Coming soon to a hospital near you: poop transplants to reset the bacterial balance in your gut. It may not be the kind of thing people choose to discuss over the dinner table, but faecal transplants are gaining increasing acceptance as medical procedures as scientists learn more about the significance of the multitudes of bacteria inhabiting the human body. There is growing evidence that many diseases are associated with an out-of-kilter gut microbiome. Injecting stool from a healthy donor into a patient’s digestive tract is an attempt to restore the good bugs and diminish or eliminate the bad. Faecal transplants have been so successful in combating Clostridium difficile — which causes severe diarrhoea — that they are included in the US guidelines for treating this life-threatening condition. Scientists are now investigating the scope for using the procedure to treat other ailments, ranging from ulcerative colitis to multiple sclerosis. There are dozens of faecal transplant trials ...

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