“Researchers have discovered that the fresh amniotic fluid has an extremely high concentration of stem cells, even more than bone marrow in adults. When processed however at an FDA regulated lab, the biologic material ends up containing no live stem cells but the material does retain significant regenerative properties, such as growth factors, hyaluronic acid and stem cell activators.”
Amniotic Stem Cells Promote Growth
Thus, amniotic stem cell therapy is not donated stem cells working in your damaged joint or tendon. It is instead growth factors that activate your own stem cells. One common misperception is that there are actual live stem cells in the amniotic stem cell vial. Unfortunately that has not been proven to be true. In fact, there are NOT likely to be any live stem cells in these treatments.
Amniotic stem cells are sold by various drug and stem cell companies who buy amniotic tissue from tissue banks who get afterbirth materials from donor mothers following childbirth. This material is then freeze dried, processed and then put up for sale. Unfortunately, this processing process kills the actual stem cells in the preparation. Thus, “amniotic stem cell therapy,” actually relies on remnant growth factors and not donated living stem cells. The remnant growth factors in the donated amniotic tissue can however stimulate your own stem cells to work. In this way they work very much like PRP.
One thing’s for sure- amniotic stem cell like injections are not better than one’s own stem cells or PRP for that matter. In light of the controversy about what amniotic stem cells area and how they work inside our bodies we at the Barr Center use it when we find autologous methods ineffective or inappropriate.
Another proposed mechanism of action of amniotic stem cell products is that they provide protein building blocks that rejuvenate aging stem cells by way of DNA telomere support. This has not been proven. In stem cell therapy, stem cell activators are the building block or the scaffold which the stem cells begin its repair. What are some of the claims of amniotic preparations based on?
- The therapeutic potential of human amniotic and placental tissue grafts in wound healing has been well established. Early use of fresh (not freeze dried) amniotic membrane containing both amnion and chorion has proved beneficial in treating ulcers, burns and dermal injuries
- The growth factors in fresh amniotic and placental tissue are known to play critical roles in normal wound healing, including cell proliferation and chemotaxis (cell migration and movement to the site of injury), as well as promoting angiogenesis (blood vessel formation), deposition of Extracellular Matrix (the scaffold where stem cells grow) and regulating inflammation.