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Fecal transplants could help cure range of diseases

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 22 January 2019, 10:51AM
Fecal transplantation could soon become a treatment for a range of diseases. Photo / Getty Images

New Zealand researchers have re-examined the evidence of using Fecal transplants to cure diseases.

The Liggins Institute research concludes that in fecal transplants, poo from some donors are consistently better at treating bowel problems.

Dr Justin O'Sullivan of the university's Liggins Institute told Mike Hosking new trials with so-called "super donors" could unlock faecal transplantation's potential to treat other conditions associated with gut bacteria.

"The success rates are affected by how the donor lives, but also their genetics. Basically what we are working on are things that range from treatment of Melanoma, right through to Parkinsons, which they are currently running clinical trials on."

O'Sullivan says the transplants are used to treat bowel disorders by helping restore chemical and bacterial balance to the gut.

"These things are very individualised. Its different for different conditions. Some of the things people are looking at is the number and different types of bacteria. 

There are a set of people who's poo has a greater effect on people who have diseases and disorders than other people."

O'Sullivan and colleagues reviewed fecal transplantation trials for clues to the origin of the super-donor phenomenon. 

In particular, super donor stool tends to have high levels of specific 'keystone species'. These are bacteria which produce chemicals whose lack in the host gut contributes to disease.

"It's interesting that other people are better than others. Many people think its all the same materiel, but its not because it is affected by what you eat, the environment you live in."


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