About Vital Stem

Vital Stem is a nutritional supplement that promises to boost stem cell levels in your body and reverse many of the side effects of aging. And by working at the cellular level, the company tells us that Vital Stem could help you experience improved cognitive function, enhanced joint and muscle strength, and increased longevity.

According to the manufacturer, all you have to do is mix one scoop of Vital Stem with a 12-oz glass of water and drink first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. From there, we’re told the supplement’s blend of five potent, fully bioavailable ingredients will get to work, without any known side effects.

You probably noticed that there are a whole lot of science-y words floating around on the Vital Stem website, so let’s make things easy by breaking it all down into everyday language. This way, you can make as informed a decision as possible.

First? Let’s lay a solid foundation by talking about stem cells.

Stem Cell Basics

If there was ever a “holy grail” of aging, stem cells would probably fit the bill. But why?

In humans, these cells possess the amazing ability to “develop into many different cell types in the body during early life and growth,” and well as to “serve as a sort of internal repair system, dividing essentially without limit to replenish other cells as long as the person or animal is still alive.”

However, not all stem cells are created equal. Embryonic stem cells can become any other type of cell within the body (a state known as pluripotent), while adult stem cells are limited to their original tissue type. Also, embryonic stem cells can be grown in the lab fairly easily, while adult ones still can’t be grown in a culture.

Here are a couple simplistic examples: A pluripotent stem cell remains undifferentiated and can turn into anything; a heart cell, a liver cell, a red blood cell, and so forth. On the other hand, an adult stem cell—from the lungs, for instance—can only become a cell of the same tissue type.

The Problem With Stem Cells

Despite the potential held by stem cells, they’re not perfect. How?

First, although embryonic stem cells could have the potential to massively improve modern medicine (including anti-aging), there’s a big ethical debate going on. After all, these cells are obtained from 3-5-day old embryos (technically called blastocysts, which are a collection of about 150 individual cells), destroying the embryo in the process.

Second, even if this ethical dilemma was removed by focusing only on adult stem cells (more about this next), the next problem becomes the delivery method. In other words, stem cells are extraordinarily fragile and can’t survive for long outside of a very controlled environment. On top of this, even if these cells were engineered to be hardier, simply taking a stem cell contained supplement wouldn’t translate into any meaningful benefits.

With all of this said, is it possible to boost stem cell production in the body, but without using any stem cells in the first place?

The Big Question: Is It Possible to Boost Stem Cell Production—Without Stem Cells?

According to Live Cell Research, the ingredients contained in Vital Stem will help boost the “proliferation of adult stem cells, the “master cells” of your body that repair damage to your muscles, skin, organs and brain.” We’re also told they “have been shown to boost proliferation of human CD34+ and CD133+ cells, which are essential to your body’s cellular function.”

What does the available clinical evidence have to say about this?

Although the science is new, based on our own online research, it does appear that some types of drugs can stimulate the human body to increase stem cell production, versus the old method of “injecting patients with stem cells from donors, embryos or stem cell banks.” After all, even the CD34 and CD133 referenced on the Vital Stem website, while only used in bone marrow transplants and treating some types of brain tumors, still require injection.

Outside of these very specific drugs, however, there seems to be limited publically available clinical evidence (see also NIH’s PubMed) indicating that stem cell levels can be reliably boosted using natural ingredients commonly found in supplements.

What about Vital Stem, though? Does it contain a unique blend of ingredients shown to meaningfully boost stem cell levels and deliver other real-world results? And if so, does the manufacturer provide any evidence to support their claims? Let’s take a look.

Will Vital Stem’s Ingredients Boost Stem Cell Levels?

Reading through the product label on Vital Stem’s website, the supplement contains the following ingredients:

According to Wikipedia, l-leucine is an amino acid that has the “capacity to directly stimulate muscle protein synthesis” and to “slow the degradation of muscle tissue by increasing the synthesis of muscle proteins in aged rats.”

However, they go on to note that, “comparative studies are conflicted.” In other words, until more clinical evidence is available, we can’t say for sure that it can regularly provide these benefits. But one thing we can say is that we didn’t encounter any clinical evidence during our research indicating l-leucine can boost stem cell production in the human body.

As far as green tea, it contains a substance known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) that’s been widely studied for dozens (perhaps even hundreds) of medical conditions.

According to WebMD, after analyzing much of the available clinical evidence, they list green tea as “likely effective” for genital warts and high cholesterol, and “possibly effective” for things like clogged arteries, high/low blood pressure, osteoporosis, and more. On the other hand, they don’t indicate anything related to stem cells.

WebMD also notes there isn’t enough evidence showing carnosine can provide any benefits in humans and the blueberry powder is only for taste.

Despite what we just learned, the Vital Stem website references 3 different studies to support their claims:

  • A 2010 study conducted by Moscow State University that found carnosine might reduce oxidative stress without side effects, and was even “successfully used to treat patients after brain stroke or patients with Parkinson disease.”
  • A 1999 Finnish study that found leucine supplementation might stimulate muscle protein synthesis and prevent degradation (similar to what we discussed above). However, the study only referenced leucine’s benefits in relation to “exhaustive aerobic exercise” and “those participating in intensive training”—not for aging.

Even then, the study concludes by noting: “Caution must be paid when interpreting the limited number of studies in this area since, in many studies, leucine has been supplemented as part of a mixture of BCAA. Consequently, further research into the effects of leucine supplementation alone is needed.”

  • A 1999 Australian study that showed the longevity of cultured human fibroblasts was extended when exposed to l-carnosine.

As the second study noted, one (or even a handful) of clinical trials doesn’t necessarily mean that a supplement is “proven” to work. In other words, it takes an entire body of repeatable, peer-reviewed clinical evidence before something can be classified as proven.

For more about this topic, be sure to read Think That Clinical Study is Legit?

But here’s the thing: Even if Vital Stem’s ingredients were proven to be effective, all but one are part of a proprietary formulation, so we don’t know exactly how much of each it contains or if it’s enough to provide any results.

While WebMD indicates that none of these ingredients will boost stem cells, do they mention anything about side effects?

Are There Any Potential Side Effects From Taking Vital Stem?

The positive news is that, if you experience any side effects at all from using Vital Stem, they probably won’t be any worse than mild digestive upset.

However, green tea contains a relatively small amount of natural caffeine, which could cause rapid heartbeat, nervousness, and other side effects if you’re especially sensitive to stimulants.

Finally, WebMD notes that there isn’t enough known about some ingredients—such as l-carnosine—to fully understand any potential side effects you might experience.

Now, how much will a bottle of Vital Stem cost you?

How Much You’ll Pay For Vital Stem

Vital Stem is available in the following quantities:

  • 1 Bottle: $46.99 plus $3.95 S&H
  • 3 Bottles: $117 plus free S&H
  • 6 Bottles: $214.27 plus free S&H

All Live Cell Research products, including Vital Stem, come with a 90-day refund policy, less S&H charges. In order to request one, you’ll need to call (844)-650-5933.

Given the seemingly low amount of clinical evidence supporting its ingredients, are Vital Stem’s customers finding that it provides a solid value?

What’s Everyone Saying In Their Vital Stem Reviews?

Since originally researching the supplement, four HighYa readers have left their feedback for Vital Stem, giving it an average rating of 4.8 stars. Here, most common compliments seem to revolve around reduced pain; improved energy, stamina, and sleep, and boosted recovery.

In fact, the only complaint listed was that one customer didn’t really care for the taste.

From a company perspective, Live Cell Research had an average rating of 2.8 stars here on HighYa, based on 33 reader reviews (as of 9/23/16). These were split almost evenly between 1 and 5-star ratings. What can we learn from them?

While some customers claimed to have experienced results from their products and appreciated the helpfulness of their service department, common complaints for the company seemed to revolve around failure to work, difficult customer service (primarily problems obtaining refunds and long response times), as well as long shipping times.

What about some of the company’s other supplements? Niagen, arguably the company’s most popular product, had a similar 3-star rating here on HighYa, with 77 reader reviews. Midogen had a higher 4.3-star average rating and LA-3 a 2.5-star rating, while Cerastim and Advanced Adult Probiotic didn’t have any reviews at the time of our research.

Considering all of this, is Live Cell Research’s Vital Stem supplement right for you?

The Bottom Line About Vital Stem

We had to cover a lot of ground to get to this point, but the reality is that when it comes to Vital Stem, the bottom line is fairly simple: With the exception of leucine, WebMD tells us that there isn’t sufficient clinical evidence supporting the company’s claims.

So, in our opinion (after all, we’re consumers too!), if you’re looking to get most of the same benefits as Vital Stem but without the relatively high price, your money might be better spent purchasing a standalone leucine supplement, many of which can be found for as little as $10. As always, just be sure to speak with your doctor first!

But if you feel like rolling the dice on Vital Stem, it’s positive that Live Cell Research provides a 90-day refund policy. Just keep in mind that you might be out a few bucks in S&H charges if you’re dissatisfied and decide to process a return.

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24 Customer Reviews for Vital Stem

Average Customer Rating: 4.4
Rating Snapshot:
5 stars: 13 4 stars: 9 3 stars: 1 2 stars: 1 1 stars: 0
Bottom Line: 96% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 24
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  • After Taste That Tastes Awful

    Actually, I liked the extra energy and I did feel better, but the powder is awful. I tried dissolving the powder in several things, tea, Gatorade, ginger ale, etc. Still awful. Reading the ingredients, it said "silica" and "sucrolose." That would be sand and artificial sugar if I remember correctly from college science class. Neither of these sand or fake sugar, I am interested in eating. I ordered three jars, only opened one, and sent two back.

    I am confused, though, I received a "Customer Comment" email, and you asked me if I preferred the powder or the capsules. I thought, well great, I can take a capsule, so I ordered some, or rather tried to. You don't have capsules or tablets, I was told. If you have a capsule or a tablet available, please let me know? Thank you.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • Positive Results From Use of Vital Stem

    I am 75. Although I take medication for coronary artery disease, I continue to exercise 1.5 hours every other day and take numerous supplements to improve my health and retard the effects of aging. I started taking Vital-Stem 41 days ago and currently notice increased energy, stamina, libido, and less difficulty breathing during exercise. I feel younger, more alert and notice improvement in my memory.

    I am impressed with the product, the company, their policy of being honest, and a staff that knowledgeable and helpful.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Helping all 3 of us

    #1 in our household is our 14 year old Bichon Frise dog. She was really lethargic and had lost the sparkle in her eyes. We give her 4 teaspoons each morning when we have our Vital Stem. She has her old sparkle back and is ready to go for her walks now.

    My husband has an artificial heart valve and a segment of his heart that is getting really tired. Since starting on Vital Stem (about 2 weeks ago) he is sleeping less and doesn't tire so easily. We've both noticed that his mental recall is much better.

    I had a total knee replacement on October 14. The scar is healing up so well - I doubt if I'll be able to tell where it is in a year. I have a neurological disease and am diabetic - I tire very easily. I'm finding I don't sleep so long at my naps or at night.

    We all love the berry flavor of the powder. We mix it with yogurt, almond milk, protein powder and 3 ice cubes for a great breakfast drink.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Enhanced state of well-being

    When I started this I had hopes but didn’t expect much.

    I am a 60 year old Caucasian male with low energy, low libido, and mild depression. I had what I call the usual symptoms, malaise, low energy, low libido, muscle atrophy, brain fog, etc. I am not complaining because many people my age are in much worse condition than I am.

    I do not have any disease that I am aware of. The idea of a person on the decline was depressing in and of itself, not to mention the physical aspects of aging. Honestly I didn’t expect much.

    I already take supplements, a multivitamin, colloidal minerals, and try to keep active.

    I didn’t notice much for the first few days and then I began to feel better. This is not to say I was feeling bad before, but just and enhanced state of well-being.

    This is hard to describe because I can’t point to anything in particular, but I just felt better. Granted, this could just be the placebo effect and I wrote that off to that. I just generally feel better, happier, with more energy. I sleep better and require less sleep. The brain fog seems to have gone away, and my libido is slowly returning. General achiness has gone away and some skin issues seem to be clearing up of getting better. All of these improvements in the first month of use. This is more than I had hoped for.

    My job keeps me busy 55 hours a week and I also maintain a centennial farm.

    I only take this 5 or 6 days a week but the effects seem to last. I am a smoker and I drink some too.

    Vital Stem is worth the money just for the way it helps me to feel. I have been on it less than a month and plan to stay on it.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Active Stem

    Best stuff on the market! My husband and my dad both suffer from chronic pain and, within 2 weeks of beginning the use of this product, both have seen dramatic changes in their quality of life. MY husband also has digestive problems, and this product has enabled him to eat AND he has been able to gain a few pounds.

    It is an amazing product that we will continue to use!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    After 2 of 3 containers Of Vital Stem

    I suffered a lumbar disc injury in early August and averaged 2-3 hours of sleep a night for about 5 weeks.

    In early September, I started receiving treatments from a Sports Chiropractor accompanied by some exercises specific to the injury. A week later, I began taking Vital Stem. The sleep gradually began to improve and the pain began to diminish; nevertheless, I still have a left foot drop but am optimistic that it, too, will improve in several months.

    One unforeseen improvement has been in my bowel health. I've had chronic ulcerative colitis for over 40 years, but have had diarrhea for a little over 8 years. About a month before I began taking Vital Stem, I started taking a new probiotic and had some mild improvement. After the onset of Vital Stem, the condition improved significantly. The stool varies from solid soft to formed.

    One disappointment: my understanding is that each container should provide a 30 day supply and I've been taking a level scoop daily. Each of the two containers has lasted only 23 days.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    I've been taking Vial Stem for a month

    I am a 9/11 rescue worker, I have been in and out of the hospital from 2010 until now. I had one major surgery and multiple ones after that. My biggest problems were digestive problems, dropping weight.

    Test after test and no answers, and some of the tests were not easy. I came across the Vital Stem advertisement and gave it a try.

    As of my first month taking Vital Stem, my digestive problems are getting better and I have put 6 pounds back on and I am really starting to feel a lot better than I have been for a long time.

    I am going to order again for another 90 days and I hope I continue to get better. THANK YOU.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • Some Benefit

    Have used it for about 30 days. Memory and recall seem to have improved. Too early to judge energy level, although I'm pretty healthy to start with. Just turned 69. What do you expect the results to be for someone my age?

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Vital Stem works for me.

    • Oregon,
    • Nov 3, 2016

    OK, I decided to try Vital Stem as a part of my longevity protocol. I do my research, and the product ingredients are legit, but I wasn't sure that the product would actually do anything for me. I have been into anti-aging for 15 years, beginning with staying fit for firefighting. I am 55 and still on the line due to diet, exercise, supplements, and positive mental attitude. However, I have picked up a few dents and dings along the way, including MCL damage (skiing accident 2002), wrist strain (spring 2016), and toenail fungus (left big toe 2009). So, I started taking Vital Stem each afternoon with lunch, and after one month I noticed that I really didn't have any knee pain going on anymore, at all!

    I also noticed that my wrist wasn't hurting any more and its strength was almost 100%. The kicker was the toe fungus, it's been almost two months and it is disappearing Now I have battled toe fungus for six years and I have recently learned that it is an internal infection in the organs that manifests itself as a toenail fungus infection, specifically by organ and toe infected. I believe my big toe signifies a liver issue, whatever it was, it's going away too.

    YES, this product works, it seems to fix whatever is not right in the body, kind of a Jack-of-All-Trades supplement. I have no other explanation except Vital Stem, as I have not added or subtracted any other supplement or dietary item. It works at the cellular level for me folks.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Vital Stem

    • Worcester, Massachusetts,
    • Oct 28, 2016

    The product is okay, I take it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach with my vitamins. I am on my second bottle and still can't tell any change yet. But am hoping that by the end of my third jar I'll be ready to order more by the change I'll have by then.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • Vital Stem Review

    • Ocean Shores, WA,
    • Oct 27, 2016

    I have only been taking it 3 weeks now, once a day in a smoothie. I feel increased energy. It doesn't aggravate my digestive tract. My joints don't seem to hurt as much in the morning. I look forward to taking it for a longer period to see how I feel.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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