A solution to one of the world’s biggest health problems could be fecal pills

Around 180 million children around the world suffer from malnutrition. The condition is mainly the result of extreme poverty and causes children to lead stunted lives where their height, intelligence, and overall well-being is far below well-nourished children of similar age. Simply providing more nutrition to these children isn’t necessarily a solution, with recent studies showing that chronic malnutrition changes the population of beneficial bacteria in the gut, which makes it harder for these children to absorb key nutrients even when they are fed good food. Large-scale bacterial transplants isn’t necessarily an option, but scientists have found an innovative way around that with fecal pills (simply put, poop pills). The idea is to collect good bacteria living in the feces of healthy individuals and store them in freeze-dried fecal pills that can be consumed by patients like any other capsule. Malnourished people could take these pills to make their gut bacteria healthier to absorb those key nutrients. Perhaps this idea sounds disgusting (it certainly doesn’t sound appealing), but it could possibly save millions of lives and help millions more live up to their full potential.

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A solution to one of the world’s biggest health problems could be fecal pills

Around 180 million children around the world suffer from malnutrition. The condition is mainly the result of extreme poverty and causes children to lead stunted lives where their height, intelligence, and overall well-being is far below well-nourished children of similar age. Simply providing more nutrition to these children isn’t necessarily a solution, with recent studies showing that chronic malnutrition changes the population of beneficial bacteria in the gut, which makes it harder for these children to absorb key nutrients even when they are fed good food. Large-scale bacterial transplants isn’t necessarily an option, but scientists have found an innovative way around that with fecal pills (simply put, poop pills). The idea is to collect good bacteria living in the feces of healthy individuals and store them in freeze-dried fecal pills that can be consumed by patients like any other capsule. Malnourished people could take these pills to make their gut bacteria healthier to absorb those key nutrients. Perhaps this idea sounds disgusting (it certainly doesn’t sound appealing), but it could possibly save millions of lives and help millions more live up to their full potential.

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