Feces transplants: new poo for a new you

Science Times had an fascinating article about the human microbioeme—which I’m sure you know is the collection of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other fun-loving critters that call us home. One of the more interesting things discussed in the article is that the scientists most heavily involved with exploring our microbioeme say that they really don’t know much about how this mini-icky-ecosystem works yet. Yet people spent $28 BILLION in 2011 on probiotic foods that claim to positively affect the healthy critter balance in our bodies. Guess what? There’s scant evidence to support that probiotics work, for good or for ill. But people gonna believe what they want to believe, and other people gonna make money when they do. 

My own personal experience tells me that the probiotic story isn’t so simple. I had an extended bout of intestinal unpleasantness last year, and I’ve all but concluded it was caused by regular consumption of yogurt that had live active beasties in it. The only significant change in my diet since then is that I don’t eat yogurt regularly now, and no more unpleasantness. Hmmm.

But undoubtedly the most interesting thing in the article is that people with messed up gullets are getting fixed up all better with FECES TRANSPLANTS

I’ll give you a moment to, um, digest that. 

Patients with intractable irritable bowel syndrome and other maladies are experiencing rapid and lasting relief after docs deliver a back-door doodoo donation from a healthy person. The idea is that the donor poo re-establishes healthy flora and fauna in the patients’ guts. Who thinks up this shit?  

But, hey, it beats eating hookworms. I guess.

How long until feces transplants become the hip, new medical procedure in Hollywood? “Darling, you look fabulous. What’s your secret?” “Oh, I owe it all to a little Kardashian Brown I get at a clinic in Tijuana.”

Bet on it.