Fecal transplants

Click to expand image

Fecal transplants or Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT) is becoming known as a treatment for those bowel disorders which can now be clearly linked to problems with the microbial balance in the gut, that is, the health of the biome.

A stool sample is taken from a healthy person and introduced into the bowel of the patient.

Benefits

Among the benefits are improving insulin sensitivity in diabetics and treating chronic diarrhea.

The bowel contains a vast range of species of bacteria which vary in the different environments along the length of the intestine, also varying greatly from the lumen in the center through to the mucous layer along the wall and deep into the crypts between the villi. Deficiencies and imbalances in this diverse and complex population of beneficial microbes can only be remedied by replacing lost species.

Problems

Fecal transplants don’t “hold” well because the species populating the stool comes from the lumen of the colon at the lower end of the gastro-intestinal tract, it lacks the great diversity needed to maintain a viable population throughout the bowel. Although a patient who takes efforts to add fermented foods and a wide variety of fiber to the diet, and gets out and about in the natural environment will give the new bacteria a much better chance to flourish.

Sadly, prescriptions for anti-biotics are written with no idea or intention of repairing the damage they are going to cause. Fecal transplants are becoming one of the best medical options to remedy the havoc wreaked by a course of anti-biotics.

Fecal transplants! Imagine what they’d say on television if a naturopath came up with the idea!