What are stem cells?
Stem cells - the building blocks of life
The human body consists of more than 200 types of cells, each of which has its own specialist task. Nerve cells conduct electrical impulses, muscle cells contract and the ß-cells of the pancreas produce insulin.
Stem cells are 'neutral' cells and are differentiated from the mature and 'worker' cells in the body. They are characterised by the ability to differentiate into many lineage-specific cell types, to multiply and to form new tissue by dividing and maturing.
This ability to develop into highly disparate, specialised types of cell, thus assisting the organism in the regeneration process, makes stem cells unique and highly important to medical therapies.
Scientific research from all over the world indicates that stem cells are the key factor in regenerative medicine and tissue repair.
Adult, multipotent stem cells
Whereas embryonic stem cells are only found in the early embryo, human beings have a reservoir of adult multipotent stem cells available to them all their lives. Adult stem cells can be found in greater or lesser numbers in every human organ. Removing these stem cells from the body involves major surgery and risk, depending on their location.
For this reason Med Cell Bahamas only uses adult, mesenchymal stem cells derived from your own adipose tissue.
The removal of stem cells from the adipose tissue has considerable advantages compared with stem cells obtained from the umbilical cord or bone marrow. Stem cells from the adipose tissue can be removed at any age, the material contains a considerably higher stem cell count and there is less risk of contamination from blood cells.
Embryonic stem cells
Even if embryonic stem cells seem to be highly promising, it must be kept in mind that their use is connected with a number of scientific, moral and ethical reservations.
The debate which is currently being held on the subject of stem cell therapy is related exclusively to embryonic stem cells. In order to obtain these, it is necessary to destroy embryos, in other words fertilised egg cells, from which a whole human being could develop. In addition, the use of embryonic stem cells is still far removed from any clinical application, among other things because embryonic stem cells have a strong tendency to multiply, which could promote the development of tumours. According to the present state of scientific knowledge the use of adult stem cells does not seem to favour the development of tumours. This is also a reason why many experts regard therapy using adult stem cells as the key factor in regenerative medicine
Med Cell Europe is not involved in the research or storage of embryonic stem cells.
What is the task of adult stem cells in the body?
Throughout our lives, adult stem cells help to maintain and regenerate our organs and tissue. In the human body they are found in almost every form of tissue (blood, muscle, brain, intestine, liver etc).
Stem cells identify damaged tissue in our body and help with the healing processes. The daily functioning of the body is dependent on stem cells. For example, our red blood corpuscles only operate effectively for around 120 to 130 days. After that they become too old to carry enough oxygen and have to be replaced by the stem cells in the bone marrow which create blood. Other types of cells in the body are also regularly replaced, for example those of the intestines, skin and liver.
How important is the quality of the stem cells?
The quality of the stem cells which are used plays a vital role. The older we become, the more our stem cells lose their capacity to divide and survive. The question of from what point in time stem cells have exhausted their healing potential is a decisive one, especially if they are to be used for the treatment of those ailments which tend to appear in the later stages of our lives. Many researchers are convinced that future research results will indicate that stem cells should be isolated when we are young and healthy.
However, it is never too late to decide to store adult mesenchymal stem cells from one's own fat tissue!
Med Cell Bahamas only uses adult stem cells from adipose tissue for research purposes. Our research is 100% free of animal experiments.
Are there limits to stem cell therapy?
Adult stem cells are not a panacea for all diseases. Clinical studies have shown that many people who have been treated with their own stem cells, have shown considerable improvement, whereas in the case of some patients the treatment has had little effect. At the present time, stem cells are used in more than 250 forms of treatment and new discoveries are being made daily in the field of stem cell research and applied therapies.