July 12, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Super Bowl full of stem cells?

I like football and for the 2nd year in a row, my favorite team the Seahawks are playing in it after their miracle finish against the Packers.

NFL stem cells

I don’t believe in stem cell miracles for the most part, but I do wonder how many players on the two teams tomorrow have had “stem cell treatments” at some point in their careers for various injuries.

Anyone know?

According to a recent, very important article by Kirstin R.W. Matthews and Maude L. Cuchiara stem cell therapies are quite common amongst NFL players. See Table 1 from their paper above that just shows the players who have publicly acknowledged getting stem cells treatments. Last year’s Seahawks player Sidney Rice apparently had a stem cell therapy.

Given how common stem cells are in the NFL, it’s interesting again to consider how many players in the Super Bowl might have had them.

We also do not know of course whether such stem cell interventions are safe or effective yet because to my knowledge there is no data on how much players have done after their “treatments”. Many so-called “stem cell treatments” may in addition not even involve actual stem cells.

Of course another issue with the NFL and stem cells is one looking to the future when there is hope that evidence-based stem cell treatments may be proven safe and effective for traumatic brain injury, a condition so common amongst ex-NFL players.

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