Fecal transfusion - a treatment for UC?

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Nov 17, 2000, 8:08:55 PM11/17/00
Did any of you catch this article yesterday?


- tappies

Alan Kennedy

Nov 18, 2000, 3:00:00 AM11/18/00
In article <3a15d620...@news.ne.mediaone.net>,

This is an absolutely fascinating treatment.

I worked with Tom Borody for a few months in Spring 1999 (actually
Autumn/Fall in Sydney), and I remember
thinking "Eeeeeeeuuuuuuuuwwwwwwww", when he introduced me to the idea
of what he calls "sh*t transplants" :-D.

But after suspending my disbelief, I took a close look at what he was

And by God, it works! I saw Tom turn patients with persistent ill-
health and illness into happy well adjusted patients, with a t*rd, a
kitchen blender, and a colonoscope! Even the thought of it makes me
laugh as I write this message :-D

Tom believes that many of the chronic illnesses that we face in todays
world result from imbalance of the microbial ecology of the body, very
often arising in the intestine, and resulting in what Tom
lightheartedly calls "Triple-S", or "Sick Sh*t Syndrome". The theory
goes that if you restore the balance of the microbial ecology using a
donated sample of a healthy microbial ecosystem, which Nature has
conventiently provided in the shape of a "crusty loaf", then the
patients microbial imbalance will rectify itself and the symptoms of
whatever illness will wane.

It's absolutely amazing work, and derives from previous work going back
to the 1950's. Ever since those first origins, it appears to be a
completely safe treatment, i.e. there appears to be no ill-effects.

The choice of "donor" is important. Most important is that the donor
has a healthy stool, and no history of intestinal or other illness. Tom
prefers to pick a close relative, ideally a blood relative. Presumably,
the relative percentages of differing bacterial species that make up
the microbial ecology of the intestine are dependent, at least in part,
on the genetic makeup of the patient.

People with IBS and other functional bowel disorders seem to show the
greatest improvement. Some patients remained well, i.e. no symptoms and
no treatment required, for years and years. When I was there, he hadn't
yet tried it in patients with IBD, either Crohn's or UC. I'll contact
him and find out if there have been any developments.

But the most impressive things about this treatment

1. It's cheap :-)
2. It's painless (apart from the "eeeeuuuuwwww" factor :-)
3. It seems to have no side effects
4. It works

I have enormous admiration for Tom Borody. He cares deeply about his
patients, making them well is his primary goal in life. He is not
financially motivated, i.e. he doesn't seek to maximize profits from
his work. And he is lateral thinker, he "thinks outside the box", and
has enormous insight into the workings of the human body.

He is definitely a name to watch out for. I consider it an honour to
have worked with him.


Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.


Nov 18, 2000, 3:00:00 AM11/18/00

I read this article yesterday in my local newspaper and I must say, I was quite
impressed with the procedure. The article I read said the "donor" sample would
be "cleaned" before the procedure? Wouldn't the patient's immune system try to
fight any/all bacteria in the donor's stool? Just a couple questions..........

Linda - who, after all these yrs (32) is ready to try Anything!!

Alan Kennedy

Nov 18, 2000, 3:00:00 AM11/18/00
In article <20001118123212...@ng-cp1.aol.com>,

sierra...@aol.com (Sierrasryder) wrote:
> The article I read said
> the "donor" sample would be "cleaned" before the procedure?
> Wouldn't the patient's immune system try to fight any/all
> bacteria in the donor's stool? Just a couple questions..........

Of course this is a complicated subject, so it's difficult to discuss
it in detail in a Usenet posting. But some thoughts.....

1. If you were going to "clean" it, how would you do it? You can't
pasteurise it, i.e. heat treat it like milk, because that would kill
the very bacteria you're trying to introduce to make things better. I
can't think of any other way to "clean" it, short of using DNA chips to
extract the useful bacteria. But that would require that you know in
advance what bacteria you're looking to extract, knowledge that simply
doesn't exist right now. And DNA chips are currently way out of the
price range of clinical medical treatment.

2. Yes, the immune system does initiate a reaction to all bacteria,
good or bad. But "pathogenic" (disease-causing) bacteria would initiate
a much stronger and also damaging response, most likely because they
would be toxic, and might possibly share antigens with parts of the
human body (autoimmunity). Whereas good bacteria would be much better
tolerated by the immune system.

3. The reason for picking a "donor" that has no history of illness and
is also genetically related to the recipient is to minimize the very
problems discussed above. Explicitly, it is to minimize the risk of
introducing disease causing microbes into the recipient, thus
potentially making the situation worse. And the bit about close genetic
relatives is so that the transplanted ecosystem is more likely to be
genetically compatible with the recipient, and thus far less likely to
cause problems. The microbial ecology of the intestine is a complex
function of at least the following

A. Host genetics
B. Diet
C. Environmental exposure
D. Medication

The treatment is attempting to redress the imbalance of an entire
ecosystem, so it's difficult to discuss it in terms of individual
species. From my memory of my discussions with Tom, there are literally
hundreds of thousands of different species and strains in the human
intestine. Also, the number of microbial cells in the intestine is
vast, 1E13, i.e 10,000,000,000,000 cells, which is ten times more cells
than the entire human body. The microbial cells that make up the flora
of a healthy human weigh approx 1.0 to 1.5 kilos (approx 2 to 3
pounds). So we're talking about an enormously complex ecosystem that
may never be fully understood. So rather than try to fully understand
it, trust Nature's ability to form balanced ecosystems. After all,
she's had a few billion years to work on it.......

I think of this treatment as the ultimate in probiotic treatment.
Rather than guess what species are best to introduce into the
intestine, it makes use of the natural ability of a transplanted
microbial ecosystem to take hold in a new environment. Also, by
introducing the new ecosystem "the wrong way" (you know what I
mean :-), you avoid exposing the new ecosystem to the harsh environment
of the stomach, and the highly corrosive acid it contains.

I don't have the medical expertise to recommend this experimental
treatment. Also, Crohn's Disease is a complex disease, because of the
exposure of intestinal flora to the bloodstream through a badly damaged
intestinal wall. But given that microbes are present in all intestines,
sick, healthy or otherwise, it makes common sense to me that those
microbes should at least be "healthy" ones as opposed to "sick" ones.

You might consider getting your doctor to contact Tom Borody, to find
out more. While he is an extremely busy man, he always makes time for
other physicians.

Remind me to tell you sometime about Tom's work treating Autism with
probiotics. Fascinating and ground breaking.


Nov 18, 2000, 3:00:00 AM11/18/00
Dear Alan,

Thanks so much for the time and energy to answer my questions. I find this
subject to be absolutely fascinating! Thank goodness for all those willing to
keep searching for ways to overcome this disease. Does Tom Borody have a
website that I can go to for further information on other studies he has
perhaps conducted on the intestinal system?

Again, thanks so much for the in-depth answers, And for making it sooooo
understandable to a layman like me! (duh!) LOL!!


Rebecca :-)

Nov 18, 2000, 3:00:00 AM11/18/00

Thanks for all the good information. I am printing it out and will see what
my doctor thinks as well (he has Crohn's himself). I would love it if you
would send me the information on Autism as I have a good friend whose
pre-teen daughter is Autistic. Thanks

Rebecca :-)

Alan Kennedy <ala...@my-deja.com> wrote in message


Nov 19, 2000, 3:00:00 AM11/19/00


Thank you for taking the time to fill us in on this treatment......It is
a very interesting subject.....



Nov 19, 2000, 3:00:00 AM11/19/00
Thanks so much for posting this. As for the "ewww" factor, well we've
had to go through so many other "ew" things in the course of our
illnesses, I don't think this is as big a deal! :) (I mean you don't
even have to drink any golytely or phosphosoda for this treatment!)


Nov 20, 2000, 3:00:00 AM11/20/00
I briefly spoke with my mom today (and RN for 25 years) and she claims she
heard about this sort of treatment back in nursing school, but she thinks it
was describing a process for chemo patients who had their intestinal flora
killed off by their treatments.

Anyhow, here's hoping this proves to be useful and, if not, something else
comes along and quick!


Nov 20, 2000, 10:32:12 PM11/20/00
Ah ha! yet more evidence of the bacterial connection that many of us have
been yapping about. With all this promising information I feel certain
that in 2 years they will pretty much have this disease licked -
figuratively that is (eww othewise!)

Jennifer wrote:

> Thanks so much for posting this. As for the "ewww" factor, well we've
> had to go through so many other "ew" things in the course of our
> illnesses, I don't think this is as big a deal! :) (I mean you don't
> even have to drink any golytely or phosphosoda for this treatment!)
> tap...@netscape.net wrote:


Nov 20, 2000, 11:07:21 PM11/20/00
ROFL....hey, if they find this is a cure I'll do it!

:) mgbio

Alan Kennedy

Nov 21, 2000, 3:00:00 AM11/21/00
In article <GnIR5.459$aX.2...@homer.alpha.net>,
"Rebecca :-)" <rebe...@globaldialog.com> wrote:
> Alan:

> I would love it if you would send me the information on Autism
> as I have a good friend whose pre-teen daughter is Autistic.
> Thanks
> Rebecca :-)


Sorry for the delay. I had to scan in, ocr and proof-read a medical
paper before I could reply.

I used to date a Speech Therapist back in University, and I'm still in
touch with her and a few of her fellow students, who are all now
practicing Clinical Speech and Language Therapists. Some of them
specialise in Autism, so they were quite taken aback when I returned
from Australia with tales of Autism, Tetanus infection and probiotic
treatment. I promised them all a couple of months ago that I would get
a copy of the relevant paper to them. But I've just been up to my ears
in work, and the list just keeps getting longer, not shorter.

Anyway, I advanced the production of the paper to the top of my
schedule, and I've spent about ten hours over the last few days getting
it done. The paper is entitled "Autism and Clostridium Tetani", and you
can access the full text from the following URL. I'd be most grateful
if someone could proof-read it as well, since I've gone it bit cross-
eyed doing it. I can email graphic images of the original paper scans,
if required. If there are any errors, please email me at my deja
account, "ala...@my-deja.com". The paper is at


The abstract summarizes the hypothesis quite well, so I'll repeat it

"Autism is a severe developmental disability believed to have multiple
etiologies. This paper outlines the possibility of a subacute, chronic
tetanus infection of the intestinal tract as the underlying cause for
symptoms of autism observed in some individuals. A significant
percentage of individuals with autism have a history of extensive
antibiotic use. Oral antibiotics significantly disrupt protective
intestinal microbiota, creating a favorable environment for
colonization by opportunistic pathogens. Clostridium tetani is an
ubiquitous anaerobic bacillus that produces a potent neurotoxin.
Intestinal colonization by C. tetani, and subsequent neurotoxin
release, has been demonstrated in laboratory animals which were fed
vegetative cells. The vagus nerve is capable of transporting tetanus
neurotoxin (TeNT) and provides a route of ascent from the intestinal
tract to the CNS. This route bypasses TeNT's normal preferential
binding sites in the spinal cord, and therefore the symptoms of a
typical tetanus infection are not evident. Once in the brain, TeNT
disrupts the release of neurotransmitters by the proteolytic cleavage
of synaptobrevin, a synaptic vesicle membrane protein. This inhibition
of neurotransmitter release would explain a wide variety of behavioral
deficits apparent in autism. Lab animals injected in the brain with
TeNT have exhibited many of these behaviors. Some children with autism
have also shown a significant reduction in stereotyped behaviors when
treated with antimicrobials effective against intestinal clostridia.
When viewed as sequelae to a subacute, chronic tetanus infection, many
of the puzzling abnormalities of autism have a logical basis. A review
of atypical tetanus cases, and strategies to test the validity of this
paper's hypothesis, are included."

Now, Dr. Tom Borody got his hands on this information in 1998. He
realised that there was a potential role for anti-clostridial treatment
of autism sufferers. I think he may have tried antibiotics at first,
but as mentioned in the paper, although some autism sufferers improve
when taking anti-clostridial antibiotics, the effect appears to be
transient and the patient soon relapses as soon as treatment is

So he turned his attention to probiotics, an approach he uses in many
of his patients with GI problems. He carefully selected approximately
30 different species of probiotics from suppliers across the world. I
don't know what criteria he used for his selection, but I seem to
remember that production of "butyric acid" was a factor.

And lo and behold, some of the autistic children he treated started
getting better! They showed greater awareness of their environments,
greater responsiveness to people around them, and generally seemed
better-adjusted, happier children. By the time I left Sydney, I think
he had treated six children, five of whom had shown improvement.
However, it must be remembered that these are just anecdotal results.

That's really all I know, so if you want to find out any more, it'll be
case of doing a little reading. Though Bolte's paper is an excellent
starting point, since it is so well researched and referenced.

Unusually, I find it extremely interesting that Ellen Bolte, the author
of the paper, is the mother of an autistic child, and had no medical
experience when she did her work. She was simply tired of mainstream
Autism researchers, who seemed to focus all their research efforts on
seeking ways to interfere with imbalances in the brain neurochemistry
in autistic children, rather than trying to figure out why the
imbalances happened in the first place. And the only ones who were
trying to find the underlying cause were (and seem still to be)
convinced that the underlying cause is genetic, and spent all of their
energies on seeking a genetic basis for the disease, despite no firm
evidence that the disease was genetic, and equivocal results from
previous studies.

Does this sound familiar to anyone?

When will the medical research world cotton on?

Tom Borody has a suitable quote on a placard on the wall of his
office: "It takes 50 years to get a wrong idea out of medicine, and 100
years to get a right idea into medicine".

BTW, Tom's web site is http://www.cdd.com.au/

Alan Kennedy

Nov 21, 2000, 3:00:00 AM11/21/00
In article <20001118155622...@ng-ca1.aol.com>,

sierra...@aol.com (Sierrasryder) wrote:
> Does Tom Borody have a website that I can go to for further
> information on other studies he has perhaps conducted on the
> intestinal system?


Tom does have a web site, but it's unfortunately not very up-to-date. I
struggled for two months, while I working with him in Sydney, to get
information out of him so that I could do a web site for him. But's
he's just too darned busy. So the web site doesn't contain anything
about Fecal Transfusion, as fas as I know.

The address is

Rebecca :-)

Nov 21, 2000, 3:00:00 AM11/21/00

Thank you so VERY much -- I will *try* and proof read the paper but it will
have to be after Thanksgiving as I am going to go to my in-laws. I will send
this information on to my friend.

Rebecca :-)

Alan Kennedy <ala...@my-deja.com> wrote in message



Nov 21, 2000, 3:00:00 AM11/21/00
Thanks for the link Alan. I'll check it now and then for new information. You
actually worked with Borody? Bet it was real interesting!

Thanks again, Linda :o)

Alan Kennedy

Nov 26, 2000, 3:00:00 AM11/26/00
As a follow-up to my own message, here is a discussion of Fecal
Transfusion from a bullettin-board relating to patients with
Clostridium Difficile infection. Dr. Borody has himself contributed to
this exchange.


You'll need to make the above two lines into one for the URL to work.

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