Staying ahead of the latest advancements in stem cell therapy is not only fun, but it helps to know what’s happening in the health field before you need the help. That way if you do get diagnosed with an illness, you already have an idea about what you’d like for your treatment. It gives you back the reigns of your healing.
Below are three of the latest stem cell therapy advancements that were published in the PubMed medical journal database that are actually pretty exciting to find out about.
These three are particularly interesting because researchers have now started to merge the fields of alternative health with medical health. It has long been known that natural healing types of substances – foods, vitamins, minerals, herbs and phytonutrients – can help the body heal and restore its functions. But what was not known was how these substances affect stem cells in the body.
However, now as the field of stem cell therapy continues to grow, it’s entirely possible that these natural substances may act as some type of growth factors for stem cells. This new research is starting to show this emerging trend.
1. Over-the-Counter Health Food Store Supplement Called Astaxanthin Makes Stem Cells Grow Faster
Astaxanthin is a bright red-colored carotenoid and antioxidant that is found in wild sockeye salmon, crayfish, red trout, shrimp, lobster, red seabream, salmon roe, crab and algae.
It’s fat-soluble and 20 times more powerful than beta-carotene. Many people are surprised to find out that astaxanthin is 100 times more powerful than vitamin E.
Astaxanthin has many different functions in the body such as:
• slows down degeneration of the eyes from aging
• improves vision by increasing the ability of the eyes to see contrast
• absorbs blue light so your eyes won’t suffer damage (Blue light comes from the computer screen, cell phones, and fluorescent light bulbs.)
• anti-aging effects on the skin, decreasing wrinkles and improving the elasticity of the skin
• prevents sunburn by accumulating in all of your skin layers
• helps your mitochondria work better, thus giving you more energy
• strengthens cell membranes
• prevents the swelling of the brain after you hit your head or have a head injury
• improves cognitive function after a stroke
• increases growth factors that cause the production of new brain cells
• improves circulation to the brain in those with dementia
• protects the heart from damage that occurs after a heart attack
• lowers the blood pressure
• helps decrease LDL cholesterol
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New research from Iran shows that astaxanthin has the ability to make stem cells derived from fat turn into a type of cell that is important for nervous system functioning in the body. The stem cells turned into oligondendrocytes– cells that are especially important for those who have multiple sclerosis and need stem cell treatments.
Researchers commented that astaxanthin can actually be used as a promoter of oligodendrocyte differentiation of human adipose stem cells for being used in cell transplantation in multiple sclerosis.
2. Essential Trace Mineral Zinc Found to Promote the Activation of Stem Cells
There’s still so much we don’t know about vitamins and minerals! Korean scientists have uncovered one more additional fact about the essential trace mineral zinc that we all need for human health.
Zinc is found in meat, eggs, and seafood. Vegetarians have a hard time getting enough zinc in their diet and often end up with a deficiency. The recommended daily allowance is 11 mg for adult men and 8 mg for women.
The trace element’s functions in the body include:
- an essential part of over 300 different enzymes in the body that are involved in many types of reacitons
- important in formation of cell membranes and proteins
- regulates gene expression
- involved in cell signaling
- influences hormone release and nerve impulse transmission
- plays a role in the death of cells that are no longer functional
Deficiency of zinc causes skin rashes, lack of appetite, metallic taste in the mouth, faulty maturation of the sex organs, cessation of growth and development, impaired wound healing and impaired immune system responses. Eyesight is also impaired from zinc deficiency.
The Korean scientists discovered that zinc creates new bone cells in human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells, which enhanced the differentiation of the stem cells. The higher the amount of zinc they used, the better the differentiation of the cells.
They concluded that zinc supplementation may offer a promise as a potential pharmacological therapy for those with bone diseases such as brittle bones and other bone loss conditions.
3. N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC) Supplement Helps Prevent Liver Toxicity in Patients Receiving Blood Stem Cell Transplants
Before hematopoietic stem cell transplants are given to patients, doctors have to give a drug that controls the process called busulphan. The drug uses up the body’s supply of glutathione in the liver.
Doctors in Sweden decided to try a health food supplement called N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) on patients who had liver toxicity from acetaminophen before they received their stem cell therapy. NAC is often used in emergency medicine as an antidote for this type of poisoning . As long as the NAC is given early, the toxicity is taken care of.
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NAC has also been used to improve fertility, help mental health disorders improve in those suffering from drug abuse, depression, schizophrenia and PTSD, improve symptoms of neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, helps the body detox of alcohol and prevents hangovers, helps the liver recover from chronic liver diseases, reduces symptoms of ulcerative colitis, and is used for asthma and lung fibrosis.
NAC also has been found to:
- increase the chance of survival of those who have had a heart attack
- reduce snoring and improve sleep
- Improve the functioning of the intestinal tract, improving leaky gut
- accelerate healing from brain injury
- prevent the hearing loss that dialysis patients get after taking the antibiotic gentamicin
- reduce addictive behaviors
In the study, 54 patients received the supplement while another 54 did not. The NAC significantly decreased the liver enzymes AST, ALT, and ALP, indicating that there was an improvement in liver functions despite the use of the busulphan drug. The supplement did not negatively affect the stem cell treatment or the metabolism of the drug.
Will stem cell clinics begin to add natural healing supplements to their regimens? And if so, will that further accelerate the healing that is being seen in stem cell treatments, cutting off a week or a month from the amount of time that it takes the patient to feel better? Only time will tell . . .
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