Be Aware of Amniotic and Umbilical Cord Scams in “Stem Cell” Treatments


I’ve just returned from the Interventional Orthopedic Foundation (IOF) meetings in Colorado. The head of the organization is Dr. Chris Centeno who is also one of the principles behind Regenexx. You may have heard of them. They produce a large volume of research around regenerative medicine. It’s very interesting to read this post on the Regenexx website, which is a consensus statement put forward by the physicians, the academics, and the regulatory experts that were all in attendance at the IOF meetings. This paper is around the marketing of non-viable birth tissues as if they were living stem cell products.

There’s been a number of full page ads in newspapers all across North America trying to recruit patients for therapies that involve birth products such as amniotic membrane, amniotic fluid, umbilical cord or placental extracts. It markets these treatments as if they contain millions of living cells with a huge potential to alleviate of wide variety of symptoms. This consensus statement outlines the research done to analyze these products, and this research has clearly shown that these products do not contain any live or functional stem cells at all. And in fact, the growth factors associated with these products are substantially less than what we would find in something simple like platelet-rich plasma (PRP).

These products do contain certain proteins and we don’t know what the impact is on orthopaedic injuries because there is no research to support their use.

I would encourage patients that are interested in any regenerative procedure using stem cells to do their due diligence and read through the evidence.

This paper is particularly compelling, showing that birth products offer no living stem cells.

That’s why here at Pagdin Health in Kelowna, we harvest living stem cells from the individual and inject them right at the point of care. We do not use any birth products such as amniotic membrane, amniotic fluid, umbilical cord or placental extracts.

Regenexx Post:
Consensus Document:

Dr. Grant Pagdin

Dr. Grant Pagdin

Dr. Pagdin is a leading expert in regenerative medicine in Western Canada. Dr. Pagdin is board-certified with the American Academy of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine (ABAARM) and a Member of the Interventional Orthopedics Foundation. His primary interest is preventative and anti-aging medicine using stem cell and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatments.

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