Human feces (not shown) are being encapsulated as a possible obesity treatment.
Eat s— and diet.
Researchers at Massachussetts General Hospital are freeze-drying feces from lean donors and encapsulating the waste into pills being given to obese patients as part of a new clinical trial.
The excrement experiment led by assistant professor and clinical researcher Elaine Yu expected to begin later this month is testing whether replacing a person’s intestinal microbes with those from a donor via their droppings could remedy health problems such as obesity and insulin sensitivity.
Participants will receive weekly poop pills for six weeks, and their weight and health will be tracked at three, six and 12 months. The pill-popping participants will continue maintaining their regular eating and health habits during the study.
“The pills are odorless, tasteless and double-encapsulated to ensure they will not release until they reach the right location in the large intestine,” Dr. Yu told the Daily News. She assured that the subjects won’t be able to tell whether they’re swallowing the poop pills or the placebos because they are being so carefully crafted and tightly regulated with the Food and Drug Administration.
The study builds on a 2013 trial in which groups of mice were given gut microbes from lean and obese humans. The mice that got the lean human poop stayed slim.
Scientists believe that gut microbes play a role in regulating human metabolism.
But Yu admits that this new test run is still a crapshoot.
“We don’t know what the results of this trial will be,” Yu told the News. “I don’t want to feed any frenzy of people jumping on this bandwagon. DIY experiments make me very nervous, as a physician and as a researcher.”
So resist the urge to try this at home.