Plant alternatives to stem cell mobilizing factors, which help a greater proportion of stem cells to leave the bone marrow into the bloodstream, are also known, according to recent research. In addition to mobilization, some of them presumably support the self-renewal of stem cells, thereby supporting the regeneration of the organism.
One of the potentials of uses for stimulation and mobilization of stem cells is to fight anemia, which often develops as a result of chemotherapy.
The effects of astragalus and angelica (ferulic acid, flavonoids, astragaloside) in mice treated with the chemotherapeutic agent cyclo-phosphamide were examined in one study. As a result of cyclo-phosphamide treatment, the number of red blood cells, platelets, and white blood cells and the hemoglobin level drastically decreased, and the area responsible for hematopoiesis in the bone marrow shrunk.
The above-listed ingredients from the herbs improved the blood count individually, however, their combination improved all of the studied parameters and showed values slightly distinct from the pre-treatment condition.
Examined from a mechanistic point of view, the herbal combination (and the individual substances in varying degrees) also stimulated the self-renewal and proliferation of hematopoietic stem cells, which contributed to rapid regeneration and reversal of treatment-induced stem cell aging.
According to scientific studies, Ganoderma lucidum counteracted the detrimental effects of cyclo-phosphamide and vinorelbine chemo-therapeutic agents on the formation of blood cells in animal experiments.
Not only chemo-therapeutics, but heavy metals can also harm the bone marrow.
Ingesting spirulina algae helped to prevent the damage to blood cells of lead and cadmium in rats.
When cerebral blood arteries become blocked, a condition known as ischemic stroke may develop. When the blockage is released, fresh, oxygen-rich blood flows into the tissues, causing ischemic/reperfusion injury, which is the deterioration of already damaged brain cells. When a stroke develops, immediate action is crucial to limit neuronal death to the smallest area possible of the brain.
Many herbal ingredients are known to help repair the damaged condition that develops during the stroke and subsequent reperfusion. Primarily,
As antioxidants, they protect neurons and tissue stem cells from reactive oxygen radicals, which are caused by oxidative stress from re-supplying oxygen to the damaged brain area.
Moreover, several plant compounds have been shown to stimulate neural progenitor and neural stem cell division and neurogenesis, hence enhancing brain regeneration and promoting recovery.
Such herbal substances are astragalosides of astragalus root, proanthocyanidins in grape seeds, and fucoidan from brown algae, but the consumption of spirulina algae or the lingzhi mushroom also has a beneficial effect resulting in animal studies.
The mitigation of ischemic/reperfusion damage may be supported by vitamin E, coenzyme Q10, and the rutin flavonoid, reducing the deteriorating effect of oxidative stress and pro-inflammatory cytokines.
Fucoidan can increase the regenerative capacity of the body by stimulating stem cells. In an experiment with mice, fucoidan was able to mobilize vascular wall stem cells and cardiac stem cells (scientifically known as endothelial and cardiac progenitors). Their percentages increased by 70% and by 25%, respectively.
This elevated stem cell count helped to maintain the normal vascularization of a transplanted organ, and new artery wall cells were formed to replace the dead cells in the inflamed vessel wall. The stem cell mobilizing effect of fucoidan was observed also for humans.
You can read more about the artery wall protective effect of fucoidan in the following post: Fucoidan: Stem Cell Mobilization And Artery Wall Protection
The link between cells and regeneration is currently one of the most intensively researched fields. Understanding it promises solutions that can overcome some diseases that have been considered incurable, and therefore receive more and more attention.
According to novel scientific research, the regenerative capacity of the body can be increased by stimulating and mobilizing the endogenously formed stem cells inside the body.
Stem cells can be divided into 2 main types: 1) embryonic stem cells, which have high pluripotency, so they can transform (differentiate) into almost any cell, and 2) adult or somatic stem cells, which have lower pluripotency and are generally considered to be progenitor cells of that tissue they can be found. In terms of function, adult stem cells are responsible for the maintenance and regeneration of specific tissues, and for the replenishment of damaged and dead cells.
Stem cells are everywhere in our body to ensure rapid and efficient tissue regeneration. There are types of stem cells that stay in the tissues throughout, while other stem cells circulate in the body. The latter are located most of the time in the bone marrow, some of which enter the bloodstream. Then, they either return to the bone marrow or enter the tissues from circulation to fulfill their function.
This intra-organizational circulation is mostly characteristic of hematopoietic stem cells (stem cells giving rise to elements of the blood and immune system), but mesenchymal stem cells (MSC, especially cartilage, fat, bone-type differentiation, but can differentiate to muscle and even neuronal direction) and endothelial progenitor cells (vascular progenitor cells) may also circulate in the blood.
Stem cells circulating in the body can enter the tissues and meet stimuli (such as damage to a particular tissue) that cause them to stay in place and differentiate into target cells. By default, only a small amount of stem cells circulate in the bloodstream, but after consuming certain plants, the number of stem cells entering the bloodstream from the bone marrow increase, which can elevate the regenerative potential.
Due to the aging process, adverse environmental effects, and unfavorable eating and lifestyle habits, the number of circulating stem cells can decrease over time, which negatively affects our body’s regeneration abilities. In such cases, the so-called stem cell mobilizers are necessary.