The World’s Health Organization’s statistics on health show that more and more people are living healthily into their eighties and nineties – some even into their 100’s. The oldest reported living woman, Hendrikje van Andel Schipper of the Netherlands, was 115 and in good physical and mental health when she passed away in 2006. So what is it that makes individuals like Schipper so fortunate? Scientists have long researched this and there is compelling evidence that stem cells are the reason.
WHAT ARE STEM CELLS?
Stem cells are found in every part of the body and are the foundation from which other cells are generated. They are the only cells that are capable of generating new types of cells to meet the needs of our bodies. When our bodies go through trauma – from a sunburn to a broken arm – our stem cells work overtime to repair and regenerate the damaged cells and tissue. Stem cells are our bodies healing power. As we age, our stem cells age and their healing power is reduced. In fact, stem cells healing ability can be reduced by almost a million percent from the time we are born to the time we are 60.
STEM CELL RESEARCH
Stem cell therapy is in its infancy, but researchers believe that it is the future of medicine and the closest discovery to the fountain of youth they have ever come across.
Stem cell research has primarily focused on the treatment of degenerative diseases. Researchers have developed a system for extracting one’s own healthy stem cells in one’s youth (the younger, the better) and banking them for later use. Stem cells can be extracted from many places, including dental pulp, bone marrow, and fat. Despite the fact that stem cell therapy is somewhat new to the medical world, doctors realized their power long ago. For the past 30 years stem cells have been collected from baby’s umbilical cords right at birth. The cord blood is sent to a facility where it is separated from plasma and cryopreserved at sub-zero temperatures for possible future use. The price of banking stem cells varies depending on the amount being banked. There is an upfront fee which can be over a thousand dollars and then a more affordable yearly storage fee of approximately $150. Having access to one’s own healthy stem cells in a time of emergency or disease could mean the difference between death and survival.
There are new developments that suggest that stem cells are a powerful ingredient when added to beauty products. Although, the stem cells found in beauty products are taken from plants and fruits with a tendency to stay fresh for a long period of time. To yield the most potent and stable stem cell extracts from fruits and plants, scientists must use a precise extraction technology in a controlled environment with no contaminants. The application of these extracts to the skin are believed to trigger one’s own stem cell production and encourage other anti-aging processes. Although, using one’s own stem cells may sound like a better option, it is actually not an option at all. It isn’t possible to keep live stem cells alive in a cream or serum.
So what was Hendrikje van Andel Schipper’s secret to longevity? She was naturally blessed with stem cells that regenerate long passed the average. Her death was associated with stem cell exhaustion. Perhaps, had she banked stem cells in her youth, doctors could have kept her alive even longer.