May 07, 2011

Four herb mix in Stem Cell 100 with some screening from Genescient

Survival curve for fruitflies given the four herb mixture versus controls

Genescient - Stem Cell 100 have a slightly updated version of their hplus magazine article from Jan, 2011

1. Chinese traditional medicine, Astragalus membranaceus (Huang Qi)
2. From Indian Ayurvedic medicinal tradition an anti-diabetic herb, Pterocarpus marsupium (Indian keno tree bark)
3. Pine Bark Proanthocyanidins was picked from wide-spectrum herbal extracts in Western herbal medicine.
4. L-theanine (also known as gamma-glutamylethylamide, or 5-N-ethyl-glutamine) is a uncommon amino acid found preferentially in green tea.

Repeating my position

Stem Cell 100 is not proven. Genescient has long lived fruit flies. The flies live 4-5 times longer than regular flies. This is not in dispute. They then use those and other flies to try and test material that does not require FDA approval. The reason being is that they do not want to wait 5-15 years to get something approved. They can look at herbs and drugs that are no longer under patent. Based on this they have screened a set of material which happens to be mostly a mix of different herbs. You don't have to try it. I see no downside in trying it. Basically I am paying to join a clinical trial (phase 2, but since they are herbs need no clinical trial) of herbs which are known to be not dangerous (phase 1 trials prove safety) but are not proven to be effective. The approach that some would advocate are for -absolute proof- with appropriate animal models and then human trials is the 12-30 year method which results in pills that are $10-20 per pill initially. If Stem Cell 100 raises my good cholesterol levels and lowers bad cholesterol then I have paid for some pretty good statins at somewhat lower cost (unless I could get Statins covered under a medical plan).

I am not telling you to take it and I am not inflating their claims. I am also saying if people want more certain life extension and want to donate where their money can make a difference should donate to SENS and to Robert Freitas via IMM. The rejuvenation that would result if they are successful would be far more obvious life extension. The Genescient approach will be fortunate to improve the odds of adding a few real years of life extension.

There have been studies of the components that are in Stem Cell 100 and two of the components have been used for many hundreds to thousands of years in India and China. They have done a pilot clinical trial.

The survival curve for fruit flies that were bred for longevity

Astragulus membranaceus

In Chinese traditional medicine, Astragalus membranaceus (Huang Qi) appeared to be the best Chinese herb because of its many traditional uses and studies demonstrating stem cell activation and inhibition of mTOR. The mTOR inhibition has extended mouse mean lifespan by 33%. In traditional Chinese medicine, astragalus is considered a true tonic that can strengthen debilitated patients and increase resistance to disease in general. Modern herbal treatments with Astragalus membranaceus root (often in concert with other herbs) are partly based on clinical trials showing benefits in strengthening immune function during viral (e.g. chronic hepatitis) or bacterial infection or in those individuals undergoing dialysis for kidney failure. Clinical trials at the US National Cancer Institute and other world centers have indicated that Astragalus can strengthen immunity and improve survival in some individuals with cancer.

114 grams of Astragalus membranaceus costs about $6

Pterocarpus marsupium

Crude extracts of Pterocarpus marsupium (Indian keno tree) bark naturally have high concentrations of pterostilbene (one of three resveratrol analogs in Pterocarpus) and have been used as a traditional herbal treatment for diabetes in India for thousands of years. More recent studies in animals show potent anti-diabetic activity. Published studies have also shown that pterostilbene is a potent anticancer compound. For example, pterostilbene has dose-dependent anticancer activity in five cancer cell lines. As expected, pterostilbene is known to affect most or all of the longevity genes targeted by resveratrol, but has far greater stability and efficacy.

As an herbal medicine, Pterocarpus marsupium is popular in India for its diverse health benefits. Besides diabetes, the herb is also reported to cure a wide spectrum of ailments like skin diseases, fractures, bruises, constipation, hemorrhages, and rheumatoid arthritis. These diverse health benefits of Pterocarpus marsupium make it a clear favorite to include in a preventive herbal cocktail along with Astragalus.

Pterocarpus marsupium at wikipedia

A provider of Indian keno tree bark

Pine Bark Proanthocyanidins

Pine Bark Proanthocyanidins stand out as the best wide-spectrum herbal extracts in Western herbal medicine. Proanthocyanidins are polymer chains of flavonoids (flavan-3-ols) that were discovered by Jacques Masquelier in 1948 and have been a major therapeutic supplement in Europe since the 1980’s. Most of the research and commercial success with proanthocyanidins has involved extracts of a French maritime pine bark called Pycnogenol (65 to 75% proanthocyanidins) and various grape seed extracts (80-90% proanthocyanidins).

One interesting claim of health benefits of proanthocyanidins is the hypothesis that they are responsible for the “French Paradox”, wherein the French tend to have much reduced rates of cardiovascular disease compared to other Western countries on a high-fat diet because of their high intake of red wine made with grapes. Besides their possible cardiovascular effects, Oligo-Proanthocyanidins (OPCs as attached units of proanthocyanidins are called) are known to have many other health benefits. For example, OPCs stabilize collagen and elastin, which are two essential proteins in connective tissues including blood vessels, muscles, and skin. OPCs are reported to reduce genetic mutations, so they have some anticancer benefits. OPCs have also been shown in clinical trials to promote blood flow and endothelial nitric oxide while reducing edema, capillary fragility, and damage caused by pollution, toxins, and cigarette smoke. These diverse health benefits make Pine Bark proanthocyanidins another perfect candidate to combine with wide-spectrum herbal extracts of Astragalus membranaceus and Pterocarpus marsupium bark.


L-theanine (also known as gamma-glutamylethylamide, or 5-N-ethyl-glutamine) is a uncommon amino acid found preferentially in green tea. Theanine is an analog of glutamine and glutamate and can cross the blood-brain barrier as a potential neuroprotective agent. Among its psychoactive properties, theanine is reported to reduce mental stress and improved cognition and mood via its binding to the GABA brain receptors in the parasympathetic nervous system. Thus, theanine appears to increase the overall level of the brain inhibitory transmitter GABA and is reported to promote alpha wave production in the brain. Theanine also increases brain dopamine concentrations and has significant affinities for the AMPA and NMDA receptors. The NMDA receptors help control memory and synaptic plasticity. Theanine may also have positive effects on serotonin levels to promote restful sleep. In rats, theanine is neuroprotective. All of these neuroprotective properties of L-theanine make it a strong complementary addition to the three essential core herbs of the herbal mix. We named the final 4-herb mix Stem Cell 100, because of its positive effects on adult stem cells and have filed a patent application on this wide-spectrum nutraceutical.

Pilot Field Trial on Human Volunteers

A small clinical field trial using Stem Cell 100 for a period of four months was carried out with healthy volunteers that had cholesterol and blood pressure readings in the normal range. Cholesterol tests and blood pressure monitoring were performed before and after treatment with StemCell 100 to see if the treatment changed cholesterol or blood pressure profiles. In the lab testing, liver function and blood chemistry were the same before and after treatment for all participants, but there was a non-significant trend toward reductions in total cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides with the herbal treatment. These trends would likely have been significant if a larger sample size were used.

The biggest surprise was the relatively large increases in HDL (good cholesterol) in all test subjects including those individuals who were taking statins. The mean HDL was 58 mg/dL before treatment (range of 44 to 73 mg/dL) and was a mean of 72 mg/dL after treatment (range of 58 to 82 mg/dL). Treatment with Stem Cell 100 thus increased HDL by a mean of 13 mg/dL (SD = 1.29 and P = 0.006) or 22% increase in the treated volunteers. Although this was not a placebo controlled trial, this mean HDL increase is much larger than any expected placebo effect and is likely to be significant despite the lack of a placebo control.

We also checked most volunteers before and after Stem Cell 100 treatment for changes in blood pressure. While some individuals were concurrently taking antihypertensive drugs, all volunteers initially tested in the normal range for both systolic (mean = 122 mm Hg with a range of 102 to 133) and diastolic (mean = 79 mm Hg with a range of 70 – 88) blood pressure. After 4 weeks on Stem Cell 100, systolic levels fell to a mean of 112 mm Hg (range of 99 to 121 mg Hg) and diastolic blood pressure fell to a mean of 69.5 mm Hg (range of 61 to 78 mm Hg). These data translate into a highly significant mean systolic loss of 9.5 mm Hg (P less than 0.0003), while diastolic blood pressure had a mean loss trend of 12 mm Hg (P = 0.092). If the sample size were larger, we believe that diastolic blood pressure would also have dropped significantly.

Since this clinical field trial gave such unexpectedly favorable results, we wish to verify these data via a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial using Stem Cell 100 and these indicators. Of course, proper clinical trials are expensive, so sufficient funding will have to be secured before such clinical trials can be started. If you are planning a clinical trial with any of these blood markers or age related-disease endpoints, Stem Cell 100 might be a good adjunct to other therapies that are to be tested.

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