Are Poop Transplants the Key to Weight Loss?

Scientists determine diversity of bacteria living in feces is linked to body weight and risk of certain metabolic diseases.

Laurel's feces could've helped Hardy lose weight. Photo: www.bbc.com
Laurel's feces could've helped Hardy lose weight. Photo: www.bbc.com

A recent CNN article says fecal transplants could help people manage their weight and reduce risk of disease. Researchers at Kings College London conducted a study that shows “a clear link between bacterial diversity in feces and markers of obesity and cardiovascular risk,” according to lead author, Michelle Beaumont.

Beaumont and her team examined the stools of 1300 sets of twins to measure the diversity of microbes and monitor the types of bacteria compared between lean and obese twins. During the study, scientists used six measures of obesity including body-mass index, upper to lower body fat ratios, and visceral fat, the type of fat typically surrounding vital organs. Lean people with low levels of visceral fat had a greater range of bacteria present in their stool.

Fecal transplants are not a new concept; they have been used to cure antibiotic-resistant infections. Beaumont and her team hypothesize diverse fecal transplants from a lean patient could change gut flora to prevent weight gain and disease.

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