Potential Benefits of Stem Cells Injections and IV Stem Cell Therapy

Old age is the leading cause of mortality worldwide. As obvious as this statement may seem, it is not unimportant. People tend to worry more about chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease, or cancer, but the process of aging plays a role in the development of these conditions as well.

The reason why we do not pay much attention to aging is that we believe there is nothing we can do about it. The aging process is unstoppable. It is a constant decline in physiological function and health until the inevitable end. Right?

Well, scientists seem to disagree. For years, the aging process and its effects on human health are the subjects of scientific research. There is much progress too. We’ve learned about free radicals, oxidative stress, and other factors that contribute to age-related decline.

However, when it comes to scientific research focused on aging, stem cells are by far the most important discovery.

These cells have the potential for tissue regeneration. In theory, the possibilities are endless. Organ replacement and significantly longer life span are just some of them. Stem cells carry a promise of the fountain of youth. Still, we are not quite there yet.

The purpose of this article is to provide quality insight into the potential and current use of stem cell therapy. We will explain different methods of application, discuss the benefits, and point out all potential flaws. So, if you wish to know more, keep reading below.

What are stem cells?

By definition, stem cells are undifferentiated or partially differentiated cells that can differentiate into various cell types. In simple words, stem cells can become other types of cells, and they can also divide indefinitely to create more cells. That is their main advantage compared to the remaining types of cells, such as precursor and progenitor cells.

Stem cells exist both in embryos and fully-formed adults. They are the material from which specialized cells, such as heart muscle cells, blood cells, bone cells, brain cells, etc., are made off.

The ability to differentiate into various types of cells gives stem cells a huge regenerative potential. Scientists hope that the use of stem cells in medical treatments will revolutionize medicine in the future.

However, the current use of stem cells is limited to Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation and some experimental treatments, such as Stem Cell IV Rejuvenation (Infusion).

Types of Stem Cells

Not all stem cells are the same. According to their origin and the stage of body development in which they form, we can separate stem cells into five groups. These are:

  1. Embryonic stem cells
  2. Tissue-specific stem cells
  3. Mesenchymal stem cells
  4. Perinatal stem cells
  5. Induced pluripotent stem cells

Various types of stem cells have different capabilities and use. However, two critical abilities, proliferation, and differentiation are present in all stem cells. Therefore, all stem cells can produce copies of themselves indefinitely, and they can develop into specialized cells.

Now, let’s take a more detailed look at all the types separately:

Embryonic stem cells

Embryonic stem cells form in the early stage of embryo development, around five days after the egg cell fertilization.

These stem cells get harvested from the mass of cells found in the human blastocyst. If left there, they would develop into more specialized cells and, later, in different tissues and organs.

However, when embryonic stem cells get taken early on, they retain their pluripotency. That means they can differentiate into all other types of cells except the umbilical cord or placenta cells.

For research purposes, the source of embryonic stem cells is in-vitro fertilization. These are the cells left redundant in the process of assisted reproduction. 

Tissue-specific stem cells

These are adult stem cells, partially differentiated so that they can generate only certain cell types for specific tissues and organs. Sometimes, tissue-specific stem cells are also called somatic stem cells.

The best examples of this cell type are the hematopoietic stem cells found in the bone marrow. These blood-forming stem cells can only differentiate into white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets.

It is common for some organs and tissues to contain small amounts of tissue-specific stem cells. The role of these stem cells is to replace the cells lost, for different reasons, in everyday life.

Tissue-specific stem cells cannot proliferate themselves as well as embryonic stem cells in lab conditions.

Mesenchymal stem cells

Mesenchymal stem cells are isolated from stroma, a type of connective tissue that surrounds other organs and tissues. That is why they are also called stromal cells.

Their ability to give rise to other cell types depends on the part of the body they originate. For example, mesenchymal stem cells from bone marrow are capable of creating bone, cartilage, and fat cells.

Therefore, not all mesenchymal stem cells are the same. Their properties depend on their origin, harvesting method, and how they are grown.

Perinatal stem cells

Perinatal stem cells come from the umbilical cord blood and amniotic fluid. They can create all other cell types. More research is necessary to understand the full potential of perinatal stem cells.

Induced pluripotent stem cells

Induced pluripotent stem cells are tissue-specific cells manipulated in lab conditions to obtain the characteristics of embryonic stem cells. They share most abilities with embryonic stem cells, including the ability to differentiate into all other cell types. 

What is regenerative medicine?

Regenerative medicine is a relatively new branch of medical science that uses stem cells to regenerate, engineer, or replace different tissues and organs. When it comes to the use of stem cells in medical treatments, regenerative medicine is by far the leading discipline.

We could say that “stem cell therapy” is a synonym for regenerative medicine. That’s how important the role of stem cells in this field is.

The stem cells used in regenerative medicine procedures often come from the patient’s tissue. That is a huge advantage since the potential for the immunological mismatch is minimal.

In the future, regenerative medicine could potentially eliminate the need for organ donation and replace it with lab-grown tissues and organs.

The transplantation of in-vitro grown organs is a great future promise. But, it is still not a reality. However, there are other methods of stem cell application in regenerative medicine. The two most important ones are:

  1. Stem cell Injections
  2. Stem cell IV Infusions  

Stem Cell Injections

Stem cell injections can be a solution for localized and easily accessible health problems. That is because, with injections, stem cells are placed precisely at a specific area of the body.

If you are experiencing joint pain, for example, stem cell injections can go directly into the painful joint.

Stem cell injections can treat both acute and chronic conditions, such as:

  • Localized pain
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Muscle loss
  • Hair regrowth
  • Glaucoma
  • Hearing loss

This method of stem cell application also works well with certain autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis. Stem cells can slow-down or stop the progression of the disease in some cases.

There can be significant improvements in patients who are in a wheelchair. That means the improvement in motor skills, movement, balance, and the overall quality of life.

One large study shows that a 70% improvement is possible in some patients who receive regular spinal stem cell injections at three months intervals. The results in this field are so promising that researchers believe stem cells could be the cure for multiple sclerosis in the future.

Injections of bone marrow-derived stem cells can improve different types of arthritis, such as:

  • Sacroiliac joint arthritis
  • Spinal arthritis (neck and back)
  • Hip arthritis
  • Knee arthritis
  • Shoulder arthritis
  • Ankle arthritis

In many cases, stem cell injections can delay or eliminate the need for knee replacement surgery in patients suffering from knee osteoarthritis.

The treatment is much less invasive compared to surgery. It usually involves the harvesting of the patient’s stem cells and injecting them back into the damaged knee. Once there, stem cells can slow down the degenerative process and repair damaged cartilage.

That results in reduced pain and inflammation. It increases the movement range of the affected joint and raises the patient’s quality of life.  

Stem cell injections in aesthetic treatments

Stem cell injections are used in aesthetic treatments to boost the regenerative power of skin and hair. These injections do not alter a patient’s appearance in the way other aesthetic and surgical procedures do. However, they help the skin heal and repair itself faster.

In hair regrowth procedures, stem cell injections help the hair follicles to restart the hair growth process.

Stem cell injections only cause mild discomfort during aesthetic treatments. There can be some inflammation after the procedure in the injected area. That is, however, a positive thing because it keeps the stem cells from migrating to other parts of the body and helps the first stage of healing.

Intravenous Application of Stem Cells (IV stem cell therapy)

Intravenous stem cell therapy involves a direct infusion of a large number of stem cells into the patient’s bloodstream. This method of application allows stem cells to be distributed all over the body. That is why IV stem cell therapy is sometimes called IV rejuvenation.

Infused stem cells boost the overall health and life quality of the patient. The treatment is popular among athletes and people suffering from certain autoimmune and chronic conditions. But, it is not yet widely accepted by medical professionals.

These are some of the conditions that can improve with IV stem cell therapy:

  • Injuries
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Chronic pain
  • Autoimmune diseases (Multiple sclerosis)
  • Liver diseases
  • Neurodegenerative conditions
  • Neurological conditions
  • Inflammation related to respiratory infections  

Stem cells can also strengthen the immune response and help the body fight off infections. Some preliminary studies show that stem cell IV therapy can aid the recovery from COVID-19. In some cases, stem cell therapy can also replace surgery.

IV stem cell therapy can treat parts of the body where injections cannot reach or work effectively. They cover a wider area and create a valuable change. Therefore, IV stem cells are perfect for conditions within the body.

IV stem cell therapy and anti-aging

The popularity of stem cells in beauty treatments is growing every year. Due to their regenerative properties, stem cells improve the appearance and health of skin and hair. The best thing is they achieve this in a minimally invasive way.

The use of stem cells in aesthetic treatments provides high-quality results with no pain and no recovery time. 

How the treatment looks like

IV stem cell therapy causes minimal discomfort. The treatment is done at the clinic or in the home of the patient.

Either way, a nurse will get you attached to the IV. The IV will flow for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. After the treatment, you are free to resume normal daily activities.  

Controversies about Stem Cells

Stem cells are surrounded by controversy ever since their discovery. The controversial opinions are especially critical about the use of embryonic stem cells for research. We could say that the rules and regulations imposed as a result of these controversies have significantly delayed the progress of stem cell research.

We’ve already explained that embryonic stem cells come from freshly-fertilized egg cells. However, they don’t come from the uterus but the no longer needed embryos in the in-vitro fertilization process, with informed consent from donors.

That is considered ethically acceptable. There are several reasons why embryonic stem cells cannot be replaced by adult stem cells in research. They are more versatile, durable, and they can differentiate in all cell types. Also, embryonic stem cells are highly unlikely to contain any toxins or abnormalities.

The Bottom Line

Although their use in medical treatments is still limited, the future for stem cells looks very promising. Current methods of application and the ongoing research unravel a revolutionary potential. The rapid development of new technologies, the increase in availability, and the reduction of the treatment cost will soon make stem cell therapy a standard treatment for various medical conditions.

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