Can a poop pill a day keep the doctor away?

If you’ve never heard of this fecal trend, you will want to read this!

There is one human study to date being done at Massachusetts General Hospital, investigating whether or not poop pills can cause weight loss. The researchers hypothesize that the gut environment of obese mice more efficiently extracts energy from food compared to leaner mice, and the same might be true for humans. Recruitment for this study is still underway. A 2013 study looked at how the feces from a lean person injected into rats caused a different reaction than the feces from the lean person’s larger twin. The researchers concluded that the larger twin’s feces caused weight gain in rats and the leaner twin’s feces caused weight loss in rats.

Smooth move or crappy idea?

Let’s compare using poop pills to improve your gut environment and possibly lose weight to how your lifestyle can affect gut health and body size:

We want a healthy gut environment (known as “gut microbiome”). A healthy gut microbiome helps enhance immunity as well as digestion and nutrition by making nutrients we ingest more available. To optimize the health of your gut, avoid smoking, stay active, regularly include dietary fiber, and eat red meat in moderation. Prebiotics and probiotics have also been shown to improve bowel and immune function.

For those who are above their individual healthy weight, eating a variety of foods and exercising continues to be the best path. Dieting normally causes weight gain, so avoid dieting and eat in response to hunger and fullness.

So wipe the idea of poop pills from your mind and use extreme caution before you consider joining this not-so-smooth movement. The research does not look promising for FMT and gut issues or C. Diff infection. And you really should think twice before using FMT for weight loss. Compared to healthy eating and exercise, it is a crappy alternative.