What is PRP?
PRP is created from a simple blood draw. The blood is centrifuged and three layers appear in it – Platelet Poor Plasma, a straw-colored layer; a buffy coat layer in the middle which contains the concentrated platelet numbers and the concentrated growth factors and white blood cells; and the red blood cells as the bottom layer. The growth factors communicate with your body and activate stem cells.
PRP therapy can be called stem cell activation therapy. The PRP contains 7 growth factors, as opposed to amniotic stem cell therapy, which has 70 growth factors. However, these 7 growth factors in the platelet-rich plasma can be very active.
In stem cell treatments, one of the best is thought to be amniotic stem cell therapy. It’s starting to show up more and more in clinics in the U.S. for use during treatment.
Amniotic Stem Cell therapy is the use of stem cells that are called immunologically privileged. This means that they do not cause a rejection response in the body when injected. Amniotic stem cells are taken from amniotic tissues during the birthing process, and only from a mother who has given consent to use them.
Over 75 growth factors are found in amniotic stem cell samples. They may be used for conditions such as hair loss, neuropathy, diabetes, eyes to prevent scar tissue from developing, ligaments and tendons, spinal surgery and other standard health issues that stem cells are used for. Some doctors are using amniotic stem cell treatments for kidney disease and heart failure. The advantage is that the amniotic stem cells don’t require harvesting like other types of stem cells and like PRP.
Videos on the Topic of PRP vs Stem Cell Therapy
Here are a couple of videos you can watch on the differences between PRP therapy and stem cell therapy:
PRP Therapy vs. Stem Cell Therapy
The author of this video states that stem cell therapy is designed for any tissue. PRP is for tendons, wounds, and fractures whereas stem cells can become anything. PRP is growth factors from platelets and builds collagen and supportive tissues. Thus, if your condition requires that supportive tissue is needed, PRP might be exceptionally beneficial in your recovery.
Steven Weiner, MD – PRP and ACell Hair Restoration
The author of this video states that when he uses PRP, he uses a special type of centrifuge that concentrates the PRP to 6x more potent than regular centrifuges. The regular centrifuges concentrate the number of platelets to two or three times more than normal blood, but the job of regeneration is a lot easier when the PRP is 6 times more potent.
Case history: hip arthritis 2 years after stem cell therapy
This one is worth watching if you have hip arthritis. The woman in this video received 100% improvement but it took some time – she was a worst case scenario starting out.
What Does the Research Say About the Difference?
Japanese researchers at Nagasaki University compared bone marrow aspirate concentrate to platelet-rich plasma. The bone marrow stem cells contain high numbers of stem cells and progenitor cells whereas the platelet-rich plasma contains enriched growth factors but very few stem cells.
After centrifugation, the concentrations of nucleated cells in the bone marrow concentrations were increased by 2.8 times the initial number. The concentrations of platelets were increased by 5.3 times. In the platelet-rich plasma, the white blood cells were increased by 4.1 times and the platelet counts increased by 4.4 times.
The markers for stem cell presence – CD34-, CD146+, CD271-, CD90-, and CD105- were the indicators for the marked increase in the stem cells. The percentage of new bone in the animals studied was about equal in both groups whereas those that received neither bone marrow nor PRP had substantially lower levels of new bone. The scientists concluded that both bone marrow stem cells and PRP had distinct benefits in building new bone during early phases of bone regeneration.
In one study dated May 2018 doctors at the University of California San Francisco found that PRP promoted endometrial regeneration in clinical situations where there was compromised endometrial growth and scarring. This potentially gives a lot of hope to those who may have endometriosis or even fibroids.
In 2015, Chinese researchers showed that PRP significantly increased the proliferation of rat dental pulp cells and their calcification under a range of concentrations. This gives scientists the idea that creating alternatives for the use of the dental procedure where the nerve root is killed when it is causing a lot of pain in a patient. If healthy dental pulp cells can be injected and will grow, they will replace the unhealthy ones and remedy the situation naturally.
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Why Not Use Both?
Possibly the best solution of whether or not to use either PRP or stem cells for various conditions is to simply use both. In many of the medical studies now, we are seeing the use of both – and it makes sense.
One study from Spain reported that rats that had decaying jaw bones have a potential treatment in the combination of adipose-derived stem cells with platelet-rich plasma. The combination treatment worked synergistically better than either one by itself. Jaw bones that decay in human occur as a result of the use of the drug bisphosphonate, which is used for the treatment of osteoporosis.
Stem cells or PRP? If this is the question, then the answer seems a bit obvious. It’s to use both together. The only thing preventing this from occurring would be cost. PRP is about half the cost of the stem cell treatment. PRP may be used initially to see if it works, and then followed up with PRP plus stem cell treatments if you want to approach the situation with a bit of financial jurisprudence. But if you’re simply looking at the bottom line – results – then the answer is use both from the start.