Will fecal transplant pills be the next celebrity weight loss fad?

Celebrities never fail to entertain us, even when they aren’t on the big screen. Their lives can be fascinating, especially when it comes to health…
Will fecal transplant pills be the next celebrity weight loss fad?

Could a fecal transplant pill help you lose weight? (Shutterstock)

Celebrities never fail to entertain us, even when they aren’t on the big screen. Their lives can be fascinating, especially when it comes to health and weight loss fads. While it’s difficult to predict what will be the next big celebrity must-have, there is one weight-loss trick that may have the potential to go mainstream.

It’s called a fecal transplant pill, and it’s been around for a while in certain circles. In fact, it’s actually a legitimate medical treatment used to recurrent bouts of debilitating Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infection, and doctors have simply developed a pill form to help eliminate the need for delivery by way of enema or colonoscopy.

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“Recurrent C. diff infection is such a miserable experience and patients are so distraught that many ask for fecal transplantation because they’ve heard of its success,” said Thomas Louie, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Calgary, Alberta, and lead author of the pill study when it came out. “Many people might find the idea of fecal transplantation off-putting, but those with recurrent infection are thankful to have a treatment that works.”

Fecal transplant involves transplanting the feces of healthy donors into the intestinal tract of certain individuals to help rebalance the bacteria in the gut. The process was never intended to be a weight loss tool until Human Food Project founder, Jeff Leach blogged about his personal experience after self-inserting the feces of an African tribesman into his own rectum.

In his detailed description of the journey, he remarks how, after the procedure, he just started to lose weight for “no apparent reason.”

This revelation, combined with recent studies suggesting gut bacteria are essential for weight loss, give fecal transplant pills a whole new purpose among the masses looking to have supermodel physiques. Numerous studies in 2013 and 2014 have shown the importance of gut flora when it comes to weight management, and researchers feel there is much more to discover when it comes to how bacteria levels influence the body’s health.

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“That opens the possibility of developing bacterial therapies, a new type of probiotic which perhaps could fight this weight gain,” said to Prevention Dusko Ehrlich, PhD,  co-author of a gut bacteria study and research director at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research. “We are very tempted to extend this observation. Maybe in most Western countries, there will be these two different populations in people’s guts, and people will be at risk if they have low bacterial richness.

The research only adds fuel to the fire for people already sold on fecal transplant pills, but what gives this new fad it’s probable celebrity appeal is its potential to become “designer,” meaning high costs could be demanded for desirable fecal donors like professional athletes or health gurus. Only celebrities would have the cash to drop unlimited money on feces from someone famous–only celebrities could sell their own feces for such a purpose.