The ultimate anti-aging therapy

By Cory Quirino
Last updated 09:52pm (Mla time) 11/20/2006
Published on Page C1 of the November 21, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

MODERN medicine will unravel the mysteries of life, including degeneration and aging. One of the latest developments is stem cell therapy, a medical breakthrough that has arrived in Manila.

Staying young
Your body is in a constant state of renewal. As you read this, the change happens in your system. Cells are born, regenerate and renew within the human body.

Scientists have believed for quite some time now that the cells you were born with are not the same ones you have when you die.

So, if the natural process of the body is to remake itself, why do we age? This is a question that stem cell biologists at Karolinska Institute in Sweden are trying to answer (Reader's Digest, August 2006, "How Old Are You?" - Helen Signy).

It is suspected that stem cells age and their supply is exhausted. What happens if supply is replenished? Enter stem cell therapy.

Fountain of youth
Stem cells are the basic building blocks of life from which our bodies are made. They are formed at conception and become the different tissues of our body: muscles, nerve, organs, bone, blood, etc.

The body has a stem cell reserve that can be tapped for repair and replacement of injured tissue. But the reserve is finite and becomes depleted. The regenerative power of the body decreases and we succumb to disease and aging.

Sources of stem cells: bone marrow, peripheral blood and fat. The Russians were the first to collect stem cells from non-bone marrow sources (i.e. aborted fetuses) but the procedure raised ethical issues.

Today, because the bone marrow process of harvesting stem cells takes too long (about five days), there is a new approach that is easier, non-controversial but just as effective—Autologous Stem Cell Transplant.

It was introduced in Manila by a reputable senior plastic surgeon and a respected member of the medical community, Dr. Florencio Lucero and Dr. Bill Paspaliaris, CEO of Stemtech Ltd. HKG and an expert in regenerative medicine.

How does it work?
Through a mini-liposuction, 100cc of fat and peripheral blood are extracted from the body. The harvested dormant stem cells are incubated in stimulating growth factors derived from colostrums (the first liquid secretion of milk-producing organic cows in New Zealand).

Once the 50 million stem cells are stimulated, these are isolated and infused back into the patient intravenously. The procedure lasts four hours in the operating room of a hospital under local anesthesia. It includes one hour of harvesting of stem cells and three hours to incubate, stimulate and infuse them back to the patient.

Are there moral/religious issued involved?
None whatsoever. The stem cells come from the individual and are returned to him/her.

What health issues can the procedure address?
Patients who availed of the therapy had health conditions like diabetes, Alzheimers, arthritis, spinal cord injuries, cancer and Parkinson’s disease.

Results have been encouraging, if not amazing, as in the case of an 80-year-old who has fewer tremors from Parkinson’s and now goes ballroom dancing. High-profile businessmen, politicians and health enthusiasts who underwent the treatment now have more energy, think clearly and faster, and have increased libido and more youthful look.

But while more extensive clinical studies have yet to be done, the dynamic duo of Lucero and Paspaliaris is setting a new medical breakthrough in the country.

Since the therapy is more reasonably priced here than elsewhere in the world, foreign patients are now coming here to avail of the procedure.

"I chose to make Manila my headquarters because of its strategic location, ideal for medical tourism," said Dr. Bill who was in Manila before for a World Health Organization project. "Filipino doctors are (also) among the finest in the world."
Work with the French Foreign Legion in Angola and Congo allowed him to do a specific study of stem cell therapy to ease pain and hasten wound-healing. They observed faster recovery and anti-aging results.

Reverse your age
How far back can the clock go for stem cell patients? Ideally five to 10 years. And if, as Dr. Maffetone says in his book “In Fitness and In Health” (Fully Booked Store), people improve the quality of their lives through healthy choices, the average human life expectancy can reach 120.

While most people want to age gracefully, others wish to improve the quality of their lives despite a health challenge. Still there are those, like myself, who are intrigued by the challenge of defying time.

Your affirmation:"I am as young as I want to be."

Call Asian Plastic Surgery Center, Cardinal Santos Medical Center, tel. 7261111; e-mail:

SOURCE: Inquirer.Net

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