Some time ago a wrote a blog about the use of certain components of the marijuana plant. It was a fairly short blog which I will include here. More and more states are proposing the legalization of marijuana. There are numerous health claims about hemp oil which is a derivative of Cannabis. There may be merit to these claims possibly by the action of the Cannabis on stem cells. Below is the blog and I will expand more on it:
"We use to think that marijuana was bad for one's health. Now we are not so sure about it. We need to clarify things a bit.
Cannabinoids, the active components of cannabis (Cannabis sativa) extracts, have attracted the attention of human civilizations for centuries for a variety of uses. The use of Cannabis or Marijuana (scientific name is Cannabis sativa) came before we were able to discover the active portion or substrate. This substrate is called endocannabinoid system. The endocannabbinoid system has a number of components. The system consists of lipids, the receptors for the lipids and certain metabolic enzymes. The Cannabinoid signaling regulates cell proliferation, differentiation and it reduces cell aptosis or death. These receptors are found in the very early stages of life. The results of the Cannabinoid receptors depend upon molecular targets and cellular context involved. There are two main receptors which are called CB1 and CB2 receptors. These receptors seem to be involved in neural degeneration. They seem to be involved in all three germ layer formations. . CB1 and CB2 show opposite patterns of expression, the former increasing and the latter decreasing along neuronal differentiation. It is thought that the CB2 receptors may be most important. Recently, endocannabinoid (eCB) signaling has also been shown to regulate proliferation and differentiation of hematopoietic and mesenchymal stem cells, with a key role in determining the formation of several cell types in peripheral tissues, including blood cells, adipocytes, osteoblasts/osteoclasts and epithelial cells. The developmental regulation of cannabinoid receptor expression and cellular/sub-cellular localization, together with their role in progenitor/stem cell biology, may have important implications in human health and disease. Bone marrow and stem cells make endocannabinoids, these endocannabinoids interact with the cannabinoid receptors (Cannabinoid receptors have been found in nearly every cell in the human body). If cannabinoids can enhance stem cell migration and proliferation, this could be a powerful therapy. For instance, if you can increase the numbers and movement of stem cells to an injured tissue, you could vastly enhance the healing process. Lastly, the synthetic cannabinoid HU-210 is about 100-1000x times more potent than THC from Cannabis and this synthetic agent has been found to be neurogenic. Meaning that HU-210 can cause new neurons (brain cells) in the brain to form. However this study was done in rats...and humans are different from rats. Will I prescribe medical marijuana for my stem cell patients? At present I do not think I have enough information to make an intelligent decision about this. I suspect if some day I do prescribe this it will be some derivative of Cannabis. There are certainly some intriguing aspects of Cannabis but I feel the jury is still out. I suspect we will certainly hear more about this. Thanks Dr. P"
That was the blog I wrote some time ago. At this juncture I am getting closer to utilizing some component of Cannabis. I have further looked at the literature and there seems to be some very good science on the effect of Cannabis on stem cell workings. One of the intriguing aspects of the CB2 receptor is that it is found mostly in the immune system. At the University of South Carolina, a team discovered that THC could reduce the inflammation associated with autoimmune diseases by suppressing the activity of certain genes involved in the immune response. Its presence there interests scientists because the immune system triggers inflammation, and studies show marijuana can have an anti-inflammatory effect. When we start talking about the immune system we have a host of implications. We are aware that many diseases of aging may have some basis as an auto-immune disease. One of these that interests me is Osteoporosis. There may be both receptors at work. CB-2 works on the immune system while CB-1 is induced during osteogenic differentiation. As I have written in another blog, Very Small Embryonic Like Stem Cells may have a profound effect on the course of Osteoporosis. The next question is can we prime these cells additionally with Cannabis and take things to the next level. More to come I am sure. Dr. P.
We continue to make significant progress on looking at medical problems on a much more basic level. By studying these problems in their origin we can many times eliminate problems before they manifest their ugly head. BMAP is leading-edge biochemical profiling that allows us to discover these problems and subsequently treat them. It will forever change the face of regenerative medicine. BMAP is a unique test that detects trace toxins that have settled in the body. These micro-toxins come from pollutants in food, water and the environment. Their accumulation can cause organ and system dysfunction, food intolerances, behavior problems, dermatoses, allergies, immune deficiencies, and hormonal imbalances. Manifestation of non-specific symptoms such as: digestive problems, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, rashes, arthritis, hyperactivity and more may result.
BMAP is a chemical analysis that uses bio-assay techniques to raise markers for an array of biochemical metabolites. This yields the biochemical portrait specific to the patient and indicates the metabolic profile, from which a tailored treatment plan can be created. The hallmark of this tailored treatment plan is the use of cytokines which are growth factors found in the body. Most medical treatments are tailored to the masses. While this is not a horrible thing it is just plain old fashion.
BMAP is like no other biological test available today. It is a non-invasive way of discovering the individual’s biological, metabolic and biochemical profile: a picture of their state of health from the inside out! With BMAP’s new technology, hyper or hypo expressed immune factors (also known as cytokines ) and hormones are available giving BMAP greater diagnostic reach.
METABOLITES, MICRO-TOXINS AND MORE…
Vitamins, homeopathies and herbals can be catalysts which push dysfunctional biochemical reactions one way, or cause reactions with other similar substances rendering a toxic soup which saps energy and damages the metabolism in the long run. Conventional wisdom taught us that these vitamins and herbals were necessary yet they may do more harm than good in certain situations.
Even food combinations can cause havoc to the metabolism and end up as food intolerances or allergies, fatigue, headache, skin conditions, intestinal inflammation and joint pain. Pollutants and contaminants in our food and environment accumulate and cause endocrine dysfunction which affects hormone levels and causes many non-specific symptoms like fatigue, bloating headache, palpitations, hypoglycemia, moodiness. These hormonal shifts are subtle and actually do not show up in normal blood tests until the endocrine dysfunction is out of control. BMAP hair analysis can help to discover these shifts before they get out of hand
It is important to understand that food and natural products like herbals and homeopathies are not neutral. Everything we put into our bodies reacts and generates biochemical by-products which are sometimes incompatible with other substances consumed, or carry micro-toxins like pollutants that accumulate. Also realize that when we take certain supplements these will compete with certain cytokine pathways actually interfering with the body's ability to heal itself. BMAP hair analysis can help to discover these shifts before they get out of hand.
BMAP CAN REVEAL:
Micro-toxic profile of affected organs, systems and tissues, embedded residues from environment, food or stress.
Food Intolerances: food intolerances are not allergies, but in a sense, they are more pernicious as they cause subtle reactions that, over time, are cumulative and alter organ function and can result in chronic problems. Certain combinations of nutraceuticals and foods or medicines can also cause disease states and acute and chronic problems. Degenerative tissue markers and inflammatory and metabolic markers.
BMAP as a Diagnostic Aid: BMAP can reveal biological and biochemical indicators for certain diseases and ailments, providing subsequent treatment plans for physicians. The results of the test are interpreted by the esteemed Dr Serrentino who developed BMAP and has mapped thousands of biological markers over her 30 years in research. Dr. Serrentino is considered one of the world's leading experts in cytokine therapy. Biologicals such as used in Cytokine Therapy are then suggested to reprogram the faulty biochemical profile. BMAP results include suggested protocols that use mostly Cytokine Therapy that is given in compounding format . Vitamins and nutraceuticals and food suggestions may also be included.
A hair sample comes from the head. A half inch or about 10 hairs cut from the tip of the hair is all that is needed. Any hair, even treated hair can be processed. Some send in roots, but this not required. A questionnaire must be carefully answered: any accompanying documents such as recent medical tests are also useful to include. A hair sample from the head is sufficient. In general, most patients see flagrant results because of the nuances that BMAP picks up in the components they put into their body… this is what makes a big difference in treatment success. CYTOKINES ARE ONE OF THE CENTERPIECES OF TREATMENT: The cytokines are one the centerpiece of BMAP therapy. Cytokine therapy is very important in different regenerative stem cell procedures. Cytokines are the body's communication system. They are growth factors that direct cells to initiate repair of injuries and the ravages of aging. One concept of aging is that the amount of damage begins to exceed the amount of repair. Essentially every medical condition results from an imbalance of the cytokines. These diseases include among other things heart disease, pulmonary disease, cancer and the list goes on and on. Our practice has utilized cytokines for a number of years with excellent results. We feel this is one of many aspects that separates our clinics from the pack. There are instances where the regenerative stem cells and other cells simply do not have the firepower to overcome certain bad growth factors. Some of the major bad guys include Interleukin-1, Interleukin-6, and Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF). These three culprits are responsible for much of the pain associated with osteoarthritis. These hoodlum cytokines cause far more than the symptoms of osteoarthritis. They rear their ugly side in many chronic diseases such as diabetes and cancer just to mention a few. They are responsible for chronic inflammation and all of its associated baggage such as autoimmune diseases. These are some of the main "bad" cytokines. They are considered catabolic cytokines. Things that are catabolic typically destroy and break down tissue. While the "good" cytokines are anabolic meaning they help to build up tissue. The concept seems fairly simple; have the "good guys" overpower the "bad guys". Instituting this idea is easier said than done. How are we able to analyze the imbalance is difficult enough. Correcting the imbalance at one time was thought to be an insurmountable task. The analysis and the methodology of correction seemed to be beyond our grasp. That is at least until now!
The method that we use has to be a method that will give reproducible results that are accurate and based on science. At the same time we need to have a reliable method to correct the imbalances. We are very fortunate in that we are utilizing one of the world's experts on cytokines or growth factors to perform the analysis. We have a number of different cytokines
A SAMPLE BMAP ANALYSIS
The following is a sample of a real BMAP test results. It illustrates what you will receive from the test results.
The patient in the sample was diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis before she had the BMAP test. She was taking Rx with no results and pain. She could not shed any weight. Within 2 weeks of the protocol the patient was pain free; free of joint pain as she puts it. More importantly for this patient, she lost 30 lbs within six weeks. She says she feels better when she follows the protocol. When she cheats on the foods that have been removed, she feels the deleterious effects and old symptoms resurface.
This patient is healthy for the most part. It is the multiple nutraceuticals that are calling her body to a change. There is a lot of overlap, and many nutraceuticals marked due to this overlap and overconsumption. This is slowly causing some metabolic conditions, especially insulin resistance, which is not manifesting in the standard way as in weight gain and fatigue, but rather taking the path of the muscles and synovial fluid. The energy regulation of insulin and glucose are the problem.
There is a definite IL-17 bypass reaction which is causing autoimmune symptoms. I believe that it is onlyin the initial stages of this physiological responses but coupled with the current hormonal profile, it should be addressed immediately to prevent further and chronic conditions. As well, regulating it will
alleviate the rheumatoid condition of her hands and the muscular pains in her hip and lower body. Pruritus may occur or exist because of the autoimmune IL-17 bypass reaction due to overlap of supplements, causing symptoms associated with insulin resistance and existing insulin resistance in
muscle. Main problems are associated with muscle function and energy metabolism by muscles. All of her symptoms are from Insulin Resistance, she must not drink fruit juices or eat fructose, take her off fruit; and the sweets she snacks are what is causing frequent urination. Take her off all supplements too.
Liver is in good shape and function!
As can be seen the BMAP analysis will forever change the way we will look a medical problems and treat them. Thanks Dr. P
Knee replacement surgery is often recommended for older adults who experience knee pain or have mobility problems such as walking or climbing stairs. However, knee replacement surgery, as with most surgeries, has certain risks and will require physical therapy for 1 to 2 months. For those with active lifestyles, a knee replacement implant may force you to give up certain high-impact activities such as jogging and sports for the rest of your life.
For these reasons, many patients have turned to stem cell therapy as an alternative to knee replacement surgery. With stem cell therapy, the patient’s own stem cells are harvested and injected into the damage joint. Since stem cell have the special ability to transform into specialized cells, they are able to create new cartilage in the knee.
The biggest reason why stem cell therapy is a popular alternative over knee replacement surgery is the fast recovery time. Stem cell therapy is an outpatient procedure. Most patients are able to walk around within 24 hours and will often wear a knee brace for a short period of time.
With knee surgery on the other hand, patients will usually stay in the hospital for 1 to 2 days before being allowed to go home. Afterwards, patients will have to go through some form of physical therapy which usually consists of:
A graduated walking program to slowly increase your mobility
Slowly resuming your normal household activities
Patients will most likely be able to resume driving after 4 to 6 weeks after surgery.
Since stem cells are a natural part of your body, there is virtually no risks to the patient’s health and the chance of an infection or rejection is very small. Knee surgery, which is a common procedure, has some risks though the possibility of them occurring are low. Some of those risks include:
Blood clots in the leg vein or lungs
Resume Your Normal Life
After knee surgery, your doctor may advise you to avoid certain activities that may put too much force on your knee and damage the implant or cause it to become loosen and become painful. With stem cell treatment, the procedure rebuilds the damage or lost cartilage, allowing you to enjoy your normal life without pain or restriction in movement. In fact, many top athletes have used stem cell treatment as an alternative to knee surgery for this reason.
No Need for Additional Treatment
In some cases, knee replacement patients may need to have additional surgery if they damage the implant during the first few weeks of recovery. Afterwards, the knee implant may have to be replaced as a result of normal wear and tear. Approximately 15% of knee replacement patients will have
…the Most Advanced Stem Cell Face Lift Procedure
The Institute of Regenerative Medicine is proud to announce the arrival of our newest and most advanced Cosmetic Stem Cell procedure, StemBeautiful. This entirely unique and proprietary aesthetic procedure combines the best and newest technologies into one treatment. The combination of using a patient’s own Stem Cells in combination with powerful Growth Factors and proteins achieves the ideal cosmetic results for you.
StemBeautiful is based on the power of Stem Cells and their ability to repair, restore and regenerate skin and tissue. These powerful cells are harvested from your own body, purified, and combined with Growth Factors selected from your blood. The Growth Factors act as fertilizer for the Stem Cells, providing the ideal environment for growth and regeneration. What makes this procedure even more unique is the addition of special Cytokine proteins. Cytokines are the body’s messengers, allowing cells to communicate with each other. It is this communication which is needed for the Stem Cells and Growth Factors to succeed and provide the ideal outcome.
While Stem Cells, Growth Factors and Cytokines are at the heart of the StemBeautiful procedure, we also utilize the benefits of Botox and Fillers. Depending on the expert opinion provided by our Aesthetic Medicine specialist, Botox and Fillers may be recommended to achieve the perfect look.
However, our services do not stop there and our specially formulated skin care line and supplements continue working for you at home to maintain your new glow. Our Stem Beautiful Program is a line of entirely unique and proprietary facial skin care products and technologies will give you the ongoing skin support you need to maintain this great look.
Choose from our StemBeautiful procedures provided at these Program levels:
Purified Stem Cell Graf
Cytokine Graft Preparation
Platelet Rich Plasma Injection
Pre-Procedure Laser Treatment
Aesthetic Skin Care Line
Purified Stem Cell Graft
Cytokine Graft Preparation
Platelet Rich Plasma Injection
Stem Cell Graft
Cytokine Graft Preparation
Platelet Rich Plasma Injection
We all have heard the old adage about saving for a raining day. The idea that we should prepare for the worst by putting a little money on the side, but it turns out that this is not only good financial advice. It is also good health advice as well, but instead of saving money, people are saving their stem cells to help treat possible injuries and illnesses that may occur later on in their life.
Stem Cells are cells that have the ability to multiply while maintaining the potential to develop into other types of cells such as blood cells, skin cells, or muscle cells. This unique characteristic gives stem cells the ability to replace and repair damaged tissue, allowing them to heal the body. As of now, stem cells are being used to treat more than 80 life-threatening diseases and disorders, including:
Leukemias and lymphomas
Bone marrow diseases
Inherited immune system disorders
Inherited metabolic disorders
Stem cells are also being used to help repair the tissues in muscles, cartilage, and bone to help heal those with torn muscles or damage joints such as knees or hip joints. In these cases, patients can often avoid invasive surgery and reduce their recovery time.
The fact that stem cells could treat so many conditions, and researchers are finding more medical uses with stem cells every day, patients around the world are choosing to store their stem cells in adult stem cell banks. Adult stem cell banking allows patients to store their stem cells in a frozen state in an ultra-low liquid nitrogen freezer. This allows the stem cells to be kept in storage in perfect condition until the patient needs them.
Stem cells can be harvested from a patient at any age. However, the younger you are, the more versatile and healthier are your stem cells. As you age, stem cells’ regenerative ability will slow down. This is why preserving your stem cells early in life at an adult stem cell bank is crucial. In fact, some parents have chosen to bank their children’s stem cells once they are born, but even adults can benefit from stem cell banking.
Harvesting stem cells for banking is painless and can be abstracted from the following sources:
A newborn’s umbilical cord
A patient’s tooth
Blood and fat tissues from a patient
The cost for adult stem cell banking will vary based on how the stem cells are harvested and how long you plan on banking them for. However, those who do choose to bank their stem cells often find the benefits well worth the cost.
We now know supplements are extremely important in the field of Stem Cells, Platelet Rich Plasma Injections, and for that matter all of regenerative medicine. We take care of many professional athletes and it is not unusual for them to take fifty different supplements a day. These supplement regimens are designed by nutritional gurus. We have talked to these same gurus to design supplement programs for our patients. Before we talk about supplements we need to go back to the basics. None could better sum up our endeavors concerning supplements and what we are trying to achieve than the following taken from Popular Science Magazine from Aug of 2011. This is an article about my personal friend and colleague Dr. Williams Andrews. Dr. Andrews is the world’s foremost expert on Telomere science. Dr. Andrews and his company Sierra Science (www.sierrasci.com) are testing various compounds which may turn on Telomerase or the enzyme which restores the ends of the DNA strand. I have previously mentioned telomeres in another portion of the web site. The Telomere is the end of a DNA strand that is lost on cell division. As we age the DNA strand gets shorter and shorter until the cell is programed to die. The length of an individual's telomeres is closely associated with their biological age, and research suggests that control of telomere length has the potential to treat many diseases associated with aging, and possibly to allow humans to live at a physiologically "young" age beyond the current theoretical maximum human lifespan of 125 years. If someone states that Telomeres are an esoteric entity realize that the Noble prize in Medicine was awarded in 2009 for research on Telomeres. What does have to do with stem cells? The answer is plenty since in our procedures we are encouraging stems to replicate in the body. This replication will cause telomere damage and subsequent diminished stem cell effectiveness. This explains why many times younger people can recover from injuries much sooner than older individuals. The younger stem cells with longer telomeres can function significantly better than stem cells with shorter telomeres. Possibly one of the holy grails of stem cell science will involve the stimulation to turn back on the enzyme telomerase which helps to lengthen the telomeres. We only know of two cells which produce telomerase. One type of these cells is our reproductive cells. That is why our children are born young. The other types of cells are certain types of cancer cells. This is why some cancer cells are immortal. In our institute we are striving to at least slow down telomere degradation by the use of certain supplements.
The following diagram ties this all together. This diagram was taken from an article on Dr. Andrews in Popular Science. This slide represents the death spiral of a cell. This slide represents the multifaceted damage that occurs and accumulates. The telomeres shorten causing the activation of a certain gene which starts to repress mitochondrial function. The mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cells. When the mitochondria begin to fail the cell is doomed for failure. It is like a car running out of gas. When the mitochondria fail a host of other bad things happen. Stem cells are no different than any other cells.
The above diagram shows the fields we are attacking and trying to mitigate. We have discussed telomere shortening. Another important aspect in the supplement field of stem cell science concerns the mitochondria which is the powerhouse of the cell. We know that the mitochondria must be at their peak function in order for the stem cells to work properly. One such supplement which helps mitochondria achieve this goal is Melatonin. As we age our bodies become deficient in Melatonin. Cellular biologists have recently discovered that melatonin has an even more basic function, which is to protect oxygen-based life from the toxic effects of...., oxygen. Yes, oxygen. As we metabolize this life sustaining gas, we generate highly reactive molecules called free radicals, which can corrode our cellular membranes and damage our DNA. The process, known as oxidation, weakens our minds and muscles as we age, and contributes to at least 60 degenerative diseases, including cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer's. The body produces several enzymes to inhibit oxidation, and nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin E and beta carotene can provide extra protection. But most of these so called antioxidants work only in certain parts of certain cells. Melatonin readily permeates any cell in any part of the body- including the brain. This research has been presented by Dr. Russell Reiter, a professor at the Univ. of Texas Health Science Center. I had the honor of lecturing at the same meeting as Dr. Reiter and spoke to him. Dr. Reiter’s research has recently shown in animal experiments that melatonin can protect tissues from an amazing array of assaults. As far as antioxidants claims go, melatonin has been acknowledged by many researchers as one of the elite antioxidants in the body. Directly and indirectly melatonin is said to exert a powerful antioxidant effect which is metabolized in all body tissue. Some reports say that melatonin is the most powerful anti-oxidant of all. One thing of supreme importance is the fact that melatonin effects all parts of the cell including the mitochondria. We can reverse free radical damage to the mitochondria with melatonin. If we can increase mitochondrial function we will have a very happy and effective stem cell. Perhaps a diagram of free radicals will help people understand better what we mean by free radicals. .
From the preceding diagram we see what a free radical actually is. It is an unpaired electron in the outer shell of an Oxygen molecule. Antioxidants will neutralize this. The free radicals are cell killers. They damage DNA. They alter biochemical compounds and reactions. They destroy cell membranes. The cells that are damaged by free radicals will go on and cause disease. We must remember free radicals come from 1. The Environment (air pollution, drugs, certain foods) 2. Internal Production from the body 3. Stress Factors (aging, trauma, disease, and infection) 4. Chain Reactions resulting DNA damage. Free radicals can be attacked on many different fronts including a diet, exercise, and other common sense things. Many people always the question what is the best anti-oxidant? There is probably no one correct answer. If I was pushed on the question I would probably say that that glutathione (GSH) is the body's master antioxidant. It functions both as an antioxidant and an antitoxin and is a major defense system against illness and aging. Our glutathione level actually indicates our state of health and can predict longevity. Glutathione is intimately related to the regulation of the nitric oxide cycle, which is critical for life. Remember the Nitric Oxide is very important in increasing stem cell output from the bone marrow. It is used in metabolic and biochemical reactions such as DNA synthesis and repair, protein synthesis, prostaglandin synthesis, amino acid transport, and enzyme activation. Thus, every system in the body can be affected by the state of the glutathione system, especially the immune system, the nervous system, the gastrointestinal system and the lungs. Raising GSH levels through direct supplementation of glutathione is difficult. Research suggests that glutathione taken orally is not well absorbed across the gastrointestinal tract. It is known that Vitamin D will act as catalyst for glutathione production
Another important factor in our quest to achieve repair of joints and tendons is to use a product which will restore the collagen to these areas. Collagen is a vital component of structural matrix throughout almost all tissues and organs of the body. It is particularly concentrated in skin, bone, tendons and cartilage where it plays a major role in the integrity of joint-related connective tissues. Studies reflect a relationship with collagen not only to normal healthy joint metabolism, but also to collagen-related alterations related to the aging process. Collagen alterations also play a role in osteoarthritis wherein alterations in collagen structure result from an imbalance in synthesis versus catabolism with resultant articular hyaline cartilage breakdown. A special form of collagen (known as Type II collagen) is a crucial component of cartilage, and to the structural integrity of your joints. So boosting collagen is a critical part of rebuilding cartilage, reinstalling those joint shock absorbers, and erasing arthritis pain for good. We are now using a collagen product from Germany which seems to fit all the needs we are looking for. Collagen hydrolysate passes across the mucosal barrier in the small bowel as a complete peptide that is no longer subject to enzymatic cleavage, accumulates in cartilage tissue, and stimulates production of type II collagen (the major protein in articular cartilage) and proteoglycans in the extracellular matrix of cartilage. What this means in common terms is that this is one of the few products that can be taken orally and be absorbed into the blood system and subsequently be delivered to the joint and be effective. In another words it is not broken down by the intestine.
The other quest that we have in our procedures is to stimulate the release of stem cells from the bone marrow. Remember that the cells which we inject into a joint or tendon are much like a Navy Seal strike team. They will secure the area but will depend on other forces eventually getting the job done. In order to accomplish repair the body will have to send large numbers of stem cells (mainly hematopoietic) to the area. One substance which does this is GCSF called granulocyte colony stimulating factor. The problem with GCSF is that it is very expensive and has some inherent risks. We feel that we have found a combination of supplements which can achieve similar results as GCSF without the risks or costs. We have come across a supplement devised at the Univ. of South Florida by Drs. Bickford and Sandberg. These two doctors are two very prominent stem cell scientists who have come up with a formula that dramatically increases stem cell output from the bone marrow. This product is called StemXcell. This product has been shown in the lab to have a similar effect as GCSF only it has built in safety.
Many of the supplements we will use help boost Nitric Oxide (NO) production which is a potent stimulator of stem cell output. Nitric oxide is a powerful neurotransmitter that helps blood vessels relax and also improves circulation. One example of a supplement we use is arginine. In the body, the amino acid arginine changes into nitric oxide (NO). Nitric oxide is a powerful neurotransmitter that helps blood vessels relax and also improves circulation. Nitric oxide (NO) plays a key role in triggering stem cell mobilization from the bone marrow via release of the stem cell active cytokine (growth factor). The suspicion is that arginine can mimic hyperbaric oxygen and by producing NO formation enhance stem cell production. It is also felt that arginine has a direct effect on the pituitary gland and stimulates HGH production. Interestingly enough, there is a good chance the Viagra and Cialis may also release nitric oxide and cause increase in CD 34 stem cells. Presently, the World Anti- Doping Agency (WADA) is looking into this fact especially for the exercising and sports performance. We are also looking into using these compounds to increase stem cell output.
Some of the supplements which we are currently using can be found on the following diagram.
The supplements we are using are our own propriety combinations and dosages which we prefer not to divulge here. Each of these supplements has a specific purpose in our treatment protocols.
At one time medical professionals thought the only purpose of platelets was to form a clot in order to heal cuts and other injuries. This is only a small part of the whole picture. Another crucially important function of platelets is the release of various growth factors responsible for almost all repair processes that occur in the body. These growth factors, also called cytokines, are extremely important in cellular communication, having both direct and indirect effects on stem cells and other types of more mature cells. They work as a communication network between the cells.
Around 20 years ago the idea of concentrating platelets became widespread in cardio-thoracic surgery. Further research was carried out in the field of oral surgery in 1998 by Dr. Robert Marx at the University of Miami, who revealed what constituted a platelet-concentrated product. In the years since his research concentrated platelets have become known as Platelet Rich Plasma, or PRP, which stimulates healing.
Methods of Producing PRP
There are many different methods of preparing a PRP product, however all techniques use centrifugation. The type of centrifuge and the speed at which the centrifuge runs varies from one PRP producer to the next. The PRP product that various companies produce varies widely in the concentration and cell types that are found in a PRP product.
The problem PRP producers face is that current scientific literature has no good definition as to what constitutes a PRP. Thus, while one article may show significant positive effects from PRP the next may show that PRP is no better than a placebo. It is important to note that this problem stems largely from disparities in quality between the various companies that produce PRP products, not from lack of efficacy of PRP therapy. Later in this section we will explain the science behind what constitutes an effective PRP product.
The amount of blood needed to produce a PRP depends upon the joint or tendon requiring treatment and the type of system used. Some systems require up to 60 cc's (about 2 ounces) while others require about 10cc's. The amount of centrifugation time varies from one company to the next. Much variation exists in PRP products produced by various companies in terms of different concentration of platelets, red blood cells, white blood cells and other types of cells. These concentrations can make a difference between success and failure of a PRP injection.
Lasers and light energy are taking on increased importance in the world of stem cell and PRP injections. There is now very good scientific evidence of the effect of light energy on various aspects of the stem cell field. I believe light energy will become a new paradigm in the use of stem cells for the regenerative medicine field. There are a number of physiological interactions that are contributed to low level laser therapy. It is important to remember that in the energy transfers that occur between LLLT (low level laser therapy) emitted photons and the receptive chromophores found in the various cells and sub cellular organelles, compromised cells and tissues respond more readily than healthy cells or tissues. Cells and tissues that are ischemic and poorly perfused as a result of inflammation, edema and injury have been shown to have a significantly higher response to LLLT irradiation than normal healthy structures.
What we are actually finding is that there is an energy transfer to those cells and structures that are the most metabolically challenged. The cells that are effected by the light energy have a lower threshold. We can say the healthier the cell the less effect light therapy has on the cell. The light will interact with a variety of enzymes. These enzymes are called cytochromes. The cytochromes act as energy producers for human biological functions at the cellular level. There are two main cytochrome enzymes, Cytochrome c Oxydase and Nitric Oxide Synthase (NOS). These enzymes have been found to be particularly reactive to laser photon stimulation. The particular affinity of these and other photo-reactive enzymes to accelerate their functions in the presence of LLLT provides critical increases in ATP and NO (Nitric Oxide) which enhances cellular metabolism,circulatory improvement and nerve function. The ATP is the energy that the cells utilize.
This energy comes when we utilize oxygen. When the laser is used intravenously the mitochondria increase in size. They also crank up the production of ATP. ATP will contributing to cellular repair, reproduction and functional ability. The increased ATP can make the difference between a stem cell surviving in a hostile environment or allow the cell to die which is what we call apoptosis. Remember under normal conditions we are lucky if 3% of the stem cells survive even for a short period of time. Thus if we can make an additional 3% of the cells survive this is a significant achievement. Nitric Oxide(NO) has a variety of functions including cell signaling, stem cell activation, increased stem cell survivability, and the list goes on and on. To read more about NO read some of my previous blogs. These two actions that I have spoken about are presented in a very basic manner. The process is much more complicated than I have mentioned. The laser will also help balance the free radicals that the body produces.
When laser therapy is being discussed we need to address what colors are utilized. Unfortunately, many of the lasers that are utilized are using only one color. This is laser therapy of yesterday. We now know that certain colors will accomplish certain tasks. Another important aspect of laser therapy is how it is utilized. One way that our clinic is utilizing lasers is by the use of lasers in an acupuncture setting.
We use this for various musculoskeletal conditions. We will also use lasers in an intra-articular fashion. We determine what laser colors to use depending upon the condition be treated. Typically with an acute inflammation we will use a blue laser while for a more chronic condition we will utilize a red or infra red laser. The red laser will help to achieve healing. The other method that you are starting to utilize is a laser setup that is used intravenously.
As you now understand, we will utilize a variety of colors in an intravenous fashion. There is no doubt in my mind that lasers will become increasingly important in the stem cell field. One concept that I wish to impress upon everyone is the fact that the lasers I am speaking of have little in common with those that we find in a physical therapy or chiropractic office. Those lasers have some benefit for local injuries but due to their lack of penetration their effectiveness in the stem cell arena is questionable at best. There will be more to come.
Even before the days of Ponce de Leon mankind has been intrigued the the quest for true age reversal. We know for sure that starvation will extend life but we are not sure about age reversal. There are many supplements that we know may at least help down aging. Some of these include derivatives of beets, broccoli, and a host of other compounds. It appears that these compounds have a distinct effect on stem cells. These supplements can effect the stem cells in many different ways. They may effect the stem cell environment or as it is also called the stem cell niche. If the environment is hostile than the stem cell has a much less chance of success. Those supplements that effect the niche are many times considered antioxidants. The job of the antioxidants is to neutralize the effect of what is commonly called free radicals. These free radicals occur when the body utilizes either oxygen or nitrogen. We are beginning to realize that Nitric Oxide is extremely important to many body functions. I will talk more about this in another blog.
About a year ago there was some buzz about transfusing blood plasma from young rats to old rats. The results were nothing less than astounding. The researchers found that the old mice had a reversal of many of the aging processes especially in the brain. The researchers found a protein in the blood of the young mice called GDF11. In this case we are not just slowing down the clock but we are actually turing it backward. It is suspected that GDF11 is produced by a very specific stem cell which is starting to attract quite a bit of attention. This stem cell is sometimes called a V cell or very small embryonic like stem cell.
The very small stem cells are thought to be capable of forming almost any type of tissue. For this reason these cells are called pluripotent. As I have eluded to in other blogs these cells may be considered the body’s emergency stem cell supply. They also seem to be implicated in acupuncture. These cells are found in something called Bonghan Channels which are intimately related to acupuncture. The problem with the V cells is that they are normally difficult to activate. However, thinking out of the box researchers have devised ways of turning these cells back on. These are the patients own cells. The methods of turning them back on are proprietary. We have had the good fortune of working with these unique cells with some excellent results. The tantalizing question is if these cells can be harvested from a son or daughter or grandchild and given back to an older related adult. The answer is just around the corner. I can see the hands of the clock going counter clock wise. There will be more to come. Thanks Dr. P
Recently a patient e-mailed me that he discovered an article ( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23694810 )that stated fat stem cells ( AT-MSCs) were much more effective than bone marrow stem cells (BM-MSCs). It seems that this has been an ongoing controversy for years. The patient felt relieved that he could get a treatment to improve his knee by only using fat and bypassing bone marrow stem cells. I told him otherwise.
When looking at this article at face value the uninitiated would think the fat derived stem cells would give much better results than the bone marrow. There is no doubt that fat contains much more in the way of mesenchymal stem cells when compared to bone marrow. In this study the mesenchymal stem cells from bone marrow were compared to those derived from fat. The perimeters that were looked at were the immunomodulatory effect of the cells. The immunomodulatory effects concern getting the stem cells niche (environment) more conducive allow other stem cells to help repair the tissue. Without the immunomodulatory effects repair will not take place and damage will continue unabated.
Now comes the very interesting aspect of this study. When compared in equal numbers the mesenchymal stem cells from fat showed more potent immunomodulatory effects as compared with the bone marrow derived stem cells. When comparing the two cells, assays of the cytokines produced were studied. Remember that the cytokines are growth factors and interleukins which help accomplish repair. They can turn off inflammation and help form collagen and other important tissue. The comparison between the two types of cells showed that the mesenchymal stem cells derived from fat were more metabolically active. From these studies we conclude that the immunomodulatory capacities of bone marrow and fat derived mesenchymal stem cells are similar, but that differences in cytokine secretion cause fat mesenchymal stem cells to have more potent immunomodulatory effects than bone marrow derived stem cells. Therefore, lower numbers of AT-MSCs evoke the same level of immunomodulation. Here is a quote from the article ” these data indicate that AT-MSCs can be considered as a good alternative to BM-MSCs for immunomodulatory therapy”.
There is no doubt that the fat stem cells win out on the aspect of immuomodulation but that is only half the story. We must remember that this does not imply that fat is a good alternative to bone marrow for regeneration. On the contrary, they are both needed for regeneration to occur. Bone marrow supplies the much needed hematopoietic stem cells which are the drivers of tissue regeneration while the fat provides the mesenchymal stem cells which drives immunomodulation which is the step needed before regeneration. Together they are a powerful army.
What other aspects can be learned from this study? One thing that is for sure is that fat derived stem cells may actually work better for many of the auto immune inflammatory diseases. I myself stick to musculoskeletal conditions and let some of my colleagues treat these diseases. It seems to make sense to use these cells to treat a condition where the body is essentially attacking itself. In another words the inflammation that the body is experiencing is causing damage. If the damage is turned off than the patient will feel better. Many of the medicines used today to treat Rheumatoid arthritis basically try to quell the the immune response. The problem with these drugs is that they can quill the immune response in the body so much they can leave the patient open to a number of serious problems including certain types of infections and cancers. On the other hand fat stem cells seem to be more target specific. They will affect the inflammatory process but not at the cost of sacrificing the body’s immune defenses for a variety of problems.
Right now we are only touching the tip of the ice berg. Fat offers some exciting possibilities in treating a variety of diseases but I feel bone marrow will be needed also to eventually cure the disease. If I had to go to a deserted island and I could only take one or the other I would make some type of deal so that I could have some of both.
Thanks Dr. P
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