If it helped you lose weight, would you take a pill made out of freeze-dried poop harvested from healthy, skinny people?
The U.S. government has just announced a clinical trial which that test something called “Fecal Microbiota Transplant for Obesity and Metabolism” or FMT.
The announcement of the clinical trial sponsored by Massachusetts General Hospital, states, “The purpose of this study is to study the impact of gut bacteria on weight. Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) transfers intestinal bacteria by a ‘stool transplant’ from a healthy, lean person to a person with obesity.”
For anyone interested in the pill, but concerned about the smell or taste of it, according to Dr. Elaine Yu, an assistant professor at Massachusetts General and the person running the study, the pills are “odorless, tasteless, double-encapsulated.”
A pill-based treatment that uses freeze-dried fecal matter from healthy individuals is nothing new. This kind of therapy has proved to be effective in helping people with severe gastric infections, some of which are resistant to antibiotics.
One such infection, clostridium difficile, commonly called “C. diff,” reportedly strikes almost 500,000 Americans each year. The Centers for Disease Control reports that C. diff kills 15,000 people each year, calling it “a very important cause of infectious disease death in the United States.”
The weight loss study seeks 21 participants, men and women, between the ages of 25 and 60. However, you cannot be “healthy.” Since they are looking to test the pill’s effectiveness on obese individuals, your body mass index has to be above 30.
Pregnant women are also excluded from the study, as are people with food allergies and “immunosuppressed patients.”
Interested persons are also instructed to consult their own doctors before applying to the program.
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