Health & Fitness

Advice from the docs: The pill for C. diff

There are some bugs that aren’t so tough to take — and they’re packed into the latest FMT (fecal microbial transplant) capsule. Encapsulated FMT’s have been around for a while, but this one is different. It’s frozen, so it promises to be able to be shipped and stored, making it more widely available. Currently in Spanish trials, it appears to cure the severe and sometimes life-threatening gastrointestinal infection C. difficile around 90 percent of the time.

We’ve watched the progress made since the early days of the fecal enema or running a tube through the patient’s nose into to the intestine to deposit a more refined slurry of gut bacteria. They worked well, but it took guts to try them. Now with “a frozen suspension of faecal material” inside a capsule, it looks like microbial transplantation will be as easy as 1-2-3. And having standardized and safe FMT should allow the Food and Drug Administration, National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to get through the planning stages for establishing a U.S. stool bio-repository bank and make it a reality.

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic.