Haven’t heard of Alpha 2 Macroglobulin (A2M)? You’re not alone. But if you or a loved one suffers from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis (RA), this naturally occurring protein found in blood plasma just might be your new best medical friend. A2M inhibits the actions of several types of proteinases. Proteinases are enzymes that break down proteins. But when it comes specifically to osteoarthritis and other kinds of arthritis, A2M therapy is attracting a lot of interest because of its ability to inhibit the action of a particular group of proteinases called Matrix Metalloproteinases (MMPs).
Is A2M Therapy Changing How Osteoarthritis & Rheumatoid Arthritis Are Treated?
So, is this new potential weapon in modern medicine’s arsenal the magic bullet arthritis sufferers have longed for? The National Stem Cell Institute (NSI), a leading U.S. regenerative medicine facility, is watching the development of A2M in therapies for osteoarthritis and RA with great interest. How does it stack up as a possible new addition to established platelet rich plasma therapies? NSI takes a closer look.
A2M Treatment Basics
Alpha 2 Macroglobulin is made in the liver, and occurs naturally in blood plasma. A2M uses specific binding sites to snare bad enzymes that destroy cartilage. Once each binding site has trapped the enzymes, both the A2M and the bound enzymes are disposed of naturally by the body. This is a function known as “suicide inhibition.”
When it comes to osteoarthritis and/or rheumatoid arthritis, medical interest in A2M focuses on how it inhibits the group of proteinases known as Matrix Metalloproteinases (MMPs). One type of proteinase in the MMP group degrades the collagen within cartilage. It’s believed that this is a crucial factor enabling arthritis to destroy joint cartilage.
Obviously, then, turning a naturally occurring protein that obstructs the actions of these MMPs into an effective therapy would be a boon to medical science. But, is it there yet? What do we need to understand about A2M in order to fully develop its medical potential?
Why Medical Science Is Pursuing A2M Therapy To Treat Osteoarthritis & RA
A2M is classified as a cytokine, something that is secreted by the immune system and has an effect on other cells. The existence of A2M has been known for over fifty years, but the discovery of its potential role in slowing the progression of osteoarthritis and RA is new.
A2M can be thought of as the “good guy,” and MMPs as the “bad guys” in conditions like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. When arthritis eats away the cartilage that cushions the joints, MMPs are major players. Chronic inflammation is an “accomplice” of the MMPs when it comes to the degradation that occurs with osteoarthritis and RA. But, healthy joints generally have high levels of A2M. So when there is plenty of Alpha 2 Macroglobulin on patrol, it becomes difficult for the inflammation and cartilage breakdown that are the hallmarks of arthritis to take hold.
Slowing the progression of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
Conventional medications have been invaluable allies in fighting the symptoms of osteoarthritis and RA. But the real goal of medical science is to halt or, at least, significantly slow the progression of arthritis. Even better, today’s breakthroughs in regenerative medicine can even reverse arthritic damage in some cases.
Little wonder, then, that the discovery of A2M’s possible role in preventing MMPs from doing harm has researchers excited about how A2M therapy may become part of the latest regenerative medical techniques in combating arthritis. Might it even usher in cures for rheumatoid and osteoarthritis in the future?
What Research Tells Us About A2M Therapy
Research has only begun studying the impact that A2M might have as a stand-alone therapy for osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. We do know that the regenerative medicine technique of injecting platelet rich plasma (PRP) into affected areas is highly successful in slowing arthritic progression as well as repairing damage and re-growing cartilage. PRP, by its very nature, already contains A2M.
But will isolating A2M and turning it into a therapy apart from PRP treatments prove to be a bonafide cure for osteoarthritis and RA?
Certainly there is scientific evidence that indicates A2M is a key component in halting the progression of osteoarthritis on the molecular level. A2M grabs and stymies the three main chemicals leading to joint and cartilage damage. When A2M entraps these harmful chemicals, our bodies can swiftly remove them.
Current studies are showing how A2M helps block the disintegration of cartilage. In one animal study, researchers injected a concentrate of A2M into test subjects that did not have adequate amounts of A2M already circulating in the blood. When the concentrate was injected around the arthritic joints of the animals, the result was a decrease in arthritis progression.
And an important study conducted by Brown University, collaborating with the National Institutes of Health, showed that while natural concentrations of A2M in joints are inadequate for long-term, effective joint protection, an injection of A2M concentrate protected cartilage by halting progression of osteoarthritis.
Clinically developed concentrations of A2M have also been shown to shield joints
These studies and others indicate that not every joint responds to A2M therapy. However, a test is available that identifies which joints are likely to respond to A2M treatments. The test, called fibronectin-aggrecan G3 complex test (FAC), specifically recognizes a significant level of a particular protein. This is proving to be a highly accurate diagnostic tool for the testing of arthritis.
Clinically developed concentrations of A2M have also been shown to shield joints from a protein complex that makes joints to achy. These studies also indicate that A2M therapy not only relieves osteoarthritis pain, but it hinders or outright prevents joint height degradation, promotes tissue growth, and supports overall joint restoration.
What All This Means About Repairing Arthritic Damage & Relieving Pain
All in all, the studies point to therapeutic injections of A2M concentrate inhibiting the disintegration of cartilage and shutting down the caustic, inflammatory proteins that collect in arthritic joints. And early practical clinical application indicates that early intervention may actually minimize or prevent osteoarthritis that develops due to joint injury.
We know that platelet rich plasma therapy, which naturally contains A2M along with multiple other regenerative and anti-inflammatory components, is exceptional in the treatment of muscle, ligament, tendon, and bone injuries. PRP therapy is already in use in conjunction with adipose (fat)-derived adult stem cell therapy to reduce scar tissue associated with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Will A2M therapy be a natural extension of today’s regenerative medicine?
These regenerative techniques have already been practiced in the United States for many years for the restoration of healthy tissue, the reversal of arthritic damage, and the reduction of inflammation and pain. Sports doctors and professional athletes –including notable pros like tennis champion Rafael Nadal and Masters winner Tiger Woods- have known about PRP therapy for years, and have used it to prevent surgery and return more quickly to competition.
For the average American suffering from osteoarthritis or AR, adipose (fat)-derived adult stem cell and PRP therapies have helped patients return to improved daily activities and a healthier, happier life. The National Stem Cell Institute reports an increase in patients being advised by physicians to seek out PRP and stem cell therapies as a viable, minimally-invasive alternative to surgery.
So, Is A2M Part Of Our Regenerative Medicine Future?
The science behind regenerative medicine has been with us for almost 80 years now, and the application of this medical method has been practiced in the U.S. for about 50. But it wasn’t until the discovery of easily accessed adipose-derived adult stem cells and the development of platelet rich plasma therapy that its use became widely available and affordable to the general public.
Much still needs to be firmly established about A2M’s potential role in treating osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis before leading clinics like NSI will choose to develop pure or near-pure A2M concentrate as a therapy and add it to their list of safe, well-established therapy lines. Meanwhile, the National Stem Cell Institute continues to watch with keen interest to see if research and clinical trials continue to build on the present evidence.
More research is needed, but the potential is exciting
For the time being, NSI advises caution regarding early claims by ethically dubious facilities that offer concentrated A2M therapy injections. NSI does agree with present research that has established A2M’s crucial role in maintaining healthy joints. But, until sufficient A2M studies and trials have been performed, PRP and stem cell therapies are proving to be the most advanced methods for the significant slowing of osteoarthritis and RA progression as well as repairing the damage, restoring function, and relieving pain.
This is because PRP and stem cell therapies have already been shown to raise A2M levels in joints, reduce arthritis pain, slow arthritis progression, and to be exceptionally safe and effective procedures for a wide variety of injuries, illnesses, and chronic conditions, including:
- Arthritis or Osteoarthritis
- Ligament Tears
- Bulging or Herniated Discs
- Tennis or Golfer’s Elbow
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Rotator Cuff Injuries
- Sacroiliac Conditions
- Sciatica and/or Sciatic Nerve Pain
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Chronic Neck, Lower Back, Shoulder, or Knee Pain
- Instability or Balance Issues
- Stiffness, Flexibility, or Range of Motion Problems
Regenerative methods are already changing the way the medical community practices medicine. Today, we know that the human body holds innate potential for generating its own cure for an ever-growing list of injuries, aliments, and chronic disorders. Will A2M prove to be the key to yet others like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and more?
Time will tell, and the NSI is watching with great interest.
About The National Stem Cell Institute
The National Stem Cell Institute (NSI) is a leading regenerative medicine facility located in the United States. It is home to physicians, clinicians, and medical professionals that have undergone post-graduate training in regenerative medicine procedures and/or auxiliary practices such as nutritional counseling and functional rehabilitation that aid healing and promote health during and following PRP and stem cell therapies.
This integrative approach to regenerative medicine means that every team member focuses on seamless, safe, and effective patient care. The health and comfort of patients is NSI’s first priority.
NSI’s mission is to advance patient quality of life through the most advanced developments in regenerative medicine technology, in order to reverse illness, whether physical or neurological, and heal tissues while avoiding invasive surgery and potentially risky medications.
Regenerative medicine facilities are popularly known as stem cell clinics. Regardless of what they are called, the National Stem Cell Institute strongly urges patients interested in regenerative medicine to thoroughly research clinics and medical facilities in order to ensure they are under the care of licensed medical professionals that have been trained in regenerative medical methods.
Below, NSI offers information and tips on what to look for in a licensed stem cell clinic. Those who have questions are encouraged to contact NSI.
What to Look for in a Stem Cell Medical Clinic
When searching for a qualified stem cell therapy center it’s important to remember that not all of them are created equal. Stem cells, when used properly, are your body’s most powerful means for healing that can repair everything from ligaments, tendons, and cartilage to organs including your liver, pancreas and lungs and even neurological tissue like your brain, nerves and spinal cord.
Unfortunately, the majority of so-called “regenerative medicine clinics” in the world aren’t trained in the latest, most technologically advanced procedures and will, therefore, provide poor results if any.
The good news is the National Stem Cell Institute (NSI) has established the most advanced stem cell and platelet rich plasma procedures on the planet which has drawn patients from all over the world as well as professional athletes and celebrities because they are recognized as the best in the world at stem cell therapy.
What makes NSI Stem Cell the top stem cell clinic in the world is demonstrated in 5 key areas:
1. Highly trained and experienced, board-certified doctors and team members who have performed stem cell procedures on thousands of patients with incredible results.
2. Cutting edge procedures utilizing all that regenerative medicine has to offer for many chronic degenerative conditions.
3. Leading scientific researchers who follow the advanced guidelines to maximize the healing potential of your stem cells and to maintain compliance and ethics
4. Use of only the most potent and viable resource of living, viable stem cells and harvested on the same day. No vial that you can purchase will contain living stem cells. If there is no harvest then there are no stem cells.
5. Post-operative guidance for supporting stem-cell growth including rehabilitation, diet and supplement protocols. NSI is a full-service healthcare center focused on patient outcomes. Stem cell therapy is only one tool used to help improve patients’ lives.
Patients have raved about their experience at NSI Stem Cell Clinics testifying that it was their unique cutting-edge procedures that helped them experience a breakthrough when nothing else worked.
If you want to learn more about NSI Stem Cell Clinics, you can set up a complimentary consultation today to see if you are a candidate. You can contact the National Stem Cell Institute at (877) 278-3623.
* Disclaimer: Individual patient results may vary. As each patient’s problem is different, each treatment must be tailored around your specific needs.