GI flora transplantation’s healing promise for IBS, perhaps ME/CFS, even depression

Fecal microbiota transplantation: past, present and future
– Source: Current Opinion in Gastroenterology, Oct 4, 2012

By Olga C Aroniadis, MD, Lawrence J Brandt, MD

[Note: Drs. Aroniadis and Brandt specialize in the study of fecal transplantion at Montefiore Medical Center. They review emerging science demonstrating that a healthy balance of intestinal flora is the foundation of cellular immunity and energy metabolism; its disruption plays a role in many disorders including IBS and ME/CFS (per Drs. Peterson, Cheney, Myhill, de Meirleir, Enlander, etc.); and plan controlled studies of microbiota transplantation in hopes of opening new horizons in healing.]

Purpose of review: Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) re-establishes a balanced intestinal flora with resultant cure of recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (RCDI).

FMT has also been used to treat other gastrointestinal (GI) diseases including:

• Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD),

• Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS),

• Chronic constipation

• And a variety of non-GI disorders.

The purpose of this review is to discuss the intestinal microbiota and FMT treatment of GI and non-GI diseases.

Recent findings: It is known that an imbalanced intestinal microbiota predisposes to CDI, IBD and IBS.

The complex role of intestinal microbiota to maintain health, however, is a newer concept that is being increasingly studied.

The microbiome plays an important role in cellular immunity and energy metabolism and has been implicated in the pathogenesis of:

• Non-GI autoimmune diseases,

• Chronic fatigue syndrome [ME/CFS],

• Obesity,

• And even some neuropsychiatric disorders.

Summary: FMT is a highly effective cure for RCDI, but increased knowledge of the intestinal microbiota in health maintenance, as well as controlled trials of FMT in a wide range of disorders are needed before FMT can be accepted and applied clinically.

Source: Current Opinion in Gastroenterology, Oct 4, 2012. PMID:23041678, by Aroniadis OC, Brandt LJ. Division of Gastroenterology, Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, New York, USA. []

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