Using Your Fat To Harvest Stem Cells To Regenerate Your Body
Fat harvested from your body using liposuction and processed for stem cells can regenerate joints and tissues.
I practice taekwondo at my dojo twice a week. And I feel my sixty-plus years in my knees after any substantial workout.
I also work out at home using free weights and an elliptical machine. Granted I restrict my exercises to those that do not aggravate my knees. For instance, I have eliminated (or severely reduced) exercises like jumping jacks and burpees. How long my knees will last and what to do about it is always in the back of my mind.
Every year about 600,000 Americans have knee replacement surgery. This is a major surgery performed under general anesthesia. A successful surgery will have a long recovery time that will include physical therapy.
Stem Cells 101
So what the heck is a stem cell anyway? Essentially stem cells are what I would call a master cell, progenitor-cell, or undifferentiated cells. By this I mean the cell hasn’t specialized itself yet. It’s not a muscle cell, skin cell, cartilage cell, organ cell, etc. but the stem cell could transform itself into any one of those cell types if needed by the body. Stem cells also have the ability to divide and form additional daughter cells.
So imagine you’re a diabetic, your doctor could, in theory, inject stem cells into your pancreas and the stem cells help regenerate your pancreas. This is called regenerative medicine. It sounds like science fiction but it's not. Unfortunately, stem cells are not a cure but are a therapy that heals the body enough to mitigate the symptoms. But science is moving forward.
Researchers are working on methods to target and direct stem cells to regenerate target specific tissues in the body.
There are numerous applications for regenerative medicine. Therapies include spinal cord injuries, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, other neurological diseases, lupus, burns, COPD, sclerosis, heart disease, cancer, autoimmune diseases, and osteoarthritis. Clinical studies are getting great results.
The type of stem cells that are used are mesenchymal stem cells or MSCs.
The stem cells target inflammation and stimulate the regeneration of diseased or damaged tissue.
Replacement of Organ Transplants
It is probable that the future of stem cell technology will eventually lead it as a replacement for organ transplants. Instead of replacement organs, like a heart, a few months of stem cell therapy will regenerate your existing heart.
Where to Obtain Stem Cells
From the title of this article, I’m sure you already know, stem cells can be processed from your own fat cells. In addition, adult stem cells can be obtained from bone marrow, and blood. Which stem cell is harvested depends upon the doctor’s preference and application.
Embryonic stem cells
This a controversial source because these stem cells are taken from human embryos. In 2009 the National Institute of Health issued guidelines for research which included that only embryos created by in vitro fertilization may be used. Embryonic stem cells are powerful, but as far as I know, only available for research, so I will leave it there and move on.
Perinatal Stem Cells — Umbilical Cord Tissue
The next best thing to embryonic stem cells are MSC obtained from umbilical cords and umbilical cord blood. Why? Because they are very young MSC cells. Being younger they can replicate at a faster rate. The MSC potency is related to its age. Older MSC effectiveness decreases exponentially with age, and are far less potent. Even MSC obtained from a person in their twenties is not as effective as umbilical cord tissue.
So the MSC cells taken from an older individual’s fat cells, are less potent to do the repair work needed.
Fortunately, doctors are able to source MSCs from donated cord tissue. But the therapy treatments in the U.S. using umbilical cord tissue are very limited by the FDA to blood disorders. For other stem cell treatments using the high-quality umbilical cord MSC, one may need to travel out of the U.S. to Stem Cell Treatment facilities in Panama or Cayman Islands
No Rejection — Immunopriviledged
Fortunately, MSCs from umbilical cords do not have to be matched to the host as they do not carry a risk of rejection from the immune system. These are young, immune-privileged cells, that are still undifferentiated.
How are Stem Cells are Administered
Stem cells can be administered right to the injection site, like the knee, hands or hip. Another method is intravenous, where a person is connected to an IV drip of stem cells.
If my knees deteriorate to the point where I need to do something I would prefer a non-surgical option. Good results are being obtained with stem cells. Basically stem cells are injected into the knee, where the stem cell regenerates the joint with little downtime.
Personally I can deal with an injection to my knee, a lot better, than knee replacement surgery.
Currently, in the U.S., doctors are only allowed to use adult MSCs typically taken from the patient. Harvested from the patient's fat tissue or bone marrow. While the therapy works as I explained earlier, it is in my opinion, not as good as perinatal stem cells from umbilical cord tissue.
Stem cell treatment per knee costs approximately $2,000 to 5,000. There are reputable treatment centers in Texas, Florida and Colorado. Stem cell treatment is not currently covered by insurance. It may sometimes be covered if its an adjunct to a major procedure that is covered.
From what I read, the stem cell knee treatment lasts about a year, where you may need another stem cell treatment. Like I wrote about earlier, this is a therapy, not a cure.
However, the perinatal stem cells from umbilical cord tissue, when used in treatments may last 3–5 years.
Stem Cell Therapy with Stem Cells from Autologous Fat · Stem Cell Therapy
Therapy with autologous stem cells separated from body fat for heart diseases, diabetes, joint problems, sports…stemcelltherapy.cc