I took a look again into the world of stem cell supplements since it’s been a few years.
What I found now in 2023 wasn’t a pretty picture. This post has several sections so feel free to jump to specific sections below. I’ve also done a new YouTube video on stem cell supplements that goes through the main points to consider. If you like the video please subscribe to our channel.
What’s in this article
Supplements | Stem cell supplements claims | Supplement ads and products | Visiclear, Visifree & Visishield | Stem-Kine | Regenexx supplements | Big picture on stem cell pills
Quick Article Summary and Claim Review. Stem cells have generated a lot of buzz, only some of it legitimate. Stem cell supplements and their makers claim that these pills or drinks will improve your health via impacting your stem cells. My research indicates there are no strong data to support any of these claims. Stem cell supplements also could have risks. Since they are also very expensive, as a stem cell biologist I recommend against taking stem cell supplements, but you should consult your physician.
Note that “supplements” here refer to things people can ingest to somehow supposedly help their stem cells, not “supplements” that us scientists add to the media we use to grow stem cells.
Stem cell supplement capsules, vitamins, more
For context, I’m fairly skeptical of supplements in general unless one has a documented deficiency in something like iron or maybe (maybe not) Vitamin D, or if you are vegan maybe you should take B12.
As a 10+ year prostate cancer survivor the only supplement I take still is in fact Vitamin D, but I’m having my doubts even about that. Ten years ago it made sense to me theoretically that a hormone like Vitamin D might help prevent cancer recurrence based on in vitro results growing cancer cells in a dish, but the literature hasn’t been very encouraging on any benefit in actual people. I’m mulling it over.
The idea of zinc supplements given right at the beginning of colds has been controversial but a new study this year gives some weight to it perhaps shortening the length of colds.
I more recently went through the supposed brain supplement Prevagen and found reasons to be concerned about their advertising claims and also about potential risks.
Stem cell supplements claims: eyes, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, more
So what about supplements claiming some link to stem cells?
There’s not much foundation for them and they cost a bundle.
The main claims of these supplements is that they’ll either make you as a patient have more stem cells, happier stem cells, or aid in stem cells differentiating into the desired cell type. Other claims include anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties
A big surprise for me was that searching Clinicaltrials.gov finds many studies of the effects of specific supplements on stem cells, but little data. One that did have data was focused on a supplement called NutraStem and tested its effects on CD133+ or CD34+ cells as compared to a placebo. It didn’t seem to work.
There is no evidence of supposed stem cell eye supplements benefiting eyes or vision either.
Supplement ads & products
A Google search for “Stem cell supplements” yields an array of results and ads.
While Google has rightly (and generally very effectively) banned stem cell clinic ads, it still feels like anything goes with stem cell supplement ads. You can see a screenshot above for some results. An Amazon search yields tons of overlapping and sometimes wild results too, some approaching a thousand dollars a pop.
Take a look at a “grassfed bone marrow” (I’m imagining a test tube of living bone marrow with someone trying to feed it grass) supplement claiming to have something to do with stem cells:
“Contains all the nutrients, specialized cells (including stem cells and base cells), collagen, growth factors, fat soluble activators and substances that the body uses to build, repair, and maintain all tissues”
I doubt there are living stem cells in there. And, what are “base cells”? Basal cells?
What about Visiclear, Visifree & Visishield?
I’ve been hearing more about vision-related supplements called Visiclear, Visifree, and Visishield.
These supplements contain vitamins, antioxidants and other factors. Various claims on the web suggest that these products may help vision by either keeping stem cells healthy or restoring stem cell health.
I’m highly skeptical.
While we stem cell researchers do sometimes add vitamins or antioxidants to our cultures of stem cells in the lab, it’s not clear that antioxidants that people eat or take as supplements would have benefits to endogenous stem cells, including in the eye.
A quick search on Amazon found that these products are also very expensive. There are quite a few unhappy customers who left reviews there as well.
As a stem cell researcher, I wouldn’t recommend Visiclear, Visifree, or Visishield if you are paying to try to help your eyes supposedly via stem cells.
One purported stem cell-related product that pops up often on Google searches is something called Stem-Kine from Neil Riordan, who runs a stem cell clinic firm in Panama. A decade ago he published some on Stem-Kine claiming a link to mobilizing stem cells, but I’m not convinced at all.
Physicians in the hospital can reproducibly mobilize stem cells in donors or patients but this is done using powerful, proven drugs, and has been the subject of tons of published research such as related to preparing stem cell transplants after chemo in cancer patients. (By the way, you might find this guest post on a family’s experience with stem cell donation to be an interesting read.)
These supplements are super expensive too. How much does Stem-Kine cost? For a case of 60 x 700mg capsules on Amazon you’ll pay about $70, which seems ridiculous to me.
But could it work?
It’s hard to say without more data, but I doubt it and anything like this has risks too.
Further, it’s not clear that mobilizing bone marrow stem cells in a healthy patient on a regular basis is a wise thing to do.
Check out the comments from Wise Young in the comments section for another view.
The Regenexx brand has a whole supplement product line now including Regenexx Complex. One supplement, called “Advanced Stem Cell Support Formula” costs about one hundred bucks for 32 fluid ounces which is about $400 a gallon.
The description says it’s a “proprietary blend of vitamins, herbs, and supplements that may help support healthy stem cell function and cartilage production.”
The Amazon page for this or a very similar product lists these ingredients: “Vitamin C 1000mg, Vitamin D 2000IU Proprietary Blend 3455 mg of Glucosamine Sulfate and HCl, Chondroitin Sulfate, Curcumin, L-Carnosine, Resleratrol (resVida), Bitter Melon, BioPerine Does not contain wheat, gluten, sugar, soy or dairy. Contains ingredients derived from shellfish and corn.”
Is there any published clinical data to back up this expensive supplement’s use in people? Not that I could see. I don’t see a good rationale for Regenexx Complex either.
Note that Advanced Stem Cell Support Formula comes in citrus or strawberry banana flavor. A good-sized Jamba juice with fresh strawberries and bananas, and a boost of some vitamins in it costs about $6 or $7. I haven’t had one of those in years, but they sound good even if rather full of sugar.
Big picture take-home: do stem cell pills or supplements work?
Overall, in my view “stem cell” supplements are not worth the money, probably won’t do anything terribly exciting in a positive way, and could have risks. You can watch a Q&A YouTube video I did below in which one question and answer was related to stem cell supplements.
Note that I actually had an old post (Top 5 possible natural stem cell boosts) on possible simple ways to possibly boost stem cell numbers in a more general sense, but admittedly even these ideas are speculative and do not involve supplements or paying money. For example, try to sleep a healthy amount and especially exercise more in certain ways.
At this point in my view exercise seems like maybe the only possibly reliable and safe way to impact certain kinds of stem cell numbers in your body.
We’ll see in coming years or decades if any specific supplement can convincingly do something useful that is stem cell-related based on more research. It’s also important to consider that anything that boosts stem cell numbers could also pose the risk of unwanted consequences like abnormal cell or tissue growth.
Will there ever be a stem cell pill that one can take to somehow improve your stem cells in numbers or function in a safe way that positively impacts specific aspects of your health? We’ll see but right now there is nothing like that.
- Search for articles with “Stem cells” and “supplements” in the title on Pubmed.
- Search for articles with “stem cells” and “diet” in the title on Pubmed.
- Consumer Alert on Regenerative Medicine Products Including Stem Cells and Exosomes, FDA
- Articles listed on PubMed that involve Stem-Kine.
43 thoughts on “Fact-checking stem cell supplements in 2023”
I have a broken kneecap which has resulted with my knee bone on bone. Nothing helps and I am in much pain. What stem cell activators do you recommend for my knee. Thank you
What about, Gero protect ,~ Stem Cell
What are your thoughts of x39? A patch that activates stemcells or alleges to. Lifewave is the provider/supplier. Interestingly they’re a mlm. Is this the new vitamin wave where everyone sells their vitamins? Or does X39 patch which is alleged to harness light to elevate a copper peptide to activate stem cells.
Please review Visifree
Is there any reviews on bodyredesigning.com ? Is stem cell therapy possible ?
Good food, good thought, good exercise DONE
Where are “Wise Young’s” comments
Over here: https://ipscell.com/2019/11/dubious-muse-cells-are-in-4-japanese-stem-cell-trials/
Have you looked at Novos Supplement? George Church,Matt Kaeberlein on advisory board
I’ve just started to read comments and came across yours. Can I please ask what stem cell supplements you were taking. I’m in the UK.
what did you supplements take and where can I get them?
Your research is flawed.
What’s your agenda?
Yes ‘stem cells’ seems to be a new keyword. All the companies hop onto the trend.
What supplements were you taking?
Read his article carefully. It is in there
Wow that great i wonderin has it regrow any new stem cell yet?
Why buy a supplement that encourages stem-cell activity which costs more than the raw ingredients if bought individually in powdered form? They’re available in bulk at good, competitive prices online.
I happened on this page as I was doing research on my age related macro degeneration. I am interested in the “stem cell:”research project re-same that is currently in level three trials.
Your readers buy products for which there is no scientific evidence at all that they work or are safe to use. They simply choose to believe.
As a Canadian reading your blog I think I finally understand the Trump voter. They are your readers!!!!! They clearly have no idea of what is involved in scientific research or what it means to establish something as “true” or “false”.
The majority of what your President Trump says is simply not true and easily proven NOT to be true.. But you Trumper’s on this blog so want it to be true that you simply choose to believe .The same way you’d believe in “stem cell” supplements or “snake oil.
Have any of you figured out where and by whom the 8 million votes were stolen for Biden. How were the volunteers in polling stations across your nation both republican and democrat hoodwinked into certifying the vote. How did the democrats get all those officials to participate in a massive fraud and still no one can find any proof of how they pulled it off. But you choose to believe they did!!!!!
Instead of blogging about “stem cell” supplements why do you not look up the research that proves their efficacy–oh sorry there isn’t any!!!!!
My gosh, lady!!! You managed to turn a totally non political post into something political!!! Geesh!
Regarding the actual article: Good job on the research! Very informative! Thank you!
Think you’re on the wrong website to post this opinion lovey!!
Watch 2000 Mules
Am 55+ female. Thinking of using stem cell activator for diabetes (body redesigning). Saw it on Christian programming. However, have beem using deer antler spray on both knees & elbows. No more pain or twinges. If i feel any pain, i just spray it on a few times a week and will go pain free for montgs. Also use it on sprains for my husband & grown children. Works great but u are supposed to spray in your mouth. Just got 2 new bottles (less than $10 each). Will try that befotlre i spend $50 on stem cell activators.God only knows- maybe that will help.
When you try something like stem cells it is a hail marry. I was a 20oz steak away from dialysis. So why not try it. A year later and still not on dialysis. Did the stem cell activators help? I don’t know but they didn’t hurt. Now it’s like my lucky shirt. I’ll wear it until I lose.
Good for you! I wish you well!
As a coauthor on both of Neil Riordan’s papers on Stem-Kine, I would love for you to say why “you are not convinced at all” ??
There was upregulation of circulating hematopoietic stem cells and endothelial progenitor cells in the blood after volunteers took it. What is your issue with the data?
Well, for example, in the 2010 JTM paper there was no blinding, no randomization, no placebo control.
I also wonder how was the “Day 0” sample stored? Could some of the purported differences simply be because this control sample was sitting around in the fridge and was older than the others? Or if it was analyzed right after being drawn, then that means the other later day samples were not analyzed at the same time as the control, which could be problematic. The list goes on…
If who ever supposedly engineered the Covid virus had set it up to only affect politicians then he would get the Nobel Peace Prize. But, a lot of innocent people are paying the price. What right would anyone have to do that? Bill Gates helps lots of people and has many charities. He made his money because he is brilliant and works hard. We all had the chance and let it slip through our fingers. He didn’t. I commend Mr. Gates for everything he has done and none of you should believe any of this baloney for one minute. After all of the dirty things Trump has done, why is he still in office? He is the problem and the cause of the state of our country. He wants some kind of civil war and you all are trying to give it to him. Wake up America and smell the bull shit!!
What the ### does that have to do with stem cells. Get your bias self and politics off to a political forum.
I am not sure why you think Bill Gates is such a hero. lllI don’t believe President Trump deserves your nasty comments. Neither of these men have anything to do with the subject. Oh, and bye the way you better get used to Trump because he is going to win unless the Democrats are able to steal the election.
You should join Liz Cheney because that is where you belong, Cindy.
What an outstanding idea! I have nothing but respect for Liz Cheney though I detested her father.
I found the supplements to be extremely healthful. I had stem cell therapy in November 2019, both knees. So far a great success. I took the liquid supplement & pill form for 90 days. My knees have done well, in addition I had an elective surgery in January, while still using the supplements. My recovery & healing was facilitated by the continued use. My surgeon agreed. In a totally unrelated area, & quite unexpected, my eyesight improved! I had been wearing 2.0 readers for several years for small print; after I completed all of the supplements, I became aware that I wasn’t wearing the readers any longer. The ONLY thing I had done differently was take those regenerating supplements. Idk if it works for everyone, but it makes sense &I am convinced the supplements were key. I’d buy them again if I feel the need.
You used stem cells to heal your knees and took the supplement after the surgery? Who did you use for your surgery?
Well I’m totally confused as who to trust for scientific info. I am purchasing other important vitamins from Dr Sears now I feel I should cancel all and look for a Dr I can trust
What kind of supplements are you buying?
To learn more
Shitttt i just spent 140 on regenxx they have a 3 pack bundle hope it helps i have this hernaited dic that i had to get operated of course no choice but its killing me sigh… ill gove anything a try at this point…
$1400 was the cost?
Herniated disc is a mechanical problem caused by posture and body habits. Even an operation won’t help you if you don’t correct your posture and body habits
This is obviously very silly, but there’s another current issue that I think Dr. Knoepfler (and others) need to address. I’m a moderator on a Novel Coronavirus Facebook page, which basically consists of trying to be the voice of reason, talking people down from theories that Bill Gates and George Soros cooked up the virus in a lab as part of a plot to take down Trump, and basically checking the tinfoil hats. It’s a challenge! So I think you need to know that there is a new theory that has been popping up a lot. Basically, the premise is that scientists engineered the virus with CRISPR editing. (Not just that it escaped from a lab– this is a whole different version.) I really believe that the scientific community needs to start addressing this conspiracy theory. Because if scientists don’t do it, then politicians will. We’ve already seen this with Tom Cotton. We need people with credentials to step up to the plate and debunk some of the absolute craziness. I do think that the new coronavirus is a lot more serious than most people realize, but the last thing we need is bizarre theories running unchecked. Please think about seriously addressing these rumors.
@inga it would be better if people would just stop getting their news from FaceBook
I’m here to learn about stem cells, not listen to your views on politics, CoVid, conspiracies or theories. “Methinks she doth protest too much.”
Yes, exercise. Every time I play basketball or tennis I can feel something going on in my muscles a few hours later. And I usually sleep better Maybe it’s stem cells activation… who the hell knows?