Can supplements increase stem cells?

Stem cell therapy has emerged as a revolutionary approach in regenerative medicine, offering hope for conditions ranging from chronic pain to degenerative diseases. For patients undergoing stem cell therapy, increasing the number of available stem cells both before and after treatment can help to significantly enhance treatment outcomes. 

As research progresses, dietary supplements are showing as a potential method of improving both stem cell quality and quantity. In this blog, we’ll explore some of the supplements that increase stem cells. 

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The importance of stem cells

stem cells in laboratory

Stem cells are the building blocks of the human body, possessing the unique ability to differentiate into various cell specialized types. These cells are pivotal in repairing damaged tissues, supporting immune functioning, and maintaining overall health. Stem cell therapy works by increasing the number of stem cells into a targeted region or throughout the body to stimulate the natural regeneration and repair of damaged tissues.

Increasing the amount of stem cells available after stem cell treatment can help to boost the viability and differentiation ability (when the stem cell changes to a specialized cell) of the implanted stem cells. This can help to maximize the effectiveness of the stem cell therapy, helping to improve outcomes even further.

Supplements for stem cell health

Supplements can play a role in influencing the quality and quantity of stem cells. Certain nutrients and dietary supplements have been identified to support stem cell functioning and proliferation (the reproduction of stem cells to increase total stem cell population). 

Antioxidant supplements in particular can help to improve the functioning and survival of stem cells. For many of our patients at Stemwell, taking certain dietary supplements is often an essential component of post-therapy maintenance.

Key supplements to increase stem cell quantity and quality

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

These essential fats help the body to carry out essential functions. As part of this, they enhance the environment in which stem cells thrive, reducing inflammation and supporting stem cell growth and differentiation. Research suggests omega-3 consumption can improve the availability of vital stem cells. For example, one study found that omega-3 supplementation during pregnancy increased stem cell concentration in newborn cord blood. 

Vitamin D

Often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin”, vitamin D is crucial for bone health and immune functioning. Research also indicates that it plays a significant role in stem cell biology by promoting the proliferation (multiplication) and differentiation (specialization) of stem cells. In this sense, ensuring adequate vitamin D may help to enhance stem cell therapy outcomes. 

Curcumin

This active compound in turmeric has gained attention for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Some studies have shown that curcumin led to neurogenesis (the development of new cells in the brain), suggesting it enhanced stem cells in the brain. Other studies have confirmed that curcumin increases bone marrow stem cells, but getting the dosage right is crucial. Low-dose curcumin increases stem cell proliferation, whereas higher doses were considered toxic. So while curcumin could be beneficial in improving stem cell levels after stem cell therapy, it’s important to follow the advice of a professional nutritionist to establish the right dose for you. 

Vitamin C

This vitamin plays a vital role in protecting cells, maintaining healthy skin, bones, and cartilage, and helping with healing. Some evidence also shows that vitamin C can help to enhance stem cell functioning and proliferation, meaning stem cells will increase in numbers. 

Resveratrol

This compound is thought to have an antioxidant effect, stabilizing free radicals in the body – which are unstable molecules that can harm your cells. It has also shown to impact stem cell differentiation (whether a stem cell turns into a specialized cell or not). Resveratrol can activate a gene called SIRT-1. The activation of this gene has shown to play an important role in promoting the differentiation of stem cells. Resveratrol supplementation after stem cell therapy may help stem cells to specialize into the necessary cells needed for tissue repair. 

Following stem cell therapy, you may want to consider incorporating the above nutrients into your diet through either supplementation or natural sources:

Nutrient Natural source examples
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Fish oil, fatty fish, walnuts, flaxseeds
Vitamin D
Oily fish, red meat, egg yolks, mushrooms
Curcumin
Turmeric
Vitamin C
Citrus fruits, berries, peppers, broccoli
Resveratrol
Peanuts, berries, grapes, red wine

A range of other supplements have also shown to improve stem cell quantity and quality. However, it’s important to note that the use of supplements in increasing stem cells naturally requires more research, and the effectiveness of supplementation to boost stem cell therapy is still relatively unknown. It’s also important to discuss your personal use of supplements with a professional doctor or nutritionist, ensuring you follow specific guidelines around dosage.

Stem cell supplements

In recent years, some companies have started developing stem cell supplements which claim to either contain isolated or extracted stem cells or support the production of stem cells within the body.

However, the mechanism behind these stem cell pills is not well understood or studied. Oral stem cell supplements do not contain live stem cells as stem cells require extremely cold storage conditions to maintain viability, and would also be destroyed by gastrointestinal enzymes if ingested orally. Claims suggesting that stem cell pills contain live stem cells are false and misleading. What’s more, the benefits of stem cell supplements have not been extensively researched, and little is known about the safety or side effects of stem cell supplements.

Because of the lack of scientific understanding, rigor, and evidence behind stem cell supplements, plus inadequate regulation in many regions, at Stemwell, we strongly suggest approaching products such as stem cell pills with caution and skepticism.

Frequently asked questions on dietary supplements for stem cells

No, supplements are not a replacement for stem cell therapy. They can help to support and enhance the therapy by promoting stem cell health and proliferation, but alone, supplements cannot produce the same results as stem cell therapy.

Most dietary supplements are safe when taken at recommended dosages. However, some individuals may experience side effects. It’s crucial to follow dosage recommendations and consult with a healthcare provider if you have any concerns.

While many of these supplements can be taken together, you should consult your healthcare provider to create a tailored plan that considers your unique health needs and conditions.

Stem cell therapy at Stemwell

regenerative medicine clinic

At Stemwell, we are regenerative medicine experts with a wealth of experience in using stem cell therapy to improve a wide range of illnesses and injuries. 

Following the highest international ethical standards, we are proud to offer a transparent, honest, and clinically accurate service and are truly committed to helping you improve your quality of life. 

To learn more about stem cell therapy and get started on your journey to recovery, get started today to check your eligibility.

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This article was authored by:
Juliana Bonilla Pabón
Dr. Juliana Bonilla is a specialist in sports medicine and physical activity. She has extensive experience in regenerative medicine, treatment of muscle injuries, management of osteoarticular pathologies, and exercise prescription. Her patient-centered approach is evidenced by the development of personalized treatment plans and the use of advanced diagnostic tools to ensure the best possible outcomes. Dr. Bonilla has a remarkable ability to apply stem cells and treat injury areas with regenerative medicine, promoting optimal healing and effective recovery for her patients. Her deep knowledge and dedication have made her an expert in the treatment of chronic pathologies, helping both athletes and the general population to achieve optimal levels of health, performance, and recovery.

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