Stem cell therapy takes a number of forms, and one of them relies on mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). At least one study using these stem cells found that there are no significant side effects to treatment. Because stem cell therapies take many forms, side effects may emerge in those that use stem cells other than MSCs.
It is important to speak specifically about the stem cells used in a given treatment, so we will focus on mesenchymal stem cells, which, again, do not produce any known side effects in patients.
The Basics of Mesenchymal Stem Cells
When discussing mesenchymal stem cells, it helps to begin with the broader term: stem cell. Stem cells within the body are responsible for producing other new cells. The cells that they produce can be new stem cells, or cells specialized to carry out a particular function, such as heart muscle cells or blood cells.
When stem cells divide, they create “daughter cells,” which can be new stem cells or cells with a special function, such as bone cells, cartilage, brain cells, or some other form of cell. Research continues to harness the power of the stem cell, and one of the forms of stem cells used for various treatments is mesenchymal stem cells.
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Mesenchymal Stem Cells Rarely Produce Side Effects or Abnormalities
There are various forms of stem cells used in research and treatment. Some derive in embryos, while others come from adults. Mesenchymal stem cells, typically collected from adults, have an anti-inflammatory effect that makes them effective in treating chronic diseases without causing negative effects from stem cell therapy.
A noteworthy feature of mesenchymal stem cells is that they have been used in a number of different treatments without major abnormalities. This ties into the fact that those who have received mesenchymal stem cell treatment reported no serious side effects.
Some treatments using non-mesenchymal stem cells are in the early stages of experimentation and may impose an array of side effects. These abnormalities and side effects do not typically occur in patients who receive mesenchymal stem cell treatments. This is something to consider when wondering what are the negative effects of stem cell therapy.
Stem Cells Offer Benefits Aside From Direct Treatment
The most obvious and (arguably) powerful potential of stem cell therapy is to directly cure the many ailments that plague humans. Some of these treatments are regularly administered today, such as the use of mesenchymal stem cells to counteract erectile dysfunction (ED), while others are more theoretical at this point in time.
But stem cells are valuable in that they offer benefits beyond direct treatment. A couple of these benefits of stem cells are:
- Testing drugs using stem cells instead of living humans, as stem cells replicate the cell growth that goes on within our bodies and may be a safer testing ground than a human’s body.
- Helping medical professionals better understand how diseases come to be by following the progression of stem cells from a healthy state into a diseased state.
With these added benefits in mind, you probably want to know more about stem cell treatments. One of the most promising and readily available applications for mesenchymal stem cells is as a remedy for erectile dysfunction.
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Stem Cell Therapy as a Remedy for Erectile Dysfunction
Some researchers are proposing stem cells as a cure-all, but some stem cell therapies are far more established than others. Mesenchymal stem cells have been shown as an effective treatment for:
- Inflammation-related ailments
- Immune system deficiencies
- Degenerative diseases
Erectile dysfunction, especially in those with diabetes, is one of the specific ailments for which mesenchymal stem cell therapy has proven effective. One study, in particular, studied diabetic male patients with erectile dysfunction who received injections of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells.
Patients were given two shots, with 30 days between the first and second shot. The results were an improvement in penile erection that lasted up to 12 months. According to the study and general understanding of stem cells and erectile dysfunction, these results were likely the result of growth chemicals entering the bloodstream and making their way towards the genitalia.
Erectile dysfunction is a common effect of diabetes, and men with diabetes may find solace in the potential that mesenchymal stem cells have shown to increase penile rigidity. Stem cell treatment may be just one puzzle piece in a treatment plan, so speak to a medical professional about forming a specific plan of attack if you suffer from erectile dysfunction. This is important considering the potential negative effects of certain types of stem cell therapy.
*The information within this article is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. Please speak to a medical professional to diagnose and address specific conditions.