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The Latest: Oral Stem Cell Therapy Regrows Damaged Organs like Earlobe, Heart, Kidney, Liver
Growing stem cells
Stem cells injected into his spinal cord
He stands up alone; of course, he is not Christopher Reeves, Superman in the movies
He dismounts from his wheelchair and folds it. (Photos derived from "Supercell" HBO documentary films. Internet. Jan. 10,2013)
Stem cell therapy
Oral stem cell therapy triggers stem cells to regrow damaged cells and organs
I was talking with Dr. Arturo V. Estuita, MD, a Filipino internist and chelationist, the other day, December 17,2012. He administers infusion chelation therapy for my heart disease (myocardial ischemia). He told me of his friendly visit and shop talk with a fellow chelationist in Quebec, Canada.
“In the three days that I was with him, we talked of nothing but stem cell,” he said.
The latest in stem cell is oral stem cell therapy. You would think it is less effective than the infusion stem cell therapy. However, this oral stem cell has a role hitherto unsuspected. The dose of stem cell, small it may be, serves as a signal. It is a signal that activates stem cells stored in the body.
The assumption is that the body, having developed from a single stem cell, has reserves of stem cells that renew themselves. As the body grew and matured they might have lost their initiative to differentiate. Or their expression has been suppressed by some genes. Or that their potential to differentiate might have been disturbed by some factors. Candidate factors are free radicals and their derivatives called reactive oxygen species.
There are some free radicals that serve as signal, however. One is the nitric oxide (NO) whose production is catalyzed by endothelium nitric oxidase (iNOS). This signals the inner wall of the artery to dilate and allow more blood flow. Dilation prevents or alleviates angina and heart attack.
There is a NO that has an unintended adverse effect. Its production is catalyzed by the enzyme inducible nitric oxidase (iNOS). This NO/iNOS is mediated by the macrophage, a component of the immune system. The macrophage uses it to shoot the bacteria (Streptococcus pyogenes) that attacks muscles, including valves of the heart. NO/iNOS kills the bacteria but also inflicts damage on healthy cells in the vicinity of infected cells. Hit cells sustain scars that graduate into stenosis in heart valves resulting in valve insufficiency or defective closure. These allow backflow of blood.There, you have rheumatic heart disease.
Long before the advent of stem cell research it was already found that the stem-cell-like endothelium progenitor cells (EPC) circulating in the blood initiates healing of damaged arteries. This explains why arteries get well. It is widely believed that cardiovascular cells (heart, arteries, veins, capillaries) do not replace themselves and do not undergo apoptosis or programmed cell death. (I have several Hubs on cancer and heart disease where I discuss apoptosis.)
Editing as of Feb. 2,2014
The belief that neurons, brain and cardiovascular cells do not renew themselves appears not to be true. This is according to Prof. Jill Helms, a stem cell researcher at the Stanford Medical School, Stanford University in California, USA. End of editing.
I heard my conventional cardiologist tell a patient who had scars in his heart and who got well without medication that his heart healed. EPC might have done the healing.
Today, stem cells are collected from the blood and grown in culture to get more concentrated stem cells. These then will be used for stem cell therapy.
We know that the egg of the female fertilized by the “seed” of man results in a zygote that is one cell. This is classified as a totipotent stem cell, meaning it can differentiate into various kinds of adult cells. This totipotent cell differentiates into a pluripotent stem cell; that differentiates into multipotent stem cell; that differentiates into unipotent stem cell. This last develops into specialized cells like skin, nose, eyes, liver, heart. The progress in differentiation is irreversible. Fetal development shows this differentiation:
The start is conception (fertilization). “One month, your baby is an embryo consisting of two layers of cells from which all her organs and body parts will develop. Two months, your baby is now about the size of a kidney bean and is constantly moving. He has distinct, slightly webbed fingers” (Fetal development. Internet. Dec. 19.2012). This fetal development up until the ninth month shows differentiation.
Adult stem cells are in “different levels of multipotency and unipotency” like brain cells, bone morrow cells, digestive system cells and more (Bellomo, M. The Stem Cell Divide. 2006:39).
A newborn or an adult human being has stem cells, to repeat the obvious.
At the start of intensive stem cell research, it was believed that the only source of stem cell for use in research was the embryo. There arose an ethical issue over the use of embryo in research that is tantamount to killing the embryo.
Hubber AliciaC mentions that Sir John Gurdon and Shinya Yamanata succeeded in reprogramming adult cells into pluripotent stem cells for which they were awarded the Nobel Prize.
Later on stem cells from the cord blood were found to be alternative materials in research. In fact, cord blood is now being used in stem cell therapy in curing leukemia, for example. Methods in research has progressed until it was discovered that even adult cells can be used in stem cell research. All the better because it implies that adult cells can be grown to replace damaged cells. That is now being done.
Editing as of Feb. 2,2014
Yamanaka reprogrammed adult skin cells. He took a small part of adult skin cell, grew it in dish and added four factors, Oct4, Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc. The adult cells grew embryonic stem cells. Now, there is no more need for embryonic stem cells that came from the fertilization of the egg by the sperm for use in research and stem cell therapy. End of editing.
The above is the context of the use of oral stem cell therapy. The oral dose serves as a signal that triggers multipotent or unipotent cells to differentiate and replace damaged cells. If an earlobe had been torn, stem cells will regrow the earlobe. If a mitral valve had been damaged unintentionally by free radicals in an effort to kill bacteria, stem cells can regrow the mitral valve. If heart muscles had been damaged (myocardial atrophy), stem cells will regrow the heart. If the kidney had been damaged (kidney atrophy) stem cells will regrow the kidney. If the liver had been afflicted with cirrhosis, stem cells will regrow the liver.
However, organs cannot be grown in dish then grafted on the body. The stem cell feeders in dish do not contain the right growth factors and it lacks blood supply.
It's like the lizard. When its tail had been cut off that tail will regrow. We can say that the stem cells of the lizard are always active. In the case of the adult human being, his/her stem cells must be given a signal to regrow worn off, torn off, and diseased body parts.
The stem cell of the person who needs stem cell therapy can be used. Therefore, there is no rejection. The stem cell to use must be free of damage inflicted by free radicals or reactive oxygen species, according to Doug Wallace, director of the Center for Molecular and Mitochondrial Medicine and Genetics (Same source as above, page 184).
You can see the promise of stem cell therapy. In fact, it is no longer just a promise. Dr. Estuita, MD says that his clinic now administers stem cell therapy in addition to infusion chelation therapy for the heart, for the treatment of hepatitis B, C, D, and prevention of cirrhosis and cancer of the liver.
Dr. Robert Willix, MD, a cardiac surgeon who wrote that he had turned his back on surgery, has a book "3 Minutes In a Day To A Life Span of 120 Years" (published in 1995). He claims that by controlling free radicals, a fellow can attain that life span.
"With oral stem cell therapy I may live longer than that," Dr. Estuita said.
Stem cell therapy in the West and East
The United States is only starting with stem cell research. It is already in the trial stage. There are at least four stages in the development of protocol or procedure or drug. So, the West is behind in stem cell research and therapy.
The East, like Philippines, Thailand and China are now administering stem cell therapy. They have bypassed the trial stage and has gone ahead in therapy. Some people have been willing to try this new therapy consenting to take the risks. For example, an ailing heart is injected directly with stem cells. This heart is suffering from cardiomyopathy (atrophy) owing to severe bronchitis that it could pump only 25% of blood.
It is highly probable that Superman, Christopher Reeves, an American, could have survived and been revived had he been given stem cell therapy. His neck was broken when he was thrown off by his racehorse that suddenly stopped at an equestrian hurdle. He advocated stem cell research (Bellomo, M. Stem Cell Divide. 2006) He died before he could benefit from stem cell therapy in the United States. Some Americans had gone to Thailand and China for stem cell therapy.
One American went to China for stem cell therapy to heal his spinal cord. He met an accident and he was paralyzed from the chest down. He could not move his arms and legs. At the time a documentary film was taken on him, he can move about in the streets riding on a wheelchair with his arms rolling the wheels, could dismount from it and fold it in a pedestrian lane.