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Barbara Bradley Bolen, Ph.D.

The Poop Pill

By October 10, 2013

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Last week I gave you pointers as to how to take care of your gut flora ("How to Have Healthy Gut Flora"). Maybe a very good reason for doing so is so that you never have to take the "poop pill"!

All kidding aside, the poop pill might actually be a very good thing. Fecal transplants have been used for quite some time to effectively treat Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infections. According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, what is new is the idea of the sample being placed within a capsule to be swallowed. (I think I gagged just typing that last sentence). The article cited the work of a Dr. Thomas Louie from the University of Calgary. The point of the poop pill is populate the gut with healthy bacteria to counteract the C. diff infection. Dr. Louie reports that a single day of treatment is all that is necessary - although it does involve swallowing "a couple of dozen" pills. Ugh. Although I guess if you are sick, you will do whatever it takes to get better.

For in-depth information on fecal transplants:

Source:

Healy, M. "Poop pill treats painful intestinal infection " Los Angeles Times October 3, 2013.

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