Could a simple meal of a skinny person's fecal matter be the key to slimming down? New research is looking, as crazy as this sounds, incredibly promising that special food made with the microbes from a skinny person's poop will actually be a miracle obesity cure. Just try to focus on the everyone becoming healthy part and less on the poop part.
As unlikely as it might seem, fecal transplants are actually turning out to be the stuff dreams are made of. And apparently, this magical poop procedure still has plenty to give. After some successful rounds of experimenting, scientists now believe that one possible answer to the rampant obesity problem could very well be lying in thin people's feces.
Findings by a team of scientists at Washington University School of Medicine build upon an already sizable body of work that indicates microbes play a big role in managing your body's weight. In the test, four sets of twins—one obese, the other not—gave the doctors fecal samples just teeming with all the lovely, intestine-dwelling microbes you could hope for. The scientists then transplanted the samples into mice bred to have no gut microbes of their own and found that the samples of thin lady poop made mice maintain a healthy weight, while the obese twins' defecatory goodies made mice gain weight.
After performing further tests, the researchers were able to pinpoint one particular type of feces-dwelling bug that was far more abundant in the slim women—a microbe called Bacteroides. That's (probably) what was helping the thin mice stay thin.
Of course, until this theory has been tested on human subjects, we can't be sure this would work on people. So far, though, these findings have scientists highly optimistic that obesity treatments could eventually come in the form of foods with a specially engineered sauce of microbes.
Besides, even if that doesn't work, you could opt for a straight up transplant, and the thought of having someone else's crap dumped into your body should be enough to make you lose your appetite anyway. [Science via The Guardian]