by Nils Osmar. April 9, 2022
In the video below (published in April 2022), self-described biohacker Ben Greenfield interviews the doctors who gave him a full-body stem cell treatment a few years ago,
In that procedure, they injected almost every inch of his body, including his penis, with stem cells which had been cultured from cells drawn from his own body. The video was filmed when he was getting ready to repeat the procedure.
Ben said after the first procedure that he had noticed numerous beneficial changes after the operation, including better orgasms and greater energy and endurance.
Of course, these effects could have been a placebo. But there are many known benefits of stem cell therapy. Our bodies are born with a large number of stem cells ready to support growth and healing; this reserve dwindles as we age, and the stem cells still alive by the time we’re in our sixties tend to be old, error-prone and senescent. Full-body procedures like the one Ben went through, which restore our supply to youthful levels, could in theory result in deep rejuvenation of cells and tissues throughout the body.
Dangers and Caveats
Anyone getting stem cell therapy, or considering it, should be aware of the possible drawbacks. The FDA has warned about possible dangers. From the article “FDA Warns About Stem Cell Therapies”:
All medical treatments have benefits and risks. But unproven stem cell therapies can be particularly unsafe.
For instance, attendees at a 2016 FDA public workshop discussed several cases of severe adverse events. One patient became blind due to an injection of stem cells into the eye. Another patient received a spinal cord injection that caused the growth of a spinal tumor.
Other potential safety concerns for unproven treatments include:
- Administration site reactions,
- The ability of cells to move from placement sites and change into inappropriate cell types or multiply,
- Failure of cells to work as expected, and
- The growth of tumors.
Note: Even if stem cells are your own cells, there are still safety risks such as those noted above. In addition, if cells are manipulated after removal, there is a risk of contamination of the cells.
So stem cell therapy of the sort Ben has undergone is very promising but not without dangers.
Interestingly the doctor Ben is interviewing advises people not to do multi-day fasting before the injections because they “have a really hard time bouncing back.”
This makes sense to me because in a several-day fast, people are prepping the body to produce its own stem cells. Short circuiting that process by bringing them in for surgery during a time when the body’s resources have been pushed to the limit by a long fast, giving them general anesthesia (which is very stressful to the body and can be damaging) and injecting stem cells right at the moment when their bodies are primed to produce their own sounds like a terrible idea, similar to giving people high doses off antioxidants before exercising.
Ben’s New Video
Mel Gibson’s Father
In this interview with Joe Rogan from a few years ago, Mel Gibson reports on the results of taking his elderly father in for stem cell therapy, which he claimed at the time had a profoundly rejuvenating effect.
What Does it Cost?
Full body stem cell therapy is very pricey, partly because it’s considered experimental so is not covered by insurance. A full body stem cell makeover “starts at $40,000” but can end up around $60,000 for the full treatment.
Free Stem Cell Therapy from Fasting
According to Dr. Valter Longo, we can create a flood of new, young, undamaged stem cells identical to the ones we were born with by doing either water fasts or fasting mimicking diets that last three days or longer, During a fast of that length, the body cannibalizes senescent cells for fuel, then at the end of the fast, when we do a re-feed (assuming that our meals are high in nutrients, the body will create a flood of new stem cells from our bone marrow, which then travel throughout the body replacing the cells that were cannibalized during the fast.
I’ve done long fasts and FMD, and did find them rejuvenating. I also take supplements such as sea buckthorn berry powder, which support stem cell generation and rejuvenation. For now I’m relying on these sorts of intervention to keep my cells young.
The kind of procedure Greenfield and Gibson subjected themselves to is still a curiosity to me, not something I’d risk doing at this point. I may decide to try it further down the road if the years are passing and I find myself aging and have less to lose if it goes wrong.