Science Update Stem Cells and Cardiovascular Health
Thanks to a growing body of research, scientists are now recognizing that having more stem cells in ones bloodstream could be one of the greatest strategies for optimal health. For example, a number of recent studies have shown that a greater number of circulating stem cells equated to greater cardiovascular health.
Lets look at some of these studies in a little more detail so you can grasp the potential benefits of supporting your bodys natural release of stem cells into the bloodstream
In 2001, Vasa et al reported that compared to healthy individuals, people with cardiovascular problems had fewer endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) in their bloodstream. EPCs are a type of stem cells responsible for the development of new blood vessels. The study also demonstrated that the EPCs isolated from people with cardiovascular problems showed less ability to migrate in tissues. The Vasa group also reported that smokers had fewer EPCs in their blood.
In 2004 Schmidt-Lucke et al measured the number of EPCs in the bloodstream of 120 individuals (43 controls and 77 individuals at risk for cardiovascular problems) and observed these individuals for ten months. At the end of this time, the authors reported that a reduced number of circulating EPCs was linked to a poor cardiovascular health prognosis.
The next year, in a similar but more extensive study, Werner et al measured the number of EPCs in the bloodstream of 19 individuals, and observed these individuals for one year. Overall, the people with more circulating EPCs experienced fewer cardiovascular problems and, conversely, the people who had fewer EPCs in their blood showed increased incidences of cardiovascular events.
Thanks to recent studies, scientists now understand why greater numbers of stem cells in the bloodstream equate to better cardiovascular health. In essence, when a tissue has poor blood circulation, it lacks oxygen. And when a tissue lacks oxygen, it releases compounds that accomplish two specific tasks: 1) attraction of EPCs into the tissue, and 2) conversion of EPCs into capillary cells. Therefore, whenever a tissue is lacking oxygen, a process is triggered whereby circulating stem cells migrate to the tissue and contribute to the development of new capillaries. This leads to greater delivery of oxygen and nutrients, thereby helping the tissue maintain better health.
When we understand that poor oxygen and insufficient nutrient delivery to organs and tissues are two of the most common underlying causes for a wide variety of health problems, it is clear that increasing the number of circulating stem cells becomes one of the most valuable strategies for maintaining optimal health.
Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and any products mentioned, while supported by science, are not intended to diagnose, mitigate or treat any disease or illness.
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