the latest research on gut bacteria (the microbiome) and fecal microbiota transplants

A NEW CURE ALL?
THE LATEST RESEARCH ON HEALTH AS RELATED TO THE MICROBIOME AND FECAL MICROBIOTA TRANSPLANTS

FMT (Fecal Microbiota Transplantation)

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“There has been increasing interest in understanding the role of the human gut microbiome.  Certain microbes have been shown to enhance metabolism, the immune system, cancer resistance, endocrine signaling, and brain function.  Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is the administration of a solution of fecal matter from a donor into the intestinal tract of a recipient in order to directly change the recipient’s microbial composition and confer a health benefit.  There are indications to suggest therapeutic potential for other conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and functional gastrointestinal disorders.  In addition, observations from patients treated with FMT for functional bowel disorders have noted improvement in seemingly unrelated comorbidities, revealing a possible role for gut-microbiota modification in many other conditions.”  Cherry-picked, as are all quotes on this post, from the March issue of Therapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology (Fecal Microbiota Transplantation: In Perspective)

There are two main reasons that I’m doing another post on FMT (Fecal Microbiota Transplant) as it relates to Gut Health and chronic inflammatory diseases.  Number one, my last post on this topic was over a year ago.  Because this subject is one of the hottest in all of medicine, it behooves us to look into what the medical community is saying about it.  Secondly, one of the most common questions I get looks like this.  After going telling me about their array of diverse and nasty physical symptoms, then talking about how many tests they’ve been through and doctors they’ve seen, people ask me this question (often in the form of an email or blog comment).  Hey Doc, what can be done about my X……………..(insert virtually any health problem for X)?   If you’ve ever asked this question, this post is for you.

Bowel health has been a known factor in overall health for thousands of years.  Yet what do we continue to do here in America?  We go out of our way to destroy the health of our collective guts, in every conceivable way (HERE’S A NOVEL ONE).  As I’ve already shown you, both ANTIBIOTICS and NON-ANTIBIOTIC DRUGS destroy the diversity of the bacteria that make up what’s known as your MICROBIOME (the bacteria that live in your Gut and urogenital tracts, and on your skin).  The resulting imbalance of “bad” bacteria to “good” bacteria (or even an imbalance in the ratios of various types of “good” bacteria) is known in science as DYSBIOSIS, which is then fed by sugar and highly processed carbohydrates.  However, medicine in the form of various DRUGS are not the only exogenous chemicals that cause Dysbiosis.   Let’s discuss for a moment the role of vaccines in Dysbiosis.

Although it is very politically incorrect to say so — a career-busting death knell (ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAPPEN TO BE A SCIENTIST) — vaccines; especially the MONSTER NUMBERS PEOPLE ARE BEING COERCED INTO TAKING TODAY, are dramatically disrupting the body’s ability to achieve something called HOMEOSTASIS.  In plain English, VACCINES are responsible for the disruption of health, largely via disruption of one’s microbiome.  I’ve shown you the mechanism via something known in the scientific community as the “HYGIENE HYPOTHESIS“.   Let me give you an example from the April issue of Gut (The Gut Microbiota Plays a Protective Role in the Host Defense Against Pneumococcal Pneumonia).  This European study helps make the case, while addressing today’s topic; FECAL MICROBIOTA TRANSPLANTATION.

While not discussing pneumococcal vaccine specifically, this study says that, “Pneumonia accounts for more deaths than any other infectious disease worldwide (3.5 million, although this number is probably an underestimation).  Antibiotic treatment led to a significant drop in the microbial diversity, which was significantly reversed by transplantation of normal feces.  We found that the gut microbiota protects the host during pneumococcal pneumonia, as reflected by increased bacterial dissemination, inflammation, organ damage and mortality in microbiota-depleted mice compared with controls. FMT in gut microbiota-depleted mice led to a normalization of pulmonary bacterial counts.”  Instead of doing things to normalize immune system function, what are we doing here in America?  We’re telling people that along with FLU VACCINES THAT HAVE BEEN PROVEN TO BE NEARLY 100% INEFFECTIVE, they need to get an annual pneumonia vaccine as well, which actually destroys Gut Health, leading to infections, including pneumonia itself.   Lest you think I am inferring too much from this study, lets move to another.

The same month as the study above, the journal Clinical & Transnational Immunology published a similar study called Bugging Inflammation: Role of the Gut Microbiota.  This study began by saying, “The advent of vaccination and improved hygiene (antibiotics such as penicillin) have eliminated many of the deadly infectious pathogens in developed nations. However, the incidences of inflammatory diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, obesity and diabetes are increasing dramatically.”  We could spend a month dissecting these two sentences made by scientists at Australia’s Monash University.  Since we don’t have time, let’s take a quick peek at what they have to say about the Hygiene Hypothesis as it relates to health and disease.

“Decreases in early-life microbe exposure owing to increased hygiene, parallel major increases in the incidence of inflammatory diseases. Owing to this association, researchers have proposed two hypotheses to describe the recent drastic increase in the incidence of inflammatory diseases.  The hygiene hypothesis was proposed as an explanation for the increasing prevalence of inflammatory diseases in the Western world. The hygiene hypothesis is hinged on the proposition that early-life exposure to diverse microbes help the immune system develop and differentiate infectious from harmless agents. Previous studies have shown that children raised in rural areas have more frequent microbial exposures and lower incidences of asthma, leading to the belief that a cleaner environment, such as with improved hygiene, results in a dysregulated immune response and consequent development of inflammatory diseases.  This creates a lack of diversity in the microbiota, and is thought to cause an underdeveloped immune system, predisposing the host to a range of diseases. Therefore, the contribution of both urban/rural setting and antibiotic use have been shown to influence microbiota composition and diversity, induce a dysregulated immune response and leads to the development of inflammatory diseases.”

Because researchers tend value their jobs (who could blame them?), they would not dare directly attack, or even raise questions about vaccinations.  However, in this case someone had the cahonies to do an end-run and take a shot at the unprotected flanks.  Despite growing numbers of scientists taking this ‘contrarian’ position, our government continues to spout their status quo; that vaccinations don’t really have any side effects other than the ones mentioned at the beginning of THIS POST.  While not denying that the reactions seen toward the end of the link exist, authorities claim they are extremely rare.  As you can see, bolstered by current peer-review (particularly if it comes from outside the United States) researchers are gaining small measures of courage to at least discuss / mention this issue.  A prime example can be found in the January issue of the World Journal of Gastroenterology (Gut Microbiota in Autism and Mood Disorders).  In this study a half dozen Italian researchers concluded that…..

“Available evidences display that the impairment of gut microbiota plays a key role in the development of autism and mood disorders. The gut microbiota is involved in the maturation of the immune system: it stimulates innate immunity in the early years of life, leading to the maturation of the gut-associated lymphoid tissue, and acquired immunity, through stimulation of local and systemic immune responses. Known, finally, is the role in the synthesis and metabolism of certain nutrients, hormones and vitamins, and clearance of drugs and toxicity.  Recent data show the strong correlation between dysbiosis and conditions such as obesity, allergies, autoimmune disorders, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and psychiatric disorders.  Due to these new evidences about the fundamental role of gut microbiota in the alteration of immune, neural, and endocrine pathways, the so-called “gut-brain axis” is acquiring new significance, even if the communication routes are not still defined.  In the last few years, much research has been done in this direction, underlying the importance of dysbiosis in the etiopathogenesis of pathology such as autism, dementia and mood disorder. The evidence of the inflammatory state alteration, highlighted in disorders such as schizophrenia, major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder, strongly recalls the microbiota alteration and highly suggests an important role of the alteration of GI system also in neuropsychiatric disorders.  In particular, the dysbiosis and the consequent alteration of intestinal permeability lead respectively to the production and spread into the bloodstream of …….”

Firstly, much of this study will be lost on you if you did not at least browse the previous link (it’s short) as having a firm understanding of the HYGIENE HYPOTHESIS.  Secondly, we see that AUTISM is tied directly to GUT HEALTH (HERE as well). Thirdly, did you catch the reference to LEAKY GUT SYNDROME (“intestinal permeability” allowing all sorts of toxic junk to be “spread into the bloodstream“)?    And fourthly, the authors put the cherry on the sundae by revealing that FMT is a viable option for treating those with Autism (the study related it to the “amelioration of specific symptoms” in autistic children).  

Do you think that vaccines might have the capability of fouling / corroding / destroying Gut Health?  If not, you’ve been swallowing too much of what the taxpayer-funded government-led propaganda machines continue to distill.  Their distortions of the truth and outright lies are just another of the many examples of the unholy alliance between BIG PHARMA and our GOVERNMENT (including the FDA) — one more reason SCIENCE-BASED MEDICINE is often anything but.   But beyond antibiotics, medications, vaccinations, dysbiosis, a leaky gut, and their relationship(s) to any number of health issues, diet is also at play here.  After Bugging Inflammation discussed the importance of DIETARY FIBER as a prebiotic food source for our microbiomes, they mentioned that…….

“It is becoming increasingly clear that the aforementioned hypotheses inadvertently [or maybe even intentionally] influences the composition of the host gut microbiota / microbiome. The microbiota harbour essential genes required for the metabolism of food intake, indicating an additional role in energy harvest and homeostasis. Many factors in the hypothesis, such as antibiotic use and dietary components, influence significantly on the composition of the host gut microbiota. The resultant dysbiotic microbiota could prove to merge both the hygiene hypothesis and the diet hypothesis into one, and contribute to the risk of inflammatory disease development. However, this also raises an exciting opportunity whereby altering the microbiota may also present as a potential modifiable component or therapeutic target for inflammatory diseases.  Factors in both the ‘hygiene hypothesis’ and the ‘diet hypothesis’ converge on microbiota modulation. The factors proposed by the hygiene hypothesis (such as early childhood exposure to microorganisms and the use of antibiotics) and… FMT.”

The first thing I would ask is why aren’t more practicing physicians talking about diet since it’s importance is reinforced over and over again in the peer-reviewed science (HERE)?  And while the authors tout both PROBIOTICS and FMT as effective therapy against any number of INFLAMMATORY and AUTOIMMUNE illnesses, they readily admit that, “Human studies have shown that probiotics have minimal effects on the composition of the gut microbiota, and is usually undetectable after 2 weeks post-ingestion.”  Unfortunately they are correct.  The April issue of Genome Medicine (Alterations in Fecal Microbiota Composition by Probiotic Supplementation in Healthy Adults: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials) takes this concept even farther by stating, after reviewing studies on the efficacy of probiotics for treating “healthy adults,” that there was a, “lack of evidence for an impact of probiotics on fecal microbiota composition.”  Firstly, this study tells us absolutely nothing about using probiotics to treat “unhealthy” patients, of which there are hundreds, if not thousands of studies touting benefits for.  And secondly, even though I see numerous patients who respond like gang-busters to probiotic therapy; for the chronically ill patient, FMT is frequently a far better option (HERE’S WHY). 

What I am going to do now is show you a few studies from our current calendar year (2016) that help prove that while I might be slightly off my rocker, I’m not totally off my rocker, although there are plenty out there that would vigorously debate this.

  • WHAT LEADS TO DYSBIOSIS?  The June issue of Clinical & Transnational Immunology (New Insights Into Therapeutic Strategies for Gut Microbiota Modulation in Inflammatory Diseases) stated that, “The interaction between the gut microbiota and the host immune system is very important for balancing and resolving inflammation. The human microbiota begins to form during childbirth. C-section delivery, formula feeding, a high-sugar diet, a high-fat diet and excess hygiene negatively affect the health of the microbiota. Considering that the majority of the global population has experienced at least one of these factors that can lead to inflammatory disease, it is important to understand strategies to modulate the gut microbiota.”  Think about it for a moment.  There are lot’s of C-SECTIONS here in America (ONE IN THREE).  Most citizens are LIVING THE HIGH CARB LIFESTYLE.  Children are often given formula instead of being breast fed (HERE).  And as you’ll see from other studies we’ll discuss momentarily, science is saying that all it really takes to completely foul up your microbiome is a single round of antibiotics (HERE and HERE).   As for those worried about a diet high in healthy fats (HERE or HERE), don’t be, as the authors are talking about “high fat” diets as they relate to JUNK OR HIGHLY PROCESSED FOOD.   BTW, the study discussed the benefits of FMT.

  • BLOOD PRESSURE REGULATION:  Last month’s copy of Circulation Research (Hypertension-Linked Pathophysiological Alterations in the Gut) revealed that, “Sympathetic nervous system control of inflammation plays a central role in hypertension. The gut receives significant sympathetic innervation, is densely populated with a diverse microbial ecosystem, and contains immune cells that greatly impact overall inflammatory homeostasis. The increase in blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats was associated with gut pathology that included increased intestinal permeability and decreased tight junction proteins. These changes in gut pathology in hypertension were associated with alterations in microbial communities relevant in blood pressure control. A dysfunctional sympathetic-gut communication is associated with gut pathology, dysbiosis, and inflammation, and plays a key role in hypertension. Thus, targeting of gut microbiota by innovative probiotics, antibiotics, and fecal transplant, in combination with current pharmacotherapy, may be a novel strategy for hypertension treatment.”  There’s that Leaky Gut / Dysbiosis / Inflammation thing again.  Quite interesting considering that SYMPATHETIC DOMINANCE is best measured by Heart Rate Variability, which has itself been shown to be better than blood work for measuring systemic inflammation (click the link).

  • POST-STROKE ORGAN FAILURE:  What happens when blood pressure is not dealt with?  CardioVascular Accidents (CVA’s) which are also known as strokes.  Last month’s issue of Critical Care (Successful Treatment with Fecal Microbiota Transplantation in Patients with Multiple Organ Dysfunction Syndrome and Diarrhea Following Severe Sepsis) provided a case study of two elderly gentlemen who had been diagnosed post-stroke who were both suffering with, “multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS), cerebellar hemorrhage and cerebral infarction, septic shock, intestinal dysbiosis and severe watery diarrhea….  Following FMT, MODS and severe diarrhea were alleviated in both patients. Their stool output and body temperature markedly declined and normalized…..  associated with a decrease in the patients’ fecal output and in the levels of plasma inflammation markers.”  No idea whether or not these individuals regained neurological function, but FMT bringing people out of multiple organ failure is rather astounding no matter how you slice it.

  • CARDIOMETABOLIC SYNDROME & OBESITY:  Because my site has at least a dozen studies showing that antibiotics lead to obesity (obesity is part of the METABOLIC SYNDROME) — PARTICULARLY IN CHILDREN — it should come as no surprise that there are tons of studies on using FMT to treat those with Metabolic Syndrome (aka “PRE-DIABETES“).  I am going to give you a few from this year.  The September issue of the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine (Treating Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome with Fecal Microbiota Transplantation) had this to day on the subject.  “Alterations of this complex physiological bacterial population associated with negative functional outcomes or disease, known as dysbiosis, can cause low-level inflammation and altered intestinal homeostasis. Dysbiosis is linked to a variety of ailments, including obesity and its associated metabolic disturbances. One way to modify the human gut microbiome is by transplanting fecal matter, which contains an abundance of live microorganisms, from a healthy individual to a diseased one….”   While this might initially sound gross, it usually starts sounding much more tolerable once the possibility of living life at a healthy weight is contemplated.

  • CARDIOMETABOLIC SYNDROME AND OBESITY PART II:  The April issue of Nutrients (The Intestinal Microbiota in Metabolic Disease) showed that, “microbial changes in diseased subjects have been linked to adiposity, type 2 diabetes and dyslipidemia.  Gut bacteria exert beneficial and harmful effects in metabolic diseases as deduced from the comparison of germ free and conventional mice and from fecal transplantation studies.”  This next study is particularly interesting in light of what we know about SUGAR BEING CANCER’S FOOD OF CHOICE.  The July issue of Current Oncology Reports (The Gut Microbiome and Obesity) stated that, “Animal and human studies have implicated distortion of the normal microbial balance in obesity and metabolic syndrome. Bacteria causing weight gain are thought to induce the expression of genes related to lipid and carbohydrate metabolism thereby leading to greater energy harvest from the diet. There is a large body of evidence demonstrating that alteration in the [microbiome] leads to the development of obesity….”   February’s issue of Frontiers in Cellular Infection and Microbiology (The New Era of Treatment for Obesity and Metabolic Disorders: Evidence and Expectations for Gut Microbiome Transplantation) put the icing on the cake when they revealed that, “The microbiome has been implicated in the development of obesity. Conventional therapeutic methods have limited effectiveness for the treatment of obesity and prevention of related complications. Recently, microbes residing in the human gastrointestinal tract have been found to act as an “endocrine” organ, whose composition and functionality may contribute to the development of obesity. Therefore, fecal/gut microbiome transplantation (GMT), which involves the transfer of feces from a healthy donor to a recipient, is increasingly drawing attention as a potential treatment for obesity.  They are correct about interventions for the obese being ineffective (HERE).  Fortunately for you, there are literally hundreds of studies on FMT / GMT for treating OBESITY.

  • POLY-CYSTIC OVARIAN SYNDROME:   Because PCOS is causally linked with sugar and carbohydrate metabolism (it’s typically treated with the same drugs doctors treat DIABETES with), it should come as no surprise that we are starting to see studies on the topic as it relates to FMT.  The April issue of PLoS One (Association Between Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and Gut Microbiota) stated that, “Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most frequent endocrinopathy in women of reproductive age. It is difficult to treat PCOS because of its complex etiology and pathogenesis. After treating PCOS rats with Lactobacillus and fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) from healthy rats, it was found that the estrous cycles were improved in all 8 rats in FMT group.  These results indicated that dysbiosis of gut microbiota was associated with the pathogenesis of PCOS.”   If you are heavy, hairy, and have unusually severe menstrual problems, it’s likely you have PCOS.

  • CONSTIPATION:  Because so many of the problems commonly treated with FMT are intimately associated with diarrhea (C. Diff, COLITIS, Crohn’s, Regional Illitis, etc, etc), it should be noted that one of the recent studies was on CONSTIPATION.  Published in the April issue of the Archives of Medical Research (Fecal Microbiota Transplantation in Combination with Soluble Dietary Fiber for Treatment of Slow Transit Constipation: A Pilot Study), this study said that, “Intestinal microbiota and soluble dietary fiber play an important role in intestinal microecology, which is closely related to gut motility. Regulating intestinal microecology comprised of fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) and fiber supplementation is becoming a novel therapy for functional gastrointestinal disease. The patients showed an increased stool frequency from 1.7 per week to 4.8 per week and an improved stool consistency after FMT combined with fiber. This is a pilot study confirming that FMT combined with fiber may improve symptoms experienced by constipated patients by regulating intestinal microecology, without any serious adverse events.”  Hardcore constipation (no pun intended) can be virtually impossible to solve without FMT.

  • WHAT ABOUT FMT AND / OR ANTIBIOTICS WHILE PREGNANT?  The June issue of BMC Medicine (Antibiotic Use During Pregnancy: How Bad Is It?) came to essentially the same conclusions I’ve trying to warn women about for decades.  “Perhaps the most clinically relevant aspect of the pregnancy microbiome is antibiotic treatment during pregnancy. Antibiotic treatment during pregnancy is widespread in Western countries, and accounts for 80% of prescribed medications in pregnancy. The use of antibiotics during pregnancy has also been associated with increased risk of asthma in early childhood, increased risk of childhood epilepsy, and increased risk of childhood obesity. Antibiotic usage during pregnancy undoubtedly affects the bacterial environment of the mother and of the fetus A single course of antibiotics perturbs bacterial communities, with evidence that the microbial ecosystem does not return completely to baseline following treatment.  Antibiotics in pregnancy should be used only when indicated, choosing those with the narrowest range possible.”  The thing about treating pregnant women; most doctors (natural or allopathic) are at least to a significant degree, running scared because if something happens to either mama or baby they are likely to end up on the wrong end of a lawsuit.  Thus, you are not likely to see FMT recommendations for pregnant women anytime in the near future.  To reiterate; be warned that giving your child antibiotics, whether in the womb or out, is possibly the SINGLE WORST THING YOU CAN DO FOR THEIR FUTURE HEALTH.  And because the vast majority of antibiotic prescriptions in America don’t meet official criteria (standards of care), they are considered unnecessary to begin with.

  • ANTIBIOTICS ARE THE MAJOR DESTROYER OF HEALTH IN CHIDREN PART II:  In a recent study (The Effects of Antibiotics on the Microbiome Throughout Development and Alternative Approaches for Therapeutic Modulation) from the “Harvard of the Midwest” (St. Louis’s own Washington University), researchers publishing in the April edition of Genome Medicine stated that, “Human-associated microbes perform an array of important functions, and we are now just beginning to understand the ways in which antibiotics have reshaped their ecology and the functional consequences of these changes. Mounting evidence shows that antibiotics [adversely] influence the function of the immune system, our ability to resist infection, and our capacity for processing food, and effects on diseases such as malnutrition, obesity, diabetes…..   It is becoming increasingly apparent that there exist several disease states for which a single causative pathogen has not been established. Rather, such diseases may be due to the abundances and relative amounts of a collection of microbes [dysbiosis].  A dysbiotic microbiome may not perform vital functions such as nutrient supply, vitamin production, and protection from pathogens. Dysbiosis of the microbiome has been associated with a large number of health problems and causally implicated in metabolic, immunological, and developmental disorders, as well as susceptibility to development of infectious diseases.  Critical developmental milestones for the microbiota (as well as for the child) occur, in particular, during infancy and early childhood, and both medical intervention and lack of such intervention during these periods can have lifelong consequences in the composition and function of the gut ecosystem.”  Have I mentioned to you yet that staying away from antibiotics is the best thing you can do for your family?  By the way, the authors spoke at length about turning dysbiosis around with a therapy that’s been in use for the better part of two millennia —- FMT.

  • DEPRESSION & BEHAVIOUR:  I’ve already shown you how the microbiome is intimately linked to Autism.  Now let’s look at DEPRESSION and other similarly related diseases of the brain.  In a fascinating study similar to several done previously related to both obesity and FMT, researchers in this month’s issue of the Journal of Psychiatric Research (Transferring the Blues: Depression-Associated Gut Microbiota Induces Neurobehavioural Changes in the Rat) took feces from 33 human patients diagnosed with, “major depression,” (as well as 33 controls) and transplanted it into 66 ‘normal’ rats.  The results were astounding.  “We demonstrate that depression is associated with decreased gut microbiota richness and diversity. Fecal microbiota transplantation from depressed patients to microbiota-depleted rats can induce behavioural and physiological features characteristic of depression in the recipient animals, including anhedonia [an inability to experience pleasure from activities usually found enjoyable, e.g. exercise, hobbies, music, sexual activities or social interactions] and anxiety-like behaviours, as well as alterations in tryptophan metabolism. This suggests that the gut microbiota may play a causal role in the development of features of depression….”  August’s issue of Clinical Psycopharmacology and Neuroscience (Fecal Microbiota Transplantation and Its Usage in Neuropsychiatric Disorders) showed that, “The interest in microbiota-gut-brain axis and fecal microbiota transplantation is rapidly increasing. New evidence is obtained in the etiology and pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric disorders. In this review, neuropsychiatric areas of use of fecal microbiota transplantation have been discussed in the light of the current information.  It is pointed out that microbiota plays the decisive role on immune function and interacts with human cells.  Micro damage to the intestinal epithelial wall may occur by the changes of the microbiota, and intestinal epithelial permeability may increase. Thus, the microorganism-induced harmful substances can be released into the systemic circulation and can initiate an immune response. This condition is called “leaky gut”.  There is strong evidence that intestinal microbiota dysbiosis may play an important role in the etiology and pathogenesis of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, mood disorders, depression and anxiety disorders.     FMT is a fairly reliable application. Serious side effects have not been reported.”  Speaking of side effects……

  • SIDE EFFECTS IN FECAL MICROBIOTA TRANSPLANTATION:   After having looked at hundreds of studies on FMT, I have yet to see one mention anything other than similar to what’s mentioned in the last bullet point concerning side effects.  Bear in mind that most of these studies are looking at FMT performed on very sick patients, who are often dying of C. DIFF INFECTIONS (FMT is the medical standard of care for dealing with these patients after antibiotics have failed twice, which they usually do because the infection itself is caused by antibiotics, usually in a hospital setting).   February’s Journal of Hospital Infections (Adverse Events in Fecal Microbiota Transplant: A Review of the Literature) stated plainly that, “The vast majority of adverse events of FMT appear to be mild, self-limiting and gastrointestinal in nature.”  The May issue of Clinical Endoscopy (Fecal Microbiota Transplantation: Current Applications, Effectiveness, and Future Perspectives) revealed that, “The high success rate and safety in the short term reported for recurrent Clostridium difficile infection has elevated FMT as an emerging treatment for a wide range of disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, myoclonus dystopia, multiple sclerosis, obesity, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and autism.  FMT may be safe and well tolerated with few serious adverse events, even though it is often administered to patients with significant medical comorbid conditions.”  PLoS One stated in their August issue (Systematic Review: Adverse Events of Fecal Microbiota Transplantation)  that, “A total of 7,562 original articles about FMT were identified in this study…  The total incidence rate of adverse events was 28.5%.”  Holy outhouses Batman, that’s a lot of adverse events!  However, the question we need to be asking is how serious were said events?  “The commonest attributable adverse event was abdominal discomfort, abdominal pain, increased stool frequency, flatulence, bloating, cramps and other nonspecific symptoms. The second commonest attributable adverse event was transient fever.”  About 3% of patients had “transient” (short-lived) FEVER, while the others who had side effects had common GI issues such as gas. 

SAFETY SIDE NOTE:  Please realize that in most cases, the people getting FMT’s, are seriously ill.  The vast majority of those receiving transplants are getting it because they have recurrent C. Diff — a nasty, and often deadly, bacterial infection caused by the very thing used to treat it.  Also be aware that of the people who died in the PLoS study (yes, there were something like eight deaths at least somewhat associated with the procedure), they were not dying from being infected by someone else’s feces.  They were dying because of instead of using a simple “Retention Enema,” many of these people were having the transplant done via endoscopy (the upper GI style was far more dangerous than the lower GI style).  Unfortunately, one of the dirtiest of the many dirty little secrets in the practice of medicine is that colonoscopies come with some serious and common side effects (HERE).  This is why I am not suggesting you try this on your own.  Many people do, getting fantastic results.  This is why I have to warn you from time to time that my site is meant for informational purposes only, and is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any diseases.  If you feel your disease(s) may have been cured due to the information on my site, immediately report it to the proper authorities so they can give you your disease back.

  • DOES THE DONOR MATTER?  According to the May issue of Future Microbiology (Does the Donor Matter? Donor vs Patient Effects in the Outcome of a Next-Generation Microbiota-Based Drug Trial for Recurrent Clostridium Difficile Infection), “the specific donor did not affect the outcomes.”  However, I would warn you that this study was done on very sick people — people dying of recurrent C. Diff infections.  I would argue that when it comes to treating people with the other sorts of health problems we’ve discussed today, the donor very much matters.  For a list of what one should be looking for in a feces donor, all you have to do is CLICK THE BUTTON (honestly, it’s mostly common sense).

This, folks, is the real poop on the matter.  If you are chronically ill or have done everything under the sun to lose weight to no avail, FMT is something to look into and at least explore.  Even though it sounds gross, it’s been proven to be both safe and effective for any number of health-related issues.  I’m not sure what more folks want.  And not that I am suggesting that my readers rush out and do it, there are ANY NUMBER OF SITES that actually show you how to do an FMT, DIY-style.  All of this is why FMT is an integral part of THE POST I give people who are desperately in search of solutions to their chronic health conditions.

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