It’s common for doctors who perform regenerative medicine therapy to take adult stem cells from a patient’s blood, fat tissue or bone marrow. But umbilical cord blood actually is a better source for the super cells that can stimulate healing and turn into new tissue.
In fact, the National Institutes for Health has labeled cord blood the new “gold standard” in stem cell therapy.
“Considered for a long time as a medical waste, umbilical cord appears these days as a promising source of (stem cells). Several reports have shown that umbilical cord-derived (stem cells) are more primitive, proliferative, and immunosuppressive than their adult counterparts. Although umbilical cord (stem cells) are until now not particularly used as (a stem cell) source in clinical practice, accumulating evidence shows that they may have a therapeutic advantage to treat several diseases.”
Stem cell therapy aims to replace unhealthy cells with healthy cells to repair damaged knees, hips and joints – or even treat diseases. Coming from any source, stem cells are like building blocks with the potential to become any kind of healthy cells.
But here are four reasons umbilical cord blood is best for stem cell therapy:
The stem cells are extracted from the umbilical cord and placenta after a baby is born. It’s a painless, non-invasive process that has no effect on either the baby or its mother. Extracting stem cells from other sources, like bone marrow in a patient’s hip, for example, can be painful and requires recovery time.
Stem cells from an umbilical cord are younger than adult stem cells taken from a patient’s body. That gives them greater regenerative power. They grow faster and reproduce more rapidly than adult stem cells, which decrease in number and efficiency as the body ages.
Unlike other sources of stem cells that must come either from the patient’s own body or from a family member, stem cells from umbilical cord blood can be used by anybody. There is no human leukocyte antigen (HLA) matching required. Stem cells from cord blood are always readily available and on the shelf, so to speak.
Some forms of stem cell transplants can get rejected by a patient’s body or even cause disease. Using cord blood is the most non-invasive and safest process for stem cell therapy, with a low-rate of infection.
More questions about umbilical cord stem cell therapy? Check out this FAQ.