What is regenerative medicine and why is it considered the most compelling field in healthcare?
Despite the use of the word ‘medicine’, regenerative medicine is an exciting and growing field in healthcare that does not rely on medicine or surgery for healing. To answer the question, what is regenerative medicine, it can best be described as the body’s own innate ability to create a healing response. Think about the paper cuts you’ve had and how they’ve healed on their own, even without drugs or ointments.
Regenerative medicine works to take advantage of this ability to address more complex diseases like arthritis and tendonitis. The conventional tools we know, like topical creams, analgesics or physical therapy, do their bit in the whole healing process.
However, they are not enough for the body to recover completely. Does this mean your only option is surgery? Not necessarily.
How Does Regenerative Medicine Therapy Work?
First, we need to understand exosomes and their crucial role in the process. Exosomes are the “message in a bottle” that enable cells to communicate with each other. In regenerative medicine, they are measured and classified as mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) exosomes.
MSCs are among the most commonly used cell types for cell-based therapy aimed at treating diseases. They contain both messenger RNA (mRNA) and microRNA, but not DNA. These cells are dormant until they sense an injury. When they do, they begin “packaging key signals for healing” and transport those to damaged cells.
Every exosome has a receptor on its surface. These receptors bind to the surface receptors of damaged cells and the exosomes will attach and become absorbed into the cells.
It then releases signaling messages to regulate the healing process. The mRNA in the MSC exosomes translates genetic information into proteins while microRNA prevents other genes, like inflammatory signals and catabolic enzymes, from being expressed.
Regenerative Medicine And Stem Cells
Stem cells promote rejuvenation, repair, and regeneration in the body. They can send signals to injured cells and stimulate growth and healing. Stem cells don’t work like an instant pain reliever. They create a progressive response that has the potential to deliver long-term results.
Not all stem cells are the same and MSC is not equal to fat or blood stem cells. The “power” of stem cells can vary depending on a person’s age and health condition.
To be considered a true stem cell therapy, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) must be taken from your own fat (adipose) or bone marrow (hematopoietic). Fat tissue has a relatively higher number of MSCs compared to the rest of the body. Allogenic (not from the patient) stem cells are against the FDA guidelines and should not be administered to patients.
What Are Exosomes?
Exosomes, while allogenic, do not contain cells at all. They are nanoparticles (microvesicles) that carry important healing signals. These can be cultured and purified (free of cellular debris and culture media) from either placental or bone marrow MSCs. The exosomes have been shown to express a potent level of anti-inflammatory signals that aid in modulating the inflammatory and healing response.
Stem cell exosomes can be harnessed to manage conditions like arthritis, tendonitis, IBS, ulcerative colitis, hair loss, acne, surgical scars, erectile dysfunction, autoimmune diseases with inflammatory imbalance components, neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and other issues related to overall wellness and aging.
In addition to improved stability and function, regenerative medicine therapy also helps reduce pain and minimize dependence on opiates. It also enhances the benefits of physical therapy and eliminates the need for surgery. This, in turn, means minimal downtime from work or regular routine.
Source of Health is a full-service center for regenerative medicine based in Scottsdale, Arizona. Contact us now for expert advice on how you can benefit from this holistic approach to healing.
About the Author:
Dr. Steven Sorr is the founder and chief medical officer at Source of Health in Scottsdale, AZ and has been in clinical practice using regenerative medicine since 2013. He received his doctorate in naturopathic medicine from SCNM and is a licensed healthcare provider in Arizona.
Dr. Sorr brings a huge passion for life and a diverse educational background of food, yoga, and medicine to a Source of Health. His goal is to revolutionize the standard of care mindset by making significant strides in evidence-based therapies that are drug and surgery-free to restore high-level health for all.