DDW 2019—Fecal transplantation may be helpful for obesity


  • Sean Henahan
  • Conference Reports
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Takeaway

  • 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.

Study design

  • 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.

Key results

  • 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.

Limitations

  • The investigators note the need for longer studies and dose ranging.

 

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