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Researchers: Freezing fecal matter at a young age has life-saving potential

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – It may have a bit of a yuck factor, but it’s certainly no laughing matter. In an article published in Trends in Molecular Medicine, Harvard scientists suggest preserving stool at a young age may prove to be life-saving in the future.

The method is called autologous fecal matter transplants, or FMTs. The process involves freezing fecal matter in an attempt to preserve healthy gut microbes excreted in a person’s waste. The theory is that harvesting young, healthy gut microbes present in the stool can be put back into a person’s body decades later. This, scientists say, has the potential to rejuvenate an aging immune system and cure chronic illnesses.

“Autologous FMTs have the potential to treat autoimmune diseases like asthma, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, obesity, and even heart disease and aging,” study co-author, Dr. Scott Weiss, said in a statement. “We hope this paper will prompt some long-term trials of autologous FMTs to prevent disease.”

Authors go on to say that in order to make FMTs a reality requires developing a business model and pricing strategy so that the therapy is available and affordable to all patients in need.