Healthy Aging

Easy Trick Supercharges Your Stem Cells

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Stem Cell Rejuvenation Matrix


Easy Trick Supercharges Your Stem Cells about Stem Cell Restore

By now, you’ve heard about the regenerative, healing power of your body’s stem cells. Stem cells can replace any cell lost through normal wear and tear, injury, or disease. But their ability to carry out this function declines with aging. To stay healthy, these ailing stem cells must be given a leg up, but how?

Scientists at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine think they’ve found a pretty easy way to achieve this by focusing on one common mineral.

Iron and Your Stem Cells

All red and white blood cells and other vital blood components are formed from hematopoietic (blood-forming) stem cells (HSCs) in the bone marrow. But with aging, HSCs struggle to form new blood cells. This contributes to chronic inflammation, accelerated onset of blood cancers, and the promotion of degenerative diseases.

Rehabilitating HSCs would be a big deal, and thanks to a chance discovery, a method of achieving this may be on the horizon.

In 2018, stem cell biologists at Albert Einstein College in New York investigated the actions of a drug that treats a low blood count condition called thrombocytopenia caused by bone marrow failure. Unexpectedly, they found that the drug also chelates (binds to) iron in HSCs and removes it.

Removing iron led to HSC stimulation by bone marrow stem cells in mice. An analysis of human bone marrow specimens also revealed a threefold increase in the frequency of HSCs with the drug compared to a similar drug that doesn’t chelate iron.1

This important and unexpected discovery needed further exploration, so for their new study, they wanted to find out what happens to HSCs under conditions of excess and restricted iron and how limiting iron keeps HSCs healthy.

Supercharging Stem Cells

They found that when in excess, intracellular iron activates inflammation within HSCs and pushes them towards dormancy—a state in which a cell’s functions are massively slowed, much like animal hibernation. Dormancy limits HSCs’ ability to make more copies of themselves and to produce enough high-quality blood cells.

Yet when iron is restricted, HSCs readily multiply and respond effectively when more blood components are needed. This means, explains Yun-Ruei Kao, first author of the study published in the journal Cell Stem Cell in March, that “iron restriction governs and protects the regenerative capacity of stem cells - their ability to divide and to differentiate into blood cells.”2

As to how iron restriction achieves this, the researchers found that in young mice, low iron triggers a molecular response in HSCs that temporarily increases fatty acid metabolism, strengthening genetic programs in HSCs after they’ve proliferated.

However, in aged mice, HSCs contained higher levels of iron, which inhibited the activation of this fatty acid metabolism pathway.

Low Iron Boosts HSC Stem Cells Ten-Fold

Finally, the researchers want to see if using a drug that chelates or removes iron would improve blood cell production in mice. When 6-month-old (middle-aged) mice were given an iron chelator for 13 months (well into old age), the animals’ HSCs showed up to a 10-fold increase in regenerative capacity compared with controls.3

Senior study author Britta Will said, “We’ve shown that this decline in HSC function is not inevitable and appears to be reversible. By lowering iron levels inside the cell with a clinically available drug, we were able to restore a youthful pool of HSCs in older mice. This simple treatment strategy holds promise for slowing aging-related diseases, chronic inflammatory diseases, and blood cancers.”

Does This Mean We Should Lower Our Intake of Iron?

Since iron deficiency and aging often go together, doctors usually recommend seniors take supplements or eat iron-rich foods to prevent anemia. Dr. Will agrees because iron metabolism can deteriorate during aging, leading to iron deficiency in some organs yet iron loading in others, including in the bone marrow.

However, as we’ve previously reported, too much iron accelerates aging, so it’s important to have regular blood tests to ensure you’re getting enough iron to prevent anemia but not too much more.

Another thing to note… Dr. Will stated, “To our knowledge, this is the first time that a non-invasive strategy has successfully rejuvenated stem cells.” Actually, this isn’t the case.

Christian Drapeau - a pioneer in stem cell research- and colleagues published findings in 2019 showing that HSCs increased by 24.2 percent after just two hours in the blood of human volunteers. This was achieved after supplementing the volunteers with sea buckthorn berry, which is available in Green Valley’s Stem Cell Restore anti-aging supplement.

  1. Kao YR et al. Thrombopoietin receptor–independent stimulation of hematopoietic stem cells by eltrombopag Sci Transl Med. 2018 Sep 12;10(458):eaas9563.
  2. Einstein News Releases Iron Restriction Keeps Blood Stem Cells Young March 8, 2024
  3. Kao YR et al. An iron rheostat controls hematopoietic stem cell fate Cell Stem Cell. 2024 Mar 7;31(3):378-397.e12.
Stem Cell Restore

Stem Cell Restore

Stem Cell Rejuvenation Matrix


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