Diet For Diabetes (diabetes diet) vs Stem Cell Treatment
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For more on the diet for diabetes, see — Is Stem Cell Treatment Better Than a Proper Diet for Diabetes?
With all the noise in the recent media, Diabetics, as much as anyone with a debilitating or life-threatening disease or injury, may find themselves keenly interested in the development of a new technology in medical treatments using stem cells. And how will it compare to a proper diet for diabetes?
In the early days, the temptation for research and use of embryonic ones is very high because of their obvious advantages they had over the adult ones. However, new techniques for the harvesting and production of stem cells has changed the field dramatically.
Although research is showing, as an example, that they can be persuaded to reproduce artificially and then transformed into specialized cell types using cell cultures, the belief that the destruction of a human embryo is necessary to extract the original cells is still commonplace. In addition to the artificial techniques, this belief is made redundant by the fact that stem cells with the same characteristics are now being harvested without injury or death to an embryo. Good examples are extractions from umbilical cords, generally discarded after the birth of new-borns, and from an adult’s own blood and bone marrow.
If artificially induced stimulation of stem cell growth or techniques not resulting in fetal death are used, the termination of a potential human life has been avoided and no one is hurt physically, emotionally or ethically (if possible).
As early as the 1950s, stem cell transplantation has been used in the treatment of bone marrow and blood diseases such as myeloma and leukemia.
In this treatment, most doctors extract the stem cells from the patient’s own blood before and then transplant them back after the chemotherapy kills all cells – healthy along with the cancerous – in the bone marrow. This is known as autologous transplantation.
These cells then reproduce and rebuild the bone marrow and the ability of the body to manufacture new blood cells.
The therapy has proven to be successful at prolonging life significantly of the sufferers myeloma. Since the cells are taken from the patient before treatment, the ethicality of it all seems redundant. It is no more unethical than taking a patient’s own blood for their future elective operations.
Stem cells taken from new-borns are being stored for their potential future treatments even now.
They are also being taken from adult patients to rebuild their own joints as well as other procedures without the ethically wobbly use of embryonic stem cells.
So stem cells are being used successfully as well as ethically.
If research is moving into the area of autologous transplantation of adult stem cells and new death-free techniques for embryos, what is the upshot for diabetics with a non-functioning pancreas?
Success with stem cells are documented and piling up on a regular basis.
Some animals, such as dogs and mice, have been cured of their diabetes with stem cells.
Cells extracted and used for stem cell treatment from a man’s own testicles have proven to be effective at rendering him insulin-free up to 18 months or so.
Unfortunately, no stems cells, wherever they may come from, have been induced to produce enough insulin to cure diabetes yet in humans.
And although there is at least one school of thought that believes that diabetes, along with a substantial list of other maladies, will be curable within the next decade, there are several challenges facing scientists to make stem cell therapies effective and accepted, Transplanted cells should:
1. reproduce themselves 2. should change into the cells that are required in the damaged or diseased area – such as the Islets of Langorhans for diabetics. 3. survive in the recipient (no transplant rejection) 4. blend in with the targeted tissue and not attack host cells or produce tumours. 5. Transplanted cells should restore function
Until these issues have been resolved, we are going to have to be patient before there is a perfected and approved cure.
This can be distressing for those that have very serious health issues.
I believe that in the very near future, there will be solution for diabetes and indeed it will be easier than just having a diet to reverse the affliction.
However, a proper diet for diabetes is the most obvious and powerful existing method to control the disease and is very easy if you have the knowledge and know how to use it.