Freeze Dried Poop Pills Tested as Solution for Reversing Obesity
Volunteers are needed for a new weight loss trial where participants swallow freeze dried poop pills.
For years now, scientists have uncovered mounting evidence that the type of bacteria you have in your digestive tract could play an important role in your health. In fact, reported cases of fecal swapping—a procedure where fecal matter from a healthy person is transferred into the digestive tract of a sick person—have been made that resulted in an improvement in a number of cases of patients with digestive system health issues such as irritable bowel syndrome and intestinal infections.
According to a recent article in the online magazine Ars Technica, reporter Beth Mole alerts readers that a new weight loss study involving fecal matter transplant will be seeking volunteers willing to swallow “poop pills”―freeze dried samples of fecal matter packaged in small capsules.
This trial study is led by Elaine Yu, an assistant professor and clinical researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital, who hopes to prove for the first time that changing the microbes in a person’s gut can cause a change in their weight.
This trial is based previous human twin studies where the fecal matter from a lean twin and an obese twin was transplanted into the guts of mice that possessed a microbe-free gut. What the researchers found was that in spite of being on the same diet, the mouse that received the lean twin fecal matter remained lean whereas the mouse that received the obese twin’s fecal matter became overweight.
In another study, the Ars Technica article reports about the case of a woman who received a fecal transplant from her daughter in order to cure her recurring intestinal infection by a particularly nasty bacterium called Clostridium difficile. While the fecal transplant helped the mother recover from the infection, she inexplicably experienced weight gain. As it turns out, her daughter, although healthy, was overweight and thereby raises the possibility that the daughter’s bacteria in turn resulted in her mother’s weight gain following the fecal transplant therapy.
Here is an informative video about treatment with fecal transplant therapy:
Because feeding poop pills to test subjects has its risks due to much is still not known about how changing a person’s intestinal bacteria could affect their health, Yu and her colleagues are carefully selecting healthy fecal donors to lessen the risks.
Trial participants will receive weekly poop pill doses for six weeks, during which researchers will monitor their weight and health periodically for at least a year. Participants will be required to maintain their normal eating and exercising habits throughout the trial period.
Screening of donors of fecal matter and patients to receive the poop pills is expected to begin this year. For more information about how to be included in the trial, you can click-on the contact info link and follow it to find contacts and locations where the study will be performed.
For more information about fecal transplants and what scientists have discovered, here are a few informative articles that discussed the treatment:
Reference: “Freeze-dried poop pills being tested for obesity treatment” Ars Technica by Beth Mole