The idea of faecal bacteriotherapy is to replenish the gut with friendly bacteria. This treatment is of established benefit in inflammatory bowel disease and clostridium difficile infections. It is also used in the veterinary world to treat animals with a range of gut symptoms. The difficult bug to replace is bacteroides because this does not survive for more than a few minutes outside the human gut. So the only way to replenish this is to use fresh material. There is now also evidence that this therapy is beneficial in Chronic fatigue syndrome. Dr Borody has recently published a paper on this - The GI microbiome and its role in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A summary of bacteriotherapy.
Indications for use
I would suggest trying this for people who lack bacteroides in the gut since this is the only way they can be replenished. Since the main problem is with bacteroides, I would want some evidence this bacteria was lacking. One can look for this by doing an Microbial Ecology Profile as done by the American laboratory Metametrix. Bacteroides does not show up in the Genova lab test CDSA.
If numbers of bacteroides were low, then they could be improved by attention to upper gut fermentation, combined with consuming desirable foods, i.e. those rich in fibre.
I am a great fan of low tech treatments which can be implemented fairly easily and inexpensively with very little potential to cause harm! The idea here is to take a small sample of fresh faeces from someone with normal gut flora, most importantly with good numbers of bacteroides and freedom from pathological strains, and instill this by enema into the prepared gut of the recipient.
For details of the Borody protocol see: Home Infusion protocol
I recommend enlisting the help of a colonic therapist so that this can be done as cleanly and efficiently as possible.
It is clear from Dr Borody's review of the literature that the amounts are not critical. Given the right substrate, bacteria can double their numbers every 20 minutes!
For the science and clinical trials behind the above suggestions also see the reference.
Home Infusion protocol contains all the information required to do this at home. The Centre for Digestive Diseases in North Rock, Australia pioneered the treatment.
- ↑ "Bacteriotherapy using Fecal Fauna", Thomas J Brody et al. J Clinical Gastronterology. Vol 36, Number 6, July 2004
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