I was reading through a folder of research findings that I keep and uncovered something I’d like to tell you about. It’s a rather amazing piece of research that was done a couple years back looking at the effect of a certain nutrient cocktail. Yet, it’s implications for your health, especially as you get older, are still very relevant today and will continue to be in the future.
These Nutrients Found To Stimulate Stem Cell Growth
Stem cell usage to cure disease is the future frontier of medicine. Yet, what if you could get the benefit of your stem cells protecting you against disease, and/or helping repair, slow down the progression of a condition you may have today? Better yet, what if you could get that stem cell benefit by taking natural nutrients every day? Well, research that was published in the Journal of Translational Medicine reveals the results of a study that shows that you can do just that.
A group of 13 researchers out of Medistem Incorporated looked at whether a common neutraceutical supplement (see Sources) that touts stem cell rejuvenation and increased number of circulating stem cells, really worked. The supplement contains a combination of these ingredients: green tea, astralagus, goji berry extracts, Lactobacillus fermentum, (a beneficial gut bacteria), the antioxidant ellagic acid, and immune enhancers beta 1,3 glucan and vitamin D3.
The participants varied in age from 20-72 who had to stop taking any other nutritional supplement 4-5 days before starting the 2 week trial of the stem cell stimulating supplement. They took the stem cell supplement twice a day for 2 weeks then researchers looked for evidence of stem cell activity in stem cell markers CD133, CD34 and KDR. They also tried to confirm that their overall stem cells, particularly those in the blood (which can give rise to all blood cells) and those that were precursors of vascular lining growth cells, had actually increased. What they found was remarkable.
The study showed that, yes, the blood (hematopoeitic) stem cells and the vascular lining (endothelial progenitor cells) growth had increased with taking the supplement. Their peak stimulation occurred at 2-7 days after taking the supplement and started to taper off at the 14 day mark. The researchers concluded that the nutrients in the supplement could be a useful stimulator of these particular stem cells. Also, that this “cocktail” of nutrients could be used as continuous treatment for conditions like Alzheimer’s disease; or to repair damaged blood vessels from conditions like inflammation and arterial plaques. As a cardiologist treating patients with these conditions, I’m particularly excited about this result.
The ingredients in the supplement they studied contain all natural nutrients, comprised of strong antioxidants and immune system boosters. Green tea has been studied extensively and has been research proven to have dramatic effects on fighting cancer as well as gastrointestinal bacterial infections (H.pylori) as well as boosting the immune system.
Astragalus is an herb that has long been used in Chinese Medicine for its anti-aging immune system boosting effects. Extracts of astragalus are now used in a longevity extending supplement as it greatly slows down the deterioration of telomeres – the protective caps at the end of your DNA strands.
Goji berries and ellagic acid (from pomegranates, raspberries, strawberries, walnuts, etc) are strong antioxidant phytochemicals that have been research proven to slow the growth of some cancerous tumors. Goji berries have been found in research to help support heart health and boost the immune system. The American Cancer Society lists ellagic acid as a substance capable of causing cell death in laboratory cancer cells and helping the liver breakdown and remove cancer cells from the body.
Beta glucans are immune system “soldiers” who help protect you from disease. Your body needs to replace these continuously and you can help that replacement through eating foods like baker’s yeast, mushrooms, certain cereal grains, and taking supplements containing them. Beta glucans are thought to help fight cancer, infections, protect against heart disease by lowering bad LDL cholesterol.
Today, more and more is being discovered about “good” gut bacteria in helping you fight diseases. It’s thought that a deficiency in good gut bacteria may actually be at the center of how diseases form – even weight gain! Lactobacillus fermentans, one of the nutrients in this stem cell supplement, is one of the good gut bacteria. It’s a proven antimicrobial and antioxidant that has been shown effective against Salmonella in the gut as well as improve LDL cholesterol.
Stem cells deplete as you get older and lead to eventual organ dysfunction and disease. Yet, as this research shows you can stimulate growth of your own stem cells by getting enough of the nutrients proven to do so. Stem cell research shows that they are a key factor in the treatment and even possibly eradication of disease and that’s why the obtaining of stem cells is so important, and controversial. You can make sure you get enough of the nutrients listed above or you can find a supplement that contains them. Either way, doing everything you can to stimulate the growth of your own stem cells can only benefit your health.
Ron Blankstein, M.D.