Using Fat to Fight Osteoarthritis

June 19,2018

Macquarie Stem Cells has provided this information to educate the public based on peer reviewed, published scientific and medical documents. We don’t aim to encourage consumers to seek out such treatments prior to an assessment by a health professional to determine your suitability for treatment. This is obtained directly from NCBI Pubmed Literature. We aim to provide you with an unbiased range of treatments that are available aside from biological therapy, This is discussed in ‘other-options’  page on our website.

Your fat is good in the right areas. Over the past few decades, we have identified many generations trying to eliminate fat. But, what if it could be put to good use?

In the cosmetic world, fat is now being removed from undesired areas and being placed into areas of interest such as the buttocks and breast. More importantly, in the medical world we are now at a point where scientific and medical collaboration is becoming extremely effective. Fat is being used to fight disease and chronic conditions.

In 2001, a very clever biologist by name of Paticia Zuk published a landmark paper called “Multilineage Cells from Human Adipose Tissue”. This was ground breaking, Zuk revealed human body fat contained significant properties that could be used to heal injuries, tissues, fight disease and illnesses. We are now almost two decades past this publication and the medicine revolving around biological treatments are gaining ground rapidly. There have been thousands of scientific and medical articles published identifying the use of biological therapies.

For example, a great publication by Bateman et al. examined a five-year lead-up to 2017, where multiple medical and scientific journals were reviewed to understand the effectiveness of biological treatments on a range of conditions. Such as;

  • osteoarthritis,
  • ischemic stroke,
  • multiple sclerosis,
  • myocardial ischemia,
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,
  • idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis,
  • chronic liver failure,
  • glioblastoma,
  • acute kidney injury, and
  • chronic skin wounds

In many of the human studies, the preferred method of biological treatment was based on collecting the patients own body fat via mini-liposuction procedure.

Amongst all these conditions listed above, there were two common links established. Improvements were due a significant reduction of inflammation and promotion of tissue repair. Some auto-immune conditions also moved into a state of remission post biological treatment. Very few treatment-related adverse events were reported. The main adverse event was post-procedural pain, which is to be expected after any surgical procedure. (Bateman, et al, 2018)

Bateman concluded his publication with ‘biological treatments are promising therapies for a variety of human diseases, particularly for patients with severe cases unmanageable with current medical treatments’.

Moving forward, the main topic of interest is osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is the current leader in the field of biological treatments, this is where we have the greatest evidence of effectiveness and safety. In 2017 a paper published by Dr. Jaewoo Pak reviewed over 1500 patients treated between the years of 2011 through to 2016. Doctors from a variety of clinics around the world released series of publications for the treatment of osteoarthritis using biological interventions as opposed to the common methods available in medicine. The biological treatment used in these publications was often taken from the patient’s own body fat.

The largest study within this review took place by Professor Michalek in 2015. Focusing on 1114 patients, the results of this study written by Dr. Pak stated, “No serious side effects were reported, and no incidents of cancer were reported. The clinical effects, measured on the basis of pain, non-steroid analgesic usage, limping, extent of joint movement, and stiffness, all improved. At 12 months after treatment, 63% of all patients reported approximately 75% symptom improvement and 91% of all patients reported approximately 50% of symptom improvement.” (Pak J., et al. 2017)

Only 4 patients required joint replacements after the study follow up period.

Dr. Pak concluded his review with ‘Biological treatment methods have a great clinical potential to treat various orthopedic disorders as seen in human studies. These new approaches may be worthwhile to try in individuals for whom medical treatment has failed and for whom surgical options are not available.’ (Pak J., et al, 2017)

Just remember, as much as our goal is to educate you about new medical treatments, you always have the option of doing nothing. Sometimes, this is the safest option. Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.


REF: Bateman, M., Strong, A., Gimble, J. and Bunnell, B. (2018). Using Fat to Fight Disease: A Systematic Review of Non-Homologous Adipose-Derived Stromal/Stem Cell Therapies. STEM CELLS.

REF2: Pak, J., Lee, J., Park, K., Park, M., Kang, L. and Lee, S. (2017). Current use of autologous adipose tissue-derived stromal vascular fraction cells for orthopedic applications. Journal of Biomedical Science, 24(1).

REF3: Thirumala, S., Gimble, J. and Devireddy, R. (2010). Cryopreservation of stromal vascular fraction of adipose tissue in a serum-free freezing medium. Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, 4(3), pp.224-232.

REF4: Zuk P, et al. Tissue Eng. 2001;7:211−228

TAGS: Macquarie Stem Cells, Possibilities of Biological Treatments, Focusing on Osteoarthritis, Macquarie Stem Cells treating osteoarthritis, Dr. Ralph Bright biological treatment

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