Stem Cell Facts
Life and the aging process is one of the most mysterious processes we are still yet to unravel. Why do we age and how can we stop aging or even reverse the effects of the aging process? This is where stem cell facts become important, because the more we research this topic, the better we will be able to influence the aging process. There are lots of questions we would like answered and in recent years, one of the most important steps towards answering these questions has involved stem cell research. There has been a lot of research into stem cell therapy, but if you are not scientifically minded and don’t understand all the stem cell facts that are out there, most of it can just slide right over the top of your head.
So let’s take a look at some of the notable stem cell facts that have risen from this type of research and discover how stem cells and skin care products can combine to give us a healthier, younger and fresher complexion.
What is a stem cell?
Any organism that is composed of more than one single cell, has stem cells. They are a type of building block or special cell that are very different to typical cells in two specific ways. First, stem cells can replicate themselves repeatedly without stopping. You most probably know that most cells can replicate or renew themselves a certain number of times before the process can no longer continue (and the cells age). Well, stem cells don’t have this end point and can replicate themselves endlessly, even if they have been dormant for a long time.
Second, stem cells can turn themselves into any type of cell. So under the right circumstances they can become a brain cell, a skin cell, muscle or tissue cells. As far as we know there are very few limitations on the capabilities of stem cells. Every time a stem cell replicates, it can form any type of cell, so you have an infinite supply of new cells on tap that are used to replenish other cells. These two characteristics of stem cells make them singularly unique and they are why there has been so much research into stem cells – to help cure illness and disease, as well as to prevent aging.
What are embryonic stem cells?
These are stem cells which are harvested from human embryos, either from abortion clinics or from IVF clinics. Embryos donated by IVF clinics are either donated by a couple who no longer want to keep the embryos or are donated by the IVF clinic because they were going to be destroyed. The stem cell controversy is all about harvesting stem cells from embryos, and different countries have different moral dilemmas and concerns about collecting and using embryonic stem cells, and they also have different regulations as well.
Essentially, some people believe that full protection should be given to an embryo at the moment an egg is fertilized (at conception) and others believe that this is too soon and should occur at a variety of different stages during pregnancy. Embryonic stem cells only occur at the earliest stages of pregnancy, when the young embryo is first differentiating into all of it’s different parts. After that, the growing fetus no longer needs these special type of stem cells and they develop tissue specific or adult stem cells, which remain with us throughout our lives. Research with embryonic stem cells is still ongoing with scientists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Columbia University Medical Center and the New York Stem Cell Foundation Research Institute being recently successful in generating an embryonic stem cell that has a single copy of the human genome. You can read this article here.
What are adult stem cells?
Whilst all of the controversy still abounds concerning embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells are a a different matter. These are also very valuable and will most probably play a major part in disease and rejuvenative therapies in the future. The one limiting factor with adult stem cells is that they can’t form any type of cells – they are tissue specific and can only replicate specific cells. So a stem cell taken from a muscle can only form other muscle cells, likewise blood stem cells taken from the bone marrow can only form other blood cells.
Adult stem cells are also not as infinitely replicatable as embryonic stem cells and are not proving to be able to treat an infinite number of diseases. Earlier this year there were reports of miraculous results using adult stem cells to treat patients with multiple sclerosis, as part of an EDA approved, ongoing trail. There have also been recent reports of scientists using adult stem cells to treat blindness by growing another lens in the eye. They have successfully treated 12 infants born with congenital cataracts and now intent to look at curing age related cataracts as well.
Adult stem cells in your skin
Stem cells in your epidermis work overtime to repair and replace your skin cells, due to injury or old age. The problem is that adult stem cells can only replicate themselves a certain number of times and over time they seem to run out of energy. Just as an example, when you are young your skin heals from an injury very fast, but when you are a lot older, your skin takes longer to heal. Part of this is because your stem cells are nearly at the end of their use by date and the healing process takes longer.
Environmental pollution, sun damage and the general aging process all combine to reduce the number and effectiveness of the adult stem cells in your skin. Whilst we still don’t understand the aging process fully, the inability of our stem cells to continue regenerating is part of the problem. This is why your skin becomes wrinkled and lacks definition as you age. This is also why the skin care industry has started to look at using plant stem cells to help turn back the ravages of time in your skin.
What are plant stem cells?
Plant stem cells are equivalent to our adult stem cells, in that they have the ability to self-renew and replace specific plant cells. A plant’s stem cells are responsible for their new spring leaves and continued growth, so whilst they can’t stimulate your stem cells to regenerate, they can help to protect your skin.
Plant stem cells are said to have remarkable properties, for example they can:
Help to promote the regeneration of your skin’s cells
Help your adult stem cells to live longer in your skin
Delay the effects of aging on your skin and keep your skin looking younger for longer
Plant stem cells contain both growth factors and proteins and using innovative plant stem cell technology, scientists are able to extract stem cells derived from plant botanicals for use in anti-aging skin care products. These stem cells are derived from grapes, lilacs and the Swiss apple, and commonly used in skin care products, designed to bring the glow of youth back to your complexion.
What skincare products contain stem cells?
One of the most popular skincare lines to include growth factors from patented human adult stem cells, which help to rejuvenate your skin is LifeLine. With lots of antioxidants and other nourishing ingredients, the Lifeline range of skincare products leaves your skin feeling smoother and looking more radiant.
Their face creams and serums defend your skin against environmental pollutants and free radicals and help to retain moisture, support collagen and reduce DNA damage. They are expensive, so they might not be for everyone, but if you really want to have more natural looking, youthful skin, they are seriously worth considering.
However, if you prefer skincare products with stem cells derived from plant cells, then check out the Max Stem Cell Serum from Image Skincare or read our review here (these products are very reasonably priced).
The plant botanicals in Image Skincare are derived from apples and along with peptides and hyaluronic acid, this serum helps to plump up collagen, reduce fine lines and wrinkles and give your skin a more youthful complexion that can last up to 48 hours.
Hyaluronic acid serums have become very popular in the skincare industry, simply because they have such a remarkable effect on your complexion. When an ingredient this good comes along, everyone wants to jump on the band-wagon!
The cooler autumn temperatures and lower humidity levels cause your skin to loose some of its moisture, so autumn is all about hydration and repairing any damage caused during summer. It’s also a good time to prepare your skin for the ravages of the cold winter months yet to arrive.
There are many factors that are essential to maintaining a youthful complexion, but collagen production is the key element! The problem is that as you age, the amount of collagen in your skin decreases, leading to fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin. The solution is to increase the production of collagen in your skin.