Don't Become an Amniotic "Stem Cell" Victim - Regenexx®

Don’t Become an Amniotic “Stem Cell” Victim

Is amniotic stem cell therapy, offered by physicians or chiropractors, for real, or is it a scam? To determine what it is and what it isn’t, let’s break it down in an Amniotic Stem Cell Therapy Review.

I’ve discussed the great amniotic “stem cell” deception here many times over the years. The basic idea is that amniotic products don’t have any viable and functional cells in third party testing (i.e. that not sponsored by the manufacturer). Hence, a bait and switch happens when a medical provider gets sold an amniotic product as having living stem cells. The sales rep was either told that lie by the manufacturer or just invents it to sell the product. He or she doesn’t have the educational background to check that claim. The doctor then passes that lie on to his or her patients. These are textbook examples of consumer fraud.

Today, I’m going to discuss what makes these ads consumer fraud and what you can do about if you’ve been a victim. First, let’s review some of the amniotic “stem cell” concerns I’ve shared in the past.

An Amniotic Stem Cell Therapy Review

The biggest fib of all regarding amniotic stem cells (aka “placental stem cells” or “amniotic stem cell factors”) is that they contain live cells. They don’t!  The Interventional Orthopedics Foundation (IOF) tested amniotic stem cells and found that not only did they not have even a single living cell, they also didn’t help older stem cells perform any better, and they didn’t have any more growth factors (and usually less) than simpler and less expensive platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections. Yet, there are many providers out there claiming these dead cells are somehow regenerative and doing exactly what the IOF has found they can’t do. While you might benefit from some of the growth factors found in these products, you aren’t actually receiving “stem cell therapy” if the amniotic stem cells being injected are dead.

Here is important information to help you avoid becoming a victim of cord blood or amniotic stem cell therapy fraud:

What Makes Amniotic “Stem Cell Therapy” Consumer Fraud?

So we know the stem cells in these amniotic products are dead, but in order to benefit from their use, these stem cells need to be alive and healthy. Obviously, it isn’t “stem cell therapy” if the cells are dead. Some providers finagle their way around this by never stating the stem cells are living.

Imagine I advertised a “cute little goldfish pet” for sale. But when you receive the goldfish, it’s dead. Now, in the ad, I never claimed it was living, so my advertising was accurate, right? Wrong! Clearly, a dead goldfish isn’t a pet, so this goes beyond misleading to being consumer fraud. Countless clinics are selling these dead amniotic stem cells via clever wording, but it’s really an epidemic scam sweeping the nation. Selling dead amniotic stem cells is as much consumer fraud as selling dead goldfish.

What Can You Do if You’ve Been a Victim of Amniotic Stem Cell Consumer Fraud?

If you’ve been a victim of amniotic or cord “stem cell” consumer fraud, first file a complaint with the following agencies:

We’d also appreciate it if you’d let us know. One of our missions is to protect consumers from clinics offering substandard care, so we need to know what’s happening out there.

The upshot? Amniotic stem cell therapy as being advertised do not contain viable and functional cells. Whether they’re powdered, in vials on a shelf, sterilized, frozen and thawed, or whatever other crazy processing method is out there today, at this point amniotic stem cells are still just dead tissue, and it’s more likely than not that based on the in-vitro testing, they aren’t going to help any more than a much less expensive PRP injection would. By knowing what to look for and what to expect out there in the wild west of stem cells, hopefully this Amniotic Stem Cell Therapy Review will protect you from becoming a victim of consumer fraud.




*DISCLAIMER: Like all medical procedures, Regenexx® Procedures have a success and failure rate. Patient reviews and testimonials on this site should not be interpreted as a statement on the effectiveness of our treatments for anyone else.
Read 8 Comments
  1. Is Dr Centeno saying NO amniotic stem cell injections contain live, viable, functioning stem cells?
    Or is he referring to just some batches of amniotic fluid being used for amniotic stem cell injection therapy?
    I just watched a video here, , where patients underwent such procedures, and the stem cells arrived from the manufacturer packed in dry ice.
    Elsewhere in the video series I’ve seen several emphatic testimonials by patients that seem to confirm their miraculous recoveries from amniotic stem cell injections.
    What’s going on?

  2. I received two amniotic injections. The first one was in my left knee in April 2016 after x-rays showed my knee was bone on bone. I acheived great results. I returned to biking 30 miles at a stretch in the summer with no problems. I had occasional pain from sitting in cramped quarters at times, but that eventually went away.

    However, I started noticing unrelated pain in my right hip after my knee got better. As it got more difficult to walk, I had it looked at by an orthopedics specialist. He said I had no joint left and said I can get cortisone injections or a hip replacement. Instead, I got another amniotic injection beginning of December 2017. It’s eight weeks and results are very encouraging. There is no more grinding in the hip. As I go through the physical therapy follow up, my mobility is improving a lot. I expect within 2 – 3 weeks, I will be able be fully active.

    The doctor who gave me the injection said he was once skeptical, but he tried it to treat his shoulder. Now he says he feels he could pitch for the Cubs. He made no claims to the stem cells being alive, but indicated that the amniotic fluid stimulates activity with the stem cells that are already present.

    The results are great Regenex should consider offering it rather than dismissing it.

    1. Bob, great to hear that your doctor didn’t try a bait and switch and claim that there were live cells! These are growth factor shots and as such, can help the pain. However, they likely work about as well as a PRP shot that costs about 1/3 to 1/4 as much. However, if they worked for you, that’s great! We do offer these injections at Regenexx, we just don’t call them stem cell procedures and we realize that they are an expensive alternative to a much cheaper PRP injection.

  3. Dear dr.,
    My mom had amniotic stem cells to knee on June 29, 2017. Right after treatment she felt ill. We thought something was wrong. Doctor took fluid from knee no infection just inflamation also ordered blood test. WBC slightly elevated red blood count low, esr high, crp high. Always had normal blood work before last normal test April, 2017. The stem cells are from burst biological. Tested for a lot of infectious diseases nothing has come up but I am sure it still could be because they do very little testing of donors. I have the package insert that lists what they test for. Numerous other test for vasculitis etc. all neg.
    Esr now is 109 and crp is 112 also animea from inflammation we think. we keep testing as
    it changes. We were led to be leave they were live stem cells. I only found out they are dead. Thank you for your web site as I do think this is fraud. If you know of any toxins added to anmionic stem cellls or adverse reaction please advise. Also I think rejection is not an issue but could they set off an immune response.
    Thanking you in advance,
    Steven Gugggi. 845-783-4812

    1. Please report this to the FDAs Medwatch system, see . Physicians and scientists who have noted reactions like this from amnio/cord products (patients who end up in the ER or ICU) have postulated that these may be graft versus host disease reactions. We have been told that these products are immune privileged (i.e. don’t cause a rejection reaction in the patient), but to the extent that there may be any small amount of live cells that die off over hours after injection, this may be enough for the body to go into overdrive to try to get rid of the foreign cells.

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