Fecal transplants might sound like one of the most bizarre of treatments when it comes to advancements made in the world of medical science. Yet as a form of health hack that has more than remarkable chances of effecting a revolution in the world of healthcare, fecal microbiota transplant is a real phenomena of the medical world.
It’s an established fact of health science that most of the diseases that bring about vital changes in the body functioning are related to changes in the gut’s microbiota. Some of the most serious health concerns that stems from diseases like cancer, obesity, depression, diabetes, stress ailments are likely caused by an imbalance in the bacterial composition of our gut.
Medical sciences refer to this imbalance as dysbiosis, and an alarming observation draws a link between microbial dysbiosis and allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, and cardiovascular disease. In fact, gut bacteria imbalances are also found to be inducive of age-related diseases, such as Alzheimer’s or age-induced paralysis.
And since these are some ailments that afflict the human physiology because of a certain disbalance in the gut microbes, it is obvious that a majority of these irregularities can be corrected by a balancing act of the essential gut bacteria. However, what’s essential in this rather revolutionary procedure of treatment is the consideration that not all individuals have a favourable combination of the bacteria that can be conducive to the treatment of diseases.
What emerges therefore is that some stools are better than others — that is, when it comes to fecal transplantations, not all individuals can be donors. What makes the difference in crucial situation such as these are the so-called super donors.
These super donors would be those whose poop boasts of microbial diversity and high concentrations of “keystone species” of bacteria. Keystone species are bacteria that trigger the production of chemicals — such as butyrate — which is an important immune mechanism that the body relies on.
As a safe and effective therapy for a wide range of illnesses, fecal transplantation could be vital in curing certain chronic diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, allergic colitis, and constipation, as well as some liver, metabolic, and even neurological conditions.
However, the cure percentage fluctuates between extremes. While the cure rate has a high degree of success with an approx of over 90 percent for
diarrheal infections, the scenario for patients of IBD or type 2 diabetes isn’t so rosy, with the average rate tending somewhere around a mere 20 percent.
So what does it take to genetically elevate a normal donor to a super donor? Researchers say that a rapid change in diet, that indicates a switch from an animal-based to an exclusively vegan diet, can alter the composition of the gut microbiota real fast, almost within 24 hours.
However donors might manifest as super or regular depending also on the conditions and recipients that would benefit from the donation. For, in different instances, it would take varying combinations of different gut bacteria to bring forth remedies for people afflicted with different ‘versions’ of the same disease.