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Daily pill containing gut bacteria from healthy people may help fight incurable conditions

Scientists have found strains of bugs that reside in the gut that appear to boost the immune system's response to diseases and infections.

Bacteria taken from the faeces of healthy people could be used to treat Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and cancer, researchers claim.

They hope the bacteria could one day replace potent drugs and treatments such as chemotherapy, which can cause a host of unwanted side effects.

British scientists have now started the first trial to test whether taking the bacteria as a daily pill could benefit a range of diseases.

The bacteria is collected from the faeces of healthy people before being isolated and multiplied in a lab.

It is then freeze-dried and given to patients in the form of a daily pill.

The method is different to faecal transplants, where the entire microbiome is transferred to patients.

In the last decade, scientists have found the microbiome has far more influence on overall health than previously thought.

Poor gut health is now linked to the development of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Crohn’s, asthma, allergies, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and diabetes.

Recent research also suggests the ‘microbiome’ affects communication between brain cells and overall neurological health.

Worldwide, interest is growing around the idea that abnormal quantities of certain bugs may be responsible for triggering a variety of conditions.

Scientists have linked some forms of intestinal bacteria to an increased risk of colorectal cancer.

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Posted on: May 27 2019

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