Some of us may have ‘divine healing’ poop for treatment of gut disorders

1-28-2019 bo fecal transplants feat
Fecal transplant pills. Image credit: Mark Bruxelle/Shutterstock

Scientists often seem to be on a quest for sacred chalices or sterling ammo. But a group of microbiologists has now set out on a more odorous odyssey—one to find fantastical feces.

With data on poop’s therapeutic potential piling up, scientists have gotten wind of the possibility that some among us may be extraordinary excreters, dropping deuces with divine healing powers.

An FMT is exactly what it sounds like—fecal matter containing gobs of gut microbes is dumped, squirted, gulped, or otherwise delivered into the bowels of patients. The idea is that the relocated microbial communities will restore or replace the patient’s own gut dwellers to improve health. Intestinal microbes can play a role in nutrition, metabolism, immune system function, and infection protection, after all.

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The first whiff of evidence came in 2015 from a randomized clinical trial using FMT via enema to treat 75 patients with ulcerative colitis, a type of IBD. The FMTs beat out placebo treatments but only had a cure rate of 24 percent. When the researchers sifted through the data, however, they found that seven of the nine patients who went into remission received fecal matter from the same donor.

“The term “super-donor” has been proposed to describe donors whose stool results in significantly more successful FMT outcomes than the stool of other donors,” the Auckland researchers write.

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Read full, original post: Some of us may produce super-healing poop—and scientists are on it

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