Diabetes is sometimes referred to as the “silent killer” because it can progress slowly and without warning. Patients with diabetes have hyperglycemia, or high levels of blood sugar, that damages the blood vessels in the kidneys, heart, eyes and nervous system leading to cardiovascular disease, peripheral arterial disease, kidney failure and blindness.
Patients with diabetes are at significant risk of developing cardiovascular disease and have a worse prognosis following a heart attack or stroke than patients who do not have diabetes. Physicians only partially understand why diabetic patients are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease, and can only treat the symptoms of diabetes and cardiovascular disease such as high blood sugar, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
To better understand cardiovascular disease in patients with type 2 diabetes, researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden studied how red blood cells change in patients with type 2 diabetes to see if these changes contribute to the increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The results of the two studies were published in the Journal of the American College of Cariology: Basic to Translational Science.
The results of the studies suggest, that in type 2 diabetes, red blood cells suffer damage which causes them to release harmful substances. Researchers evaluated both humans and mice with type 2 diabetes and observed that in patients with type 2 diabetes the red blood cells carrying oxygen to tissues were more likely to stick to the blood vessel wall.
The damage to the blood vessels occurs to the endothelial cells and the damage begins early in the development of type 2 diabetes. The damage reduces the ability of the blood vessel to dilate and causes an increase in inflammation. The group of researchers linked the changes in the red blood cells to an elevated enzyme arginase which increased the formation of damaging free radicals.
Stem cell therapy has been shown to improve the signs and symptoms of both type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The experts at the Stem Cells Transplant Institute use healthy stem cells to promote the repair of damaged cells and the regeneration of healthy functional cells to repair injured tissue.
The therapeutic effect of stem cell transplantation in patients with cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes may be due to the paracrine effect. The theory is transplanted stem cells repair damaged tissue by releasing factors that promote regeneration of healthy stem cells, reduce inflammation, promote the growth of new blood vessels, inhibit cell death, and reduce hypertrophy.
Many patients with type 2 diabetes are not concerned about the disease because their symptoms are mild; however, hyperglycemia or high levels of blood sugar damage the blood vessels in the kidneys, heart, eyes and nervous system leading to heart disease, peripheral arterial disease, kidney failure and blindness.
It is important for those diagnosed with diabetes to seek treatment early before severe systemic damage has occurred. Stem cell therapy may help patients with diabetes that are not responding adequately to standard drug treatment, are newly diagnosed and would like to try stem cell therapy before initiating drug treatment or would like to reduce the symptoms associated with diabetes.
At the Stem Cells Transplant Institute, we will target the area of damage; for patients with type 2 diabetes the damage is in the pancreas. By targeting the cells in the pancreas, and reducing inflammation, stem cell therapy may decrease hyperglycemia and improve the symptoms associated with diabetes.
Mesenchymal stem cells have the ability to:
- Differentiate into insulin producing cells
- Regenerate and protect pancreatic cells
- Restore beta cell function and mass
- Convert alpha cell to beta cells
- Reduce inflammation and insulin resistance
- Reverse damage due to free radicals
Contact the Stem Cells Transplant Institute today to schedule your free consultation.
- Zhou et al. Erythrocytes From Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Induce Endothelial Dysfunction Via Arginase I, Journal of the American College of Cardiology(2018). DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2018.05.052
- Jiangning Yang et al. Red Blood Cells in Type 2 Diabetes Impair Cardiac Post-Ischemic Recovery Through an Arginase-Dependent Modulation of Nitric Oxide Synthase and Reactive Oxygen Species, JACC: Basic to Translational Science(2018). DOI: 10.1016/j.jacbts.2018.03.006