LCR Health Active Stem Review9 min read
I don’t know about you, but when I hear about stem cells I always think back to my school days and biology class when we would grow seeds on tissue paper and watch the stem grow.
It’s more of a test of my poor overworked brain to think of actual human cells and how they are formed, so perhaps I need to go back to science class in order to understand the basics of human biology.
As I understand it (having given myself a ‘biology for dummies’ lesson!) the discovery of stem cells is one of the most groundbreaking discoveries in scientific history, giving us the building blocks of life. They are cells which do not yet have a function. Therefore stem cells can ‘become’ any cell to fulfill any function that the body requires.
We can see why the discovery was so momentous. And so now the race for products which promote stem cell-growth has begun and is in full force.
I’m going to take a look at one such product: LCR Health Active Stem and help you to decide if it is a supplement which could have benefits to your health and wellbeing.
The branding for LCR Health has a logo of a building block, which speaks of a scientific foundation and gives the impression of evidence-based studies underpinning the products coming from this company. Having a look around the website we can see that there is a clinician at the helm and that the claims for the products are all based in scientific research.
I’d like to know a little more about the story behind the company before looking at the products, so I’m specifically navigating to the ‘About tab’, where I find a letter from Dr Rand McClain, a doctor of ‘Regenerative Medicine’.
Without going into too much depth around the discoveries within this field, suffice to say that stem cell therapy research has greatly advanced the area of knowledge around cell repair and renewal.
Research on stem cells is no doubt exciting. The potential for therapies is vast, with scientists discovering stem cells in more human tissue than they had at first thought. Products are now being formulated which claim to assist in the production of stem cells, but the cynic in me struggles to buy into the concept of a store-bought proprietary product being made available to the public which would in some way aid stem cell growth.
Surely this is something that needs to be done in a laboratory?
After all, the research around these cells began decades ago in labs, looking at cells within bone marrow. Has anyone actually proven that any of the claims by LCR Health around their products can do the same kind of thing these miraculous cells can do?
Background on LCR Health
The company (of which Dr McClain is the Chief Medical Officer, notably not the founder) claims that their products are primarily anti-aging and help people ‘optimize health at a cellular level’. Now, as I have explained above, my understanding of science is limited and rudimental, but I thought everything about my health was essentially happening at a cellular level?
What are they really talking about?
Dr McClain has achieved acclaim (according to the LCR Health website) and works with celebrity clients and professional athletes to help them achieve energy levels and endurance ‘even when they thought their best years were behind them’.
LCR Health make a broad claim that their products use AMPK-activation, a ‘metabolic process’ which converts nutrients from food into energy. But wait, that’s what our body does anyway, right? So what’s really included inside these life-enhancing products and why should I be buying them and taking them daily for optimal health?
Doesn’t my body know how to regenerate itself and make energy from nutrition? I’m going to take a look at the ingredients in LCR Health Active Stem just to check if there can really be any evidence for its claims.
Active Stem Ingredients
The ingredients listed on the tub of this product are:
- Vitamin D (2000 IU), 500% Daily value
- Proprietary blend (1400mg)
- Green Tea Extract
- Blueberry powder
You might not be clear on what these ingredients are, so I’ve done a little research at Examine.com to see if there is any background research listed that might help us to understand how these ingredients could be seen to support the claims.
The claims are listed on the LCR Health website as:
Help combat cellular aging, Support healthy cognitive function, Maintain strong joints and muscles, Support a stronger, more active body
Leucine is an amino acid and Carnosine is a protein used in building muscle. Without going into too much detail on the science around muscle synthesis, both are common supplements taken by those who exercise seriously and are looking to build lean muscle.
The studies listed on Examine.com tell us that in living subjects the tests are inconclusive around blood-sugar reducing properties of Leucine, and although muscle gains are detected (in those with lower dietary protein intake and the elderly) it is not possible to say whether ‘supplementing’ with Leucine leads to greater muscle gain due to the presence in the diet of sufficient protein already.
So, long story short, it may or not help with muscle.
Similarly for Carnosine there is little scientific evidence to support the supplementary intake of the protein in muscle and endurance tests, although it may help with treating nerve damage and kidney problems. So far so underwhelming.
The other ingredients, Green tea and blueberry, are stalwarts of the supplement field. Examine.com states that;
antioxidant and anthocyanin content of blueberries makes them particularly effective at reducing cognitive decline, supporting cardiovascular health, protecting the liver, and reducing liver fat buildupExamine
Whilst these are broadly health-supporting properties, and assist with the healthy cognitive function claim of Active Stem, I still find it a bit of a stretch to claim that they are in any way assisting in the production of stem cells.
Similarly for Green Tea – there is research to suggest that compounds within green tea (catechins) aid in cardio- and neuro-protection, but potentially in much higher doses than are present in this blend.
How to Take Active Stem?
Active Stem comes in a capsule form which you swallow whole, so there is no flavor. If you’re used to taking capsules then you should have no problem with this supplement.
It is difficult to say whether there could be side effects as the capsule contains no fiber (so no real likelihood of digestive discomfort) however it is always advisable to check whether the product contains any ingredient to which you may have previously suffered any adverse effects.
Does Active Stem Actually Work?
Given the research I’ve undertaken to look at scientific backing for the claims, I would have to say there is little evidence to show that there could be benefits in the way that the manufacturers claim. I find the dumbing-down of scientific research in order to promote the sale of products such as this really disheartening.
In an effort to be balanced, I do have to state that there are some medical journals listed on the Research tab of the website, which – when you click through – do cite scientific research from medical journals such as Sports Med (‘Leucine supplementation and intensive training’).
It’s confusing as to why – if they really thought there was a clear link between the research (which is from 1999) and their product – they don’t link the two more clearly, and why the Research tab is hidden waaaaay low down on the site and not up top. The blog on the other hand contains very loosely health related articles (such as ‘does an apple a day really keep the doctor away’).
Active Stem Customer Reviews
I looked all over the internet for Active Stem reviews as I’m really struggling to see exactly what it is that people are experiencing from this product.
I can’t find any reviews on Amazon and there is only one on their own site –
I feel like they are helping me stay mentally and physically sharp. I’m a 57 year old male in good health. I stay active with a walking routine about 3 times a week for 3 to 4 miles at a time and do body weight exercises about 2 to 3 times a week as well.
Money Back Guarantee / Returns Policy
I found a 90-day ‘Ironclad’ guarantee waaaay down in the FAQs about this product, I’m not sure why they don’t make more of this as I think it would help from a customer service and satisfaction point of view. Anyway, you need to call a number if you’re not satisfied with their products and we can only assume that they give you your money back when you return your products – as that’s what they say they’ll do.
Where to Buy Active Stem?
You can buy Active Stem from the LCR Health site here.
Is It Worth the Price?
The tub contains 30 servings (a serving is 2 capsules). This costs $69 (USD) for one tub, $186.30 for three tubs, $330.15 for six.
I really have to say that I don’t think I would part with my money for this kind of product. The claims seem unrelated to the product, the manufacturers are expecting customers to take a huge leap of faith, and I find it hard to see how all the talk of energy-release can really be linked to active stem cell production. So the name in itself of the product is misleading.
The Bottom Line
It’s a misleading and dangerous claim when medical professionals (who have spent their career serving people with health complaints in a medical environment) use their professional clout and move toward promoting products that claim to do more than a healthy balanced diet can do. Moreover, I have a natural cynicism about medics who put their name to a brand which ‘sounds sciencey’ but it really doesn’t take much research to go ahead and debunk.
Let me repeat, there is NO EVIDENCE that the ingredients in this product result in active adult stem cell production.
There are actually citations at the bottom of the product page – regarding stem cell therapy, but I don’t see any correlation between the product and these citations.
I’m sorry Dr McClain but your products just aren’t for me.