Poop Transplants for Weight Loss

I kid you not, this is a thing!

At least in the minds of some.

Several years back I wrote a joking blog post entitled something like “I want a date with Dr Suzanne Gundakunst”.  I teased the good doctor about her hypothesis that gut bacteria were responsible for making people fat.

Well it turns out that she may have been right to a degree and I might have to eat crow or, something else if the current research is correct.

All I can say is thank goodness I am not fat!

Research from King’s College in London suggest that obese people inherit different gut bacteria than non obese people and that this bacteria, also known as their “microbiome” is responsible for the accumulation of specific fat. A simple way to change the microbiome that you’re born with is a high quality probiotic.

That fat called visceral fat should be familiar to you from many years of my previous writings.  Several studies indicated that Omega 3’s can reduce the accumulation of visceral fat and the negative health affects it causes.

Weight loss, exercise and other anti-inflammatory life style modifiers like a good night’s sleep probably do the same thing.

These guys are suggesting poop transplants from skinny people to fat people might also be in the offing.

Now that is just a suggestion at the moment but remember Big Pharma has pretty much failed miserably at successfully marketing and selling drugs for weight loss. Fen-Phen the infamous combination of Fenfluramine and Phentermine hit an estimated liability of 14 billion and is “no longer widely available”!

The old standby stalwart part of that combo Phentermine was exonerated from being harmful although honestly back in the day it seemed to me it was just a milder form of speed with a shorter half life.  I saw plenty of patients go through withdrawal syndromes and only a few achieved meaningful weight loss.

Fewer still kept it off.

As far as Dr Gundakunst goes she seems to have faded from the lime light although there is still a Facebook page out there.  Not all the reviews of her book were “bad”

But as with most things it boils down to some form of calorie restriction couple with some form of “ritual”.

What is ritual? In this case it’s the secret sauce that makes “their” diet different from others and presumably the thing that makes it work.  I did not read this book but mention is made of 3-4 months of “detox” to clean out your organ systems.

I have a lot of friends that recommend detox so I won’t say a whole lot about it except that the science is pretty questionable.  Weight loss and maintenance is critical however and whatever gets you there: ritual, pill, healthy exercise, time limited special diets etc. do what you need to do to get and stay there.

I wrote a lot about my experiences with the ketogenic diet  a while back before it was popular and before intermittent fasting took hold. Unlike Dr. Suzanne it does not appear to be the casegood selling book in  that  but I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime don’t hold your breath for poop transplants as a weight loss aid.

Or maybe do!!!!

Today’s health secret:  Not all diets are for everyone. While science continues to sort out ways to make weight loss easier and more permanent remember you may need to do some experimenting with your body!  Don’t be disappointed if it does not respond quickly!  There is a buffer of time for a reason.  The Metabolic Wisdom of your body is smarter than you think.  You can and will find the “right diet”.  It may be simpler than you think but it may take some time for you to find it.  If you need to lose weight do not give up. And in the meantime do everything else you can to support your lifestyle changes!

Best, Dr Dave

PS Fecal transplants are an established treatment for refractory infections with C difficile, a bacterium that takes over the gut if one gets too many anti-biotics or other conditions associated with destruction of normal microbiome.

 

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