Credit: The Hohmann Lab
This just in: Feces could save your life. And all you have to do is take a brand-new popable frozen poop pill!
First, a crash course on "poop use in the medical industry." Using excrement to help the body is nothing new; way back in 4th century China, "yellow soup," or stool soup, was used as a treatment for excruciating diarrhea and other stomach ailments. More recently, fecal transplants have become a popular way to help with an infection known as Clostridium difficile. And while these transplants sound like something from a Nickelodeon cartoon, let us assure you they are quite real and quite effective.
"The purpose of fecal transplant is to replace good bacteria that has been killed or suppressed, usually by the use of antibiotics, causing bad bacteria, specifically Clostridium difficile, or C. diff., to over-populate the colon. This infection causes a condition called C. diff. colitis, resulting in often debilitating, sometimes fatal diarrhea." — The Fecal Transplant Foundation
While doctors have performed colonoscopies in the past, using a tube to get the poop down, pills are safer and have now been proven effective as well. (One unfortunate side note: Because the pills have to be acid-resistant, they're translucent and appear brownish in color.)
Dr. Elizabeth Hohmann, a physician working with infectious diseases at Mass General, told NPR, "I've been a microbiology researcher for 25 years and this is the biggest thing we've done.”
While the pills are still in the early development phase, and there's a possibility they could transfer unknown infectious agents, it's hard not to celebrate this promising breakthrough in the medical community. In other words: Shit just got real. (#sorrynotsorry)