Until the last decade, stem cell treatments were only available as treatments abroad for the wealthy or as healing treatments for professional athletes. They were known as performance enhancement therapies to improve golf or tennis games, or return players back to the field or court faster after injuries and delay retirement. Lucky for us, today stem cell therapy has become more mainstream, affordable and readily practiced for natural healing related to several conditions from chronic arthritic joint pain to rejuvenating facials. Doctors are finding that not only do stem cells assist with repair and reducing inflammation – they can also keep your body younger and stronger.
What Are Stem Cells and Where Do They Come From?
At a very basic level, stem cells are the building blocks of our bodies. All of us are born with stem cells and they’re vital to triggering our body’s healing process whenever we become injured. Scientists and progressive-minded doctors have long known that stem cells have the ability to target damaged or injured tissue in the body and then repair and regenerate new, healthy tissue in its place. The fact that cellular therapy regenerates tissue is why this newer branch of medicine is termed Regenerative Medicine. Today stem cell technology is being used as effective therapies for everything from sports injuries to treatments for heart disease and cancer. Many doctors and scientists feel that we’re only beginning to understand the full potential impact of stem cells and how they can heal our bodies.
How Stem Cells Influence Aging
Aging is an inevitable process that our bodies go through. As we age, our stem cells age with us, and our bodies suffer from age-induced deterioration. Can stem cells slow the aging process? That’s a question that some scientists, like Dr. Dongsheng Cai at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, are asking and wanted to find out. His findings may surprise you.
Doctors are now discovering that stem cells play a play an essential role in how quickly we age – and asking if it’s reversible by injecting various parts of our body, including our brain, with new, healthy stem cells. When stem cells age, their ability to renew deteriorates, and their ability to differentiate into various cell types also becomes altered – we’re now finding if that cell deterioration has any health implications.
Can Stem Cells Be the Real Fountain of Youth?
Dr. Cai was able to locate the specific cells that are responsible for the aging process during his studies. His findings showed that when he injected mice with new stem cells into a region of the brain called the hypothalamus, it influenced how quickly they aged. Incredibly, it slowed down the aging process. His abstract stated “In conclusion, aging speed is substantially controlled by hypothalamic stem cells, partially through the release of exosomal miRNAs.” It might not be like bathing in the fountain of youth, but it could be comparable to adding a few drops of youth water to your body, to slow down the aging process. You can read more about Dr. Cai’s study here.
Stem Cells Effect on Muscle Strength
Overall aging is the only thing affected by stem cells – they also have an impact on our strength as we get older. New studies are showing that stem cells may hold a key to slowing muscle loss as we age. Beginning in our 30’s, the size and strength of our muscles decline – even with dedication to physical fitness.
“Even an elite trained athlete, who has high absolute muscle strength will still experience a decline with age,” said Joe Chakkalakal, assistant professor of Orthopaedics in the Center for Musculoskeletal Research at University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC). Chakkalakal is leading a study investigating how muscle loss occurs in mice and trying to figure out how humans might avoid it.
Chakkalakal discovered that the loss of muscle stem cells is the main driving force behind muscle decline in old age in mice, and he and other researchers are hoping to develop a drug or therapy that can slow muscle stem cell loss and muscle decline in the future.
Read more about this URMC study and Chakkalakal’s research here.
The Future of Stem Cell Capabilities
Regenerative doctors are constantly studying new applications for stem cell therapies, such as treatments for spinal injuries, cancer, and if and how stem cells can slow down the effects of aging on the body.
At Regenerative Medical Center of Delaware, we offer stem cell therapy for the following common conditions:
- Autoimmune disorders
- Nerve Injuries such as neuropathy
- Injuries which have caused joint pain
- Musculoskeletal conditions such as arthritis, osteoarthritis and chronic joint pain
Dr. Henry Childers at Regenerative Medical Center of Delaware has an extensive research background in both molecular and cellular biology. He has utilized regenerative text techniques since the late 1990s, and has also been a patient of regenerative medical therapy. We look forward to helping your body heal naturally with cellular therapy. Contact us today to find out if you’re a candidate for stem cell therapy, and how it can benefit you.