Stem Cells Extend Lifespan and Improve Health in Mice
Stem cells have the ability to repair all sorts of things. However, will someone else’s stem cells extend lifespan in humans one day? A new study suggests they might.
The idea that stem cells could help extend lifespan traces back tot heir ability in the body to repair things that are broken or wear out. What if there more of these tiny little repairmen? Would these cells help the body be healthier and survive longer? Would they spiral out of control and cause tumors or worse, something we don’t yet know much about?
The new study looked at IV infusions into mice of two different human stem cell types about once a month. Scaling that to the lifespan of a human would mean infusions once every few years. The lifespan extension was an impressive 23-31%. The researchers saw better brain function and less cognitive decline. The researchers also observed that the stem cells were able to become new brain cells. The repeated infusion of stem cells also recovered reduced levels of important brain chemicals that are needed for normal brain function. The animals that received the stem cells also had better blood supply to their organs and stronger muscles.
The upshot? What’s interesting, similar anti-aging effects have also been seen with infusion of blood from young animals. Is it a good idea to rush out and get stem cell infusions from other people? There’s a ton of research to be done to see if this is a safe treatment. Given that blood transfusions from other people are a known quantity and have been performed for a century in real patients, this would be the safer bet. Still, these animal results are encouraging. Is there a future where we all go and get an infusion of stem cells ever few years and live to 100 with better brains, organs, and muscles than our predecessors? Only time will tell!