Unless you’ve recently pierced your navel, you probably don’t give your belly button much thought. It’s either an innie or an outie, cute or kind of weird looking, but basically not a body part you’re likely to obsess over.
Back in the day when your umbilical cord was tied into a belly button knot and the excess snipped off and thrown away, little did anyone know that they were discarding a powerhouse of health. Recent research has demonstrated that the lining of an umbilical cord is rich with stem cells — the undifferentiated “blank slate” cells that can be prompted to grow into organs, skin, and blood.
Stem cells from umbilical cord linings and elsewhere are currently used to regrow cornea, repair wounds, and reverse the effects of aging. Umbilical cord lining stem cells also being investigated as potential therapies for up to 80 diseases, including Parkinson’s disease and diabetes.
Here are some more fun facts about the origins of your navel that you probably didn’t know:
1. Your umbilical cord was you.
As soon as an egg is fertilized, it divides into two parts. One half becomes the placenta and the other half was you (as an embryo). The embryo creates a yolk sack to deliver nutrients until the placenta starts working. The umbilical cord develops from the yolk sack and embryonic cells, so it has the same genes that you do.
2. Your umbilical cord was your first jungle gym.
The umbilical cord is highly flexible. When you were a tiny fetus and still had room in the womb, you probably played with the cord and even swam through its soft tangles and loops. That’s why about 35% of babies are born with the cords slung around their necks (don’t worry; cords are flexible and that’s usually not a problem).
3. Your umbilical cord was smarter than they thought.
Turns out, all that clamping and tying off of the umbilical cord wasn’t even necessary. Umbilical cords actually sense when they’re not needed, stop working, and fall off on their own after a week or so.
However, clamping and cutting make sense these days, now that we know how valuable the cord is. Banking your baby’s umbilical cord and lining — rather than discarding it — means that you, your baby, and your family could reap health benefits from its stem cells for decades to come.
4. Your umbilical cord is a reminder of your connection to Mommy.
Next time your mom drives you crazy, just touch your belly button. You’ll be reminded that you spent nine months receiving nutrients directly from her body. The umbilical cord actually has three vessels inside it: a vein that sends blood filled with oxygen and nutrients from mom to baby; and two arteries that carry the baby’s waste products and carbon dioxide back to the placenta.
5. Your baby’s umbilical cord is a superhero.
Though it’s too late for your own discarded umbilical cord to save any lives, the same isn’t true for your baby’s. If you bank your baby’s cord lining, the stem cells can be harvested and frozen to treat future potential wounds and burns and even cure diseases.
Why Choose GlobalCord?
Make an informed choice. Select a cord banking service that is licensed to offer complete coverage for all stem cell therapies derived from your stored cord.
Umbilical cord lining tissue banked by non-licensed cord blood banks may not provide the stem cell yield or quality that CellResearch Corporation’s proprietary and patented protocols can provide — this may affect its suitability for future therapeutic use. In addition, these blood banks and medical institutions that offer CellResearch Corporation's patented protocols — which include ALL cord lining stem cell therapies — are at risk of patent infringement.
GlobalCord is operated by CellResearch Corporation and its partners. Cords banked through GlobalCord are covered by CellResearch Corporation’s patent licensure which extends to 41 territories around the world, including the U.S.A