Poo donors desperately needed as faecal donation banks run dry
Turns out, you can donate a lot more than just your blood or your organs; faecal banks in Australia need more poo donors to help them get through a shortage.
Faecal matter transplants are apparently extremely useful in treating certain gut conditions, and if you're hard up on cash but don't want to spend all that time getting good at a job, you can just sell your mud pies to a nearby donation centre. And it's for a good cause to boot.
Professor Andrew Holmes, who studies microbiology at The University of Sydney’s Charles Perks Centre, said FMT was "spectacularly successful" as a means of treating gut disease.
"Effective cure can be seen within one to two days of a single FMT treatment, and it seldom requires more than three treatments," he said, and while some people might turn their nose up at taking in another person's faeces, Holmes added that people who really needed the treatment had "little to no stigma".
"Fear of missing out is a bigger problem than fear of faeces. And if you bounce back to health after treatment, no one is likely to hold it against you for whatever sh*t you ate."
Dr Sudarshan Paramsothy, gastroenterologist at The University of Sydney’s School of Medicine, even went as far as saying that FMT isn't even that new of a treatment, and that people have been using poop for health for at least half a century.
"Using fecal suspensions has been reported since fourth century China, but in terms of Western science, the first instance was in 1958. But really, it’s only been in the past decade or so that its use has grown significantly. It’s something that kind of captures the attention because it seems a bit odd to use a stool to try to treat disease."
"We’re learning that gut bacteria is implicated with a lot of conditions — not only gastrointestinal but others like obesity, cardiovascular disease, autism, liver disease and psychiatric issues," added Dr Paramsothy. He did, however, admit that while there were high hopes for FMT outside of gastrointestinal health, the technology wasn't quite there yet for poop to expand to other areas of science.
"None of (the studies into other conditions) are at a stage where there have been significant studies showing benefit. We’re very early in the research phase," he concluded.