Hi everyone Floyd Meyer here with Catalyst Impacts. Today we are going to be talking about stem cells what they are, what they do, and who they could possibly help?
So what are stem cells? In the simplest sense stem cells are a type of cell that can turn into other types of cells. These are the basic building blocks that replicated to create your entire body. We started out entirely as stem cells and over time the different cells differentiated filling their specific role. Some turned into bone, others muscle, and others still turned into neurons.
Now as we age the number of stem cells drop significantly and this can be easily seen by our ability to heal from a cut. If you have ever seen an infant get a cut you know that they heal extremely quickly and they also do not generally form scar tissue. This is in part due to the number of stem cells that are present. By the time we reach our 20s our healing ability decreases significantly and scar tissue will form after an injury. And after that, it continues to decline. This drop in the number of stem cells means that our bodies are less able to heal from damage whether that is due to a cut or something more insidious like damage to our internal organs.
Lucky for us we have finally found out ways to supplement our depleted levels of stem cells through a process called autologous tissue transplantation. This simply means that we are taking tissue from one human i.e the tissue from the umbilical cord which would traditionally be thrown in the trash, and transplanting that into another human.
The process is extremely simple and they just need to be administered to the site of injury or through an IV depending on the goal of the therapy. Once the cells have been administered they do not grow into new tissue like you would imagine that they would. Instead what they do is they act as signaling factories. They sit there and secrete powerful growth factors and anti-inflammatory cytokines that tell your body that healing should be taking place in this area. Similarly to what happens to the small child when they get an injury. The stem cells migrate to the area of damage and tell the surrounding tissue that it needs to go to work to heal and restore the damage. What is really cool is that these cells have the ability to auto triage meaning that they can scan the area and go exactly where they are needed. They can tell which cells need more help and which ones are doing okay.
Now that you have a basic idea of what stem cells are and how they work, what are they currently being used for? I must point out at this time that the FDA has not determined that stem cells treat or cure any disease. What they do is provide growth factors and cytokines to support the healing process to the areas that they are administered.
That being said throughout the world stem cells are currently being used to support people’s immune systems in situations where their immune systems are out of control like in autoimmune disease, for degenerative conditions of the musculoskeletal system, even things like aging and frailty. There is a fantastic book by Dr. Neil Riordan called Stem Cell Therapy: A Rising Tide where he outlines all of the different conditions that his clinic down in Panama is successfully treating. I’ll put a link down below if you want to get a copy. It is an easy read and is basically a book of case studies where they tell the peoples individual stories and how these amazing therapies have helped them when nothing else could.
If you want to learn more read Dr. Riordans book here: https://amzn.to/2LzfCLN
You can also watch a fantastic interview on Joe Rogan’s podcast with Dr. Riordan here:
I hope you found this interesting I know that I do. I honestly never thought I would be able to practice regenerative medicine but thankfully our legislation is finally catching up to this amazing therapy. Although things could easily change due to special interest groups and big pharma which I will discuss in the future. So thanks again if you are interested in talking more about this therapy option please reach out I’m happy to talk more about it.