Weird Science: Fecal Implants Replace Local Culture
With the proliferation of dangerous superbugs that are resistant to antibiotics, the unusual treatment is gaining respect from researchers across the country.
That shift in thinking reflects a growing regard for the complex and largely unknown bacterial ecosystem inside the human body.
The "microbiome," as it is known, is now the focus of a $115 million federal research project to investigate the symbiotic bond between humans and their bacteria.
"If the normal flora in the colon is destroyed, in my book, you replace it," said Aas, a gastroenterologist who is now semi-retired.
The cure? Replace all the bacteria in the patient's gut with a tiny dose of someone else's stool.
Vomitous. Yet, it makes sense. We each carry within us a culture of microbes that are helpful to us.
If they are destroyed, something must replace them. It will be either infectious microbes, or helpful ones -- from the stool of someone else.
Our grandparents who told us to not be afraid of a little dirt had a good point. What we know and have mastered won't kill us, so we should expose ourselves to the microbes around us and get to know them.
It's the same way with the cultures of nations. If you don't nourish them, in all their glorious weirdness, they die out, and are replaced by the unhelpful -- parasites.