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Blog / Stem Cells

Can stem cells treat diabetes?

A brief description of how stem cells may be able to treat Type 1 Diabetes.


July 20, 2021

Can stem cells treat diabetes?

David Lyons

Guest contributor

Jul 20, 2021

Louis A. Cona, MD

Medical Director | DVC Stem

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A brief description of how stem cells may be able to treat diabetes.

Stem cell therapy for Diabetes

In the 21st Century, stem cells have become an integral piece in the search for an innovative method to treat Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes, and to move away from regular insulin injections for patients. Their ability to morph or differentiate into different types of cells in the body makes stem cells a prime candidate to combat the condition that affects millions of people worldwide.

In general, diabetes is caused by the body's lack of functioning beta cells or b-cells.

What is Type 1 Diabetes?

In Type 1 Diabetes, the body's immune system actively destroys its supply of b-cells. Type 1 Diabetes is caused by a lack of b-cells in the body due to immunosuppression.

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

In Type 2 Diabetes, the body's b-cells can no longer produce sufficient levels of insulin to overcome the developed insulin resistance.

Is there a cure for Diabetes?

Challenges to find a cure for diabetes has largely revolved around finding a method to replace or replenish b-cells.  In the past, the most effective treatment was a b-cell transplant to increase the number of healthy b-cells in a patient. However, this procedure was undesirable for a multitude of reasons. The minimal number of b-cells required for a single transplant required 2-3 healthy donors. Additionally, the regimen of immunosuppressive drugs required to prevent the body from rejecting the donor cells was strenuous for the recipient.

Can stem cell help Diabetes?

Researchers are now turning to stem cells as a means of achieving a high number of new b-cells without the negative effects of a transplant. After being introduced into a patient, the stem cells migrate to the damaged tissue, differentiate into new b-cells, and continue to maintain a healthy level of b-cells in the body. Alternatively, stem cells can be lab-grown and induced into becoming insulin-producing cells. These cells could then directly replenish depleted cells in a patient's body. With these methods, Type 1 diabetes could be successfully managed without the need for the limited supply of donor cells.

Stem cells can be used in a similar way to treat Type 2 Diabetes. Although b-cells are still present in Type 2 patients, additional b-cells could supplement the body's supply to overcome the insulin resistance present in a patient. Treatment could aim to continuously maintain b-cells levels above the required amount to combat a patient's insulin resistance.

Although advances have already been made in the treatment of diabetes with stem cells, stem cell research is still ongoing and evolving every day. Stem cells have been shown to replenish b-cells both in the body and have been lab-grown for implantation. However, the body still retains an autoimmune response with Type 1 Diabetes and insulin resistance with Type 2 Diabetes. Additional treatment is usually required in conjunction with stem cells to ensure the body safely accepts the new cells and allows normal blood glucose levels to return more permanently.

Notably, lab tests have shown treatments to successfully avert the autoimmune response to the stem cells in non-obese diabetic mice.

"Dr. Cona is a leading edge stem cell treatment physician"

Matthew Murry - MS Patient


"Is the video I posted from this morning! My speech is so easy for me now, got easier throughout the day! I can talk like a NYer (fast) for the first time in years! Praise God!"

- Matthew Murry


Only 3 days after treatment, Matthew is now able to touch his nose with his eyes closed as well as touch his thumb and pinky together. Both of which he was previously unable to do before treatment.

We are excited to see his continued progress. His story will be updated here so keep an eye out!

Matthew showing his progress with mobility

Matthew Murry - 3 days post treatment

"This is exciting stuff, god bless"

Matthew Murry - MS Patient


Matthew experiences sensation in the bottom of his feet after receiving a simple nerve test.

His left foot did not experience any sensation or move at all, but what happened to his right foot is extremely exciting!


Matthew is now able to lift his leg unassisted. He was previously unable to do so.

Matthew is experiencing the benefits of stem cell therapy first hand. You can view his progress video here.

Matthew showing some amazing mobility improvements.

Matthew Murry - 50 days post treatment

"Amazing progress from one of our MS patients Matthew Murray"

Louis A. Cona, MD - DVC Stem


Matthew is able to stand up with the assistance of stability bars.

David Lyons

Multiple Sclerosis

Although David Lyons was able to successfully fight Multiple Sclerosis through a strict regimen of diet and exercise, he wanted to ensure he was doing everything he could to stay fit. Multiple Sclerosis can be managed with treatment, but there is currently no cure for the disease. For that reason, David came to DVC Stem years ago to use the regenerative and anti-inflammatory attributes of stem cells to aid in his fight for fitness.

The positive results he experienced enabled David to stay strong in the gym, now into his 60s, and that is why he continues to support our clinic to this day.

About the author

Louis A. Cona, MD

Louis A. Cona, MD

Dr. Cona has been performing stem cell therapy for over 10 years. He is a member of the World Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (WAAAM). He is also a recognized member of the British Medical Association, the General Medical Council (UK), the Caribbean College of Family Physicians, and the American Academy of Family Physicians. He is the Medical Director for DVC Stem a world-renowned stem cell therapy clinic located in Grand Cayman.

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