Cellular alternatives

Stem Cell Therapy has taken the medical community by storm. Proof of this is that this previously unexplored branch of science merited its own convention, graced by the Secretary of Health, and it now has its own medical association in the country, called the Philippine Society for Stem Cell Medicine. Filipinos and foreigners are lining up in clinics to get this wellness procedure in hopes of curing conditions, and to stop the passage of time.

With the booming popularity of the treatments, there have been several offshoots from the stem, if you may, that promise basically the same results. Some seem to have valid claims, while others are more dubious and dangerous. Here are two treatments that have caught the MB team's attention as they offer alternatives to the autologous stem cell treatment which is offered by most centers in the country.

Villa Medica's Fresh Cell Therapy

While Autologous Stem Cell procedures use cells harvested from the own bone marrow and peripheral blood of the patient, Fresh Cell Therapy is done with cells from sheep fetuses. The procedure is done by physicians in a clinic in Germany, which also processes the freshly-harvested cells into personalized formulations according to the patient's particular health needs. "With autologous stem cell therapy, you gather and process cells from one source, such as bone marrow, and target it to become a heart cell, or a lung cell. We believe that like heals like: The heart heals the heart, lungs heal lungs, and spleen heals spleen," explains Michael Loh, group managing director at Villa Medica International.

Dr. Geoffrey Huertgen, Villa Medica's chief medical director, was recently in Manila, and he adds, "The injected fresh young cells then imprint their vigor upon the old and degenerating cells, stimulating them to function properly again and causing the organ to regenerate and revitalize." Huertgen also talked about the safety and efficacy of the procedure. At the most, he says, patients may experience discomfort from rashes, itching, and skin redness. Loh adds, "The technology we are using has been around since 1931. There have been no reported deaths from the procedures. We are talking about something that has been around for a long time, while autologous therapy has only been practiced for about eight years."

They also answer concerns about livestock contamination, saying that they have basically kept the same flock for the past 50 years, raised as a medical herd. The stem cells are harvested from a Merino Sheep fetus between the end of the third month and start of the fourth, and the cells are processed fresh to specific needs of around 20 patients.

There have been cases where patients would travel to Europe and have the procedure done in a hotel by a doctor who would just drop in and administer a shot, then leave. At Villa Medica, patients are checked into a luxurious suite of sorts, but there are medical professionals (some of them Filipinos) always on standby. Lab tests and screenings are done prior to the procedure, to ensure safety, and patients are encouraged to do a little light activity a day after the shots are given.

Dr. Huertgen says the treatment is ideal for conditions that do not respond to traditional forms of treatment. "It is indicated not only for anti-aging and rejuvenation, but also for neurological problems, circulatory problems, kidney and liver issues, endocrine and hormonal disorders, musculo-skeletal and joint issues, as well as genetic and developmental dysfunctions in infants and children." The group presented results of before and after photos of patients, including former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada, and it was remarkable how the glow of renewed youth returned even though they checked in for an entirely different reason.

Inquiries may be coursed through Cris Aquino at 671-7489 or 0917-5123004 or via email at caquino@villa-medica.com

StemEnhance Capsules from Stemtech

In the 1970s, a school teacher who was concerned about his student's lack of focus and energy wondered if his students would benefit from eating nutrient-dense algae. Inspired by the idea, the teacher began experimenting with a natural growing freshwater plant known as Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA). Those who tried the AFA reported remarkable benefits.

Fast forward to the 1990s, when botanical researcher and neurophysiologist Christian Drapeau developed studies in order to research the science behind what currently equated to speculation about the benefits of AFA. The result is a company founded on the tenets of his findings, as he and partner Ray Carter came up with a capsule formulation using these freshwater algae harvested from a lake in Oregon as a way to enhance stem cell growth in the human body.

The stem cell enhancers work on the body's bone marrow, stimulating production of what Stemtech Philippines general manager says is up to three to four million new stem cells for every two capsules! For best results, he recommends that the capsules are taken three times a day, to help fight the effects of aging and the modern unhealthy lifestyle.

StemEnhance is available solely through direct selling, at P3,360 for 90 capsules. For more information, visit www.stemtech.com