Rather than growing stem cells in a lab dish and injecting them into the body to regenerate tissues, scientists are getting closer to activating endogenously-made stem cells that don’t have ethical or immune-rejection drawbacks.
It is well known that vitamin C is required for healing of connective tissue (goo that exists in between living cells). [National Institutes of Health] But now researchers report vitamin C along with vitamin A are needed to restore internally-produced stem cells back to their immature (embryonic) state where they can be reprogrammed to differentiate into muscle, brain, heart, liver, etc. cells. [Proceedings National Academy Science Oct 11, 2016]
For people who have damaged tissues, such as the hair cells in the ear, or brain cells damaged by a stroke, or scarred cells in the heart or the back of the eyes, the usefulness of vitamins A & C to encourage endogenously made stem cells to regenerate tissues is now on the drawing board.