Since stem cells and stem cell therapy have gained a lot of recent media attention, some of it contentious, I’ve decided to talk about stem cells in general, as well as some approaches to stem cell therapy, this month. The stem cell therapies I promote are both legal and easy, particularly now that a new nutritional supplement called Stemplex is on the market, which I’ll talk about later. But first, a little history on stem cells… You can learn more at QC Kinetix (Summerville)
Adult vs. Embryonic Stem Cells
A stem cell is an undifferentiated cell that has the capacity to self-renew and grow into at least three types of tissue. Embryonic stem cells can differentiate into any adult cell type and are formed from early stage embryos. Under a microscope, embryonic stem cells behave consistently, but when implanted into the body, they are much less predictable. They may have some research advantages, but their use is debatable, and they aren’t useful for actual treatments.
Post-fetal organisms have adult stem cells. Hematopoietic stem cells, which become red or white blood cells, or mesenchymal stem cells, which can become a number of tissues such as bone, tendon, ligament, cartilage, heart, liver, or nerves, are examples of linage-committed stem cells. Bone marrow, fat, brain tissue, and muscles are all sources of adult stem cells. Fat produces the most mesenchymal stem cells in any tissue, while bone marrow and umbilical blood contain more stem cells that will become red or white blood cells.
Stem Cells Come in a Variety of Shapes and Sizes
Autologous, allogenic, and xenogenic stem cells are among the many types of stem cells. Autologous stem cells come from the same animal as the parent. These are the safest for transplanting since there is no risk of rejection. Allogenic stem cells come from a single species donor. Since stem cells lack the normal cell surface markers that activate immune responses, they can theoretically be used without fear of the host tissue rejecting them. Xenogenic stem cells are produced from a donor who is a member of a particular species, such as a pig. While one would expect these cells to be discarded, their specific characteristics allow them to live in the body of another species in some cases.