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Three Common Questions About Stem Cell Therapy

Stem cell therapy is revolutionary for a wide variety of illnesses and ailments, but as it's relatively new, many people are still unaware of it or undereducated about it. If you've heard that stem cell therapy might be helpful to a condition you're struggling with, but don't know a lot about it, then here are three commonly asked questions about stem cell therapy.

Are They Harvested From Fetuses?

It's a common misconception that stem cells are taken from aborted fetuses. However, this isn't true at all.

Stem cells used for stem cell therapy are taken from one of two places. The first option is to take it from one's own stem cells. Your body is actually full of them, but getting them to work the way that doctors and scientists use them requires some re-engineering. The second option is to take it from embryos that are created in a lab. There are no babies harmed or aborted for stem cell therapy.

Are They Safe?

Stem cell therapy, by and large, is extremely effective and safe. Stem cells are only used from the two sources mentioned above because they have no risk of rejection. If you use your own stem cells, your body recognizes it as your own genetic code and leaves it alone. If it's from embryonic stem cells, these are reprogrammed so that your body accepts them. There's little to no risk of rejection, and undergoing stem cell injections for things like joint damage is far less invasive, damaging, and potentially dangerous than undergoing joint replacement surgery.

How Do They Work?

Stem cells sit and wait until they're needed, and then they're utilized by transforming them into the type of cell that the body requires. Stem cell therapy shakes this up by re-engineering the cells to ensure that they do what the doctor wants them to.

Adult stem cells are a bit more rigid than embryonic stem cells. For example, if you take a collagen stem cell and want to use it to rebuild collagen in a joint, that can be done. But an adult collagen stem cell can't be used to do something like build new brain cells.

Embryonic stem cells are more versatile. An embryonic stem cell can basically become anything it needs to be by placing it in proximity to the type of tissue that's damaged. This often makes them the preferred choice, but it ultimately depends upon what you need stem cell therapy for.

As you can see, stem cell therapy is safe, effective, and ethical. If you have further questions about stem cell therapy, talk to a doctor to learn more.