[Transcript] – The Difference Between Getting Stem Cells Internationally Vs. The USA, Peptides, Testosterone & Hormones, Tissue Engineering, DNA Editing, Truths & Myths Of Regenerative Medicine & More With Dr. Adeel Khan.

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Articles, Transcripts

From podcast: https://bengreenfieldlife.com/podcast/adeel-khan-podcast

[00:00:00] Introduction

[00:01:29] Podcast Sponsors

[00:06:35] Guest Introductions

[00:11:19] Adeel's background, history and training

[00:13:28] Working with true stem cells

[00:15:33] Stem cells vs progenitor cells

[00:26:37] Recovery time from the procedure

[00:27:51] Stacking Pathways and IV Stem Cells

[00:32:38] Tissue engineering and 3D Bio Printing

[00:33:53] Gene editing

[00:40:20] Combination of IV stem cells, peptides and FMT for treating autoimmune conditions

[00:42:52] Combining stem cells with exosomes

[00:44:22] Optimization of hormones

[00:46:46] Dr. Khan’s Typical Day 

[01:01:07] Closing the Podcast

[01:01:49] End of Podcast

[01:02:25] Disclaimer

Ben:  My name is Ben Greenfield. And, on this episode of the Ben Greenfield Life podcast.

Adeel:  It all comes back to, I think, the model of understanding that disease starts in the cell. You have to really understand the seven or eight hallmarks of aging, mitochondrial dysfunction like stem cell exhaustion, telomere attrition, loss of proteostasis. These are all terms to just say that the cell is not functioning the way it should be. 

And so, instead of just saying, “Hey, let's just target this one thing and hopefully it'll work.” Instead, what we say in regenerative medicine and functional medicine is we say, “Wait a minute,” like, “there's seven or eight different processes going on here, so why don't we try to stack different therapies or modalities so we can treat all the different cellular pathways?” 

For example, with chronic pain, we know that inflammation is part of it, so yes, we'll get some very good anti-inflammatory stem cells, inject them into the spot. A lot of times, there's a big component of immune dysfunction. So, that's where peptides can be super helpful like thymosin alpha 1 and thymosin beta 4 because it can help with the immune system. And then, you can also do IV stem cells because they help to systemically target all those other hallmarks of aging. And, that's why I love IV stem cells because they're really comprehensive in terms of targeting all those cellular hallmarks of Aging.

Ben:  Faith, family, fitness, health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking and a whole lot more. Welcome to the show. 

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Well, folks, as you no doubt know, there's a lot of myths and there's a lot of confusion out there when it comes to stem cells. Regenerative medicine, in general, stem cells particularly, I mean, people are constantly asking me what's better, your own stem cells or some other source like umbilical or placental or whatever? Or, is it true that stem cells don't work unless they're combined with certain things or some sort of scaffolding they could grow on? Do you need to combine them with exosomes or do exosomes actually work? It doesn't matter where those come from. Is tissue engineering and gene editing as dangerous as it sounds? Should you or could you combine stem cells with things like peptides or hormones? And, if so, what would be the ideal stack or protocol for that? 

Obviously, if you've listened to this podcast for a while, interviewed other people in the stem cell industry, other physicians in the stem cell industry. And, I recently met a guy who has really impressed me in terms of his body of knowledge. He is a guy who a ton of pro athletes, royal families like a lot of bigwigs travel to be treated by this particular guy. He's trained in sports medicine. He specializes in regenerative medicine. He conducted one of the first Health Canada approved clinical trials with what are called mesenchymal stromal cells or MSCs. He is known around the world for treating high-profile celebrities and athletes. He's one of those guys that people travel to be treated by because he knows what he's doing. He studied heck out of this stuff. He's a chief scientific officer of a company called Science & Humans. He teaches as an assistant clinical professor at University of Toronto where he works with medical students and residents. Currently, at the time that we are recording this podcast, he's in Dubai. And you're going to want to visit the shownotes for today's podcasts, which are going to be at BenGreenfieldLife.com/DrKhan. That's D-R-K-H-A-N. Because the name of my podcast guest today is Adeel Khan, Adeel Khan, K-H-A-N. We've never talked before on the show. He's a brand-new podcast guest. You're going to learn a ton. 

Adeel, welcome to the show, man.

Adeel:  Thanks for having me. I'm excited.

Ben:  Do you spend a lot of time over there in Dubai, by the way?

Adeel:  No, it was actually just all incidental. So, what happened was in March of this year, I got flown in by the richest man in Dubai. His name is Mohamed Alabbar. He's the owner of Emaar. He basically built the whole city. So, the reason why Dubai is the way it is and it became an iconic place is because of Emaar. Anyone who knows anything about Dubai knows Emaar is the main principal for why people come here because of the Burj Khalifa, the six tallest buildings in the world. It was all built by this man. 

And, what happened was basically it's a funny story because the personal trainer to the Crown Prince of Dubai heard about me and followed me on Instagram and stuff, and then this Alabbar guy, the Emaar founder had a shoulder and knee issue and he wanted PRP. And, there's probably a thousand people offering PRP in Middle East. And so, he's like, “No, I want the best.” So then, my name came up, and then he flew me down and I treated him and I treated his wife and he was super happy. And obviously, when you treat the richest man in Dubai, you get access to a lot of the high-net-worth individuals. And so, that's why I ended up back here, just basically because I treated him. I went to literally treat two people and then there was like everyone wanted me to treat them. And, I was like, “I'm leaving in like five days.” So, I just came back so I could treat a lot of people who just wanted to have access to my care and obviously my technology. And obviously, it's good for networking and business and branding all that stuff too.

Ben:  Yeah. I definitely want to talk about your technology because you're doing some super different stuff with stem cells based on a couple of conversations that we've had. So, we'll dig into that in a little bit. But, yeah, Dubai is beautiful. I think a lot of people, they get, I don't know, kind of nervous. I talked to a lot of Americans who have this idea that it's just like this crazy foreign country that's dangerous, et cetera. But, Dubai is clean, it's amazing, it's like a clean Las Vegas, Disney World for adults.

Adeel:  Literally. I say it's like Las Vegas meets Beverly Hills meet Silicon Valley in the Arab world. So, basically, like this innovation hub and you have some of the brightest people around the world. Just to give you context, 4,000 billionaires moved into the region in the last year alone; from Russia, from China, from all over probably because of a tax haven but obviously, because there's so much money here that just keeps compounding. So, it's a pretty remarkable place. So, for people, I think yeah, just generally speaking, if people want, there's definitely none of that Islamic law stuff or any of that. So, you don't have to worry about getting police or anything. You can enjoy your time.

Ben:  Yeah, cool. Cool. Explain to me your background like, how are you different than any other stem cell doctors out there? Why is it that people are going to you as the go-to guy right now in the stem cell industry? I want to learn a little bit more about your background and your history and your training.

Adeel:  Yeah. I think it comes down to working with good scientists and good doctors. So, one of the doctors I trained with originally was Dr. Galea out of Toronto, Canada. He was actually the pioneer of PRP. So, he was the first one in the world to do PRP injections. And so, obviously, I got into this whole regenerative field with him. And then, obviously, as the technology evolved, then I kind of got into stem cells and I got connected with a guy named Dr. Ian White. He's a Harvard-trained scientist and he's had 20 years of experience in the field. And so, basically, I've been working with him and also with University of Toronto on how can we enhance stem cell function and then also how can we better select who the best candidates are for stem cells too. So, those are two of the things we're working on. 

But, the biggest key difference, I think between what we do and what everyone else does, is that we actually have third-party testing to validate our cytokine profile. So, meaning what is the actual protein profile? Where are the growth factors? What are the anti-inflammatory factors and how many lifestyles are there actually in the stem cell that you're using or even in the exosome products? So, for example, with Dr. Ian White, we have our own proprietary process and how we harvest the umbilical cord stem cells and how we harvest the amniotic fluid. And, we've done third-party testing compared to other products and we have the best profile.

Obviously, if people want to see that, whatever, we can make it public knowledge. But, the point is we've had validation to show that. And, that's why I think people get attracted to me specifically is because I'm working with scientists, I'm not just working on my own as a doctor. Because the reality is regenerative medicine, regenerative science is evolving so rapidly. And, unless you have scientists to kind of back you up, there's no way you're going to be able to keep up with the depth of the field. Even in Dubai, I'm working with a scientist from Italy. So, his name is Dr. Giuseppe Mucci. And, he has some patents on stem cell tech too and genomics. And, he's a really brilliant guy too. But, I'm so fortunate because I get exposed to all these high-level scientists and I get to learn their 20, 30 years of experience and condense it and then I can obviously share it with the world.

Ben:  Yeah. When you say that you guys are able to profile the stems cells, what exactly do you mean? What are you looking at when you're profiling a stem cell?

Adeel:  It's called flow cytometry. So, there's two aspects to it. So, if people looking to get stem cells done, they should always ask for two things. Number one is quality control. 50% of the money we spend on just our stem cell processing is quality control to test for infections, diseases, make sure it's good quality cells. And then, the other thing is flow cytometry, which is basically a special type of microbiological test where you look at the actual markers. Meaning, there's certain markers that stem cells need to have to actually be a true stem cell. It has to have what are called certain CD markers. And so, if it doesn't have the right profile, then it's not really a stem cell or a stromal cell, which is another topic for discussion, but we can go into that.

But, there's a lot of misconception on what is–let's start with what's an actual true stem cell, because the problem is you have literally hundreds of clinics in the U.S. offering stem cell injections. But, in fact, none of them are actually offering true stem cells. They're offering what are called committed progenitor cells or medicinal signaling cells. As of now, unless you are in a clinical style, every stem cell procedure you are receiving is not a true stem cell. The reason is because unless you isolate the actual mesenchymal stem cells or stromal cells and expand them in a facility, it is not a true stem cell because what you're injecting when you take your bone marrow or when you take your fat is just what's called progenitor cells. So, meaning they have a certain cell lineage that they're going to differentiate into. So, the meaning they can still turn into certain cells, but the main effect is anti-inflammatory. And, it's what's called paracrine. So, sending signals to reduce inflammation.

Ben:  And, you still get some benefit from that, right?

Adeel:  Of course. And, that's why people still go back and they say I had a stem cell injection, it worked great, but it's not really a stem cell injection. It is important for the nomenclature because people are getting–it's one of those things that's like, it's not really a stem cell injection. But, are people going to just go around saying, “I had a progenitor cell injection?” Probably not. But, I think as long as they understand what is a true stem cell versus what you're getting in the states right now.

Ben:  Okay. Alright.

So, these progenitor cells that you get in the state States, the reason for that is because, from what I understand, it's illegal or something or considered to be the creation of a pharmaceutical to modify your own stem cells so they got to leave them as progenitor cells?

Adeel:  Exactly. So, basically what they did, and this was probably the lobbyists obviously, people like Pfizer and they have a lot of strong–I was actually just on a call yesterday and I actually know someone in the FDA who's said, because of the drug lobbies, they want to classify stem cells as a drug and they want them to go through the same type of trials, which cost $30 to $50 million. That type of work is very expensive. No doctor is going to do that. You can't do that unless you're a big pharmaceutical company or a big company. 

As of now, basically, they're saying any sort of true stem cells where you're isolating, you're expanding or you're taking perinatal tissue like amniotic or umbilical cord stem cells. Those are classified as a drug. And therefore, they're not allowed to be used in the U.S.

Ben:  Quick question about that. Didn't the judge in California toss an FDA lawsuit recently? I was talking with Dr. Harry Adelson about this and he said that something happened in California that would open the door to the proliferation of clinics that could expand stem cells. Do you hear anything about that?

Adeel:  As far as I know, and I work with like the orthobiological Institute and then working with the American College of Regenerative Medicine as well, which is the largest regenerative medicine organization. We have a team of 100 lawyers and maybe as a very specific case. But, as of now, definitely, outside of clinical trials, you are not allowed to expand stem cells in the U.S. More so if you get an infection or something bad happens, the insurance won't even cover you. You can lose your license, basically.

I didn't want to leave Canada. I like Canada, but its regulation is so pathetic, they're like 10 years behind. So, that's why I'm working in Mexico, Italy, Dubai. I'm working in Egypt. I'm working all over the world doing the stem cells, like expanded stem cells because it's approved pretty much everywhere else except Canada and U.S.

Ben:  Yeah. I'm looking at an article right now on this ruling in the state of California and it says this Judge Bernal ruled in favor of the defendants of the Cell Surgical Network saying that their treatments and their expanding cells were outside of FDA jurisdiction and that the stem cells weren't considered drugs. I have no clue what that means for the industry, but it seems like something's kind of happening.

Adeel:  Yeah. It could set a precedence. Yeah, for sure. But, the problem is there's people on the other side who are trying to push back. And, if we're a doctor, it's basically a gray area and you don't know if your malpractice will cover it. So, you have to be very careful. That's my advice to doctors who are doing it. And, we are opening up a clinic in Florida, actually, with the Florida Panthers. So, we're opening up with the professional hockey team. And, I'd love to offer expanded stem cells there, but maybe I'll have to look more into that. But, as of now, we can't as far as I know.

Ben:  But, you could do it internationally?

Adeel:  Yeah, exactly. Especially my athletes, all those guys will just fly down to Mexico and it's no problem.

Ben:  Okay. Alright, got it.

So, back to these stem cells versus these progenitor cells. It's my understanding that stem cells can just replicate and replicate and replicate and they can be expanded almost indefinitely, but progenitor cells are kind of like limited. Hence, back to what you were saying, they have a little bit of an inflammatory or a paracrine signaling effect. But, does that mean that they don't actually heal the tissue or grow new tissue as effectively?

Adeel:  Exactly. They don't have what's called engraftment effect. Meaning, they don't actually engraft and regrow new tissue. They help to reduce inflammation, which should still be helpful like we're saying and it can still help especially for osteoarthritis, for example. It could still help for two, three years. But, it's not going to regrow you a new knee. If you want to regrow a new knee, there is a way to do that but you need what's called the regenerative medicine triad. You need progenitor cells or stem cells, you need growth factors and you need a scaffold.

Ben:  What are the three again? You said, you need the cells, and what else?

Adeel:  The cells, growth factors, and a scaffold.

Ben:  The cells, growth factor, and scaffold. So, the cells would be your own stem cells that have been expanded, right?

Adeel:  Yes. And, that expanded stem cells obviously have growth factors in them. So, that covers two of them.

Ben:  Okay. So, you don't have to do additional growth factors if the stem cells has been expanded.

Adeel:  No. Unless you're doing like–some people might mix PRP for additional growth factors, but you don't necessarily do especially if you're expanding the stem cells.

Ben:  Okay. Now, what about the scaffolding? What's that?

Adeel:  Yeah. So, the scaffolding is very interesting. So, there's a guy out of University of Washington named [00:20:10] ______. He's the first guy in the world to develop FDA-approved–it's under clinical trial right now so it's not approved yet, but it's an FDA-approved clinical trial for 3D bioprinting scaffold. And, he's using what's called hydrogel polymer. So basically, it's made up of hyaluronic acid, which is like collagen and it's a chain of that. So, they'll look at a knee or hip, and then they'll actually customs biodegradable scaffold. They'll seed it with the stem cells and then it will actually resurface the entire joint. So, that can grow you a new knee.

Ben:  Holy cow. So, what's the scaffolding made out of?

Adeel:  It's a biodegradable hydrogel, which is made up of hyaluronic acid, essentially. 

Ben:  Let's say it's a knee, would you, first after you've taken out someone's stem cells and prepared those for an injection, take the hyaluronic acid and inject that with a needle into the knee?

Adeel:  You would actually use a scope. And yes, you would inject that into the knee and it would create an actual scaffold that holds and then you seed the scaffold with the stem cells. And then, that actually resurfaced the entire joint. So, I'm actually working with first shot because we want to be the first ones in the world to offer that in Mexico because obviously, I mean, U.S. is not going to approve that probably for 5-10 years. Because again, this is going to take away from knee and hip replacements, and that's the biggest money generator for hospitals. So, if you're basically disrupting the whole medical care system, so they're going to fight back as much as they can. It's going to be interesting.

Ben:  So, the scaffolding goes in first. It sounds like a very unique approach. I haven't heard of this before. The scaffolding goes in first and then the stem cells, I'm assuming you're using someone's own stem cells like their marrow or their fat cells. Are you using a different source of stem cells to go in on top of that scaffolding?

Adeel:  Yeah, we can talk about that. So, what's better? Autologous or allogeneic? So, that means using your body's own versus using someone else's. So, the literature is still not a 100% clear, but based off the general scientific community and the way the trends in the literature, allogenic meaning donated is better. The main reason being because you can use umbilical cord and umbilical cord has no chance to undergo any mutations as fresh stem cells in terms of the growth factors and all that too like the fat stem cells. And obviously, if you're older too. If you're 55, you have knee pain, your stem cells aren't going to be that great to begin with. So, it's better to use a young healthy persons or babies from perinatal tissue.

Ben:  Okay.

Now, back to the expansion thing, are those stem cells expanded?

Adeel:  Yes.

Ben:  Okay.

Adeel:  For resurfacing the joint, you use it. There's actually been quite a few research trials now using expanded stem cells for osteoarthritis. And, if you don't expand the stem cells, the results are quite mixed. It's probably 70, 80% not bad. But, when you expand the stem cells, for example with fat stem cells or bone marrow and you have between 10 to 50 million somewhere and that range seems to be the right dose, then the results are almost close to 100%, especially if you inject them intraosseous, which means into the subchondral bone. 

So, just to give you an idea. But, the problem with osteoarthritis is that the cartilage thins out, but then the bone underneath also gets damaged, right? It's called the subchondral unit. And so, if you don't treat the bone and the cartilage together, then you're not going to get a great result. So, there's actually been research out of Europe in France and they actually did a 12-year follow-up where they did intraosseous stem cell injection. So, intraosseous means they put it into the bone and they put it into the joint. And, they did a 12-year follow-up with one group had knee replacements and one group had the intraosseous stem cells. And, the group that had the intraosseous stem cells, only one person ended up needing revision into a knee replacement; whereas, five people in the knee replacement group ended up need revision. And so, it's long-term incredible results. It's actually potentially better than the knee replacement.

Ben:  This whole interosseous idea, it's my understanding that it's almost like aerating a lawn where you put little holes, you inject little holes on the two articulating surfaces of a joint, and then you almost plug those up with the stem cells and then it kind of regrows some of the articular cartilage, right?

Adeel:  Yeah, exactly.

Ben:  Okay. Now, the reason that this is cool and the reason I know this is because I don't know if I told you this story in any of our phone calls, but my knee was at 20, 25% capacity a year and a half ago and I had that intraosseous needling done in my knee. It was in the U.S., so I don't know how expanded these stem cells were or whatever. But, my knees are 90% now. It's pretty crazy. And, that's the exact protocol that I had done after an orthopedic surgeon told me, “Hey, look, you're going to have to get scoped. You got arthritis. You probably lost this knee.” And, I mean, I'm running around the pickleball court, the tennis court. I went on a run the other day. I'm thinking about signing up for a triathlon now that I can run again. It's pretty crazy.

Adeel:  We can get you the other 10% there if you're still having some issues because we can use the expanded stem cells.

Ben:  Is one of the advantages also of going with something umbilical from a young healthy source, the fact that you don't have to wait. Because if you take out your own bone marrow and your own fat, does that take a little while to expand those cells?

Adeel:  It does. It takes three to four weeks. So, that's why for out-of-town people, we have a bank of allogeneic stem cells ready to go for fat and for umbilical cord as well.

Ben:  Okay. And, there's no babies harmed in the harvesting of these cells, right?

Adeel:  No, no. In fact, it's the opposite. So, it's not embryonic stem cells. So, embryonic stem cells, those were the controversial ones where it's like you create an embryo and you're taking their stem cells. And obviously, you're potentially killing the fetus, so that's very controversial. And so, no one really does that. But, embryonic stem cells are through what's called totipotent stem cells. Meaning, they can turn into any type of tissue; whereas, the MSCs, the mesenchymal stem cells or mesenchymal stromal cells that we're using, they're what's called pluripotent. So, they still have the ability to turn into multiple different types of cells. But mainly, they turn into either muscle fat, cartilage. Those are these typical cell lineages that they go into. So, that's why the MSCs are great for musculoskeletal conditions because that's usually what we're trying to treat.

To your question, I do prefer the umbilical cord over the fat when it comes to IV stem cells. But, when it comes to injections, I usually use the fat because the fat, it has a greater propensity to turn into cartilage. Whereas, umbilical cord can turn into a lot of different cell lineages.

Ben:  Interesting. So, what's the recovery time for a procedure like that? Are you out for a while? Do you get a lot of pain and a re-initiation of the inflammatory process? Are you on your feet the next day?

Adeel:  It really varies. I had some people literally they were pain-free in a week and they felt great and had no pain after. And then, other people have pretty bad pain for two, three days. If it's really bad, maybe one or two weeks. But, most of the time, you're only resting or non-weight-bearing for 48 hours. And then, you can go back on your feet and then you do cycling and activity. And then, within two weeks, most people are back to where they were and then they start noticing results pretty quickly within six weeks. I don't know how long it took you, but usually, that's what I find.

Ben:  That was pretty fast and like Wolverine, bro. It took me about five days. But, I do a lot of stuff. I do the red-light therapy and I do PEMF and hyperbaric. I think if you have access to a lot of these modalities post-treatment, it's pretty impressive.

Adeel:  Exactly. And, that's what we do in Mexico. We can stack cell–what I call stacking different cellular pathways. So, you can stack multiple pathways. And then, that way, you can optimize the recovery, especially since I'm dealing with literally the highest-paid athletes in the world. And so, for them, every week makes a difference. So, if we can get them back faster, it's going to potentially mean a million dollars or something like that.

Ben:  Tell me a little bit more about stacking pathways. What kind of things are you doing?

Adeel:  Yeah. So, I treat a lot of chronic pain. That's one of my specialties. And, the problem with traditional chronic pain is, I mean, the whole system is broken. I mean, I don't know if you've heard that documentary about the whole Purdue Pharmacy and how they got people hooked on oxycontin and all this stuff.

Ben:  What documentary is that?

Adeel:  It's really good one. It's called “The Pharmacist.” It's on Netflix, highly recommended.

Ben:  Okay.

Adeel:  But, it's basically about this company called Purdue Pharmacy and they essentially tricked more or less. But, doctors aren't children, so I don't know if you could say they were tricked, but let's just say they trick doctors to believe that pain was a vital sign like the sixth vital sign and that they had to treat pain using pain meds. And so, they essentially whenever anyone had a pain more than 5, 6 out of 10, they would be like, “Here, take some oxycontin. No problem, it's not addicting, it's great for you. It's going to help get rid of your pain.” And then, obviously, we found out it's superly addicting, people overdosing, people dying. And then, eventually, they had multiple lawsuits, but they made $20 billion, they got lawsuits for 5 billion, and then they just obviously closed shop but they're up 15 billion. So, this is what pharmaceutical companies do, it's just a classic playbook.

Ben:  Wow.

Adeel:  So, the whole paradigm with chronic pain has been very usurped by these pharmaceutical companies. And now, it's kind of like, I would say, mainly pain doctors who are usually anesthesiologists and they're very traditionally trained. So, what that means is they only know how to tackle one pathway. So, they'll be like, “Okay, you have chronic back pain, it's your joint causing it. So, let's inject some cortisone in there, or let's do a nerve block, and then we can get rid of the pain that way.” 

But, the reality is chronic pain has so many different pain generators. Yes, inflammation can be one part of it, there can obviously be biomechanics. It can be the immune system related to it. There can even be, what's called, oxidative stress like reactive oxygen species. There's a lot of different cellular pathways that could affect osteoarthritis. So, it all comes back to, I think, the model of understanding that disease starts in the cell. So, you have to really understand the seven or eight hallmarks of aging. And, I think you probably know them like mitochondrial dysfunction, stem cell exhaustion, telomere attrition, loss of proteostasis. So basically, these are all terms to just say the cell is not functioning the way it should be. 

And so, instead of just saying, “Hey, let's just target this one thing and hopefully it'll work.” Instead, what we say in regenerative medicine and functional medicine is, we say, “Wait a minute,” like “there's like seven or eight different processes going on here, so why don't we try to stack different therapies or modalities so we can treat all the different cellular pathways?” For example, with chronic pain, we know that inflammation is part of it, so yes, we'll get some very good anti-inflammatory stem cells, inject them into the spot. But then, a lot of times, there's a big component of immune dysfunction. So, that's where peptides can be super helpful like thymosin alpha 1 and thymosin beta 4 because they can help with immune system. And then, you can also do IV stem cells because they help to systemically target all those other hallmarks of aging. And, that's why I love IV stem cells because they're really comprehensive in terms of targeting all those cellular hallmarks of aging.

Ben:  What kind of stem cells do you use for the IV stem cells just for either the combination with the regenerative medicine procedure like a stem cell injection or the stem cell scaffolding or just a general longevity? Do you focus on a specific type of stem cells?

Adeel:  We do both. So, generally speaking, I use umbilical cord tissue, not umbilical cord blood. It is important to notice the difference because tissue is more potent than blood. And, a lot of people are still using blood products, but the tissue is actually better, it has more MSCs in there. It's called Wharton's jelly. That's the word that most people have probably heard of. But, it's expanded, it's expanded obviously. So, you expand it to 100 or 200 million or whatever sometimes based off your body weight. It might be more. And then, yeah, you put it intravenously. And, that can work for neurodegenerative conditions, for chronic pain inflammation, and like you said, for anti-aging and longevity because it's going to make you younger at a cellular level. 

But, to give people an idea, stem cell exhaustion is one of the hallmarks of aging. And, what that means is as you age, your stores of stem cells deplete. So, when you're born, you have about 200 million stem cells per cell. And then, by the time you're 80, you have only 1 million stem cells per cell. So, that's a huge decrease, right? So, your reserves are decreasing as you get older. If you can replenish those reserves using IV stem cells, then obviously it's going to have an anti-aging and longevity effect just from the stem cell exhaustion alone. But, the other cool thing is anti-inflammatory, helps in mitochondrial function, helps with oxidative stress. There's some studies suggesting it may increase telomere length. So, there's a lot of biomarkers that get improved when you do the IV stem cells. And so, it's really cool to see. And, that's why I do it. I mean, I've done it myself, I'm doing it for my family. It's basically one of those things if you have the money for, everyone would do it basically.

Ben:  Now, what about tissue engineering. Is that what you've just described?

Adeel:  Tissue engineering is more that 3D bioprinting we were talking about earlier. So, that's where you're actually creating scaffolds, whether it's synthetic or it's actual using biomaterials like the hydrogels we were talking about earlier. So, tissue engineering is 3D bioprinting essentially and using biomaterials and bio-ink to print tissue. I know it sounds like science fiction, but it's not. We're not far away from printing organs. I think by the end of the decade, that'll be very achievable. For kidney transplant patients, instead of having to obviously get a kidney donor, you can just print them a new kidney and implant it.

Ben:  Could you print a knee or an elbow, like a joint?

Adeel:  Yes, you could. If you had the right type of bio-ink for a cartilage, yeah, you could just print it, and then essentially just use a scope and put it in and then you've resurfaced the entire joint. Those things are all in the works right now. And, there's a lot more research in China and Japan and Korea on this than there is in the U.S.

I would say China is probably the leader in biomaterials and 3D bioprinting. They're doing some really cool research. And, they're the ones who actually–there's a huge 2,000-page textbook that was published this year about biomaterials and 3D printing and it was from China. Don't ask me how I got my hands on that.

Ben:  Now, what about gene editing? Because they're doing a lot of the gene editing in China as well, right?

Adeel:  Exactly, yeah. I don't know if you heard about that doctor who got arrested in China.

Ben:  Yeah, I did. Tell people about that.

Adeel:  He modified the embryo and the fetus to have certain traits. At first, people were like, “Oh, wow, look at this discovery, it's so cool. This doctor is awesome.” But then, people were like, “Wait a minute, he's playing God, he shouldn't have done that. He's giving them better characteristics.” And then, everyone just, I guess, got mad at him, and then all of a sudden, he's in jail. And then, the child as far as I know went missing or something. I don't know where they are or if they're in protective custody or something like that. But, super controversial topic, obviously. Because eventually, maybe you could gene edit and choose for certain characteristics. You could choose your color. You can make potentially higher IQ. And then, only certain people can afford that and then it gets into this whole topic about elitist society and all that stuff, right?

Ben:  Yeah. Now, with the gene editing, is that something that could be used for regenerative medicine in some way?

Adeel:  Yeah. So, the intersection, it's what we call the post-genomic era. So, now that we've actually got gene editing technology improved, so the intersection of gene editing, cell therapy, and tissue engineering together is really what's going to allow us to make the next generation of therapeutics. So, what does that mean? So, basically it means that we can customize a cell to program it, to do what we want, to target specific pathways.

So, let me give you an example. So, have you heard of CAR-T?

Ben:  No. No, what's that?

Adeel:  CAR-T is this really cool technology. It's actually a patented trademark technology that's owned by a company. But, basically, it's specifically, they use gene editing and cell therapy. So, they edit what's called the T cells, which are part of your immune system, to target very specific pathways. So, there's been two main uses for it. 

One for different types of blood cancers. And, that's actually approved by FDA. So, there's actually a gene editor cell therapy approved in the U.S. It's pretty cool. So, they can actually edit the cells and use the gene technology to say, okay, this T cell go in there and target these cancer cell pathways. And then, it can actually kill the cancer cells. It's also been used for lupus. And, there was a trial in Germany done earlier or in late 2022 and essentially they had 14 patients using CAR-T technology, and all 14 patients were in remission or cured basically. 

And, in medicine, we really use the word “cure” or “remission” because it's with chronic disease like the pharmaceutical model is not to be that. They just keep people on medicine. So, when you have these amazing technologies using gene editing and cell therapy where you're actually putting people on remission, it's almost unbelievable but it's one of those things that's, I think, again, I feel everywhere in the world will have in Mexico, Europe, everywhere. I think it'll become really commonplace. But, in U.S., it may take some time because of the lobbyist and everything.

Ben:  Now, is CAR-T cell therapy, is that similar when you hear people going to Mexico to do high-dose T cell killer therapy? Is that what they're doing down there?

Adeel:  No, that's different. They have natural killer cells and stuff like that that they can infuse for targeting. They don't have a CAR-T in Mexico yet, but I'm working with a group in Mexico and they're actually building the first regenerative medicine hospital in the world. So, it's like a four-story hospital. I'm going to be the assistant medical director, so I'm helping to design everything around it. So, I'm going to make sure if we have gene editing cell therapy and then CAR-T. We'll have all the works. There's some really cool gene therapy too, which I think you will love. Maybe I'll get it for you when you come here, but it's called follistatin. Have you heard about it?

Ben:  Yeah, I've heard of follistatin, but tell me about the therapy.

Adeel:  Yeah. So, it's called follistatin gene therapy. So, it's originally designed to treat muscular dystrophy, but they're using it in healthy people too to help put on muscle. Because basically, it increases follistatin levels which inhibits myostatin. And, myostatin for people who don't know is basically the enzyme that kind of blocks your ability to put on muscle. Most people have similar amounts of myostatin, but someone like Ronnie Coleman who's the best bodybuilder of all time, everyone thinks he had a myostatin deficiency. Or, if you google myostatin deficiencies, you'll probably see these big bull cows that have ridiculous amounts of muscle.

Ben:  Yeah, like the myostatin knockout bulls, the myostatin knockout mice, myostatin knockout dogs, you google image search for that, is crazy.

Adeel:  Yeah, it's wild. And so, now we finally have a therapy and it's the best part about the gene therapy is it's not like it's actually affecting your DNA, it basically increases transcription factors that increases that follistatin and it's a temporary thing. It lasts from six months to a year. But, it's such a better and safer alternative than something like anabolic steroids where it's not going to put any stress on your kidneys or livers or anything like that, but it may potentially increase your ability to put on muscle mass during that period. So, I think it's going to be really cool. So, I'm excited to try it on myself. And, I'm sure you'd love to try it too. I'll probably be the first doctor outside of Honduras where they have it right now to have access to it.

Ben:  Yeah. I think, I heard the Liver King talking about myostatin knockout therapy at one point. I'm pretty sure it was a joke. Although, who knows now.

This follistatin, obviously if we're inhibiting the pathways that would shut down myostatin, then would there be any risk like some people, for example, get concerned about excess myostatin stimulus and the early onset of things like cancer due to excess growth in tissue. Did you know of any side effects of this follistatin therapy right now?

Adeel:  They've been in trials for over a decade if you look at the PubMed literature. And, the safety has been pretty high on it. There hasn't been any risk of those cancer. And, I think the other thing people, like I know, obviously David Sinclair and stuff, they have talks a lot about mTOR and protein synthesis and possibly increasing your risk of cancer with these type of things. But, personally, you have to look at the whole picture. And, when you put on more muscle, you actually release what are called myokines. And, myokines are type of cytokine which is a protein which actually decrease inflammation systemically and actually decrease your risk of cancer. And, that's been shown in several trials and also in-vitro in basic science research too. So, I think you have to look at the big picture. 

Yes, maybe mechanistically, maybe there's some increased risk of some cellular pathways, getting increased risk of development of cancer pathways. But, that's just the mechanism. You have to look at the actual clinical research and their outcomes. And, if you look at the clinical outcomes, muscle and strengths tend to be the best predictors of longevity and health and quality of life.

Ben:  Now, back to the peptides, you'd mentioned a couple that you use in these stacking pathways. What were those peptides you mentioned? I'm just curious if you use any others.

Adeel:  Yeah, those were thymosin alpha 1 and thymosin beta 4. The reason we use those specifically is because they work with your immune system. And, because the thymus gland is one of the master regulators of your immune system, it's where T cells are created. From the bone marrow, they go there and then the T cells get created. And, that's the adaptive immune system. 

And so, basically what it does is it helps to immunomodulate or helps to regulate the immune system. And so, that's why it can work really well with the IV stem cells because IV stem cells are attacking the immune system more from the gut perspective and anti-inflammation perspective. Then, you're getting that combination effect. I'm a bit of a mad scientist. So, one of the things I'm going to offer in Mexico is IV stem cells peptides and FMT together, which is the fecal microbial transplant.

Ben:  Oh, really?

Adeel:  Yeah. Because if you do all three together, then you're really stacking powerful pathways because I'm sure you know a lot about FMT because you're into–but, just for your audience, you're basically literally just taking healthy poop and putting it into your colon. And, it can make such a big difference on health and it can cure IBD. It can help with C. difficile, which is a chronic bacterial infection. And, a lot of doctors didn't believe it when it first came out, but it's the same principle as the stem cell. It's like you're creating a new ecosystem and then you're functionally changing the ecosystem to have all these good bacteria. And, obviously, the good bacteria are a big regulator in your immune system too. 

So, my theory is that if we combine the IV stem cells and the peptides and FMT, we can probably treat most autoimmune conditions. I've already had pretty good results treating many autoimmune conditions just using the IV stem cells and peptides, but I think all three together would be really something unique.

Ben:  Yeah, that's interesting. I've never heard of someone combining those procedures before.

Now, the now the FMT, obviously like you mentioned, that's something that's been shown to be successful for things like IBD or c. difficile particularly. But, it sounds to me like what you're proposing is that a person who's already healthy could do something like FMT with stem cells and peptides and experience some type of anti-aging or longevity effect that would boost their health even more.

Adeel:  Exactly, immune boosting. Think about it, you're making your immune system stronger. You're bulletproofing your immune system.

Ben:  The stool that's used for an FMT, that's pretty well-screened?

Adeel:  Exactly. It's the same type of screening methods that they use for stem cells. The healthy young donors, usually athletic, and they do genetic testing, all that stuff.

Ben:  Okay. Now, what about exosomes. Are you a fan of combining stem cells with exosomes?

Adeel:  There's a lot of debate again in the scientific community about this. For example, a scientist I'm working in Dubai, in Italy, he basically says, “Exosomes are a poor man's stem cells.” Basically, he says, “If you can't afford stem cells, then do exosomes.” But then, I have other doctors I work with who say the exosomes from amniotic fluid can be really powerful for anti-inflammation and oxidative stress. I think based off everything I've seen, I think the exosomes can be good on their own but there's something you have to do every six months or a year and you have to repeat it. Whereas, the stem cells, because you're creating a new ecosystem like we're talking about, they tend to be more long-lasting. And, for anti-aging and longevity, you don't have to do them that often, you can do them every two to three years. Whereas, exosomes, you probably have to do every six months, I think, for possibly maybe a year to really get the longevity benefits. 

Can you combine them? For sure. I don't know if there's going to be any real additional benefit because the stem cells are so powerful on their own and they're kind of the exosomes kind of doing similar type of things. But, what we're working on is design your exosomes. What that means is any cell that can be cultured, you can create exosomes on. So, we're actually working on creating a muscle-derived stem cell exosome, a liver-derived exosome, and cardiac and kidney because then we can treat those conditions specifically, especially sarcopenia, which is a big problem, which is the loss of muscle as you age. So, we're going to create a muscle. Obviously, these are our patents, but we'll be the first company in the world to have our own designer exosomes.

Ben:  Okay, got it. And, do you do much with hormones like TRT or anything like that?

Adeel:  Mm-hmm. The reason is because in sports medicine, if you don't optimize your hormones, you can't recover sometimes. And, it's one of the things you have to understand if you're going to be a high-level sports doctor. Obviously, from an anti-aging and longevity perspective, I'm sure most of your audience is pretty well-educated on the importance of testosterone and all that, but it also does make a difference for injury recovery because let's say if your growth hormone levels are sub-optimal or your testosterone is sub-optimal, you're not going to recover as fast as someone who has good levels for their age. So, I do think it is important to check and optimize it too.

Ben:  Okay. So, with testosterone, what form of therapy do you like for that because some people will prefer injections, others pellets, others a cream? Do you have a preferred protocol for testosterone replacement therapy?

Adeel:  I mean, generally, I find that injections are better. There's just so much variability with the other stuff. I mean, the pellets are convenient obviously. Once it's in there, you don't have to worry about it. And, it is a relatively new thing in Canada. I know in the U.S., they've had it for a while. My preference is injections because then you can also have–and, especially if you do injections frequently. I think, that's the big difference though. A lot of doctors prescribe it like, “Oh, do it once every 10 days or once every two weeks or once a week.” But then, your levels, you'll have a big trough and then you'll have a drop.

Ben:  That's my understanding, like a real big surge and then a drop that no way mimics the natural diurnal variation in testosterone.

Adeel:  Exactly, yeah. So, what's better is to do it every day. Yeah, every day sounds crazy, but some people said that you can–I mean, some of the doctors I've worked with and some of the research out there, you can do it subcutaneously even every day and the results were pretty similar to doing it intramuscular once a week. You spread the dose out. And obviously, subcutaneous injection is much easier.

Ben:  Yeah, that's interesting. And so, the thing with the testosterone replacement therapy, regarding the gel, what about the application of a gel in the morning and in the evening, which a lot of doctors will do now?

Adeel:  That does mimic the pathway. I mean, I don't know if the variation better, but the problem is absorption is just so variable. The bioavailability in studies, it seems to be high but then I find clinically, some people are like, “I didn't even notice a difference.” I've seen that a lot. And, their testosterone levels just don't budge on it. So, sometimes if people are really hesitant to take injections, we will start them on that. But then, I find probably 30% of the time, people are just like, “I don't notice the difference.”

Ben:  Yeah. On your Instagram profile, and if you look you personally up on social media, you're obviously pretty fit. You've got a lot of muscle yourself. I would imagine you do a lot of the protocols that you're talking about.

But, I'm curious, this might be kind of an involved question about your own daily routines, what are you actually doing on a typical day based on everything that you know for exercise, for diet, for supplementation? What would a typical day look like for you?

Adeel:  My life is a dumpster fire right now. So, I try my best to incorporate– I think the big thing is for people to, especially for high performers, people who are doing a lot, you do have to have a routine. And so, I'm very OCD with my routine. I try to always meditate 10 minutes in the morning. I have a very specific meditation that I listen to every time. It's the same one. And, that way, I just kind of repeat it. As for me, it's easy and gets me going and then I can kind of focus on my goals and what I want to accomplish for the day and that type of stuff.

Ben:  You mean on an app, like one of these meditation apps, you have your own customized routine.

Adeel:  It's just a YouTube video of this–it's one of these Indian guys who's like, I forgot his name, but he has such a calming voice but he has a guided meditation for 10 minutes. I can share it if you want, but it's basically the best morning meditation.

Ben:  Share it with me and I'll add it to the shownotes. Why do you like it so much?

Adeel:  It's because of the way he talks about how your energy and everything starts in your spine. And so, he always talks about inhaling and imagine the energies going into your spine like first do it. Imagine the energy from your arm is going into your spine and then breathe out slowly and exhale, and then imagine you're bringing it back into your spine. And, he always talks about how it's centered around your spine. And, I find obviously the diaphragmatic breathing, but I find there's this interesting–I think if you look across a lot of the cultures where they talk a lot about meditation and mindfulness or something about chakra energy, chi, all that stuff kind of starting in the spine, in the lower back there, and I feel that just helps to center everything when you meditate.

Ben:  Interesting. I'll try it out or just email it to me and I'll add it to the shownotes. And, by the way, for everybody listening in, the shownotes is going to be at BenGreenfieldLife.com/DrKhan, D-R-K-H-A-N. So, you got the meditation in the morning. What else are you doing?

Adeel:  I do take a supplement called DHEA. You've probably heard about it.

Ben:  Yeah.

Adeel:  I mean this is a supplement in U.S., but in Canada, it's actually a drug. But, basically, it's kind of a prohormone, I guess, but it can help to synthesize more testosterone and it is very important after–I just turned 35, so based off the literature and what I've read after 35, it's probably recommended for all males to take between 25 to 50 milligrams, and this also can be a good complement to TRT if you're on that too. That's one of the supplements I take on a daily basis, which I find really helps with my energy and my mood and all that stuff.

Ben:  You don't get concerned at all about that getting converted into DHT or causing hair loss or anything like that?

Adeel:  Well, that's why I personally take pumpkin seed oil 500 mg a day. It's an alternative to Finasteride or Propecia. And, it's also a 5 alpha-reductase inhibitor, so it prevents the conversion to DHT.

Ben:  Okay, got it. That's good to know because I think a lot of people are on DHEA experiencing some of those issues and aren't aware of that. So, pumpkin seed oil is what you take to combat that.

Adeel:  Yeah, there's actually a clinical trial head-to-head comparing pumpkin seed oil to finasteride and had similar efficacy without any side effects.

Ben:  Okay, got it. So, you got DHEA, you got your meditation session, where are some other big things that you're doing?

Adeel:  I usually do intermittent fasting and it's partly because I'm just so busy and I don't have time to eat in the morning, I'm always in a rush. So, my fasting is usually, I would say, 16 to 18 hours. And, I find that if I am doing intermittent fasting though, one thing I do consume throughout the day is something called HMB. It's basically a leucine metabolite. So, leucine for people who don't know, it's basically one of the amino acids that helps with protein synthesis. And, one of the risks with intermittent fasting is that you can lose muscle, especially if you don't not getting enough protein. 

And so, for me, muscle is always probably one of the priorities, especially because I obviously do powerlifting and bodybuilding. But, I think for health and longevity in general, muscle is king. But, we're not talking about anabolic steroids, we're talking about natural. And so, without taking steroids, how can you preserve muscle mass especially if you're in a calorie deficit or if you're doing intermittent fasting? And so, I use HMB, I just drink it throughout the day in my water 3 grams a day.

Ben:  By the way, I interviewed Shawn Wells at one point. He's a big fan of this ingredient he developed called dileucine. He actually sent me a little bottle of this dileucine powder and recommended I use it for–because I lift weights a lot in the morning and I'm in a fasted state. And apparently, it does help to stave off some of that catabolism.

Now, previous to that pretty much what I've used are essential amino acids, which is a blend of different ingredients, we actually amped up the leucine content of the Kion Essential Amino Acids for this reason amongst a few others. But, this idea of leucine, whether you get it from dileucine or whether you're stacking with something like HMB or using essential amino acids, I think a lot of people aren't aware at how effective that is at staving off the potential for muscle catabolism if you're working out in a fasted state. It can be a real game changer.

Adeel:  It can be. And, people don't realize like, yeah, IF is a great tool, but a lot of people I think overuse it and they don't realize that yes, they're losing body weight but they're probably losing muscle and fat. And, you really want to be careful because I've seen it–and, I've seen it clinically too people use IF when I used to do obesity medicine. Literally, you would see someone lose 20 pounds, but their body fat wouldn't change, and be like, “What the?” It's like they just lost muscle. And, because they're just doing IF all the time and they're in a calorie deficit and they're not getting enough protein and they can't maintain their strength and they're just doing low-intensity cardio like walking or yoga. And, I find that's very common with females especially. 

And so, I don't think we can overstate the importance of dileucine or HMB. Generally speaking, my day is usually obviously I'm working, I'm doing procedures, I have lots of meeting because I run a company. It's called REGENERATUS where, like a startup stem cell technology company, we have–own a proprietary stem cell tech we've developed. So, we're expanding that, so really busy with that stuff. And then, even if on my off days, I always try to get some sort of movement session in.

So, obviously, I do high-intensity strength training four to five days a week. Right now, I'm just kind of doing a bodybuilding split, but I switch. There's so much misinformation about the stuff, but the problem is the fitness community is run by mainly anabolic steroid users. There's nothing wrong with that, there's no judgment on them and obviously, I take care of literally the top bodybuilders in the world, so they're my friends, but it's just not applicable if you're not on steroids. And so, you need to know how to train when you're not on steroids. And, generally speaking, just doing a bodybuilding split four or five days a week is not optimal for most people. 

But, if you're someone like me, I've been training for over a decade and I alternate, so right now I'm doing bodybuilding but plans to go back to powerlifting in a few months. And then, that way, I continue to build strength. And then, when I go back to bodybuilding, I can do higher volume with higher weights. And so, I get more metabolic workload and capacity and all that. 

The gist of it is the strength training is really key for me. The problem is if you're not getting good sleep and you're stressed, strength training is just going to put additional stress on your body, so you really have to be in good health in general before you start lifting heavy weights. And so, I find a lot of people need to get their cortisol regulated, get good sleep, manage your stress, all that stuff, and then add in high-intensity strength training. But, a lot of people try to add that in and they just burn themselves out. It is one of those things I love and I can do because my body can handle it, but it's also because I have all the other factors kind of dialed in.

Ben:  And, by the way, a lot of times, I'll go through periods of time where I'm working on a book or I have a pretty high workload and I'm only able to sleep around six hours a night. And so, one of the things I'll do for that is I'll use a little bit more NAD or do NAD patches or IVs because those helped with a lot of the cellular repair that would be happening during the longer sleep periods and then I'll do Yoga Nidra or a non-sleep deep rest protocol or some type of deep meditative session in the afternoon, which is only 20 to maybe 40 minutes max. But, if I can do a nap and a little extra NAD, even if I'm on a short sleep cycle, I'll usually have pretty good workouts and pretty good repair and recovery. 

I know that sleep deprivation is something you don't want to extend for long periods of time, but for short workload stints like if I have a couple weeks here and there or I'm just working more than usual and also shorting sleep a little bit, I find that NAD and then that daily rest protocol helps out quite a bit.

Adeel:  Yeah. It's funny actually, I just had NAD the last two weeks in a row because I'm in that situation right now. I'm in a new country working and I'm just inundated with opportunities and raising money for my company and just like yeah, just crazy workload. And so, my sleep has been six hours and it's just, yeah, I did two IV. I'm doing four in a row. I don't know what you do, but I usually like to do four in a row and then once a month type of thing.

Ben:  Yeah.

Adeel:  And then, there's something called quercetin too, which is important to take with it because it helps with the cellular senescence and all that.

Ben:  Yeah. That can actually help. I like fisetin, quercetin, some of these flavanols and polyphenols. You're right, they can really help out with the NAD absorption.

Now, I've actually increasingly been using patches because it's a little bit more convenient than the IVs and the transdermal absorption is actually pretty good, these iontophoresis patches that you just put on your inner thigh. You saturate one inside of it with a saline solution, the other side of it with a little bit of NAD and you slap that on. And, I feel I get similar effects as getting an NAD IV. The other one that works really well, and a lot of times I'll do this for a long-haul airplane fly is a high-dose NAD suppository. So, it's just like a slow bleed via rectal delivery into the system. And, I think that the patches and the suppositories, they're definitely superior to oral intake of NAD but they also seem to approximate what I get from an IV.

Adeel:  That's awesome. I'd even know you could get the suppository. That must be a compounded pharmacy.

Ben:  Dr. John Lieurance in Florida. He's got some really good stuff like high-dose melatonin suppositories, NAD, a lot of stuff I'll travel with just to get the equivalent of an IV without having to mess around with needles and finding clinics and stuff when I travel.

Now, for sleep, do you have anything in particular that you're doing as a busy guy who's obviously trying to prioritize some of your strength training and workouts and also your medical practice? Are you doing anything interesting when it comes to prioritizing or hacking your sleep?

Adeel:  You're trying to set your body up for a good sleep by doing all the right things throughout the day like we talked about because all those things help with your circadian cycle, especially the exercise and the meditation and all that stuff. And then, also the cortisol regulation. I do take adaptogens on a pretty regular basis, usually, ashwagandha KSM-66 post-workout. Reason post-workout is because that's when your cortisol kind of spikes and you want to do something to help bring it down. So, I use vitamin C in KSM-66 to kind of bring that down, especially because I'm usually working out in the evening. That I find really makes a difference for me from the cortisol regulation because a lot of people are what's called adrenal dysregulation. And so, basically when their cortisol should be low, it's high, and when it's high, it's low. And, that's tired but wired. That's like the classic thing that happens to people at nighttime. They want to sleep but they can't. And, that's usually has to do with their adrenal dysregulation. 

So, if you can get some sort of adaptogens in you–and, obviously there's IV protocols for that too, but for me at least personally, I find just the supplements do the trick. Red light therapy, I find, really helps me. I think you do that too, correct?

Ben:  Obviously, you can use the red light therapy in the morning to simulate sunrise or in the evening as an alternative to office lights in your office to simulate sunset and kind of establish better circadian rhythmicity. But, you can even take it a step beyond that. There's one device called Vielight and it'll do a 10-hertz alpha wave signal internationally. You could also wear it on your head, so you get the intracranial in it or nasal delivery. 

And, that one is actually pretty impressive. I don't know if I will have released the podcast by the time this podcast comes out, but I just did a podcast with Dr. Lew Lim about the use of red light therapy intranasally and cranially for enhancing sleep and also this meditative bliss state. 

So, I think a lot of people are familiar with the panels or replacing the bulbs in their room with incandescent or red lighting. But, I don't think a lot of people are aware that you can use intranasal red light and cranial red light to also enhance sleep. You can just put it on, pick up a book and it kind of lulls you to sleep as you're falling asleep. So, that's kind of something new I've been doing I haven't talked about on a podcast much is using red light therapy like the Vielight in alpha mode just laying in bed at night while I'm reading.

Adeel:  Oh, wow. Yeah, that's very interesting. So, basically, we're talking about all the factors that we can do to optimize your ability to fall asleep. Say for whatever reason you're struggling with sleep, which a lot of people do, one of the things I've seen successful clinically and there's actually a peptide called DSIP.

Ben:  Yeah, deep sleep-inducing peptide. Yeah.

Adeel:  Yeah, yeah. And, that one I find can be quite helpful for people because it's not a set. The problem with the drugs, again, is they don't actually affect your quality of sleep, they can increase their quantity but not deep cycle. And, that's the same problem with CBD and THC and all that stuff too. You're not necessarily making more restorative sleep, so whereas the DSIP can. I'm a scientific officer of HD Muscle, so I actually made a sleep supplement with them and the main ingredient is really just valerian root. There's no melatonin in there but the valerian root obviously can help. It's kind of like a GABA agonist, so it can help relaxation and everything.

Ben:  Yeah, I got to get your hands. Maybe I'll bring some to Dubai, the Kion Sleep product. That's the one that I helped formulate over for Kion.  And, that thing, it works like gangbusters because I used to do a lot of the valerian and ashwagandha, stuff like that prior to sleep. And now, I just do the Kion Sleep. And then, if it's a super anxious or stressful day, I'll add a little bit of CBD. If I'm traveling, add a little bit of melatonin. But, that stack of Kion Sleep plus CBD or when you're traveling, Kion Sleep plus CBD plus melatonin. I mean, as long as you got your other sleep hygiene dialed in like the cold, the light, the absence of external noise and not working a lot in bed, it's a pretty good product.

Adeel:  Again, it's the same principle. We're trying to stack multiple things at once to try to optimize whatever solution we're going to get to. And, very few doctors think like that for whatever reason when it comes to medicine, but you've done it with biohacking and longevity. But, I'm trying to do the same thing when it comes to treating pains, treating injuries. It's like, why don't we try to actually think about how can we stack multiple things at once to get the most optimal result instead of just saying like, “Let's just try this one thing.”

Ben:  Yeah. Adeel, anything else you want to throw in before I let you go?

Adeel:  I think people are really going to see regenerative medicine take off. It's a disruptive technology. We're in the middle of a stem cell revolution. And so, people just need to remember that if you're going to get stem cells done, just make sure you check for flow cytometry and quality control because I think those are the two biggest things. If you remember one thing about what we talked about, it's those two things when it comes to stem cells.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah. If you're listening and you have questions or comments or feedback about what we've discussed so far just go to BenGreenfieldLife.com/DrKhan, BenGreenfieldLife.com/D-R-K-H-A-N. Well, folks, until next time, I'm Ben Greenfield along with Dr. Adeel Khan signing out from BenGreenfieldLife.com. Have an amazing week.

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There are a lot of myths and there is a lot of confusion out there when it comes to stem cells and regenerative medicine in general…

…such as:

  • what's better: your own stem cells or a different source?
  • is it true stem cells “don't work” without some kind of scaffolding to “grow on”?
  • do you need to combine stem cells with exosomes?
  • is tissue engineering and gene editing as dangerous as it sounds?
  • can stem cells be combined with things like peptides and hormones and if so, how?

These questions and many others are addressed in this podcast with Dr. Adeel Khan.

Dr. Adeel Khan completed his MD from the University of Ottawa in Canada. After training in sports medicine, he specialized in regenerative medicine, conducting one of the first Health Canada approved clinical trials with mesenchymal stromal cells. He is known internationally for treating many high-profile celebrities and athletes. Driven by his passion to improve health, he co-founded xALT and is the Chief Scientific Officer of Science & Humans. He has a special interest in using interventional procedures to treat weightlifting injuries, chronic neck and back pain. Dr. Khan also teaches medical students and residents, and is an Assistant Clinical Professor at University of Toronto.

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-Dr. Adeel Khan…06:35

  • How Dr. Khan became the go-to-guy in the stem cell  industry
    • Trained by experts in the field like Dr. Galea, the pioneer of PRP
    • Went on to work with Dr. Ian white at the University of Toronto 
      • How to enhance stem cell function 
      • How to better select the best candidates for stem cell therapy
  • The key difference between what Dr. Khan and Dr. Ian White and what everybody else are doing is actually having a third-party testing to validate cytokine profiles
    • Proprietary process on how to harvest umbilical cord stem cells and amniotic fluid
  • Working with a scientist from Italy, Dr. Giuseppe Mucci, founder of Bioscience Institute

-Profiling Stem Cells…13:27

  • It's called Flow Cytometry
  • Profiling stem cells – two important aspects:
    • Quality control – 50% of the money we spend on just our stem cell processing is for quality control to test for infections, diseases, make sure it's good quality cells
    • Flow cytometry – test to look at the actual markers, called CD markers
  • Most clinics offering stem cells are actually offering what are called committed progenitor cells or medicinal signaling cells
  • Unless you isolate the actual mesenchymal stem cells or stromal cells and expand them in a facility, it is not a true stem cells
    • What are injected are just what are called progenitor cells
    • Paracrine – signaling system that's sending signals to reduce inflammation
  • Any sort of true stem cells where you're isolating, expanding or taking perinatal tissue like amniotic or umbilical cord stem cells are classified as a drug
    • Not allowed to be used in the U.S.
  • Podcast with Dr. Harry Adelson:
  • Judge Rules in Favor of Stem Cell Clinic
  • Expanded stem cells are approved pretty much everywhere except Canada and the U.S.

-Stem-cells vs progenitor cells…18:39

  • Progenitor cells don’t engraft and renew tissue; helps reduce inflammation, which is helpful especially for osteoarthritis
  • The regenerative medicine triad:
    • Stem cells – expanded cells
    • Growth factors – expanded cells have growth factor
    • Scaffold – a biodegradable hydrogel made up of hyaluronic acid
  • FDA approved clinical trial for 3D bio printing scaffold
    • A method to avoid knee and hip replacements
  • Using your own stem cells (autologous) vs someone else’s (allogenic)
    • Allogenic is better
  • Expanded stem cells has much better results
  • Interosseous injections of stem cells
  • Ben’s experience with interosseous injections
  • It takes three to four weeks to expand bone marrow or fat
  • Preferable to use umbilical cord when it comes to IV stem cells
  • When it comes to injections, fat is preferable

-Recovery time from the procedure…26:37

  • It varies but recovery time is fast
    • Some people are pain-free and feel great in a week
    • Other people have pretty bad pain for 2 to 3 days and with pain for 2 to 3 weeks
  • It took Ben about five days and he used
  • Stacking pathways
  • Chronic pain is usually addressed only with pain medication
    • Pain can be caused by many things
    • Disease starts in the cell
    • Regenerative medicine offers many different therapies and paths
  • The Pharmacist docuseries
  • Type of IV stem cells used
    • Generally, from umbilical cord tissue, not blood
  • Stem cell exhaustion is one of the hallmarks of aging
    • As you get old, stem cells decrease
  • Tissue engineering
    • More that 3D bioprinting
    • Creating scaffolds, synthetic or using bio materials like hydrogels
  • 3D bio printing
    • We’re not far away from printing organs
    • Instead of getting a kidney donor, you can just print a new kidney and implant it
    • If you had the right type of bio-ink for a cartilage, you can print a knee, an elbow or a joint
  • A lot more research is done in China, Japan and Korea on this than in the U.S.
  • China is probably the leader in biomaterials and 3D bioprinting

-Gene editing…33:51

  • The doctor in China who was arrested because of his work in gene editing
    • Modified the embryo to give it certain traits
  • Creates many ethical problems
    • Available only to rich people
    • Creating an elitist society
  • Could be used for regenerative medicine
    • Intersection of gene editing, cell therapy, tissue engineering
    • Customizing a cell
  • CAR T (Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-Cell) technology approved by the FDA
    • Uses gene editing and cell therapy
    • Edits T-cells to go and kill cancer cells
  • First regenerative hospital in the world is being built in Mexico
    • Dr. Khan is going to be the Assistant Managing Director
  • Follistatin gene therapy and its downsides
  • The peptides used in stacking pathways
    • Thymosin α-1 and Thymosin β-4
    • The thymus gland is one of the master regulators of the immune system, where T cells are created
    • Helps to immunomodulate or to regulate the immune system
  • Combination of therapies to be offered in Mexico for treating autoimmune conditions
    • IV stem cells
    • Peptides
    • FMT (Fecal Microbial Transplant) 
  • Combining stem cells with exosomes
    • Exosomes – poor man's stem cells; can be good and have their own role
  • Effects of stem cells can be more long lasting than the effects offered by exosomes
  • Optimization of hormones
    • Testosterone replacement therapy – frequent injections are most effective
    • Testosterone gels have very variable absorption – some people do not notice any effects at all

-Dr. Khan’s daily routine…46:57

-And much more…

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Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

– Dr. Adeel Khan:

– Podcasts And Articles:

– Other Resources:

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Ask Ben a Podcast Question

3 thoughts on “[Transcript] – The Difference Between Getting Stem Cells Internationally Vs. The USA, Peptides, Testosterone & Hormones, Tissue Engineering, DNA Editing, Truths & Myths Of Regenerative Medicine & More With Dr. Adeel Khan.

  1. Kele says:

    Hey Ben, did you get clarity around what is legal in the U.S. with expanding stem cells? The Cell Surgical Network did when their case, so I was under the impression that it is now legal for doctors to expand stem cells. I am in the investigation stage of where I want to have my ankle done, and after listening to this interview, I got a little confused.

  2. justsomeguy05 says:

    “that’s why I personally take pumpkin seed oil 500 kilograms a day.”

    Pretty sure that should be milligrams ;-)

    1. Ben Greenfield says:

      thanks for the catch!

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