When you read “spam, spam, spam” do you think of Monty Python?
Some folks may immediately think of email spam.
There might even be a connection between the ubiquitous email spam and the old Monty Python spam. See the video below.
What’s spam got to do with stem cells? Is there stem cell or cellular spam?
Hold on a sec.
When I first started The Niche blog almost a decade ago in early 2010, so much was different. This blog wasn’t even called The Niche at first and its starting URL was stem.ws.
I didn’t blog that much about stem cell clinics and most of these businesses were outside the U.S. back then.
Celebrities generally weren’t getting stem cell injections at clinics or at least it wasn’t getting attention. One of the first that went public was a NY Yankees pitcher at the time named Bartolo Colon.
Now dozens if not hundreds of celebrities are experimenting with “stem cells”, in quotes because sometimes those concoctions probably don’t consist primarily of living, actual stem cells in them. While celebs in the last half-dozen years are turning to unproven stem cell shots for all kinds of things, a big focus is on anti-aging.
The latest is actor John Cleese of Monty Python fame. Cleese opened up on a recent BBC2 radio broadcast about this:
‘I do stem cell therapy… I’m serious. I think stem cell therapy is the most extraordinary thing and of course, I’m sorry to say, it’s not cheap.’
In a weird way because of the Monty Python connection, it eventually kind of clicked for me that getting some stem cell clinic shots might be like receiving cellular spam.
I wonder if sometimes the stuff in the syringes from some of the worst stem cell clinics is the cellular equivalent of either spam the meat product or spam email. As to the email analogy, stem cell clinic shots are often not what you thought or wanted despite what they might be portrayed as by those selling it. It could be, for instance in the case of adipose stem cell shots, that customers are just a fatty gemisch that is not so different than canned spam. And, yes, I know that many folks love eating Spam.
Of course, it’s their business if such celebrity injections stays private, but often times they don’t. What is most concerning is that often it seems that celebrities mention their stem cell treatments as a kind of advertisement, intended to get everyday people to go to unproven stem cell clinics. In exchange some of these celebrities get free treatments or some kind of payment in return.
Fortunately, in Cleese’s case I have not seen him push people to any specific clinic. Hopefully he hasn’t and won’t in the future. He’s a very fun actor. I have enjoyed his roles over the years.
But many other celebrities have promoted specific unproven clinic firms. Often times the celebs won’t even say if they got something in return for the promotion.
In another recent case, I was at least glad to see that William Shatner was open about the fact that his summer 2019 Tweet about stem cells was an ad and it came out that he didn’t pay for the stem cells, but I still worry his tweet likely translated into other everyday people following in his footsteps with more financial and potential health risks.