Have you ever considered that stool samples from another person in enteric coated capsules can save your life when faced with a certain devastating condition? This is quite shocking but the treatment is here and its here to stay.
It all begins with a condition called Pseudomembranous Colitis. It’s an infection of the bowel caused by Clostridium difficile bacteria. The condition develops after anti-biotic treatment that eradicates all bacteria in the gut including the good bacteria called probiotics. Normally the probiotics prevent the colonisation by bad toxic bacteria. However when these good bacteria are eradicated by antibiotics, there is plenty of room for bad bacteria to step in and cause disease. The consequence: Mr. difficile steps in and causes such havoc that over 300 people die each day with this condition in North America despite modern medical efforts.
In the late 1950’s certain surgeons from Colorado introduced feces to patients with this devastating condition with a pump through the rectum as enemas (dissolved in water from a healthy donor). At the time they had no idea that an infection was the cause of Pseudomembranous Colitis. The results: full and quick recovery of all patients treated. Of course as is usually the case the medical establishment was quick to refute and ignore such findings by calling the treatment “unusual in nature” and “invasive” compared to antibiotics. Just imagine the loss of life since this discovery until today because of such ignorance.
Needless to say some ingenious and bright researchers picked up the idea and published an article in 2013 in the New England Medical Journal. Their research resulted in a 94% cure rate by treating with a micro-biota stool transplant by enema compared to 31% cure rate by standard treatment involving an antibiotic. In fact the treatment was so effective that the researchers had to discontinue the study because it was deemed unethical that the placebo group was receiving a placebo and not the actual treatment.
The treatment can be administered in many forms for example stool dissolved in saline water as enema, stool trough an oral route though a tube straight into the small intestine or by enteric coated stool capsules that dissolve once they pass the stomach. All forms have been shown equally effective.
Since then the treatment has also been shown to be highly effective for Ulcerative Colitis a form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease and even for Parkinson’s disease, although this last result is so shocking that it surely requires further investigation.
For now lets stay impressed by this radical therapy that has the power to save over a 100,000 people per year in North America alone.