How Do Preservatives Affect Stem Cells?

How Do Preservatives Affect Stem Cells?

Stem cells are being used to treat an expanding number of diseases. From orthopedic problems to neurological disorders, stem cells have been shown to help in a variety of different cases like what the stem cell doctor Los Angeles is doing. In addition to treating disease, stem cells have also been revolutionary for research purposes. They help scientists better understand how stem cells work in the body, understanding disease development and progression, and they hold therapeutic potential. As a result, it benefits researchers, physicians, and patients alike to have stem cells ready and available for use. One of the best ways to ensure adequate stem cells are available is through the use of preservatives.

Preservatives are chemicals that keep an item longer than it should normally last. Sometimes, preservatives are referred to as “additives” because they are added to stem cells to keep them longer. Stem cells are frozen in a preservative called dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). This process helps facilities produce more stem cells than they would be able to without preservatives. When stem cells are preserved, it allows for the ability to store them in stem cell banks for later use. This means that patient care and research projects are not limited or affected by a shortage of stem cells.

While there are benefits to using preservatives in stem cells, there are also drawbacks. DMSO has been associated with negative patient reactions. Some of these reactions include an unpleasant taste in the mouth, nausea, shortness of breath, wheezing, stomach pains, lowered heart rate, or even allergic reactions. One of the biggest draws to stem cell therapy is its minimal risk to patients. Therefore, if preservatives increase that risk, it makes stem cell therapy less desirable.

In addition to negative patient side effects, preservatives can also lead to ineffective stem cell therapy. When stem cells are exposed to preservatives for too long, they begin to die and thus lose effectiveness. Stem cells work best when there is more quantity of live cells. For example, a person that has 10,000 stem cells injected will see better results than a person who has 5,000 stem cells injected. Therefore, if the stem cells die during the preservation process, the injections will not be as effective. There is a delicate balance required when preserving stem cells to allow them to be stored without affecting their effectiveness.

Scientists and physicians are just starting to truly understand how stem cells work, and how to best use them. It seems each day there is a new application for stem cell therapy. With so many uses being discovered, it makes sense that the next steps would be figuring out how to store stem cells so they can be used whenever needed and in mass production. While preservatives have helped on this front, they are not perfect. When stored for too long in preservatives, or in preservatives that are too high in concentration, stem cells can be killed off and begin to lose their effectiveness. Therefore, the best places to get stem cell therapy are those that use a low percentage of preservatives per vial.

Ultimately, stem cell injections are a great alternative to surgery such as the San Francisco stem cell treatment center that can help bring back the quality of life that is slowly slipping away because of conditions and illnesses.

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