5 Misconceptions About Adult Stem Cells - Catalyst Regenerative Network
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5 Misconceptions About Adult Stem Cells

If you feel confused about adult stem cells, you’re not alone. Many people are unclear of how cells differ based on whether they are adult, embryonic, or come from the umbilical cord of a newborn baby. This confusion causes them to believe common misconceptions that could prevent them from realizing the full benefit of adult stem cells.

An adult stem cell is undifferentiated, which means that it is located in differentiated cells in the major organs and tissues of the body. It is capable of self-renewal and can yield to some or all the most prominent types of cells in an organ or tissue. The main job of adult stem cells is to repair and maintain the tissues where they are located.

Even though adult-derived stem cells and stem cells in general offer tremendous promise in the treatment of previously incurable diseases, many misconceptions persist about them. Below are five of the most common myths debunked.

  1. All Stem Cells Originate in Fetuses
    This is probably the most persistent misconception about stem cell treatment. The reality is that no commercially available stem cell therapies come from embryos or fetuses. That is because medical researchers are shifting their attention to stem cells found in gestational tissues as well as adult donors or autologous stem cells. Gestational tissues like umbilical cords, placentas and amniotic fluid is currently being used to treat a number of ailments like arthritis and non-healing wounds. These tissues are normally discarded after birth but can now be stored for future lifestyle restoring treatments. However, most adult stem cells are derived from the patient’s own body. In fact, adipose-derived stem cells found in fat tissues contain an abundance of stem cells that can be easily harvested and used to help heal the patient.


  1. Stem Cells Can Cure Any Disease
    On the opposite end of the spectrum are those who are OVER-confident in adult-derived stem cells. While new uses for stem cell therapy emerge frequently, every process requires years of clinical trials and research for the ultimate safety of the patient. Currently, stem cells are considered especially effective for a broad variety of musculoskeletal and inflammatory conditions, including major and minor joints, soft tissue, degenerative disc disease, tendonitis and tears (shoulder, rotator cuff, hip, elbow, Achilles), fractures, sprains, cartilage defects, spine and back, and osteoarthritis. In addition, stem cell therapy is also proving effective for treating bursitis, headaches, and is used in many numerous cosmetic procedures.


  1. Many of the World’s Religions Are Against Stem Cell Therapy
    It is actually the destruction of embryos that the major conservative religions find problematic. As mentioned above, more stem cells come from gestational tissues and adult donors than embryos. The church as a whole has no problem with stem cells derived from ones-self or gestational tissues. In fact, former Pope Benedict XVI publicly stated his support of stem cell therapy.


  1. Stem Cell Research is Unregulated
    Stem cell research is a legal practice regulated by the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Most states have additional legislation surrounding the research and use of adult-derived stem cells. In fact, the FDA has been very involved in developing guidelines around the safety and processes associated with HCT/P’s (Human Cellular Tissue Products) which autologous and allograft based stem cell therapies fall under.


  1. Stem Cell Research Will Lead to Human Cloning
    This just isn’t possible. Every major advisory and regulatory body restricts reproductive human cloning. Both the International Society for Stem Cell Research and the National Academy of Sciences have issued guideline specifically banning this technique.


Contact Us for Further Clarification

Because adult-derived stem cells are a newer discovery, misconceptions about them tend to be intertwined with those about embryonic stem cells. However, the two types of stem cells originate from different sources, in addition to treating different types of diseases.

If you have additional questions about adult stem cells, or if you’d like to find a regenerative medicine physician in your area, contact Catalyst Regenerative Network by clicking here.

At Catalyst Regenerative Medicine (CRN), we help doctors heal patients by providing cutting edge regenerative medicine therapies and products. Derived from the body’s basic elements, these therapies help your body’s own ability to heal itself in a very dramatic and powerful way.


  • Harolyn Gilles, MD
    Posted at 22:11h, 25 March Reply

    Can stem cells be used to regenerate periodontal bone tissue, where there has been severe recession of the gums?

    • catalystadmin
      Posted at 08:37h, 25 May Reply

      PRFM (Platelet Rich Fibrin Matrix) is very popular in the dental space and has lots of evidence of the effectiveness.

  • Harolyn Gilles, MD
    Posted at 22:12h, 25 March Reply

    How can stem cells be used to treat diabetes?

    • catalystadmin
      Posted at 08:21h, 25 May Reply

      There are studies underway that are investigating the use of Stem Cell Therapy for diabetes – more specifically, restoring Pancreatic function. There seems to be great promise. We are also aware that there are anecdotal success stories about delivering ADRC’s via IV therapy that has had a positive effect.

  • Harolyn Gilles, MD
    Posted at 22:14h, 25 March Reply

    What is more helpful to treat pain and deterioration due to OA, A2M or stem cells? Does A2M actually help grow new cartilage or only protect from future deterioration.?

    • catalystadmin
      Posted at 08:17h, 25 May Reply

      A2M has the ability to bait and trap the catabolic proteases that are in the joint – literally destroying the cartilage. Its more of a root cause type solution. The thought is to treat with A2M to stop the destructive process and then follow-up with a stem cell treatment 4-6 weeks post A2M to start the regenerative process in a joint that has been effectively cleaned out with the A2M. Thanks for posting!

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