A Poop Pill Might Be the Key to Weight Loss

3.29.2016

 

After having four babies, I’ve tried a lot of methods to lose weight. Some have been more successful than others. I’ve tried the shake method, limiting myself to soy shakes or Slim Fast drinks for breakfast and lunch and trying to eat a modest dinner. I’ve also tried exercise: taking classes at the Y, walking in my neighborhood with a friend or training for a race. Other times, I just tried to limit my portion size of what I wanted to eat.

There have been so many diets that have emerged in the past decade: low carbohydrate diets, high protein diets, raw foods diets, and juice diets. How are we supposed to know what diets are healthy and what diets might be harmful? Recently, dietary supplements have become popular. Herbal supplements, vitamins and probiotics line the shelves of the grocery store and health food stores and carry promises of boosted metabolism and increased fat-burning.

Now, a new pill boasts weight loss powers, if you can stomach it. Are you ready for this? It’s made—of poop. Now, as a mom of four, I’ve got a PhD in poop. I’ve seen just about everything in this category. I’ve cleaned it up in the diaper stage, clapped for it in the toilet training stage, and flushed it when little people forgot to push the lever. There’s not much that I can’t handle, but a poop pill just might be my limit.

But if a poop capsule can help me lose weight, I might at least listen to the reasoning behind it. Here it goes. The theory is that the freeze-dried poop of a thin person may help an obese person lose weight. To test out this hypothesis, a group of researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital are testing capsules containing freeze-dried poop of lean people on overweight people.

This is not a totally new idea. Growing evidence is showing that gut bacteria has a lot of influence over your body weight. Having healthy gut bacteria might be connected to a thinner waistline. If this is true, could healthy bacteria be transferred to obese people through a capsule so the good bacteria could multiply and help them lose weight?

Oral fecal transplants have been successful in mice, according to the journal Science. Some studies that were published in 2013 found that diverse gut bacteria is beneficial in establishing a healthy weight. Interestingly, obesity is connected to less diversity in the digestive tract (Source: Women’s Health).

So what happens after you pop the poop pill? Do you magically drop a few pant sizes overnight? Not likely, the researchers say. The best way to lose weight and keep it off is the old fashioned way—diet and exercise. There will always be new theories of how to lose weight, but it really is all about the ratio of calories you put into your body compared to the calories you burn.

For those of you who may want to try freeze dried poop, you will have to exercise the virtue of patience. The pills are not approved for human consumption yet, but rest assured that we will give you the scoop on the poop just as soon as we hear something!