The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #211 - Christian Drapeau
Christian Drapeau is a stem cell scientist, author and creator of the first stem cell supplement. He holds a graduate degree in Neurophysiology and has been involved in medical research for 30+ years, the last 20 specifically dedicated to stem cell research. The author of 5 books, including the best-selling "Cracking the Stem Cell Code,” he has published dozens of scientific papers on brain research and a biological process he coined called “Endogenous Stem Cell Mobilization”. Having lectured in 50+ countries on stem cell research, Christian is known by scientists, physicians and biohackers alike as an expert and pioneer of his field. A scientific advisor to many companies, is currently the CEO and Founder of Kalyagen where he developed the most potent stem cell mobilizer, STEMREGEN.
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The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #38 - Connie Zack
The Science Of Sauna: Heat Shock Proteins, Heart Health, Chronic Pain, Detox, Weight Loss, Immunity, Traditional Vs. Infrared, And More!
Christian's Back Story
where do Stem cells come from?
the life story of a Stem cell
Liver STEM cells becoming Pancreatic cells
Stem cell circulation
red and yellow marrow
can we over-Mobilize Stem cells?
symmetrical and Asymmetrical cellular division
what determines how well you mobilize stem cells?
receiving a blood transfusion
the types of stem cells (embryonic, Adult, Etc.)
how each type of stem cell repairs tissue
where do embryonic stem cells come from?
the paracrine effect
how much new tissue growth is stimulated by stem cells
what stimulates stem cell release?
the STEMREGEN process
aFA Active compounds
release and migration of stem cells with plant extracts
customer experience on STEMREGEN
can stem cells rejuvenate old injuries
dry needling and micro needling
the role of pharma in the future of stem cell supplements
observations of stem cells on cancer
stem cells injections
go to stemregen.co and use the coupon code MELANIEAVALON to get 15% off your first Order!
Melanie Avalon: Welcome back to the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. Friends, I am so incredibly excited about the conversation that I'm about to have. I feel like it has been such a long time coming. Okay, so the backstory on today's conversation, this was a while ago, like months ago, months and months ago, this beautiful human being, Stephanie Drapeau, reached out to me on Instagram about the work of her husband, Christian Drapeau. He works in the stem cell world, and basically said that we were in similar circles, and would I like to read his book, and possibly have him on the show. And so, I was very intrigued because I've been wanting to learn more about stem cells.
I literally knew nothing about them except for the fact that they're very controversial, and yet, all the biohackers and all the people are always talking about them. So, I was very excited about the idea, and then since then, became friends with Stephanie on Instagram even more, read the book. The book is Cracking the Stem Cell Code. It was so exciting to read it because like I said, I was new to learning about stem cells. Friends, it's the deepest dive into everything I could have ever wanted to know, at least right now, because I know things are always changing with stem cells. So, I am thrilled about the conversation that we are about to have.
Then on top of that, I actually just got back from Dave Asprey's 9th Annual Biohacking Conference, and I got to meet Stephanie and Christian in real life, and sit with them at the VIP dinner. So, they are just incredible human beings. I'm just so excited about this conversation that we're about to have. So, Christian, thank you so much for being here.
Christian Drapeau: My pleasure, Melanie.
Melanie Avalon: Well, first of all, how did you enjoy the conference, by the way?
Christian Drapeau: I loved it. It is the top conference in our field right now, the Biohacking Conference with Dave Asprey. But honestly, for me, I've been doing this kind of work for 20 years. I've been trying and working to put the message out there of understanding the natural role of stem cells and the power of releasing our own stem cells. I would say, over the past six months, it's a continental shift in what I'm seeing in terms of the reception from the general population. People are now getting it. Where it's coming from, I don't know. But there's such a deepening here of the understanding of the message on the marketplace. So, it was perfect. It was a great conference for us.
Melanie Avalon: That's awesome. I was actually thinking about that right before jumping on. I was thinking about how I feel like stem cells and psychedelics are like the two health topics where there's been so much controversy, and it's like we've been waiting for this shift to happen where it'll be embraced as something to seriously study for the health potential. And reading your book, it was really interesting to hear about the history of everything. I have so many questions for you. Before I get into them, your personal story, which you do share in the book, what made you interested in the potential of stem cells, both endogenous and exogenous, but more so the endogenous? What led to what you're doing today?
Christian Drapeau: I was going to say it's an interesting story. It's my story, so of course, I think it's interesting. But my point here is that it's interesting in the fact that it is, I think, a great example of the traditional process of scientific investigation. So, I had no knowledge, no specific interest in stem cell research. I was hired in 1995 to study a plant that probably a lot of people have heard about, blue green algae from Klamath Lake. It has been on the marketplace for maybe three decades, four decades. So, I started to study this plant to essentially document the mechanism of action of the health benefits that have been associated with that plant, that blue green algae. Very quickly, we documented the mechanism of action on the anti-inflammatory properties, immune stimulation properties, and also on the mind. Most people would take this product and would report some mental clarity, mental energy, a sense of mood elevation.
But as I'm doing all this work, I came across people who reported reversal or significant improvement in conditions like multiple sclerosis, heart disease, diabetes, liver failure, emphysema, Parkinson, Alzheimer's, kidney failure. And the list was not only impressive, but from a purely scientific standpoint, the question in my mind was, what is this plant doing to bring benefits touching so many different aspects of human health? So, for a number of years, it was a mystery. We did not have a good explanation, until one day I came across an article that was describing for the first time, to my knowledge, that a stem cell had left the bone marrow, and then migrated in the brain, and became a neuron in the brain.
So, we need to go back in 2001, this is January 2001, stem cells are only precursors to blood cells. And of all cells in the body, the brain is not an organ here that regenerate very easily. So, for stem cells to become a brain cell, that was by itself also quite impressive. So, I wondered what else I could find in the scientific literature. I went to the local library. This is pre-internet or at least before the time when scientific articles were on the internet. So, I went and I looked at what I could found and I found an article documenting stem cells going to the liver to become liver cells, and to the heart and becoming heart cells. So, from there, my thought was, if stem cells can become brain, heart, and liver, why not pancreas, lung, skin, and the rest? It makes no sense that they would become those three organs and not the rest. If they do, it's just a matter of time for scientists to discover that. If that is true, then they have to be the repair system of the body.
So, I published an article in the journal, Medical Hypotheses, suggesting that stem cells are the repair system of the body. And in the back of my mind, the thought was, what if that plant is working as a stem cell mobilizer releasing stem cells from the bone marrow? It would then explain everything, because once you release stem cells, they will go into the pancreas of the diabetic, the heart of the heart patient, the brain of the Parkinson patients, and so on. So, we put this hypotheses out. We acquired a flow cytometer to start to count stem cells first in our own blood. But very rapidly, we discovered that this plant was acting as a stem cell mobilizer. That was the day when my entire career shifted and I started to work in the field of stem cell research. So, it all came through traditional scientific investigation.
Melanie Avalon: So, at the time when you found that paper about the stem cell migrating to-- you said it was the liver, was the one place?
Christian Drapeau: Correct. The first one was the brain, and then we found liver, and the heart as well. Yeah.
Melanie Avalon: Right. So, at that time, did we know about local tissue stem cells doing repair? Like, what was known at all at the time?
Christian Drapeau: Nothing. Zero. The only thing that we know and now we can look at it from a different angle is that we knew that the liver had the type of cells that played a role in the repair of the liver. They were called oval cells. We knew that muscles had cells also that were participating to the repair of muscle. They were called satellite cells. What we know today is that they are muscles in liver stem cells. And then what we have discovered later is that, well, all tissues of the body, all organs have the same thing, but it was first known in those tissues, and I'm sure a few other tissues, but never with this understanding that we have today that these are full blown stem cells and they come from the bone marrow. So, from the bone marrow to the blood, blood migrating into a tissue at the entrance of when the artery gets into a tissue, most of the time this is where you find the stem cell layer in that tissue, and that's where you've got that population of resident stem cells in an organ or a tissue responsible for the repair of that tissue.
Melanie Avalon: Okay. So, the stem cells local to the tissue, does the tissue already have stem cells and then additional ones come from the bone marrow or does everything come from the bone marrow in the beginning always?
Christian Drapeau: Well, it's a hard question to answer in the sense that you start as a one embryonic stem cell, the zygote that starts to grow and develop and at what time in this process are your organ fed with stem cells where stem cells integrate these tissues. But let's put it this way. The day you are born, yes, your tissues have those stem cells, and then they continue to be replenished during your entire life from stem cells from the bone marrow.
Melanie Avalon: Okay. And then those stem cells in the tissue, so the ones at birth and the ones that come in from the bone marrow, because you talk about this in the book. So, what is the difference between say, we have a stem cell in the liver that was there when we were born, so it's a liver stem cell, and we called it a satellite cell. It knows it's a liver stem cell. What's the difference between that cell hanging out--? Wait, muscles, I say muscle or liver?
Christian Drapeau: [chuckles] Both of them. Oval cells in the liver, satellite cells in the muscles.
Melanie Avalon: Okay. So, we'll say the muscle because I said satellite. So, in the muscle, what's the difference between that and a stem cell that comes from the bone marrow and then becomes a muscle, satellite stem cell? Is it the same thing now or is it different?
Christian Drapeau: It's different. It's a very important question, because I think it's the first time I got that question. I think there's probably a lot of confusion about it, because we all call them stem cells. They're not all the same. So, let's answer that question by talking about the life story of a stem cell. The stem cell divides in the bone marrow. When it leaves the bone marrow, it leaves a sister cell in the bone marrow, so that you never really deplete the bone marrow. So, that stem cells now that leaves the bone marrow, that cell is now going to lose telomerase as soon as it gets into your tissue. Telomerase is the enzyme that maintains telomeres, so that in your bone marrow, you never have cells that basically run out of telomere and then they can no longer divide. So, they are there. That's why we call them immortal cells. They will be there during your entire life.
So, when the stem cell leaves the bone marrow and gets into a tissue, upon contact with cells of that tissue, the stem cells will start its transformation into cells of that tissue, into that lineage. At that point, they are oftentimes referred to as progenitor cells. So, that's a stem cell that has started its journey into becoming cells of a specific tissue. That's what we call resident stem cells. They're still stem cells because they can become many different types of cells of that tissue. Some of them can even reverse back to a more primitive state and even leave that tissue and go somewhere else. It has been documented. But for the sake of this discussion, let's just say, they are now engaged into a lineage, and they sit in that tissue and they are responsible for renewal of that tissue, but these cells are no longer immortal. They're going to fully engage in that process of cellular division. At some point, the stem cell that is there as a progenitor cell will have become a few thousand tissue cells. So, that layer of stem cells needs to be replenished to be able to maintain health of the tissue.
Melanie Avalon: So, it's like you have a family with kids already in the family, like the tissue stem cells, and then you're adopting kids that come in and help out a little?
Christian Drapeau: Pretty good analogy. Yeah. Then they become adults, they leave the home, they go on their own. So, you need to have kids coming all the time. Yeah, it's a pretty good analogy. [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: Okay. Wait, this is a very specific question, but I was wondering it reading your book, because you talked about how sometimes the bone marrow stem cells leave and then they go into the tissue, but then they don't stay or they don't differentiate. They go back to the bone marrow, basically, but then they have markers of having been there. Does that happen?
Christian Drapeau: Yeah. This is an interesting question. So, what you get in the book here is my interpretation, if you want, of what we find in the scientific literature. So, this comes from the fact that when you isolate stem cells from the bone marrow, it has been documented that you find a lot of stem cells that have markers of, let's say, liver stem cells, muscle stem cells. So, it led to this idea that your bone marrow is sort of a depository of all the stem cells that the body needs. But I think like many times in science, we observe something, and this is something that is moving. It's transforming. It's evolving. But when we look at it, we take a picture of it. That picture is oftentimes very misleading when you look at a phenomenon that is really changing over time.
So, what I think is really happening is that, this is well documented, you could have a stem cells that gets into a tissue, gets in contact with that tissue, starts to become resident stem cells of that tissue, and then gets released back from the tissue, gets back into blood circulation. And stem cells will typically be attracted to the bone marrow. This is the mothership, it's the headquarter. If they don't find a tissue where to migrate, they go back to the bone marrow. So, now you have in your bone marrow a stem cell that is showing the characteristics of that tissue in which it resided for a little while.
The reason why I tend to really interpret that data in that way is that it was clearly shown that you have stem cells, for example, in the liver that could transform into pancreatic cells that can make insulin showing that it can revert back and retransform into something else. So, in that way, your bone marrow, at least I would say the lay bile, I don't know what's the right way here of describing it, like the pool of stem cells readily available to be released in the bone marrow is a more divergent or greater variety of types of stem cells in the bone marrow. So, I believe it comes from that phenomenon.
Melanie Avalon: Couldn't you check that then by seeing if those cells with the markers have the telomerase affected already, like, to see if they've left already or not?
Christian Drapeau: You are a good scientist. Yes, we probably could do that. We are 20 years in a relatively new field of research. There are tons of questions that are still unanswered. They will be answered by really traditional, I should say academic science, because nobody really gains financially from those kinds of research. It's more a deepening of our understanding of how they work in the body and their normal physiology. And to a large extent, like any new field of science, it is developed, pushed, funded by entities that gain financially from it. That's the motor, that's the engine that fuels all that development. So, at this point, these kinds of studies would be very interesting to do. To my knowledge, this work has not been done.
Melanie Avalon: Random question. Does bone marrow have tissue-specific bone marrow stem cells like to repair the bone marrow?
Christian Drapeau: To repair the bone, yes. Yeah, they are your typical osteoblasts, which basically blast is ancient term for stem cells. The very embryo is called the blastocyst, so blastomere. So, basically, the word blast, anytime you see that word, it means a primitive cell. So, your osteoblasts are your bone stem cells, if you want. I'm not aware of a stem cell that is specifically for the bone marrow, if not those that are referred to as mesenchymal stem cells that were known historically to be the cells maintaining the bone marrow.
Melanie Avalon: Okay, got you. This is a very naive question. Do they go through the bone to get in and out of the bone marrow?
Christian Drapeau: They do not go through the bone. They go through the blood circulation just like any other cells. There is blood circulation into the living part, if you want, of the bone. That's how they get access to this layer of osteoblast.
Melanie Avalon: Okay. Because when I envision a skeleton, I don't see how it's getting through the bone.
Christian Drapeau: It doesn't go through the bone. It goes through the living part of the bone. So, it goes through the blood vasculature that is inside the bone marrow, either red or fatty marrow. But you have blood circulation that basically leads to this layer which is inside the bone, this layer of osteoblast that is rebuilding the bone, which is a constant process. You lose bone. Your bone is your calcium deposit in a way. So, you're constantly having this calcium balance. It's not the only phenomenon, but one of the phenomena is this calcium balance in the body by releasing calcium from the bone and rebuilding the bones as well with this balance between osteoblasts, osteoclasts. So, that is happening in that layer where you find these cells.
Melanie Avalon: What is the difference between red and yellow bone marrow?
Christian Drapeau: Well, the main difference, just like their name implies, the red marrow has extreme blood supply. It is filled with cells that are basically contained stem cells. So, this is where stem cells are being produced. There's a whole population of cells that are supporting the stem cells. So, if you actually extract cells from the bone marrow, it's roughly about 1 per 10,000 cells, that is a stem cell. So, there's a whole environment that support these stem cells. But that red marrow transforms into fatty marrow. So, they're basically fat cells that are, as analogy, probably the same thing where you accumulate fat into your body, which is it's not completely inert, but let's call it in the bone marrow a relatively inert deposit of fat cells. And basically, the red marrow slowly shrinks over time and is replaced by, what we call, yellow marrow or fatty marrow.
Melanie Avalon: Okay. Got you.
Christian Drapeau: It's a normal process. To our knowledge of today, I don't think there's anything known because it has never been studied. There could very well be something that can reduce the speed or the rate at which the red marrow converts into yellow marrow, and that would be in itself, an amazing field of science because there's a direct link between how much red marrow you have left in your body and how productive that red marrow is your health today, your ability to repair, and your health for the rest of your life. So, if there was a way of affecting that rate of conversion, it would be Noble Prize material.
Melanie Avalon: Red bone marrow, it's rich in stem cells healing potential versus this yellow bone marrow, which is more just like the fatty part of it. So, that transition, there's a why question. Is it a degeneration or is it just the body doesn't intend to live forever and so that's just the normal process?
Christian Drapeau: I don't have a good answer for it in the sense that again, this is part of the things that have not been very, very well studied so far in that field of science. That conversion is very well known because it's a normal part of your physiology. In the same way that something like, I don't know, a woman will run out of eggs and after menopause, they're gone. It's just a normal part of the aging process of the human body. But there's an observation, if you want, in nature that for me is really hard to escape. It's the fact that from a biological standpoint, as animals, if you want, as mammals, we have evolved over as human beings over, let's say, the past 50,000 years or however number of years that we want to consider when it started. But you're talking tens of thousands of years with a life expectancy of 30 years of age.
Longevity has never been selected in our biology, in our evolution, so in a way, we have today the result of that evolution. And we now have reached 80 years of age only in the past 150 years to 200 years. So, we now have a longevity extra years for which our physiology, our biology has not evolved to live that long. So, I think that the bone marrow almost reflects that. The bone marrow being your repair system, your ability to live and to age with health. That ability was not needed past 30 years of age historically. I think we run out of it and now we're trying to find ways to hack into it and support this natural ability to repair.
Melanie Avalon: Okay. So, looking at that more, talking about running out of it, because you mentioned earlier when the stem cells leave the bone marrow with the sister stem cell and it doesn't deplete anything, so are we depleting anything at all? Is there a potential issue of over mobilizing stem cells?
Christian Drapeau: There's no data that I'm aware of that exists, as far as I know, that points in that direction. What I mean by this is and we can look at it from a number of angles. For example, nobody runs out of stem cells. If there was such a thing, as if you release more, then you will run out of them faster than you would think that people like Olympic athletes, for example, that train really intensely for years. Anytime that you train with intensity, you release stem cells. This has been documented and published, probably caused by micro injuries in muscles, tendons, and tissues. Well, do you see Olympic athletes running out of stem cells earlier than others? No. It's not something that is part of the human experience to run out of stem cells.
We can also answer this question by a study that I think that is fascinating in the scientific literature. It was published almost 20 years ago. It's a study when scientists ask the question, because if you do a cancer treatment right now, you will have, let's say, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and just before they will extract, isolate your own stem cells and then preserve them and then give you back your own stem cells after your treatment, so these stem cells can repopulate your bone marrow. The typical protocol is to give you back about 200,000 stem cells per kilogram of body weight. But when you extract or isolate stem cells from a person using this process that they do clinically, you don't know which of these cells is really stem cells. You really just isolate a bunch of cells.
So, the question in that study was, how many do you really need, if you know for sure, that the cells that you have are stem cells? The ultimate question was, if you only have one, can one reconstitute the bone marrow in the whole blood system? That study basically demonstrated that, if you irradiate an animal, a person, and you only have one stem cell, but you know that that cell is a stem cell, then six weeks later, you get the entire reconstitution of the bone marrow in the blood system. So, now you go back into our environment. You've got, let's say, at about age-- There's little data on this in the scientific literature, but let's say the estimation. You've got anywhere between 100 million to 200 million stem cells in your bone marrow as an adult, you release 10 million. Well, you still have 100 million to 200 million stem cells in your bone marrow. So, you don't really run out of stem cells.
The phenomenon why this is happening is that, everywhere in nature and in your body, cells duplicate through a process that is called symmetrical cellular division. Meaning, one strand of DNA of the mother cell goes into each of the daughter cells, and along with a copy of that DNA in these two daughter cells are symmetrical, identical, but not in the bone marrow. In the bone marrow, what is happening is called asymmetrical cellular division. And the two original DNA go into one daughter cells, that one stays in the bone marrow and the two copies goes into the other cell, and that is the one that goes into tissues to go and repair. That is done simply. It's a beautiful feat of nature, because it's done so that if you did not have this phenomenon, it's easy to imagine the process.
Think here that during your entire life, your stem cells are constantly duplicating to feed all the repair, the renewal, the maintenance that is happening in your body. So, they multiply millions, millions of times. So, the moment that one cell divides into two identical daughter cells, if that was what happening, then the second division, then you will have a copy of the copy. And then after that, a copy of the copy of the copy. You can tell, put a piece of paper that you xerox once, now take the copy and continue to xerox like this. By 10 years old, we would be all mutants like full of aberrations. So, to prevent against that, you keep your original DNA material in your bone marrow during your entire life.
So, that means that when a stem cell is released, the mechanism keeps an identical cell into your bone marrow. So, you never really deplete your bone marrow by releasing stem cell. It's a beautiful system that has been developed to keep you alive and healthy for your entire life.
Melanie Avalon: So, basically, we're always just making copies of this original stem cell in the bone marrow. That's why we can keep doing it. Because you talk about different levels of baseline stem cells in the bloodstream for different people, what's affecting that then? Is it the ability of the stem cells to leave the marrow? Is it a lack of signaling for them to come out? Is it their actual talent and their ability to move around? What is determining that?
Christian Drapeau: I don't think that it is known in the sense that I'm not aware of research that has been done to explain why you have that outcome. I would assume that it is probably a matter of how much red marrow-- Let's put it this way, it's a combination of how much red marrow you're left with, because we all vary in how much of red marrow we have left and how productive that amount of red marrow is. Probably more than the signaling to release them. But the one thing that is known is that your ability to release the number of stem cells from your bone marrow upon stimulation of that release is the best indicator or measuring of how many stem cells you have in your bloodstream. Or, if I put it the other way, if I just count how many stem cells you have in your bloodstream in cancer research, that is the best determinant to know if you are a good or not a good mobilizer.
Melanie Avalon: Okay. Yeah, that makes sense. So, [giggles] if there's more floating around it, then they're more likely to react.
Christian Drapeau: To be released more easily, exactly, for you to be able to release more.
Melanie Avalon: Okay. It's like there's some phrase about it. It's the phrase about the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
Christian Drapeau: Something like that.
Melanie Avalon: Because I also am the host of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, and I've heard people talk about the potential of fasting to deplete stem cells by mobilizing them. So, it sounds like you don't think that's a concern.
Christian Drapeau: Absolutely not. I know that there's this notion out there of depletion because one of the hallmarks of aging is stem cell exhaustion. The part that is not understood in here is that those terms are used in different context, and it leads to a lot of confusion. There is a phenomenon called stem cell depletion or exhaustion in the bone marrow and that is simply your red marrow shrinking and converting into yellow marrow, not the red marrow that you have left that becomes tired. It's just a shrinking of that red marrow. Whatever you have just continues to produce. But if that red marrow shrinks and continues to release a constant number of stem cells in terms of the size of the red marrow, then that means that declines over age.
Let me try to make a simple analogy. You're born with a hundred bank accounts that are releasing each $100 a month. So, you are well. But as you age, you're losing some of these bank accounts. They shrink and they turn into empty buildings. Each bank account that you have left continues to give you the same amount, but you got fewer and fewer of these bank accounts. So, it's a little bit like your bone marrow is working. It releases the same amount of stem cells, but it shrinks over time. So, it leads to fewer stem cells in circulation available to replenish the stem cell layer of your tissues. And at the same time, the aging process makes you lose more and more cells because you have more and more of these cells that are aging.
So, the balance between the rate of decline and your decline in your ability to repair and offset that decline, you lose that balance, and there's a point where you start to experience that as aging. So, stem cell depletion is a phenomenon of your tissues. Stem cell exhaustion is a phenomenon of the bone marrow, but it's a phenomenon of aging. You're not going to exhaust it by you you using it more. No more than you're going to exhaust your heartbeats because you do more exercise and you make your heart beat more.
Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Okay. So, people who think that they're depleting it by using it, it's like they're saying, "Don't take any money from the bank account because we don't want to lose the other bank accounts," but they're not related. Like, you can take as much as you want from the bank account and it's not going to affect the other bank accounts.
Christian Drapeau: Your stem cells, I think, are just like an artesian well, like a natural well. It is at a certain level. And the more water you take from it, it stays always at the same level. And sometimes, even you will see a well that is going to go higher if you take more water from it and you help that vein to provide more water. That's a pretty good analogy for your bone marrow. So, the more you take from it, it does not affect the level of stem cells that you have in your bone marrow.
Melanie Avalon: This is a random question. So, I was really anemic at one point and had blood transfusions. So, when people get blood transfusions, especially if they're like-- I wasn't in there for an injury. It was for anemia. But if people are in there for injuries, does it happen that they get stem cells from the blood transfusions and then that is affecting their repair system, and we're not even realizing?
Christian Drapeau: Of course. I think that this is one of the thing that we're discovering. When you do a blood transfusion, of course, you receive stem cells from the person from whom you receive that blood transfusion. Actually, this whole process is how stem cells were discovered in the 1950s. I think I mentioned that in the book, if you remember, that's how it was discovered. There was a nuclear incident in Yugoslavia, if I remember well. And a number of individuals were irradiated severely, so basically, they lost all their stem cells. So, we knew from Hiroshima that people who have been irradiated do not survive more than, I don't know, maybe a month or two. And so, that gives you right there a level of the importance of the role of your stem cells in your body.
It's like, you need oxygen, you need water, after that you need food, and not far beyond is your stem cells in terms of how long you can live without them. So, anyway, they had these individuals and they said, "Okay, they won't be able to make their blood, so we will have to keep them alive to constantly, at least every three months, the survival time of red blood cells in the body to give them blood transfusion." After one blood transfusion, they're starting to remake their own blood. And now, we know today why, it's just because that contains stem cells that go back, repopulate the bone marrow, and then people start to make their own blood.
Melanie Avalon: So, I would love, especially with the advent of AI and analyzing medical data, if they could have AI look at all the studies and see studies where there was injury of some sort that did or did not require blood transfusions and the mortality rates associated, and see if there's a trend for all of the ones that had blood transfusions, if people had reduced mortality rates.
Christian Drapeau: It would be very interesting, although you bring a lot of variables in there, because if you were to take, let's say, a blood transfusion from a donor that is much younger, then you suddenly received much younger stem cells that could really help somebody who is older. Because your stem cells, not only their number reduces over time as we age, but their quality also reduces over time. Now, at any point in life, your stem cells are good enough. They're good for you no matter what. But if they are younger, they are more potent. So, in this whole analysis, it would be very interesting to see what was the age of the donor. Yeah, that would be an important variable.
Melanie Avalon: I'm just laughing. I hope I don't ever get to that point again, but I can just see myself now in the hospital being anemic and being like, "Actually, can I have young blood for my transfusion?" They'd be like, "Okay, this girl, [laughs] we can't do this." Okay. So, stepping back to actually-- because I know we got really deep into the details, really quick. Stepping back in the larger picture of everything, because I think when a lot of people hear stem cells, even still, they think embryonic stem cells. So, what is the difference with those type of cells versus bone marrow cells? And also, what does adult stem cells refer to? What all does that cover?
Christian Drapeau: Okay. Adult stem cells are a huge misnomer because it suggests that you find them in adults and then the question is like, what about a newborn? Adult simply means stem cells in your body after birth. So, even an umbilical cord, these are adult stem cells. An embryonic stem cell is, when you get the zygote that starts to develop into the very, very early days of an embryo. So, you're talking about a lump of cells of maybe utmost a few hundred cells, and if not less. It's about the 8 days to 10 days old embryo. If you isolate one of them, it will have the ability to reconstitute an entire living organism. These are called embryonic stem cells.
So, originally, I should say historically, as we cloned, you remember the sheep Dolly that was cloned, a lot of these studies were done with those embryonic stem cells. So, they were known to be extremely powerful. The problem or the flipside of their power of being able to develop into a full organism is that, if you want to use them in a limited fashion, you inject them in the heart. If you want just to have repair of the heart, well, you will or may very well have in your heart a few pieces of bone, a tooth, different kinds of tissues, which is called a teratoma. So, the level of tumor formation when using embryonic stem cells is so high that they have never been used really for treatments. They have been used essentially for drug development. Like, you want to study a drug, let's say, and see what is their impact on human heart. You cannot do these studies on human beings. You do them on animals.
So, embryonic stem cells give you an ability to basically grow a human heart from human embryonic stem cells, and then test a drug on an in vitro lab developed human heart. So, that is the big development that is coming out of embryonic stem cell research. The reason why there was so much talk in the early days about embryonic stem cell research or embryonic stem cells is that, in the early days, adult stem cells from the bone marrow were really believed to only be able to become blood cells. They were precursors to red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. So, when we discovered the potential of embryonic stem cells and by the way, the potential of embryonic stem cells has been known for a long time, it's just that nobody had been able to grow human embryonic stem cells. That feat was achieved in 1998. That is what really refueled the whole development, the whole dream that, A, maybe we could do human organs in vitro and I can give you a new heart that is your tissue. That was the whole dream behind it.
But you can't, because there's too much of a high risk of tumor formation. At that time, adult stem cells were only known to become blood cells. That is really, to me, the biggest discoveries in this whole world of stem cells is that, that is not true. We know very well today adult stem cells can become cells of virtually every single tissue in your body. The difference with embryonic stem cells is that, when they reach a tissue, they will only become cells of that tissue. So, they do have the repair potential, the regenerative potential without the tumor risk. So, by all means, they are the solution, the answer to repair tapping into the regenerative power of stem cells. Does that make sense?
Melanie Avalon: So, to recap what you said, the embryonic stem cells can grow an entire organ, but they create these tumor formations. Did you say that the tumor formations, it's like matter from other-- it's like bone inside of heart?
Christian Drapeau: That stem cells is programmed if you want to be "wild." It's programmed to become a full organism. So, if you take that embryonic stem cells and you put it in the presence of liver tissue, for example, it will become liver tissue and it will start in this path of developing a whole organism. And in that process, we'll create a lump of tissues of just about everything. Just do teratoma on a Google search and click on images and you will see what these are.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, I will.
Christian Drapeau: Yeah. [laughs] But you see, you take adult stem cells and you put it in presence of liver tissue and they will transform into liver cells only. You put them with skin, skin only, you put them with a muscle, muscle only, and so on and so forth. So, they are limited in what they can become, but limited in the sense that they will only become the cell of the tissue in which they are, which is really you can call it a limitation, but it's a great limitation, because now that means-- So, it creates this perception that they're much less effective and t's not true. They're actually more effective because they're limited in their risk but not in their potential.
Melanie Avalon: So, both adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells could "repair something." But the embryonic ones, they keep going and they try to create a whole new organ and they create tumors and all of these issues. But the adult stem cells just do the repair that needs to be done for that tissue. So, adult stem cells, I'm assuming cannot grow entire organs in vitro.
Christian Drapeau: They cannot. When I say all cell types, there is a limitation. They're not adult stem cells in the body, for the most part, are not pluripotent or totipotent. Meaning, able to do everything. They will not make sperm and eggs. That's the limitation. Although there is a type of stem cells in the body called different names by different groups who have discovered them, the most common name is very small embryonic like stem cells, V cells. There are reports suggesting that they can also become sperm and eggs. But let's just say, at least they are the most potent in the body.
Melanie Avalon: What about the issue you talked about in the book where it made heart tissue, but it wasn't fully integrated?
Christian Drapeau: Well, it's an interesting observation. To my knowledge, very little research has been done to look at this. It was more like an observation. I don't think that in that study that is what they were studying. They just observed the fact that by injecting stem cells in the heart, then the stem cells did not integrate the heart through the normal physiology of the heart, meaning, penetrating the heart, filling the stem cell layer of the heart, and then that stem cell layer then start to form the resident stem cells who start to be part of the repair process of the heart. Because in the heart, like in the brain, most of the repair takes place because those stem cells that migrate in the heart release trophic factor that stimulates the heart's own repair.
So, when you inject exogenous stem cells inside the heart, these stem cells will convert into heart cells and are going to patch the heart, just like you put a patch on an inflatable boat. It works, but it's not the part of the boat. It's outside the boat. It works, but they're two different pieces. So, what they found after injecting stem cells inside the heart tissue is that the new heart that developed was electrically distinct from the rest of the heart though coupled. So, electrically it worked. The heart was contracting, but they were two distinct electrical networks. I was pointing this out in the book, because to me, it makes even more relevant this whole concept of saying, let's repair organ by releasing your own stem cells because you support your very own innate ability to repair by tapping into your own physiology. It's a repair that is happening physiologically at the rate that your body has been designed to do that kind of repair instead of forcing it. That's what I was trying to bring it in the book by using this example.
Melanie Avalon: Okay. So, is it kind of like the difference between--? I was going to say repairing a person. You repairing something externally versus teaching that person to repair everything for themselves, like, giving them the resources to do everything themselves?
Christian Drapeau: Yeah. When you let things happen naturally on their own, that repair is always so much more integral, complete, multidimensional if you want. It's a full, genuine and complete repair. When you patch it and you force the patching and accelerate it by a way that is not physiological, then yeah, at times you get something that could be functional, but the outcome is different than what you get in normal physiological repair.
Melanie Avalon: Was that in vivo, in real people with the heart issues?
Christian Drapeau: I think it was in animals. It was in vivo, but it was in mice. Yeah.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, yeah. In general, how well do animal studies translate to humans with everything involving stem cells?
Christian Drapeau: So far, it is pretty direct. I could say, everything that has been seen in animals is also seen in humans. The only difference is that there are methods that could have severe side effects. So, in animals, you see the full potential of it, but you also see the side effects which when you consider a human application, then you could not use them because of some of the side effects that can be associated with them. So, that would be a limitation of the application of some of these, like, what we talked about before, embryonic stem cells. The use of embryonic stem cells has shown that you can repair the brain in cases of severe brain damage, spinal cord lesions, a lot of these conditions, to the point where some of this has been used.
For example, it's a study that was done maybe more than 10 years ago. I'm not sure if it was even published in the scientific literature, but they took a brain condition in newborns that was known to basically these newborns would not live more than a few months because of the severity of the brain condition. They injected embryonic stem cells. It was shown to really lead to very significant repair. But a third of these children developed brain tumors. So, it really showed that, yes, it can work, but the risk is too high for the development of other conditions.
Melanie Avalon: I'm just remembering how old I was when I feel like it was in the heyday of the controversy of embryonic stem cells. Where were they getting those embryonic stem cells from or where do they?
Christian Drapeau: Yeah, all these stem cells come from in vitro fertilization. It's a very interesting question that you're asking, because it was such a huge controversy and that controversy was all political. It was not really scientific. What I mean by this is that, it came from in vitro fertilization. So, you get parents that cannot produce kids. They're infertile, one or the other or both. And then you isolate sperm and eggs, and you fertilize them in vitro, in a test tube, you produce embryos, you make them go from the zygote to a small embryo that is implantable in the uterus, and then you freeze them, and you preserve them. So, they will try to do like this, I don't know, a dozen, two dozens of them, they freeze them. Anytime a couple wants children, then you implant two, three, four of them in the uterus with the hope that one is going to take. That's why we sometimes have parents that have quadruplets, it's because they all took.
Then after a few of these procedures, then you have a family, the parents are happy, they have their family, and now they're left with a number of these eggs frozen into the facility of in vitro fertilization. So, the parents will stop paying to get these eggs cryopreserved. So, the facility will basically discard them. They throw them in the sink, in the trash. So, scientists said, "Please give it to us and then we are going to extract these stem cells and we will do research with these embryonic stem cells that we can extract for these embryos."
So, these embryos were destroyed, no matter what. It's either destruction through throwing them in the trash or destruction by isolating the stem cells. But at the time, it was used politically to galvanize, I think, religious groups by saying that it was unethical to use these human embryos, because it was human life. It is all really coming from the fact that in Christians believe-- and I'm saying this here like I'm trying to be just as objective as I can, Christians believe that ensoulment takes place on the day of conception. But Buddhists, Jews, and Muslims believe that ensoulment takes place after the third month. So, for them, destroying an embryo is not really relevant. It's not yet a human life. That is really where all the controversy is.
It has never been a controversy from a scientific standpoint, because in reality, nobody would ever attack in vitro fertilization because I don't know how many millions of in vitro fertilization babies we have in the country. So, it would be to say, these individuals today are what you'd call them like illegitimate individuals, because they come from a process that was not ethical. Of course, it would be nonsense, but the burden has never been put on in vitro fertilization. It has been put on the use of those embryos that were used for science instead of being put in the trash. All of this was used for political gain, outside of the fact that they are taken from in vitro fertilization, it has never been an issue outside of that. So, the fact that babies are used, baby parts, all of that language has never been a thing in the world of stem cell research.
Melanie Avalon: That's so interesting. So, basically, if you were of the mindset-- I was raised in a very evangelical Christian school. So, when this was all happening, it was all a thing. So, if you were of the mindset that this was a bad thing using those embryos, in order to maintain that "moral standard," if you were doing in vitro fertilization, you would need to use all of the embryos yourself or keep paying to keep them stored, basically, if you wanted to maintain that moral idea, otherwise, you're doing the same thing.
Christian Drapeau: Exactly. And you see that that by itself has never been brought up as a controversy or as an issue in our society. It's all been put on the use of them scientifically. Yeah, you're correct.
Melanie Avalon: I would like to go back in time and think about it more back then when it was the whole thing. So, one more question about because you're talking about the repair potential and we were talking about how the stem cells from the bone marrow become part of the tissue, but also help the tissue repair itself locally. What's the difference between the stem cells from the bone marrow that become the tissue versus stimulating stem cells already in the tissue versus you talk about this paracrine effect?
Christian Drapeau: Correct. Actually, it's probably happening everywhere. It's probably not only in the heart, in the brain, but it is a gradient. So, in the brain and in the heart, a lot of the repair is happening by, what is called, the paracrine effect. You know, the exocrine gland, endocrine gland. So, basically, there's another part of hormonal release which is called paracrine, which is the release of compounds that is aimed at touching neighboring cells. Very, very short distance. And then you've got your nerve, your neurons that are going to release neurotransmitter, which is an extremely short distance. So, it's all a gradient, if you want. It's releasing compounds that will have an effect on other cells. So, paracrine is a stem cell that basically migrates inside the heart, gets into this stem cell layer, and start to release paracrine compounds.
So, basically, growth factors that is turning on and stimulating local stem cells that are going to start to get engaged into the repair process. And then most of the repair in the heart and in the brain comes through this process, stimulating stem resident tissue stem cells of the heart or of the brain. That is observed by if you use, for example-- Okay. BrdU, so it's bromo-de-uridine. So, it's one of the nucleotides that is used when you duplicate DNA. If you couple it with brome, then you can identify the cells that contains DNA that has this bromo-de-uridine. So, if you see one of these cells, you know that this is a new cell. Meaning, when you put that in the diet of the animal and a cell is duplicated in this animal, then that is incorporated into that DNA. So, you can identify any new cells that took place after you fed the animal with that compound.
So, if in the same time, you put in the bone marrow, fluorescent stem cells, so now you trigger a heart injury. So, what you can see is that you can identify all the heart cells that emerged from a stem cell because it's going to be green, and all the cells that are new cells because they will have this BrdU. So, you can look now in the heart that has repaired and you can see that there are much, much fewer cells that are green than you have BrdU positive cells. Meaning, many of them that have multiplied and created new heart cells actually are not derived from stem cells from the bone marrow. So, it is happening through a paracrine effect. So, the stem cells stimulated the process, but it took place by the healing of the stem cell resident heart cells. Does that make sense?
Melanie Avalon: It does. Do they find that, because you said that's primarily in places like the heart and the brain? Have they done these studies in other parts of the body where they use the BrdU and the green fluorescent?
Christian Drapeau: Unfortunately, again, it has not been studied comprehensively to see how is it happening everywhere in the body. It's been seen mostly in the heart and the brain, because we have observed that when you use fluorescent stem cells, you do get heart repair and yet few heart cells are actually fluorescent. So, it brought the question, what is happening then? It drove scientists to document that one more specifically. But I would assume that it's happening everywhere. Although we did a study when we were studying Stemregen, for example, so plants that trigger the release of your own stem cells. And to prove the concept, we used an animal model in which we triggered muscle injury. So, it's an injection of a toxin called cardiotoxin. It kills the muscle and then we simply observe the repair with stem cells that are fluorescent.
What we could see is that almost the entire muscle was reconstituted, but it was all green. So, in the muscles, it was all green. I'm not saying that there're no cells that emerge from resident tissue cells, but in that case, the entire muscle was made out of cells that were derived from the bone marrow, granted the entire muscle was destroyed, pretty much. So, in that case, there was probably very little endogenous ability of the muscle to repair. So, here's an example of a tissue, the muscle, that can completely reconstitute from stem cells from the bone marrow.
Melanie Avalon: Do you think it's a matter of the complexity of the organ or what's being repaired as to whether it's more from the bone marrow versus endogenous and everything else?
Christian Drapeau: I don't know if I would use the word complexity, just because your liver is a very complex organ. And yet, it's one of the organs that regenerates the most in your body. But the brain is definitely one of the most complex. But in all those tissues, the kidney, the heart, and the brain are probably those that repair the least from stem cells migrating from the bone marrow to those tissues.
Melanie Avalon: So, just to recap, for listeners, to make sure I'm understanding. So, basically, they do these studies where they give the animal this BrdU compound that will basically mark where new cells are created locally within the tissue and they also make the bone marrow like bright green fluorescent. So, when there's an injury, the bone marrow stem cells come in and then they see, is there more green bone marrow stem cells taking over or is it more of these new cells with this BrdU compound?
Christian Drapeau: Correct. You got it very well. So, at the end what you look at, because the new stem cells that integrated the tissue, they also multiplied. So, they also have BrdU. The point is that you look at what are all the new cells in that tissue that participated to tissue repair, and of all of those, how many are green? That gives you the understanding of how much of the repair is actually directly derived from stem cells from the bone marrow versus stimulated by the stem cells from the bone marrow.
Melanie Avalon: Okay. And then a big, big question that I haven't even asked, and we're an hour in, but this actual triggering of the stem cells in the first place. Is it just injury endogenously that does that? These compounds, like, what you have in Stemregen, is that an injury memetic?
Christian Drapeau: Yes, the injury is the signal, physiologically speaking. When you have an injury, it releases a number of compounds actually well-defined that will go to the bone marrow and will trigger the release of stem cells from the bone marrow, then the injury will release another signal that will attract stem cells to that tissue, stem cells will migrate in that tissue, and then will participate in tissue repair. This is the normal role of stem cells in the body. Was that your question?
Melanie Avalon: Yes. But then these exogenous compounds that we could take, like, with Stemregen, is that an injury memetic signal?
Christian Drapeau: Very interesting question. They do many things. So, let's go a little bit through the process here because it will make it easier to understand what these compounds are doing in the body. So, when a stem cell is in the bone marrow-- Let me restart that. It's not a simple thing to do this without imaging and illustrating the whole process. Your stem cells has on its membrane a receptor. It's called CXCR4. That receptor is specific for a compound called SDF-1, stromal-derived factor-1. When these two connect, it makes the stem cell express adhesion molecule that will make the stem cells connect to the bone marrow environment or to the capillary.
So, when a stem cell is circulating in the blood circulation and it's going everywhere, it circulates in the fine microvasculature of a tissue or an organ that has an injury that is releasing SDF-1, that stem cells will be triggered in this process of migration, and it will cling to the capillary wall, migrate across the capillary wall, get into the tissue, and then start the process of tissue repair. If that stem cell is not attracted to a tissue that has an injury, it will be captured by the bone marrow, because in the bone marrow, the secretion of SDF-1 is happening all the time. So, the phenomenon to keep stem cells in the bone marrow is the same one that attracts stem cells to an injury. It's just that in your body, it's for an injury in your bone marrow, it's to just keep them as a bank into your bone marrow.
So, if you interfere with that process of attachment, so SDF-1 connects with CXCR4, it leads to the expression of adhesion molecule, and then the stem cell clings to the bone marrow environment. If you decrease the amount of SDF-1 in the bone marrow, stem cells will have a tendency to detach. If you secrete enzymes that digest SDF-1, the stem cells will detach. If you block CXCR4, the receptor for SDF-1, the stem cell will detach. If you block the ability of stem cells to express the adhesion molecule, it will detach from the bone marrow. So, you can affect that release of stem cells by interfering with that process at different places.
So, when you have an injury and you release compounds like G-CSF, granulocyte colony stimulating factor, which is your main injury signal, it goes into the bone marrow, triggers the release of an enzyme that will specifically digest SDF-1. So, in the absence of SDF-1, the stem cells are no longer stimulated to stay in the bone marrow environment and cling into the bone marrow environment. That's why, let's say, three to five days after a heart attack or a bone fracture or a stroke or a burn to the skin, you will have an increase of 3-fold to 10-fold in the number of stem cells in circulation. That's your normal mechanism of releasing stem cells.
Now, there is a drug that was developed called AMD-3100. It was developed almost like 15 years ago, sold $500 million to an American pharmaceutical company. So, when you pay $500 million, you have a good idea of what could really be the impact of a molecule like this. It's a blocker of the receptor. See, if you block the receptor CXCR4, now you no longer have the connection. It's the same effect as having G-CSF. So, you trigger the release of stem cells from the bone marrow. If you can block the expression of the receptor on the surface membrane of stem cells, then in the absence of those receptors, you also no longer have that connection. This is what one of the ingredients that we have studied, the blue green algae from Klamath Lake as a molecule that reduces the expression of that receptor on the surface membrane of stem cells.
If you change the concentration gradient of SDF-1 by reducing it in the bone marrow and increasing it in the bloodstream, now you trigger the migration of stem cells from the bone marrow to the bloodstream. They're more attracted to the bloodstream. That is what Panax notoginseng extract has been documented to do. So, we have herbal extract that will reduce the expression of the receptor on the surface of stem cells that are going to change the concentration gradient of SDF-1, and others that will mimic the injury signal of the body by increasing the amount of G-CSF in the bloodstream, so it mimics as if your body had an injury. So, different mechanism of action, all targeting the same outcome release of stem cells from the bone marrow.
Melanie Avalon: Can I recap and you let me know if I have it right?
Christian Drapeau: Yeah, you're pretty good at recapping so far.
Melanie Avalon: Okay. So, basically, stem cells have this CXCR4 marker. It's a marker?
Christian Drapeau: It's a marker in the world of identifying cells, but it's a functional receptor.
Melanie Avalon: A receptor, right, okay and it attaches to SDF-1. There's SDF-1 in the bone marrow and then there's also SDF-1 in tissues. And so, in theory, it can attach to either one. It sounds like a person torn between two lovers, like, who's calling stronger?
Christian Drapeau: It is what it is. With the understanding that one is transient only in the circumstance of an injury for a short amount of time just to call for repair, whereas the other one is just like the chicken calling its young chicks back to the den, calling them to just go and stay there.
Melanie Avalon: So, it's like, to continue with the analogy, the stem cells, when they are in the bone marrow, that's their true lover home. But then somebody gets hurt and calls for their help, the way it has to attract them is it has to-- Well, I guess, you said there are different ways, but one of the ways it could do it is, it could release this G-CSF compound that goes into the bone marrow and actually reduces that SDF-1 connection, so then it can leave. So, it's like, "Don't look over there. Don't be with that person. Come over here." It comes out of the bone marrow and now it can attach to the SDF-1 in the tissue that needs the repair, and it can do its thing. It might stay there or going back to our earlier conversation, it might go back to the bone marrow later.
Christian Drapeau: Correct. I think their mission here is to go into the tissue and stay there. But it's been observed that some of them can detach and get back to the bone marrow.
Melanie Avalon: Does it overstimulate release? Is the intention to be a one-to-one repair or is the intention to just stimulate a lot of release, and then fix it, and then what doesn't get used can go back?
Christian Drapeau: I don't know by design what it is, but I think physiologically speaking, you release them and they're going to go wherever they are called. So, they're called in the bone marrow. You stop that signal for a moment, so the stem cells, now they're listening and then now they're called to go to the blood circulation, so they leave. As they circulate, they're listening to that call. So, as they circulate everywhere in the body, they will respond to the call of the injured tissue. But if they happen to go back to the bone marrow before they get to the injured tissue, they'll be called back to the bone marrow. So, they're just responding to your call.
Melanie Avalon: So, SDF-1 is the call, that SDF-1 could be in the bone marrow, it can be in the injury and to move around, you've got to deal with-- If you want it to be somewhere else, you've got to unattach it from the SDF-1 that it's attached to currently or you have to either reduce the SDF-1, or you have to block its ability to attach to the SDF-1, the CXCR4.
Christian Drapeau: Correct. With the understanding, just to make sure that we have no confusion here, the SDF-1 touching the receptor is just a signal. The attachment of the stem cells comes from adhesion molecules that are expressed after the attachment of SDF-1. SDF-1 and CXCR4 is just a signal. It's a switch. You turn the switch and you turn on the adhesion capability of the stem cells if you want.
Melanie Avalon: So, with Stemregen and when you are blocking the CXCR4, presumably, it comes back, so it can attach later. So, it temporarily reduces that?
Christian Drapeau: It's very temporary. It's very temporary.
Melanie Avalon: Okay. How does that work timeline wise?
Christian Drapeau: Well, these receptors are-- How could I say? [laughs] It's getting complicated without illustration. Okay. The CXCR4 receptor is a receptor that is preformed in the cell and it gets externalized upon a certain signal. So, that signal is a molecule called L-selectin. So, when X-selectin is activated, the receptor is expressed and basically, it's almost like you walking around waiting for an auditory signal, but your ears are internalized. And then when you get to the place where normally you should be hearing for the signal, suddenly your ears come out, and now they listen. That's a little bit how it's working. So, the signal to make that receptor get out, that's what blue green algae is blocking.
So, in the bone marrow, the stem cells become a little bit deaf, if you want, to the signal. So, they get out of the bone marrow. But as they get out of the bone marrow and they start to circulate, they reform those L-selectin. So, once it's in the circulation, it becomes fairly rapidly just a normal stem cell circulating into your blood circulation. So, that phenomenon is short live. It's just a little nudge for the stem cells to get out of the bone marrow for a short amount of time.
Melanie Avalon: It's just fortuitous that that amount of time that it's silenced that this CXCR4 can't "hear," it's just good fortune that it's like the perfect amount of time for it to leave the bone marrow and then hear again. It just works out well that that's what happens time wise?
Christian Drapeau: It's a number of factors altogether. It's very normal in physiology that everything rotates, everything transforms, everything is constantly in the process of turnover. So, if you have some molecules that are blocked at the surface of a cell and that's the reason why-- you take caffeine, you're not like jittery and awake for three months in a row. The receptor that is blocked, it changes, it cleanses up, and it's eliminated. Every one of these reactions has a certain time frame, if you want. So, it's just this normal physiology that is happening with the bioactive compounds that we have in blue green algae. But it's also coupled with the fact that stem cells have a certain residence time in the bloodstream. There's not a lot of research that has been done on this, but the research that has been done shows that a stem cell will be in the bloodstream anywhere between six minutes to six hours, average of about 60 minutes.
So, the fact that what we quantify for example with blue green algae where about an hour later you get a peak in the increase in the number of stem cells, and two hours, three hours later, it's back to baseline is almost like perfectly reflects the residence time of a stem cell that has just been released in the blood circulation.
Melanie Avalon: So, is that why you're saying when you first studied it, you thought you would see that injecting that compound would lead to a reduction in the bloodstream? Because you thought maybe that the stem cells would be entering the tissue, but instead, you saw an increase because its primary mechanism of action was helping more be released into the bloodstream rather than pulling them into the cells?
Christian Drapeau: Yeah. Well, the reason why I was expecting that originally is that, before doing all that work with stem cells. So, we're in 1997, 1998. What we had discovered is that the mechanism of action of that blue green algae and its effect on the immune system more specifically on natural killer cells is that the polysaccharide in AFA was triggering the migration of NK cells out of the blood into tissues. We could measure that by basically quantifying the number of NK cells in the bloodstream and seeing within about 30 minutes a rapid drop in the number of NK cells. So, when we started to think about stem cells, then our first hypothesis was, "Well, maybe that's what we have with this product." So, we have the polysaccharide that is stimulating the migration of NK cells just like it does for stem cells. And that's our mechanism of action. As you make stem cells go into tissue, they repair tissues.
So, we took blue green algae. We tested it. We're expecting to see that kind of phenomenon. That's not what we saw. We saw an increase in the number of stem cells. So, we started to scratch our mind and we had to let go of that original hypothesis. So, then my thought was, well, maybe it's just a different effect, but it may be the same active compound. So, we isolated the polysaccharide. When we start to give the polysaccharide to people and quantify stem cells, we saw the same thing that we saw with natural killer cells. We saw a drop in the number of stem cells. And then fast forward here to completing all the studies, what we discovered is that AFA had actually two active compounds. One that triggered the release of stem cells from the bone marrow and one that triggered their migration into tissues.
Mother nature put those two in the same product is like mind boggling. We have the same thing in sea buckthorn berry extract. So, it makes these compounds a little bit more difficult to study because in different people, it will give you-- So, the speed at which you get the migration and the release is not the same in different people, so you get a biphasic curve. Some people start with a reduced number and after that it increases as you first have the migration and then the release. Other people get the release and then suddenly it goes below baseline as you stimulate the migration later. So, you get this biphasic more complex curve, but it's both phenomena happening at the same time in the bloodstream. It's like measuring how much money you have in your bank account, but you get income and expenses happening at the same time. You don't know how much income you have. You don't know how much expense you have. All you have is how much money you have in your bank account. That's the only thing you can measure.
Melanie Avalon: So, would some people respond more favorably if they preferentially release stem cells, like, mobilize stem cells, and then they enter the tissue compared to-- do some people, it pulls them into the tissue first and then mobilizes them, so they actually don't get as much of the effect?
Christian Drapeau: The question you have right now is a good example of what I was referring before when I say, you've got a complex phenomenon that is evolving and we take a snapshot picture of it and we interpret the whole phenomenon by the snapshot picture. I do not think that these people first do one and the other. It's just that some people start sooner with one of the other, and then they add together on top of each other, and then it's very difficult to-- It's probably the same thing is happening in everybody. It's just that one of the two peaks up first before the other. Quite frankly, I would even say on that day, maybe because of how well they slept, whatever is happening in their body, something is just making one of the responses probably showing up first compared to the other. But I'm not sure, I would say the response is altogether different from one person to another.
Melanie Avalon: What studies have you conducted?
Christian Drapeau: Well, the studies, because of exactly what we're just talking about right now, the fact that you've got ingredients that have two mechanism of action or two effects if you want in stem cells, release and migration. The fact that these ingredients have a different timeframe also in the release and the migration and the fact that different people react with a different timeframe, when we start to combine these different ingredients together, we get very weird curves. So, we have historically documented the effect of these plants separately. All of this is done using, what we call, crossover, double blind, placebo-controlled studies, meaning, people are tested against themselves.
So, typically, a participant comes in the lab at 08:00 in the morning, sits down for about an hour, so that we have a very restful state. And then we take a blood sample, then we give them a placebo or the plant extract that we want to test. And then we take another blood sample, an hour, two hours, three hours after, and then we count the number of stem cells in the blood circulation. Then the same person comes back a week later, the same day of the week, we ask them to have the same diet, the same everything as the week before when they did it. And now we give them the placebo or the plant extract depending on which one we gave them first and then we subtract from their response with the plant extract what is their normal circadian cycle that we quantify with the placebo. That is the response that we have. That's what we analyze. So, we do that for every single plant extract that we have.
Then on Stemregen, the blend of all these plants, which is really a blend of plant that trigger both the release of stem cells from the bone marrow and also their migration. The moment that we start to observe migration, some plants only do migrations, like medicinal mushroom, for example, goji berry, colostrum. They stimulate strongly the migration of stem cells. So, we took our top plant stimulating the release of stem cells from the bone marrow, blended it with our two top plants that stimulated migration of stem cells into tissues. So, now we have a product that stimulates both, strong release and strong migration into tissues, and that is Stemregen. We study this in clinical trials with specific condition touching, for example, cardiac function, pancreatic function, various aspects of human health.
So, we have, for example, an ongoing study on chronic stable congestive heart failure in which we give people Stemregen, a blend of plant extract that stimulates both, the release of their own stem cells and migration, and we are documenting the effect on cardiac function. So, that's the type of studies that we're doing right now with Stemregen.
Melanie Avalon: Because you were talking about the-- or I don't know if we talked about it in this conversation or in the book, but the natural circadian rhythm of normal stem cell release from the bone marrow into the tissue, is the effect of Stemregen--? Does it also have a circadian effect? Is it more powerful at certain times for certain people or is it always going to pretty much have the same effect?
Christian Drapeau: We don't know because you need to understand that, if the number of people that it needs to show whether the effect is there or not enough statistical significance versus now what is the difference in that person at 08:00 AM in the morning versus 08:00 PM in the evening. Now you're talking about probably much smaller differences. The cost of doing these studies would be, I don't know, probably $500,000 to a million dollars to basically me be able to tell you, it's better at whatever time of the day. We're a small company. It's not the kind of things for which we can fund the kind of studies. What I can tell you is that there is a normal circadian cycle, 05:00 AM is about the time when you have the largest number of stem cells in circulation. But over the past 20 years of doing this work here with various blends of plants triggering stem cell release and people taking these products at all times in the day, I do not believe that there is a relationship with or a time that is better than another.
In our clinical trials, we tell people to take these products three times a day. The notion here being that, when you release a wave of stem cells, this will last, let's say two, three, four hours, a total of about maybe six hours when it comes back to baseline. So, we tell people to take two capsules every four to six hours, so three times a day. It's when people do that that we really see the best results. So, it's telling me that whether the effect is stronger or not as strong at other times of the day, it is still bringing additional benefits.
Melanie Avalon: Got you. Well, I will just say, just being at the conference and talking with so many people. The testimonials about using this product were incredible. I was like, "Oh, I need to be on this now." What should people experience--? So, obviously, if somebody has an acute injury, I'm assuming that it's very helpful. But for people who feel healthy and don't have any perceptible injuries, what might they experience taking it?
Christian Drapeau: Coming back to something that you were saying just before that the testimonials are crazy, it has been over the past 20 years, honestly, one of the most difficult part to manage with a product like Stemregen, which is to tell people with current regulatory FDA regulations, you cannot share your story as you really have experienced it. You need to really use quality of life aspect, like, instead of saying, "I used to have that and now I don't have it," you need to say, "Well, I was no longer be able to hike in the mountains, play golf, do this, A, B, and C." Now I can do it, find a creative way to soften the message because you cannot really come out and just say, "Here's my experience."
Now, we have published a number of these stories in the scientific literature, because I think it is worth sharing it in science, but it cannot be used as stories to promote the product. So, yes, those stories are sometimes mind blowing. And for me, personally, it has probably been my greatest motivation over the years. It's just like seeing the lives that are being changed and I'm just thinking, "Man, we just need to bring this to as many people as possible, because it has changed lives and it can change many lives."
So, I will answer your question in a somewhat vague way, but hopefully, in the most objective way that I can. Most health issues are caused by the loss of a type of cells. You lose cells making insulin, it's diabetes. You lose cells making dopamine in the brain, it's Parkinson. You lose cells, making T3, T4, it's hypothyroidism. You lose cells in your heart, cardiomyopathy. Any problem is the loss of a type of cell in a specific organ or tissue. Stem cells can become virtually every single type of cells. When I say, virtually, I just want to keep the door open here. They cannot make maybe eggs or sperm. But outside of that, the very fact that you're alive today, coupled with the fact that you are losing cells in every organ and tissue of your body, this is clear from stem cell research. Well, the flipside of that is that your stem cells are repairing everything. So, they are becoming cells of every single tissue. So, they can become cells of every single tissue.
So, by putting more stem cells in circulation, the product is not going to do anything for your disease or your health problem. What the product is going to do is simply leverage your innate ability to repair your stem cells or your repair system. Stem cells can become cells of every single tissue. As you put more stem cells in circulation, there's plenty of studies and information in the scientific literature to show that by putting more stem cells in circulation, your body can use these stem cells to help repair, maintain, renew, revitalize, use the word that you want here, to basically make new cells in tissues that may need more cells to work better. So, what we're doing is only giving back your body's innate ability to repair and experience optimal health.
So, what can you expect from it? Quite frankly, until we have these studies that have clearly established that putting more stem cells with a blend of plants, like Stemregen can really reverse congestive heart failure, diabetes, and all of these. We need to make these studies, file up for these claims and all of that. Will we do that one day? Maybe. In the meantime, the only way for you to know if that can happen is to basically see in your own body, if you can put more stem cells, can that really mean a difference for you? Melanie, because this is the stories that you heard when you were at the Biohacking Conference. People who have had those kinds of experience and we tell them, you cannot share your experience, unfortunately, but I'm glad you've had it. What we can share is at least this message of hope to basically say, "Yes, your stem cells can do it. If you can put more stem cells in circulation, see for yourself what it can do for you." That's the message we can share.
Melanie Avalon: I love it. I feel like I'm learning in real time from you right now about how to talk about-- I've experienced the same thing as you with the supplement and the rules and what can be said. I'm always in a perpetual. My supplement partner will talk to me about-- because I have a Facebook group and people will share testimonials and be like, "We got to take these posts down." I'm like, "But it's a private Facebook group and I'm not saying it." It's frustrating. I feel you completely.
Christian Drapeau: So, what we tell people, I mentioned that just before, is we tell people, just talk in terms of quality of life. Example, somebody says, I had congestive heart failure, and right now, this product completely repaired or cured my congestive heart failure." Obviously, you cannot say that. What you can say is that, "Well, I was no longer able to play golf, go hike in the mountain, because I was constantly out of breath. That's it. These are activities that meant so much to me. Well, I'm happy to be able to tell everybody that I'm playing golf every week, I go take a hike in the mountain, and I've resumed all the normal activities that I love so much to do. I can play with my grandkids and I'm so happy. There you go. I have not mentioned any disease. I have not mentioned any repair. I have talked about my experience with my quality of life."
You can talk about your experience. If you use a diagnosis, you have not talked about your experience. You've talked about the label that the doctor put on your experience and your problem. That's what you cannot do. But if you talk about your experience without evoking a message of cure and disease, you're fine. That's what we spend so much time doing with people. Talk about your own life experience and that is fine.
Melanie Avalon: That made me think of a few really quick last questions. But before that, I do want to share, because listeners are probably really wanting to get your supplement right now. So, your website is at stemregen.com?
Christian Drapeau: stemregen.co. Exactly, dot C-O.
Melanie Avalon: So, S-T-E-M-R-E-G-E-N dot C-O. You are so kind. So, the coupon code, MELANIEAVALON will get you 15% off your first order. So, friends take advantage of that. I'll say that again at the end. Some just very last quick questions that made me think of. One is, so not speaking about Stemregen specifically, but going back to stem cells in general. I'm sorry that this is a rabbit hole question, but say that you had an injury and it was repaired by the body and now you have scar tissue or collagen buildup or something like that. So, it's a repaired injury, but it's not the original way it should be with the scar tissue. Can stem cells do that? Can they remove things or is it more just active injury that they're involved in?
Christian Drapeau: Let me take two directions with that question. Because when you say, can they undo tissue? This is something that I have seen over the years and it baffled me. At the end, I saw so many of these cases that I started to tell sometimes as an explanation, and believe me, for a scientist, it was hard for me to pronounce these words for a long time. But it was the best way for me to express what it was. It's almost like by releasing your stem cells, you give a chance to your body to re-express its original blueprint. Because sometimes, it does that. it helps tissue resorb. I have no explanation for that, because stem cells, you would think, are only going to build things, are not going to remove things. But it's almost like by rebuilding the tissue, they rebuild it the way that it was meant to be.
We have seen this many times. But when you're talking about a scar, more specifically, the thing to understand is that scars can be alive. By alive, I mean, there can be a lingering injury that is still a very active injury, although you don't experience it like this. There's a way to test for that. If you take a scar, for example, you got a cut, it's repaired and now you have a scar. If you hold your pulse, take your pulse or have somebody take your pulse and then you touch the scar with anything like a feather, a piece of cloth, a piece of paper, you touch that scar. If that scar is alive, it's going to release-- It's an injury. For your body, it's still an injury. It will release very transiently. It will release adrenaline, which will transiently-- because adrenaline over time builds up high blood pressure. But transiently, when it's released, it will shut down your blood pressure.
So, the person holding your pulse will see that the pulse for a second or two had just decreased in the amplitude of that pulse. So, you know that your scar is a live scar. And that is good, good because now that scar means it signals. So, what you do is that, you take a brush, like a toothbrush, if it's a bigger scar, a cotton brush like a brush that you use for your back, for example, in the shower and just irritate your scar enough to awaken that scar. And then couple that with fasting or a product like Stemregen to put more stem cells in circulation. So, stem cells will peak after, let's say, two hours after taking Stemregen. So, two hours after taking Stemregen, rub that scar to awaken the scar. That scar now will call for repair. And it will cause stem cells into that area. You're giving the opportunity to that scar to probably further repair.
We have seen remarkable cases, where sometimes the scar has completely disappeared. In other cases, it did not, because you need to understand, you want your scar to disappear. But physiologically speaking, a scar is not a problem. It means nothing for you as a biological entity. So, it may or may not repair. So, the more that scar is alive, the more it will call for repair, the more your stem cells can migrate in that area and operate repair.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, so, is that the mechanism of action with dry needling?
Christian Drapeau: Exactly. It's exactly what it is. You injure the skin, now the skin calls for repair. Example, do microneedling, but after microneedling, take two capsules of Stemregen, and within the day or two follow-- let's say, the three days following it, do this three times a day, and you will leverage the heck out of the injury that was created with microneedling or microdermabrasion. I should have told you sooner, right?
Melanie Avalon: I know. Yeah, because I used to do that in my jaw for TMDD. Okay, that makes sense. Okay, I'm so glad we talked about that. I don't know why, but that was my first question I had when I started reading your book. So, I'm really excited to hear that.
Christian Drapeau: We have, for example, an amazing case. For me, it was a textbook example of that if everything that I'm talking about here and the ability of stem cells to repair, the ability of the skin to repair, scars to repair, if everything that we're bringing forth as a working hypothesis is true, that case should give us the results that we thought and it did. So, it's somebody that had an injury with a round saw. So, the round saw accidentally landed on his thigh and then he had this huge gash, probably 8 to 10-inch long, maybe an inch deep. So, this is like the skin and the muscle, not with a scalpel torn by a round saw. So, this is the tissue completely torn.
It missed the artery, so he was fine. He basically started to take of the plants that we had at the time triggering the release of stem cells from the bone marrow, something like Stemregen, today. He took tons of it, something like 20 capsules a day, like a bottle every two, three days. The doctor told him, it will take four weeks to six weeks before he can put his entire weight on that leg and maybe another four to six weeks to walk normally. And eight days later, he was able to stand on his leg. I've got a picture of it 16 days after a round saw tearing up that tissue. All you have is a very, very fine scar. In terms of keloid scar, there's no keloid scar. There's nothing keloid about it. All you see is a fine line as if it was a scalpel.
That is what happens if you get a lot of stem cells in circulation, the local fibroblast do not have to kick in and seal that wound, so the stem cells will migrate into that injury and will become keratinocyte air follicle, sebaceous glands, sweat glands, all the normal constituents of a skin, and what you have is just very normal skin repair. That's what we're trying to duplicate. When you have an old scar and you awaken it, what you want to do is that is basically make the body signal as if it was a fresh scar, so that stem cells migrate into that scar and basically repair what is there by bringing back new skin cells with the hope here that it will go far enough to reduce your keloid scar. We don't know if it will happen, but it has been seen in quite a number of individuals.
Melanie Avalon: Wow, that is incredible. Okay, two last quick questions. One, how do you feel about the future of this in the pharmaceutical industry? Because I know you're speaking earlier about funding and money. It sounds like if pharma did get on board, there would be a lot of funding for studies and things like that. I think interesting things happen when compounds go the drug route. How do you feel about the role of pharma in the future of stem cell supplements and drugs?
Christian Drapeau: I am here going to answer only speculative, because I don't know if really that's what happened, but there are compounds. Okay, let me go far here. When I first came out with this idea, this concept and everything, I wanted to have the backings of a third party from the scientific community to make sure that whatever I was saying here was solid and mostly for the FDA as well. So, I connected with a professor of fertility embryology at University of Illinois and I sent him all the data that we had on this blue green algae at the time, the fact that releasing your own stem cells was going to help tissue repair and was going to support optimal health, all of that. So, I sent all that information. He gave us an expert testimonial basically saying that, this claim is accurate, this claim is supported by the scientific literature, and it basically gave us green light to be able to use that claim. That whole testimonial was very useful for us in the later years or later after, because when we did have investigations or questions from the FDA or the FTC, we were able to show that the science was there and we had third party support for the message that we were putting out there.
But this fellow, this scientist called me about like, what, three, six months later, and he said, "Christian, I just wanted to share something with you, because I want you to get the pulse of what you're doing." He said, "I'm a consultant for a number of other pharmaceutical companies that are investigating what they could do in the stem cell space." And he said, "I just want you to know that when I receive your documents at first, my first reaction was like, 'This is nonsense. This is nuts. But as I'm reading all of this and I'm looking at all this information, I'm realizing you're really onto something here. This is real." And of course, his expert testimony was reflecting that. But he said, "I just wanted you to know that you're at least five years ahead of the pharmaceutical, because they are not looking at it from that angle at all." It was, for me, a very rewarding, if you want, message. But I knew that the pharmaceutical had drugs. The one that I referred to before that is a blocker of CXCR4, they had drugs that could do exactly the same thing.
So, at the time I thought it's going to be about five years to eight years maybe, and then all of that is going to come on the marketplace, and it would be out there in the health space. We are 15 years later and it's still not there. This is just me. That's the part that I'm saying is speculative. I believe that the reason why it's not there is because it is bringing-- It's not a paradigm shift. It's a tidal wave shift. It's like a complete typhoon change in the whole world of health. Today, the entire pharmaceutical world is not curing anything, it's palliative.
You get diabetes. I sell you insulin every day of your life for the rest of your life. It's an amazing business model. You take just about any drugs out there, they're all designed not to cure your problem, but to maintain you for the rest of your life. And now a concept comes. That concept is curative. I assist your body to repair. Once that is done, it's done. So, it's for a short amount of time. It is a huge shift in the way that the pharmaceutical world is working. Not only a huge shift, but it's also, if I put it from that angle, it's probably a huge threat to their survival with this palliative model that they have.
So, I think that they're extremely reluctant to go in that direction. When they have no choice to go in that direction, because the whole field of stem cell, the space, is growing so much and it is showing that is curative as an approach. I think that then we will see them coming forward with those kinds of compounds, because they already exist. So, I think that down the road, it's almost unavoidable that it will get there, but it's going to get there because the market is forcing it and they will probably get there kicking and screaming.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Wow. So, basically, it's going to take a different zeitgeist from the popular culture for that to happen. Like, it's going to have to meet the demand of the people?
Christian Drapeau: I think that when the utilization of stem cells grows worldwide, and with some of the countries that are trying to prevent it, the US being one, but Europe, France, Germany, all of those. As the stem cell space grows and is demonstrating more and more that that modality is different. It's bringing something else that is normally an exception in the medical space, which is curative instead of palliative when that grows. Because if you think about it right now, cure, we use the term in our language, but it's virtually absent from the medical space. We don't cure a lot of things. We just give you a better quality of life with that thing. So, when cure starts to really become a thing, then I think that that is when that tidal shift is going to slowly take place in our society.
The beauty is that, yeah, the pharmaceutical model will have a response to that, because they have those molecules that can do that in the body by tapping into stem cells. They either have not realized that they have it, because it's not how they think or they're waiting for the right time to basically say, "Okay, now we have no choice. That's the only direction for us to go," and then they will come out for these. I'm just speculating here, because if they knew what they had in their arsenal, they're really good at not releasing it.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Well, I know this is a big question. I want to be respectful of your time. What about something like cancer? Is there research on stem cells in cancer?
Christian Drapeau: It's a very delicate question, so it may take a few minutes here to answer that one properly or fully. The confusion comes from the fact that a stem cell is a cell that multiplies endlessly and can become cells of any tissue. A cancer cell is a cell that multiplies endlessly and can become cells of any tissue. So, you see it's the same definition. So, to the point where if you get really the virulent cells, really the problematic cell in a tumor, they're calling them cancer stem cells. So, they're so similar that that's how they call them. It leads to this idea that if you stimulate and then think of embryonic stem cells that they're so stem cell, like their stem cellness is through the roof and they lead to cancer.
So, it gives you this idea that, yeah, if you stimulate stem cells, then you can very much stimulate cancer. It's not the case with adult stem cells. Adult stem cells, they don't have that property of developing cancer, at least the one from the bone marrow. What we have seen over time is more that when you inject stem cells or even-- Well, first, inject stem cells. People go because they want to see-- a stem cell injection for their shoulder, for their diabetes, their Parkinson, whatever it is and then they just happen to have breast cancer, prostate cancer, or whatever. And then six weeks later, suddenly, their cancer has improved a lot. It is very common in the world of stem cell research and stem cell injection.
I think that the mechanism of action is that, stem cells are attracted to tumors. When they migrate in a tumor, they proliferate but then they differentiate. When they differentiate, they do what stem cells do. They talk to other stem cells. They coordinate this process within the population of stem cells in the area, so that basically makes the cancer stem cells differentiate. When it has differentiated it can no longer proliferate. So, you stop the tumor growth. I believe that that's the mechanism of action.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, that's interesting. That's your theory?
Christian Drapeau: I think that the future of stem cell application in tumor is that, yeah, stem cells by themselves have anti-tumor properties. The beauty here and I am not saying that Stemregen is going to suppress tumor growth. I am not saying that. What I am saying though here that is a very interesting observation is that, a lot of the plants that we have documented for having an effect on stem cells have historically been used for cancer in folks medicine like sea buckthorn berry. In Tibetan medicine, Mongolian medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, it has been used historically for lung cancer. For example, Fucoidan, that has been used that we use for stem cell release has been studied a lot for its properties on cancer. The blue green algae that we use, that we have documented triggers stem cell release.
We did a study in mice to make sure that it was not going to stimulate tumor growth. We injected human breast cancer cell in mice. And then in the group in which we gave 10 times the recommended amount of blue green algae for stem cells that we do in humans, and we got a 30% reduction in tumor growth. You look at all these plants that historically have been used for-- sorry, that we have documented stimulate stem cell release. What we see is that historically, they've all been documented for their benefit on cancer. I am not saying Stemregen is going to be good for cancer. What I'm saying is that, so much data is pointing in the direction that, when you release stem cells from the bone marrow, if anything, they can bring benefits for tumor.
Melanie Avalon: That is so fascinating. You're talking about injecting stem cells like people injecting it, are you referring to people going outside the US and injecting actual stem cells or are you talking about exosomes?
Christian Drapeau: No, I'm talking about, yeah, people going outside of the country and getting those kinds of treatments outside of the country. But understand that now there is a lot of cloudiness around this in the United States, with a lot of message saying you cannot do this in America. It's not totally true. You can do it, there's some limitation, and it's more political than anything else. Let's not get into that. But there is a landmark court case that was decided by a judge in last September, so 2022, that basically said, adipose stem cells can be used here in the country as a treatment for people. So, you can get adipose stem cells now injected systemically in the United States. It's totally possible and it's totally okay.
Melanie Avalon: They can be injected only systemically or to a certain injury area?
Christian Drapeau: I know systemically. I don't know about into an injury, but I believe that you can as well.
Melanie Avalon: In a few weeks, I'm getting exosome injections. Does that have valid data behind it? Should I pair it with Stemregen when I do so?
Christian Drapeau: Absolutely. When I talked about how stem cells, when they migrate into a tissue, they start to release growth factors. Like, they talk to each other. That communication is exosomes. They communicate through exosomes. So, exosome is the language of stem cells. What you will get injected is the language of stem cells. So, it talks to stem cells and it stimulates your own stem cells. So, that means these exosomes will leverage whatever stem cells you have. You always have stem cells. So, that's why they work. But they work better when they have more stem cells to talk to. So, you basically release the heck out of your bone marrow.
Let's say, you have these exosomes done at some point in the afternoon. Get two capsules in the morning, and then two hours before your treatment of exosomes take four capsules of Stemregen, and then go have your treatment of exosomes. And then do more later in the day, some in the day after, do more in a short amount of time, let's say within those two, three days after exosomes, because these exosomes, like any language, it's short live. It's not there for very long. So, you maximize the number of stem cells that they can talk to and you will definitely amplify the outcome of that treatment.
Melanie Avalon: Okay. Well, this has been incredible. My brain is so stimulated right now. [laughs] This was absolutely amazing. So, again, for listeners, I cannot recommend enough getting Stemregen now. So, you can go to stemregen.co, S-T-E-M-R-E-G-E-N dot C-O and the coupon code MELANIEAVALON will get you 15% off your first order. Again, thank you so much, Christian, for that. Well, this has been so absolutely incredible. The last thing I ask guests on this show, and it's just because I realize more and more each day how important mindset is. So, what is something that you're grateful for?
Christian Drapeau: Oh, my goodness, I'm grateful for so many things. I'm grateful, first, for my wife. She is the most wonderful human being that I know. Then after that, I'm grateful for everybody that is helping me bring this whole thing forward. I'm grateful for this having been put on my plate. I was never looking to be a stem cell scientist. Even to this day, I would say quest for the soul is more important to me than this old scientific development. But it's been put on my plate. I see how much it can change lives. So, I'm very grateful that I've been given this mission, because it is so rewarding with the lives that are being changed. And hey, grateful for you to have been put on my path to help in that mission.
Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Well, I love it so much. I, as well, am so grateful, because like I said, I've been wanting to learn more about this and I'm just so grateful to meet you, and Stephanie, and everything that you're doing. You're just really beautiful souls. And so, I'm just really, really honored to have this conversation and share it with the audience. I can't wait for people to get Stemregen and start experiencing all the potential benefits. How can people best follow your work or what links would you like to put out there for people?
Christian Drapeau: I'm on Instagram. I was convinced to go on TikTok as well. So, my handle is @stemcellchristian, because I thought if I say Christian Drapeau, most people could not spell my last name. So, @stemcellchristian. I keep answering questions. Anytime I get questions, I answer them and I put that up there. So, there's a good database there of answers to various questions. On our website, stemregen.co, there's a FAQ section, and we keep implementing it here by putting as much answers to various questions that are coming in. So, these are good places to get information. All the science is in the ingredient section of our website. The studies that have been done.
As you know, Melanie, if anybody is interested to get the whole story of everything that we've talked about today, Cracking the Stem Cell Code, I wrote it at the time and still to a large extent to this day, it was the only place and that's why I wrote it. Nowhere was the description of what is your stem cells in your body, what is their story, what do they do? If they have such regenerative potential, what do they mean in your life? And that was the purpose of that book. So, again, to get that information, I think Cracking the Stem Cell Code is a great source for all that.
Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Well, for listeners, we will put links to everything in the show notes. And yes, the show notes will have a transcript. I think people are really going to want to reference that. So, again, the show notes will be at melanieavalon.com/stemcells. Well, thank you so much, Christian, for your time. This has been amazing. Again, your book was so enlightening. This conversation was amazing. I'm so grateful for Stemregen, and it was incredible meeting you and Stephanie. So, thank you. Just thank you. I can't wait to see you, hopefully, at the next conference or before then.
Christian Drapeau: Looking forward to it as well. Thank you.
Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Have a good day. Bye.
Christian Drapeau: Bye.
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