The presence of poop and poop products in our daily lives has been receiving increasing attention for some time. News stories include the discoveries of meat products fed with faeces and pumped with toxic contaminates. From a product standpoint, creating recycled paper products from poop have also been covered. But swallowing a pill full of poop to maintain good health? Has this idea gone too far?
The use of microbiome therapy, literally transferring healthy human gut microbes from one person to another, is very beneficial to maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in human intestines. This therapy, now being capitalized on by a company named Seres Therapeutics, literally involves taking human faeces from recognized “stool banks” and then cleaning and processing it into capsules of “poop pills” to be used to maintain the correct bacterial balance in human intestines. Human intestinal “bug balance” often decreases with age, or following over usage of antibiotics.
People having a severe bacteria imbalance in their intestines can be afflicted with severe intestinal ailments such as Clostridium difficile, a severe gut infection that can strike people after extensive use of antibiotics, which wipes out their existing gut bacterial levels. Although medications such as probiotics are often recommended in these cases, the poop pills being developed by Seres seem to be more directly connected to the source of the problems.
Scientifically, the process of transferring faecal bacteria from one person to another is known as a faecal microbiota transplant. The ability to do this by simply swallowing a pill or capsule is awesome. Seres’s main competitor is an actual stool bank called OpenBiome.org that provides stool samples of “pure poop” to medical practitioners for microbiota transplants. This idea does not sound good to most people, however. This is why a pill from a company like Seres may be a better alternative for people suffering from gut-related conditions like Clostridium difficile.
Read more about poop-related issues:
Israeli meat fed with feces and pumped with toxic contaminates
What recycled paper products from poo look like
Iron rich whale poop essential in Middle East habitats