Regenerative Medicine

Stem Cell Supplements: What Are They, How Are They Made, and How Can They Help Manage My Pain?

By Last updated on September 3rd, 2020 Last updated on September 3rd, 2020 No Comments

The human body contains some four trillion cells, all of which arise after conception from one unified cell through multiple cycles of division. This process of cellular renewal continues throughout life, as old and weak cells are replaced by new ones.

In healthy young individuals, the division of cells takes place regularly in an energetic and balanced bio-terrain. However, as we grow older, this process begins to slow down.

Improper nutrition with large amounts of animal fat, processed sugars, food additives, a decrease in consumption of biologically grown vegetables, lifestyles with heavy smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, an overall increase in stress due to our fast-paced lives, pollution with carcinogenic solvents, heavy metals and pesticides tend to suppress this renewal process even more. As a result, we tend to age prematurely and can fall ill with chronic degenerative diseases or even cancer.

What are Stem Cells?

Stem cells are cells with the ability to divide for indefinite periods in culture and to give rise to specialized cells. Stem cells have the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types. In addition, in many tissues they serve as a sort of internal repair system, dividing essentially without limit to replenish other cells.

When a stem cell divides, each new cell has the potential either to remain a stem cell or become another type of cell with a more specialized function, such as a muscle cell, a nerve cell, or a brain cell.

What are Stem Cell Supplements?

Stem cell supplements are developed based on the merits of stem cells and they are applied for degenerative disease treatments and to stimulate the formation of all the different tissues of the body: muscle, cartilage, tendon, ligament, bone, blood, nerve, organs, etc.

Stem cell supplements boost stem cells by improving their effectiveness or creating positive environments where they can flourish and remain healthier for longer. Stem cells that are more effective have greater health benefits on the body, which is why supplements are effective.

How are these Supplements made?

How stem cell supplements are made depend on the company making them. Generally, formulas are derived from clinical trials that evaluate nutrients for their ability to promote stem cell health. The number of trials and research into this matter is limited and therefore companies can conduct their own research to identify effective ingredients. As a consumer, it is important to make sure these companies are forthcoming about their research.

Examples of two nutrients that were found effective in aiding stem cells include:

1. Glucosamine/Chondroitin

These two supplements are commonly used in arthritis treatments and are often derived from shellfish. Hence it makes sense that glucosamine can promote MSCs to become cartilage and inhibit the breakdown of cartilage. Chondroitin can also enhance the ability of MSCs to turn into cartilage.

Chondroitin also has real measurable effects on knee cartilage in actual patients. Glucosamine also seemed to help cartilage quality when measured on a specialized MRI.

2. Curcumin/Turmeric

The most commonly promoted anti-inflammatory nutrients right now are curcumin and turmeric. Turmeric and curcumin are derived from the turmeric root. Turmeric is known for being the common spice from Indian cooking. Curcumin is one of the chemical compounds known as curcuminoids, which are believed to be biologically active. In order for curcumin to be absorbed in the gut, a black pepper extract is commonly required.

In one study that used adipose mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to treat heart attacks, curcumin improved the viability of the cells, reduced scarring in the heart muscle being repaired, and promoted new blood vessel formation. In another involving bone marrow MSCs, curcumin improved bone formation.

Curcumin also impacts arthritis with anti-inflammatory properties. All of these effects have translated into real measurable impacts on patients with knee arthritis. In other studies, curcumin has been shown to be as effective as common anti-inflammatories such as Ibuprofen.

There are a large number of other nutrients proven to increase the effectiveness of stem cells. A supplement’s list of nutrients can vary depending on the brand. It is highly recommended to identify the ingredients for potential allergy issues and to verify its general safety. Not all supplement brands are made equal and not all brands are reputable.

How can Stem Cell Supplements Help?

Stem cell supplements offer an opportunity to treat many degenerative diseases, such as arthritis or herniated discs, caused by premature cell death or malfunction of specific cell types and the body’s failure to replace or restore them.

Stem cell supplements aims to awaken dormant cells within the human body, thereby stimulating the growth and function of existing tissue and repairing or regenerating old and malfunctioning cells. Stem cell supplements offer what vitamins, minerals and other conventional or natural treatments on their own cannot. It can provide the exact components necessary for injured or diseased tissue to heal and regenerate.

Because stem cells are responsible for physical repair, having extra cells may lead to quicker overall recovery time and fewer long-term side effects as a result of the initial injury. Stem cell supplements can provide faster recovery times from injuries or illnesses by encouraging stem cell growth.

Those who suffer from chronic illnesses or from major bodily injuries can expect faster recovery times if they have an excess of stem cells. These supplements also bring essential anti-aging, health and beauty benefits by providing necessary elements to the body to improve cellular regeneration, organ rejuvenation and tissue healing.

While certain major injuries have a tendency to cause permanent damage or lower function depending on injury location, excess stem cells, bolstered by a good nutritional environment, may result in near-perfect healing of the wounded area.

Research also suggests that a stem cell supplement can increase the blood circulation of hematopoietic stem cells, which can give rise to all blood cells, and endothelial progenitor cells, which repair damage to blood vessels.

What is a Recommended Dosage?

Most stem cell supplements are taken by either pill or spray form. Regardless of whichever method is used, dosages should not go above 500 mg taken twice daily, or 1000 mg in total per day. Depending on the exact product used, some stem cell supplements will have all of this limit reached with a single pill or tablet while others will require two or three tablets or capsules to reach 500-1000 mg.

Sprays are somewhat different. Recommended dosage varies by product and is harder to measure due to the application method used. However, users should avoid spraying too much of the supplement on to their skin at any one time. This will prevent oversaturation of compounds in the body and give the body time to adapt to the improvement of its stem cells.

Summary

Stem cell supplements can enhance a person’s bodily health overall. They can improve the quality of life of people who are suffering from any chronic disease or injury, or even provide health and anti-aging benefits.

While most pharmaceutical drugs work by suppressing certain symptoms over a short period of time and only for as long as they are taken, stem cell supplements strengthen the immune system and stimulate the body’s own healing over a long term effect by creating a better organic environment for stem cells to thrive and divide properly.

Dr. Pouya Mohajer

Dr. Pouya Mohajer

Director of Spine & Interventional Medicine
Board certification in Anesthesiology and Interventional Pain Medicine
Fellowship-trained from Harvard University
UCLA Alumni