Why I’m so Excited About Exosomes
I sometimes refer to exosomes as next level stem cells because they are the isolated “active ingredient” responsible for the regenerative benefits of stem cells, plus better safety parameters and efficacy. Mesenchymal exosomes are the information packets (vesicles of mRNA) that tell surrounding cells to activate repair and regeneration protocols consistent with the generative activity that happens before we are born.
What do they do? I’ll share a few exciting cases from the past year that demonstrate what exosomes do. Most profoundly, they are neuro regenerative.
Case 1 – 60+ female, former equestrian, who is quadriplegic following an accident 4 years ago. C4/5 spinal cord injury plus subsequent stroke and coma secondary to poor hospital care. She presented, frail and barely able to speak, in her power wheelchair, with her husband, about 9 months ago. They were both frustrated with the options conventional medicine had, although she was beginning exceptional PT at VIP Neurorehabilitation. 9 months ago, with exhaustive effort, she could elicit a tiny motion in her foot – not visible, but palpable if you were touching her achilles tendon. Now, she can fully dorsiflex (she says “I’m close to ready to push the gas pedal!) Additionally, she can fully extend her arm, speaks with almost normal volume and control, and has no issues with bowel or bladder (which were continually returning her to the hospital 9 months ago). She has not been hospitalized a single time in our 9 months of treatment.
Case 2 – just turned 60 lifelong boat captain presented with a 3 year history of a non-healing abdominal wound following repeatedly botched abdominal surgery (that’s medical short-hand for a long list of failed surgeries, skin grafts, meshes, infections, opioid over-prescribing etc.). This wound was no joke – 8”x10”, protruding 4” like a tumor; you could smell this wound as he walk into the room. Non-healing wounds are outside my day-to-day so I called the senior wound specialist in San Diego for a second opinion. He and his office worked on this patient with debridement, topicals, and systemic antimicrobials for about two months before he called me back and said it was hopeless. Well, six months later, after extensive exosome and nutritional IVs, and a rigorous weight loss program (85lb!) he had no local infection, healthy regenerative tissue across the whole area, and the team of 3 surgeons were willing to take a chance on the complicated surgery to repair the underlying hernia that caused the original problem. 6 months post-surgery, he’s happy, healthy, and probably the most eligible bachelor in the marina!
Case 3&4 – exosomes are not always heroic. Case in point: hair restoration. While it is trivial to some, it is instrumental to self-confidence and allowing the exterior appearance to exist in congruity with the youthful inner experience many of my clients experience through their intergrative health and wellness protocols. Case in point – the husband of Case 1 asked if he could try exosomes for his male-pattern hair loss. Using a combination of both intravenous and microneedling with topical exosomes, after 6 months, he has noticeably increased thickness in his grey ponytail and his hairline has advanced about 1” towards his forehead. Similarly, 70 yo female with a longstanding commitment to Rogaine for her thinning hair, agreed to stop that treatment and switch to intravenous exosomes. The attached before and 3-months later photos summarize the case.
Case 5 – orthopedics and lean body mass. This is perhaps the most common response to exosomes. 50 year old male with chronic orthopedic complaints in most joints from a lifetime of high intensity sports including semi-pro surfing, off road motorcycling, and keeping up with late-parenthood elementary school children. Not unrelated, experiencing 30lbs above optimal weight and severely limited in increasing physical activity due to injuries and pain. We started with a comprehensive oral anti-inflammatory supplement regimen, diet & lifestyle changes within his current limitations, and augmented this with exosome infusions every 6 weeks. At first, he reported skepticism of the treatment, as he had increased joint pain and inflammation a few days after each treatment. I educated him that this is consistent with the literature that demonstrate that exosomes, because of their ability to hone in on signals of inflammation, do preferentially travel to sites of injury. The initial repair response often involves transient increases in immune activity (i.e inflammation) and this passes, followed by the enhanced tissue repair and reduced overall inflammation. Despite the temporarily worse joint pain, he was thrilled to discover that he leaned up about 5 lb and a few percent body fat with every infusion. Over 6 months, the joint healing and improved body mass index translated into a renewed ability to be physically active and he is now at the level of performance he was at age 40.
Cases 6-12ish – I’m somewhat reluctant to report that the most popular effects of exosome treatment relate to skin rejuvenation. While I will always encourage self-love and acceptance at every age, I personally appreciate the challenges of being a middle aged female in Southern California who simultaneously wants to look as good as I feel, without synthetic injections or plastic surgery. Skin rejuvenation is low hanging fruit for exosome therapy. When used both systemically, or topically as part of a microneedling protocol, exosomes stimulate cellular repair and regeneration resulting in data-documented improvements in fine lines, skin texture, tone, and sun damage. Truly, a therapy to make skin more youthful.
These are just a few of the cases I have seen benefit with exosome therapy. In the literature, there are also cases of ICU-respirator Covid cases who have made 24 hr recoveries following a single exosome infusion. This is due to the ability to interrupt the cytokine storm. Not small outcomes!
How can one treatment have such widespread benefits?
The benefits are related to the mechanism of action. Exosomes stimulate repair and regeneration across all tissue types because they deliver instructions to cells to initiate the DNA replication protocols we have prenatally. These protocols, by definition, are designed to create rapid tissue (re)generation and growth and to be hypervigilant for errors or mutations. As such, following an exosome treatment, the cells behave like babies again and the subsequent tissue regeneration has the youthful properties we seen in babies.
How do I try it?
I recommend starting your exosome journey with photos of what you are trying to address. Ensure good light, no make up. Get someone to help you get a good angle if an inflamed joint or the back of your hair is your target. Exosomes are delivered as an IV infusion or microneedled into the skin. This is done once every 4-6 weeks, using 2-5 units of exosomes. In general, one should allow 3 months for full effects, although many people find benefits begin immediately.
Do you have more questions? Schedule a consultation and I will answer specific questions and make alternative recommendations if exosomes are not for you.