Harnessing Adult Repair Stem Cells: The Future of Regenerative Medicine

Harnessing Adult Repair Stem Cells: The Future of Regenerative Medicine about undefined

Stem cells will be the future of medicine, that’s what many forward-thinking scientists predict. They have the potential to be truly transformative, leaving most existing medical treatments trailing in the dust.

Damaged organs and tissues that have lost function will be replaced with new, fully functioning lab-created cells that will be used to rebuild them and have them working like new. All this is possible with stem cells, but we’re not there yet and there are many obstacles to overcome.

What’s really exciting is that we already possess our own internal stem cell repair kit. Adult repair stem cells reside in tissues throughout the body waiting to be called upon to fix any damage. Trouble is, as we get older these repair cells become depleted and can no longer fulfill their role; this is an established hallmark of aging.

The good news is that we have it in our power to boost our stem cells so they can repair tissues and hold back the aging process. This can be achieved by our dietary and lifestyle choices and by taking specific natural compounds.

Key Takeaways

  • Lab-created adult stem cells, by their ability to be transformed into most other cell types, have broad applications with the potential to stop today’s incurable diseases. This could be the future of medicine.
  • Adult repair stem cells reside in ‘niches’ throughout the body and are called upon to maintain, repair, and rejuvenate tissues and organs when required, but this ability declines with aging and the cells can become dysfunctional and even harmful.
  • Dietary and lifestyle choices help keep these stem cells in good order and promote their natural production while specific factors found in nature have been shown to boost their numbers and potentially forestall aging.

Why All the Excitement Over Stem Cells?

Much of today’s medical research is based on rodent models. Sure, they help in the understanding of disease, and drugs can sometimes be developed from the findings of this research, but they can’t replicate the human brain. What's more, they can't tell us all we need to know about how human diseases begin, develop, and can be turned around.

A better path is to study human cells in a diseased person. This can be carried out in cadavers but by then the disease has advanced to a terminal stage. Taking brain tissue from, for instance, a living Alzheimer’s patient would be ideal because the cells could be studied, and scientists could see how the diseased cells progress over time. Effective treatments could be developed from this knowledge. But taking living tissue from the brain would be unethical and potentially dangerous. So, what’s the answer? Adult stem cells.

Every human cell starts its life as a functionless (embryonic) stem cell. The body then decides what specialized (differentiated) cell to turn this raw material into. An eye cell, liver cell, kidney cell etc. Once it moves from undifferentiated to differentiated it’s referred to as an adult stem cell even if it originated from the placenta or umbilical cord.

There are various kinds of stem cells and they all have specific functions. These include:

  • Hematopoietic stem cells, which form red and white blood cells and T cells.
  • Mesenchymal stem cells, derived from adult bone marrow cells that generate bone, cartilage, and connective tissue cells, and can regulate the immune system.
  • Skeletal muscle stem cells, instrumental in muscle regeneration and repair.
  • Endothelial stem cells, which produce smooth, skeletal, and cardiac muscle cells.

What excites scientists is the potential of these remarkable cells to cure disease and fight aging.

For instance, in a recent research paper scientists write: “Stem cell (SC) therapies have broad application prospects in the field of regenerative medicine due to the inherent biological characteristics of SCs, such as their plasticity, self-renewal, and multidirectional differentiation potential. Thus, SCs could delay or even reverse aging.”

We’ll look at how we can boost our own stem cells to delay or reverse aging shortly, but first, there’s a type of adult stem cell called an induced pluripotent stem cell where scientists are focusing most of their research.

Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells: A New Horizon in Personalized Medicine

Scientists are now able to take an apple seed-sized piece of skin or a sample of blood from an individual, and then reprogram the stem cells - put them in a time machine so to speak - to revert them back to their embryonic state. They are now called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) because they can be turned into almost any other type of specialized cell in the body. The important point is that these cells still contain the genetics and other factors - including characteristics of any disease that might progress - unique to the person they were taken from, making for a highly personalized treatment.

This technology provides a powerful tool for researchers and has the potential for various applications in regenerative medicine, disease modeling, and potential therapies. So, let’s say someone has age related macular degeneration, a condition in which people lose their central vision; it’s a leading cause of blindness in older people and there’s no cure. Blood cells are taken from the patient and reprogrammed into pluripotent stem cells. These are grown in the lab and turned into the specific type of eye cell affected by the disease in that person. Next they're transplanted into the patient’s eye with the hope of restoring vision.

Trials in this procedure for macular degeneration are currently in progress as are over 120 other pluripotent stem cell trials in patients with Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, and heart disease to name just a few. It will be fascinating to see the results of these trials.

What's Here Now? Adult Stem Cell Therapy Available Today

Even before the breakthrough creation of induced pluripotent stem cells in 2005, stem cells have been explored in multiple diseases since the late twentieth century and have shown great potential.

Stem cells may be delivered by intravenous injection or infusion into the bloodstream or even directly into the area of concern to repair or regenerate damaged tissues. Results have been astounding in individual cases.

However, there’s still a significant lack of data and a lot of unanswered questions. What's the best type of stem cell for the condition being treated? How many stem cells need to be delivered? How often does the treatment need to be repeated? Large trials are needed to resolve these issues.

For these reasons the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only approved stem cell therapies for bone marrow transplants to treat disorders such as leukemia and lymphoma, certain blood and immune system disorders, and for some types of dental treatments and burn injuries.

While stem cell therapies offer a promising future, we already have adult stem cells residing in our bodies. The above questions are not an issue with our own home-grown cells. Our job is to provide an environment for them that keeps them healthy and deters aging. By focusing on our own efforts, we can boost their production to enhance repair and promote rejuvenation.

Unlocking the Healing Potential of Adult Stem Cells

A very small number of undifferentiated adult stem cells reside in little pockets or ‘niches’ in most tissues and organs. They exist our entire lives and contain nature’s toolbox for carrying out maintenance and repair. They remain dormant until they’re called upon to respond to disease or tissue injury, upon which they’re programmed to replace the lost or damaged tissues in which they reside.

These cells have a great ability to heal because they are:

  • Anti-inflammatory: Inflammation plays a role not just in acute injuries but in chronic diseases. Chronic, low grade, systemic inflammation is also an unwanted, pervasive feature of aging. Stem cells can be used to battle inflammation.
  • Androgenetic: Stem cells are able to deliver oxygen, create new blood vessels, and improve circulation.
  • Remedial and rejuvenating: Stem cells can stabilize and improve healthy cells surrounding the damaged tissue. They can also regenerate tissues because they develop into the cells that have been damaged and take over their lost function.
  • Over the years however, stem cells reserves not only run down but can also senesce, losing their ability to divide. This alters the environment that surrounds them and impairs the function of other stem cells in the niche.

    Fortunately, we have many natural ways to counter this process.

    How to Increase Your Adult Stem Cells

    Here are some simple, natural ways to keep adult stem cells in good shape and restore their numbers:

    A word about exercise...

    After conducting a study in mice, Thomas Rando MD, PhD, professor of neurology and neurological sciences at Stanford University, said: “We found that regular exercise restores youthfulness to tissue repair. Their muscle stem cells start to look and behave like those of much younger animals.”

    These methods are aimed at promoting the body’s natural stem cell production, and they work.

    Nutrients To Increase Adult Stem Cells and Hold Back Aging

    Nutrients have been described as normally “crucial” in stem cell physiology, and scientists from Ohio State University write: “One subpopulation of cells of particular interest are adult stem cells, the most regenerative cells of the body. It is generally accepted that the regenerative capacity of stem cells declines with age, and while the metabolic requirements of each vary across tissues, the ability of dietary interventions to influence stem cell function is striking.” (emphasis added)

    Take nutrients such as icariin, resveratrol, sea buckthorn berry, blackcurrant, vitamin D and grapeseed extracts, all of which have been shown to boost the body’s stem cells. Let's take a closer look at the benefits of each of these. Some you've heard about before, but the first two might be new.

    Sea Buckthorn Berry

    This nutrient-dense superfood improves multiple aspects of health, and an extract of the berry boosts adult stem cells.

    Researchers tested sea buckthorn in middle-aged men and women in a randomized, double-blind trial in 2019. They found the berry increased three different types of stem cell after just two hours, including:

    • Mesenchymal stem cells boosted by 20.8 percent.
    • Hematopoietic stem cells boosted by 24.2 percent.
    • Endothelial stem cells boosted by as much as 33.4 percent.

    The extract used in the trial is called CyanthOx™30 and it's available in Green Valley Natural's Stem Cell Restore.


    This is the most active flavonoid in the Epimedium genus of flowering plants. Icariin, also called bishops hat, is traditionally used in Chinese herbal medicine to restore vigor. Icariin is also heart protective and is a major component of Xin-shen-ning, a Traditional Chinese remedy taken to help symptoms of cardiovascular disease. Icariin also boosts stem cells in many areas of the body.

    • Forms new heart cells: Multiple studies show icariin promotes the formation of new heart muscle cells from mouse embryonic stem cells. In one study the researchers wrote that treating stem cells with icariin “resulted in increased and accelerated differentiation into beating cardiomyocytes.”
    • Boosts brain cells: A core feature of memory loss is the dysfunction of the neural cells in the hippocampus, a key area for learning and memory. The hippocampus is one of only two areas in the adult brain with an extensive stem cell niche. A rodent study demonstrated that icariin boosted the growth and proliferation of neural stem cells in the brain by threefold.
    • Strengthens bones: Periodontitis is a serious gum disease that can destroy the bone supporting the teeth. Icariin was tested to see if injecting it in the mouth could stimulate periodontal tissue regeneration by recruiting and activating stem cells in the mouth. The procedure was tested in miniature pigs and found to do just that, increasing bone mineral density and bone mass, and promoting periodontal tissue regeneration.
    • Protects the kidneys: Icariin was also shown to protect rodents against kidney failure by increasing the number of kidney stem cells.


    This polyphenol that’s found in high concentrations in the skin of grapes is best known as the heart healthy constituent of red wine, but lab studies suggest it also has anti-aging properties. These include:

    • • Mimicking the effect of lifespan-increasing calorie restriction
    • • Reducing oxidative stress (free radicals)
    • • Lowering inflammation
    • • Activating SIRT1, a protein that switches off a gene that promotes aging

    A review article published in the European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry concluded that resveratrol “is a suitable natural agent for regulating survival, self-renewal and differentiation of various stem cells.”

    In a separate review published in the journal Stem Cell Research & Therapy the researchers concluded that resveratrol “significantly improves the preventive and therapeutic effects of MSCs (mesenchymal stem cells) against multiple diseases.”

    In animals these effects included eliminating liver cirrhosis and enhancing liver regeneration. In rodents with memory loss it improved learning and memory, enhanced neurogenesis (growth of new brain cells), and alleviated neural apoptosis (death of brain cells). Resveratrol also prevented both toxin-induced kidney injury and toxin-induced heart muscle disease.


    Blackcurrants are well known in Europe and Asia and are widely used in traditional herbal medicine. They contain a rich source of phytochemicals with potent antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties as confirmed in many studies.

    Blueberries are much better known and more widely studied. Their beneficial effects - which include stimulating bone-forming stem cells to mineralize bone - are attributed to their high content of the plant pigment anthocyanin. Yet blackcurrants contain much higher amounts of anthocyanins than blueberries.

    An extract of blackcurrant was tested on gingival (gum) tissue, which is composed of both epithelial tissue that lines tissues and organs, and mesenchymal cells. The extract boosted both gingival mesenchymal stem cells and epithelial cells. The researchers believe their findings “could open the way to the development of the extract as topical agent in wound healing as well as in periodontal regeneration.”

    Vitamin D

    Aging stem cells involved in the hematopoietic (blood cell creation) system can be restored with vitamin D. A study showed that bone marrow stem cells divided at a higher rate and produced more stem cells compared to non-supplemented animals.

    In another study, vitamin D not only protected neural stem cells and promoted their function, but much to the scientists’ surprise the vitamin reversed nerve cell damage caused by the incurable autoimmune disease, multiple sclerosis.

    When researchers gave vitamin D with two other nutritional factors twice per day for two weeks, it significantly increased the number of circulating bone marrow stem cells. Reviewers of this study suggest this finding shows that “nutrients can enhance the function of stem cells and further delay the aging associated with stem cells.”

    Grape Seed Extract

    Grape seeds contain flavonoids that exert potent antioxidant and inflammatory effects and benefit the blood circulation. They also protect healthy cells against toxins and radiation.

    Since hematopoietic stem cells are sensitive to and can be injured by radiation-induced free radicals, grape seed extract (GSE) was given to irradiated mice to see if it would help. Results showed free radical levels and DNA damage were reduced and the ability of the stem cells to rebuild was significantly increased.

    In another study, grape skin and seed, by way of their powerful antioxidants, protected human endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) from oxidative stress. EPCs are immediate descendants of stem cells derived from the bone marrow that further differentiate to regenerate the lining of blood vessels.

    Nourish Your Stem Cells with Stem Cell Restore

    Green Valley Naturals has combined these leading stem cell nutrients into one formula, Stem Cell Restore, to bring you the nutritional support you need for healthy aging. This breakthrough formula does double duty by supporting your body's own supply of stem cells and also helping your body repair existing aging stem cells. No other healthy-aging support formula delivers all five stem-cell-supporting nutrients in two easy-to-swallow capsules.

    What's more, you get next-level antioxidant support, cardiovascular support, and natural anti-inflammatory support.


    Adult stem cells have huge potential in regenerative medicine, with multiple clinical trials now in progress to see if induced pluripotent stem cells can turn around many difficult to treat and incurable diseases. Unspecialized cells, hidden in various niches in our bodies, hold the key to healing and replacing damaged tissues. From hematopoietic stem cells, the blood cell factories, to neural stem cells, architects of the brain, each type of adult stem cell plays a specific role in our body, but the aging process takes its toll on them. We can support these cells by our dietary and lifestyle choices and by taking specific nutritional supplements.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What increases adult repair stem cells?

    Exercise has been proven to boost adult repair stem cells, particularly aerobic exercise, which activates stem cells in the muscles. Other strategies include intermittent fasting and calorie restriction. Reducing sugar and minimizing alcohol also improves the activity of stem cells. You can also support your body's own supply of stem cells with Green Valley Natural's Stem Cell Restore nutritional formula.

    How do you activate adult repair stem cells?

    To activate adult repair stem cells to heal diseased tissue, eat a healthy diet, rich in antioxidants from fruits like blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, goji berries, blackcurrants, and grapes. These can promote stem cell activation and overall well-being.

    How do you boost stem cells in adults?

    Plants contain compounds that have been discovered to promote health in multiple ways. On top of their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immune supporting properties, some have been discovered to boost stem cells. These include sea buckthorn berry, icariin, resveratrol, blackcurrant, vitamin D and grape seed extract. All are found in Stem Cell Restore.

    Best Regards,
    The Aging Defeated Team

Bhullar KS, Hubbard BP (2015) Lifespan and healthspan extension by resveratrol. Biochim Biophys Acta

Chang L, et al. (2022) Stem cells to reverse aging Chin Med J (Engl)

Chiara G, et al. (2017) Effect of Ribes nigrum bud extract on human gingival mesenchymal stem cell cytokine release: a role on regenerative processes arpi

Felice F, et al. (2012) Red grape skin and seeds polyphenols: Evidence of their protective effects on endothelial progenitor cells and improvement of their intestinal absorption Eur J Pharm Biopharm

Fu X et al. (2018) Stimulatory effect of icariin on the proliferation of neural stem cells from rat hippocampus. BMC Complement Altern Med

Hu C, Li L. (2019) The application of resveratrol to mesenchymal stromal cell-based regenerative medicine Stem Cell Res Ther

Huang Z, et al. (2015) Icariin protects rats against 5/6 nephrectomy-induced chronic kidney failure by increasing the number of renal stem cells. BMC Complement Altern Med

Keller A, et al. (2021) Metabolic Regulation of Stem Cells in Aging Curr Stem Cell Rep

Qi Y, et al. (2021) Grape seed proanthocyanidin extract ameliorates ionizing radiation-induced hematopoietic stem progenitor cell injury by regulating Foxo1 in mice Free Radic Biol Med

Safaeinejad Z, et al. (2018) Multi-effects of Resveratrol on stem cell characteristics: Effective dose, time, cell culture conditions and cell type-specific responses of stem cells to Resveratrol. Eur J Med Chem

Sun S, et al. (2023) Hematopoietic Stem Cell: Regulation and Nutritional Intervention Nutrients

Wang YJ, et al. (2018) Resveratrol enhances the functionality and improves the regeneration of mesenchymal stem cell aggregates Exp Mol Med

Jin Y, et al. (2023) Application of stem cells in regeneration medicine MedComm

Zhang X, et al. (2018) Local icariin application enhanced periodontal tissue regeneration and relieved local inflammation in a minipig model of periodontitis. Int J Oral Sci

Zhu DY, Lou YJ. (2006) Icariin-mediated expression of cardiac genes and modulation of nitric oxide signaling pathway during differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells into cardiomyocytes in vitro. Acta Pharmacol Sin

Keep Reading

View All Articles
Non-Invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation Can Slow Your Biological Aging Clock about false


Non-Invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation Can Slow Your Biological Aging Clock

New way to fight aging and sharpen your memory: How to stimulate your vagus nerve with a quick, easy treatment.

Live Longer With This Ancient Ayurvedic Formula about false


Live Longer With This Ancient Ayurvedic Formula

The traditional medical system from India, Ayurveda, has been used for centuries to help heal everything from the common cold to cancer. Historically, practitioners of Ayurveda have used a variety of

Harnessing Adult Repair Stem Cells: The Future of Regenerative Medicine about false


Harnessing Adult Repair Stem Cells: The Future of Regenerative Medicine

Adult repair stem cells reside in tissues throughout the body waiting to be called upon to fix any damage.