AGING, INFLAMMATION, THE MICROBIOME, AND FECAL MICROBIOTA TRANSPLANTS
Earlier this month, a dozen researchers from several universities in the Netherlands published a study in Frontiers in Immunology titled Aged Gut Microbiota Contributes to Systemical Inflammaging After Transfer to Germ-Free Mice. What's especially interesting is that it deals with a subject I touched on in YESTERDAY'S POST on fascia and athletic injuries; "Inflammaging". What is inflammaging? It's the combination of two words, 'inflammation' and 'aging'. Although the word has been part of the scientific vernacular for nearly two decades, take a listen to what the experts are saying about inflammaging (BTW, there are over 300 studies with "inflammaging" in the title).
I already know what you're thinking; what the heck does this have to do with FECAL MICROBIOTA TRANSPLANTS -- one of the single hottest areas of research for the past five years? In previous studies, we saw where feces from obese mice was transplanted into thin mice, making them fat. The scientists turned right around and transplanted feces from thin mice back into the fat mice, making them thin. Back and forth, the outward expression of your health intimately related to the inward expression of your MICROBIOME. This is why I have shown you time and time again that overall health is all about GUT HEALTH. Now, take a look at what this brand new study has to say.
"Advanced age is associated with chronic low-grade inflammation, which is usually referred to as inflammaging. Elderly are also known to have an altered gut microbiota composition. However, whether inflammaging is a cause or consequence of an altered gut microbiota composition is not clear. In this study, gut microbiota from young or old conventional mice was transferred to young germ-free (GF) mice. Four weeks after gut microbiota transfer immune cell populations were analyzed. Here, we show by transferring aged microbiota to young GF mice that certain bacterial species within the aged microbiota promote inflammaging. This effect was associated with lower levels of Akkermansia and higher levels of TM7 bacteria and Proteobacteria in the aged microbiota after transfer [dysbiosis]. The aged microbiota promoted inflammation in the small intestine in the GF mice and enhanced leakage of inflammatory bacterial components into the circulation was observed. Moreover, the aged microbiota promoted increased T cell activation in the systemic compartment. In conclusion, these data indicate that the gut microbiota from old mice contributes to inflammaging after transfer to young GF mice."
Living the rest of your life with less inflammation is a noble goal, not so much because it will help you live longer (although it probably will), but because decreasing the amount of systemic inflammation coursing through your system will undoubtedly help you live better. And let's be honest with ourselves for a moment; who really wants to live longer, if the quality of life is terrible? Unfortunately, this is the perfect scenario for generating obscene pharmaceutical profits, and exactly what's going on in most Westernized countries, including America (HERE).
Think about it this way; How many people would purposefully choose to live the rest of their life with the aftermath of a stroke --- or a nasty autoimmune disease --- or cancer, if they could actually have avoided it / them in the first place? For those of you who believe that your specific disease is random or "GENETIC," while certainly possible, is far less likely than you've been led to believe (go back and click on the "epigenetics" link above). While I would never promote anything as a 'sure thing,' I've created a starting point --- a place to start gathering ideas for creating your own exit strategy (HERE) --- a way to start slowing down the medical merry-go-round so that you can get off. If you find this sort of thing intriguing, be sure to spread the wealth by liking, sharing, or following on FACEBOOK.
CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY ILLNESSES OR AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES? WHY FMT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT, AWESOME, AND RADICAL TREATMENT OPTION YOU'VE NEVER HEARD OF!Read Now
ME AND MY MICROBIOME
GUT MICROBIOME MADE SIMPLE
DIY FMT MADE RIDICULOUSLY SIMPLE
- MICROBIOTA, IMMUNE SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT IN INFANTS, AND THE EFFECTS OF VACCINES ON SAID MICROBIOTA: Listen folks; when you look at the number of children (let alone adults) who suffer with chronic illnesses, you should start to notice a pattern. Unfortunately, we are screwing up our children's internal ecosystems from the very moment they are born (HERE is one of the chief ways), which in turn can screw up almost anything you can imagine. This month's issue of MMBR published a study called The First Microbial Colonizers of the Human Gut: Composition, Activities, and Health Implications of the Infant Gut Microbiota, in which they discussed the importance of early-infant colonization by good bacteria since babies are born without a microbiome (their first exposure is via mom's VAGINAL FLORA). "Microbes colonize the neonatal gut immediately following birth. The establishment and interactive development of this early gut microbiota are believed to be (at least partially) driven and modulated by specific compounds present in human milk. Various studies have linked certain features of the microbiota/microbiome, such as reduced diversity or aberrant composition, to intestinal illnesses in infants or disease states that are manifested at later stages of life, including asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, and metabolic disorders. Thus, a growing number of studies have reported on how the early human gut microbiota composition/development may affect risk factors related to adult health conditions." When baby's Gut is not colonized properly, bad things result not just in their present, but in their future. Two months ago a study by ten Georgia State University researchers was published in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity (The Microbiota Influences Cell Death and Microglial Colonization in the Perinatal Mouse Brain) which revealed that the mammalian fetus develops in a largely sterile environment, and direct exposure to a complex microbiota does not occur until birth. Our results suggest that direct exposure to the microbiota at birth influences key neurodevelopmental events and does so within hours. These findings may help to explain some of the behavioral and neurochemical alterations previously seen in adult mice. This early-onset dysbiosis-induced MICROGLIAL ACTIVATION actually killed cells in specific parts of the brain. The icing on the cake is that just last month, a group of Italian researchers, writing in Frontiers in Medicine, stated that, "Bacteria located in both colostrum and mature milk can stimulate the anti-inflammatory response by stimulating the production of specific cytokines, reducing the risk of developing a broad range of inflammatory diseases and preventing the expression of immune-mediated pathologies, such as asthma and atopic dermatitis." So, you're not BREASTFEEDING for at least the first year of you child's life? Better rethink that decision.
- FMT AND YOUR METABLOME: Related to the microbiome, the METABOLOME is the sum total of the chemicals your body manufactures to keep you in HOMEOSTASIS -- many of which are made by bacteria. A study from this month's issue of Mass Spectrometry Reviews (....Targeting the Crosstalk Between Gut Microbiota and Brain in Neurodegenerative Disorders) concluded that, "The emerging development in mass spectrometry technologies has shown promise in the discovery and quantitation of neuroactive small molecule metabolites associated with gut microbiota and brain. Significant progress has been made recently in the characterization of intermediate role of small molecule metabolites linked to neural development and neurodegenerative disorder, showing its potential in understanding the crosstalk between gut microbiota and the host brain. These metabolic pathways allowed the microbiota to impact the regular function of the brain, which can in turn affect the composition of microbiota via the neurotransmitter substances. The dysfunctional interaction of this crosstalk connects neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and Huntington's disease." For those of us who believe that MEDICATIONS are one of the chief ways people screw up their internal ecology, this study is a must-read, and particularly in light of the fact that I have previously written about FMT research on both ALZHEIMER'S and PARKINSON'S.
- FMT AND SKIN CONDITIONS: Although there are hundreds upon hundreds of studies linking everything from PSORIASIS, ACNE, ECZEMA, and many others (all are inflammatory, and many are autoimmune) to abnormal microbiome (dysbiosis), I could not find any 'current' studies on using FMT for these. What I did find, however, were scads of testimonials on various sites from around the world (mostly message boards where commenters were not selling anything) telling how they "cured" (their word, not mine) skin problem X with FMT. Just for you Mike L out on the East Coast; a study from this month's issue of Experimental Dermatology (The Akkermansia-Muciniphila is a Gut Microbiota Signature in Psoriasis) discussed this strain of bacteria as associated with the TH-17 CELLULAR APOPTOSIS SYSTEM and psoriasis.
- FMT AND pH (ACID BLOCKERS / PPI'S): Speaking of drugs that among their numerous side effects are sure to foul your microbiome, PPI's (Proton Pump Inhibitors) are one of the worst offenders. Take a gander at the study in this month's issue of Cancer Letters (Gastric Microbiota: An Emerging Player in Helicobacter Pylori-Induced Gastric Malignancies). I've already shown you why it's not only normal physiology, but critically important to have MEGA-STRONG STOMACH ACID (including the fact it keeps nasty critters like H. Pylori away (see link), but this new study goes even further. "The complex diversity of nonpathogenic microbes that colonize the human body, known as microbiota, exert considerable effects on physiological homeostasis, and immune regulation. Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a bacterium that frequently colonizes human stomach and is a major pathogenic agent for peptic ulcer diseases, gastric cancer, and mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma. Due to its acidic pH and peristaltic movements, the stomach has been considered a hostile environment for most microorganisms, however various commensal microorganisms are capable of colonizing the stomach. Recent pieces of evidence indicate that commensal gastric microbes or their metabolites influence the capability of H. pylori to colonize the stomach and directly modulate its pathogenicity and carcinogenic potential." And guess what decreases stomach acidity, while increasing whole-body acidity ---- all while being a known cause of cancer itself? That's right folks, sugar and junk carbs (HERE).
- MORE MICROBIOME AND HPA-AXIS: One of the hallmarks of the majority of our population who lives in a state of CONSTANT SYMPATHETIC DOMINANCE is an inability to sleep, coupled with a constant fatigue or exhaustion. Going back to Y-2K (The Sympathetic Nerve -- An Integrative Interface Between Two Supersystems: The Brain and the Immune System in the journal Pharmacology Review) we see simply from looking at the study's title that there is an intimate relationship here. Bear in mind, however that the authors were not interested so much in manipulating the microbiome as they were in creating drugs. "Pharmacological manipulation of the sympathetic-immune interface is reviewed with focus on new therapeutic strategies in the treatment of experimental models of autoimmune diseases, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome." A study from the January 2017 issue of Nature Reviews (The Mucosal Immune System: Master Regulator of Bidirectional Gut–Brain Communications) bears out this relationship by revealing, "The messengers of this complex dialogue include neural, metabolic, endocrine and immune mediators responsive to diverse environmental cues, including nutrients and components of the intestinal microbiota (microbiota–gut–brain axis). We are now starting to understand how perturbation of these systems affects transition between health and disease." BTW, this study talks extensively about TREGS.......
- YOUR MICROBIOTA CONTROLS AND TRAINS TREGS (T-REGULATORY CELLS): TREGS are T-Regulatory cells, previously known as T-suppressor cells (they prevent the immune system from running away with itself, which almost always leads to AUTOIMMUNITY). This month's issue of the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism (Gut Microbiota in Health and Disease) concluded that "Intestinal regulatory T (Treg) cells are critical to maintaining immune tolerance to dietary antigens and gut microbiota." After discussing a number of things now known about the relationship between Tregs and one's microbiome, the author goes on to describe several examples, saying that, "This cutting-edge method may lead to the evolution of an altered disease concept." Isn't it interesting that I just wrote an article dealing with this very topic --- microbiota as a common denominator in virtually all disease processes (HERE)
- FMT AND INSULIN RESISTANCE, CARDIOMETABOLIC SYNDROME / PRE-DIABETES: CARDIOMETABOLIC SYNDROME (aka Metabolic Syndrome, Syndrome X, or Pre-Diabetes) affects well over half our nation's adult citizens (HERE), not to mention an exploding number of children and teens. For instance, just two short weeks ago Molecular Metabolism published a study called Host-microbiota Interaction Induces Bi-Phasic Inflammation and Glucose Intolerance in Mice (in other words, the inflammation occurred both early and later). Last month's copy of Cell Metabolism (Improvement of Insulin Sensitivity after Lean Donor Feces in Metabolic Syndrome Is Driven by Baseline Intestinal Microbiota Composition) said that, "The intestinal microbiota has been implicated in insulin resistance.... Lean donor FMT in obese metabolic syndrome patients improves insulin sensitivity. Insulin sensitivity at six weeks after FMT was significantly improved, accompanied by altered microbiota composition. We also observed changes in plasma metabolites [some of the "metabolomic" changes discussed earlier]. The beneficial effects of lean donor FMT on glucose metabolism are associated with changes in intestinal microbiota and plasma metabolites." This is why the body composition of your donor is such a big deal --- something I will discuss at length later on. There was also a study on dysbiosis being associated with coronary artery disease (hardening of the arteries otherwise known as arteriosclerosis). This month's issue of Beneficial Microbes (The Gut Microbiome Composition is Linked to Carotid Atherosclerosis) revealed that the amount of a bacteria named M. Racemosus, "had the same impact in the model as waist-to-hip ratio, high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, fasting triglycerides or fasting glucose, suggesting that its relative abundance in the gut may be a relevant biomarker for cardiovascular risk." Did you catch that? A certain bacteria is as good a marker of heart disease as all the stuff you are tested for in the clinic.
- FMT HELPS RESTORE SEROTONIN PRODUCTION: Fun Fact --- MELATONIN (your sleep hormone) is made from serotonin, and a full 90% of your serotonin is manufactured in your Gut (HERE). A study from September's Scientific Reports (Dysbiosis Contributes to Chronic Constipation Development via Regulation of Serotonin Transporter in the Intestine) dealt with the fact that the neurotransmitter serotonin is much more than a chemical that affects only the brain. "Chronic constipation is a globally prevalent functional gastrointestinal disorder with the prevalence 2–20% and is accompanied with intestinal dysbiosis. Mice which received fecal microbiota from patients with constipation presented a reducing in intestinal peristalsis and abnormal defecation parameters including the frequency of pellet expulsion, fecal weight and fecal water content." All this means is that what I showed you in my link on CONSTIPATION is true --- the number one factor is dysbiosis.
- FMT AND OBESITY: The combination of DIABETES and obesity is not only so common that it is frequently called "Diabesity" in the scientific literature, there are hundreds of studies linking gut bacteria to your weight (it's at least part of why ANTIBIOTICS MAKE YOU FAT). In fact, I have covered this many times previously in my NUMEROUS FMT POSTS. A study on the relationship between inflammation, obesity, and cognitive decline (Inflammation and Gut-Brain Axis Link Obesity to Cognitive dysfunction) was published in this month's issue of Current Opinions in Pharmacology. "Obesity prevalence is increasing steadily throughout the world's population in most countries and in parallel the prevalence of metabolic disorders including cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes is also rising, but less is reported about excessive adiposity relationship with poorer cognitive performance, cognitive decline and dementia. Inflammation may eventually spread from peripheral tissue to the brain, and recent reports suggest that neuro-inflammation is an important causal mechanism in cognitive decline. This inflammatory status could be triggered by changes in the gut microbiota composition." Let me give you another; when you think of neuro-inflammation, you had better be thinking of ALUMINUM --- something that is found in almost every vaccine and antiperspirant.
- FMT AND NEUROPSYCHIATRIC PROBLEMS: Earlier this month, the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity (Microbes and Mental Health: A Review) stated that, "There is a growing emphasis on the relationship between the microorganisms inhabiting the gut and human health. The emergence of a microbiota-gut-brain axis to describe the complex networks and relationship between the gastrointestinal microbiota and host reflects the major influence this environment may have in brain health and disorders of the central nervous system (CNS). Bidirectional communication between the microbiota and the CNS occurs through autonomic, neuroendocrine, enteric, and immune system pathways. Perturbations of the gut microbial community have already been implicated in multiple host diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and inflammation, while recent evidence suggests a potential role of the microbiota-gut-brain axis in neuropsychiatric disorders, such as depression and anxiety." Another study, this one from Curent Neuropharmacology concluded the same thing --- "The microbiota-gut-brain axis might provide novel targets for prevention and treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders" --- before discussing FMT. Believe me when I tell you that both DEPRESSION and ANXIETY are big deals in Western civilization. Earlier this month and earlier this summer, the journals Neurotherapeutics (Anxiety, Depression, and the Microbiome: A Role for Gut Peptides) and BioPsychiatry (Harnessing Gut Microbes for Mental Health: Getting From Here to There) dealt with gut peptides, concluding that "The conceptual development of the microbiome-gut-brain axis has facilitated understanding of the complex and bidirectional networks between gastrointestinal microbiota and their host, highlighting potential mechanisms through which this environment influences central nervous system physiology. Communication pathways between gut microbiota and the central nervous system could include autonomic, neuroendocrine, enteric, and immune systems, with pathology resulting in disruption to neurotransmitter balance, increases in chronic inflammation, or exacerbated hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity." I've already shown you that experts are doing FMT for these sorts of problems --- much more in other countries than in PHARMA-RUN America.
- MICROBIOME AND MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS: The relationship between microbiome and MS is nothing new (HERE and HERE). However, some brand new research has helped shed even more light on this issue. About three weeks ago, ten Italian researchers publishing in Frontiers in Neurology (Immunological and Clinical Effect of Diet Modulation of the Gut Microbiome in Multiple Sclerosis Patients) concluded that "Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease of the central nervous system (CNS) characterized by demyelination and mediated by an auto-reactive immune process directed against central neural tissues. Pathogenesis of autoimmune disorders, including multiple sclerosis (MS), has been linked to an alteration of the resident microbial commensal community and of the interplay between the microbiota and the immune system. Dietary components acting on microbiota composition, could, in principle, result in immune modulation and, thus, could be used to obtain beneficial outcomes for patients. Evaluation of clinical parameters showed that in the high-vegetable/low-protein diet group the relapse rate during the 12 months follow-up period and the Expanded Disability Status Scale score at the end of the study period were significantly reduced. Diet modulates dysbiosis and improves clinical parameters in MS patients by increasing anti-inflammatory circuits. Because Lachnospiraceae favor Treg differentiation." Paleo, Paleo, Paleo folks --- Don't be afraid of either the protein or FAT as long as it's the right kind of fat. Another study, this one from this month's Neurotherapeutics (Intestinal Permeability in Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis) dealt with MS and LEAKY GUT saying, "Recently the influence of intestinal permeability on brain function has greatly been appreciated. Previous works showed an increased IP that preceded experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis development and worsened during disease with disruption of tight junctions. We found that an alteration of intestinal permeability is a relatively frequent event in relapsing-remitting MS. The results led us to hypothesize that gut may contribute to the development of MS." This is not a surprise as virtually every single individual with chronic illnesses is going to have problems with barrier dysfunction --- and not just in the gut, but in a wide array of tissues and organs as well (the "leakies" I discussed earlier).
- FMT AND EPILEPSY: Once you realize that MANY CASES OF SEIZURE DISORDERS, INCLUDING EPILEPSY are autoimmune, you'll start to realize why FMT (along with the Ketogenic diet from last link in the previous bullet) might just be the cat's meow. A study that was published just after our big flood (HERE) in the World Journal of Gastroenterology (Fecal Microbiota Transplantation Cured Epilepsy in a Case with Crohn’s Disease) talked about a young lady with a 17-year history of Crohn's Disease (stick around --- we'll address Crohn's in a bit). Note that this is a case study. "A 22-year-old girl, with a 17-year history of epilepsy, was referred to the Second Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University in May 2015 because of unsuccessful CD treatment. The initial presentation was at the age of 6 years, with generalized seizures of loss of consciousness and unexplained chronic diarrhea. The patient had more than 120 seizures every year between the ages of 6 to 13. FMT showed positive response of more than 20 months seizure-free without using antiepileptic drugs." Say this sentence very slowly: They put healthy people's poop inside of her and "cured" her epilepsy! If you've ever known anyone with seizures, stop and let the magnitude of this wash over you for a moment. I don't care who you are, this is cool!
- MICROBIOTA AND HEAD INJURIES: What about people who have neurological issues, but they are the result of HEAD INJURIES instead of a "disease process"? Interestingly enough, head injuries are highly related to the development of autoimmune diseases (HERE). A study from the January 2018 issue of Nutrition (Head Injury Profoundly Affects Gut Microbiota Homeostasis), concluded that "Head injury induces a hypercatabolic state [your body is breaking itself down faster than it is building itself back up], dysimmunity [autoimmunity], and septic complications that increase morbidity and mortality." For the record, bear in mind that many of these infections (sepsis) are autoimmune --- HERE is an example. BTW, it only took four days for the rats used in this study to "profoundly" have their microbiome affected by their head injury.
- FMT AND THE IMMUNO-COMPROMISED: The brutal truth is that while some people have a disease process that leads them to be severely immuno-compromised, the most common reason for people whose immune systems are extremely suppressed is the drugs they are given. This is because IMMUNE SYSTEM SUPPRESSION IS THE SINGLE MOST COMMON MEDICAL THERAPY in the United States! The April issue of Frontiers in Immunology (Immune Responses to Broad-Spectrum Antibiotic Treatment and Fecal Microbiota Transplantation in Mice) concluded that "Compelling evidence demonstrates the pivotal role of the commensal intestinal microbiota in host physiology and the detrimental effects of its perturbations following antibiotic treatment. broad-spectrum antibiotic treatment resulted in profound local (small and large intestinal), peripheral (mesenteric lymph nodes), and systemic (splenic) changes in the immune cell repertoire that could, at least in part, be restored upon FMT." This study is amazing and free to read in its entirety.
- FMT AND THE HYGIENE HYPOTHESIS: One of my favorite topics on GUT HEALTH is the HYGIENE HYPOTHESIS --- the idea that in order to properly train a developing immune system (see earlier stuff on Tregs), it must be exposed to some germs --- not just COLDS OR FLU, but real childhood diseases like people used to get before vaccination's went HOG WILD (sounds crazy but stick with me). Last month's issue of Cell (Wild Mouse Gut Microbiota Promotes Host Fitness and Improves Disease Resistance) published a study by 14 NIH scientists that basically said that wild mice are different than lab-raised mice because of the amount of germs and diseases (not to mention SOIL AND OTHER ANIMALS) they spend their lives around. What's truly amazing is that this "advantage" can be transferred via FMT. "Among 21 distinct mouse populations worldwide, we identified a closely related wild relative to standard laboratory mouse strains. Its bacterial gut microbiome differed significantly from its laboratory mouse counterpart and was transferred to and maintained in laboratory mice over several generations. Laboratory mice reconstituted with natural microbiota exhibited reduced inflammation and increased survival following influenza virus infection and improved resistance against mutagen / inflammation-induced colorectal tumor genesis." Why is this so critical to know? We have a veritable explosion of ALLERGIES in this country, with no end in sight. The European authors of the September issue of Nature Immunology (The Immunology of the Allergy Epidemic and the Hygiene Hypothesis) agreed, coming to some interesting conclusions of their own (and none too popular with most US researchers either --- at least THOSE WHO VALUE THEIR CAREERS). "The immunology of the hygiene hypothesis of allergy is complex and involves the loss of cellular and humoral immunoregulatory pathways as a result of the adoption of a Western lifestyle and the disappearance of chronic infectious diseases. The influence of diet and reduced microbiome diversity now forms the foundation of scientific thinking on how the allergy epidemic occurred. We propose that barrier epithelial cells are heavily influenced by [i.e. they are leaky leaky leaky leaky leaky leaky] environmental factors and by microbiome-derived danger signals and metabolites, and thus act as important rheostats for immunoregulation, particularly during early postnatal development. Preventive strategies based on this new knowledge could exploit the diversity of the microbial world and the way humans react to it, and possibly restore old symbiotic relationships that have been lost in recent times, without causing disease or requiring a return to an unhygienic life style." So, thanks to vaccines, we have traded acute childhood diseases that everyone used to get (and AS HYGIENE IMPROVED, HAD LOW MORTALITY), and traded them for a veritable patchwork of chronic degenerative inflammatory and autoimmune diseases --- diseases that don't kill you outright, but they destroy you nonetheless, body and soul (HERE).
- FMT AND ASTHMA: Allergies and ASTHMA go together like beanies and weenies as verified by a study from the August issue of Allergologia et Immunopathologia (Future Prospect of Fecal Microbiota Transplantation as a Potential Therapy in Asthma), which concluded that, "There is convincing evidence from both human and animal studies suggesting that the gut microbiota plays an important role in regulating immune responses associated with the development of asthma. Certain intestinal microbial strains have been demonstrated to suppress or impair immune responsiveness in asthma experimental models, suggesting that specific species among gut commensal microbiota may play either a morbific [makes you sick] or phylactic [keep you from getting sick] role in the progression of asthma. The faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is a rather straightforward therapy that manipulates the human gastrointestinal (GI) microbiota, by which a healthy donor microbiota is transferred into an existing but disturbed microbial ecosystem. In this review, we provide several insights into the development of FMT therapy for asthma." The fact that between 8 and 10% of our entire population has asthma should not be lost on my readers.
- FMT AND AUTISM: As you already know if you follow my site, I have a ton of info on AUTISM --- particularly as it relates to Gut Health (HERE). New studies continue to back this up, with several studies that I have already dealt with in other capacities this year leading the way (click the links).
- FMT AND BLOOD & BONE DISORDERS: When you read this, just remember that bones make blood, and that OSTEOPOROSIS is caused by inflammation. Now, take a listen to the results of this study from a dozen Polish researchers (Fecal Microbiota Transplantation in Patients With Blood Disorders Inhibits Gut Colonization With Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria) that was published in August's Clinical Infectious Diseases. "Patients with blood disorders colonized with antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB) are prone to systemic infections that are difficult to treat. Reintroduction of commensal bacteria can lead to eradication of enterococci. Twenty-five FMTs were performed in 20 participants (including 40% who had neutropenia) who were colonized by a median of 2 strains of ARB. The primary endpoint [eradication] was reached in 60% of the FMTs and more frequently in cases in which there was no periprocedural use of antibiotics. Among participants 75% experienced complete ARB decolonization. There were no severe adverse events. FMT in patients with blood disorders is safe and promotes eradication of ARB from the gastrointestinal tract." Just one month earlier, the journal Calcified Tissue International (Gut Microbiota, Immune System, and Bone) concluded that, "It is well documented that the gut microbiome (GM) can interact with immune cells, dendritic cells [nerves], and hepatocytes [liver], producing molecules such as short-chain fatty acids, indole derivatives, polyamines, and secondary bile acid. The receptors for some of these molecules are expressed on immune cells, and modulate the differentiation of T-effector and T-regulatory cells [Tregs]: this is the reason why dysbiosis is correlated with several autoimmune, metabolic, and neurodegenerative diseases. Due to the close interplay between immune and bone cells, GM has a central role in maintaining bone health and influences bone turnover and density. GM can improve bone health also increasing calcium absorption and modulating the production of gut serotonin, a molecule that interacts with bone cells and has been suggested to act as a bone mass regulator."
- GUT MICROBIOTA AND MUSCLE WASTING: Exercise is good, but not all exercise is created equally. If you go back and look at earlier links, you'll see why I am such a monster proponent of adding at least a few minutes of strength training to whatever else you happen to enjoy doing (you will lose 10% of your muscle mass per decade after the age of 30 unless you are resistance training). Last month's issue of Calcified Tissue International (Gut Microbiota Contribute to Age-Related Changes in Skeletal Muscle Size, Composition, and Function: Biological Basis for a Gut-Muscle Axis) concluded, after revealing just how important lean body mass really is for a variety of purposes, that "Aging is associated with a decrease in muscle mass and function (sarcopenia) that is associated with a loss of independence and reduced quality of life. Gut microbiota, the bacteria, archaea, viruses, and eukaryotic microbes residing in the gastrointestinal tract are emerging as a potential contributor to age-associated muscle decline. Specifically, advancing age is characterized by a dysbiosis of gut microbiota that is associated with increased intestinal permeability, facilitating the passage of endotoxin and other microbial products into the circulation." So in some ways, FMT could almost be called a proverbial fountain of youth.
- FMT AND ARTHRITIS: According to the NIH (Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases) rheumatic diseases include everything from OSTEOARTHRITIS, POLYMYALGIA RHEUMATICA, TENDINOSIS/TENDINITIS, GOUT, BURSITIS, KNEE PROBLEMS, AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES (click for a list), RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS, JRA, and a whole host of others. Now listen to this; the September issue of Clinical Rheumatology (The Role of Gut Microbiota in the Pathogenesis of Rheumatic Diseases) revealed that "Rheumatic diseases refer to many diseases with a loss of immune self-tolerance [autoimmunity], leading to a chronic inflammation, degeneration, or metabolic derangement in multiple organs or tissues. Over the past decades, emerging studies suggested that alteration of intestinal microbiota, known as gut dysbiosis, contributed to the occurrence or development of a range of rheumatic diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, ankylosing spondylitis, systemic sclerosis, and Sjogren's syndrome." The article went on to discuss the potential of microbiota-targeted therapies to prevent or cure rheumatic diseases, one being FMT
- LIVER DISEASE, INCLUDING HEPATIC ENCEPHALOPATHY: When the liver cannot DETOX / BIOTRANSFORM, toxins build up in the blood and affect the brain, causing something called hepatic encephalopathy (HE), with symptoms being forgetfulness, sweet-smelling breath (ketoacidosis, not to be confused with ketosis that people on the ketogenic diet work hard to achieve) as well as shaky upper extremities, disorientation, cognitive dysfunction, and slurred speech. There are studies showing FMT to be beneficial for a wide array of liver problems, but HE is where these people will all end up if not dealt with properly. The June issue of Hepatology (Fecal Microbiota Transplant from a Rational Stool Donor Improves Hepatic Encephalopathy) revealed that HE is a common reason for hospital readmissions (hospitals get severely docked financially for readmissions that occur within a certain time-frame) and then concluded that, "FMT with antibiotic pretreatment was well tolerated. Cognition improved. Model for End-Stage Liver Disease score transiently worsened post-antibiotics, but reverted to baseline post-FMT. Postantibiotics, beneficial taxa, and microbial diversity reduction occurred with Proteobacteria expansion. However, FMT increased diversity and beneficial taxa." A similar study, this one in last month's issue of the World Journal of Gastroenterology (Fecal Microbiota Transplantation Prevents Hepatic Encephalopathy....) stated something quite similar. "FMT enables protective effects in HE rats, and it improves the cognitive function and reduces the liver function indexes. FMT may cure HE by altering the intestinal permeability and improving the toll-like receptor (TLR) response of the liver." TLR's are markers that help identify receptors on pathogens, and are handy for marking baddies for the immune system's search and destroy missions.
- FMT AND ALOPECIA (HAIR LOSS): Before you get any wild ideas, understand that alopecia is not the same as male pattern baldness. Also, the most common reason by far that people get FMT, at least here in America, is for C.Diff infections. Writing for the September issue of the ACG Case Reports Journal (Hair Growth in Two Alopecia Patients after Fecal Microbiota Transplant) a group of five gastroenterologists saw alopecia cured (hair regrowth) in people being treated for C.Diff. "Alopecia areata (AA) is an autoimmune, inflammatory condition of the hair follicle. It is classified as patchy, totalis, and universalis, depending on the degree of hair loss. AA is one of the most common autoimmune disorders, affecting about 4.5 million people in the United States. Onset typically occurs in younger patients, with 66% presenting before age 30 and only 20% presenting after age 40. It is thought to be a T-cell-mediated autoimmune disease that attacks the hair follicle. Notable improvement in AA was observed after FMT was performed for recurrent C. Diff infection." It is no longer uncommon to find instances of people having FMT for C. Diff and getting cured of something else (kind of like THIS).
- FMT AND CANCER: I've got plenty of cool stuff on CANCER on my site, much of it (including OTTO WARBURG'S WORK) having at least in some way to do with the microbiome. This relationship is also why ANTIBIOTICS ARE A KNOWN CAUSE OF CANCER. How much does Gut inflammation caused by dysbiosis affect cancer? That question was answered in the August issue of Seminars in Immunology (Microbiome, Inflammation and Colorectal Cancer), when the authors concluded that, "Chronic inflammation is linked to the development of multiple cancers, including those of the colon. Inflammation in the gut induces carcinogenic mutagenesis and promotes colorectal cancer initiation. Additionally, myeloid and lymphoid cells infiltrate established tumors and propagate so called "tumor-elicited inflammation", which in turn favors cancer development by supporting the survival and proliferation of cancer cells. In addition to the interaction between cancer cells and tumor infiltrating immune cells, the gut also hosts trillions of bacteria and other microbes, whose roles in colorectal inflammation and cancer have only been appreciated in the past decade or so." Research that was published just a few short weeks ago in Science (Gut Microbiome Influences Efficacy of PD-1-Based Immunotherapy Against Epithelial Tumors) by a team of almost fifty researchers and physicians showed that when dysbiotic rats with cancer that were resistant to certain types of tumor-blocking medications were given FMT from rats that were not resistant, the medication (chemo) started working. To sum it all up, August's copy of Carcinogenesis (Microbiota in Digestive Cancers: Our New Partner?) concluded that, "There is much evidence about the gut microbiota's contribution to carcinogenesis, involving proinflammatory and immunosuppressive signals. At the same time, it seems increasingly clear that commensal microbes can modulate cancer therapy efficacy and safety, in particular innovating treatments as immune checkpoint inhibitors." This is just one of the many reasons that it should be criminal for doctors --- especially CANCER DOCTORS --- not to be educating their patients about the importance of Otto Warburg's work, and the importance of DIET IN GENERAL.
- PRE & POST-FMT ANTIBIOTICS, AND WHICH METHOD OF FMT IS BEST: There are many ways that different physicians and facilities do FMT. There is the colonic route (putting it in through your rear end), the nasogastric route (a tube is run through your nose down into the top of the bowel), and the pill route (feces is freeze dried, capsulized, and taken orally). Everything I have seen to date points to the colonic route as not only being the best, but probably the safest as well --- more so than the nasogastric route. August's issue of the Journal of Hospital Infections (Comparative Effectiveness of Fecal Microbiota Transplant by Route of Administration) agreed by stating, "Overall, nasogastric delivery of FMT was less effective than lower endoscopic delivery. When patients were stratified by illness severity, nasogastric delivery achieved similar cure rates in healthier individuals, whereas lower endoscopic delivery was preferred for relatively ill individuals. Nasogastric delivery may be less effective than lower endoscopic delivery." Some doctors will want to clear out the dysbiosis prior to the FMT. While one could probably achieve this with COLONIC IRRIGATION, researchers writing in the June issue of Frontiers in Microbiology (Preparing the Gut with Antibiotics Enhances Gut Microbiota Reprogramming Efficiency by Promoting Xenomicrobiota Colonization) concluded just what we see in the title --- "These results suggest that FMT relied on the available niches in the intestinal mucosa and that preparing the gut with antibiotics facilitated xenomicrobiota colonization in the intestinal mucosa." I am always leery of antibiotics, but clearing out BIOFILMS can at times prove exceedingly difficult without resorting to this class of drugs. Case in point of being leery of antibiotics, the August issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases (Early Antibiotic Use Post-Fecal Microbiota Transplantation Increases the Risk of Treatment Failure) also made some conclusions as seen in the study's title --- "Antibiotic use within the first 8 weeks post fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) may disrupt microbial engraftment and limit FMT effectiveness." This, folks, is why I strongly recommend you do whatever needed to KEEP YOUR FAMILY OFF ANTIBIOTICS (fortunately, MY KIDS have never had to take them).
- ETHICAL ISSUES; WHO MAKES THE BEST DONOR? Yes, there are some big ethical issues here, the first being whether you should have the FMT done via COLONOSCOPY. The second being what should the donor look like (this is absolutely critical and I cover it for you HERE). Be aware that one of the things that the labs that do FMT are starting to do is pool donor feces.
INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE & FMT
"We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis assessing the effectiveness and safety of FMT in IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) through January 2017, with clinical remission established as the primary outcome. 53 studies were included. Overall, 36% of UC, 50.5% of CD, and 21.5% of pouchitis patients [due to colostomy, they have an artificial, surgically created rectum] achieved clinical remission. Sub-analyses suggest remission in UC improved with increased number of FMT infusions and lower gastrointestinal tract administration [as opposed to nasogastric infusions]. Most adverse events were transient gastrointestinal complaints [gas, bloating, discomfort, etc]." From the October issue of Crohn's & Colitis (Fecal Microbiota Transplantation for Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis)
"Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) represent a growing public health concern due to increasing incidence worldwide. The current notion on the pathogenesis of IBD is that genetically susceptible individuals develop intolerance to dysregulated gut microflora (dysbiosis) and chronic inflammation develops as a result of environmental triggers. Among the environmental factors associated with IBD, diet plays an important role in modulating the gut microbiome, influencing epigenetic changes, and, therefore, could be applied as a therapeutic tool to improve the disease course." From the September issue of Nutrients (Diet, Gut Microbiome and Epigenetics: Emerging Links with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases and Prospects for Management and Prevention). The authors talked about the FODMAP diet here.
"Ultra-processed foods are ready-to-heat and ready-to-eat products created to replace traditional homemade meals and dishes due to convenience and accessibility. They could impact the prevalence of autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes and celiac disease. Ultra-processed foodstuffs can induce gut dysbiosis, promoting a pro-inflammatory response and consequently, a "leaky gut", associated with increased risk of autoimmunity. In addition, food emulsifiers, commonly used in ultra-processed products could modify the gut microbiota and intestinal permeability, which could increase the risk of autoimmunity. In contrast, unprocessed and minimally processed food-based diets have shown the capacity to promote gut microbiota eubiosis, anti-inflammatory response, and epithelial integrity." From this month's issue of Foods (Old Fashioned vs. Ultra-Processed-Based Current Diets: Possible Implication in the Increased Susceptibility to Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease in Childhood)
- CROHN'S DISEASE AND FMT: Back in July (PRIME TIME FOR THE CURRENT RIVER) the journal Scientific Reports (Multiple Fresh Fecal Microbiota Transplants Induces and Maintains Clinical Remission in Crohn’s Disease Complicated with Inflammatory Mass) concluded, "Crohn’s disease (CD) is characterized by a transmural inflammatory process, which may lead to the formation of intraabdominal inflammatory masses or abscess. Twenty-five patients were diagnosed with CD and related inflammatory mass by CT or MRI. All patients received the initial FMT followed by repeated FMTs every 3 months. The primary endpoint was clinical response (improvement and remission) and sustained clinical remission at 12 months. 68.0% and 52.0% of patients achieved clinical response and clinical remission at 3 months post the initial FMT. This pragmatic study suggested that sequential fresh FMTs might be a promising, safe and effective therapy to induce and maintain clinical remission in CD with intraabdominal inflammatory mass." BTW, almost 3 of 4 people studied improved their mass with FMT.
- FMT AND ULCERATIVE COLITIS: An August systematic review and meta-analysis of 18 studies was published in the journal Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics (Fecal Microbiota Transplantation for the Induction of Remission for Active Ulcerative Colitis). "Despite variation in processes, FMT appears to be effective for induction of remission in UC, with no major short-term safety signals. Clinical remission was achieved in 39 of 140 patients in the donor FMT groups compared with 13 of 137 in the placebo groups. Clinical response was achieved in 49% donor FMT patients compared to 28% of placebo patients." The July issue of Free Radical Biology & Medicine (Fecal Microbiota Transplantation Could Reverse the Severity of Experimental Necrotizing Enterocolitis Via Oxidative Stress Modulation) showed even better results for a form of IC known as NEC or Necrotizing Enterocolitis. Right behind Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS), NEC is the next leading cause of morbidity in preemies (it causes the bowel to die due to lack of OXYGEN). "Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) has been used successfully to treat a variety of gastroenterological diseases. FMT eliminated ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) production and promoted Nitrous Oxide production in experimental NEC mice. FMT decreased the extent of proinflammatory signalin in the intestinal mucosa tissue, and suppressed intestinal apoptosis [pre-programmed cellular death] and bacterial translocation across the intestinal barrier [Leaky Gut Syndrome], which was accompanied by decreased inflammatory cytokine levels [less inflammation], altered bacterial microbiota, and regulated lymphocyte proportions. FMT is effective in a mouse model of NEC through the modulation of oxidative stress and reduced colon inflammation." Super cool, but a similar study on children with UC was published in last month's issue of the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition (Fecal Microbial Transplant In Children With Ulcerative Colitis) revealing that, "Remission or a 20-point improvement of PUCAI scores were seen in 60% of children receiving FMT versus 28% receiving placebo. More importantly, children receiving FMT did not require escalation of therapy in contrast to 71% receiving placebo. No serious adverse events related to FMT. Bloating and fever were adverse events that were considered related to FMT." Notice the "transient" side effects that most people get with FMT.
- IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME: Irritable Bowel Syndrome is an Autoimmune Disease that is caused by inflammation, but is not "officially" part of the IBD family of diseases. We do know that there is a huge connection between SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) and IBS (HERE), that tends to respond like gangbusters to cutting FODMAPS out of the diet. Back in June the World Journal of Gastroenterology asked a question via a study title, Can Fecal Microbiota Transplantation Cure Irritable Bowel Syndrome? "IBS is the most prevalent functional GI disorder in developed countries. It is estimated that IBS affects 10%-15% of the adult population and strongly impairs quality of life, work productivity, and social function as well as inflicting substantial costs to health care systems. Accumulating evidence indicates that the gut microbiota plays a significant role, and alterations in gut microbiota among IBS patients have been described frequently. IBS symptoms are characterized by chronic abdominal pain and altered bowel habits, including diarrhea and/or constipation, in the absence of organic or structural causes. In the final analysis, treatment of 48 patients was evaluated. Treatment revealed an improvement in 58% of cases." Last month's issue of Lancet Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Fecal Microbiota Transplantation Versus Placebo for Moderate-to-Severe Irritable Bowel Syndrome) concluded almost the same thing, with about 65% of the treatment group getting the results they were looking for. "FMT induced significant symptom relief in patients with IBS. No serious adverse events could be attributed to FMT."
Again, let me reiterate. If you are chronically ill or overweight, as are the vast majority of American adults (as well as a huge percentage of our nation's children), at least start researching what it is going to take for you to restore your Gut Health so that you can start the process of truly regaining your life. Fortunately for you, I have lots of information on this topic completely free on my site (see below).
GUT HEALTH AND FMT ARE IN THE NEWS YET AGAIN: UNDERSTANDING WHY COULD HELP YOU SOLVE YOUR CHRONIC PAIN AND CHRONIC ILLNESSRead Now
GRASPING ITS IMPORTANCE GOES A LONG WAY TOWARD
SOLVING YOUR CHRONIC PAIN AND CHRONIC ILLNESS
Your microbiome is the name given to the number and type of the various species of BACTERIA, MOLD, virus, YEAST, fungus, PARASITES, etc, that live in and on your body. And while it might sound disgusting, a healthy microbiome not only keeps you healthy, but has been shown by peer-review to be potentially capable of reversing a wide array of chronic conditions, while a Dysbiotic Microbiome (a microbiome made up of too many "bad" bacteria, or more accurately, the improper ratio of bacteria and other organisms to each other) can literally destroy you, being a causal factor in almost every (NON-GENETIC) disease that has thus far been studied.
I've previously shown you studies where scientists have taken obese mice, transferred feces from healthy mice into their bowel and made them thin (Fecal Microbiota Transplants otherwise known as FMT), then turned right around and reversed the process, making them fat. This process has been done with other diseases as well. Just listen to some of the cherry-picked results of a study (Transplantation of Fecal Microbiota From Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome Alters Gut function and Behavior in Recipient Mice) by two dozen researchers, gastroenterologists, immunologists, and physicians from around the world, and published in the edition of Science Transnational Medicine that hit the shelves just three days ago........
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), the most common gastrointestinal disorder worldwide, is characterized by abdominal pain and altered gut function and often is accompanied by anxiety. An association between intestinal dysbiosis and IBS has been reported, but the functional relevance remains unknown. To evaluate a functional role for commensal gut bacteria in IBS, we colonized germ-free mice with the fecal microbiota from healthy control individuals or IBS patients with diarrhea (IBS-D), with or without anxiety, and monitored gut function and behavior in the transplanted mice. Microbiota profiles in recipient mice clustered according to the microbiota profiles of the human donors. Mice receiving the IBS-D fecal microbiota showed a taxonomically similar microbial composition to that of mice receiving the healthy control fecal microbiota. However, IBS-D mice showed different serum metabolomic profiles. Mice receiving the IBS-D fecal microbiota, but not the healthy control fecal microbiota, exhibited faster gastrointestinal transit, intestinal barrier dysfunction, innate immune activation, and anxiety-like behavior. These results indicate the potential of the gut microbiota to contribute to both intestinal and behavioral manifestations of IBS-D and suggest the potential value of microbiota-directed therapies in IBS patients.
Allow me to help you break this down and digest it because what just happened in this abstract is nothing short of amazing proof that the "healers" of generations gone by were correct all along --- "All health begins in the Gut: Heal the Gut, Heal the Body". The first thing I want you to understand is that IBS is an autoimmune disease. AUTOIMMUNITY simply means that your body has, for various reasons, decided to start attacking itself in some capacity. Also be aware that this is frequently precluded by sensitivities to GRAINS, most particularly Gluten-containing grains (HERE).
Although we tend to think of Dysbiosis in terms of having too many bad bacteria and not enough good, this is only partly true. Just remember this simple little ditty --- "Ratios Rule". It's not so much about the absolute numbers of the various strains of organisms as much as it is about having them present in the correct ratios. Anything (I mean anything) that fouls up these ratios, has the potential to adversely affect your health (ANTIBIOTICS of course are the worst, but ALL DRUGS act as antibiotics, as can even VITAMINS in certain circumstances). DYSBIOSIS is the name given to the state of having fouled up ratios of bacteria in your digestive tract or on your body (which means folks --- it's very possible to be "TOO CLEAN" --- both inside and out). Just realize that Dysbiosis is bad on levels that we are just beginning to figure out.
The researchers took groups of people with and without IBS, transplanting their feces into the bowels of GMO mice that were bred to be "germ free" (they had no bacteria of any sort in their innards). After an amount of time, stool samples of these mice were looked at, and not surprisingly, knowing what we know of FMT, were found to match that of their human donor. Interestingly enough, the IBS group and control were similar taxonomically, meaning that they grossly had the same species of bacteria in their guts. However, probably due to subtle differences in ratios, they differed differed dramatically in their Metablomic Profiles.
Your Metablome is everything (I mean everything) found in whatever sample you happen to be looking at. So, as opposed to the bacterial profile (numbers and species of various bacteria), the Metablome would describe the "Small Molecule Chemicals" found within any given sample of tissue, fluid, etc, etc, etc. The defining factor of what makes a "Small Molecule" small (less than 900 Daltons), is that it not only has a low molecular weight and a very tiny molecular size, it is small enough to diffuse across cellular membranes.
Oh; I almost forgot to mention; not only is the Metabolmic Profile looking at the makeup of certain sugars, Organic Acids (think OATS TEST here), Vitamins, Nucleic Acids (DNA & RNA), Fatty Acids, ANTIOXIDANTS like GLUTATHIONE, amino acids, cellular metabolites, etc, etc, but the Metablome consists of artificial or exogenous chemicals as well (chemicals from outside the body). This means that DRUGS, XENOHORMONES, and the huge array of potential toxins (HERE'S A FREAKY ONE to contemplate) are also part of one's Metablome. As would make sense, most drugs are purposely manufactured to be very small (under 500 Daltons) so that they readily diffuse into your cells.
The result was that the the IBS mice had "faster GI transit times" (can anyone say diarrhea? --- which along with periodic bouts of CONSTIPATION, is the hallmark of IBS). The IBS mice also showed "intestinal barrier dysfunction". This describes the flip side of the Gut Dysfunction coin ---- Leaky Gut Syndrome. And here's the bite about LGS. Not only do the majority of the medical profession pooh pooh its very existence, be aware that there will be other "Leakies" likely tagging along with (Leaky Lung, Leaky Brain, Leaky Cord, Leaky Nerve, etc, etc (HERE). And finally, "activation of the innate immune system". Your immune system is not only made up of bacteria (AT LEAST 70% AND AS MUCH AS 80%) as well as GLIAL & MICROGLIA, but it is made up of generalized chemical responses. Although it's way oversimplified, think of your innate immune system as INFLAMMATION --- the group of chemicals and WBC your body manufactures in order to deal with various sorts of tissue damage (as opposed to Adaptive Immunity, which would describe the antigen / antibody response).
The end-product of this mess? By transplanting the dukie from unhealthy people into germ-free mice, the researchers created --- whallah --- IBS; complete with the anxiety (not surprisingly, both ANXIETY & DEPRESSION) along with everything on THIS LIST are considered "inflammatory" diseases. The astute among you should be salivating at the not-so-hidden potential in this study. If scientists can do such amazing things transplanting unhealthy dukie, what might happen if they decided to transplant healthy dukie into unhealthy mice --- or maybe even unhealthy people?
It's already been done folks, and for the love of Pete; if you have serious chronic illnesses or weight issues (especially if you have a history of EVEN A TINY AMOUNT OF ANTIBIOTICS), don't walk away without reading to the end. Get on the bandwagon and start studying FECAL MICROBIOTA TRANSPLANATION. I have provided you tons of peer-review, all laid out in a neat and orderly fashion, including what to look for in a donor, as well as DIY advice (for the record, the advice is not mine and I would never recommend anyone try this on their own without the express written consent from their doctor --- although the world wide web abounds with stories of people doing just that). It's why the generic protocol I have provided you (free of charge of course) has FMT as part of it (HERE --- HERE'S a cool post on Functional Medicine as well).
As a special bonus to various friends and patients dealing with MS (or for that matter, PARKINSON'S, ALZHEIMER'S, EPILEPSY, or whatever), make sure to look at these specific posts on the topic (HERE, HERE, and HERE, along with a post that carries a short video from a physician with MS that pulled herself out of a wheelchair nearly two decades ago --- DR. TERRY WAHLS --- just by changing her diet). As a special bonus, even though the authors of today's study concluded their study with the promise of using their data to create, "microbiota-directed therapies," HERE is why probiotics (which BTW, I am a fan of) can never be a tiny fraction as effective as FMT for truly sick individuals.
A NEW CURE ALL?
THE LATEST RESEARCH ON HEALTH AS RELATED TO THE MICROBIOME AND FECAL MICROBIOTA TRANSPLANTS
Bowel health has been a known factor in overall health for thousands of years. Yet what do we continue to do here in America? We go out of our way to destroy the health of our collective guts, in every conceivable way (HERE'S A NOVEL ONE). As I've already shown you, both ANTIBIOTICS and NON-ANTIBIOTIC DRUGS destroy the diversity of the bacteria that make up what's known as your MICROBIOME (the bacteria that live in your Gut and urogenital tracts, and on your skin). The resulting imbalance of "bad" bacteria to "good" bacteria (or even an imbalance in the ratios of various types of "good" bacteria) is known in science as DYSBIOSIS, which is then fed by sugar and highly processed carbohydrates. However, medicine in the form of various DRUGS are not the only exogenous chemicals that cause Dysbiosis. Let's discuss for a moment the role of vaccines in Dysbiosis.
Although it is very politically incorrect to say so --- a career-busting death knell (ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAPPEN TO BE A SCIENTIST) --- vaccines; especially the MONSTER NUMBERS PEOPLE ARE BEING COERCED INTO TAKING TODAY, are dramatically disrupting the body's ability to achieve something called HOMEOSTASIS. In plain English, VACCINES are responsible for the disruption of health, largely via disruption of one's microbiome. I've shown you the mechanism via something known in the scientific community as the "HYGIENE HYPOTHESIS". Let me give you an example from the April issue of Gut (The Gut Microbiota Plays a Protective Role in the Host Defense Against Pneumococcal Pneumonia). This European study helps make the case, while addressing today's topic; FECAL MICROBIOTA TRANSPLANTATION.
While not discussing pneumococcal vaccine specifically, this study says that, "Pneumonia accounts for more deaths than any other infectious disease worldwide (3.5 million, although this number is probably an underestimation). Antibiotic treatment led to a significant drop in the microbial diversity, which was significantly reversed by transplantation of normal feces. We found that the gut microbiota protects the host during pneumococcal pneumonia, as reflected by increased bacterial dissemination, inflammation, organ damage and mortality in microbiota-depleted mice compared with controls. FMT in gut microbiota-depleted mice led to a normalization of pulmonary bacterial counts." Instead of doing things to normalize immune system function, what are we doing here in America? We're telling people that along with FLU VACCINES THAT HAVE BEEN PROVEN TO BE NEARLY 100% INEFFECTIVE, they need to get an annual pneumonia vaccine as well, which actually destroys Gut Health, leading to infections, including pneumonia itself. Lest you think I am inferring too much from this study, lets move to another.
The same month as the study above, the journal Clinical & Transnational Immunology published a similar study called Bugging Inflammation: Role of the Gut Microbiota. This study began by saying, "The advent of vaccination and improved hygiene (antibiotics such as penicillin) have eliminated many of the deadly infectious pathogens in developed nations. However, the incidences of inflammatory diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, obesity and diabetes are increasing dramatically." We could spend a month dissecting these two sentences made by scientists at Australia's Monash University. Since we don't have time, let's take a quick peek at what they have to say about the Hygiene Hypothesis as it relates to health and disease.
"Decreases in early-life microbe exposure owing to increased hygiene, parallel major increases in the incidence of inflammatory diseases. Owing to this association, researchers have proposed two hypotheses to describe the recent drastic increase in the incidence of inflammatory diseases. The hygiene hypothesis was proposed as an explanation for the increasing prevalence of inflammatory diseases in the Western world. The hygiene hypothesis is hinged on the proposition that early-life exposure to diverse microbes help the immune system develop and differentiate infectious from harmless agents. Previous studies have shown that children raised in rural areas have more frequent microbial exposures and lower incidences of asthma, leading to the belief that a cleaner environment, such as with improved hygiene, results in a dysregulated immune response and consequent development of inflammatory diseases. This creates a lack of diversity in the microbiota, and is thought to cause an underdeveloped immune system, predisposing the host to a range of diseases. Therefore, the contribution of both urban/rural setting and antibiotic use have been shown to influence microbiota composition and diversity, induce a dysregulated immune response and leads to the development of inflammatory diseases."
Because researchers tend value their jobs (who could blame them?), they would not dare directly attack, or even raise questions about vaccinations. However, in this case someone had the cahonies to do an end-run and take a shot at the unprotected flanks. Despite growing numbers of scientists taking this 'contrarian' position, our government continues to spout their status quo; that vaccinations don't really have any side effects other than the ones mentioned at the beginning of THIS POST. While not denying that the reactions seen toward the end of the link exist, authorities claim they are extremely rare. As you can see, bolstered by current peer-review (particularly if it comes from outside the United States) researchers are gaining small measures of courage to at least discuss / mention this issue. A prime example can be found in the January issue of the World Journal of Gastroenterology (Gut Microbiota in Autism and Mood Disorders). In this study a half dozen Italian researchers concluded that.....
"Available evidences display that the impairment of gut microbiota plays a key role in the development of autism and mood disorders. The gut microbiota is involved in the maturation of the immune system: it stimulates innate immunity in the early years of life, leading to the maturation of the gut-associated lymphoid tissue, and acquired immunity, through stimulation of local and systemic immune responses. Known, finally, is the role in the synthesis and metabolism of certain nutrients, hormones and vitamins, and clearance of drugs and toxicity. Recent data show the strong correlation between dysbiosis and conditions such as obesity, allergies, autoimmune disorders, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and psychiatric disorders. Due to these new evidences about the fundamental role of gut microbiota in the alteration of immune, neural, and endocrine pathways, the so-called “gut-brain axis” is acquiring new significance, even if the communication routes are not still defined. In the last few years, much research has been done in this direction, underlying the importance of dysbiosis in the etiopathogenesis of pathology such as autism, dementia and mood disorder. The evidence of the inflammatory state alteration, highlighted in disorders such as schizophrenia, major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder, strongly recalls the microbiota alteration and highly suggests an important role of the alteration of GI system also in neuropsychiatric disorders. In particular, the dysbiosis and the consequent alteration of intestinal permeability lead respectively to the production and spread into the bloodstream of ......."
Firstly, much of this study will be lost on you if you did not at least browse the previous link (it's short) as having a firm understanding of the HYGIENE HYPOTHESIS. Secondly, we see that AUTISM is tied directly to GUT HEALTH (HERE as well). Thirdly, did you catch the reference to LEAKY GUT SYNDROME ("intestinal permeability" allowing all sorts of toxic junk to be "spread into the bloodstream")? And fourthly, the authors put the cherry on the sundae by revealing that FMT is a viable option for treating those with Autism (the study related it to the "amelioration of specific symptoms" in autistic children).
Do you think that vaccines might have the capability of fouling / corroding / destroying Gut Health? If not, you've been swallowing too much of what the taxpayer-funded government-led propaganda machines continue to distill. Their distortions of the truth and outright lies are just another of the many examples of the unholy alliance between BIG PHARMA and our GOVERNMENT (including the FDA) --- one more reason SCIENCE-BASED MEDICINE is often anything but. But beyond antibiotics, medications, vaccinations, dysbiosis, a leaky gut, and their relationship(s) to any number of health issues, diet is also at play here. After Bugging Inflammation discussed the importance of DIETARY FIBER as a prebiotic food source for our microbiomes, they mentioned that.......
"It is becoming increasingly clear that the aforementioned hypotheses inadvertently [or maybe even intentionally] influences the composition of the host gut microbiota / microbiome. The microbiota harbour essential genes required for the metabolism of food intake, indicating an additional role in energy harvest and homeostasis. Many factors in the hypothesis, such as antibiotic use and dietary components, influence significantly on the composition of the host gut microbiota. The resultant dysbiotic microbiota could prove to merge both the hygiene hypothesis and the diet hypothesis into one, and contribute to the risk of inflammatory disease development. However, this also raises an exciting opportunity whereby altering the microbiota may also present as a potential modifiable component or therapeutic target for inflammatory diseases. Factors in both the ‘hygiene hypothesis' and the ‘diet hypothesis' converge on microbiota modulation. The factors proposed by the hygiene hypothesis (such as early childhood exposure to microorganisms and the use of antibiotics) and... FMT."
The first thing I would ask is why aren't more practicing physicians talking about diet since it's importance is reinforced over and over again in the peer-reviewed science (HERE)? And while the authors tout both PROBIOTICS and FMT as effective therapy against any number of INFLAMMATORY and AUTOIMMUNE illnesses, they readily admit that, "Human studies have shown that probiotics have minimal effects on the composition of the gut microbiota, and is usually undetectable after 2 weeks post-ingestion." Unfortunately they are correct. The April issue of Genome Medicine (Alterations in Fecal Microbiota Composition by Probiotic Supplementation in Healthy Adults: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials) takes this concept even farther by stating, after reviewing studies on the efficacy of probiotics for treating "healthy adults," that there was a, "lack of evidence for an impact of probiotics on fecal microbiota composition." Firstly, this study tells us absolutely nothing about using probiotics to treat "unhealthy" patients, of which there are hundreds, if not thousands of studies touting benefits for. And secondly, even though I see numerous patients who respond like gang-busters to probiotic therapy; for the chronically ill patient, FMT is frequently a far better option (HERE'S WHY).
What I am going to do now is show you a few studies from our current calendar year (2016) that help prove that while I might be slightly off my rocker, I'm not totally off my rocker, although there are plenty out there that would vigorously debate this.
- WHAT LEADS TO DYSBIOSIS? The June issue of Clinical & Transnational Immunology (New Insights Into Therapeutic Strategies for Gut Microbiota Modulation in Inflammatory Diseases) stated that, "The interaction between the gut microbiota and the host immune system is very important for balancing and resolving inflammation. The human microbiota begins to form during childbirth. C-section delivery, formula feeding, a high-sugar diet, a high-fat diet and excess hygiene negatively affect the health of the microbiota. Considering that the majority of the global population has experienced at least one of these factors that can lead to inflammatory disease, it is important to understand strategies to modulate the gut microbiota." Think about it for a moment. There are lot's of C-SECTIONS here in America (ONE IN THREE). Most citizens are LIVING THE HIGH CARB LIFESTYLE. Children are often given formula instead of being breast fed (HERE). And as you'll see from other studies we'll discuss momentarily, science is saying that all it really takes to completely foul up your microbiome is a single round of antibiotics (HERE and HERE). As for those worried about a diet high in healthy fats (HERE or HERE), don't be, as the authors are talking about "high fat" diets as they relate to JUNK OR HIGHLY PROCESSED FOOD. BTW, the study discussed the benefits of FMT.
- BLOOD PRESSURE REGULATION: Last month's copy of Circulation Research (Hypertension-Linked Pathophysiological Alterations in the Gut) revealed that, "Sympathetic nervous system control of inflammation plays a central role in hypertension. The gut receives significant sympathetic innervation, is densely populated with a diverse microbial ecosystem, and contains immune cells that greatly impact overall inflammatory homeostasis. The increase in blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats was associated with gut pathology that included increased intestinal permeability and decreased tight junction proteins. These changes in gut pathology in hypertension were associated with alterations in microbial communities relevant in blood pressure control. A dysfunctional sympathetic-gut communication is associated with gut pathology, dysbiosis, and inflammation, and plays a key role in hypertension. Thus, targeting of gut microbiota by innovative probiotics, antibiotics, and fecal transplant, in combination with current pharmacotherapy, may be a novel strategy for hypertension treatment." There's that Leaky Gut / Dysbiosis / Inflammation thing again. Quite interesting considering that SYMPATHETIC DOMINANCE is best measured by Heart Rate Variability, which has itself been shown to be better than blood work for measuring systemic inflammation (click the link).
- POST-STROKE ORGAN FAILURE: What happens when blood pressure is not dealt with? CardioVascular Accidents (CVA's) which are also known as strokes. Last month's issue of Critical Care (Successful Treatment with Fecal Microbiota Transplantation in Patients with Multiple Organ Dysfunction Syndrome and Diarrhea Following Severe Sepsis) provided a case study of two elderly gentlemen who had been diagnosed post-stroke who were both suffering with, "multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS), cerebellar hemorrhage and cerebral infarction, septic shock, intestinal dysbiosis and severe watery diarrhea.... Following FMT, MODS and severe diarrhea were alleviated in both patients. Their stool output and body temperature markedly declined and normalized..... associated with a decrease in the patients' fecal output and in the levels of plasma inflammation markers." No idea whether or not these individuals regained neurological function, but FMT bringing people out of multiple organ failure is rather astounding no matter how you slice it.
- CARDIOMETABOLIC SYNDROME & OBESITY: Because my site has at least a dozen studies showing that antibiotics lead to obesity (obesity is part of the METABOLIC SYNDROME) --- PARTICULARLY IN CHILDREN --- it should come as no surprise that there are tons of studies on using FMT to treat those with Metabolic Syndrome (aka "PRE-DIABETES"). I am going to give you a few from this year. The September issue of the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine (Treating Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome with Fecal Microbiota Transplantation) had this to day on the subject. "Alterations of this complex physiological bacterial population associated with negative functional outcomes or disease, known as dysbiosis, can cause low-level inflammation and altered intestinal homeostasis. Dysbiosis is linked to a variety of ailments, including obesity and its associated metabolic disturbances. One way to modify the human gut microbiome is by transplanting fecal matter, which contains an abundance of live microorganisms, from a healthy individual to a diseased one...." While this might initially sound gross, it usually starts sounding much more tolerable once the possibility of living life at a healthy weight is contemplated.
- CARDIOMETABOLIC SYNDROME AND OBESITY PART II: The April issue of Nutrients (The Intestinal Microbiota in Metabolic Disease) showed that, "microbial changes in diseased subjects have been linked to adiposity, type 2 diabetes and dyslipidemia. Gut bacteria exert beneficial and harmful effects in metabolic diseases as deduced from the comparison of germ free and conventional mice and from fecal transplantation studies." This next study is particularly interesting in light of what we know about SUGAR BEING CANCER'S FOOD OF CHOICE. The July issue of Current Oncology Reports (The Gut Microbiome and Obesity) stated that, "Animal and human studies have implicated distortion of the normal microbial balance in obesity and metabolic syndrome. Bacteria causing weight gain are thought to induce the expression of genes related to lipid and carbohydrate metabolism thereby leading to greater energy harvest from the diet. There is a large body of evidence demonstrating that alteration in the [microbiome] leads to the development of obesity...." February's issue of Frontiers in Cellular Infection and Microbiology (The New Era of Treatment for Obesity and Metabolic Disorders: Evidence and Expectations for Gut Microbiome Transplantation) put the icing on the cake when they revealed that, "The microbiome has been implicated in the development of obesity. Conventional therapeutic methods have limited effectiveness for the treatment of obesity and prevention of related complications. Recently, microbes residing in the human gastrointestinal tract have been found to act as an "endocrine" organ, whose composition and functionality may contribute to the development of obesity. Therefore, fecal/gut microbiome transplantation (GMT), which involves the transfer of feces from a healthy donor to a recipient, is increasingly drawing attention as a potential treatment for obesity." They are correct about interventions for the obese being ineffective (HERE). Fortunately for you, there are literally hundreds of studies on FMT / GMT for treating OBESITY.
- POLY-CYSTIC OVARIAN SYNDROME: Because PCOS is causally linked with sugar and carbohydrate metabolism (it's typically treated with the same drugs doctors treat DIABETES with), it should come as no surprise that we are starting to see studies on the topic as it relates to FMT. The April issue of PLoS One (Association Between Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and Gut Microbiota) stated that, "Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most frequent endocrinopathy in women of reproductive age. It is difficult to treat PCOS because of its complex etiology and pathogenesis. After treating PCOS rats with Lactobacillus and fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) from healthy rats, it was found that the estrous cycles were improved in all 8 rats in FMT group. These results indicated that dysbiosis of gut microbiota was associated with the pathogenesis of PCOS." If you are heavy, hairy, and have unusually severe menstrual problems, it's likely you have PCOS.
- CONSTIPATION: Because so many of the problems commonly treated with FMT are intimately associated with diarrhea (C. Diff, COLITIS, Crohn's, Regional Illitis, etc, etc), it should be noted that one of the recent studies was on CONSTIPATION. Published in the April issue of the Archives of Medical Research (Fecal Microbiota Transplantation in Combination with Soluble Dietary Fiber for Treatment of Slow Transit Constipation: A Pilot Study), this study said that, "Intestinal microbiota and soluble dietary fiber play an important role in intestinal microecology, which is closely related to gut motility. Regulating intestinal microecology comprised of fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) and fiber supplementation is becoming a novel therapy for functional gastrointestinal disease. The patients showed an increased stool frequency from 1.7 per week to 4.8 per week and an improved stool consistency after FMT combined with fiber. This is a pilot study confirming that FMT combined with fiber may improve symptoms experienced by constipated patients by regulating intestinal microecology, without any serious adverse events." Hardcore constipation (no pun intended) can be virtually impossible to solve without FMT.
- WHAT ABOUT FMT AND / OR ANTIBIOTICS WHILE PREGNANT? The June issue of BMC Medicine (Antibiotic Use During Pregnancy: How Bad Is It?) came to essentially the same conclusions I've trying to warn women about for decades. "Perhaps the most clinically relevant aspect of the pregnancy microbiome is antibiotic treatment during pregnancy. Antibiotic treatment during pregnancy is widespread in Western countries, and accounts for 80% of prescribed medications in pregnancy. The use of antibiotics during pregnancy has also been associated with increased risk of asthma in early childhood, increased risk of childhood epilepsy, and increased risk of childhood obesity. Antibiotic usage during pregnancy undoubtedly affects the bacterial environment of the mother and of the fetus A single course of antibiotics perturbs bacterial communities, with evidence that the microbial ecosystem does not return completely to baseline following treatment. Antibiotics in pregnancy should be used only when indicated, choosing those with the narrowest range possible." The thing about treating pregnant women; most doctors (natural or allopathic) are at least to a significant degree, running scared because if something happens to either mama or baby they are likely to end up on the wrong end of a lawsuit. Thus, you are not likely to see FMT recommendations for pregnant women anytime in the near future. To reiterate; be warned that giving your child antibiotics, whether in the womb or out, is possibly the SINGLE WORST THING YOU CAN DO FOR THEIR FUTURE HEALTH. And because the vast majority of antibiotic prescriptions in America don't meet official criteria (standards of care), they are considered unnecessary to begin with.
- ANTIBIOTICS ARE THE MAJOR DESTROYER OF HEALTH IN CHIDREN PART II: In a recent study (The Effects of Antibiotics on the Microbiome Throughout Development and Alternative Approaches for Therapeutic Modulation) from the "Harvard of the Midwest" (St. Louis's own Washington University), researchers publishing in the April edition of Genome Medicine stated that, "Human-associated microbes perform an array of important functions, and we are now just beginning to understand the ways in which antibiotics have reshaped their ecology and the functional consequences of these changes. Mounting evidence shows that antibiotics [adversely] influence the function of the immune system, our ability to resist infection, and our capacity for processing food, and effects on diseases such as malnutrition, obesity, diabetes..... It is becoming increasingly apparent that there exist several disease states for which a single causative pathogen has not been established. Rather, such diseases may be due to the abundances and relative amounts of a collection of microbes [dysbiosis]. A dysbiotic microbiome may not perform vital functions such as nutrient supply, vitamin production, and protection from pathogens. Dysbiosis of the microbiome has been associated with a large number of health problems and causally implicated in metabolic, immunological, and developmental disorders, as well as susceptibility to development of infectious diseases. Critical developmental milestones for the microbiota (as well as for the child) occur, in particular, during infancy and early childhood, and both medical intervention and lack of such intervention during these periods can have lifelong consequences in the composition and function of the gut ecosystem." Have I mentioned to you yet that staying away from antibiotics is the best thing you can do for your family? By the way, the authors spoke at length about turning dysbiosis around with a therapy that's been in use for the better part of two millennia ---- FMT.
- DEPRESSION & BEHAVIOUR: I've already shown you how the microbiome is intimately linked to Autism. Now let's look at DEPRESSION and other similarly related diseases of the brain. In a fascinating study similar to several done previously related to both obesity and FMT, researchers in this month's issue of the Journal of Psychiatric Research (Transferring the Blues: Depression-Associated Gut Microbiota Induces Neurobehavioural Changes in the Rat) took feces from 33 human patients diagnosed with, "major depression," (as well as 33 controls) and transplanted it into 66 'normal' rats. The results were astounding. "We demonstrate that depression is associated with decreased gut microbiota richness and diversity. Fecal microbiota transplantation from depressed patients to microbiota-depleted rats can induce behavioural and physiological features characteristic of depression in the recipient animals, including anhedonia [an inability to experience pleasure from activities usually found enjoyable, e.g. exercise, hobbies, music, sexual activities or social interactions] and anxiety-like behaviours, as well as alterations in tryptophan metabolism. This suggests that the gut microbiota may play a causal role in the development of features of depression...." August's issue of Clinical Psycopharmacology and Neuroscience (Fecal Microbiota Transplantation and Its Usage in Neuropsychiatric Disorders) showed that, "The interest in microbiota-gut-brain axis and fecal microbiota transplantation is rapidly increasing. New evidence is obtained in the etiology and pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric disorders. In this review, neuropsychiatric areas of use of fecal microbiota transplantation have been discussed in the light of the current information. It is pointed out that microbiota plays the decisive role on immune function and interacts with human cells. Micro damage to the intestinal epithelial wall may occur by the changes of the microbiota, and intestinal epithelial permeability may increase. Thus, the microorganism-induced harmful substances can be released into the systemic circulation and can initiate an immune response. This condition is called “leaky gut”. There is strong evidence that intestinal microbiota dysbiosis may play an important role in the etiology and pathogenesis of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, mood disorders, depression and anxiety disorders. FMT is a fairly reliable application. Serious side effects have not been reported." Speaking of side effects......
- SIDE EFFECTS IN FECAL MICROBIOTA TRANSPLANTATION: After having looked at hundreds of studies on FMT, I have yet to see one mention anything other than similar to what's mentioned in the last bullet point concerning side effects. Bear in mind that most of these studies are looking at FMT performed on very sick patients, who are often dying of C. DIFF INFECTIONS (FMT is the medical standard of care for dealing with these patients after antibiotics have failed twice, which they usually do because the infection itself is caused by antibiotics, usually in a hospital setting). February's Journal of Hospital Infections (Adverse Events in Fecal Microbiota Transplant: A Review of the Literature) stated plainly that, "The vast majority of adverse events of FMT appear to be mild, self-limiting and gastrointestinal in nature." The May issue of Clinical Endoscopy (Fecal Microbiota Transplantation: Current Applications, Effectiveness, and Future Perspectives) revealed that, "The high success rate and safety in the short term reported for recurrent Clostridium difficile infection has elevated FMT as an emerging treatment for a wide range of disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, myoclonus dystopia, multiple sclerosis, obesity, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and autism. FMT may be safe and well tolerated with few serious adverse events, even though it is often administered to patients with significant medical comorbid conditions." PLoS One stated in their August issue (Systematic Review: Adverse Events of Fecal Microbiota Transplantation) that, "A total of 7,562 original articles about FMT were identified in this study... The total incidence rate of adverse events was 28.5%." Holy outhouses Batman, that's a lot of adverse events! However, the question we need to be asking is how serious were said events? "The commonest attributable adverse event was abdominal discomfort, abdominal pain, increased stool frequency, flatulence, bloating, cramps and other nonspecific symptoms. The second commonest attributable adverse event was transient fever." About 3% of patients had "transient" (short-lived) FEVER, while the others who had side effects had common GI issues such as gas.
SAFETY SIDE NOTE: Please realize that in most cases, the people getting FMT's, are seriously ill. The vast majority of those receiving transplants are getting it because they have recurrent C. Diff --- a nasty, and often deadly, bacterial infection caused by the very thing used to treat it. Also be aware that of the people who died in the PLoS study (yes, there were something like eight deaths at least somewhat associated with the procedure), they were not dying from being infected by someone else's feces. They were dying because of instead of using a simple "Retention Enema," many of these people were having the transplant done via endoscopy (the upper GI style was far more dangerous than the lower GI style). Unfortunately, one of the dirtiest of the many dirty little secrets in the practice of medicine is that colonoscopies come with some serious and common side effects (HERE). This is why I am not suggesting you try this on your own. Many people do, getting fantastic results. This is why I have to warn you from time to time that my site is meant for informational purposes only, and is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any diseases. If you feel your disease(s) may have been cured due to the information on my site, immediately report it to the proper authorities so they can give you your disease back.
- DOES THE DONOR MATTER? According to the May issue of Future Microbiology (Does the Donor Matter? Donor vs Patient Effects in the Outcome of a Next-Generation Microbiota-Based Drug Trial for Recurrent Clostridium Difficile Infection), "the specific donor did not affect the outcomes." However, I would warn you that this study was done on very sick people --- people dying of recurrent C. Diff infections. I would argue that when it comes to treating people with the other sorts of health problems we've discussed today, the donor very much matters. For a list of what one should be looking for in a feces donor, all you have to do is CLICK THE BUTTON (honestly, it's mostly common sense).
This, folks, is the real poop on the matter. If you are chronically ill or have done everything under the sun to lose weight to no avail, FMT is something to look into and at least explore. Even though it sounds gross, it's been proven to be both safe and effective for any number of health-related issues. I'm not sure what more folks want. And not that I am suggesting that my readers rush out and do it, there are ANY NUMBER OF SITES that actually show you how to do an FMT, DIY-style. All of this is why FMT is an integral part of THE POST I give people who are desperately in search of solutions to their chronic health conditions.
DEALING WITH CHRONIC PAIN OR CHRONIC ILLNESS?
AT LEAST THINK ABOUT FMT
FMT is exactly like it sounds --- the transplant of a HEALTHY MICROBIOTA into someone whose Gut Flora have been compromised --- via their 'stool'. If you want to see some of the things that will compromise your Gut Flora, HERE is the post to read (hint: it's not just ANTIBIOTICS). The resulting DYSBIOSIS is being tied to almost every health problem you can name (not to mention the hundreds you can't). And while PROBIOTICS are certainly worth a try, it is critical to remember than when talking about difficult cases, they simply cannot compete with FMT (HERE).
Today I want to take a couple of minutes and talk about what is going on over the course of the past few months in peer-review. Although I may refer to a study that is geared towards FMT for those dealing with chronic C DIFF INFECTIONS that don't respond to treatment (the treatment also happens to be their very cause of the problem), there has been so much written on this topic (it works about 90% of the time and it is safe), I am going to bypass it altogether. And even though I have written about DIY FMT, don't ever, even for one moment, think that I am suggesting you do this without the consent / supervision of your physician. However, in the immortal words of Yoda, "think about it you should". It is so much easier, cheaper, more effective, and less dangerous than the DIAGNOSTICS, MEDS, and other treatments (see pic at the top) people are routinely put through today.
The material provided in this and other posts is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to replace or substitute for the recommendations or advice of your doctor or medical provider. This post is not meant to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease (the FDA decides who can do that). If you believe you have a medical condition or problem, contact your health care provider immediately. The statements contained in this post have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (HERE'S WHY).
When it comes to FMT, the truth is, the sky is the limit. The journal with the quote at the top of the page had this to say about modern FMT (I use the word 'modern' because the same study says that there are records of this very treatment being used in 4th century China. "It is very likely that an array of products derived from feces or based on specific microbiotic profiles and commercially prepared in a controlled environment will be available to restore eubiosis to a dysbiotic intestinal microbial community, and thereby correct a variety of GI and non-GI disorders."
This sounds great on the surface, but be aware that one of the hottest arenas for gene manipulation is with bacteria (can anyone say GMO?). Odds are that eventually these bacteria will not be coming from human feces, but from bacteria that were genetically modified, grown in the lab, and then "perfectly" formulated. Even though you will be told that this is just as good as mother nature, eventually (after companies have made their billions) we will realize that that it's not --- sort of like the way it took the medical community forty years to figure out formula is not really better than mother's milk --- something they touted for decades. The 'synthetic stool' is going to become very popular --- mostly due to its ease of use, not to mention it will be heavily promoted by its manufacturer.
Last month's issue of Expert Review of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Fecal Microbiota Transplantation in Gastrointestinal Disease: 2015 Update and the Road Ahead) carries more of the same. Although they do say that, "In tandem with the rise of FMT, the gastrointestinal microbiome has emerged as a 'vital' organ armed with a wealth of microbe 'soldiers' more powerful than known antibiotics. FMTs' reputation has diffused into many new 'indications' yet these appear to be merely the tip of the iceberg when considering its potential applications," they likewise reveal where this is all headed -- a theme seen over and over and over again in the studies I looked at. "FMT as a therapeutic tool has evolved from the original format of blended donor stool and moved towards a refined product comprising a myriad of microbial components, presented aesthetically as encapsulated lyophilized powder." Sounds great, but again, leaves me leery.
There are a number of studies going on attempting to determine which bacteria are 'bad' and which bacteria are 'good' concerning certain diseases, as well as finding out the optimal ratios of bacterial strains to each other. The Middle East Journal of Digestive Diseases (Physicians' Knowledge and Attitude Towards Fecal Microbiota Transplant in Iran) reinforces some of what I said earlier. In the study, almost 1/3 of the physicians polled stated that, "they prefer to skip the stool preparation phase; as they are more in favour of synthetic microbiota as opposed to fecal microbiota." Go back and read my earlier post on why synthetic microbiota (probiotics) cannot compete with FMT.
Last month's issue of European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences carried an Italian study done at Rome's Institute of Bioethics, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart (Ethical Aspects of Fecal Microbiota Transplantation). What did the experts consider to be the bioethical considerations for FMT? There were three of them, "donors’ selection, safety concerns / ratio risk-benefit, and informed consent". I'll get to the others, but the third one is easy; warn patients of the risks and let them decide. Which begs the question; how risky is FMT?
To date, FMT appears to be safe. How safe? Almost absurdly previously-unheard-of so. "Most patients treated with FMT experience diarrhea on the day of infusion, and small percentage report belching and/or abdominal cramping or constipation. Adverse events were reported for some patients (3 out of 317)." In our modern age of GROSSLY UNDER-REPORTED SIDE EFFECTS, it makes you wonder what these 'adverse events' were. Wonder no more. "Upper gastrointestinal tract bleeding, peritonitis, or enteritis. In another case report, nasoduodenal FMT for Crohn’s disease [running a tube through the nose to the small intestine] resulted in transient adverse effects, including fever and abdominal tenderness in 3 of 4 patients. However, these effects disappeared for all patients over the following 2 days."
Firstly, 3 of 317 patients is significantly less than 1%. I'm not sure I have ever seen a risk profile so low for any sort of bodily treatment --- excepting CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS. And what side effects did occur were minor and were gone in a few days. In fact, the authors stated in their abstract that, "to date, FMT appears to be safe and without serious adverse effects." Similar conclusions were echoed by every single study I looked at on FMT.
The Polish journal Polski Archiwum Medycyny Wewnetrznej (Fecal Microbiota Transplantation in Gastrointestinal Diseases: What Practicing Physicians Should Know) stated that, "The use of FMT for non-CDI [non-C. Diff Infections] indications such as inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome, is likely to increase. Presently, these indications remain in the domain of research institutions." Be aware that most research institutions are not funded by public monies as much as you might think they are. Instead, they are greatly funded by "BIG PHARMA". Unless they can patent some of these GMO'ed bacteria and the techniques for making them, this is not only a bust for them as far as making money is concerned, it has the potential to actually help people get well (as opposed to perpetually covering symptoms).
I have shown you previously that the number one form of medical treatment in America is based on suppressing the Immune System (see earlier link) --- one of the most common classes of drugs used for this are CORTICOSTEROIDS. In a study published in last month's issue of the Journal of Translational Medicine (Step-Up Fecal Microbiota Transplantation Strategy: A Pilot Study for Steroid-Dependent Ulcerative Colitis), 8 of 14 patients with steroid-dependent ULCERATIVE COLITIS, "achieved clinical improvement and were able to discontinue steroids following FMT." Of the remaining six, "three experienced transient or partial improvement. Microbiota analysis showed that FMT altered the composition greatly, and a microbiota composition highly similar to that of the donor emerged in the patients with successful treatment. No severe adverse events occurred during treatment and follow-up." To those dealing with Inflammatory Bowel Disease of any kind; results like this are tantalizing.
Two recent studies, including the June issue of Scientific Reports (Transmissible Microbial and Metabolomic Remodeling by Soluble Dietary Fiber Improves Metabolic Homeostasis) offer up some interesting tidbits concerning the role of FMT in treating those with OBESITY and METABOLIC SYNDROME --- two health issues that have both been heavily linked to Gut Health (see the links). The study reveals the importance of soluble fiber on Gut Health ("dietary fibers are increasingly appreciated as beneficial nutritional components") as well as the link between poor Gut Health and PRE-DIABETES. Dietary changes in the amounts and TYPES OF FIBER were associated with, "pronounced and time-dependent improvement in glucose tolerance, indicating a causal relationship between microbial remodeling and metabolic efficacy. These changes correlated with improved metabolism, notably enrichment of probiotics [good Gut Flora]....."
The August issue of the Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology (Emerging Role of Fecal Microbiota Therapy in the Treatment of Gastrointestinal and Extra-Gastrointestinal Diseases) gives us more of the same. "Approximately 100 trillion microorganisms colonize the intestinal tract. Diet represents one of the most important driving forces that can define and influence the microbial composition of the gut. Changes in gut physiology (i.e. gastric hypochlorhydria [HERE], motility disorders [HERE], use of drugs [HERE], degenerative changes in enteric nervous system [HERE]) have a profound effect on the composition, diversity and functional features of gut microbiota. There is an increased interest in the role of FMT for the treatment of metabolic syndrome and obesity which collectively present the greatest health challenge in the developed world nowadays." Speaking of Hypochlorhydria (the cause of the vast majority of GERD and heartburn), let's look at another study.
The all-too-common (and almost universally misdiagnosed) problem of having too little stomach acid, or having stomach acid that is too weak (Hypochlorhydria) not only leads to Dysbiosis, but PARISITOSIS as well. In the July issue of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Donor Recruitment for Fecal Microbiota Transplantation), we get a taste of this. "Recruitment of fecal donors for FMT is challenging with only a small percentage (about 10%) ultimately serving as donors. Many were unable or unwilling to meet the donor commitment requirements. A surprisingly large proportion of healthy asymptomatic donors failed stool testing, primarily due to gastrointestinal parasites."
Decades ago, science established the fact that the Gut Flora of individuals with AUTISM is quite different than than those without Autism (the most likely reason that virtually all Autistic children have bowel / Gut issues). A study published in the May issue of Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease (Approaches to Studying and Manipulating the Enteric Microbiome to Improve Autism Symptoms) reinforces this. "An increasing number of research studies have provided evidence that the composition of the gut (enteric) microbiome (GM) in at least a subset of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) deviates from what is usually observed in typically developing individuals. There are several lines of research that suggest that specific changes in the GM could be causative or highly associated with driving core and associated ASD symptoms, pathology, and comorbidities which include gastrointestinal symptoms, although it is also a possibility that these changes, in whole or in part, could be a consequence of underlying pathophysiological features associated with ASD."
THE STUDY (actually it was the transcript of a symposium held in Little Rock, AR last summer) went on to talk about that fact that since the Microbiome is intimately linked to Autism Spectrum Disorders, and that it is now possible to manipulate the Microbiome via FMT, it stands to reason that, "manipulation of the GM could potentially be leveraged as a possible therapeutic approach to improve core and associated ASD symptoms and also address important comorbid medical factors that may be present in some children with ASD, such as GI symptoms."
It amuses me how the same doctors that decry the natural approach to healing usually end up acting as if they had discovered something that the natural health community has been talking about for decades (HERE). If you have Autistic children, you should be spending some time on this site. By the way, this study talked about the importance of having certain parasites in your system. It seems that some of these critters act in a symbiotic nature in similar fashion to the bacteria that make up your Microbiome. But if you follow the work of DR. ART AYERS you already knew that.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A DONOR
- THEY ARE HEALTHY: Firstly, you don't want a donor who has all sorts of overt diseases or health issues. But more than that, you are looking for someone who has a high degree of overall health and vitality.
- THEY ARE HAPPY: Because DEPRESSION is heavily linked to the Microbiome in peer-review (HERE), I would strongly suggest that you not take stool from an individual with problems in this area.
- THEY ARE THIN: Because your Microbiome is so intimately linked to your weight (HERE), the last thing you want is to have an FMT that will make you heavier --- like the example above.
- THEY DO NOT TAKE DRUGS: Particularly true of those drugs that suppress the immune system (see earlier link). Does this mean VACCINES as well? I would certainly be leery of those who are getting annual vaccinations such as FLU SHOTS. But be aware that if "No Vaccines" is your criteria for a donor, you have dramatically cut your pool.
- THEY ENJOY THE EARTH: People who are out in the sun and in the dirt GARDENING are typically going to have much better Microbiomes than work-a-day Joe who watches TV in his spare time.
- THEY ARE NOT CLEAN FREAKS: I have written about the Hygiene Hypothesis as it relates to your Micribiome many times (HERE and HERE are a couple). Cleanliness might be next to Godliness, but when it comes to your Microbiome, too much of a good thing is definitely a bad thing. I am certainly not suggesting you in filth, but best evidence shows us that as a society most of us are far too clean.
- THEY DON'T HAVE FOOD SENSITIVITIES: You certainly don't want to pick up a GLUTEN SENSITIVITY or issue with DAIRY if you can at all help it.
- A BLOOD RELATIVE WHO LIVES IN YOUR REGION: Gut Flora tend to be shared by families. Certain bacteria are specific to the environments of certain regions. Although these certainly aren't deal-breakers, it's something to think about. On the flip side of this coin, it is important to remember than EPIGENETICS are far more important than Genetics when it comes to health.
- OTHERS: Check peer-review and online resources. Testing (medical screening) is not a bad idea either. My link on Parasites provides some of this detail. If your donor happens to be your ultra-healthy spouse, this might not be such a big deal. If it is a stranger off the street that you found via an advertisement in the local paper, definitely do what needs to be done to protect yourself.
FECAL MICROBIOTA TRANSPLANT
THE NEW FRONTIER IN THE WAR AGAINST DIABETES, OBESITY, DEPRESSION, AND AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES
Unfortunately, there are a wide range of things that foul up or even destroy our microbiomes. Some of the most obvious are ANTIBIOTICS as well as NON-ANTIBIOTIC DRUGS. But you can't forget to mention things like antimicrobial soaps and other hygiene products, HALIDES (Fluoride and Chlorine), chemical exposure of all kinds (HERE is one example), diets high in SUGAR or refined carbs and low in FIBER, as well as CHRONIC STRESS or sub-clinical infections. GLUTEN can be a major player as well due to its strong link to both AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES and LEAKY GUT SYNDROME.
When you look at our nation's explosion of CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY ILLNESSES & AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES (click for lists of each), and compare it to the peer-reviewed research coming out of the field of GUT HEALTH, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see where we are screwing up. Not only are we not feeding our Guts the proper Prebiotic nutrition (the topic of my next post), we are eating really crappy diets in general. And when you look at my list in the previous paragraph, it's not difficult to make the case that we are doing everything in our power to destroy our biggest ally in the battle for good health --- our own God-given bacteria --- our microbiome (HERE is an example).
You see, not only do bacteria make up 80% OF YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM, but they perform any number of other critical physiological functions as well (HERE). When health problems are severe, the odds increase that you will not be able to resolve them by simply taking probiotics --- or even "poop pills" (HERE or HERE). Don't get me wrong; PROBIOTICS can be a Godsend for people dealing with any number of health issues (HERE), but the fact remains that FMT (Fecal Material Transplants) are the new frontier of real health care. Think I' exaggerating? Listen to what some of the world's leading experts on the subject have to say. But before I do this, let's clear the air.
Because the FDA has all but totally shut down FMT's for anyone other than those who have had multiple C. DIFF infections, they are looking elsewhere. They are looking to any number of the DIY internet sites to, well; figure out what it will take to do it themselves. Am I suggesting that you look into this option? Even though I have shown you DIY FMT VIDEOS in the past, I am not even for one moment advocating for you to do an FMT. As always, your health and what you do about it is completely up to you.
For the record, the information on this website and / or post is not to be construed as medical advice. All of it, including text, images, and videos are for 'informational' purposes only. The purpose of this site is to promote a broader public interest, understanding, and knowledge of a wide range of health-related topics (including Gut Health and Fecal Microbiota Transplants). Neither this site nor the information contained in it is intended to provide a substitute for professional medical advice, medical diagnosis, or medical treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician before asking, doing, feeling, or even thinking about anything that pertains to your health.
"Mayo Clinic in Arizona has performed 24 fecal microbiota transplants for CDI patients. In every case, the infection was completely eradicated — often within hours or days..... The beauty of the procedure is that even when patients have an ongoing disease process, their quality of life is tremendously improved after the transplant... The sky is the limit. Its use in C. difficile has been well established... Some physicians claim to have great success treating ulcerative colitis and celiac disease. And it's been looked at for obesity, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis...." Cherry-picked from the "For Medical Professionals" section of the Mayo Clinic's website (Quick, Inexpensive and a 90 Percent Cure Rate).
"Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT) has been used sporadically across Europe, North America and Australia for over 50 years. In the past six decades, our gut microbes have been under assault from antibiotics in the form of medical therapy and farming practices. The concerns over potential unanticipated health consequences are only now beginning to be realized, with multiple diseases associated with the current Western lifestyle hypothesized as being causally linked to alterations in the gut microbiota. Examples include constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, neurological diseases, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, metabolic syndrome, autoimmunity, asthma, and allergic diseases, many of which have reached epidemic proportions in recent years." From a scientific abstract by the modern "father" of FMT, Dr. Thomas B Borody of Sydney, Australia and colleague, Dr. Alexander Khoruts of Minneapolis (Fecal Microbiota Transplantation and Emerging Applications).
"GI-linked diseases, such as obesity, metabolic syndrome and diabetes mellitus may be treated by FMT in the future. FMT has produced isolated case responses in patients with multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, chronic fatigue syndrome and idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpure. After FMT, rheumatoid arthritis, sacroileitis, halitosis, acne, insomnia and major depression have shown improvement. Autism spectrum disorder is another condition in which FMT may offer a clinical role." Dr. Nathan Connelly of the Moonee Valley Specialist Centre for Gastroenterological and Related Care near Melbourne, Australia
"Although the most common application for FMT has been in the setting of recurrent CDI [C. Diff Infection], there is ongoing research to assess benefit in other gastrointestinal diseases. These include inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and chronic constipation. There are also isolated reports of FMT effects in nongastrointestinal disease, including multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease." From a 2013 issue of Expert Review of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Alteration of the Intestinal Microbiome Fecal Microbiota Transplant and Probiotics for Clostridium Difficile and Beyond).
"Other disease states that are closely linked to the GI microbiota, such as obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes mellitus, may potentially be treated by FMT in the future. Isolated case reports of FMT response include multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, and idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. Apart from these published reports, the lead author has also observed convincing improvement after FMT in several other conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, sacroileitis, halitosis, acne, insomnia, and major depression. Autism spectrum disorder is another condition in which the GI microbiota is implicated, where FMT may have a role." From a 2013 issue of Current Gastroenterology Reports (Fecal Microbiota Transplantation: Indications, Methods, Evidence, and Future Directions).
All I can say is wow! Look at the wide range of diseases mentioned. Some of these are of particular interest because they are known to run in my family (PARKINSON'S for instance). HERE and HERE are a couple articles I wrote pertaining to Rheumatoid Arthritis and FMT as well. The bottom line is that if you or a loved one is dealing with Chronic Illness, you need to keep reading.
FMT FOR DIABETES AND OBESITY
A 2006 study done at St. Louis' Washington University (the Harvard of the Midwest) and published in the December issue of the journal Nature was one of the first studies that shed light on this topic. Without going into detail, I will leave you with the study's (Microbial Ecology: Human Gut Microbes Associated with Obesity) conclusion. "Our findings indicate that obesity has a microbial component, which might have potential therapeutic implications." In other words, your microbiome is related to your weight. The same issue carried another study (Physiology: Obesity and Gut Flora) with a similarly short conclusion. "The intestinal bacteria in obese humans and mice differ from those in lean individuals." In both of these studies we see the weight of mice being manipulated not so much by what they eat, but by the makeup of their Gut bacteria. You'll better understand what I am talking about momentarily.
A 2010 collaboration between Emory University, Cornell University, and the University of Colorado was published in the April 2010 issue of Science (Metabolic Syndrome and Altered Gut Microbiota in Mice Lacking Toll-Like Receptor 5). The abstract stated that, "Metabolic Syndrome is a group of obesity-related metabolic abnormalities that increase an individual’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Here, we show that mice genetically deficient in Toll-like receptor 5 (TLR5), a component of the innate immune system that is expressed in the gut mucosa and that helps defend against infection, exhibit hyperphagia [extreme hunger] and develop hallmark features of metabolic syndrome, including hyperlipidemia [high levels of fat in the blood], hypertension [high blood pressure], insulin resistance, and increased adiposity [high body fat]. These metabolic changes correlated with changes in the composition of the gut microbiota. Transfer of the gut microbiota from TLR5-deficient mice to wild-type germ-free mice conferred many features of metabolic syndrome to the recipients. Food restriction prevented obesity, but not insulin resistance, in the TLR5-deficient mice. These results support the emerging view that the gut microbiota contributes to metabolic disease....."
This study revealed how TLR5 helps keep DYSBIOIS in check. In other words, it helps keep the bad bacteria from taking over the Gut and crowding the good bacteria out. Not enough TLR5, and bad bacteria will mutiny and eventually gain control. Not surprisingly, this study showed that the mice without TLR5 were overweight / obese, ate more, had Metabolic Syndrome / Insulin Resistance, and Fatty Liver (FYI: the most common cause of a Fatty Liver is Obesity), which was determined to have been brought on by CHRONIC INFLAMMATION. The absolutely insane part of this study was that when feces was transferred from one group to the other, the mice in either group took on the characteristics of the mice whose feces was transplanted. This was true in either direction.
Another 2010 study (Metabolic Effects of Transplanting Gut Microbiota from Lean Donors to Subjects with Metabolic Syndrome) collaborated on by over a dozen doctors / researchers from some of the most prestigious institutions in Europe came to some interesting conclusions of their own. "Recent data in animal models revealed that obesity is associated with substantial changes in composition and metabolic function of gut microbiota. Lean donor faecal infusion improves hepatic and peripheral insulin resistance as well as fasting lipid levels in obese individuals with the metabolic syndrome underscoring the potential role of gut microbiota in the disturbances of glucose and lipid metabolism in obesity." This should pique the interest of Americans, considering that METABOLIC SYNDROME is the precursor to full-blown DIABETES, and to merely call either an 'epidemic' would be dramatically understating the problem.
Medscape's website carries a section called Current Opinion in Gastroenterology: Fecal Microbiota Transplantation. Filed under Treatment of Nongastrointestinal Diseases: Obesity, we find the following. "One double-blinded, controlled trial randomized 18 men with metabolic syndrome to FMT using their own feces or feces donated from lean men. The nine men who received stool from lean donors developed markedly reduced fasting triglyceride levels and peripheral and hepatic insulin sensitivity after FMT compared with those who were transplanted with their own (placebo) stool." In other words, we are learning that what is true in mice, is likewise true in humans.
Oh; and let's not forget the study I showed you a couple of years ago about GASTRIC BYPASS. In this study, we saw that Gastric Bypass Surgeries might not be anything other than an invasive (and expensive) method of transplanting healthy bacteria into a sick Gut. But should we be surprised; particularly after learning that Antibiotics given to infants or children have been shown to cause Obesity later in life (HERE)? And let's not forget the study that clenches it for me. Although we've known it to be true for several years, we RECENTLY LEARNED why diet soda makes people fatter than if they drink regular soda. It's simply because ASPARTAME destroys the Gut's normal flora. And the research just keeps coming
Just last month there was a Chinese study published in the medical journal Nutrients called Obesity: Pathophysiology and Intervention. It stated that (I'm cherry-picking here) "Obesity presents a major health hazard of the 21st century. It promotes co-morbid diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, certain types of cancer, and osteoarthritis. Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), infusion of a fecal suspension from a healthy individual into the gastrointestinal (GI) tract of another person, has been used successfully not only for alleviating recurrent Clostridium difficile infection, but also for GI and non-GI-related diseases such as obesity. New therapeutic strategies have become available for managing obesity apart from the standard protocol of diet and/or exercise. These include anti-obesity drugs, various bariatric surgical procedures, and FMT." I've already talked about the Bariatric Surgeries, and as for the drugs; if they worked well (how about if they worked at all) or weren't incredibly dangerous and addictive, you would actually hear something about them (HERE).
It is my opinion that FMT is the new frontier as far as Diabetes / Insulin Resistance / Metabolic Syndrome / Obesity is concerned. All you really have to do is to look at some of the studies on the subject to see that FMT is, at the very least, something to look into ---- a potential option for helping those struggling with obesity.
FMT FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION
It's not news that there is a strong link between the Gut and the Brain. In fact, the link is so strong that the Gut is often referred to as "THE SECOND BRAIN". In the September 2013 issue of Psychology Today, Dr. Dale Archer (a psychiatrist) wrote an article called Gut Bacteria Transplant: A New Treatment For Anxiety? Listen to what he writes. "Recent scientific studies indicate that gut bacteria may play a pivotal role in brain chemistry and mental health. More specifically, the right type of “healthy bacteria” in your gut may treat/prevent depression and anxiety. In research circles the gut is often referred to as the "second brain". There are over 100 million neurons in the gut (more than the spinal cord or peripheral nervous system) and many contain the exact same neurotransmitters as the brain."
This is not surprising considering that I showed you HERE that, "Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is made largely (90%) in the gut. If you do not understand this simple fact, you cannot help yourself kick Depression without drugs!" If you are looking for a bit more information on the wide array of functions related to the bacteria that live in your digestive tract, try THIS POST. Oh, and for those who are not aware, there is actually a great deal of research being done in this area.
For instance, in a 2011 study done at UCLA and published in that August's issue of Gastroenterology (The intestinal Microbiota Affect Central Levels of Brain-Derived Neurotropic Factor and Behavior in Mice), we learned some interesting facts in regards to FMT and its ability to change brain function. In this study, two distinct groups of mice were looked at --- calm and anxious. Remember how scientists were able to make fat mice thin and thin mice fat, simply by transplanting 'stool' from one group to the other?
In this particular study, the calm group was made anxious when the feces from the other group was transplanted into them, and vice versa. Listen to this study's amazing conclusions. "The intestinal microbiota influences brain chemistry and behavior independently of the autonomic nervous system, gastrointestinal-specific neurotransmitters, or inflammation. Intestinal dysbiosis might contribute to psychiatric disorders in patients with bowel disorders." Dysbiosis (a fouled up microbiome) might contribute to psychiatric disorders.
In a similar study published in the September 2013 issue of Neurogastroenterolgy and Motility (Melancholic Microbes: A Link Between Gut Microbiota and Depression?) researchers from USC and the University of Cork in Ireland went even further when they wrote that, "There is a growing awareness of the potential for microbiota to influence gut-brain communication in health and disease. A variety of strategies have been used to study the impact of the microbiota on brain function and these include antibiotic use, probiotic treatments, fecal microbiota transplantation, gastrointestinal infection studies, and germ-free studies. All of these approaches provide evidence to support the view that the microbiota can influence brain chemistry and consequently behavior. Animal models of depression are thus essential in studying the complex interplay between the microbiota and brain. Recent studies published in this Journal and elsewhere demonstrate that there is a distinct perturbation of the composition of gut microbiota in animal models of depression and chronic stress. Moreover, given that affective co-morbidities, such as major depression and anxiety states, are common in patients presenting with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), it may have implications for functional bowel disorders also. "
As these statements reveal, there is a strong link between IBS (which is frequently a component of FIBROMYALGIA) and Anxiety / Depression (HERE is an article I wrote showing the link between childhood abdominal pain and adult Depression). So; even if there are not yet enough studies to force the FDA to take another look at FMT for brain-based problems (including SYMPATHETIC DOMINANCE), there is certainly enough evidence to make sufferers take a second look. Probably why the DIY FMT'S.
IS FMT SAFE?
In a March 2012 interview for the journal Gastroenterology & Hepatology (Fecal Transplantation for the Treatment of Clostridium difficile Infection), Dr. Lawrence Brandt, one of the world's foremost experts on FMT, had this to say on the safety of FMT in general. "At present, I do not think there are any patients in whom fecal transplantation is contraindicated. I have performed several fecal transplantations in immuno-compromised patients without adverse effects. Fecal transplantation therapy is a safe, highly effective, and simple technique that has very few downsides." But the same time Dr. Brandt was giving his opinion, Dr. Mark Crislip was giving his.
The website Science-Based Medicine fancies itself as the defender / protector of "EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE". It's authors are also on an active crusade against virtually any form of holistic or natural healing (HERE and HERE are a couple of articles I wrote about their site). Dr. Crislip, a specialist in Infectious Diseases, wrote in a March 2012 article called Species in the Feces that, "Under normal circumstances, when it comes to the colon it is probably better to be removing substances than to be introducing them." Furthermore, after picking apart an article touting FMT, "for other health problems, including autoimmune disease, eczema, asthma, multiple sclerosis and depression… and improved mood," he went even further. Listen to the arrogance in this next statement.
"To say there is even biologic plausibility to treating MS or depression with stool transplants requires a biology I was never taught and cannot imagine. The opportunity for placebo effects to predominate with stool transplant would be enormous. But there are those who, well, like that sort of thing. To each their own. For diseases outside the colon, biologic plausibility makes stool transplant unlikely to have any benefit with real potential downsides. Stool transplants are unlikely to be of widespread to benefit, but when all you have to offer is crap, everything is a toilet."
Am I missing something here? Everything on his little list is considered to be at least to a large degree, caused by Inflammation. That Inflammation and the microbiome are intimately intertwined together is not new information. In fact, it's one of the hottest areas of current medical research. I have written posts on everything he lists and can unequivocally tell you that everything he mentions is directly related to Gut Bacteria (or lack thereof) in the peer-reviewed literature (ASTHMA, MS, and DEPRESSION --- the others can be found elsewhere within this post). The point of bringing this up is not to personally pick on Dr. Crislip, but to show you how the average doctor thinks. Since he didn't learn it in school (he graduated in the late 80's), therefore it doesn't exist. Sounds like another version of the "Ostrich Game" to me.
How does the average doctor think? They are often times so far behind the current research that what they are doing in clinical practice was obsolete a decade or more ago (OVERUSE OF ANTIBIOTICS is a prime example --- my site is full of others). That something (FMT) with so much "evidence" can be maligned as "implausible" is absurd in this day and age --- particularly when all one has to do is jump on PubMed and start looking at the studies for yourself. I've warned you before, but it's critical to realize that the gap between medical research and medical practice can sometimes make the Grand Canyon look like a ditch (HERE). Just understand that this is why talking to your doctor about FMT --- while I certainly recommend the conversation --- is not likely to bear much fruit.
FMT has been around, at least in some capacity, since the late 1950's and was discussed in the journal Surgery back in 1958. There's even evidence that it was being used in antiquity within the parameters of Chinese Medicine. It is my opinion that if you can find a healthy donor (if you're not sure, screen them with the test found on THIS LINK), the sky is the limit. Without a doubt, talk to your doctor, but do your own research as well. The internet is an ocean of information that I hope I made a bit easier for you to navigate.
Oh, and if you decide to do an Fecal Material Transplant, beyond finding the best donor possible, you'll need to make some lifestyle changes. HERE are a few. You may be excited about the prospect of finding a solution, but if you go on doing the same old things and living your life the same old way, it won't be long before you foul up your new microbiome like you fouled up your old one.
PROBIOTICS ARE GRAND!
(FIND OUT WHY THEY AREN'T HALF AS GRAND AS FMT)
"Commercial dairy products are uniform, because they are made from milk using defined mixtures of pure cultures of bacteria and fungi. These dairy probiotics can substitute but not replace gut flora, because they can't grow in a healthy gut." More of the same from Dr. Art Ayers January 25, 2014 post called Milk, Kefir and Gut Flora.
"Repair of the suppressive immune system by repair of gut flora (including fecal transplants) and feeding gut flora with appropriate soluble fiber, may be a general approach to the cure of most autoimmune diseases and allergies." Dr. Art Ayers from his March, 2014 post called Health Diagrams II — Curing Autoimmunity and Allergies.
- Your Colon (Large Intestine) is 5 feet long.
- One of its main purposes in digestion is to reabsorb the water from the material passed to it from the Small Intestine.
- Your Gut contains 80% of your Immune System, with the vast majority being the bacteria that inhabit (or should inhabit) the Colon (HERE).
- You should have hundreds --- or as many as several thousand --- distinct species of bacteria living in your Colon.
- The bacteria living in (and on) your body outnumber your own body's cells by approximately 10 to 1.
- Although water, fiber (both SOLUBLE & INSOLUBLE), dead cells, and mucus make up the biggest part of your stool, about a third of the 1/3 to 1/2 pounds of feces you excrete every day is made up of bacteria.
- Antibiotics kill bacteria; both the good and the bad. When the bad bacteria begin to take over the Large Intestine, we refer to this as DYSBIOSIS.
It's really quite easy to understand. Taking large amounts of probiotics -- especially over the long haul --- has the potential to skew the numbers and type of bacteria in the specific direction of the product you are taking, which may not be a good thing. In other words, having too much of a specific bacteria in your Gut --- even if it's a "good" bacteria like Acidophilus --- can crowd out other good bacteria that are needed as well, but maybe not nearly as well known. Here in America, we believe that if a little is good then a whole lot should be even better (HERE is an example with nutrition and supplements). Unfortunately, in the case of Probiotics, too many for too long of a period, or too often, can throw your normal ratio of good bacteria out of balance, creating Dysbiosis. What do I recommend?
- STAY OFF ANTIBIOTICS: When you are sick they give you Antibiotics. These destroy / kill your Immune System --- of which the greatest portion is made up of good bacteria ---- leaving you more susceptible to sickness. And when you get it, the cycle starts all over again. Bear in mind that numerous other drugs have Antibiotic properties as well.
- STAY OFF SUGAR: Antibiotics cause Dysbiosis, but it is largely fueled by LIVING THE HIGH CARB LIFESTYLE.
- TAKE PROBIOTICS: Hold on. I thought you just finished telling me how bad Probiotics are. No. Probiotics themselves are not bad, it's how they are taken that's bad. What's probably more important is to make sure you are eating a variety FERMENTED FOODS.
- LESS HYGIENE: In many ways we are too clean --- way too clean (HERE). Your SKIN should have a large and diverse number of organisms living on it, just like your Gut. In fact, to a large degree, your Gut gets its bacteria from your skin.
- BREAST FEED YOUR BABIES: Make sure you breast feed your babies, and while you are thinking of it, make sure to have a natural delivery and clean your child's pacifier in your mouth (HERE).
- DON'T NEGLECT SEX: In the same way that sex with people who carry certain diseases can cause STD's, REGULAR SEX with your spouse has as much potential to swap good bacteria as almost anything other than this next bullet point.
- FECAL MATERIAL TRANSPLANT: It sounds totally gross. I already know that. I also know that desperate times call for desperate measures. If you have any sort of chronic illness, you should really start thinking about a FMT. No; your doctor will probably not agree with you. The cool thing is that there are plenty of DO IT YOURSELF sites online.
MORE INFORMATION ON GUT HEALTH &
FMT AS RELATED TO OVERALL HEALTH
"Repair of gut flora is, in my opinion, the most important public health issue in medicine today. Unfortunately, no one has found a way to make money using freeze dried feces to cure disease. It is literally possible to replace a million dollars in medical treatment with a hundred dollars worth of poo pill. The medical industry essentially refuses to study it and without study there is no regulatory approval. In the mean time, I think that we have to get beyond the pill and start thinking again about the normal course of gut flora acquisition. Normally we get a starter set of "dairy" probiotics with mother's milk and when we have teeth, we start to eat crushed veggies. Many mothers continue the time honored practice of pre-masticating food for toddlers. That chewing transfers the mothers gut flora to the kid with the result that a new adult gut flora gradually takes over. Starting as an adult with damaged gut flora, it is harder to fix. It is just as difficult starting with formula, which systematically produces an inflammatory gut flora. Fixing requires continual exposure to new bacteria that can take up residence in the gut. Most of the bacteria that grow on simple sugars, e.g. lactic acid bacteria, that are present in fermented foods, can provide some of the benefits of a healthy gut flora, but the desirable bacteria are those that grown on soluble fiber. So what is needed are the bacteria that would digest the soluble fiber of fermented vegetables into mush. So we need some fermented food recipes that are therapeutic for gut flora." DR. ART AYERS in a reply on the same post mentioned above.
"Eat Sh_t." The tattoo of an individual I knew years ago while in college (he played in a band). It was on his outer, upper shoulder, and he loved pulling up the sleeve of his T-shirt to tell you what he was thinking.
When Naaman was told by Elisha that all he needed to do in order to be healed of his leprosy, was to bathe seven times in the Jordan River, he balked. He was incensed that someone would as much as ask a dignified person of high social standing such as himself to stoop so low as to even think of such a thing. That is, until a young servant girl convinced him otherwise. "My father; had the prophet told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?" (HERE is the complete story). That's how it usually is when I talk about some of the published research on the relationship between AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES (HERE is a list), INFLAMMATION, and GUT HEALTH. Where am going with all this?
A patient of mine was recently diagnosed with one of the numerous Autoimmune Diseases. It's a progressively degenerative joint disease that is terribly painful. When talking to them (husband and wife) about the topic of Fecal Material Transplants (FMT) mentioned in the top quote, the idea was essentially waved aside in favor of those things that have been scientifically "proven" to work. Things like Immuno-suppressive Drugs (many of THESE are chemotherapy rejects), CORTICOSTEROIDS, and ANTI-INFLAMMATORIES.
Oh; don't get me wrong --- this approach certainly has the ability to ease the symptoms and make life tolerable again. The problem is that the side effects can be severe, and the underlying problems are not being dealt with. A failure to address the underlying Autoimmunity means that you are likely to end up with multiple Autoimmune Diseases because they tend to travel in packs ---- like wolves (HERE). Once the Immune System is messed up (and remember --- 80% of your Immune System IS IN YOUR GUT), your health can rapidly become a Pandora's Box that is essentially a grab bag for Autoimmune Diseases du jour. Bottom line; even if you decide to take their drugs, you absolutely must get serious about fixing your Gut! Although there are many ways to go about doing this (HERE is some information), one of the hottest new topics of research involves FMT.
POOP PILLS OR FECAL MATERIAL TRANSPLANTS?
Secondly, why take Fecal Material orally, when you can simply "inject" a few ounces into your colon with a device that essentially looks like a glorified turkey baster? I would be concerned that people with this sort of DYSBIOSIS could potentially develop SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Obergrowth) due to the route that the pills must take to get to their target area (the Colon). Thirdly, the study itself sums it up pretty well by telling us that while, "Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) has been shown to be effective, practical barriers and safety concerns have prevented its widespread use."
And lastly, in a study from last an issue of Discover last October (Poop Pills’ Could Replace Fecal Transplants of Gut Bacteria) we know that it takes a lot of pills to do the job. How many pills constitute "a lot"? Take a look. "Donor stool, usually from a relative, is packed into triple-coated gel capsules so they won’t dissolve until they reach the intestines… It takes 24 to 34 capsules to fit the bacteria needed for a treatment, and patients down them in one sitting." Gulp! Not sure about you, but if there were a simple way to avoid downing 36 capsules of anything at one sitting --- let alone 36 capsules of my kinfolk's dukie --- count me in.
But before I move on, let's take a moment and look at the results of the JAMA study mentioned earlier. According to the study's Design, Setting, and Participants section, the study was done on 20 patients between the age of 11 and 89, who had suffered through at least three episodes of C. Diff requiring 6-8 weeks of Antibiotic Treatment each, or two episodes of C. Diff requiring hospitalization.
"No serious adverse events attributed to FMT were observed. Resolution of diarrhea was achieved in 14 patients (70%) after a single capsule-based FMT. All 6 non-responders were re-treated; 4 had resolution of diarrhea, resulting in an overall 90% rate of clinical resolution of diarrhea (18 of 20)."
All I can say is "dang"! If that does not at least pique the interest of those dealing with severe and chronic diseases, then I'm not quite sure what might. Maybe another drug that was advertised on TV last evening (HERE)? Oh; but you've tried that route over and over again. What makes you think that the next "big thing" is going to work any better than the last "big thing" --- or for that matter, the "big thing" before that?
Let's go back to Second Kings 5 for a moment. The neat part of the story of Naman is that he finally saw the light. After "dipping" in the Jordan seven times, the Lord cured him --- just like Elisha prophesied He would. Could a "cure" be that close at hand for you? I honestly don't know (and remember, we can never use the word "cure" with the FDA watching us). But really; what have you got to lose? I get it --- it sounds icky. But what's worse; debilitating pain and dysfunction or squirting a few ounces of liquified "stool" into your rear end in the privacy of your own home?
As always, never take my word for anything. Do your own research. Not only is the internet loaded with information on this topic, I have yet to see a "HORROR STORY" associated with DIY FMT. By the way, my best guess is that there are people out there who absolutely could not LOSE WEIGHT until they underwent FMT (HERE is the thought process behind this statement). Would love to hear from someone regarding this.
GUT HEALTH & DO-IT-YOURSELF FMT
FECAL TRANSPLANTS ARE HERE TO STAY
"Clinical levels of antibiotics can cause oxidative stress that can lead to damage to DNA, proteins and lipids [fats] in human cells....." Dr. Jim Collins, Ph.D. faculty at the Wyss Institute and Distinguished Professor at Boston University. Collins was discussing his research published in the latest issue of Science Translational Medicine for the July 3 issue of ScienceDaily.
"FMT using donor stool has arrived as a successful therapy." Dr Martin Floch, the Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, from the September 2010 issue of the same (Fecal Bacteriotherapy, Fecal Transplant, and the Microbiome).
"Diabetes and even obesity, as well as Parkinson's disease, might be cured just by replacing the bacteria in your gut." From the January 19, 2011 issue of NewScientist (Fecal Transplant Eases Symptoms of Parkinson's). The article was discussing research by the famous Australian Grastroenerologist, Dr. Thomas Borody (Fecal Microbiota Transplantation and Emerging Applications) published in the December issue of the National Review of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. I wrote about bacteria and obesity HERE. I also happen to believe that science is close to telling us that PARKINSON'S is an Autoimmune Disease.
Although there are any number of ways to restore this flora (avoid SUGAR / STARCH, drink fermented drinks, eat fermented foods, eat plenty of fiber, WORK IN THE SOIL, take quality PROBIOTICS), there is an option that has been getting a lot of play lately --- especially among desperate, chronically sick (particularly AUTOIMMUNE) patients. That would be FECES TRANSPLANTS (sometimes referred to as FMT or Fecal Microbiota Transplantation). That's correct. I did not stutter. Not only are Stool Transplants being done for people with chronic Clostridiun Difficile (C. Diff) infections, they are being done for people with a wide variety of AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES as well. Just not in America.
Although it sounds repugnant to those of us who are healthy, how many things as potentially effective as having two ounces of liquified feces "injected" into your bowel could be so easy? So easy you could do it at _ _ _ _? The truth is, there are a whole host of YouTube videos explaining / describing how you can go about performing this procedure on yourself in the privacy of your own home. And why, pray tell, would people want to do something like this at home instead of simply going to their doctor to have it done? Ask yourself which doctor is doing it right now? Very few. Although I believe there are many reasons for this, power and money are always the ones I look for first (not to mention, doctors would have to admit that their FREQUENTLY ABSURD PRESCRIBING HABITS FOR ANTIBIOTICS would probably called into question as a potential cause of the disease in the first place). We will delve deeper into this issue in a moment, but for those of you questioning the safety of such treatments, the track record is virtually spotless. After telling us that there are potential problems with the endoscopy itself, Dr. Lawrence Brandt, speaking in the March 2012 issue of Gastroenterology and Hepatology says, "otherwise, there have been no significant adverse side effects definitely attributable to fecal transplantation."
Despite the fact that European physicians are treating all sorts of Chronic Autoimmune Diseases with this technique and have been for years, the FDA is laying down even more restrictions and regulations concerning its use here in America. Since I reported that Stool Transplants were being used in the States to treat people with Chronic C. Diff infections (1/24/2013 --- HERE), the FDA declared that physicians who want to use the procedure in their clinics need to fill out an IND application (Investigational New Drug). Let's just say that the whole process of getting an IND can not only be a pain in the rear end, but going through the entire process can prove extremely time consuming and cost-prohibitive as well.
Last year Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University, told Medpage Today that, "just putting [an IND] together and carrying it out and managing data to the level of sophistication required by the FDA, just running it all costs a lot of money." Even though the FDA is now allowing individual practitioners to perform these procedures without the IND for those with C. Diff, those with C. Diff is all they are allowed to treat in this fashion. What about the tens of millions of Americans with Autoimmunity? Despite the fact that the National Institutes of Health say there are 24 million Autoimmune Americans, the AARDA says that over 50 million Americans suffer from Autoimmune Disease. Why the difference? The NIH numbers only include 24 diseases for which good epidemiology studies were available. I have seen stats saying that one in 3 American adults have some sort of Autoimmune Disease.
Never forget that when doctors collect data, it's ultimately the government's use, to make more money, or both. Just follow the trail. Dr. Alm happens to own a company that collects, checks, and sells "Stool Specimens" for this procedure. His website says that his company works with doctors, "to make FMT easier, cheaper, safer and more widely available. We do so by providing hospitals with screened, filtered, and frozen material ready for clinical use. This service eliminates the time, staff, protocols, and facilities needed to screen and prepare material from new donors for each treatment. With OpenBiome, all that’s needed to deliver FMT is a doctor and an endoscope." This sounds rather good; sort of.
Firstly, I applaud Dr. Alm's entrepreneurial spirit. He saw a need, put a heck of a team together, and went about making it all happen. He will do well with this venture. And if the FDA ever lifts their restrictions against using this procedure for chronically ill people, Katie bar the doors. He and his company will be making money like there's no tomorrow. Secondly; understand that the drug companies are going to fight lifting the IND for use of this procedure for those with Autoimmune Diseases and chronic illnesses, tooth-and-nail. Why? It's really as simple as understanding the relationship between POOR GUT HEALTH, SICKNESS, AND DISEASE. Big Pharma wants you using drugs --- lifetime drugs --- to ward off the symptoms of your Autoimmune Disesases; not potentially cure them with a dukie enema. Again, the problem is currently that doctors cannot perform this procedure without an IND for non-C. Diff illnesses. Thirdly, are you really telling me that this procedure needs to be done with an endoscope? Use an "Rectal Syringe" and be done with it already. Fourthly, they are up against a public who is desperate for solutions. Although many love the comfort of their medical "box", there are millions of others who are ready and willing to step outside the box when given the facts.
Michael Hurst has the website FECAL TRANSPLANT DOT ORG. There are many other similar sites. One of the best is THE POWER OF POOP. To the uninitiated, this whole thing might sound like some sort of sick joke. But for those who have been CURED OF RA, IBS, FIBROMYALGIA, INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASES such as Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's disease, or any number of other Autoimmune Disease, this topic is as serious and real as it gets. Rather than me talk about it, I am going to let you watch Michael's video.
(For the record, I am not suggesting you do this. In fact, I would never suggest you do anything without getting your doctor's permission first. As I told you earlier, this website, blog post, and video are for informational purposes only. Again, do not even think of trying something like this at home without the express written consent of your doctor.)
MICHAEL HURST'S DIY STOOL TRANSPLANT (FMT) VIDEO
As I have said previously, ANTIBIOTICS are one of the top destroyers of health in the United States. And on top of it all, we are often times TOO CLEAN. For many people, it adds up to an Autoimmune Nightmare. After all, 80% OF YOUR TOTAL IMMUNE SYSTEM IS FOUND IN YOUR GUT. Destroy it and you are in deep trouble. Restore it and you have a fighting chance to get your life back. Getting your life back would be better than someone putting a gold brick in your lap and telling you to keep it. Just make sure that if Michael invites you over to his place for margaritas Friday evening, make sure to tell him that you'll be bringing your own blender!
DYSBIOSIS AND OBESITY
FEEDING THE BEAST
The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest her or his patients in the care of the human frame, in a proper diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease. Thomas Edison
Just one short week ago, I reported in a post called EAT DIRT, about a recent Danish study linking the type and number of bacteria in one's gut to things like CHRONIC INFLAMMATION, INSULIN SENSITIVITY, DIABETES, OBESITY, as well as poor lipid profiles (HIGH CHOLESTEROL / high triglycerides, etc). In this study, Dr. Gordon's team of researchers found identical twin females (human), where one twin was lean and the other was obese. They then bred rats with no gut bacteria whatsoever (can anyone say GMO?).
Next, they transplanted fecal material from the various humans into different rats. Amazingly enough, despite identical diets, the type of fecal material that was transplanted to the mice made them either fat or thin --- depending on the weight of the host. Furthermore, Dr. Gordon's team found that when fed a 'healthy' diet, the lean rats could confer the leaning effects of their bacteria to their fellow rats (yeah; rats are "coprophagists" --- they eat each other's feces). However, when they were fed cruddy diets, the ability to transfer weight reducing properties was negated.
Dr. Gordon went on to conclude that, "In the future, the nutritional value and the effects of food will involve significant consideration of our microbiota, and developing healthy, nutritious foods will be done from the inside-out, not just the outside-in." Wow! This quote sounds suspiciously similar to things that were said by some rather intelligent people of generations gone by (see quotes below). The truth is, despite Big-Pharma's stranglehold on the practice of modern medicine, a new generation is discovering (or re-discovering as the case may be) ancient truths regarding dietary habits and health. For more articles on this topic, visit our GUT HEALTH PAGE.
FECAL MICROBIOTA TRANSPLANTS
ARE YOU SERIOUS?
AS SERIOUS AS A HEART ATTACK!
Almost exclusively due to unbridled Antibiotic use, about 3 million Americans a year are infected with a bacteria called Clostridium Difficile ---- a bug that is typically picked up in hospitals, doctor's offices, nursing homes, and other similar settings. Because this particular bacteria (C. Diff) attacks the Gut, about half a million of those infected develop cramping, diarrhea, and fever, along with a painfully inflamed colon. And despite the fact that you've never heard of C. Diff before, as many as 30,000 Americans die from it annually. Just another one of those dirty little secrets.
Interestingly enough, there is another group of people who tend to get this infection. Along with HELIOBACTERIA PYLORI INFECTIONS --- the stomach infection which is the known cause of Ulcers and Gastritis ---- people taking acid blocking drugs (prevacid, prilosec, tagamet, asiphix, etc) are getting it as well, due to their propensity to foul up the body's pH balance (they raise stomach pH, while lowering the pH of the body --- the exact opposite of what most people really need (see above link). Once C. Dif takes over the G.I. tract, all sorts of bad things begin to happen.
One of the last-ditch efforts being used in treating these individuals involves something called "Stool Transplants" (the official name is Fecal Microbiota Transplantation ---- FMT). Despite the fact that people suffering from C. Diff have Guts (intestines) that are literally devastated by the effects of INFLAMMATION, it has been discovered that transplanting "healthy" fecal material from a donor to the infected patient cures the infection in about 90% of the cases. Let's go look at some history to figure out why; because maybe if we can figure out why this is happening in the first place, it can be stopped in its tracks before it takes off and runs (no pun intended).
GUT HEALTH AND OUR MODERN MEDICAL COMMUNITY
For starters, your Gut is the seat of your Immune System. An Australian study done by a team of several medical doctors was published in a 1999 issue of The American Journal of Physiology. It was called, "The Intestine as a Sensory Organ: Neural, Endocrine, and Immune Responses". What did these researchers have to say about this topic? They said that according to the current research, "The gut immune system has 70– 80% of the body's immune cells" (HERE). When you look at the incredible amount of information packed in to these two highlighted sentences above, an interesting picture begins to emerge. We see just from these two sentences that there is a powerful relationship between the Endocrine System, The Gut, and the Immune System.
Just remember this; Dysbiosis is being linked back to numerous health problems of the Immune System and hormonal (Endocrine) system (AUTOIMMUNITY, THYROID PROBLEMS, BLOOD SUGAR DYSREGULATION / DIABETES, ADRENAL PROBLEMS, SEXUAL HEALTH, and a plethora of others). If neither you nor your doctor are versed in addressing these problems logically and systematically, you'll end up like so many others who are spending unholy amounts of money on medical care and getting nowhere as far as answers are concerned. More of the same-old same-old; more tests, more drugs, more surgeries, and more blank deer-in-the-headlight stares.
Remember how I said that if you go back 50 years or so, you'll see that the medical community thought differently about Gut Health than they do today? Let me prove it to you. Although veterinarians have been using this procedure on sick racehorses for the better part of a century, 55 years ago in Australia, Dr. Thomas Borody performed the first Stool Transplants on four C. Diff patients --- successfully, I might add. Why has it not garnered more attention before this? I probably do not have to tell you. For one thing, you cannot patent dukie like you can patent a drug. For another; you walk into your doctor's office, and he says you have a bacterial overgrowth in your large intestine. You assume he will give you an antibiotic (which is actually the current treatment of choice ---- after all, antibiotics kill bacteria). You fill the prescription on the way home. But as you surf the web, you stumble across my blog and begin studying the information that you find there. One of the first things that you learn is that it was the antibiotics that made you susceptible to the infection in the first place.
Like I just mentioned, the medical community's SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) for treating C. Diff infections is treating them with antibiotics. But once you understand that Antibiotics do more to destroy American Immune Systems than almost any other common substance people ingest in the name of health, you'll begin to grasp how big a deal this really is. You see, although the Antibiotic treatment used to treat the initial C. Diff infection works about 90% of the time, reinfection rates are skyrocketing. This is not difficult to understand.
You get a cold or the flu and your doctor erroneously gives you Antibiotics --------> You take the Antibiotics faithfully ---------> The cold goes away like it would have done on its own anyway ----------> Antibiotics weaken the Immune System, which is largely made up of bacteria living in your Gut ----------> A weakened Immune System leaves you susceptible to more infections ---------> When you get another infection, you go to the doctor who prescribes you ---- yep; more Antibiotics.
As the cycle spins in a big circle (Sickness, Antibiotics, Sickness, Antibiotics), your run down Immune System gets weaker and weaker and weaker ---- each round hammering it into a veritable playground for all sorts of sickness and disease. And finally it happens. On one of those trips to the doctor, you pick up a C. Diff infection that someone has so thoughtfully left for you to find. Not only might it take years for anyone to actually figure out that your problem is a Clostridium Difficele infection, if they do figure it out, there is an almost 100% chance of you being treated with Antibiotics. Besides the cost of this particular antibiotic-therapy being ridiculously high (about $1,500 for 10 days), Antibiotics are exactly why the the recurrence rates for C. Diff are also so high. And as you might imagine, the odds of really bad things (like death) go up with each recurrence.
Although people who are not sick tend to gross out and talk about the "ick factor" of a Fecal Transplant, sick people really don't care as much as you might think. It is sort of like the TISSUE REMODELING TREATMENTS that are a huge focus of my practice. Because there can be some ugly and widespread bruising associated with the procedure, people who are not in pain tend to look at the bruising of people I have treated and say something along the lines of, "I would never have that done, even if you paid me" (HERE). This just means that any physical problems they may be dealing with have not reached critical mass ---- the point of true desperation. People who have the kind of pain that encompasses their whole being, ruins their life, and becomes the only thing that they can think about (HERE), couldn't care less about a bruise. Desperation born from pain produces people who would be willing to let you beat them with a ball-pein hammer if they thought it had a prayer of fixing their problem. In many ways, a Feces Transplant produces a similar situation. I get it ---- the term "Fecal Transplant" does sound kind of gross. But laying on your back, six feet under, with your arms folded across your chest, taking a dirt nap (or living the rest of your life in misery) doesn't sound too enticing either.
Truthfully, if you simply try not to think about it, going to the dentist is probably worse. After having the colon cleaned out via an enema --- similar to the preparation for a Lower GI Study ---- less than two ounces of donated fecal matter is "injected" into the rectum using a gizmo that is basically an extra-large syringe. It takes a grand total of about 5 minutes to perform the procedure, and patients often see dramatic changes within the first couple of days. The transplant typically needs to be done only once to re-establish the good bacteria and start the process of restoring one's Immune System.
Not that I am recommending it, but there are scientific studies as well as a growing body of anecdotal evidence for actually performing this procedure in the comfort of your own home. My interest in this topic was piqued a couple years ago after reading of an individual who got tired of bickering back and forth with his insurance company who were refusing to pay for the procedure (they called it "experimental"), so he went out and did it himself. He found a healthy donor, cleaned out his colon, and gave himself a Feces Enema. In fact, in Europe, they are beginning to use this technique to heal AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES. It's not like it's brain surgery, and it's definitely better than the alternative. Speaking of alternatives.......
A couple of big drug companies are working feverishly on medications and vaccines against C. Diff. If you understand VACCINES, you'll know that I do not believe this is a good idea. Many of these developmental drugs are being designed to go after the toxins made by the bacteria. Although this is not a terrible idea, I would rather see the infection dealt with than simply covering symptoms with a drug ---- and then using Antibiotics to take care of the C. Diff infection itself.
Furthermore, if you have been following my blog and grasp the relationship between the Gut and overall health, it is fairly easy to understand why it's actually being used to treat problems other than diarrhea and cramping. I have written extensively on the relationship between Gut Health and Immune System Function, and mentioned the amount of research associating abnormal Gut Flora (bacteria) with all sorts of disease process. Wikipedia agreed, saying this about Stool Transplants.
It can also be used to treat other conditions, including colitis, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and some neurological conditions and autoimmune disorders. Wiki paraphrased this from a 1989 issue of The Medical journal of Australia.
The thing is, Stool Transplants are a still a niche ---- a form of treatment done only by a select group of forward-thinking Gastroenterologists. If you are not already suffering from raging C. Diff infection, I want to go over a few methods to help prevent the problem from starting in the first place. These things might actually help cure the infection of one who already has C. Diff as well.
THINGS TO DO TO PREVENT CLOSTRIDIUM DIFFCILE AND OTHER SIMILAR INFECTIONS
- NIX THE ANTIBIOTICS: Although they have the ability to save lives, I would argue that other than our massive over-consumption of processed foods, nothing has done more to destroy the health of the American public than Antibiotics. When people have chronic infections, H. PYLORI, Staph, Strep, Yeast, Mold, Fungus, etc, etc, ANTIBIOTICS are almost always to blame. This is the case with C. Diff as well. The truth is, we are frequently way too clean both inside and out (HERE).
- CUT BACK ON SUGAR AND STARCHY CARBS: If Antibiotics are the cause of various forms of DYSBIOSIS (including C. Diff infections), SUGAR is the straw that stirs the drink. I have shown you over and over that UNCONTROLLED BLOOD SUGAR is at the root of practically all health problems --- including this one. Be aware that GLUTEN (grain protein) is being implicated in this problem as well.
- EAT A DIET OF WHOLE FOODS: Whole Foods are where it's at. If you are not eating a LOW CARB or PALEO TYPE DIET, you may want to look into some of the research on the subject.
- DRINK PLENTY OF WATER AND EXERCISE: These are both generalized health tips that will boost your Immune System function and help promote Bowel Health. The best way to exercise is HERE. If you are fighting an active C. Diff infection, you may have to back off of the exercise until you get it under control.
- TAKE PROBIOTICS: Everyone needs to be periodically taking PROBIOTICS --- especially if you have been on Antibiotics. I recommend broad-spectrum HSO Probiotics that replenish your Gut with the same bacteria found in organic soil. If you have C. Diff, you have to get extremely serious about this by eating lots of fermented foods as well. Be aware that for some of you, probiotics will not be enough (HERE).
Be aware that I not only have numerous articles on FMT, but that it may need to be part of the protocol used for taking your health back (HERE).
Dr. Schierling completed four years of Kansas State University's five-year Nutrition / Exercise Physiology Program before deciding on a career in Chiropractic. He graduated from Logan Chiropractic College in 1991, and has run a busy clinic in Mountain View, Missouri ever since. He and his wife Amy have four children (three daughters and a son).
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