According to the World Health Organization, diabetes affects more than 422 million people globally and is one of the leading causes of death worldwide.1 The Stem Cells Transplant Institute in Costa Rica, recommends human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (hUCMSCs) for the treatment of diabetes.
Stem cells can reproduce but they can also differentiate or, become another cell type by dividing asymmetrically and forming another type of cell such as skin, cartilage, muscle, liver, brain, and heart tissue.
Stem cells from umbilical cord blood or tissue can be isolated and expanded and made to differentiate into different cells types.
Diabetes mellitus is a group of diseases that causes a person to have high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood or hyperglycemia. When the levels of blood glucose rise, beta cells in the pancreas release insulin which tells the cells throughout the body to take the glucose from the blood.
In patients with type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks and destroys the beta cells making it impossible for the pancreas to release insulin. This results in high levels of sugar in the blood all of the time which leads to long-term damage.
In patients with type 2 diabetes, the body’s cells do not utilize enough of the glucose in the blood because the are either unresponsive to insulin, the beta cells produce too much or too little insulin, or a combination.
Researchers are evaluating the use of stem cells to treat both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.