Dr. Mike comments:
Great article. Many professional athletes are currently reaping the benefits of stem cell therapy. Imagine being able to repair and renew damaged connective tissue without surgery. Instead of layers of scar tissue patching up old and new injuries, stem cells actually help replace and renew damaged tissue. New tissue is more resilient and flexible than scar tissue of course, and therefore physical performance remains optimal. Furthermore, naturally re-engineering damaged soft tissue allows for a much longer professional career since most pro-athletes accumulate micro-trauma upon micro-trauma and eventually get hurt badly and miss a season or are forced to retire early.
Jack Nicklaus travels to Germany to have this procedure done, most likely because of his connections and trust in his doctors. However, these procedures are also available in the U.S. In addition, it’s worth mentioning that the adipose tissue derived stem cells, although working very well for Jack Nicklaus, are considered an outdated approach.
Jack Nicklaus states that the worst part of the treatment is the bruising and the pain from the liposuction. Today, much better options are available and the harvesting of adult stem cells from fat or bone tissue is no longer necessary since high quantity and quality stem cells can now be derived from umbilical cord tissue.
Science, and regenerative medicine and stem cell therapies in particular, evolves at rapid speed and today stem cells that are derived from newborn tissue produce far better results that the lower quantity and quality of stem cells that can be derived from an aging body.
Adult stem cells (derived from bone marrow or adipose tissue of the patient) have many disadvantages compared to MSC (mesynchymal stem cells) derived from the umbilical cord matrix (Wharton’s Jelly).
RESEARCH clearly shows the benefits of Umbilical Cord/Wharton’s Jelly MSC (mesynchymal stem cells) versus MSC from Bone Marrow or Adipose Tissue:
The number of stem cells in our body significantly declines with age:
“Young” stem cells (MSC from the umbilical cord matrix):
- Are obtained from non-invasive procedures unlike liposuction or bone marrow collection, which increase risk, cost and liability.
- Have a far greater ‘fitness’ level and therefore are able to replicate at greater and faster rates.
- Have a much greater and faster healing response.
- Have a higher proliferative capacity.
- Have a stronger inflammatory protective effect and a strong migratory ability toward the site of inflammation.
- Have a larger amount of different growth factors, especially bFGF 20.
- Have the ability to differentiate into adipogenic, osteogenic, chondrogenic, neural cells and Schwann cells; and help organize tendon collagen fibers and induce hepatocyte differentiation.
- Have been shown to differentiate into nervous system cells, liver, pancreas, heart, and other organs of the body.
- Are more robust. The range and level of specific cytokines is greater than those expressed by adult MSC.
- Sustain less damage from reactive oxygen species (ROS).
- Retain telomere at the highest possible length which protects them from premature loss of viability.
- Continue to express molecules with immune-modulating activity after they are extracted from the umbilical cord and able to pass this ability to their progeny. This enables the infused donor cells, whether differentiated or not, to engraft into the diseased target organ and positively modify its microenvironment to promote re-population. The infusion of immunomodulatory MSC provide a significant advantage by better overcoming host responses, providing the needed functional bridging action, and modifying the underlying pathological conditions at the basis of disease.
- Provoke little to no immune response when transplanted; cell rejection is not an issue and human leukocyte antigen (HLA) matching is not necessary (as with adult stem cells).
- Have Immunomodulatory properties: they do not pose risk for metastasis of tumor cells and in fact promote proteins that halt the cell cycle of cancer cells and promote tumor suppressing genes.
All the above research facts (references listed below) are easily illustrated in the following real-life example:
When a young child falls and cuts him/herself, how long does that cut or wound take to heal? 24-48 hours, right? What if you fall and cut yourself? Indeed, several weeks or even longer. That’s because the healing properties of the young child are at its peak. The young MSC (mesynchymal stem cells) have a far greater and faster healing capacity than our aged body stem cells.
Besides the significantly reduced QUANTITY and QUALITY of adult derived MSC, the other essential components for effective tissue repair and tissue engineering are missing with adult stem cell therapies. These other essential components include growth factors, cytokines, HA (hyaluronic acid), and several other bio-active molecules.
THE YOUNGER THE STEM CELLS,
THE MORE POWERFUL THE STEM CELLS.
Stem cells from the newborn are much higher in quantity and have the ability to replicate much faster. Therefore, young stem cells heal, repair, modulate and renew soft tissue much better and much faster.
Jack Nicklaus, you are definitely a pioneer when it comes to utilizing stem cell therapy to repair your damaged connective tissue as a result of millions of swings with your golf club. We are also glad you obtained great results. However, there are far more potent and easier ways available TODAY to repair and regenerate connective tissue. Science and recent research show clearly that younger stem cells (from the newborn) are far more in quantity but are also able to replicate at much higher rates than the aged stem cells in the adult body.