We wrote recently about FMT and it’s extraordinary curative abilities, including to restore hair. We look closer.
Faecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT)
As we reported previously, see the first article by clicking here, FMT was reported in 2013 in the New England Journal of Medicine. It told the story of a research study which had seen the team involved take stools, that is poop to you and me, from carefully screened donors. This poop was then processed to extract the healthy bacteria which lives, or should live, in all our stomachs… all of us carry around between 1 and 2Kg of bacteria in what medical people refer to as our gut microbiome. The theory was that the balance of bacteria in their patients could be improved by providing healthy bacteria from other people.
The results of that initial study were beyond any reasonable expectations, they stopped the study on the grounds that it was considered unethical to withhold the treatment from those on the study receiving the placebo. Everyone on the study was cured.
It was the first indication that the gut microbiome was a much more significant player in our general well-being than had ever been appreciated.
A new trial at the Massachusetts General Hospital has been producing faecal capsules (it seems the T for transplant in FMT is a mild over-exaggeration these days) from lean people and giving them to obese ones. In 2015 it seems a woman cured of C. difficile using the treatment suddenly developed obesity, from bacteria provided by her obese daughter.
In Australia, Professor Thomas Borody, at the Centre for Digestive Diseases, produced a study showing that 18 children with autism, who suffer with bowel problems, treated with FMT not only had their gut conditions improved, the classic autistic issues of poor social skills and communications improved too.
There are also clinic trials exploring it’s potential in treating multiple sclerosis and it is touted as a possible weapon in the fight against the modern plague of hypertension.
HIS Hair Clinic
The fact that it cured two people of all over hair loss has implications for it’s use to regulate problems with the autoimmune system, which is at the heart of hair loss. So while Professor Borody warns “… the trouble is that we could have the following: people wanting faecal transplants so they can be taller, or to make their hair grow.”
So with the good Professor’s warning ringing in our ears (You can see more from his interview with the Sydney Morning Herald clicking here)… we will definitely be watching this fascinating space and looking out for developments.
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