Fecal Transplant Pills Could Become Cutting-Edge Treatment

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Fecal Transplant Pills Could Become Cutting-Edge Treatment

Postby BioWizard on November 29th, 2017, 3:44 pm 

Every now and then you find that you need to reconsider your thoughts about shit.

Human waste has long been thought of as just that: everything the body doesn’t want or need. But new research is showing that feces may contain valuable organisms that can actually treat disease.

In a new paper published in JAMA, researchers led by Dr. Dina Kao, a gastroenterologist at the University of Alberta in Canada, and her colleagues report that fecal matter manufactured into a capsule was no worse than fecal matter transplanted by colonoscopy. Both procedures successfully reduced risk of repeated C. difficile infections by more than 90%. C. difficile (C. diff) infections can be caused by bacteria that are resistant to many antibiotics.

URL: http://time.com/5038564/c-diff-fecal-transplant/
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Re: Fecal Transplant Pills Could Become Cutting-Edge Treatme

Postby BioWizard on November 29th, 2017, 3:49 pm 

I should've probably included a disclaimer about reading the press release article - not for the weak stomached. Granted, I'd rather have the shit scared into me than out of me by those multi-drug resistant buggers.
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Re: Fecal Transplant Pills Could Become Cutting-Edge Treatme

Postby toucana on November 29th, 2017, 6:27 pm 

I should probably have waited until after I'd finished my supper before clicking on this link ...
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Re: Fecal Transplant Pills Could Become Cutting-Edge Treatme

Postby Braininvat on November 29th, 2017, 6:52 pm 

Eventually, might it be possible to have a capsule that just has a culture of useful intestinal bacteria in some neutral medium other than feces? I mean, that's what people are doing now, in a rather casual way, with probiotics in yoghurt. It might be easier to market to consumers than a shit-pill. Or maybe the pharma industry will come up with some agreeable euphemism for the pills.
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Re: Fecal Transplant Pills Could Become Cutting-Edge Treatme

Postby jocular on November 29th, 2017, 7:18 pm 

Didn't Ghandhi drink his own urine? (to no good effect I would suspect)

For some particularly unwell people, it seems fecal plants can be a life saver* (well I saw that on the box a while back)

*radical life improver rather
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Re: Fecal Transplant Pills Could Become Cutting-Edge Treatme

Postby BioWizard on November 29th, 2017, 7:35 pm 

Braininvat » 29 Nov 2017 05:52 pm wrote:Eventually, might it be possible to have a capsule that just has a culture of useful intestinal bacteria in some neutral medium other than feces? I mean, that's what people are doing now, in a rather casual way, with probiotics in yoghurt. It might be easier to market to consumers than a shit-pill. Or maybe the pharma industry will come up with some agreeable euphemism for the pills.


I am looking at the methods in the actual paper that describes the clinical trial, and there was a simple extraction step which basically dilutes the stool sample into a "slurry" then sediments the microbes by centrifugation and discards the supernatant fraction. So it presumably removes a lot of the stinky organic material, but probably not as cleanly as you're thinking.

I wouldn’t want to be an associate in that lab...
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Re: Fecal Transplant Pills Could Become Cutting-Edge Treatme

Postby BadgerJelly on November 30th, 2017, 12:18 am 

I admit, not read the article yet but do want to understand the mechanisms involved in how such things effect the brain.

I do recall bringing this up myself recently. What really stuck out for me (and touched some cloth :P) was how transplants effected the persons mental state. I remember something about a marathon runner who had a transplant from her sister and then put on lots of weight.
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Re: Fecal Transplant Pills Could Become Cutting-Edge Treatme

Postby BioWizard on November 30th, 2017, 12:22 am 

This has the potential to significantly impact your digestive, metabolic, and immunological/inflammatory states. The question for me would be how can it possibly not affect your brain function? Just a small fever or some indigestion is usually enough to make me feel all differenty.
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Re: Fecal Transplant Pills Could Become Cutting-Edge Treatme

Postby zetreque on November 30th, 2017, 1:44 am 

The key to this IMO is the capsule. It needs to be designed to dissolve at the appropriate time in the digestion cycle to place the contents exactly where you want them to be in the digestive tract so that it bypasses stomach acids and reduces infection in some place you don't want it.

That carries the risk of aspirating some of the fecal slurry into the lungs — not to mention the unpleasantness of introducing feces to the mouth area and accidentally breathing it in.
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Re: Fecal Transplant Pills Could Become Cutting-Edge Treatme

Postby BadgerJelly on November 30th, 2017, 2:03 am 

BioWizard » November 30th, 2017, 12:22 pm wrote:This has the potential to significantly impact your digestive, metabolic, and immunological/inflammatory states. The question for me would be how can it possibly not affect your brain function? Just a small fever or some indigestion is usually enough to make me feel all differenty.


I meant in terms of the actual biochemical pathways. Bloodstream, nervous system, and glandular secretions? I am probably fishing for too intricate details here given the complexity of the body. To be specific, how far through the digestive system do fecal transplants disperse? What is the time scale? Does a transplant lead to the destruction of previous microbes in the digestive system or is there a balance (meaning is it a case of all or nothing alteration? and what kind of tipping points are involved?)

I'll read the article and look for clues now :)

Maybe we better start say "Eat shit and live!"
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Re: Fecal Transplant Pills Could Become Cutting-Edge Treatme

Postby BioWizard on November 30th, 2017, 6:40 am 

Yeah I bet you’ll find some specific information (or a least some speculation to it) in the JAMA article.
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