON ENZYMATIC FOOD TRENDS
http://www.marketresearch.com/browse.asp?categoryid=498&SID=79392496 -368688071-289592631 - $400 TO $6000 PER REPORT
http://www.marketresearch.com/map/prod/1323569.html Live Food $1300
ENZYMATIC & RAW HISTORIC PERSPECTIVE
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raw_food_diet - excellent history of raw evolution
http://www.comby.org/livres/aliabren.htm - raw history of humanity
http://www.satyamag.com/june03/berry.html - more raw history4
http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/biology/b103/f02/web2/vculler.html - good overview,
ENZYMATIC RAW FOOD RESEARCH
http://www.waisays.com/index.html - very clear thinker, why go Raw. Excellent research, well organized.
http://www.rawfoodlife.com/ links, abstracted raw research
http://www.thegardendiet.com/science/index.html - excellent research
http://mednews.wustl.edu/news/page/normal/4971.html raw and bone density
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=11393359&dopt=Abstract - 22 med J raw research citations
http://www.diseaseproof.com/archives/healthy-food-the-cold-truth-about- raw-food-diets.html - a good look at temp benefits and loss in cooking
http://www.mercola.com/2002/may/22/cooked_food.htm Raw is the best choice
http://www.mercola.com/2004/apr/28/raw_food_diets.htm what raw diet is right for you. Not absolute, but he is trying.
http://www.health101.org/art_studies.htm - Excellent compilation
http://veganica.com/bb/viewtopic.php?p=735&sid=16cd375e88a3956ab64c4418a744e41e looking for raw subjects for a study
http://www.ecologos.org/livingfood.htm - raw food studies in Netherlands
http://www.llu.edu/llu/nutrition/program/present4.html - excellent resources on raw and vegan studies
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4389837.stm - raw healthy but thin
http://www.newfrontier.com/asheville/sprouts.htm - Alfalfa sprouts are safe to eat.
http://living-foods.com/articles/b12article.html B12 ISSUES\ B12 controversy.
http://www.rawfoodsnewsmagazine.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=71 - looking for raw foodist, to be studied.
http://www.treeoflife.nu/foundationveganbaby.html height/weight study
http://www.hipocratesinst.org why 100% raw for healing
http://www.price-pottenger.org/ - why 80% raw for wellness
http://www.pcrm.org - why 4000 MDs say Vegan is the only way to have health
http://www.westonaprice.org/index.html -- why eat only whole foods
http://www.vegetarianusa.com - vegan travel guide. Oldest site.
http://www.survivalinthe21stcentury.com/ 1st wholistic documented raw best seller
http://www.rawfoodplanet.com - Raw networking
http://www.enzymeuniversity.com Time to think raw
http://www.whyorganic.org/ Why organic
http://www.remineralize.org/don.php - why full spectrum of minerals
http://www.oceangrown.com/ why sea minerals in your garden
http://www.officeofprayerresearch.org/opr/ why pray
http://www.noetic.org/research/medbiblio/biblio.htm why meditate
NATURE'S CARE FOR SELF REPAIR
While controversy surrounds embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells are a natural part of mature tissue. Adult stem cells are multi-potent cells found throughout the body. They have great potential to replace or repair almost every body part. Like movie actors, our own stem cells wait a casting call to tell them what role to play. Science is proving the right combinations of simple nutrients multiplies the growth of these "gifted actors".
Why Stem Cell Nutrition
- Research indicates adult stem cells may constitute the natural renewal system of the body.
- As you age, stem cell functionality declines, leaving your body more susceptible to injury and other age related health challenge.
- When every minute counts, support your body’s own “repair kit” with our stem cell nutrition breakthrough.
Proliferation of stem cells, plus a nutritious diet and exercise, will help give you the optimum health you deserve for a new look, a new you.Developed by leading stem cell scientists, our product has shown to increase stem cell proliferation by as much as 70% in vitro.
“Synergy” of ingredients is the key.Stem cell enhancers are products that support the natural role of adult stem cells. The combination of powerful antioxidants protect your cells from “free radical” damage, empowering our unique formula to support your stem cells in maintaining proper organ and tissue functioning in your body.
Whole foods and key nutrients help maintain the pure synergy and balance so vital to the human body. Science is proving the right combination of natural ingredients can boost adult stem cell growth up to 70% in vitro. When released, these stem cells may begin to work on areas of the body especially as we age. Synergy is the secret of creation and the secret of a long healthy life.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SYNERGY
Each nutrient in this new product boasts impressive qualities in its own right. Together, in precise amounts, simple nutrient compounds enhance each other's benefits. Quality nutrients interacting and acting simultaneously through multiple biological pathways and cellular mechanisms -- this is the power of synergy!
The success of traditional preparations depended on the precise gathering and blending of each component. Each enhanced the other, creating a powerful synergy that multiplied their holistic influence on the body, while simultaneously addressing a simple objective. Single plant formulas or plant isolates were rarely used. For longer periods of use they will generally influence a single pathway and become less effective than nutrient combinations that influence multiple cellular pathways. Some nutrients, for example, may provide cellular nutrition, decrease free radical toxicity or increase bio-availability.
Each ingredient in this product increases stem cells or enhances the growth. When combined, they significantly boost stem cell growth. In addition to this synergistic functioning, each ingredient adds unique benefits.
Green tea extract helps maintain the health of the digestive and respiratory systems, helps support normal cholesterol levels, and enhances the proliferation of stem cells in the body, especially within skin tissue.
Wild blueberry supports the health of the brain, heart, urinary tract, and eyes. Blueberry extract further promotes maintenance of healthy brain, cardiovascular, vision, joint and urinary tract function, and normal glucose levels in those whose levels are already normal.
Carnosine is an antioxidant amino acid naturally present in the human body that may delay the natural aging of cells and extend the lifespan of adult stem cells.
Vitamin D supports adult stem cell renewal and helps these cells become immune cells.
Wild-crafted micro-algae, a chlorophyll rich super food, strengthens overall nutritional balance and ease of assimilation.
Why Stem Cell Nutrition?
- Increases the growth of adult stem cells, as shown in in vitro laboratory studies.
- Supports the body’s natural renewal system through a unique combination of ingredients.
- Provides nutrition that enables stem cells to flourish.
- Protects existing stem cells from the harmful effects of free radicals.
by: Fran Allen
Monday, January 14, 2008
read more | digg story
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Nutraceuticals Synergistically Promote Proliferation of Human Stem Cells
Paula C. Bickford, 1,2 Jun Tan, 1 R. Douglas Shytle, 1 Cyndy D. Sanberg, 3 Nagwa El-Badri, 1 and Paul R. Sanberg 1
A viable alternative to stem cell transplantation is to design approaches that stimulate endogenous stem cells to promote healing and regenerative medicine. Many natural compounds have been shown to promote healing; however, the effects of these compounds on stem cells have not been investigated. We report here the effects of several natural compounds on the proliferation of human bone marrow and human CD34+ and CD133+ cells. A dose-related effect of blueberry, green tea, catechin, carnosine, and vitamin D3 was observed on proliferation with human bone marrow as compared with human granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (hGM-CSF). We further show that combinations of nutrients produce a synergistic effect to promote proliferation of human hematopoietic progenitors. This demonstrates that nutrients can act to promote healing via an interaction with stem cell populations.
STEM CELLS AND DEVELOPMENT 15:118-123 (2006)
© Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Oxidative Stress of Neural, Hematopoietic, and Stem Cells: Protection by Natural Compounds
R. Douglas Shytle,1 Jared Ehrhart,2 Jun Tan,1,2 Jennifer Vila ,1 Michael Cole,1 Cyndy D. Sanberg,4 Paul R. Sanberg,1 and Paula C. Bickford1,3
During natural aging, adult stem cells are known to have a reduced restorative capacity and are more vulnerable to oxidative stress resulting in a reduced ability of the body to heal itself. We report here that the proprietary natural product formulation, NT020, previously found to promote proliferation of human hematopoietic stem cells, reduced oxidative stress-induced apoptosis of murine neurons and microglial cells in vitro. Furthermore, when taken orally for 2 weeks, cultured bone marrow stem cells from these mice exhibited a dose-related reduction of oxidative stress-induced apoptosis. This preclinical study demonstrates that NT020 can act to promote healing via an interaction with stem cell populations and forms the basis of conducting a clinical trial to determine if NT020 exhibits similar health promoting effects in humans when used as a dietary supplement.
Volume 10, Number 2, 2007
© Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Nutrients Promote Stem Cell Proliferation
The tissue that scientists most associate with adult stem cell activity is the bone marrow. Each day, stem cells in the bone marrow evolve to produce red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. These mature cells are then released into the bloodstream where they perform their vital life-supporting functions.
When bone marrow stem cell activity is interfered with, diseases such as anemia (red blood cell deficit), neutropenia (specialized white blood cell deficit), or thrombocytopenia (platelet deficit) are often diagnosed. Any one of these conditions can cause death if not corrected.
Scientists have long known that folic acid, vitamin B12, and iron are required for bone marrow stem cells to differentiate into mature red blood cells.3-7 Vitamin D has been shown to be crucial in the formation of immune cells,8-11 whereas carnosine has demonstrated a remarkable ability to rejuvenate cells approaching senescence and extend cellular life span.12-28
Other studies of foods such as blueberries show this fruit can prevent and even reverse cell functions that decline as a result of normal aging.29-36 Blueberry extract has been shown to increase neurogenesis in the aged rat brain.37,38 Green tea compounds have been shown to inhibit the growth of tumor cells, while possibly providing protection against normal cellular aging.39,40
Based on these findings, scientists are now speculating that certain nutrients could play important roles in maintaining the healthy renewal of replacement stem cells in the brain, blood, and other tissues. It may be possible, according to these scientists, to use certain nutrient combinations in the treatment of conditions that warrant stem cell replacement.41-43
Friday, January 11, 2008
Adult Stem Cells
New Hope for Curing Degenerative Diseases
By Denis Rodgerson, PhD, Ron Rothenberg, MD, FACEP, and Wayne A. Marasco, MD, PhD
The potential to heal once incurable degenerative diseases such as cancer or heart disease by regenerating cells that have failed or are about to fail is now within our grasp, thanks to the emergence of an exciting new field of medicine: regenerative medicine using adult stem cells.
Indeed, tissues such as heart muscle that were long thought to be non-renewable have now been shown to be regenerated through this novel therapy. By using adult stem cells, scientists have avoided the controversy that has stymied advanced embryonic stem cell research in the past. Adult stem cell therapy offers an unprecedented step forward in the history of medicine and the applications of this new form of regenerative medicine are potentially unlimited.
Embryonic versus Adult Stem Cells
Considerable confusion surrounds the use of stem cells, not only with the general public, but indeed with scientists and physicians. This confusion has been compounded by the ethical, moral, and political issues that have arisen around the sources of stem cells. Broadly speaking, there are two classifications of stem cells: those that are derived from embryos (embryonic stem cells, ESCs) and those that come from other sources (adult stem cells [ASCs] or somatic stem cells). All stem cells, whatever their source, have three general properties: they are capable of dividing and renewing themselves for long periods; they are undifferentiated; and they have the ability to develop into specialized cell types.
Embryonic stem cells are derived from a clump of cells formed after fertilization, which is called the inner cell mass (ICM). The cells of the ICM rapidly differentiate to form all of the cell types in the human body, hence creating a fetus and then a human being. If the cells of the ICM are harvested and grown in appropriate culture conditions, however, they will replicate indefinitely and, when suitably stimulated, will differentiate into three germ layers: ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm—representing any cell lineage of the body. This potential to differentiate into any other cell type in the body is referred to as plasticity (or pluripotency).1 Given their high degree of plasticity, however, embryonic stem cells not only have the capability of becoming beneficial tissue, they also can differentiate into cancerous (malignant) cells. While it has recently been reported that these cells can be derived from sources other than embryos, there is broad consensus that much more research is required before human therapies based on embryonic stem cells can be safely pursued.2 Thus, while these cells have great importance in unraveling the processes by which cells proliferate and differentiate, there are currently no approved treatments or human trials using embryonic stem cells.
In contrast, adult stem cells are derived from non-embryonic origins, including bone marrow, peripheral blood and, paradoxically, cord blood, placental cells, and amniotic fluid (note that cord blood and placental cells must be collected and banked at the time of birth for future use, while amniotic fluid is drawn from the fluid surrounding a growing fetus). Adult stem cells are thought to be capable of facilitating all the body’s natural repair processes. Since the production of adult stem cells does not require the destruction of an embryo, these cells are not associated with any ethical or political controversy. Readily obtainable, these cells have been used for many years for therapeutic purposes.
Adult Stem Cell Therapies
It was initially believed that the ability of adult stem cells to regenerate tissue was limited to the type of tissue in which they resided. This is now known not to be the case. Numerous studies have confirmed that, although these cells do not have the universality of the embryonic type, they do have the capacity for self-renewal, are able to differentiate into other cell types and are capable of generating differentiated cell progenitors (similar to stem cells) of different (perhaps all) cell lineages. Their potential to differentiate into cell types found in other tissues means they can travel to a site of damage, penetrate the damaged tissue, and then regenerate this tissue by a process called transdifferentiation. It is these properties that have formed the basis for therapies in which adult stem cells have been used.
Bone Marrow Transplants: Adjuvant Cancer Care
One of the areas in which adult stem cells have become widely used is in the treatment of blood cancers including leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma. Since the 1990s, bone marrow transplants using blood-derived stem cells, which are capable of generating all cell types of the blood and immune system, have been used to regenerate bone marrow damaged by the effects of chemotherapy and/or radiation. Without healthy bone marrow, patients with these cancers cannot make the blood cells needed to carry oxygen, fight infection, and heal wounds. Healthy, transplanted bone marrow therefore restores these functions.
Stem Cell Donors
Often, because of the lack of an identical donor, adult stem cells obtained from a genetically well-matched healthy donor are infused into the affected recipient (known as “allogeneic” infusion, as opposed to using a recipient’s own stem cells) to create a healthy immune system free of cancer. These donor stem cells are obtained by a technique called apheresis, in which a machine selectively separates stem cells from donor blood and returns the rest of the blood to the donor. During this process, the donor most often receives a medicine (or “mobilizing agent”) called granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, which stimulates the bone marrow to release stem cells into the bloodstream where they can be easily collected after several days of treatment. Although this method has proved successful in providing sustained remission or cures of underlying diseases, donor stem cells do pose problems in that they can either be rejected by the recipient’s immune system or they may attack the recipient’s cells in a serious condition called graft-versus-host disease. In order to reduce the magnitude of rejection and graft-versus-host disease, tissue from both the donor and recipient must be matched to be as compatible as possible. Often, recipients must take immunosuppressive drugs for the rest of their lives to prevent rejection, which is associated with morbidities such as increased risk of serious infections.3,4
An alternative to using closely matched donor stem cells (“allogeneic” infusion) is to use the recipient’s own stem cells, known as “autologous” infusion. The use of these “autologous” cells avoids all of the problems associated with donor stem cells and also confers significant clinical and economic benefits. Intuitively, collecting and banking blood-derived stem cells many years before the onset of disease, known as pre-disease harvesting, should minimize the presence of tumor cells or tumor stem cells. Furthermore, banking an individual’s own stem cells may one day be life-saving in the event—particularly in those with strong family or occupational related risk factors for cancer—that a diseased organ needs to be replaced with one grown from their own cells.
Adult Stem Cells: What You Need to Know
Cryopreservation of stem cells
Restoring Heart Function
Heart disease shows some of the greatest potential for the application of stem cells. Ischemic heart disease accounts for approximately half of all cardiovascular deaths in the United States, with over one million people suffering a heart attack each year. A heart attack leads to the death of the heart tissue and causes the muscle cells of the heart to be depleted. It also progressively remodels the structure of the heart, further reducing its ability to pump blood. For a long time, it was believed that the heart was a “post-mitotic” (non-renewable) organ composed of muscle cells that had completed the differentiation process, and therefore had limited capability of regeneration following an injury such as a heart attack. This belief is now being effectively challenged by mounting evidence to show that not only do endogenous self-repairing mechanisms exist, but that these and other regenerative processes, such as the development of new blood vessels, can be activated, or facilitated, by adult stem cells. These findings, and other observations, have led to a number of clinical trials that have tested the ability of stem cells to restore heart function in patients with acute heart disease. Early studies focused on establishing the safety and feasibility of using a patient’s own stem cells to improve heart function following a heart attack.5-7 Although research is ongoing, many controlled studies have also compared similar groups of patients on standard medical therapy after a heart attack with those on therapy plus an intracoronary infusion of their own stem cells. The results have been encouraging, revealing a positive effect of stem cell therapy on improving cardiac function outcomes, such as blood flow within the heart, wall motion, left ventricular function, and reducing the size of damaged heart tissue.8-17
Natural Therapies Support Stem Cell Health
Stimulating the healthy growth of stem cells is a critical component of every anti-aging program. Studies have shown that specific nutrients and hormones can encourage the growth or proliferation of stem cells in one’s body, thus promoting regeneration and healing.
In a groundbreaking study, scientists took several nutrients known for their health and cognition-enhancing benefits and studied their effects, alone and in combination, on the proliferation of bone marrow and hematopoietic cells (which are capable of generating all cell types of the blood and immune system).46 The researchers found a dose-related effect of blueberry, green tea, catechin, carnosine, and vitamin D3 on the proliferation of human bone marrow. Furthermore, combinations of these nutrients stimulated bone marrow proliferation by as much as 83%, compared with only 48% in a control group, which received a growth factor medicine called granulocyte colony-stimulating factor.46
Another natural compound showing promise for boosting stem cell health is resveratrol. Derived from red wine, resveratrol has demonstrated significant health benefits ranging from cardiovascular protection to anticancer effects.47 It is believed that resveratrol works by mimicking the effects of calorie restriction, the best anti-aging strategy to date, through mechanisms such as reducing oxidative stress, boosting energy production, and regulating gene expression.48
Recent studies have also linked the cardioprotective effects of resveratrol with the regeneration of endothelial progenitor cells, which are derived from stem cells and can be collected by the stem cell collection process described on page 42. These progenitor cells are a vital component in helping to repair blood vessel damage. Indeed, aging and compromised cardiac function are associated with low numbers of these cells.49 One animal study found that low concentrations of resveratrol increased the number and function of endothelial progenitor cells in repairing the injured endothelium of the aorta.50
Adult stem cell repair is also influenced by supplementing with the omega-3 fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). This compound is essential for healthy brain growth and development. It also plays a crucial role in supporting normal brain function, including learning and memory. Results from a recent study revealed that DHA may exert its effects by triggering the differentiation of neuronal stem cells to produce new neurons in the brain.51 This interplay among nutrients, stem cells, and growth factors offers promising hope for slowing down and preventing neurodegenerative diseases.52
Another method to support stem cell proliferation and function is through optimizing hormone levels. Using bioidentical hormones (which are identical to those naturally occurring in the body), it is possible to restore deficient adult hormones to youthful levels. Stem cell-enhancing effects have been noted with both growth hormone and estradiol replacement therapy.53,54 In fact, animal studies have shown that estrogen and growth hormone enhanced the action of stem cells in cardiac repair.55,56 Additionally, a study in men aged 60-75 years old found that testosterone replacement therapy increased muscle mass by stimulating stem cells in muscle.57
Targeted nutritional and hormonal therapies may thus help promote wellness and fight the diseases associated with aging through optimizing stem cell production and function.
Adult Stem Cells
New Hope for Curing Degenerative Diseases
By Denis Rodgerson, PhD, Ron Rothenberg, MD, FACEP, and Wayne A. Marasco, MD, PhD
Better Long-Term Cardiac Health
Adult stem cell therapies have also shown clinical benefit in severe chronic heart disease, such as congestive heart failure, of which almost half a million new cases are diagnosed each year. In one study by Brehm and Strauer, bone marrow-derived stem cells were transplanted directly into the heart tissue of 18 male patients who had suffered a heart attack between five months and 8.5 years earlier.18 These patients had progressive chronic heart failure with reduced left ventricular function. A group of patients who did not receive any cell therapy served as controls. After three months, the researchers found that the area of heart tissue damaged by disease was reduced, while oxygen uptake, energy metabolism and left ventricular function all increased compared with the control group, who showed no significant changes in these parameters.
In another study, Patel and colleagues studied 20 patients with severe chronic heart disease and very poor left ventricular function classified as chronic heart failure.19 All 20 patients received bypass surgery to improve blood flow. In addition, half of the patients also received an infusion of adult stem cells during surgery, which were injected into the most severely compromised regions of the heart. Six months after surgery, the left ventricular function of the stem cell-treated group increased substantially compared with the control group. The improvement was so great that the stem cell recipients were no longer defined as having chronic heart failure.
Nutraceuticals Known to Optimize Adult Stem Cells
Hormones Known to Optimize Adult Stem Cells
Banking Stem Cells for Heart Health
It has been suggested that an alternative to stem cell infusion is to administer growth factors that are produced naturally in the body. The use of these chemicals, such as granulocyte colony-stimulating growth factor, alone stimulates the endogenous production of stem cells, which might obviate the need for stem cell infusion. However, a defined benefit from this therapy
has not yet been established20 and some evidence suggests that the use of stem cells immediately after a heart attack may even be detrimental.21 Furthermore, there is mounting evidence that those factors that precipitate the onset of heart disease—such as hypertension, diabetes, smoking, and others—also impact the effectiveness of stem cells in terms of their ability to migrate, transdifferentiate, and proliferate. The benefits of banking stem cells before the onset of disease will undoubtedly prove to be clinically important as the use of these therapies becomes more widespread. Despite the uncertainties about their mechanisms of action, scientists broadly agree on the potential of regenerating damaged heart tissue using a patient’s own stem cells to improve cardiac function and performance.22
Autoimmune and Neurological Conditions
Adult stem cells could also offer hope for patients with autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases.
Three Common Properties of Stem Cells
In autoimmune disorders, the body begins to produce a type of white blood cells called T lymphocytes and protective proteins called antibodies, which, instead of protecting the body against invasive microbes and cancers, attack its own cells and organs. There are more than 70 different types of autoimmune disorders, for example, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic sclerosis (scleroderma), systemic lupus erythematosus, and juvenile idiopathic arthritis. As a class, autoimmune diseases affect approximately 5% of the US population, with common conditions such as systemic lupus erythematosus affecting 1.5 million people, mostly young women. The standard treatment for autoimmune diseases generally consists of immunosuppression, anti-inflammatory medication, or anti-malarial medication, in addition to supportive care. In cases that do not respond to standard treatment or are considered life- or organ-threatening, high doses of immunosuppressive medication have been proposed as a treatment option to eliminate the T cells causing the autoimmune response. However, such high doses also suppress the bone marrow’s production of blood cells (known as “myelosuppression”), necessitating rescue therapy with transfused hematopoietic (blood cell-forming) stem cells.
Adult human hematopoietic stem cells
It has been theorized that regenerating bone marrow with transplanted stem cells normalizes the immune system.23,24 The concept of stem cell therapy following immunosuppressive therapy for autoimmune diseases has led to the publication of consensus guidelines and the initiation of a number of well-controlled clinical trials.25,26 To date, more than 700 patients have received transplants using their own stem cells as treatment for severe autoimmune diseases,27 including 183 patients with multiple sclerosis,28 76 patients with severe rheumatoid arthritis,29 102 patients with systemic sclerosis (scleroderma),30,31 103 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus,32-34 and, most recently, 15 individuals with new onset type I diabetes.35 Numerous studies using adult stem cells to treat other autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s disease, Behcet’s disease, and relapsing polychondritis have also been published.36,37
Early studies in patients with neurodegenerative diseases—some of which may represent autoimmune processes—have shown promising results, suggesting that stem cells might offer hope for people with neurological disorders, perhaps even for prevalent conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.38-41
Although the clinical outcomes of stem cell treatments have been variable, most of the studies in this field have shown significant amelioration of disease activity, improvement in serological (blood) markers, and either stabilization or reversal of organ dysfunction. The preliminary conclusions of these studies are sufficiently encouraging to proceed to randomized prospective trials of stem cell transplantation for autoimmune diseases as a group, and particularly for those that are most severe and debilitating. Similarly, scientists believe that stem cells therapies offer compelling hope for neurological conditions, and are further exploring their applications for these debilitating disorders.
Current and Future Applications of Stem Cell Therapies
The chart below lists conditions currently treated with stem cell therapy, as well as future applications for this regenerative therapy:
Current and Future Stem Cell Therapies
Importantly, all of the studies that have been mentioned so far were carried out using stem cells that were collected after the onset of disease. It is intriguing to speculate on the improvement in outcome that might be achieved if a patient’s own stem cells were available before the onset of disease. The table on page 46 summarizes the current status of regenerative therapy, divided into those diseases being treated with adult stem cells today and those in which experimental evidence from animal studies strongly indicates potential benefits in the future.
Adult stem cells may one day yield cures for the most dreaded diseases that plague adults. A plentiful supply of adult stem cells for personal use collected while healthy and available may offer all adults powerful insurance against the consequences of a range of diseases, both chronic and acute, that is growing daily. Only by having a readily accessible source of stem cells can the full benefits of regenerative medicine be realized. While it remains to be seen whether adult stem cells can prevent or reverse aging or extend life span, ongoing research promises to propel the field of regenerative medicine forward. Regardless of these unanswered questions, it is clear that banking stem cells for long-term storage may truly represent a “bio-insurance policy” that can help provide for your optimal health in the future.
Denis Rodgerson, PhD: NeoStem California Laboratory, 637 South Lucas Avenue, Suite 508, Los Angeles, CA 90017.
Ron Rothenberg, MD, FACEP: California HealthSpan Institute, 320 Santa Fe Drive, Encinitas, CA 92024.
Wayne Marasco, MD, PhD: Department of Cancer Immunology and AIDS, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, 44 Binney Street, Boston, MA 02115.
Disclosures: All three authors have a financial interest in NeoStem, Inc. (www.neostem.com), a company that specializes in the banking and long-term storage of adult stem cells.
If you have any questions about the scientific content of this article, please call one of our Health Advisors at 1-800-226-2370.References
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