Approximately 425 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes, a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and lower limb amputation. According to the World Health Organization, in 2015, an estimated 1.6 million deaths were directly caused by diabetes. Diabetes is a challenging disease to treat but stem cell therapy offers hope to the millions of people living with diabetes. Stem cell research in North America has been slow to advance, but globally a large number of new studies are published each year. The Stem Cells Transplant Institute in Costa Rica believes in the potential of stem cell therapy and we want to help you stay informed about recent advances in stem cell research. At the International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT) annual meeting in May, 2017 physicians presented the results of their early phase clinical trial; evaluating the safety and efficacy of autologous stem cells for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.1
The purpose of the study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of intra-arterial autologous stem cell infusion in patients with type 2 diabetes. Researchers measured metabolic control using the following endpoints; HbA1c, beta cell function using C-peptide levels and insulin requirements. Twenty patients with type 2 diabetes were enrolled in the study between October 2014 and November 2016. Results over a 3-6 month time period, showed a significant decrease in HbA1c levels, a significant decrease in insulin requirements, an increase in beta-cell function as measured by C-peptide levels, and improvements were maintained over 24 months with no severe adverse events.1 The Stem Cells Transplant Institute uses government approved stem cell therapy to treat both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
The main function of betta cells is to produce and secrete insulin, the hormone responsible for regulating glucose levels. The beta cells in patients with type 2 diabetes are not able to produce enough insulin to maintain normal blood sugar levels. In addition to insulin, beta cells also secrete a hormone, C-peptide. C-peptide is produced in equal amounts to insulin; unlike insulin, C-peptide is not metabolized by the liver. Because it is not metabolized by the liver, it is a more accurate way to measure insulin production and beta cell function. Results showing an increase in C-peptide means improved beta-cell function and increased insulin production.
HbA1c is a measure of glycated hemoglobin. Glycated hemoglobin is created when hemoglobin joins with glucose in the blood. Physicians use HbA1c measurements to learn what the average blood sugar level has been over a period of weeks or months. A significant decrease in HbA1c levels means the blood sugar levels have been significantly decreased. With improved beta cell function resulting in improved blood sugar levels, it makes sense that patients require less insulin. Eighty percent of patients in this study experienced a 60-75% reduction in insulin requirements and four patients discontinued insulin entirely, maintaining blood sugar control with diet and exercise.1 Contact the experts at the Stem Cells Transplant Institute to discuss the benefits of stem cell therapy.
Uncontrolled diabetes can cause a number of secondary short and long-term complications, including cardiovascular disease, neuropathy, amputation and blindness. The majority of these diabetes related complications are a results of long term elevated blood sugar. The results of large scale studies have shown the risk of developing the most common complications rise significantly with each 1% increase in HbA1c levels. Stem cell therapy at the Stem Cells Transplant Institute can help improve beta cell function and HbA1c levels in patients with type 2 diabetes.
The Stem Cells Transplant Institute uses adult autologous mesenchymal stem cells derived from adipose tissue to treat, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, COPD, diabetes, neuropathy, cardiovascular disease, myocardial infarction, critical limb ischemia, erectile dysfunction and aging. Contact the experts at the Stem Cells Transplant Institute to see if stem cell therapy is right for you. Let us help you live your best life.
1. Singh, L. et al., Long term safety and efficacy of autologous stem cell transplantation for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcyt.2017.02.045