This isn’t too Hard to Figure Out: Smoking Hurts Stem Cells

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smoking hurts stem cells

As you’ve heard, smoking is bad for your health. But did you know that smoking hurts stem cells? A recent study looked at the ability of mesenchymal stem cells (the kind we use) to turn into cartilage. This is called, “chondrogenic differentiation” (chondrogenic literally in Latin is cartilage generating). It’s likely no surprise that nicotine reduced the ability of these stem cells to turn into cartilage. Another animal study showed that smoking reduced the ability of stem cells to migrate to the reproductive system. Yet another study showed that circulating stem cells were reduced by about 50% in smokers. Still another study showed that stopping smoking resulted in a rapid restoration of normal circulating stem cells. The upshot? If you’re contemplating a stem cell procedure, don’t smoke! If you smoke now, stop before your procedure. How long should you wait after you stop smoking and before your procedure? Based on the study above, about one month should do it. However, since smoking is also associated with much less of an ability to exercise, I’d get back in good shape and follow the top 10 list of things to do to help your stem cells.

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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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