Since Mike Tyson announced he is training to box in charity matches, videos of him have been circulating online of hi in insane form. He’s been seen hitting the pads with lightning-fast punches on Instagram, he’s been seen shadow-boxing for his Chinese fans on Weibo, and footage of him looking huge while training with ex-UFC legend Vitor Belfort is all over YouTube.
His physical shape has been raising some eyebrows in the sports community, with some questioning how he can possibly be looking so strong at 53. Joe Rogan, of UFC fame, said on his podcast he believes Tyson might be receiving chemical help “If he’s taking, like, testosterone, growth hormone, thyroid hormone, all those things… your body functions way better at a way later age”.
Rogan went on to explain how he believes that the physical shape Tyson is in at 53, is most likely possible due to the number of age-reversing drug treatments available today, “So if we’re talking about being a 53-year-old man in 1985, there’s no chance, everybody fell apart. You’d have to be a really, really, really rare person who doesn’t take hormones and can perform like a 30-year-old when you’re in your 50s”.
It’s unarguable that Mike Tyson is a ‘really, really, really rare person’. However, he did have his own explanation behind his unnaturally youthful resurgence, stem cell injections. So, while we’re not going to weigh in on whether Tyson is taking hormones or other substances, we are going to look a little deeper at the claims he makes about his treatments.
Speaking to TMZ sports Tyson decisively confirmed the rumors that he’s going to be boxing again, he also said he’d be willing to face anyone who challenges him. Regarding his physical health, he said “I’m just in good shape, I feely really good. I’ve never felt this good before. I did a stem cell therapy… they take six tubes of blood… they spin it really, really fast… when it comes back it’s almost see-through… they hit you, couple of days you’re brand new”.
Stem cell therapy is not a new concept, its health benefits are widely touted and it has been spoken of frequently as the future of anti-aging and cellular regeneration. Scientists worldwide are currently spending billions of dollars on its research, as it’s believed it could provide the key to curing or reversing some of humanity’s most devastating ailments such as cancer, paralysis, blindness, and muscular-wasting disorders.
However, according to most reputable medical organizations, to date, there has been little evidence that stem cell therapy can currently provide the benefits they believe it will be capable of in the future. Following some minor successes in studies done on mice, private clinics around the globe began cashing in and marketing it as a cure-all for wellbeing.
These studies, however, have had minor effects in mice and the scientific community at large is still skeptical about whether our current methods and technology actually allow any true improvement to physical function in humans yet. The FDA has yet to approve it, warning “Stem cell products have the potential to treat many medical conditions and diseases. But for almost all of these products, it is not yet known whether the product has any benefit—or if the product is safe to use”.
The Mayo Clinic explains that real stem cell therapy is a very intensive and targeted process, unlike the quick therapy sold in private clinics, “Researchers grow stem cells in a lab. These stem cells are manipulated to specialize in specific types of cells, such as heart muscle cells, blood cells or nerve cells”, it is not a generic treatment for aging at this stage.
The University of Southern California, one of the largest and best-funded medical research centres in the US, reported on stem cell therapy centres, “They claim that injections of stem cells (naturally occurring “blank slate” cells that can grow into any type of cell) can help alleviate pain or illness by replacing or regenerating diseased tissue – claims that are not supported by existing research. The procedures can cost thousands of dollars out-of-pocket, and regulators have warned that patients have developed tumors, suffered infections, and even lost eyesight after unapproved procedures.”
So, while the medical field is skeptical of stem-cell therapy, a slew of sportspeople are already taking it far more seriously. With anecdotal reports that they ‘feel better than ever’ this type of treatment, effective or not is not going away anytime soon.
Some big names to have undergone the treatment are the late Kobe Bryant, Tiger Woods, Steph Curry, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ray Lewis, Peyton Manning, Rafael Nadal, Michael Schumacher, now Mike Tyson, and literally thousands of other professionals at all levels. As with many treatments in sports, the simple sensation that they ‘feel better’, is enough to give people the mental and physical edge.
Mike Tyson may have gained some real benefit from this treatment, erasing old injuries and revitalizing his aging tissues, cartilage and muscle. It is also possible that Iron Mike, like his new training partner Vitor Belfort, who is a well-publicized testosterone user, has been receiving a bit of a boost from the chemical world. It’s also possible that the stem-cell therapy worked as a placebo and simply convinced him that he feels 20 again, so he started training and hitting accordingly. The mind can have an immense effect on the human body.
Whatever the truth is, Mike looks to be in great shape. He’s also in a great mood and has got his mind in a great place right now too. As long as he’s healthy and safe, and anyone he enters the ring with is kept safe too, we’re happy to see him back.