Study proposes eating poop may help people lose weight

Study proposes eating poop may help people lose weight

By Natalie Shoemaker Jan. 16, 2016 11:29 am microbes head

How far would you go to lose weight? What about eating someone else’s poo? Hold your shock, the science is actually quite compelling.

Recently scientists have been noticing there may be a causal link between the bacteria that lives inside our guts and the role it plays in how easily we gain and lose weight. Studies in this field have progressed with enough evidence to allow research to move into human trials.

A small sample of people with a BMI over 30 (considered obese) will be participating in a study where they will take capsules filled with either gut bacteria from a lean host or a placebo. Fourteen of the patients will receive the feces pill, while the remaining seven will receive a placebo over the course of this 12-week trial.

“Multiple lines of evidence suggest that gut microbiota play an important role in regulating human metabolism,” writes the research group, from the Massachusetts General Hospital. “In this study, subjects will receive (fecal microbiota transplant) capsules from lean metabolically healthy donors to study effects on body weight and insulin sensitivity.”

A previous study tested this idea on germ-free mice. The mice were given the gut bacteria from an obese person and another one from a lean person. The mice were kept under the same conditions, yet, the mouse given the gut bacteria from an obese person gained weight while the other stayed slim.

The leader of this study said his team also found out “there’s an intricate relationship between our diet and how our gut bugs work. You have to have the right ingredients.”

They found obese bacteria cannot setup shop in a host full of lean bacteria, but lean bacteria has no issues colonizing in an obese host. The issue comes with transferring these bacteria—our high-fat, low-vegetable diets just don’t accommodate the transfer of these lean bacteria.

Our guts are quite a complex ecosystem.

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