Would You Try This Controversial Anti-Aging Solution to Look Younger?

Would You Try This Controversial Anti-Aging Solution to Look YoungerHave the science and health industries finally discovered the fountain of youth? Experts believe we’re on the brink of uncovering the anti-aging secret to heal disease, prevent skin from aging, and restore a more youthful appearance. This anti-aging secret is stem cells.

Stem cell research has been a hot, controversial topic for decades, perpetuating the notion that stem cells in the human body are the anti-aging solution we’ve been searching for because they can heal and cure various diseases. What exactly is this science-based “fountain of youth” technology, and are lab-grown stem cells really the anti-aging solution to make your body and skin look younger?

What Are Stem Cells?

The basis of this anti-aging solution involves three major stem cells: adult stem cells, embryonic stem cells, and induced pluripotent stem cells. Embryonic stem cells come from human embryos, creating ethical debate through the destruction of the embryo.

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) take fibroblast cells from anywhere in the body and put in four stem cell functioning genes, which converts the original cell into the embryonic stem cell. These are a possible anti-aging solution because they can eliminate immune reactions, but can lead to tumor growth.

There are many potential benefits of adult stem cells as the ultimate anti-aging solution, especially pertaining to skin. During the aging process, skin thins and loses its elasticity, causing wrinkles and sagging. Skin is a constant natural rejuvenator through the creation of new cells, as old cells are shed. If it weren’t for adult stem cells, the new cells would not be produced.

When you age, the number of these stem cells is reduced and they become very dysfunctional, which means your skin’s stem cell growth slows to half the rate. Theoretically, your skin could look youthful by adding adult stem cells to increase regeneration of skin tissue—the ideal anti-aging solution. There is also practical evidence illustrating that body organs can be repaired using adult stem cells, another reason they’re regarded by many as an effective anti-aging solution.

Would You Try This Controversial Anti-Aging Solution to Look YoungerHow Stem Cells Are Being Used as an Anti-Aging Solution

Isolated adult stem cells have successfully been used as anti-aging solutions to treat knee injuries, back problems, and joint and bone growth issues. Stem cells also have potential for the successful treatment of diabetes and possibly the recreation of the human pancreas and heart. Other areas that could benefit from this innovative anti-aging solution include the reconditioning of the circulatory system, autoimmune disease, multiple sclerosis, and the regeneration of brain function of stroke patients. The essential goal of stem cell research as an anti-aging solution is to delay the natural process of aging and age-related disease, such as Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular conditions.

In 2012, there was a stem cell study done on mice at the McGowan Institute of Regenerative Medicine in Pittsburgh. The mice were genetically engineered to have a condition where they would age quickly and die younger, similar to a rare syndrome in children called progeria. Stem cells from young and healthy mice were then injected into the fast-aging mice four days before they were expected to die. The mice treated with the stem cell anti-aging solution lived an average of 71 days, 50 more than expected.

Stem Cells as the Anti-Aging Solution for Skin

Several anti-aging skin care products on the market today use stem cell research—they contain proteins excreted by lab-grown stem cells from various sources, such as anonymous bone morrow donors or embryonic-like stem cells from unused, unfertilized eggs (from non-human embryos). Another cream on the market uses human stem cells, extracted from belly or thigh fat, as an anti-aging solution.

There are also topical stem cell anti-aging solutions on the market. Companies would bottle what’s left after cells have grown in sterile conditions, which is primarily a growth-inducing protein mixture. This is then blended with moisturizers, antioxidants, and other skin-protecting material.

There’s the new trend of a stem cell facelift as an anti-aging solution as well, where dermatologists inject patients with cells extracted from belly or thigh fat. We lose fat in the face through aging, and this procedure stimulates fat cell growth, while helping reduce wrinkles and sagging in the face.

Stem cell proteins have been shown to heal wounds, which means that they could also theoretically work as an anti-aging solution to treat skin conditions like sun damage, wrinkles, and redness. It’s also an anti-aging solution that could help form and thicken skin because the stem cells would produce more collagen and elastin.

Stem cell research is continuously happening, and there could be more major anti-aging solutions and breakthroughs in coming years.

Dell’Amore, C., “Old Mice Made ‘Young’—May Lead to Anti-Aging Treatments,” National Geographic web site, January 6, 2012; http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/01/120106-aging-mice-stem-cells-old-young-science-health/.
Mercola, J., “The Promise of Adult Stem Cells in Disease Management, Anti-Aging, and Life Extension,” Mercola.com, November 17, 2013; http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/11/17/adult-stem-cells-therapy.aspx.
Moyer, M.W., “Would You Get A Stem Cell Face-Lift?” Prevention web site; http://www.prevention.com/beauty/beauty/would-you-get-stem-cell-face-lift, last accessed December 10, 2013.