Research Articles


Adult stem cells, found in many tissues in the body, are precursor cells for specific cell types. For example, stem cells found in the bone marrow develop into blood cells, bone cells, and other connective tissues, and neural stem cells develop into brain tissue.

Paula C. Bickford, Ph.D., is a well-respected and internationally recognized scientist whose research focuses on the role of inflammation and oxidative stress in brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases. Professor of Neurosurgery and Pharmacology at the University of South Florida and a member of the university’s Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair, Dr. Bickford has spoken extensively about the nutritional aspects of improving the function of stem cells.

The co-author of a report entitled Nutraceuticals Synergistically Promote Proliferation of Human Stem Cells, Dr. Bickford asserts that we can support the health of our bodies’ own stem cells, in part by employing nutritional supplementation.

Dr. Bickford and her colleagues worked on 5 research studies testing the efficacy of the Renew supplement.

Abstracts of these studies appear below.



Renew: A pure nutritional bounty

The first three research studies were done using the ingredients in the original formula included in New Earth’s Renew. The forth research study was done on the formula with the addition of MIND, a wild bluegreen microalgae (Aphanizomenon flos-aquae) which indicates that even better results are expected with the inclusion of the MIND microalgae.


Nutraceuticals Synergistically Promote Proliferation of Human Stem Cells

Paula C. Bickford, 1,2 Jun Tan, 1 R. Douglas Shytle, 1 Cyndy D. Sanberg, 3 Nagwa El-Badri, 1 and Paul R. Sanberg 1

 A viable alternative to stem cell transplantation is to design approaches that stimulate endogenous stem cells to promote healing and regenerative medicine. Many natural compounds have been shown to promote healing; however, the effects of these compounds on stem cells have not been investigated. We report here the effects of several natural compounds on the proliferation of human bone marrow and human CD34+ and CD133+ cells. A dose-related effect of blueberry, green tea, catechin, carnosine, and vitamin D3 was observed on proliferation with human bone marrow as compared with human granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (hGM-CSF). We further show that combinations of nutrients produce a synergistic effect to promote proliferation of human hematopoietic progenitors. This demonstrates that nutrients can act to promote healing via an interaction with stem cell populations.

© Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.




Oxidative Stress of Neural, Hematopoietic, and Stem Cells: Protection by Natural Compounds

R. Douglas Shytle,1 Jared Ehrhart,2 Jun Tan,1,2 Jennifer Vila,1 Michael Cole,1 Cyndy D. Sanberg,4 Paul R. Sanberg,1 and Paula C. Bickford1,3

 During natural aging, adult stem cells are known to have a reduced restorative capacity and are more vulnerable to oxidative stress resulting in a reduced ability of the body to heal itself. We report here that the proprietary natural product formulation, NT020, previously found to promote proliferation of human hematopoietic stem cells, reduced oxidative stress-induced apoptosis of murine neurons and microglial cells in vitro. Furthermore, when taken orally for 2 weeks, cultured bone marrow stem cells from these mice exhibited a dose-related reduction of oxidative stress-induced apoptosis. This preclinical study demonstrates that NT020 can act to promote healing via an interaction with stem cell populations and forms the basis of conducting a clinical trial to determine if NT020 exhibits similar health promoting effects in humans when used as a dietary supplement.

Volume 10, Number 2, 2007
© Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
DOI: 10.1089/rej.2006.0515




Dietary Supplementation Exerts Neuroprotective Effects in Ischemic Stroke Model

Takao Yasuhara,1 Koichi Hara,1 Mina Maki,1 Tadashi Masuda,1 Cyndy D. Sanberg,2 Paul R. Sanberg,3 Paula C. Bickford,3,4 and Cesar V. Borlongan 1,5

 This study examined whether dietary supplementation can be used to protect against ischemic stroke. Two groups of adult male Sprague-Dawley rats initially received NT-020, a proprietary formulation of blueberry, green tea, vitamin D3, and carnosine (n=8), or vehicle (n=7). Dosing for NT-020 and vehicle consisted of daily oral administration (using a gavage) over a 2-week period. On day 14 following the last drug treatment, all animals underwent the stroke surgery using the transient 1-hour suture occlusion of middle cerebral artery (MCAo). To reveal the functional effects of NT-020, animals were subjected to established behavioral tests just prior to stroke surgery and again on day 14 post-stroke. ANOVA revealed significant treatment effects (pô°0.05), characterized by reductions of 11.8% and 24.4% in motor asymmetry and neurologic dysfunction, respectively, in NT-020-treated stroke animals compared to vehicle-treated stroke animals. Evaluation of cerebral infarction revealed a significant 75% decrement in mean glial scar area in the ischemic striatum of NT-020-treated stroke animals compared to that of vehicle-treated stroke animals (p < 0.0005). Quantitative analysis of subventricular zone’s cell proliferative activity revealed at least a one-fold increment in the number of BrdU-positive cells in the NT-020-treated stroke brains compared to vehicle-treated stroke brains (p < 0.0005). Similarly, quantitative analysis of BrdU labeling in the ischemic striatal penumbra revealed at least a three-fold increase in the number of BrdU- positive cells in the NT-020-treated stroke brains compared to vehicle-treated stroke brains (p < 0.0001). In addition, widespread double labeling of cells with BrdU and doublecortin was detected in NT-020-treated stroke brains (intact side 17% and ischemic side 75%), which was significantly higher than those seen in vehicle-treated stroke brains (intact side 5% and ischemic side 13%) (p < 0.05). In contrast, only a small number of cells in NT-020-treated stroke brains double labeled with BrdU and GFAP (intact side 1% and ischemic side 2%), which was significantly lower than those vehicle-treated stroke brains (intact side 18% and ischemic side 35%) (p < 0.0001). Endogenous neurogenic factors were also significantly upregulated in the ischemic brains of NT-020-treated stroke animals. These data demonstrate the remarkable neuroprotective effects of NT-020 when given prior to stroke, possibly acting via its neurogenic potential.

 Volume 11, Number 1, 2008 
© Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
DOI: 10.1089/rej.2007.0608

1 Department of Neurology, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, Georgia. 
2 Natura Therapeutics, Inc., Tampa, Florida. 
3 Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair, Department of Neurosurgery, University of South Florida College of Medicine, Tampa, Florida. 
4 James A. Haley Veterans Administration Hospital, Tampa, Florida.
5 Research and Affiliations Service Line, Augusta VAMC, Augusta, Georgia.




Effects of blue-green algae extracts on the proliferation of human adult stem cells in vitro:

A preliminary study – New!

Douglas Shytle, Jun Tan, Jared Ehrhart, Adam Smith, Cyndy Sanberg, Paul Sanberg, Jerry Anderson, Paula Bickford

 Adult stem cells are known to have a reduced restorative capacity as we age and are more vulnerable to oxidative stress resulting in a reduced ability of the body to heal itself. We have previously reported that a proprietary nutraceutical formulation, NT-020, promotes proliferation of human hematopoietic stem cells in vitro and protects stem cells from oxidative stress when given chronically to mice in vitro. Because previous reports suggest that the blue green algae, Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA) can modulate immune function in animals, we sought to investigate the effects of AFA on human stem cells in cultures. Two AFA products were used for extraction: AFA whole (AFA-W) and AFA cellular concentrate (AFA-C). Water and ethanol extractions were performed to isolate active compounds for cell culture experiments. For cell proliferation analysis, human bone marrow cells or human CD34+ cells were cultured in 96 well plates and treated for 72 hours with various extracts. An MTT assay was used to estimate cell proliferation. We report here that the addition of an ethanol extract of AFA-cellular concentrate further enhances the stem cell proliferative action of NT-020 when incubated with human adult bone marrow cells or human CD34+ hematopoietic progenitors in culture. Algae extracts alone had only moderate activity in these stem cell proliferation assays. This preliminary study suggests that NT-020 plus the ethanol extract of AFA cellular concentrate may act to promote proliferation of human stem cell populations.

Med Sci Monit 2010; 16(1): BR 1 – 5




NT-020, a Natural Therapeutic Approach to Optimize Spatial Memory Performance and Increase Neural Progenitor Cell Proliferation and Decrease Inflammation in the Aged Rat

S. Acosta,1 J. Jernberg,1 C.D. Sanberg,2 P.R. Sanberg,1 Brent J. Small,3 Carmelina Gemma,1,4 and Paula C. Bickford1,4

 The process of aging is linked to oxidative stress, microglial activation, and proinflammatory factors, which are known to decrease cell proliferation and limit neuroplasticity. These factors may lead the transition from normal aging to more severe cognitive dysfunction associated with neurodegenerative diseases. We have shown that natural compounds such as polyphenols from blueberry and green tea and amino acids like carnosine are high in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity that decreases the damaging effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS), in the blood, brain, and other tissues of the body. Furthermore, we have shown that the combination of these nutrients (called NT-020) creates a synergistic effect that promotes the proliferation of stem cells in vitro and in vitro. In the current study, we examined the effects of NT-020 on neurogenesis and performance on a Morris water maze (MWM). Aged (20-month-old) male Fischer 344 rats were treated with 135.0mg/kg per day (n=13) of NT-020. Young (3-month-old) (n=10) and aged (20-month-old) (n=13) control male Fischer 344 rats were treated with water by oral gavage. All groups were treated for a period of 4 weeks. Although there was no difference in performance in the MWM when comparing all aged rats, when the data for aged impaired rats were compared, there was a significant difference between groups on the last day of training with the treatment group performing better than controls. Using the cell cycle–regulating protein (Ki67), doublecortin (DCX), and OX6 antibody markers, cell proliferation, neurogenesis, and microglial activation were estimated in the dentate gyrus (DG) of young and aged animals. Cell proliferation was also examined in the subventricular zone (SVZ). A decreased number of OX6 MHC II–positive cells, increased neurogenesis, and increased number of proliferating cells were found in rats treated with NT-020 in comparison with aged control rats. In sum, NT-020 may promote health, proliferation, and maintenance of neurons in the age animals and exert anti-inflammatory actions that promote function in the aged stem cell niche.

© Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.




Researchers have found that specialized high quality nutrition may be helpful in order for the stem cells of the body to replicate and flourish.

The research conducted on Renew is peer-reviewed and published in professional journals. This body of research that includes 5 in vitro (in a test tube) and in vitro (a living animal body) studies on Renew demonstrate that the Renew formula enables stem cells to reproduce, mobilize to needed areas of the body and may protect existing stem cells from the harmful effects of damaging agents such as free radicals.

A proliferation of stem cells, then, along with a balanced diet and exercise, can help us maintain the optimum health and healthy longevity we all want.