This feature is brought to you by Vice Director of Science and Research for Swiss Medica, Eremin Ilya Igorevich.
What are the primary causes of premature aging?
Ageing is an inevitable process that is evolutionally inherent. This process can be accelerated by environmental and lifestyle factors, including quality of food and eating habits, stress, and pathology. Genetically determined individual characteristics are also greatly influential.
Stem cells are responsible for regeneration. They help our bodies to renew themselves. These types of cells are present in every human from the intrauterine period. With age and under the influence of negative factors, the number of stem cells found in the body declines, and overall regenerative potential of cells and tissues decreases. This leads to diseases, reduced vitality and energy levels, and the onset of ageing’s external signs.
How would you define the function of stem cells?
Stem cells are responsible for maintaining the constancy (homeostasis) of all cells in our body. They have an ability to change into specific cells – fibroblasts, neural and endothelial cells, etc. – as and when needed. Stem cells regulate the processes of tissue regeneration by producing a large amount of biologically active molecules, including cytokines, growth factors, and micro-RNA.
In stem cell therapy, these properties can be used for:
- Reducing inflammation and pain (for example, in arthritis treatment);
- Remyelination (multiple sclerosis treatment);
- Skin rejuvenation (anti-ageing programs).
What is the effect of ageing on stem cells?
It is actually the stem cells that influence the ageing process. The smaller their number and activity, the faster the body wears out.
Reducing the number of stem cells reduces the ability of tissues and organs to self-repair, and the consequences are manifested – degenerative-dystrophic changes in the musculoskeletal system, susceptibility to various diseases, the deterioration of the skin (wrinkles, droopy eyelids, age spots, dry and loose skin).
How can stem cell treatment trigger the renewal of cells?
Direct introduction of stem cells into the body raises their total number for a period of time (up to 6 months). Stem cells have a unique ability to find the focus of acute and chronic inflammatory processes in the body and concentrate on them. There they produce biologically active compounds that trigger and optimise regeneration processes.
As a result, the blood supply and gas exchange are restored, and the factors that prevent cells from fully functioning (apoptosis, lipid peroxidation, free radical activity) are eliminated. This activates the processes of cell division and differentiation of stem cells within the tissue, increasing the regenerative potential. All this leads to decreased inflammation, reduced pain, improved mobility, and the reversal of external and internal signs of ageing.
How are stem cell treatments produced and administered?
To create a cell product, various body tissues are obtained under local anaesthesia. The patient’s own tissues, such as bone marrow, adipose tissue, skin, and gingiva are most commonly used.
Donor material can also be used – placenta, umbilical cord, bone marrow, fatty tissue, and gingiva. Stem cells are isolated from tissue fragments in a special laboratory with strict observance of the sterility and then propagated to a therapeutic dose (tens or hundreds of millions of cells).
A mandatory requirement in the creation of cell products is the use of the quality management system and standards of Good Practices GxP, such as GTP (Good Tissue Practice). This approach ensures all aspects of the safety of the cell product.
As part of the therapy, the cell product is introduced into the body. There are multiple routes of administration:
- Systemic, when cells are injected intravenously and distributed throughout the body;
- Local, when the cells are introduced directly into the location of the pathological process or as near as possible.
The disease determines the route of administration. It is possible to combine two methods within one treatment program.
How does stem cell treatment compare to conventional anti-ageing treatments such as Botox?
Popular cosmetic injections have a very limited area of application. For example, Botox only blocks the muscles, making wrinkles no longer visible. The effect is purely mechanical, and the cause of wrinkles – damages to the molecular framework of the skin, is not repaired.
As for the preparations of hyaluronic acid, they only improve the appearance of the skin by attracting water molecules and increasing the volume. Even platelet-rich plasma (PRP) does not act physiologically. PRP-therapy triggers a powerful inflammatory reaction, which starts the regeneration processes as a response within the skin. Thus, such methods only have a temporary effect and do not fight the causes.
Alternatively, stem cell therapy has the most natural effect. Stem cells restore nutrition of all the cellular elements of the skin and activate the process of recovery and renewal. Most importantly, they stimulate the production of collagen and elastin – the key components of the extracellular matrix, which gives the appearance of healthy skin, turgor, firmness, and elasticity.
It is worth mentioning that only collagen produced by its own skin cells is able to integrate into the collagen frame of the skin. No collagen introduced from outside sources will embed in the recipient area. The use of collagen preparations to restore the skin, especially injectable ones, is nothing more than a marketing move.
What are the benefits of stem cell treatment to your skin?
Only stem cell therapy can physiologically affect the cause of skin ageing. The effects of using cell products in anti-ageing programs are:
- Natural recovery of the extracellular molecular framework of the skin from increased production of collagen and elastin;
- Adequate blood supply and gas exchange of skin cells;
- Suppression of inflammatory and immune responses;
- Regeneration and renewal of the skin.
Are there any benefits of stem cell treatment to an individual’s overall health?
Certainly. Cell therapy has a massive rejuvenating effect on the entire body. Due to their unique ability to locate pathological processes, stem cells themselves will target and improve problem areas throughout the body.
As a result, the blood supply is restored (ischaemic damage along with inflammatory reactions are the basis of most diseases), inflammatory and immune reactions are suppressed, and regeneration is stimulated.
At a more general level, after stem cell therapy, the activity of metabolic processes increases, adaptive reserves are expanded, resistance to stress and disease increases, and mental and physical performance improved.
For how long do the benefits of each treatment last?
The effect of cell therapy depends on the problem being treated, the degree of its severity, the patient’s condition, co-morbidities, working and living conditions, as well as compliance with the treatment programs developed.
For the skin, the first results of cell therapy can be seen within several weeks on average, and continue for at least six months. Effects of systemic cell therapy are manifested in a week or two and develop incrementally over three to six months. In the case of local injection, for example, with intra-articular administration, the pain syndrome is reduced within several days and the results can last for years.
The figures presented are indicative of and assessed for uncomplicated cases. Only a full examination can allow for a more accurate prediction.
What results can patients expect from Swiss Medica’s anti-ageing stem cell treatment?
All programs to combat age-related changes are complex and unique and include methods of correction of both skin conditions and the metabolism of the entire body.
The greatest result can be achieved only with a combination of methods – cell, physio- and ortho-molecular therapy, cosmetic, nutrition and rehabilitation programs, a selection of individual complexes of vitamins, and so on. When using this approach for 2-4 weeks of full therapy, patients will enjoy looking and feeling at least 10 years younger.
Want to learn how many years you could take off using cell-based products? Or do you have other stem cell therapy related questions? Visit the Swiss Medica website and complete the form to contact us.