A stem cell is a unique cell in our bodies. Our bodies have over 200 different cell types. Stem cells can become any one of these 200 different cells. They take the place of old and worn-out cells to help repair our bodies. Stem cells come from bone marrow, adipose tissue, and blood. Adipose tissue is another term for fat, the fat that many overweight people want to lose. They are critically important for the maintenance and health of every tissue in our bodies.
Stem cells can self-renew, divide like other cells. Stem cells can live five months, others can live to three years. The functional ability of stem cells degrades with age. We don’t run out of stem cells in our bodies, but there are parts that don’t have optimal levels. Healing is hampered when adequate amounts of stem cells are not present.
When this happens, the ability of our bodies to heal is affected. Senescent cells (see my article at https://wp.me/p4ztmz-Mv) can cause stem cell dysfunction which increases aging and age-related diseases. Researchers tell us that exercise, caloric restriction and fasting, Tai chi, quality sleep, and protection from radiation appear to increase the number of stem cells.
Other research shows that polyphenols and antioxidants, especially those in berries, green tea, and pomegranates can increase bone marrow-derived stem cells. The March 2020 issue of Life Extension magazine (https://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2020/3) reports that garcinol, piceatannol, and resveratrol can reverse or repair age-related changes in stem cells.
These three nutrients activate AMPK (5 AMP-activated protein kinase), inhibit mTOR (a protein that controls cell functions), activates sirtuins that regulate cellular processes, and blocks certain enzymes that reduce changes that cause cellular dysfunction. These actions provide enhanced protection to stem cells.
Garcinol is a compound found in the mangosteen fruit. Mangosteen has many health benefits, most notably the ability to inhibit COX-2 (cyclooxygenase-2) and not inhibit COX-1 (cyclooxygenase-1).
COX-2 is dormant until needed, usually at the site of an injury. It causes the production of prostaglandins which produce inflammation, pain, swelling, redness, soreness, and maybe fever where needed. The body can heal faster when COX-2 is inhibited. Drugs that inhibit COX-2 also inhibit COX-1. COX-1 activates platelets and protects the stomach and intestinal linings. Gamma mangostin, found in mangosteen fruit, inhibits COX-2 without inhibiting COX-1.
Histone acetylation is a process that degrades the function of stem cells. Garcinol inhibits this process. It also increases the production of stem cells from the blood. One recent study garcinol was used to inhibit lung tumor growth. Additional studies are evaluating the efficacy in treating cervical, breast, oral, and prostate cancers.
Piceatannol is a stilbenoid found in red and white grapes, passion fruit, and blueberries. This compound stimulates cellular regulation, function, and maintenance. Neural stem cells are produced in the presence of piceatannol.
Resveratrol is a polyphenol compound (and a close relative to stilbenoids) with antioxidant properties. Stem cell function restoration has been found in several studies. Resveratrol increases the protein SIRT1 which enhances longevity and anti-aging. Another study found resveratrol activates AMPK, enhances cellular mitochondrial function, inhibits mTOR. All these factors protect and restore the function of aging stem cells. Resveratrol is 1000% more bioavailable when black pepper extract (piperine) is included.
Our American dietary choices allow us to have many nutrient deficiencies and inflammation. We see the results in our elderly with multiple health issues. Aging causes changes. We can
slow down the aging processes by making wise choices in lifestyle (diet, exercise, fasting, weight control, etc.)
Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin
Hi Red, I didnt realize how informative your articles are. Were you ever a physician because those words are so detailed I was thankful you clarified. You forgot to mention red wine for reservertrol or is manganese higher concentrations and better?
Sheila, I am not a physician. I am a researcher. I research what happens in the body at the cellular level looking for cause and effect relationships. If you treat a symptom, you will always treat a symptom. You must treat the cause of a problem to solve it. My first love was chemistry. I got a degree in it. I was unable to go into that field because I got an invitation to Vietnam. I have a total of five college degrees – all in different subjects. I am retired. I speak, write, and publish books for new authors. I try to take some very technical subjects and explain them in a way that most can understand. Sometimes, the technical data has to be added so those who want to research more can do it. Thanks for you kind comments. Wine is a good source of resveratrol, but you need black pepper extract to increase the bioavailability in the body. Our society is deficient in many nutrients. Magnesium is one. Anything that can be done to achieve balanced nutrition is desirable. Thanks again for your comment.