Sterility, the modern scourge!
Could it be that a more sterile life is leading to various conditions?
This is an article that some readers, particularly those of a fainter-hearted disposition, might want to avoid. It’s about a big movement that some people might find a tad distasteful. For those of a more intrepid nature: we’re going to be looking at something called “microbiome” and the impact this is having in a wide range …
There was a "brown ribbon day" to promote FMT.
Also relevant, this technique has been used since antiquity by rabbit and cavy owners to "fix" a sick rabbit with gut related problems.
The trick it seems is to use the right kind of pellet and feed it to the rabbit a piece at a time, repeating every day until it improves.
Seems to work a lot better than antibiotics for the same reason, in fact the latest consensus is that the problem was caused by excessive use of antibiotics in farm animals and for treating colds and flu without first finding out if the secondary infection was even responsive.
There's even a name for the FMT delivery method:- Crapsules.
I always assumed that the brave folk who wade through the turds of millions every day would be carriers of every disease going; but it seems that they may be invulnerable SUPERMEN!
So, is anyone doing a study on them? Are the workers down at the shit farm living to 100?
And, I can see a superhero origin story here.
Gut to brain transfer of some kind of pathogen via neurons (often very long for single cells) has been put forward as part of the etiology of Parkinson's. I didn't realise that there was any specially strong gut-brain connection relative to lungs-brain or whatever, do you have some links or pointers so that I can follow it up?
Sorry - I couldn't resist that ... but this is old news - the practice is ancient and works well, why do you think mothers chew food for their babies? Sure, our "modern" world frowns on such simple medicine but the fact is, it works.
It would have been a more interesting story if you'd followed up on the resistance to this type of research from the FDA and medical professions in the USA and other countries. Another interesting angle on this is that a hookworm infection can apparently cure hay-fever.
"the practice is ancient" has mixed results - the precursors to aspirin have been used since Hippocrates' time, but so were treatments based on the 4 humours.
Of course, if something seems to work it's good to know that it actually does work, and why (like discovering it isn't the surgery that fixes stomach ulcers, but the antibiotics given afterwards)
I could (and did) eat anything and drink as much as I could and never put on an ounce. After a course of vicious antibiotics I ballooned. Spent years fighting it to no avail. I now have a dog and I think the little bastard licking my face after licking his arse has done the trick though it could be the long walks to the pub!
Maybe that explains 2g1c then .. DIY FMT ?
Pretty sure I saw something else about this on FB, involving a syringe and a blender. And the fascist admins took it down!
Still if £2 worth of empty capsules and a donor turd can cure C difficile in vivo which normally requires multiple courses of $600 a dose vancomycin to even make a dent, then no wonder it was taken down.
Gotta protect Big Pharma's investments and all that.
Here in the states, they've successfully taken healthy, um.... donations, screen them, get rid of the useless bits, freeze them, then deposit it into many-layered glycerin capsules that can be taken orally, no enema or GI tube needed. This allowed the bacteria make it to the intestines unmolested by the stomach acids and enzymes that often spell death to bacteria.
Now, I think it was something like 15 capsules a day, and the capsules are pretty large... but that seems preferable to aspirating fecal matter through a GI tube or going through a colonoscopy.
However unlike other pseudo medical treatments this actually could be plausible.
What we need now are decent quality studies.
And no, even if this can be a treatment to certain conditions, it doesn't mean that sanitation isn't one of the greatest achievements in health care. The situations where you have to little bacteria in your guts are rare, for example after a long treatment of antibiotics. Normally we all have a decent amount of gut bacteria. The gut normally regulates itself rather well.
Koalas do not naturally digest gum leaves - gut bacteria break them down & the koalas absorb the byproduct as nutrients.
Mum koala, when she is ready to wean her young, poops a special poop that is very high in the appropriate gut bacteria & the young climbs round the back and consumes same, and thus gets the bacteria & can start on those oh so yummy gum leaves (note the old urban legend about them being drunk is false , the leaves are so low in nutrients they conserve energy by sleeping 20 hours a day)
Then one is also reminded of the story that kissing came about because in pre knife days mum chewed the food to make it easier for young immature teeth & jaws to handle, and start the digestion process
So having being involved in the treatment of some patients, I feel the need to state a couple of facts:
1) faecal transplants are for prevention of relapse, at which they are very effective. Without the preceeding course of antibiotics for the C.diff, you will not cure it (or at least are unlikely to do so).
2) route doesn't matter as success is ~90% with all routes: capsules (expensive), NG tube (faecalent belching), UGIE (expensive, belching again), colonoscopy (expensive, possibly very expensive if you can't get the ports unblocked and bin $1000 kit following a procedure, time consuming), enema (simple, cheap). You'll guess the route we use locally. It is of surprise to our dept which sees
foolish doctors colleagues around the world using complex and difficult procedures rather than quick cheap ones. In infection control we spend our days trying to stop between 1-100 bacteria getting into the gut; in faecal transplant if you squirt in 10-50ml enema with 10^10-10^12 bacteria/ml, you seem to have a larger number...
3) this procedure is inevitably described as "icky" or similar. It is always welcomed by patients, as C.diff is seriously unpleasant. The ick factor is experienced by the doctors/relatives/readers of websites.
4) there are many many crazy people out there, claiming many many crazy things. Let's not attribute magic powers to faecal transplants: I remain sceptical about correlation v causation for obesity, weight loss, etc. "Further trials are needed..." and Crohns: definitely not. Sorry.
Finally, what medical school did the author attend if he is not capable of using Linnean binomials correctly? It's Clostridium difficile. Capital, small. Hence icon...
I've actually observed a fecal transplant procedure in the hospital in which I work. It was to a patient with C. diff, and apart from the discomfort of the nasogastric tube, went very well. It takes just a few minutes to complete, and the patient gets no icky taste of poo, because the tube is placed into the duodenum (initial part of small intestine for those not medically inclined). A rather interesting procedure, actually.
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