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Research team needs your poop: Study shows fecal transplants could help treat type of liver disease
LONDON, ONT -- It may sound a little gross, but new research out of London, Ont. is highlighting the potential of fecal transplants for treating a type of liver disease and there may be a way you can help… by donating your poop.
A team of researchers with Western University and the Lawson Health Research Institute were looking at whether the procedure could help treat non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a type of liver disease caused by obesity.
Fecal transplants are when fecal matter is taken from the stool of a healthy donor and placed in the small intestine of a patient.
Using this method the “team wondered whether we could change the gut microbiome of NAFLD patients to reduce intestinal permeability,” said Dr. Jeremy Burton with Lawson and Western.
The trial of 21 patients found that the transplants helped in a reduction in how easily pathogens and other unwanted molecules pass through the gut and into circulation.
This process is known and intestinal permeability.
The study showed that intestinal permeability can be improved through fecal transplant, which means it may be able to be used as an early form of treatment.
The team’s findings may also have implications for other conditions that see increased gut permeability including some autoimmune diseases.
They hope to conduct a large multi-hospital trial to further test their findings.
“In order to conduct this researcg we need stool donors,” said Dr. Michael Silverman with Lawson and Western.
“By donating your poop, you can help us assess the value of fecal transplants to treat a variety of diseases”
The team is searching for young healthy stool donors. All donors are required to go through a screening process.
Anyone wishing to donate their poop can contact Dr. Seema Nair Parvathy at the Fecal Transplant Program at 519-646-6100, ext 61726.