The stigma used to make you cringe whenever the topic of stem cells came up. But now, so much research and all the positive outcomes make stem cell therapy hard to refuse.
In 2017 alone, about 22,863 Americans received stem cell therapy. It’s not a spooky pseudoscience that everyone should fear anymore!
But did you know that there’s more than one kind of stem cell used in these therapies? Keep reading to learn all about the two types of stem cells and why you might consider getting stem cell therapy.
What Is Stem Cell Therapy Used For?
Stem cell therapy is regenerative medicine, meaning that the intent is to make your body regrow its own cells to help cure a medical condition. Although this cutting edge treatment seems like a miracle, it doesn’t work for everyone.
Some of the patients who use stem cell therapy have spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease, type 1 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and burns on the skin! As scientists learn more about stem cells, that list continues to expand.
What Are the Two Types of Stem Cells?
When you and your doctor discuss stem cell therapy, there’s a ton of information to digest. While you’re doing your research, you’ll notice that different kinds of treatments use different types of cells. Here are the differences between the two main types of stem cells used in therapies.
Embryonic Stem Cells
The first kind of stem cell we’ll discuss are embryonic stem cells. These cells come from the inside of a blastocyst, which is a ball of cells that develops from a fertilized egg.
Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent, meaning they can transform into almost every type of cell.
In the case of human embryonic stem cells, we get them from blastocysts created by in vitro fertilization procedures (by couples with reproduction problems). When those blastocysts are no longer needed, the couple can donate them to science.
Tissue-Specific Stem Cells
The other common kind of stem cells is tissue-specific stem cells or somatic stem cells. These cells have a more specialized purpose than embryonic stem cells do. Tissue-specific stem cells can generate only the cell types for the specific tissue or organ they’re coded for.
Tissue-specific stem cells are rarer and they don’t regenerate as fast as embryonic stem cells do. But, they have increased our general knowledge about the normal development of cells, and what happens when cells become injured or diseased.
Stem Cell Research Is the Best Thing Since They Discovered Antibiotics
If you’re interested in stem cell therapy, bring it up with your doctor. They can help you understand what kind of results you can expect and if you should pursue that treatment.
Since scientists continue to research the uses and possibilities for stem cell therapies, we expect to see many more medical breakthroughs in this field. Stem cell therapy is one of the most popular treatments in the regenerative medicine field and there’s no lack of funding in anti-aging medicine right now!
We hope you enjoyed reading this article and that you learned a few things about the two types of stem cells. If you’re looking for more great articles about technology, lifestyles, news, and more, check out the rest of our blog today!