Don’t Become an Amniotic “Stem Cell” Victim

Is amniotic stem cell therapy, offered by physicians or chiropractors, for real, or is it a scam? To determine what it is and what it isn’t, let’s break it down in an Amniotic Stem Cell Therapy Review.

I’ve discussed the great amniotic “stem cell” deception here many times over the years. The basic idea is that amniotic products don’t have any viable and functional cells in third party testing (i.e. that not sponsored by the manufacturer). Hence, a bait and switch happens when a medical provider gets sold an amniotic product as having living stem cells. The sales rep was either told that lie by the manufacturer or just invents it to sell the product. He or she doesn’t have the educational background to check that claim. The doctor then passes that lie on to his or her patients. These are textbook examples of consumer fraud.

Today, I’m going to discuss what makes these ads consumer fraud and what you can do about if you’ve been a victim. First, let’s review some of the amniotic “stem cell” concerns I’ve shared in the past.

An Amniotic Stem Cell Therapy Review

The biggest fib of all regarding amniotic stem cells (aka “placental stem cells” or “amniotic stem cell factors”) is that they contain live cells. They don’t!  The Interventional Orthopedics Foundation (IOF) tested amniotic stem cells and found that not only did they not have even a single living cell, they also didn’t help older stem cells perform any better, and they didn’t have any more growth factors (and usually less) than simpler and less expensive platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections. Yet, there are many providers out there claiming these dead cells are somehow regenerative and doing exactly what the IOF has found they can’t do. While you might benefit from some of the growth factors found in these products, you aren’t actually receiving “stem cell therapy” if the amniotic stem cells being injected are dead.

Here is important information to help you avoid becoming a victim of cord blood or amniotic stem cell therapy fraud:

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What Makes Amniotic “Stem Cell Therapy” Consumer Fraud?

So we know the stem cells in these amniotic products are dead, but in order to benefit from their use, these stem cells need to be alive and healthy. Obviously, it isn’t “stem cell therapy” if the cells are dead. Some providers finagle their way around this by never stating the stem cells are living.

Imagine I advertised a “cute little goldfish pet” for sale. But when you receive the goldfish, it’s dead. Now, in the ad, I never claimed it was living, so my advertising was accurate, right? Wrong! Clearly, a dead goldfish isn’t a pet, so this goes beyond misleading to being consumer fraud. Countless clinics are selling these dead amniotic stem cells via clever wording, but it’s really an epidemic scam sweeping the nation. Selling dead amniotic stem cells is as much consumer fraud as selling dead goldfish.

What Can You Do if You’ve Been a Victim of Amniotic Stem Cell Consumer Fraud?

If you’ve been a victim of amniotic or cord “stem cell” consumer fraud, first file a complaint with the following agencies:

We’d also appreciate it if you’d let us know. One of our missions is to protect consumers from clinics offering substandard care, so we need to know what’s happening out there.

The upshot? Amniotic stem cell therapy as being advertised do not contain viable and functional cells. Whether they’re powdered, in vials on a shelf, sterilized, frozen and thawed, or whatever other crazy processing method is out there today, at this point amniotic stem cells are still just dead tissue, and it’s more likely than not that based on the in-vitro testing, they aren’t going to help any more than a much less expensive PRP injection would. By knowing what to look for and what to expect out there in the wild west of stem cells, hopefully this Amniotic Stem Cell Therapy Review will protect you from becoming a victim of consumer fraud.

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Chris Centeno, MD is a specialist in regenerative medicine and the new field of Interventional Orthopedics. Centeno pioneered orthopedic stem cell procedures in 2005 and is responsible for a large amount of the published research on stem cell use for orthopedic applications. View Profile

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NOTE: This blog post provides general information to help the reader better understand regenerative medicine, musculoskeletal health, and related subjects. All content provided in this blog, website, or any linked materials, including text, graphics, images, patient profiles, outcomes, and information, are not intended and should not be considered or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please always consult with a professional and certified healthcare provider to discuss if a treatment is right for you.

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