May 28, 2014

What are Stem Cells – The Skinny

Ben, my Border Collie buddy, was searching for a simple explanation of what are stem cells.  Hard to decide if you want them for those sore joints or a torn tendon unless you know a little bit about them!

BenHeadTiltSo here is the skinny version.  Stem cells are the natural repair cells of your body, and in the body of your furry buddies.  All animals have them and they are the way we repair injuries such as a torn ligament or a broken bone.  Scientists have been researching these amazing little cells for decades and we know quite a lot about how they do their job.  Click here for a cute video I found on the internet that discusses stem cells and how they function.  It is a little out dated as far as sources of stem cells but educational none-the-less.  I’ll talk about sources in another blog.

The main jobs these stem cells perform are:

Reduce inflammation

Reduce scar tissue

Reduce pain

Repair damage

They are like paramedics…..they rush to the scene of an accident, decide who needs help first, and reduce the damage or injury severity.  Then they call in the doctors and specialists to get the real regeneration job done.

BenFetch1These guardians are located everywhere in the body and are small, unspecialized cells.  Unlike a heart or liver cell, a stem cell can function to repair all the tissues of the body.  They can help repair a ligament, a tendon, cartilage in your joint, or a burn wound.

So there you have the skinny version.  Next post, I will talk a bit more about how these amazing cells actually do their repair.  If you are interested in reading more on the science of stem cells check out this page.

Hope I didn’t put you to sleep.  I think Ben has had enough education for the day…he is ready for a fetch session (I think I fetch as much as he does)!

See you next post!

Dr. Harman


Add A Comment

Security Code: