Our reviews have covered the waterfront in supplementation, from protein powders to weight loss supplements, pre, and probiotics to enzymes and cognition products. Now we enter an exciting new realm, one of the most interesting and promising medical discoveries in years, stem cell therapy. Stem cells are the driving force in regenerative medicine and the regenerative therapy field.
Before we delve into our actual reviews of the company, Live Cell Research, LLC, doing business as LCR™ Health, and product Active Stem, we’ll discuss stem cells in greater detail.
Stem Cell – Miracle Treatment
Stem cells and stem cell therapy have been called the miracle treatment. These “master cells” are cells that develop into blood, brain, bones, and the body’s organs. Researchers believe they could be used to treat a myriad of medical conditions with the potential to repair and regenerate diseased cells.
Although there is a great deal of optimism regarding stem cells and regenerative medicine, there is still considerable debate in the medical community as to effectiveness, applications, and the source of cells. The FDA is responsible for regulating stem cell products in the U.S., and to date, has only approved one product, used in forming blood cells.
The three primary sources of stem cells are embryonic, adult stem cells, and Induced pluripotent stem cells iPSCs from adult stem cells. Embryonic cells can become any type of cell, while adult stem cells are specific to a certain kind of tissue. iPSC cells are adult cells that have been reprogrammed in a laboratory setting so that they can become another type of tissue.
There are an incredible number of ongoing clinical studies in the stem cell and regenerative medicine field, and we anticipate many more discoveries and applications.
Live Cell Research, LLC – dba LCR™ Health
Per our standard procedure, we researched the company as well as the product. LCR™ Health is the dba (doing business as) name of Live Cell Research, LLC. The company, headquartered in Woodland Hills, CA, manufactures supplement products primarily targeted at anti-aging at the cellular level, including Active-PK, Telogenesis™, Prime ATP™, and the subject of our review Active Stem.
Although we were unable to ascertain the founder of LCR™ or the ownership, we were introduced on their site to its Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Rand McClain. In the About Us section of the website, Dr. McClain speaks of his twenty years in regenerative medicine.
Ironically, this writer was familiar with Dr. McClain as a frequent contributor to the magazine Max Sports & Fitness, the in-house publication of Anaheim, CA-based Max Muscle Sports Nutrition franchisor. Dr. McClain currently operates a Regenerative & Sports Medicine office in Santa Monica, CA.
In this article, we will detail what the Active Stem product is, and what it is not. We’ll review the product formulation and key ingredients. We’ll discuss the product’s purported features and benefits and investigate to determine if the product is meeting its marketing claims. We’ll inform you where you can find the product, review the cost-value relationship, and always provide our rating in terms of effectiveness and value.
What is Active Stem?
Active Stem is a powdered supplement described by the company as, “a cutting-edge blend of 5 powerful ingredients which, in clinical studies, have been shown to boost adult stem cell proliferation in vitro.” Not to be too skeptical, but ingredients that boost adult stem cells in vitro means in a test tube, not in a living organism.
So, let us be clear, Active Stem is a supplement containing Vitamin D and a proprietary blend of L-Leucine, Blueberry Fruit, Green Tea Leaf Extract, and L-Carnosine. Active Stem does not contain stem cells or stem cell precursors. The product is not approved and has not been reviewed by the FDA.
Further, in the Q&A section, the company states that the product is scientifically proven to “boost energy, support healthy brain function, and protect cells against aging.” In the next segment, we’ll elaborate on the ingredients and their role in supporting these product claims.
The product is gluten-free, with no soy or dairy. The company states that all ingredients are independently tested by a third-party facility and offers an “Ironclad” ninety-day money-back guarantee.
Active Stem Key Ingredients
Vitamin D, 50 mcg (micrograms), supports the absorption of calcium, magnesium, and phosphate in the body, and plays an essential role in the development of bones and teeth. D may help address the softening of the bones, bone loss, and osteoporosis. However, it should be noted; unless you are vitamin D deficient, supplementation is not necessary.
If you’ve previously read our reviews, you understand our dislike of proprietary blends, which do not specify the quantity of each ingredient in the blend. The proprietary blend in Active Stem is 1,400 mg of:
- L-Leucine is a branched-chain amino acid frequently found in sports nutrition products, typically in a 2:1: ratio with L-Valine and L-Isoleucine. Studies indicate that L-Leucine plays a role in protein synthesis and can be beneficial in retaining lean muscle.
- Blueberry Fruit contains high levels of Vitamin C and other antioxidants known to fight free radical damage.
- Green Tea Leaf Extract contains caffeine, which can boost mental alertness. Green Tea is also high in antioxidants and may help prevent inflammation.
- L-Carnosine is a protein made up of two amino acids, beta-alanine and histidine, found in muscles, the heart, brain, and liver, and kidneys.
In our opinion, these ingredients, found in a plethora of other supplements, may have benefits in meeting some of the Active Stem claims. However, we disagree that they are scientifically proven to do so, either individually or as a proprietary blend, and we are reasonably confident they are not contributing to the proliferation of adult stem cells.
Recommended Dosage of Active Stem
The company’s recommended dosage is one scoop per day, 3.9 grams, with 16 ounces of water. The product may be taken with food or on an empty stomach.
Benefits of Active Stem from LCR™ Health
The single most crucial benefit of the product is to boost adult stem cells in the body. Supposedly, this activity would create an environment that will boost energy, support healthy brain function, and protect cells against aging.
How Does Active Stem Perform?
After a ninety-day test of the product, I noticed no additional stem cells – probably an impossibility even if the product did perform. However, I also felt no energy boost, no improved cognitive abilities, I’m pretty sure my cells continued to age at a regular rate, and knee and joint pain increased. The knee and joint pain were, I’m quite sure, totally unrelated to the Active Stem.
That said, this was one person’s experience. Everybody is different and responds differently to stimuli. Reviews on the website did indicate that some individuals felt relief from joint pain, increased energy, and alertness.
Potential Side Effects of Active Stem
The ingredients and dosages found in Active Stem should not cause any adverse side effects; however, as always, we recommend you consult with your medical professional before starting any new supplement.
Active Stem Pricing
The LCR™ website advertises the product at $69.00 for one tub, $186.30 for three containers ($62.10 each), and $330.15 for six ($55.02 each). I did not find the product on any other website or in brick and mortar retailers.
Best Places to Buy Active Stem
Adding to our concerns relative to product efficacy, pseudo-science, and minimal information about the company were the number of complaints to the Better Business Bureau relating to the “Ironclad” money-back guarantee. To the company’s credit, each complaint resulted in a service representative’s response that a full refund was in process. We sense this is more a function of customer service than an intent to deceive.