- A pilot study suggests for the first time that changing the composition of gut microbiota could help reduce obesity.
Why this matters
- Obesity has reached epidemic proportions throughout the developed world, and medical and surgical options are currently not meeting the challenge.
- Fecal transplantation appeared promising for some patients who otherwise struggle to lose weight.
- 12-week pilot study.
- 22 obese patients randomly assigned to placebo or fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT).
- Patients received 30 FMT capsules followed by 2 doses of 12 capsules over 12 weeks, or identical placebo capsules.
- Patients were otherwise metabolically healthy.
- FMT derived from a single healthy donor.
- Lab studies showed global signals of donor community engraftment following FMT. This was signaled by an increase in local bacterial diversity and matching samples from the FMT donor.
- Bile acid analysis in the FMT group showed a decrease in taurocholic acid, similar to levels seen in donors. This was not seen in the placebo group.
- No early changes in BMI were noted in either group.
- There were no serious adverse events in either arm.
- The investigators note the need for longer studies and dose ranging.