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Can Popping Freeze-Dried Fecal Pills Combat Obesity?

by Reshma Anand on January 12, 2016 at 1:03 PM
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Can Popping Freeze-Dried Fecal Pills Combat Obesity?

Can altering a person's gut microbes influence their body weight? A team of researchers are planning to conduct a trial by using fecal transplants on obese people to check if it can reduce their body weight.

Dr. Elaine Yu and her colleagues from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston have come with a new technique of using pills filled with freeze-dried fecal matter. The fecal matter are taken from healthy individual's and they are given for obese people in the form of capsules. This pill dissolves inside the intestine and alters the gut microbes or microbiome.

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Researchers are expecting that this altered microbiome will change not only the patients weight, but also their lean and fat body mass as well as insulin sensitivity, a major contributor to obesity.

They are about to conduct a trial on 20 obese patients who will be given the fecal pills. After monitoring them for a year, researchers will measure their body weights.The patients will be put on regular diet and exercise regimen.
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Dr Yu and her team are being very cautious in selecting healthy fecal donors by screening for infections, metabolic disorders and other health complications. The researchers hope that this new technique will help combat obesity.

"The pills are odorless, tasteless and double-encapsulated to ensure they will not release until they reach the right location in the large intestine. We don't know what the results of this trial will be. I don't want to feed any frenzy of people jumping on this bandwagon," said Dr. Elaine Yu.

Source: Medindia
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