Recently, science and medicine have been abuzz over the promise of real medical breakthroughs in stem cell research. If you have ever wondered why stem cell storage has become such a hot topic, this article will fill you in on the science and the possibilities.
Stem Cells Explained
A stem cell is a cell that can become another, more specific type of cell, such as a skin cell or a nerve cell. There are three types of human stem cells, and at Essential Health, we harvest and store the adult stem cell type. The name “adult” is a little misleading, as these stem cells are in everyone’s body — adults, children, and babies.
The role of adult stem cells is to replace cells as they wear out and to stimulate damaged organs to repair themselves. As you grow older, your stem cells slowly lose their ability to repair and maintain your tissues and organs. It’s thought that this loss of viability plays a role in the physical decline associated with aging.
Adult stem cells are present throughout your body, in your tissues and organs, as well as in umbilical cord blood and peripheral blood. We harvest two types of adult stem cells from bone marrow in your hip bone. We specialize in adult stem cells from bone marrow because research has shown them to be the most viable and potent types of stem cells for tissue regeneration. One type–mesenchymal–has powerful tissue-building properties. The other type–hematopoietic–is capable of regenerating your blood cells.
What Is Stem Cell Storage?
While you may want to use your stem cells for an immediate treatment, you can also store them for use at a later date. Stem cells are ideal for storage because they can survive for long periods of time, can divide to make additional stem cells, and can develop into specialized cell types. When you store your younger, healthier stem cells now, they are available to you in the future for regenerative therapies and treatments.
Why Bank My Stem Cells?
Stem cell storage’s purpose is to ensure that you have your own personal stem cells available should you need them for regenerative therapies that exist now or will be available in the future. Your own adult stem cells provide a natural repair mechanism for many tissues throughout your body, and they are a perfect genetic match, which should prevent immune rejection.
The field of regenerative medicine is burgeoning. Currently, standard medical practice uses adult stem cell transplants in the treatment of conditions such as multiple myeloma and leukemia. Plus, there are many more possibilities on the horizon. Researchers believe that adult stem cells will eventually be used to fully heal damaged tissues and organs.
The younger you are when you store your stem cells, the healthier they will be. Even if you aren’t 20, 30, or even 40 anymore, the sooner you bank your stem cells, the better. It’s good insurance, because you never know if your future self is going to need them.
When you ask yourself the question, “Why store my stem cells?”, your answer should be, “Why not?” The procedure is simple, fast, and relatively painless. Your younger stem cells may someday provide you with the best possible treatment for a chronic disease or age-related disability.
To find out more about storing your stem cells, contact Essential Health, which is based in Cary, North Carolina, with your questions. We’re here to help!