Saturday, October 5, 2013

Popping Poop Pills

We are outnumbered in our own bodies.  Our intestinal bacteria outnumber our "human" cells.  Our "human" cells are packed full of bacterial DNA.   We are an ecosystem.  And if that ecosystem gets off-balance, we get sick.

Researchers have been studying our intestinal communities and have discovered that many "human illnesses" are really a lack of balance in our bacteria.
Lots of probiotics (and sugar) here

Of course the food industry has responded by touting the health benefits of their processed yogurt products (which started out as healthy food, then had lots of sugar and other things added to it).  Every yogurt ad talks about "probiotics", although they don't really want to call them bacteria on the evening television.

That said, there have been some truly impressive cures of diseases by altering the ecological balance in the intestine.  So far this has been done by fecal transplants - taking some feces from a healthy person and inserting them deep into the intestines of the afflicted.
Preparing easy to swallow fecal pills

Now someone has made that all much more pleasant.  Canadian researchers tried this on 27 patients and cured them all after strong antibiotics failed to help.  They took the feces from a healthy person, removed all but the bacteria, and wrapped them in gelatin pills.  

The gelatin protects the bacteria from stomach acids so that they can safely reach the intestine through the normal opening and voila!  Healthy patients.

There is more information here:

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