Although this next topic is enough to make even the most hardy person squeamish, it just might change the way we approach healthcare. So without further ado, we are going to talk about doo doo, more specifically fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT). Yep, you read that correctly, someone else's poo being transferred into a different person.
While this may sound wild, it is actually not a new thing, and has been shown to be successful in helping reduce gastrointestinal symptoms for many. Think of it like a super high dose amped up probiotic. What is blowing my mind is some new research on FMT and fertility (see link below). This is still early stage research but the results are pretty interesting. In a 2022 article by Xu, et al. it was found that FMT from young donor mice improved fertility in older recipient mice. On average, litter size in the older non-treated mice was one to two babies and in the FMT treated older mice it was nine! Now, I do realize that this doesn’t exactly translate to humans; I don’t think many of us out there want to give birth to nine babies. What it does highlight is the increased ability of an older mouse to get pregnant and carry a baby to full term, which the article noted may be due to increased anti-inflammatory cellular activity, decreased follicle atresia and apoptosis (AKA cell death of the unfertilized egg), increased ovarian cell growth, and improved immune function of the ovaries in the mice treated with FMT.
Remember that gut flora we have talked about in previous articles, it’s back again. So much of our body’s health relies on having a good microbiome (which requires following good wellness practices such as rest, exercise, diet, etc) including fertility. So if you are struggling with fertility, know that both male and female reproductive systems have been shown to benefit from better flora. And who knows, maybe a fecal transplant from a young donor may one day be on the list of fertility treatment options.
I’ll see you all in 2023. Happy Holidays and blessings in the New Year!