Blast from the Past
Many studies in recent years have shown fecal microbiota transplantation to be a highly effective treatment for recurrent Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infection, and some research even suggests that it may also play a role in treating other gastrointestinal (GI) and non-GI diseases. A new review article, entitled “An overview of fecal microbiota transplantation: techniques, indications, and outcomes” has been published in the August issue of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, and examines how fecal therapy may be used to treat a variety of common disorders, including antibiotic-resistant c. diff infections, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and constipation. Fecal transplants have even shown promise in preventing the development of diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
I’ve written about fecal transplants in the past, and as gross as this new therapy sounds, I think it could be one of the most promising treatments of the 21st century. Not only does fecal transplantation have the capability of treating a variety of gastrointestinal illness, it also has the potential to treat and cure a variety of disorders related to metabolic or immune dysfunction. If patients (and practitioners!) can get over the “ick” factor, I believe fecal transplantation will truly be the cure of the future.
That said, before you rush out to try a fecal transplant at home, I want to emphasize that there are real risks associated with this procedure. I’ve now heard from several people that have done this without properly screening the donor first, or have used a donor that was not a good candidate. The most current guidelines now suggest excluding people with any history of autoimmune disease, mental health problems, and perhaps even skin disorders, given the increased understanding of the connection between these conditions and the gut microbiota. I’ve heard anecdotal reports of people who’ve experienced weight loss or gain, eczema or psoriasis, and even changes in personality after fecal transplants. So, while this is a tremendously exciting potential treatment, it needs to be approached with caution and common sense, and should be done under the supervision of a health care provider experienced with the procedure.
- Standing and fidgeting, also called nonexercise activity thermogenesis, results in 84% higher energy expenditure than sitting motionless.
- New research suggests that the reason most smokers gain weight when they quit smoking is due to changes in intestinal flora. Apparently, bacterial strains that prevail in the intestinal flora of obese persons also increase in people giving up smoking.
- A recent study demonstrates that even mild stress can make it difficult to control your emotions, including fear and anxiety.
- Evidence suggests that individuals with a “low bacterial richness” in their guts are characterized by more marked overall adiposity, insulin resistance and dyslipidemia and a more pronounced inflammatory response when compared with “high bacterial richness” individuals.
Worth A Look
- Anthony Colpo takes a swipe at the notion of “healthy whole grains”.
- Mark Sisson writes about how life purpose affects longevity. (I discuss this in my book, as well.)
- Emily Deans, MD discusses research correlating soda consumption and aggressive, violent behavior in children.
- Diane Sanfilippo of Balanced Bites discusses “Fermentation 101” with Jill Ciciarelli.
For the Foodies
- CaveGirlEats: Easy Ginger Cilantro Slaw
- Health-Bent: Buffalo Greek Caesar Salad
- Rubies and Radishes: Summer Garden Ratatouille
- PaleOMG: Mexican “Rice” Bowls
- The Healthy Foodie: Coconut & Shrimp Patties with Avocado Mayo Dipping Sauce
- NomNomPaleo: Lava Flow Ice Pops
- Paleo Spirit: Roasted Peach and Lemon Thyme Ice Cream (Dairy-free)
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