Interesting, if a bit grim!

From the Telegraph

It must be one of the most stomach-churning medical treatments ever devised.

A grandmother who contracted a potentially fatal superbug in Scotland has been saved after a hospital fed her daughter’s faeces to her.

Ethel McEwan, an 83-year-old from Guardbridge, Fife, was near death after contracting Clostridium Difficile, the Daily Record reported.

But she was saved after receiving a “faecal transplant” from her daughter, Winnifred.

The treatment involves liquidising a sample of faeces from a close relative of the patient, and feeding the liquid down a tube into the stomach.

The treatment restores the bacteria to levels at which they help the recovery process.

“When you tell people about the treatment, they wrinkle their noses,” Mrs McEwan told the Daily Record.

“But it’s not like they put it on a plate and have you eat it. You don’t ever see or smell a thing.

“People will have a blood transplant or a kidney transplant – what’s the difference with this?”

I’m not sure whether the medicine wasn’t almost as bad as the affliction, but it seems to have worked! There are a lot of helpful bacteria in the human gut, performing a variety of useful tasks, including assisting with digestion. Some convert calcium into a form more easily absorbed by our bodies, while others help to break down fats, proteins, or carbohydrates. Some others are simply non-harmful, but help by outcompeting more dangerous bacteria.

I’m a bit surprised that there wasn’t a better way to boost the woman’s probiotic levels than the course they took though.

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