Stem cell therapy for diabetes is still in its infancy, but research is moving forward at a fast pace, and the results are promising. Even though stem cell treatment protocols for patients with diabetes are still in the works, there’s one thing we know: Stem cell therapy is safe.
If you have Type 2 diabetes, struggle to keep your diabetes well-managed, and would like to learn more about stem cell therapy, call Regenerative Institute of Newport Beach. We’re here to answer your questions and help you achieve optimal health.
The new world of stem cell therapy for diabetes
When we use stem cell therapy to relieve pain or to heal musculoskeletal injuries and diseases like osteoarthritis, we know which stem cells to use, the dose needed, and the results we can expect to achieve. For example, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are proven to regenerate tendons, ligaments, cartilage, muscles, bones, fat, and blood vessels.
We also have the technology to extract MSCs from a patient’s fat or bone marrow. Then we can concentrate the MSCs and inject them directly at the site of damaged tissues. From there, the stem cells do their natural jobs, replicating and producing new cells that develop into the tissues needed to heal and relieve pain.
In recent years, scientists have started to explore stem cell therapy for chronic health conditions. They’ve discovered that MSCs are more versatile, offering therapeutic benefits beyond orthopedics. In clinical studies where stem cells were administered using intravenous infusion, the results show that MSCs have a positive impact on diabetes.
What current research says about stem cells for diabetes
Here’s what we know from studies that have been published and subsequently subjected to further review by stem cell experts:
Review published in the Journal of Molecular Endocrinology (2017)
One of the earliest studies in patients with newly diagnosed Type 1 diabetes found that MSCs from bone marrow didn’t cause any side effects, a result that has been verified many times over in recent years.
Another study published in 2015 included patients with Type 2 diabetes who took insulin and had a hard time keeping their blood sugar controlled. These patients received three stem cell treatments spaced one month apart, then had blood tests six months after their last treatment.
Their HbA1c improved, and they produced more insulin compared to their levels before stem cell therapy. The improvements were significant enough that they were able to adjust their insulin dose.
Review published in the International Journal of Stem Cells (2019)
A group of experts reviewed 16 clinical trials, six studying patients with Type 1 diabetes and 10 trials, including patients with Type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, stem cell treatments did not help patients with Type 1 diabetes.
However, the news was better for patients with Type 2 diabetes. Study participants who received stem cell therapy achieved lower levels of HbA1c compared to those who didn’t get treated with stem cells. HbA1c, also called a glycated hemoglobin test, reveals your average blood sugar over two to three months.
Moving into the future of stem cell treatment for diabetes
Based on the promising results of these initial studies, researchers are excited and moving forward. They’re conducting more studies using MSCs and searching for adult stem cells in the human body that naturally regenerate pancreatic cells that produce insulin. Some scientists are making great strides in reprogramming adult stem cells into insulin-producing stem cells.
At the Regenerative Institute of Newport Beach, we stay up-to-date with every new study and their results, so we’re prepared to give our patients the best regenerative treatments possible. If you’d like to learn more about stem cells for diabetes, call or schedule a consultation online.