Taking Feces Against Disease: “Your Gut Flora Has an Impact on Your Whole Body”

Taking Feces Against Disease: “Your Gut Flora Has an Impact on Your Whole Body”

According to researcher James Kinross, fecal cultures, for example, can help treat diseases such as Alzheimer’s, bowel disorders, and rheumatism. The list is much longer. Effectiveness is currently being investigated, but some success has already been seen.


Also in the Netherlands, feces are being researched as medicine. For example, Remco Cort of the Artis Zoo studied gorillas that eat their excrement. “A gorilla was taking antibiotics, but it didn’t feel good and the animal remained low in weight.”

Kurt continues, “Then they gave poo from another gorilla. That had to be mixed up a bit. After that, the gorilla quickly recovered.”

Fecal therapy

In the Netherlands, people are already given poop. This still only happened with one condition, called a C. difficile infection. This is an infection that can cause diarrhea, among other things. This is caused by people who use a lot of antibiotics that destroy the intestinal bacteria. “Fecal transplantation has been shown to be effective in C. difficile infection,” says Liz Terver, MD, a medical microbiologist at LUMC.

Our poop contains healthy intestinal flora. “Think of healthy bacteria, parasites, and fungi working together as a complete ecosystem. This ecosystem can support important processes in the body.”

Parkinson’s Disease

According to British researcher Kinross, a fecal transplant can also be beneficial for some brain disorders. Terveer explains, “There’s a lot of interaction between your brain and your gut.” Research is currently underway on the link between gut microbiota and Parkinson’s disease. “Your gut flora has a huge impact on the processes in your body, including outside the intestines. Thus your gut flora can also have a positive effect on the brain.”

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“We often see disruption of the gut microbiota in people with certain brain diseases, but we don’t know if this is due to disease,” the medical microbiologist continues. It could of course be the other way around, that the disease arises from a disturbed intestinal flora. “Then the question is: Are we still dealing with it?”

tube through a probe

If this is the case, then such a fecal transplant is not yet possible with the pill. “We administer the stool with a tube. It goes through the nose and through the stomach into the first part of the small intestine.” It is necessary for the feces to reach the intestines in one piece. “The stomach kills most of the bacteria that have to end up in the intestine.”

Is this not possible with a capsule? Well, you often take a pill orally and then it ends up in your stomach. This is why the capsule must be made in such a way that it remains intact until it reaches your intestines. This requires some development.

Another hitch is making stools a bit longer. “The pill is a little more processed. And some substances don’t survive that,” Trever says.

screen donors

What is also important is that the donor who gives the stool is properly screened. Of course, it should not contain any harmful substances. “It is important that the examination be done through a reputable stool bank, otherwise it can be dangerous.”

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