Dr. Seibel's Health Tips / Health and Fitness

Stem Cells Repair Heart Disease – an Interview with Dr. Doris Taylor

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Every year about 715,000 Americans have heart attack. In fact, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, and for the first time, more women are dying of heart disease than men.

Having a heart attack can have a very major affect on your life and your lifestyle. But imagine how different that might be if stem cells could be injected into your heart and cause the dead heart cells to be replaced with new ones that could make your heart strong again.

It turns out that what sounds like science fiction is not that far away. To tell you where we are today with this cutting edge advancement I want to share an interview I did with Doris Taylor, PhD following a presentation she made at the North American Menopause Society. Dr. Taylor is Director of Regenerative Medicine Research at Texas Heart Institute in Houston, Texas. Here is a summary of our interview:

A number of years ago we thought that gene therapy could play a role in the heart’s ability to repair itself. Unlike other tissues, your heart doesn’t have the capacity to repair itself very well. The reason for this is that if you don’t get to the hospital in 4 hours, a large number of the heart cells die, which is why you are told to dial 911 and get to the hospital as soon as you can if you think you are having a heart attack.

Women typically don’t get to the hospital fast enough because they don’t have the same symptoms. Before they go to the hospital they also have a tendency to ask, “Are the kids taken care of? Is the house clean?” They don’t want people coming into their house and seeing it dirty, so they clean up a bit first.

Women take their husbands to the hospital, but often don’t call 911 for themselves. When you have a heart attack your heart can’t repair itself. We wanted to repair the injured heart cells right away so the rest of the heart wouldn’t have to work harder. a bit first.

So about 15-16 years age we and others began doing stem cell therapy; taking the stem cells from your bone marrow, blood, fat or muscles and transplanting them into the heart after a heart attack to see if those cells could replace the missing heart cells and repair the damage from the heart attack.

All that depends on the fact that you have stem cells to transplant. And we found that men and women have different amounts of stem cells; it turns out that women actually have many more stem cells than men.

Fast-forward a number of years and we find that these types of studies have only been marginally positive; but most have been done either only in men or mostly in men. And one of the questions may be that if we are giving men their stem cells and they have fewer cells, maybe they don’t have enough stem cells to get a good repair or maybe their stem cells don’t work as well; and maybe it would be different if we did the studies in women or used women’s stem cells to do the repair.

The stem cells come from your bone marrow, blood, fat or muscle. Your plastic surgeon could be taking out your liposuction and saving them to be placed into your heart. Stem cells from the fat seem to be among the most potent cells. In the next 2-3 years if you have a heart attack it may be possible to have your stem cells removed and placed back into your heart to repair it. And it is possible in that time frame that you will begin to see some stem cells become approved for use in the US. Some are already being used in Europe and Australia.

Many people will want their own stem cells. But there are studies underway using stem cells from 18-20 years olds harvested and grown to billions in a laboratory. These are already under study and being given to someone post heart attack in several clinical trials.

So just like we have egg donation, in the future we may start to see stem cell donation so that as you age you will be able to repair your aging body as opposed to the egg donation which creates a new one. At some point, it may be possible to use these stem cells to actually create a new heart. To hear the interview, watch the video below.



Dr. Mache Seibel, Founder of My Menopause Magazine http://bit.ly/MyMenoMag 
Professor, University of Massachusetts Medical School 

Founder My Menopause Magazine 




(617) 916-1880 

PS: Find more information of this type in My Menopause Magazine, available for the iPad in the Apple Newsstand. http://bit.ly/MyMenoMag 

“It’s better to stay well than to get well!”  Mache Seibel, MD.

Dr. Machelle (Mache) Seibel is America’s health expert, addressing the critical needs of consumers from stress and weight control to menopause and beyond. He served on the Harvard Medical School faculty for almost 20 years and is a pioneer in many areas of women’s health and more. He works with companies and organizations to bring exciting educational content to consumers. His professional experiences include:

– Host for PBS and NBC TV episodes, frequent media expert;

– Repeatedly voted into Best Doctors in America;

– Past Editor-in-Chief of the medical journal Sexuality, Reproduction & Menopause;

– Distinguished Alumnus Award, the University of Texas Medical Branch’s highest honor 2008;

– Multiple national awards for research, writing, music writing and patient education;

– Professor, University of Massachusetts Medical School 2004-present;

– Director, Complicated Menopause Program, University of Massachusetts Medical School 2004-2011;

– Founder of HealthRock®, reshaping health education with health songs and entertainment;

– Past Medical Director, Inverness Medical Innovations (now Alere);

– Corporate Consultant and Corporate Health Expert Nationally and Internationally;

– Author/editor 14 books, over 200 scientific articles;

– American Cancer Society New England Division Medical Advisory Network;

– Advisory board of Dr. Mehmet Oz’s HealthCorps initiative to fight childhood obesity; and

– Nationally known guest speaker, key note speaker.

Visit his award-winning website www.DoctorSeibel.com and sign up for his free monthly newsletter.

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