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Published

November 7, 2022

Updated

January 4, 2024

Cord Blood vs. Cord Tissue: What’s the Difference?

The main difference between cord blood and cord tissue lies in the types of stem cells that they contain. Find out the unique benefits of each.

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Nature is an amazing force that keeps us healthy and alive. There are many approaches to healthcare that can bring you therapeutic benefits and some of these come from the elements that make up the human umbilical cord. 

Umbilical cord blood and cord tissue both have distinct properties that can be of benefit to a person’s health in a multitude of ways. Here’s a quick look at what each of these are, and why you may want to bank your baby’s cord blood or tissue for use in the future.

A Quick Definition

The umbilical cord is the life force that connects a pregnant woman to her baby before the child is born. This tube sends food and oxygen to the baby from the placenta, and waste from the baby back to the placenta to clear the womb. This cord has two essential parts: the cord blood and its tissues. 

Cord blood is the substance found inside the umbilical cord. Cord tissue, in contrast, is the material that forms the cord itself. 

Why bother to save these things after your baby is born? Cord blood and its tissue contain many elements that are essential to a healthy life. Cord blood houses red and white blood cells, as well as plasma and platelets, just like the rest of the blood in your body. Cord tissue contains fat and white cells. Both cord blood and cord tissue are home to many stem cells, giving them their priceless value and extreme potential when it comes to healing disease.


Types of Stem Cells Found in Each

Stem cells are the building blocks of your body and it’s from these specialized cells that other specialized cells are formed. Stem cells can replace lost or damaged cells in your body and provide the new cells your body needs as it grows. A child’s cord blood and tissue both have different stem cells that can be of great use. 


Stems cells in cord blood

A baby’s cord blood contains blood stem cells, or hematopoietic and non-hematopoietic stem cells. Hematopoietic stem cells produce all the cells found in your blood and also provide the cells for your immune system. When a person develops a blood disease like leukemia, a stem cell transplant can stimulate the growth of healthy cells in the body and can be used as a life saving treatment. 

Cord blood also contains mesenchymal stem cells and tiny embryonic-like stem cells (VSELs).  Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can develop into many types of tissues including nerve tissues, sensory organs, cartilage,  muscle, circulatory tissues, skin, and bone. 


Stem cells in cord tissue

For its part, cord tissue contains many different types of stem cells. These include mesenchymal, epithelial and endothelial stem cells. Mesenchymal stem cells form the bulk of the stem cells in cord tissue. 


How are they collected?

Cord blood and cord tissues are collected soon after birth. At Anja Health, we send a premium collection kit shipped right to your door. You bring this kit with you to the birth of your child and an attending nurse or midwife will collect the cord blood and the cord tissue for you. Once this is done, our pick up team will then have these samples transferred directly to our lab from anywhere across the US. 


What are the benefits?

When the stem cells from cord blood are transplanted into your body, either your own stem cells or those from someone else who is a close match, they can repopulate the cells in your blood as well as your immune system. This can help your body replace old, damaged cells with new, healthy ones, allowing it to recover from disease. 

The stem cells from cord tissue can help the body heal in a variety of ways. These act in different ways from those found in cord blood and can help inhibit inflammation after tissue damage, repair tissue through secreting growth factors, and more. 

Cord tissue use is on the frontier of modern medicine and hundreds of clinical trials are currently investigating exactly how these can be used to benefit humans. While we all hope to stay happy and healthy, being prepared for potential health problems can be of great benefit. With a wide range of applications, stem cell transplants from cord tissue are looking extremely promising.

 

What Diseases Can They Potentially Treat?

Banking your child’s cord blood and tissue can potentially increase their access to new life-saving treatments in the future.

Currently, cord blood is used to treat diseases of the blood and immune system disorders like:

  • lymphomas
  • myelomas
  • leukemia
  • myeloproliferative syndrome

Cord tissue is used to treat:

  • leukemias
  • anemias
  • lymphomas
  • inherited metabolic disorders

Clinical trials are underway to investigate using cord tissue to treat many other disorders and diseases including ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), Lupus, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, rheumatoid arthritis, immune disorders, MS, diabetes, liver failure, and more. 

The attraction of banking your child’s stem cells for potential future use is that they won’t have to search around for a potential match should they ever need a transplant. The cells will be those that were used to build their very own body. 

The future use of these substances is wide open to discovery and could potentially lead to some long-sought-after medical answers. 


Explore Your Banking Options with Anja Health

At Anja Health, we’re more than a cord bank. We process each sample of cord blood and tissue manually with an individualized approach. This non-automated process leads to approximately 25% more stem cells being recovered throughout our process. With inclusive pricing and decades of experience through our partner providers, you know you’re getting the best service possible. 

Banking your child’s cord blood and cord tissue is a way of investing in their future by providing peace of mind when it comes to good health. 

Find an Anja kit right for you and order today.

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