March 3Stem Cells – The Facts
When it comes to stem cell treatments to your body, you should be informed of the facts. The hype generated by the great medical potential of stem cells has led to hundreds of clinics worldwide claiming to have the cure for every imaginable condition. These treatments can cost anything from $1,500 to upwards of $8,000 depending on the treatment and because most insurance companies don’t cover “experimental” medicine, this is a large chunk of cash to pay out-of-pocket.
Science determines facts, and facts determine the truth, and the only way to know the truth behind stem cell treatments is to know and understand the science. So here are a few facts to get you started on your search for the truth.
- There are three main types of stem cells: adult stem cells, embryonic stem cells, and induced-pluripotent stem cells, or iPSCs.
- In tissues like bone and muscle, adult stem cells can generate replacements for bone and muscle cells that are lost through injury, disease or normal wear and tear. Adult stem cells are sometimes referred to as somatic stem cells.
- Adult stem cells usually develop into the same type of cell as the tissue in which they reside. Stem cells found in muscle tissue, for example, normally gives rise to new muscle cells.
- Induced-pluripotent stem cells are adult stem cells that have been genetically altered to behave like embryonic stem cells. At present, they serve a valuable role in research and drug testing
- Currently, very few stem cell treatments have been proven safe and effective
- Different types of stem cells serve different purposes in the body
- The same stem cell treatment is unlikely to work for different diseases or conditions
- The science behind a disease should match the science behind the treatment
- The process by which science becomes medicine is designed to minimize harm and maximize effectiveness
*This content is not written by a medical expert and is not meant to provide medical advice.