Regenerative medicine or anti aging medicine is at the forefront of the new wave of preventive health care, and is expected to swiftly become the norm for any progressive health care system in the 21st century. This medical approach is centered on the very early detection, prevention, and slowing down of age-related diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart diseases, arthritis, macular degeneration, various cancers, Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases to name a few.
With appropriate preventive measures, it is believed that most of these age-related diseases can be prevented, delayed, or in some cases even possibly reversed if the disorder is detected on time. By slowing down aging, we can achieve the outmost objective of not only living longer but also living free of age-related problems and diseases. Our Health Regen Stem Cell Therapy Programs were created with this very important objective in mind so that our patients can potentially achieve and sustain an optimal health and well being from the day they receive our treatment until well into their golden years.
Stem Cell at the Forefront of Regenerative Medicine
Over the years, several major theories have been developed about the underlying causes of aging including oxidative damage, cell DNA damage, chronic inflammation, neurological degeneration, decline in hormone levels, susceptibility to certain cancers, etc. All these theories of aging lean towards the weakening and eventually failing of one or many biological processes which in turn leads to primary diseases of aging such as cancers, cardiovascular diseases and Alzheimer’s disease.
Many of these age-related weakening biological processes are also more and more frequently linked to a weakening in the body’s capability to regenerate its own stem cells. As you can find out in our Stem Cell Overview section, in the first stage of development, embryonic stem cells (ESC) are the building blocks from which a whole human body can develop. Once a human being is born, adults stem cells (ASC) take over from ESC. ASC have a very different role to play though. The role of ASC are not to further develop the existing tissue in which they can be found, but rather, to maintain, renew, and repair that tissue so that it can optimally play the role it was created for by the ESC. ASC are continuously generated in small quantity by the bone marrow and can be found in all tissues of the body.
As we age though, it has been found that the bone marrow generates fewer stem cells, leading to a decline of ASC in the body and a decrease in the ability to regenerate and repair tissues. Age-related changes occur in the skin, organs, sex glands, immune system, blood-forming system, muscles and other systems. These changes are strongly associated with a reduction in the generation of stem cells to replace aging cells. As our body’s cells continue over time to become progressively weaker and perish, unless appropriate new cells are generated, aging continues to take place followed by the occurrence of a number of typical degenerative diseases. Good health therefore seems to be a balance between cellular loss versus the ability to regenerate and repair tissue while aging and disease formation is the result of an imbalance between cellular loss and the ability to regenerate and repair tissue.
Stem Cell Replenishment and Rejuvenation Theory
It is on the back of this theory “balance between cellular loss versus the ability to regenerate and repair tissue” that activated adult stem cells were first injected in patients in the early 2000’s to replace diseased, dysfunctional, aged or injured cells. The results were immediate. By replenishing the body with a large quantity of new stem cells, it was shown that the body could regain some capability to renew and repair tissues and slow down the phenomenon of aging. Since then, several studies in the medical literature have been reported to support this evidence of rejuvenation or “anti-aging” occurring in patients that have undergone a stem cell therapy program using adult stem cells.
At Thai Regen, our results to date with several of our patients seem to support this theory quite well. Many of our patients that have undergone one of our Health Regen Stem Cell Therapy Programs have shown good rejuvenation signs beyond expectation. Some of the many testimonials include a vital regain in energy level, a stronger immune system making them less prone to catching colds and other related illnesses, improved eye sight, reduction in acute or chronic joint paints, better libido, etc.
These testimonials are further practical evidence that the use of adult stem cells to prevent or delay age-related diseases and assist patients regain their youthful vitality has very strong merits and can be used to offer patients the opportunity to not only potentially live longer but also to live free of age-related problems and diseases.
OTHER INTERESTING FINDINGS:
Tissues and Organs Constantly Turnover
For a long time, it was believed that our cells did not begin to degenerate before our late thirties. However, with the discovery of stem cells, it has been demonstrated that cell degeneration begins in the womb and continues on shortly after birth.
Cells are constantly turned over or replaced and replenished. This can easily be demonstrated by skin and hair cells that continuously grow from a person’s own supply of stem cells. Another good example of this constant replenishment of cells from stem cells is the blood, which is made of red blood cells that are continuously replaced from haematopoietic stem cells as they only survive for 120 days. Additional studies have shown that typical cell replacement of various organ tissues is around 5 days for Intestinal mucosa, 3 months to 4 years for pancreas, 4 years for lung, 15 years for heart, and 15 to 30 years for brain. Based on these findings, it is reasonable to assume that a treatment with adult stem cells can most likely provide our body with the significant capability to speed up repair and regenerate damaged cells and tissues in parts of the body that otherwise could take years to recover, if at all.
Free Radical Damage
Free radical damage occurs as we grow older due mainly to the weakening of our body’s repair mechanisms. As we age, this leads to a slowdown in tissue repairs, weakening organs, and overall leaving us more vulnerable to diseases. The results can be seen by wrinkles, stiff joints, loss of muscle and bone mass, reduced hearing and a noticeable diminution in our ability to heal. We also bruise easier as the skin becomes thinner and is less elastic.
Stem cells repair, regenerate, and rejuvenate the diseased tissues, thus limiting the further progress of the disease itself as well as halting the aging process. Our immune response may also be enhanced, thereby further slowing down the disease process or aging of the tissues. Treatment with stem cell therapy is not a cure, but rather a process of repair, regeneration and rejuvenation that occurs at varying levels. This is why stem cell therapy seems so effective in assisting in rejuvenating the body.
Stem cell therapy also seems to modulate the immune system as stem cells themselves may have the property to act as mild immunosuppressive agents, thus allowing the body’s own healing and regenerative capacity to become more effective.
Bone Marrow is the Natural Renewal System of the Body
Research has shown that the bone marrow with its constant generation of stem cells constitute the natural “renewal” system of the body. The release of stem cells from the bone marrow increases the ability of the body to combat aging by maintaining and regenerating cells thereby sustaining optimal health. New developments over the last decade in the area of rejuvenation and preventive medicine using stems cells have been numerous and have made stem cell therapy a must for any serious rejuvenation, anti-aging, or preventive medicine program.
Stem Cell and the Aging Process of the Skin
Skin is an organ whose function is far beyond a physical barrier between the inside and the outside of the body. Skin is composed of the epidermis, dermis and matrix. The dermis is a tissue rich in matrix elements and poor in cellular content. It is accepted that modifications occurring in the matrix are those which mostly contribute to skin aging, by altering its biomechanical properties. Therefore, it is common to address questions related to skin aging by considering alterations in matrix molecules like collagen.
Researchers have undertaken investigations in stem cells related to fibroblasts, which are the cells responsible for the formation and maintenance of the dermis. It has now been shown that these stem cells induced fibroblasts placed in classical culture on plastic medium exhibit different morphologies associated with different secretion properties, allowing the reproduction of a three-dimensional architecture resembling skin in vivo (within the human body).
Using stem cells, scientists are now generating fibroblast containing preparations that grow and can form natural collagen and skin. This collagen matrix assumes the same structure as normal young healthy skin and so reduces the visible appearance of wrinkling.
Cardiovascular Health and Stem Cells
It has been shown that cardiomyocytes that die in response to disease processes or aging are replaced by scar tissue instead of new muscle cells. Although recent reports suggest an intrinsic capacity for the mammalian myocardium to regenerate via endogenous stem cells, the magnitude of such a response appears to be limited and has yet to be realized fully in patients with heart disease. If this process can be augmented via stem cell therapy then survival rates following heart disease will increase.
Studies from multiple laboratories have shown that transplantation of donor cells (e.g. fetal cardiomyocytes, skeletal myoblasts, smooth muscle cells, and adult stem cells) can improve the function of diseased hearts over a short period of time (1 – 4 weeks). While long-term follow-up studies are warranted, it is generally perceived that the beneficial effects of transplanted cells are mainly due to increased angiogenesis or scar remodeling in the engrafted myocardium.
“The level of CD34+ cells is one of the best predictors of cardiovascular health; the higher the number of circulating CD34+ cells, the greater the cardiovascular health.” ….. “The level of stem cells in the blood was a better predictor of heart attack than cholesterol level”. New England Journal of Medicine, September 8, 2005
This was a major finding and provides a solid base for the suggestion that stem cells contribute to the ongoing repairs needed for a healthy heart and overall health. It also re-emphasizes the fact that the number of stem cells in the blood seems to be a very important factor for maintaining cardiovascular health.