I was just perusing some articles about stem cells, since many of my patients ask me about them. BTW, I have become a full fledged physical therapist assistant since the last time I blogged, hence the reference to patients. Science is my favorite reading material anyway, so this isn’t my first foray into the topic. I just got very alarmed when a friend told me she had paid a lot of money to have her adipose stem cells harvested, separated and re-injected via an I.V. Even without reading up on it, I knew this wasn’t a good idea. Why? First, adult stem cells are not pluripotent, meaning they won ‘t become any old cell. Adult fat or bone marrow cells can only become certain cells, they can’t become lung or meniscus cells. Second, even if they were pluripotent, we do not fully understand the mechanism for convincing a stem cell to become a certain type of cell. So even if we got one that could become anything… it could become anything. I don’t think I want eye cells in my lungs or bone cells in my knee. Third, one of the dangers of stem cells is the possibility of them producing tumors. This is a known hazard of the clinical trials. Last, if you randomly inject them via an I.V., they are not going to “go where they are needed”, they are going to float around till they are destroyed. At best, they could trigger your immune response, which might inadvertently help you.
If you do research on stem cells, try to find articles that are not published by the people selling the service. Anyone selling a service has a vested interest. Here is where I got my information:
Don’t get me wrong, I do think with further research and development, stem cells will be the answer to many of our health problems, just not with chiropractors and alternative health practitioners leading the way.
So why do I title this “People are strange”? Because a lot of the same people who are doing all these random, untested, unproven stem cell therapies are the same ones who think GMO’s are terrifying and fluoride will hurt you. People base their decisions on beliefs, not facts. I’m not saying I’m any different, I just try to find out the facts before letting my feelings lead the way.