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How Regenerative Medicine & Stem Cell Therapy Impacts Aging

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Lance Hitchings has an excellent YouTube channel where he shares everything he has learned on his quest to turn back the hands of time when it comes to aging. In the following video, Lance gives an update on what regenerative medicine and stem cell therapies are currently doing in the field of aging.

Credit: Lance Hitchings

Video Transcript:

What if there was a way to return the cells in your body to a more youthful state and restore the optimal function of old cells? This is where the field of longevity begins to look like science fiction. I’m talking about stem cell therapies and the field of regenerative medicine. The use of new technologies that seem to be heading towards the future. In today’s video, we are going to talk about regenerative medicine.

What is Regenerative Medicine?

Now, regenerative medicine is actually a whole new field, and it’s all about bringing damaged cells or tissues back to a healthy state.

In fact, regenerative medicine has been defined as the process of replacing, engineering, or regenerating human cells, tissues, or organs to restore or establish a normal function…or healthy function.

The primary tool for scientific practitioners are stem cells and exosomes. So, in today’s video, we’ll look at what stem cells and exosomes are, how they can restore tissue, why regenerative medicine might be something worth looking at in terms of beating the aging process, and finally, we take a look at a couple of regenerative medicine clinics to get some The examples are what is happening in the field now…today.

Stem Cells and Exosomes

These are the basic cells from which every other cell in our body originates. When a sperm cell implants a human egg cell, the first stem cell is created. The cell begins to divide or differentiate, and eventually differentiates into all the different types of tissues in our bodies. As they move along the spectrum from a stem cell that can become any other type of cell, to a somatic cell or “body” that is highly specific and has lost the ability to become any other type of cell.

.. they lose their efficacy. An embryonic cell that can become any type of cell is called pluripotent. A stem cell that has differentiated enough that it can now only become a specific class of cell is called multipotent.

Examples of multipotent stem cells include mesenchymal stem cells, which can become bone, cartilage, muscle, and fat cells; and hematopoietic stem cells, which can differentiate into platelets and red and white blood cells. The progenitor cell has the lowest potency and can become only one type of cell. For example, a satellite cell is a type of progenitor cell that can only become muscle tissue.

Three Jobs of Stem Cells

Now, stem cells have three functions. The first is to reproduce, to earn more of themselves.

They do this by undergoing mitosis and replicating themselves using cell division. The second function is very distinct. To become what kind of tissue you are meant to become. This is important because different types of tissue cells have different ages. From a few days to your whole life.

On average, most cells die and are replaced every 7 to 10 years. How are they replaced? By differentiation of the progenitor stem cells into a cell they can replace the dying cell. Therefore, most tissues in your body undergo a continuous process of cell death and replacement by stem cells. But stem cells have a third function – To mask chemical signals that can spark cellular repair processes. So not only can stem cells replace dying cells, they can also repair and regenerate unhealthy cells… return them to a healthy state.

These chemical signals are released into the extracellular environment in the form of membrane-bound vesicles called EVs, or extracellular vesicles. Now, EVs are part of the intercellular communication network, where chemical signals are released and picked up by cells throughout the body.

Changing connections between cells are one of the hallmarks of aging and can have a big impact on how old you age. Chemical signals can either lead to deterioration of cellular function, such as inflammation; or improve function, as in the case of exosomes. So, exosomes are extracellular vesicles secreted by stem cells and contain proteins, DNA and RNA that are able to ignite repair processes in damaged cells.

Stem Cell Exhaustion

So, you see, maintaining a healthy supply of stem cells is crucial if you want to stave off the aging process. But since stem cells undergo damage throughout their lives, this means that the repair processes that stem cells undergo are just as important. So let’s take a look at this damage. Stem cell damage can accumulate over time for three reasons.

First, any unprocessed damage is transmitted to the stem cells. If a stem cell is damaged and that damage is not repaired, that damage can pass to the daughter cells when the stem cells multiply, and to the daughter cells in the future.

Then, damage to stem cells can accumulate if the rate of damage goes up. And a lot of stress, both internal and external, can cause a high rate of stem cell damage. But damage to stem cells can also accumulate if the rate of repair is reduced.

Now, here’s the thing. While damage can occur throughout the life of stem cells, it is not so with repair. Stem cells remain dormant for most of their lives, and live in a state of quiescence. Stem cells do not undergo repair when they are in a resting state. Repair functions occur once the stem cell is activated, once it has entered the cell cycle.

Now, when the stem cells are young, that’s okay. But as they get older, the damage builds up for a long time, and when this is combined with deteriorating repair function, stem cells can cross a threshold where there is too much damage to repair.

Instead of being repaired, the stem cells die. And the stem cell pool is getting smaller. And this is stem cell exhaustion. As the pool of stem cells gets smaller and smaller, there are not many stem cells to reproduce, not a large number of stem cells to differentiate and replace dying somatic cells, not a large number of stem cells to secrete exosomes.

What can we do to improve our collection of stem cells?

There are many strategies available. Since improvement of hallmarks upstream will improve downstream hallmarks, and since stem cell depletion is at the end of the hallmark cascade, improvement of any other hallmark will have a beneficial effect on stem cell depletion. Enhancement of the epigenome will help by improving DNA methylation. So you will boost your NAD+ levels, which will improve ATP production and activate sirtuins, boosting mitochondria. You can fast, which ignites autophagy or you can remove aging cells containing anti-aging, which improves inflammation. Or you can give stem cells an injection into the arm using stem cell treatments available at a number of clinics.

So, today I’m going to talk about a couple of those clinics, just to give you an idea of the different treatments that are available. Now, none of these clinics are sponsored by this video, and I am not affiliated with either. Just to clarify, I produce some educational content for one of them, but no one pays me any money to shoot this video.

The first clinics I’m going to talk about are Docere Clinics, in Park City, Utah. It’s run by Dr. Harry Adelson and this is where Dave Asprey, the biological hacker of Bulletproof Coffee fame, underwent stem cell therapy.

The other clinic is the Institute for Regenerative Medicine, which are clinics in Montclair, New Jersey, Houston, Texas, Miami, and San Jose in Costa Rica. RMI is directed by Dr. Vincent Gianbaba, who has been twice nominated for a Nobel Prize for his work on stem cells.

Now, each of these clinics does things a little differently, which is why I chose these two examples, just to show you some of the different approaches to stem cell therapy. Let’s start with how stem cells are collected or harvested. At Docere, as I understand it, they extract some bone marrow from the hip bones, and stem cells are harvested from that. They primarily collect mesenchymal stem cells. I think they also used to extract some adipose tissue and harvest adipose marrow-derived stem cells, but I don’t think they do that anymore.

At RMI, they do things a little differently. First, they put you on a round of antisenile medications for about a week to remove the aging cells that speed up the aging process.

These antisenile medications are dasatinib as well as quectitin and fisetin. Next, they put you on a 3-day course of taking Neupogen. This medicine causes newly formed stem cells in the bone marrow to activate and enter the bloodstream.

Next, they connect you to an apheresis machine, which extracts blood from one arm, filters stem cells, and then returns the other parts of your blood to the other arm. In RMI, they harvest mesenchymal, hematopoietic and endothelial stem cells. Three types of stem cells are usually found in large numbers when you are a healthy young adult.

Well, what do they do with these stem cells once they collect them? Again, there are some differences between Docere and RMI.

First, let me say that in Docere, this is mostly done in single sessions, both collection and re-infusion. Usually, one of them is anesthetized, then they collect the stem cells and then there is about 45 minutes where the stromal stem cells are prepared. Then, they have two doctors working in tandem to inject the stem cells back into different parts of the body. They can inject stem cells back into nearly every joint, your shoulders, elbows, wrists, thumbs, hips, knees, ankles and big toe. They can inject stem cells into your entire spine, from the base of your skull all the way to your tailbone, on both sides.

Apparently, this is especially effective in people with dry lumbar discs. They can inject stem cells into penile tissue or vaginal tissues to rejuvenate sexual performance. They can inject stem cells into the face, neck and scalp to rejuvenate the aesthetic appearance of more youthful skin and to re-grow bald hair.

Now, Docere used to do it in the past primarily as a treatment for chronic pain, but they’ve developed a procedure they call Full-Body Stem Cell Makeover that’s more of a preventative treatment meant to extend life, and that’s the procedure that Dave Asprey underwent.

Again, at RMI, they do things a little differently. After collecting the three different types of stem cells, they put the three types of stem cells into cryopreservation after collection. This is what you should do only once in your entire life. Here the aging process is suspended until the stem cells are needed. Therefore, many young adults go to RMI to preserve their stem cells later in life, when they may really need them, after an injury.

But what if you are older and have old stem cells?

Well, RMI has a process, a proprietary process, they call Cell Restoration. This procedure is only performed on stem cells collected from older patients, and this includes anyone over the age of 60. The goal of the cell restoration process is to restore old, damaged stem cells to a state similar to that of young stem cells collected from young adults. Older cells are combined in a special culture technique with young, healthy stem cells collected from donors.

Using chemical signals, exosomes and DNA segments from young adult stem cells are able to restore the genetic activity of older stem cells.

Returning old stem cells to a more youthful functional state. This process now takes about 10 days. These recovered stem cells are then returned to cryopreservation. After about six months to a year, some of the stem cells are thawed and used to replace the declining number of stem cells in these impatient elderly people. This process can then continue on an annual basis. Therefore, in the case of RMI, you will benefit from reactivating older, dormant stem cells in your body’s tissues, but also by re-infusion of young, working stem cells into your body.

Is Stem Cell Therapy Legal in the United States?

One thing I need to mention. My understanding is that while it is legal within the US to collect stem cells, you cannot inject them back into your body, except for very limited indications.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the reintegration of stem cells into a person’s body primarily to restore immune function after cancer treatment. The operations that RMI performs on stem cells; that is, the collecting, storing and recombining your own stem cells for anti-aging purposes, are not approved in the United States. And this despite the fact that the exact same process none of the processes has been used for decades for patience against cancer. It is used with much success and security.

Although the RMI stem cell restoration process has not yet been approved in the United States, animal studies have shown an extension of 30% in the maximum lifespan and healthy range in study animals.

Now, it is not known when or if this treatment was approved in the United States. That’s why RMI maintains a state-of-the-art clinic in Costa Rica, where they can legally perform this treatment. In addition to other stem cell therapy treatments and advanced research studies. Regenerative medicine is currently in its infancy. Both in the next few years and in the longer term, we are going to see some huge developments in this field as it matures.

Still in a phase that does not suit everyone. My feeling is that not much is known about the long-term effects to make it completely safe for everyone yet. But there are people who are running out of time, and many of those people are willing to take the calculated risks, along with the benefits, that undergoing stem cell therapy may entail. And you know what? I might be one of those people.

So, stay tuned for more updates. If you enjoyed this video, you may want to watch this early video I made on stem cell depletion. That’s it for me, I’m out here.

*** All content on NationalStemCellTherapy.com is for informational purposes only. All medical questions and concerns should always be consulted with your licensed healthcare provider.

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