New York, NY (PRWEB) November 27, 2012
This would have been the perfect year to institute a Nobel Prize for Nutrition. After all, the latest prize for Medicine or Physiology was awarded earlier this month to two of the great pioneers in the area of stem cell science. Understandably, nutrition per se is not medicine, but it has so much to do with health – before, during and after medicine. This is nowhere else as relevant today as in this field of stem cell science which the Nobel Committee has chosen to spotlight this year... and rightly so.
Dr. John Gurdon, 79, an emeritus professor from Cambridge University, first demonstrated in 1962 that all animal cells retained their full complement of genes. His team injected the genetic material from an intestinal cell of a frog into an egg from another frog and voila!... They showed that the product could develop into a complete tadpole. Therefore, as was later shown in different species, each animal cell – though differentiated into whatever different kind of tissue cells – retains all the same genes.
That was the answer to a very fundamental physiological question. It started a revolution which led in part to the cloning of animals, including Dolly the first cloned sheep and since then mice, dogs and cats, as well as horses and even cattle. Fortunately, cloning of human embryos is still essentially off limits for obvious ethical reasons and remains practically not feasible.
Almost fifty years later, Professor Shinya Yamanaka now at Kyoto University in Japan, invented a method of adding just a few select genes to cause mouse skin cells and later human cells to revert back to ‘primitive’ cells. These could in turn be prodded to differentiate into other kinds of mature tissue cells. The production of these ‘induced’ stem cells provide wide doors of opportunity to now study – and hopefully, some day treat – a wide variety of diseases.
That is an invention of a very fundamental approach to harvesting stem cell capability. But safe and effective stem cell therapies are still perhaps decades away. Many challenges remain despite the exponential efforts of hundreds of academic research laboratories and state-of-the-art biotech companies. There is so much promise for this therapeutic intervention in medicine, but there are big hurdles to overcome. Unnatural intervention must avoid natural rejection of ‘foreign’ cells and human manipulation can alter cell behavior and lead potentially to unintended mutation and cancer.
To date, bone marrow transplants and similar clinical procedures are the only proven practical applications of stem cell therapies in common medical use.
But here’s the open secret.
Stem cells are not an invention. They are only a discovery. After all, everybody has stem cells. Everybody uses stem cells. Everybody uses stem cells every day. And they work... every time! As Christian Drapeau, the Chief Scientific Officer for StemTech Inc. in California has argued – stem cells represent a normal and natural renewal system of the body. He led the team that demonstrated a method of enhancing stem cell trafficking by nutritional supplementation alone.
His discovery that consumption of a naturally-derived plant formula can significantly and safely enhance the normal release of adult stem cells from the bone marrow of normal individuals provides an ordinary way to take advantage of this extraordinary physiological protective mechanism. As such, stem cell nutrition represents a true breakthrough discovery too. It is a new practical paradigm for health and wellness. Yes, stem cell nutrition harnesses the ubiquitous benefits of these pluripotent cells in the daily maintenance and repair of the body.
That is a fundamental solution – the answer to the reasonable question that anyone may ask: How can I begin to benefit today from this new understanding of stem cells and their role in both health and medicine?
This is nutritional supplementation at its finest and is worthy of Nobel recognition. Therefore, if I ever had the opportunity, I would dare to nominate the first pioneer of this field, Christian Drapeau, to receive the first Nobel Prize for Nutrition, if that were ever to be contemplated by the committee in Stockholm.