Clean up your Sugar to Improve Stem Cells!

Improve stem cells

Can cutting the sweets improve stem cells? We Americans are addicted to sugar. There’s sugar in everything, hidden with names like sucrose, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup and countless others. In fact I’ve blogged before that the single biggest cause of obesity in the United Statesis not eating too many steaks or too many pieces of bacon, but sugar. If you want to fatten a steer, you don’t feed him lard, you feed him corn.I’ve also blogged on a top 10 list of things to do to improve your stem cells, which included cutting the sugar. This week a study came out that linked the amount of sugar consumed with weight gain.

Yet for someone considering stem cell therapy using their own cells, this study has bigger implications. For example,a 2010 study showed that the kind of high blood sugar levels seen in pre-diabetes (metabolic syndrome) which is present in about 1 in 3 U.S. adults decreases the regenerative potential of stem cells. In particular, the hallmark hormonal dysfunction of metabolic syndrome (insulin resistance) played a role in why the cells functioned poorly. A more recent animal study showed the same issues in diabetic mice. Another recent in-vitro study mirrored those results.

The upshot? If you’re considering using your own stem cells for any procedure and you’re overweight, have high blood pressure, and aren’t maximally active, then clean up your sugar act before this procedure to improve stem cells! You may want your doctor to get a HbA1C test, which can measure your sugar control. It should be lower than 5.5-5.6 and ideally 5.1 and under. What should you do if it’s higher? Consider a strict low carb diet!

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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.