Fecal transplants can alleviate the painful and distressing symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome – if these transplants are from people referred to as "Superspender", according to a study presented on Sunday.
Regarded as the gold standard for medical research – found that gland microbiota transplant significantly improved IBS symptoms in nearly half of the patients. The study was presented by Magdy El-Salhy, a professor at the Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Bergen, Norway, at the annual United European Gastroenterology Week in Spain.
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The cause of IBS is unknown, but some researchers have suggested that it may be related to microbial abnormalities, the abundance of microorganisms that populate the intestine.
Fecal grafting or fecal microbiota transplants (FMT) cause the intestine to be repopulated with a healthier array of microorganisms. The donor's chair is processed and then transplanted into the recipient's intestine.
In order to find out if FMT can relieve IBS symptoms, El-Salhy and his colleagues recruited 164 patients diagnosed with the disease and the symptoms were moderate to severe.
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Before treatment, patients were asked at length for their symptoms. They then randomly received 30 g of a solution containing their own feces – the placebo – or one of two doses (30 g or 60 g) containing faeces from a so-called super-donor. The doses were delivered via a tube into the mouth and throat into the small intestine.
Three months later, patients were again asked to describe their symptoms accurately. Compared to pre-treatment, 23.6 percent of patients in the placebo group reported a moderate symptom improvement. In the group receiving the lower dose of superspender feces, 76.9 had a moderate response and 89.1 percent in the higher dose group.
More importantly, they also found symptom remission in 35.2, that is, the symptoms completely disappeared per cent of those in the lower dose group and in 47.3 per cent of those in the higher dose group. This compares to 5.5 percent of patients in the placebo group who reported a symptom remission.
A year later, El-Salhy said the effects seemed to be permanent. "The preliminary results [suggest] are still good in 90 to 95 percent of the targeted patients and in about 50 percent are still cured & # 39;" he wrote in an e-mail.
Previous studies have also looked at the effects of FMT on IBS symptoms and have mixed results. El-Salhy attributed the efficacy of the treatment of the specific microbiota of the superspendent in his study.
"We had a carefully selected donor of several candidates who were known to positively affect gut microbiota," said El-Salhy. Overall, the donor was healthy, had breastfed, fed nutritious, not taking regular medication, was a non-smoker and have taken only a few times antibiotics.
Experts were encouraged by the results, but somewhat skeptical about the idea of a super-dispenser, as it was not clear how El-Salhy's findings could be duplicated.
"These are very promising results, which are sure to attract much interest and attention, as there is a great interest in types of therapeutics for IBS," Dr. Alexander Khoruts, Professor of Medicine and Medical Director of the Microbiota Therapeutics Program at the University of Minnesota. "However, it's not clear how you could find another" super donor "to reproduce these results."
Dr. Jonathan Jacobs, assistant professor of medicine at the University of California at Los Angeles Medical School and director of the UCLA Microbiome Core, agreed. If it turns out that such results are possible only with the chair of a super-dispenser, which could be a rarity, "then we would not be better off," he said.
Given Mixed Results in Previous Studies Treatment of IBS with FMT: "I'm not sure if we can conclude from this study that a supersponder is needed, but that FMT generally needs to be validated in additional studies "said Dr. Purna Kashyap, Associate Professor of Medicine, Physiology and Biomedical Engineering and Co-Director of the Mayo Clinic's Microbiome Program. In fact, it is still unclear what role intestinal bacteria play in IBS, and in fact, most studies show that the microbiome of people with IBS is similar to that of healthy people, Kashyap wrote in an e-mail. In that sense, "How do you decide what a good donor should be?" Added Kashyap.
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