Body fat good source of stem cells, say doctors

By Philip C. Tubeza Philippine Daily Inquirer

Health Secretary Enrique Ona said that the Department of Health would come out in the coming weeks with the rules to regulate stem cell therapy in the country. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, PhilippinesHealth buffs may abhor body fat but it is actually a good source for stem cells that can be used to help treat diseases ranging from athritis, diabetes, or even HIV/AIDS in the future, according to a stem cell expert.

Speaking at the first national convention of the Philippine Society for Stem Cell Medicine, Vasilis Paspaliaris, a stem cell expert from Greece, said body fat or adipose tissues have been proven to be rich sources of mesenchyme stem cells, used for regenerative medicine.

Why fat? Whats the interest in fat? Theres a lot more mesenchyme stem cells in adipose tissue, Paspaliaris said during the convention at the Manila Hotel.

Many of you cosmetic surgeons know that fat has been used as a filler for breast enhancements. Everyone knew there was a therapeutic use for fat. And plastic surgeons were quite aware of it. They have seen its rejuvenative effects, he added.

He said that while mesenchyme tissues could also be found in the skin and the kidneys, there is 10,000 times more mesancyme stem cells in adipose tissue.

And what is a big deal in adipose tissue is that (its) easily accessible with a minimal invasive procedure. More importantly, we can take a little amount of fat and we already have enough numbers of cells that we can take back straight to our patients, he added.

However, Paspaliaris said that the fat person would not necessarily have more mesenchyme stem cells than someone thinner.

The bigger you are does not mean that you have more stem cells. It just means you have more lipids (or stored energy), he added.

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Body fat good source of stem cells, say doctors

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