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Why Poop Transplants Could lead to Lasting Weight Loss
The “ew” factor really doesn’t get much grosser: Medical researchers are transplanting poop from people with healthy microbiota into those with a host of problems, including obesity.
“Disruption of the structure and function of the intestinal microbiota is increasingly implicated in a variety of complicated chronic illnesses, including recurrent Clostridium difficile infection, inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, anxiety, depression and various allergic and autoimmune diseases,” the Microbiota Therapeutics Outcome Programs at University of Toronto, Canada,
https://fecaltransplant.ca/explains on its website. “Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), the transfer of stool from a healthy individual into a person with a disease presumed to be caused by disrupted microbiota, has emerged as an avant-garde treatment that may improve outcomes of these conditions, for which treatment options are otherwise limited or incompletely effective.”
The program is a collaborative effort with Mount Sinai Health System, New York City, and University Health Network, which includes three Toronto hospitals.
The latest research being conducted is an effort to find a treatment for obesity that doesn’t involve expensive, often risky gut-altering surgeries such as bariatric surgery. According to Canada’s
http://news.nationalpost.com/health/poop-skinny?__lsa=8ebe-5afaNational Post, the first phase of a $1.5 million study funded by the Canadian government recently wrapped up.
Previous studies have shown that when mice reared in germless environments are fed poop from obese mice or even humans, they gain weight. When they are given poop from skinny mice or humans, not so much.
http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ng.3695.htmla study published last month in the journal Nature Genetics, researchers showed that genes, and not just environment, impact a person’s gut microbiota. German scientists performed full genome analysis on the gut microbiota of more than 1,800 people.
“Non-genetic and genetic factors each account for approximately 10% of the variation in gut microbiota, whereby individual effects are relatively small,” the authors reported in the study abstract.
The reason bariatric surgery works, doctors say, is because it not only reduces the size of stomach, resulting in patients eating less, but it also alters the gut microbiome. Accomplishing the latter goal without surgical risk could result in a safer way to lose weight.
Doctors are hoping genetic clues will tell them which microbiota lend themselves toward weight loss. If they could figure that out, “then we could potentially deploy (stool transplants) of that specific fecal flora to induce weight loss,” Dr. Herbert Gaisono of Toronto Western Hospital told the National Post.
A professional journalist nearly 30 years, David Heitz started his career at the Quad-City Times in Davenport, Iowa before moving to Los Angeles. He led the Glendale News-Press to best small daily newspaper in the state (CNPA) as managing editor and also worked as executive news editor of the Press-Telegram. He worked briefly as deputy news editor of the Detroit News before returning to the Quad-Cities, where he has worked as a freelance medical writer since 2012 for several national websites. He recently purchased his childhood home and says he truly is "living the dream."