Stem cells and insomnia? Are we there yet?

Stem cells and insomnia? Are we there yet?

Stem cell clinics are popping up like mushrooms, especially in California where entrepreneurial physicians are injecting arthritic joints, and a multitude of other aging concerns with expensive “stem cell” treatments. Beware! Not only are they expensive but there is growing evidence that they are potentially dangerous.

We are not talking bone marrow transplants here a proven procedure that is necessary when your bone marrow has ceased to yield healthy blood cells. No, were talking all manner of fringe treatments for younger faces and slack vaginas . . . The issue with fringe clinics is determining which ones are legitimate.

The FDA be damned, fringe clinics prey on the ignorant and often vainglorious with false claims and hype. Now some are talking about stem cells for sleep. Why not pile on that parade? Insomnia is a national epidemic. Even in our currently strong economy well over sixty percent of the population is tossing and turning over how to pay their mortgage, food bills, health care for loved ones. Conscientious students are sleep deprived over the avalanche of studies and how to pay for the privilege.

Stem cell treatment for insomnia is based on research that a lack of four hours of sleep can cut the ability of our stem cells to migrate to the bone marrow by half. This, of course, undermines our immune system from reconstituting itself. At least in rats and cats.

Yes, stem cells are unique in the role they play in specialized functions throughout the body, from our blood to our brains to our bones, but it is sleep that keeps our stem cells younger, not stem cells that keep us sleeping. Stem cells are smarter than us. What we do know about stem cells is that they don’t wear themselves out. After executing a task, they go back to sleep and in doing so make themselves young again.

But who knows what kind of sleeping juice is in that syringe? One stem cell clinic was even exposed for having fecal material in it, leaving a dozen patients in the hospital. California has more stem cell clinics than any other state.

Ironically, it is also the state with the most serious stem cell research. Not for lack of trying though, California was the first state to require that stem cell clinics post a notice that their “therapies’ are not FDA approved.

Promise me you won’t pony up your money to any clinic claiming anything remotely like this.

Stem cells for sleep? Are we there yet?

No!