Last Updated on August 4, 2020
I have been following the science of fecal microbial transplants for years.
I just saw on Wikipedia that it was first performed in 1958 in the States. Still, more recently since the 1980s, it’s been performed and probably likely pioneered by the Center for Digestive Diseases in Sydney, Australia.
After a medical conference in Sydney, I had some discussions with some of the doctors that work at the CDC. One of the doctors said that when they first started doing the pilot studies with a group of about 20 patients, after 12 months, all patients had exactly the same problem that they had prior to the transplant. So it’s not a cure-all. FMT was originally used particularly for Clostridium difficile, quite a nasty gut infection you can get, which can lead to some serious bowel problems. In fact, it’s now sort of become the standard treatment for C. diff in America.
My personal opinion on FMT is, in most cases, it’s not going to have much effect on the patient.
Doctor Thomas Borody from the CDC, for example, in 1988, had a successful attempt at working with a patient with ulcerative colitis (UC) with FMT. The patient went into remission for a considerable period and then relapsed. I worked with over 100 cases of UC in the last several years, and they had almost a complete remission for an extended period using no FMT whatsoever.
My clients were able to go into remission through stool testing, eliminating the main pathogens, rebuilding the gut with probiotics, and following an anti-inflammatory diet.
Fecal microbial transplant, in my opinion, is clutching at straws. It’s a last resort kind of thing that many people jump into, but now it’s sort of seen as a first resort. I think it should be reserved for rare and unusual cases where other avenues have been exhausted. In my personal opinion, it’s not required in 99% of cases.
Now, I’m probably going to get some comments back along the lines of, “I had successful FMT or I would’ve been dead years ago.” I’m sure there’ll be people out there like that, but you’ll likely be only 1% of patients with serious gut problems.
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For 99% of people, it’s possible to get great results through regular stool tests, getting on top of leaky gut, addressing SIBO, and managing Candida.
If you fix things up earlier, they don’t become serious problems down the track, requiring things like FMT. Now, as I mentioned, there will be rare, genetically-linked cases that may benefit from FMT.
Several years ago, I had a young client from the UK who had a very dysfunctional GI system. I tried many things with her and couldn’t get the result I was looking for. The parents had plenty of money, so they flew the girl to Sydney. The girl had FMT, and for three months, it was all hunky-dory. This girl thought she was cured, but then, bang, straight back to where she was. 30 grand later, she’s back in the same hole she was in the beginning.
Ultimately, the solution for this young lady was probiotics. Once we found the correct probiotics for her, literally within a month, she was back at university again. It’s as simple as that, okay? This girl spent a lot of money going to all different clinics, tried all of the different types of antibiotics, many different things, but in the end, it was just probiotics that fixed her up.