Why Are Stem Cells So Effective?

Why Are Stem Cells So Effective?

Most people in the general public have heard about stem cells by now. They are taking over the world of pain management and in some cases, providing more relief than medication and cortisone shots, and even preventing people from needing surgery.  However, what many people do not understand is what exactly are stem cells, and why are they so effective?

In many cases, stem cells have been termed “magical.”  However, their power does not lie in magic; it lies in science.  At a base level, stem cells are cells that are naturally present in each one of us.  They are most abundant before and at birth and slowly decline as we age.  Stem cells have the ability to differentiate or turn into any kind of cell in the human body.  They are healers, meant to harness the body’s own healing power when something goes wrong.  This means that stem cells have the ability to replace damaged cells that make up various tissues such as cartilage between joints or damaged heart muscle.

While most people think of stem cells as being a form of treatment or therapy, they are so much more than that.  Studying stem cells can show scientists how cells develop into various other kinds of cells.  This means that by studying them, we can get a better idea of how to induce cells to repair themselves without a stem cell transplant.  In addition, stem cells can be used to study disease, find new drugs for various conditions, and screen medications for various side effects without testing on actual humans.

One of the aspects that makes stem cells so effective is that they are naturally occurring.  One of the dangers in transplants of any kind, such as heart transplants or kidney transplants, is that there is a risk of rejection.  Stem cells can be taken from a donor or from the patient themselves.  When taken from the patient themselves, there is no risk of rejection because all genetic material is that of the patient’s.  In addition, many current treatments come with a host of risks and side effects.  However, stem cells pose very little risk or side effects.  In most cases, the biggest risk comes from infection risk due to the injection, or the risk that the therapy may not work.  However, these risks are extremely low, and much less significant than the risks associated with other forms of treatment such as medication and surgery.

We have only hit the tip of the iceberg on what stem cell therapy may be able to accomplish.  Due to its very low risk and very high effectiveness, stem cell therapy is quickly becoming a common therapy used for a wide range of ailments.  Stem cells are so effective because they harness our body’s own natural healing power, and allow scientists and physicians to discover new treatment methods, and understand how the body responds when damaged.

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